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Dialogue of LoveBreaking the Silence of Centuries$
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John Chryssavgis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264001

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264001.001.0001

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Pilgrimage toward Unity

Pilgrimage toward Unity

Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI in Jerusalem Based on Correspondence and Archives

(p.1) 1 Pilgrimage toward Unity
Dialogue of Love

John Chryssavgis

Fordham University Press

This chapter describes the historical meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI. This meeting was more than a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for the Pope because this was the first time since 1438 when the leader of the Western Church and the Eastern primate would meet. Before this meeting, a representative of the Patriarch visited the Pope in Rome, which was followed by a representative of the Vatican meeting with Patriarch Athenagoras one month later. When Pope John XXIII was taken ill, Athenagoras sent him a personal letter for a speedy recovery. Athenagoras also congratulated Pope Paul VI upon his election through a letter signed by Metropolitan Maximos of Sardis on his behalf, to which the Pope responded. When Patriarch Athenagoras learned of the coming visit of the Pope to the Holy Land on 6 January 1964, he decided to go to Jerusalem. This was not unusual however. According to Archbisiop Iakovos of North and South America, the Patriarch had already hoped to meet personally with the Pope as early as 1949. Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras again assigned two representatives to visit Rome, to which the Pope responded with a “common desire for encounter.” After this historic meeting, the relations between these two sister churches have improved tremendously so much so that the meeting between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is described “the most important [ecumenical] opportunity for 2014”.

Keywords:   Patriarch Athenagoras, Patriarch Bartholomew, Maximos of Sardis, Archbisiop Iakovos

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