Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Joins Pope Francis at Vatican Invocation for Peace
With a renewed commitment to Christian unity and an enduring desire to include people of all faiths in dialogue, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of over 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, joined his brother Pope Francis at the Vatican during an Invocation for Peace. Together with the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participated in the interfaith summit of Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Religious leaders read passages from the scriptures and offered prayers of thanksgiving for God’s creation, asking for God’s forgiveness and peace in the Middle East. Reading from the Prophet Isaiah, His All-Holiness reminded the people of the region that God had not abandoned them and that He would answer before they call, and hear while they yet speak (Isaiah 65.24). The Ecumenical Patriarch also invoked God’s blessings upon the Jewish, Christian and Muslim people in the Holy Land and prayed that their shared thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings may remind them that they are brothers and sisters.
In his address, Pope Francis expressed his thanks to the Ecumenical Patriarch: "I thank Your Holiness, my venerable Brother Bartholomaios, for joining me in welcoming these illustrious guests. Your presence here is a great gift, a much-appreciated sign of support and a testimony to the pilgrimage which we Christians are making towards unity."
After the invocation, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew shook hands with Presidents Peres and Abbas. As a clear sign of their desire for mutual reconciliation and their search for an equitable solution to the conflict in the Middle East, the four leaders planted an olive tree in the Vatican gardens.
Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate