e-περιοδικό της Ενορίας Μπανάτου εν Ζακύνθω. Ιδιοκτήτης: Πρωτοπρεσβύτερος του Οικουμενικού Θρόνου Παναγιώτης Καποδίστριας (pakapodistrias@gmail.com), υπεύθυνος Γραφείου Τύπου Ι. Μ. Ζ. Οι δημοσιογράφοι δύνανται να αντλούν στοιχεία, αφορώντα σε εκκλησιαστικά δρώμενα της Ζακύνθου, με αναφορά του συνδέσμου των αναδημοσιευόμενων. Η πνευματική ιδιοκτησία προστατεύεται από τον νόμο 2121/1993 και την Διεθνή Σύμβαση της Βέρνης, κυρωμένη από τον νόμο 100/1975.

Τα νεότερα στα θεματικά ένθετα

Κυριακή, 25 Μαΐου 2014

Το χειροφίλημα του Φραγκίσκου στον Βαρθολομαίο [video]


Ο Πάπας Φραγκίσκος έχει δώσει ήδη σοβαρά δείγματα γραφής! Εννοούμε ότι όχι μόνον έχει εξανθρωπίσει τον θεσμό που ενσαρκώνει, αλλά και τον έχει φέρει εγγύτερα προς την Ανατολική Εκκλησίας. Ή, τουλάχιστον, δείχνει ανοιχτός προς την συναντίληψη μεταξύ των δύο Εκκλησιών, παλαιάς και νέας Ρώμης, σε καιρούς δύσκολους, κατά τους οποίους ο αγώνας και η αγωνία προς την Ενότητα πρέπει να αποτελεί τη μέριμνα όλων των μερών. 

Το βράδυ της 25ης Μαΐου 2014, ενώπιον του Παναγίου Τάφου και αμέσως μετά την Ομιλία του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου, κατά την ιστορικής σημασίας Συνάντηση Φραγκίσκου και Βαρθολομαίου, ο Πάπας έκλινε προς το μέρος του Πατριάρχου, τράβηξε το χέρι του και το ασπάστηκε, καθώς εκείνος προσπαθούσε να το αποφύγει κι εντέλει ανταπόδωσε με ασπασμό στο πρόσωπο του Πάπα. 

Όλα τούτα γράφουν ιστορία, τη νεότερη εκκλησιαστική ιστορία της Χριστιανοσύνης, μάρτυρες των οποίων είμαστε όλοι μας! Μακάρι, κάτι καλύτερο και ουσιαστικότερο να κυοφορηθεί!
π. Π. Κ.

Φωτοθήκη της προσκυνηματικής Συνάντησης Φραγκίσκου και Βαρθολομαίου στον Πανάγιο Τάφο [+ video]

 Σήμερα το βράδυ 
Photos:Ana-mpa/News.va/Ganp/Dimitrios Panagos/John Migdala












































Με τον Πάπα Φραγκίσκο συναντήθηκε σήμερα Κυριακή 25 Μαΐου 2014 στα Ιεροσόλυμα ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος σε ανάμνηση της ιστορικής συνάντησης του Πάπα Παύλου Στ' και του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Αθηναγόρα τον Ιανουάριο του 1964. Οι δύο Προκαθήμενοι είχαν αρχικά κατ' ιδίαν συνάντηση στο κτήριο της Αποστολικής Νουντσιατούρα στα Ιεροσόλυμα στη διάρκεια της οποίας υπέγραψαν Κοινή Διακήρυξη οκτώ σημείων. Κατά την υπογραφή παρόντες ήταν ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος και οι Μητροπολίτες Περγάμου Ιωάννης, Γαλλίας Εμμανουήλ, καθώς επίσης ο Καρδινάλιος, Πιέτρο Παρολίν, ο Επίσκοπος Κουρτ Κοχ και ο νούντσιο στα Ιεροσόλυμα Τζουζέπε Λαζαράτο. Στη συνέχεια, στην Αγία Αυλή του Ναού της Αναστάσεως ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος και ο Πάπας Φραγκίσκος αντάλλαξαν τον ασπασμό της αγάπης και πριν εισέλθουν εντός του Ναού, προσκύνησαν μαζί στο Λίθο της Αποκαθήλωσης. Την ομιλία του Πατριάρχη Ιεροσολύμων Θεόφιλου και την ανάγνωση της ευαγγελικής περικοπής στην Ελληνική και τη Λατινική γλώσσα ακολούθησαν οι ομιλίες του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου και του Πάπα Φραγκίσκου. Αμέσως μετά ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος και ο Πάπας Φραγκίσκος αντάλλαξαν τον ασπασμό της ειρήνης, είπαν μαζί το «Πάτερ ημών» στα Ιταλικά και τα Ελληνικά και πριν εξέλθουν από το Ναό της Αναστάσεως προσκύνησαν στον Πανάγιο Τάφο και τον Φρικτό Γολγοθά και ευλόγησαν τους παρισταμένους. 




