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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pope and Patriarch plan joint visit to Jerusalem

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Pope Francis  has accepted the proposal of the head of the Orthodox Patriarchate for a joint visit to Jerusalem, he also apparently wants to visit the seat of the Patriarchate in Istanbul.

Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople want next year to visit Jerusalem together. The Pope had accepted a proposal by the  Orthodox chief said  the Greek news portal "NewsIt" on Wednesday. The journey will be on the 50th Anniversary of the historic meeting of Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI. Their encounter in 1964 in Jerusalem began the abolition of the mutual excommunications that had existed since the schism in 1054

Bartholomew I also invited  the Roman Pontiff, according to the report also to Fanar, the seat of the Patriarchate in Istanbul. Francis has promised to accept this invitation. An official invitation will still be sent through diplomatic channels, the report said. Both church leaders had met in an ecumenical meeting with the new Pope in the Vatican on Wednesday. Further, the two church leaders decided according to NewsIt to develop joint initiatives to protect the environment. Patriarch Bartholomew I suggested, therefore, Francis and he could open a joint exhibition planned for 2015 on the integrity of creation on Mount Athos. There were indications that the exhibition will then be displayed in the Roman Quirinale Palace. Bartholomew I is known for his environmental commitment. He is called in the media the "Green Patriarch". Francis, in his sermon when taking office called  for  among other things for environmental protection . St Francis of Assisi (1881/82-1226), to which he refers in his choice of name is the Patron Saint of Environmental Protection in the Catholic Church.

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