Eastern Orthodox Christians recently celebrated Easter, and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople sent his greetings to Catholics around the world, and said that “even if it is slow, the walk towards the unity of our Churches is unstoppable”, and even spoke of celebrating a “joint Easter”:
“Since the XVI century, the distance the Julian and Gregorian calendars have taken from each other has led to having a different Easter date. We are sure that, as soon as the time is right, our Churches will be able to humbly and willingly implement a joint and to listen to St Paul’s invitation as a cry that sounds more urgent than ever nowadays, in a globalised, media-dependent world: ‘Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed’ (1 Cor. 5, 7-8)”. This was said earlier today by His Holiness, Bartholomew, archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, as he received at Fanar the general vicar of the Holy Father for the diocese of Rome, mgr. Angelo De Donatis, and the Roman clergy, who are in Turkey on a pilgrimage these days. In repeating the Easter announcement – “Christ rose from the dead!” – which will resound in the Orthodox Churches on Sunday, April 8th, Patriarch Bartholomew invited to “go and announce this great truth to all the world, we must make it the source and walk of our personal experience, we must embody it and make it fruitful in the life of the Church”. And, mentioning why they were there, Bartholomew pointed out that “being pilgrims means walking the ways of the world, it also means converting oneself to get rid of the labours of life so as to walk a way of holiness and completely entrust oneself to God”. Then, the ecumenical Patriarch mentioned that “you come from Rome, where our beloved brother, Pope Francis, is bishop. A deep unity of purpose has bonded us since His election and has gone on fruitfully in the five years of His Papacy, and it has found us together in so many events and so many times”. “Our meetings, our common perseverance in looking for all the possible ways to solve the unsolved issues between our Churches – he added – have been imbued with great mutual respect, trust and Christian love. And so has the international Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue, which has already borne plenty of fruit”. “Even if slow, even if sometimes hesitantly, the walk towards the unity of our Holy Churches is unstoppable – he concluded – because God wants it, and because we must be His witnesses in this world that does not care for God”. (source)
In the spirit of Patriarch Bartholomew’s words, to all our Orthodox brothers:
Քրիստոս յարեա՜ւ ի մեռելոց!