Τα της υπογραφής Κοινής Διακήρυξης από τον Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο και τον Πάπα Φραγκίσκο / Joint Declaration by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis [το κείμενο αγγλιστί]

Σήμερα το απόγευμα
Φωτογραφίες: Ν. Μαγγίνας


























JERUSALEM – His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness Pope Francis crossed a fifty-year milestone today, continuing the legacy of their predecessors Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. In 1964, those leaders broke a silence of centuries and paved the way toward greater dialogue.
Meeting this afternoon at the Apostolic Delegation in the Old City of Jerusalem, the global heads of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches signed a Joint Declaration affirming their commitment to seek unity between their respective ecclesial bodies. Moreover, they expressed their profound concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their fundamental right to remain full citizens of their homelands:
We are persuaded that it is not arms, but dialogue, pardon and reconciliation that are the only possible means to achieve peace.
The Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch also reaffirmed their responsibility and obligation to foster a sense of humility and moderation so that all may feel the need to respect creation and to safeguard it with care:
Together, we pledge our commitment to raising awareness about the stewardship of creation; we appeal to all people of goodwill to consider ways of living less wastefully and more frugally, manifesting less greed and more generosity for the protection of God's world and the benefit of His people.
Finally, the two world leaders underlined the importance of religious understanding and dialogue:
We invite all Christians to promote an authentic dialogue with Judaism, Islam and other religious traditions. Indifference and mutual ignorance can only lead to mistrust and unfortunately even conflict. (see full text of the Joint Declaration below)

