CWNews.com - Pope Benedict XVI met on June 27 with a delegation of Orthodox prelates representing the Patriarch of Constantinople, and renewed his pledge that the Catholic Church would do everything possible to restore full communion among Christians. He remarked that the Orthodox, like Catholics, revere Sts. Peter and Paul, and suggested that "the common veneration of these martyrs be a pledge of our commitment to full communion." Pope Benedict alluded to the work of a joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission, noting that their discussions necessarily focus on the role of the Bishop of Rome: a key to understanding the path to Christian unity.
The Orthodox prelates were in Rome to join with the Roman Pontiff in celebrations for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the patrons of the Rome diocese. They had arrived a day early so that they could also participate in ceremonies on June 28 for the closing of the Pauline Year. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has made it an annual event to send a high-level delegation to Rome for the patronal feast-- and in turn the Holy See sends important Vatican officials to Istanbul in November to join the Orthodox Patriarch in celebrating the feast of St. Andrew, the patron of the Constantinople see.
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