CWN - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, emphasized the many areas of agreement between Pope Francis and himself in response to the social concerns of the day.

The Ecumenical Patriarch addressed his remarks to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who was in Istanbul for the Feast of St. Andrew.

“It is the conviction of His Holiness Pope Francis and ourselves that the problem of reconciliation and peace, of justice and solidarity, cannot be resolved – while the deepest existential quests of humanity cannot be satisfied – without the contribution of faith in the living God,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said on November 30.

He continued:

With His Holiness Pope Francis of Rome, we share the same concerns, the same goals, and the same attitudes with regard to responding to the modern social and humanitarian crisis. Both of us underline the social content of freedom, love and solidarity; we both emphasize relationships and not isolation, being and not having, as well as fellowship and not greed. We resist any idealization of individualism and consumerism. We strive for a fairer world, for respect of human rights, and especially for the right of religious freedom.

The problems of refugees disturb us … Our recent encounter with Pope Francis in Assisi and our joint prayer for peace further solidified our shared conviction that our Churches must intensify their efforts against fanaticism, injustice and violence, but also toward the establishment of a culture of solidarity. We are capable of surviving without destroying the environment.


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the evil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance."

St. Seraphim of Sarov