Joint Declaration by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis
1.             Like our venerable predecessors Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras who met here in Jerusalem fifty years ago, we too, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, were determined to meet in the Holy Land "where our common Redeemer, Christ our Lord, lived, taught, died, rose again, and ascended into Heaven, whence he sent the Holy Spirit on the infant Church".[1] Our meeting, another encounter of the Bishops of the Churches of Rome and Constantinople founded respectively by the two Brothers the Apostles Peter and Andrew, is a source of profound spiritual joy for us. It presents a providential occasion to reflect on the depth and the authenticity of our existing bonds, themselves the fruit of a grace-filled journey on which the Lord has guided us since that blessed day of fifty years ago.
2.             Our fraternal encounter today is a new and necessary step on the journey towards the unity to which only the Holy Spirit can lead us, that of communion in legitimate diversity. We call to mind with profound gratitude the steps that the Lord has already enabled us to undertake. The embrace exchanged between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras here in Jerusalem, after many centuries of silence, paved the way for a momentous gesture, the removal from the memory and from the midst of the Church of the acts of mutual excommunication in 1054. This was followed by an exchange of visits between the respective Sees of Rome and Constantinople, by regular correspondence and, later, by the decision announced by Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Dimitrios, of blessed memory both, to initiate a theological dialogue of truth between Catholics and Orthodox. Over these years, God, the source of all peace and love, has taught us to regard one another as members of the same Christian family, under one Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to love one another, so that we may confess our faith in the same Gospel of Christ, as received by the Apostles and expressed and transmitted to us by the Ecumenical Councils and the Church Fathers. While fully aware of not having reached the goal of full communion, today we confirm our commitment to continue walking together towards the unity for which Christ our Lord prayed to the Father so "that all may be one" (Jn 17:21).
3.             Well aware that unity is manifested in love of God and love of neighbour, we look forward in eager anticipation to the day in which we will finally partake together in the Eucharistic banquet. As Christians, we are called to prepare to receive this gift of Eucharistic communion, according to the teaching of Saint Irenaeus of Lyon[2], through the confession of the one faith, persevering prayer, inner conversion, renewal of life and fraternal dialogue. By achieving this hoped for goal, we will manifest to the world the love of God by which we are recognized as true disciples of Jesus Christ (cf. Jn 13:35).
4.             To this end, the theological dialogue undertaken by the Joint International Commission offers a fundamental contribution to the search for full communion among Catholics and Orthodox. Throughout the subsequent times of Popes John Paul II and Benedict the XVI, and Patriarch Dimitrios, the progress of our theological encounters has been substantial.  Today we express heartfelt appreciation for the achievements to date, as well as for the current endeavours. This is no mere theoretical exercise, but an exercise in truth and love that demands an ever deeper knowledge of each other's traditions in order to understand them and to learn from them. Thus we affirm once again that the theological dialogue does not seek a theological lowest common denominator on which to reach a compromise, but is rather about deepening one's grasp of the whole truth that Christ has given to his Church, a truth that we never cease to understand better as we follow the Holy Spirit's promptings. Hence, we affirm together that our faithfulness to the Lord demands fraternal encounter and true dialogue. Such a common pursuit does not lead us away from the truth; rather, through an exchange of gifts, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it will lead us into all truth (cf. Jn 16:13).
5.             Yet even as we make this journey towards full communion we already have the duty to offer common witness to the love of God for all people by working together in the service of humanity, especially in defending the dignity of the human person at every stage of life and the sanctity of family based on marriage, in promoting peace and the common good, and in responding to the suffering that continues to afflict our world. We acknowledge that  hunger, poverty, illiteracy, the inequitable distribution of resources must constantly be addressed. It is our duty to seek to build together a just and humane society in which no-one feels excluded or emarginated.
6.             It is our profound conviction that the future of the human family depends also on how we safeguard – both prudently and compassionately, with justice and fairness – the gift of creation that our Creator has entrusted to us. Therefore, we acknowledge in repentance the wrongful mistreatment of our planet, which is tantamount to sin before the eyes of God. We reaffirm our responsibility and obligation to foster a sense of humility and moderation so that all may feel the need to respect creation and to safeguard it with care. Together, we pledge our commitment to raising awareness about the stewardship of creation; we appeal to all people of goodwill to consider ways of living less wastefully and more frugally, manifesting less greed and more generosity for the protection of God's world and the benefit of His people.
7.             There is likewise an urgent need for effective and committed cooperation of Christians in order to safeguard everywhere the right to express publicly one's faith and to be treated fairly when promoting that which Christianity continues to offer to contemporary society and culture. In this regard, we invite all Christians to promote an authentic dialogue with Judaism, Islam and other religious traditions. Indifference and mutual ignorance can only lead to mistrust and unfortunately even conflict.
8.             From this holy city of Jerusalem, we express our shared profound concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their right to remain full citizens of their homelands. In trust we turn to the almighty and merciful God in a prayer for peace in the Holy Land and in the Middle East in general. We especially pray for the Churches in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, which have suffered most grievously due to recent events. We encourage all parties regardless of their religious convictions to continue to work for reconciliation and for the just recognition of peoples' rights. We are persuaded that it is not arms, but dialogue, pardon and reconciliation that are the only possible means to achieve peace.
9.             In an historical context marked by violence, indifference and egoism, many men and women today feel that they have lost their bearings. It is precisely through our common witness to the good news of the Gospel that we may be able to help the people of our time to rediscover the way that leads to truth, justice and peace. United in our intentions, and recalling the example, fifty years ago here in Jerusalem, of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, we call upon all Christians, together with believers of every religious tradition and all people of good will, to recognize the urgency of the hour that compels us to seek the reconciliation and unity of the human family, while fully respecting legitimate differences, for the good of all humanity and of future generations.
10.       In undertaking this shared pilgrimage to the site where our one same Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and rose again, we humbly commend to the intercession of the Most Holy and Ever Virgin Mary our future steps on the path towards the fullness of unity, entrusting to God's infinite love the entire human family.
" May the Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!" (Num 6:25-26).

