Pope Francis' Message to Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew on his 30th Anniversary χρόνια πολλά! FULL TEXT + Video
VIDEO MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
FOR THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ELECTION
OF HH THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW
I am particularly pleased that the thirtieth anniversary of the election of my friend and brother Bartholomew as Patriarch of the ancient and glorious See of Constantinople is being celebrated by many who will want to give thanks to the Lord for his life and his ministry.
The good personal understanding between us was born on the very day of the inauguration of my ministry, when he honored me with his presence in Rome; and then it matured in a fraternal friendship in the many encounters that, over the years, we have had, not only here in Rome but also in Constantinople, Jerusalem, Assisi, Cairo, Lesvos and Bari.
With Patriarch Bartholomew we are united by the shared awareness of our common pastoral responsibility towards the urgent challenges that the entire human family must face today. I am sincerely grateful for the Ecumenical Patriarch's commitment to safeguarding creation and for his reflections on the subject, from which I have learned and continue to learn a lot. With the outbreak of the pandemic and the spread of its dramatic health, social and economic consequences, his testimony and his teaching on the necessary spiritual conversion of man have acquired further relevance.
Furthermore, His Holiness Bartholomew has ceaselessly indicated dialogue, in charity and in truth, as the only possible way for reconciliation between all believers in Christ and for the re-establishment of their full communion. On this path we certainly want to continue walking together. It is our common conviction that closeness and solidarity between us Christians and between our Churches are a necessary contribution to universal brotherhood and social friendship, which humanity so urgently needs.
With these sentiments, I wish to express my most fervent wishes to Patriarch Bartholomew for his anniversary, asking God to grant him health, serenity, spiritual joy and - allow me to say - a sense of humor: more!
Your Holiness, beloved brother in Christ, χρόνια πολλά! [ chrònia pollà !] Ad multos annos!