Orthodox Patriarch Greets Boston Pilgrims

ISTANBUL, Turkey, SEPT. 30, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A group of Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims led by their respective leaders journeyed from Rome to Istanbul in a 10-day ecumenical pilgrimage.

The 100 pilgrims, led by Catholic Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodios, left Boston on Sept. 16.

Details of the entire pilgrimage can be found on Cardinal O’Malley’s blog, complete with pictures of the prelate’s conversation with Benedict XVI.

In Istanbul — formerly Constantinople — the pilgrims participated in a celebration of great vespers with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

In his greeting to the patriarch, Cardinal O’Malley affirmed that there is a close relationship between Boston’s Catholic and Orthodox communities, both of whom are working toward the goal of Christian unity.

“It is my pleasure to come here with my esteemed brother, his Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, to manifest in this pilgrimage the fruition of a deeper relationship between the sister churches in Boston,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “Dialogue needs to be in the context of such relationships in order to bear fruit.”