[1] Common communiqué of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, published after their meeting of 6 January 1964.

[2] Against Heresies, IV, 18, 5 (PG 7, 1028)

Κοινή Διακήρυξη υπέγραψαν Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης και Πάπας Φραγκίσκος

πηγή: ΤΑ ΝΕΑ gr
«Ασπασμό ειρήνης» αντάλλαξαν ο Βαρθολομαίος και ο Πάπας στον Ιερό Ναό της Αναστάσεως.Πηγή: REUTERS
Κοινή διακήρυξη οκτώ σημείων, έπειτα από συνομιλία μίας ώρας, υπέγραψαν ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος και ο Πάπας Φραγκίσκος, το βράδυ της Κυριακής στην Ιερουσαλήμ.

Στη Διακήρυξη, μεταξύ άλλων, τονίζεται ότι αμφότεροι προσβλέπουν στην ημέρα, που θα υπάρξει πλήρης κοινωνία μεταξύ Ορθόδοξης και Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησίας και επισημαίνεται η σημασία της συνέχισης του θεολογικού διαλόγου, του σεβασμού, της δημιουργίας του Θεού δια της προστασίας του φυσικού περιβάλλοντος.Επίσης, οι κύριοι Βαρθολομαίος και Φραγκίσκος, σύμφωνα με τις πληροφορίες του ΑΠΕ, δεσμεύτηκαν να προσφέρουν κοινή μαρτυρία στην υπηρεσία της ανθρωπότητας. 

Ακόμα, στην Κοινή Διακήρυξη, οι προκαθήμενοι των δύο Εκκλησιών εκφράζουν την αγωνία και το ενδιαφέρον τους για την κατάσταση των χριστιανών στην Μέση Ανατολή. 

Στη συνέχεια, οι δύο θρησκευτικοί ηγέτες επισκέφθηκαν τον Ιερό Ναό της Αναστάσεως, όπου αντάλλαξαν «ασπασμό ειρήνης» και κατευθύνθηκαν στον Πανάγιο Τάφο, έξω από τον οποίο έγινε ειδική τελετή. 

Στο μεταξύ, το πρωί της Κυριακής, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης συλλειτούργησε στον πανίερο ναό της Αναστάσεως με τον Πατριάρχη Ιεροσολύμων Θεόφιλο και με τη συμμετοχή ιεραρχών και κληρικών και από τις δύο Εκκλησίες. Παρών ήταν ο γενικός πρόξενος της Ελλάδος, Γιώργος Ζαχαριουδάκης. 

Σε ομιλία του, λίγες ώρες πριν συναντηθεί με τον Πάπα Φραγκίσκο, ο κ. Βαρθολομαίος ανέφερε ότι στη συνάντηση θα γίνει αποτίμηση της πορείας από το 1964 -όταν συναντήθηκαν οι προκάτοχοι τους, Αθηναγόρας και Παύλος Στ΄, μέχρι σήμερα- του διαλόγου της Ορθοδοξίας και του Ρωμαιοκαθολικισμού και «θα ανανεωθεί η ελπίδα και η προσδοκία ότι ο Αναστάς Κύριος θα δωρήσει τα ευαγγέλια της αγαλιάσεως, όταν συναντηθώμεν εν τη μόνη Αλήθεια Αυτού , εις την οποία οδηγεί και δέον να μας κατευθύνει μόνο η Αποστολοπαράδοτος Χριστιανική πίστις, η οποία αποτελεί την βάση της νίκης της φθοράς δια της ζωής, της διαιρέσεως και της πολεμικής δια της καταλλαγής και της ενότητας». 

Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης τόνισε ότι η ελπίδα σήμερα είναι:

-Πρώτον, η διατήρηση με τη δύναμη του Θεού της πίστης μέσα από αδυναμίες, αμαρτίες, απειλές και επιβουλές.
- Δεύτερον, η περιφρούρηση των κατορθωμάτων και σεβασμάτων της χριστιανικής πίστης.
- Τρίτον, η διαφύλαξη του καθεστώτος των Παναγίων Προσκυνημάτων στους Αγίους Τόπους
- Τέταρτον, η μαρτυρία της πίστεως προς όλους , ομοδόξους, ετεροδόξους, ετεροθρήσκους και αθρήσκους
-Πέμπτον, και πρώτιστο, «η τήρησις του θελήματος και της εντολής του Θεού, του ¨καλέσαντος τους πάντας¨ δια του Παρακλήτου Πνεύματος εις ενότητα και οδηγούντος ημάς "εις πάσα την αλήθεια"».

Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης πρόσφερε συμβολικά στον Πατριάρχη Ιεροσολύμων ένα ασημένιο ποτήριο και ένα δισκάριο για την τέλεση της Θείας Λειτουργίας.

Λίγο μετά τις 11 το πρωί, ο ναός της Αναστάσεως εκκενώθηκε και η αστυνομία έθεσε σε εφαρμογή ειδικό σχέδιο μέτρων ασφαλείας, εν όψει της συνάντησης Πατριάρχη Πάπα.


Speech by Pope Francis during the Holy Sepulchre Ecumenical Celebration (Jerusalem – 25.05.2014)


