Pope Francis' Traditional Message to Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew on the Feast of St. Andrew “Today’s world is greatly in need of reconciliation, fraternity and unity.”

According to tradition, on the occasion of the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, November 30th, patron saint of Constantinople, Pope Francis  sent a delegation to Istanbul to convey his greetings to the Ecumenic Patriarch Bartholomew.
The Vatican Delegation led by Cardinal Sandri read the Pope's message at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy presided over by the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holiness Bartholomew, in the Patriarchal church of St. George at the Fanar. In his message the Pope says that one of the most fruitful areas of cooperation between the Patriarchate and the Catholic Church is interreligious dialogue to promote peace.  The Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey, Archbishop Marek Solczyński,met with the Patriarch and held conversations with the Synodal Commission in charge of relations with the Catholic Church.
This annual exchange of Delegations between the Holy See and the Patriarchate for their respective patronal feasts, on the 29th of June in Rome, the Feast of St. Peter and Paul, and on the 30th of November in Istanbul.
In his message, Pope Francis notes that these visits are “an expression of the depth of the bonds” uniting the Catholic and Orthodox Church of Constantinople and “a visible sign” of their  “cherished hope for ever deeper communion”, which he says is “an irrevocable commitment for every Christian” as well as  “an urgent priority in today’s world”.
“Today’s world is greatly in need of reconciliation, fraternity and unity.”
Divisions are the result of sinful action
The Pope further highlights the need to continue analyzing the historical and theological reasons at the origin of the ongoing divisions between the two Churches “in a spirit that is neither polemical nor apologetic but marked instead by authentic dialogue and mutual openness”.
Likewise, he continues, they must “acknowledge that divisions are the result of sinful actions and attitudes which impede the work of the Holy Spirit, who guides the faithful into unity in legitimate diversity”.
They are therefore called “to work towards the restoration of unity between Christians not merely through signed agreements but through fidelity to the Father’s will and discernment of the promptings of the Spirit”.
“We can be thankful to God that our Churches are not resigned to past and current experiences of division, but, on the contrary, through prayer and fraternal charity are seeking instead to achieve full communion that will enable us one day, in God’s time, to gather together at the same Eucharistic table”
The Pope remarks that as they journey together toward the goal of unity, the  Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate are already working together for the common good of the human family in many areas including safeguarding creation, defending the dignity of every person, combatting modern forms of slavery, and promoting peace.
Concluding his message Pope Francis recalls the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Istanbul on 12 November, entrusting them to the mercy of God, while praying he will convert the hearts of those who commit or support such evil actions.
Greetings to Bartholomew during the Wednesday General Audience
The Pope greeted his “dear brother”  Bartholomew again during his Wednesday General audience. After his Catechesis, he asked the intercession of the Apostles Peter and Andrew for unity among Christians and peace in the world, especially in “tormented Ukraine”
“May the intercession of the holy brother Apostles Peter and Andrew soon allow the Church to fully enjoy her unity and peace to the whole world, especially at this moment to dear and tormented Ukraine, always in our hearts and in our prayers.”
Edited from Vatican News