Pope Meets With Greek Orthodox Priests

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 19, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II met with a delegation of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Athens as part of his ongoing effort to foster ties with the Eastern Churches.

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The delegation included 30 Orthodox priests and the vicar general of the archdiocese, Father Thomas Synodinos, who arrived in Rome on Monday to visit holy places and meet with Catholic representatives.

During today’s audience, the Pope recalled his Jubilee Year visit to Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece.

«We must continue to build on solid foundations the fraternal and evangelical ties that we experienced on that occasion,» the Pope said.

«Your visit to Rome is a valid initiative in that sense, in order to get to know and appreciate each other better and to advance relations that facilitate communion,» he added.

John Paul II assured the delegation that he asked the Lord «constantly to prepare us to open our hearts to his prayer that ‘all may be one,’ and to make us capable of genuine obedience to his will in order to look together for ways for closer collaboration and an ever-deeper communion.»

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