In this Basilica, which all Christians regard with the deepest veneration, my pilgrimage in the company of my beloved brother in Christ, His Holiness Bartholomaios, now reaches its culmination. We are making this pilgrimage in the footsteps of our venerable predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, who, with courage and docility to the Holy Spirit, made possible, fifty years ago, in this holy city of Jerusalem, an historic meeting between the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople. I cordially greet all of you who are present. In a special way I express my heartfelt gratitude to those who have made this moment possible: His Beatitude Theophilos, who has welcomed us so graciously, His Beatitude Nourhan Manoogian and Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa.
It is an extraordinary grace to be gathered here in prayer. The empty tomb, that new garden grave where Joseph of Arimathea had reverently placed Jesus' body, is the place from which the proclamation of the resurrection begins: "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead'" (Mt  28:5-7).
This proclamation, confirmed by the testimony of those to whom the risen Lord appeared, is the heart of the Christian message, faithfully passed down from generation to generation, as the Apostle Paul, from the very beginning, bears witness:
"I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Cor  15:3-4). This is the basis of the faith which unites us, whereby together we profess that Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of the Father and our sole Lord, "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead" (Apostles' Creed ). Each of us, everyone baptized in Christ, has spiritually risen from this tomb, for in baptism all of us truly became members of the body of the One who is the Firstborn of all creation; we were buried together with him, so as to be raised up with him and to walk in newness of life (cf. Rom  6:4).
Let us receive the special grace of this moment. We pause in reverent silence before this empty tomb in order to rediscover the grandeur of our Christian vocation: we are men and women of resurrection, and not of death. From this place we learn how to live our lives, the trials of our Churches and of the whole world, in the light of Easter morning. Every injury, every one of our pains and sorrows, has been borne on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd who offered himself in sacrifice and thereby opened the way to eternal life. His open wounds are the cleft through which the torrent of his mercy is poured out upon the world. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the basis of our hope! Let us not deprive the world of the joyful message of the resurrection! And let us not be deaf to the powerful summons to unity which rings out from this very place, in the words of the One who, risen from the dead, calls all of us "my brothers" (cf. Mt  28:10; Jn  20:17).
Clearly we cannot deny the divisions which continue to exist among us, the disciples of Jesus: this sacred place makes us even more painfully aware of how tragic they are. And yet, fifty years after the embrace of those two venerable Fathers, we realize with gratitude and renewed amazement how it was possible, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to take truly significant steps towards unity. We know that much distance still needs to be travelled before we attain that fullness of communion which can also be expressed by sharing the same Eucharistic table, something we ardently desire; yet our disagreements must not frighten us and paralyze our progress. We need to believe that, just as the stone before the tomb was cast aside, so too every obstacle to our full communion will also be removed. This will be a grace of resurrection, of which we can have a foretaste even today. Every time we ask forgiveness of one another for our sins against other Christians and every time we find the courage to grant and receive such forgiveness, we experience the resurrection! Every time we put behind us our longstanding prejudices and find the courage to build new fraternal relationships, we confess that Christ is truly risen! Every time we reflect on the future of the Church in the light of her vocation to unity, the dawn of Easter breaks forth! Here I reiterate the hope already expressed by my predecessors for a continued dialogue with all our brothers and sisters in Christ, aimed at finding a means of exercising the specific ministry of the Bishop of Rome which, in fidelity to his mission, can be open to a new situation and can be, in the present context, a service of love and of communion acknowledged by all (cf. JOHN PAUL II, Ut Unum Sint , 95-96).
Standing as pilgrims in these holy places, we also remember in our prayers the entire Middle East, so frequently and lamentably marked by acts of violence and conflict. Nor do we forget in our prayers the many other men and women who in various parts of our world are suffering from war, poverty and hunger, as well as the many Christians who are persecuted for their faith in the risen Lord. When Christians of different confessions suffer together, side by side, and assist one another with fraternal charity, there is born an ecumenism of suffering, an ecumenism of blood, which proves particularly powerful not only for those situations in which it occurs, but also, by virtue of the communion of the saints, for the whole Church as well.
Your Holiness, beloved brother, dear brothers and sisters all, let us put aside the misgivings we have inherited from the past and open our hearts to the working of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love (cf. Rom  5:5) and of truth (cf. Jn  16:13), in order to hasten together towards that blessed day when our full communion will be restored. In making this journey, we feel ourselves sustained by the prayer which Jesus himself, in this city, on the eve of his passion, death and resurrection, offered to the Father for his disciples. It is a prayer which we ourselves in humility never tire to make our own: "that they may all be one… that the world may believe" (Jn  17:21).

Homily by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Joint Prayer Service (Holy Sepulcher, May 25, 2014)


"Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." (Matt. 28.5-6)

Your Holiness and dearly beloved brother in Christ,
Your Beatitude Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem, much loved brother and concelebrant in the Lord,
Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, and very reverend representatives of the Christian churches and confessions,
Esteemed brothers and sisters,

It is with awe, emotion and respect that we stand before "the place where the Lord lay," the life-giving tomb from which life emerged. And we offer glory to the all-merciful God, who rendered us, as His unworthy servants, worthy of this supreme blessing to become pilgrims in the place where the mystery of the world's salvation transpired. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." (Gen. 28.17)

We have come as the myrrh-bearing women, on the first day of the week, "to see the sepulcher" (Matt. 28.1), and we too, like they, hear the angelic exhortation: "Do not be afraid." Remove from your hearts every fear; do not hesitate; do not despair. This Tomb radiates messages of courage, hope and life.

The first and greatest message from this empty Sepulcher is that death, "this last enemy" of ours (see 1 Cor. 15.26), the source of all fears and passions, has been conquered; it no longer holds the final word in our life. It has been overcome by love, by Him, who voluntarily accepted to endure death for the sake of others. Every death for the sake of love, for the sake of another, is transformed into life, true life. "Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life."

Do not, then, be afraid of death; but do not also be afraid of evil, despite any form that this might assume in our life. The Cross of Christ amassed all the arrows of evil: hatred, violence, injustice, pain, humiliation – everything that is suffered by the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed, the exploited, the marginalized and the disgraced in our world. However, rest assured – all of you who are crucified in this life – that, just as in the case of Christ, the Cross is followed by the Resurrection; that hatred, violence and injustice have no prospect; and that the future belongs to justice, love and life. Therefore, you should work toward this end with all the resources that you have in love, faith and patience.

Nonetheless, there is another message that emanates from this venerable Tomb, before which we stand at this moment. This is the message that history cannot be programmed; that the ultimate word in history does not belong to man, but to God. In vain did the guards of secular power watch over this Tomb. In vain did they place a very large stone against the door of the Tomb, so that none could roll it away. In vain are the long-term strategies of the world's powerful – everything is eventually contingent upon the judgment and will of God. Every effort of contemporary humanity to shape its future alone and without God constitutes vain conceit.

Lastly, this sacred Tomb invites us to shed another fear that is perhaps the most prevalent in our modern age: namely, fear of the other, fear of the different, fear of the adherent of another faith, another religion, or another confession. Racial and all other forms of discrimination are still widespread in many of our contemporary societies; what is worst is that they frequently even permeate the religious life of people. Religious fanaticism already threatens peace in many regions of the globe, where the very gift of life is sacrificed on the altar of religious hatred. In the face of such conditions, the message of the life-giving Tomb is urgent and clear: love the other, the different other, the followers of other faiths and other confessions. Love them as your brothers and sisters. Hatred leads to death, while love "casts out fear" (1 John 4.18) and leads to life.

Dear friends,
Fifty years ago, two great church leaders, the late Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, cast out fear; they cast away from themselves the fear which had prevailed for a millennium, a fear which had kept the two ancient Churches, of the West and East, at a distance from one another, sometimes even setting them up against each other. Instead, as they stood before this sacred space, they exchanged fear with love. And so here we are, as their successors, following in their footsteps and honoring their heroic initiative. We have exchanged an embrace of love, even as we continue along the path toward full communion with one another in love and truth (Eph. 4.15) in order "that the world may believe" (John 17.21) that no other way leads to life except the way of love, reconciliation, genuine peace and fidelity to the Truth.

This is the way that all Christians are called to follow in their relations among themselves – whatever church or confession they belong to – thereby providing an example for the rest of the world. The way may be long and arduous; indeed, to some it may occasionally seem like an impasse. However, it is the only way that leads to the fulfillment of the Lord's will "that [His disciples] may be one." (John 17.21) It is this divine will that opened the way traveled by the leader of our faith, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified and resurrected in this holy place. To Him belong glory and might, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, to the ages of ages. Amen.

"Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God." (1 John 4.7)

Ζωντανή μετάδοση στο "Νυχθημερόν" της Συνάντησης Πάπα Φραγκίσκου και Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου / Live Broadcast of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Holy Sepulcher


[Φωτογραφίες από την αναμονή της Συνάντησης: Nick Furris]















Κάντε απλώς κλικ στο YouTube video, που λαμβάνουμε από το τηλεοπτικό κανάλι του Βατικανού!

Η προσευχή του Πάπα στο τείχος που χωρίζει την Ιερουσαλήμ από τη Δυτική Όχθη

 Σήμερα, μετά το μεσημέρι 
Ενώ ο Πάπας Φραγκίσκος διάβαινε από το σημείο εκείνο, ζήτησε να σταματήσει το αυτοκίνητο στη μέση του δρόμου, κατέβηκε, έβαλε το κεφάλι του πάνω στο τείχος, όπου μάλιστα έχουν γραφεί σχετικά με την παρουσία του στην περιοχή συνθήματα.