DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     December 2, 1999     vol. 10, no. 229

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Sends Delegation to Constantinople on Feast of St. Andrew

        ISTANBUL, NOV 30 (ZENIT).- Following a long-standing tradition, the ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople celebrated the feast of its patron, the apostle Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, in Fanar, near Istanbul. The Holy See sent Cardinal Edward Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as its representative.

        Byzantine tradition venerates St. Andrew as "protocletos," the first disciple called by Jesus. As the Gospel narrative relates, Andrew and John were disciples of John the Baptist until they were called by Jesus. It was Andrew who went to his brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah."

        The Vatican delegation confirmed the fraternal ties between Catholics and Orthodox by its attendance at this feast, celebrated with great solemnity by the Oriental Churches, especially the ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. German Bishop Walter Kasper, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, traveled to Turkey with Cardinal Cassidy.

        In his message to Bartholomew I, the ecumenical Patriarch, John Paul II confirmed "our will to make progress on the road of dialogue and fraternal relations to reach full communion, which, at the end of the century and the dawn of the new Christian millennium, is an increasingly urgent necessity, a more ardent desire to heal our painful wounds, which are openly opposed to Christ's will and a cause of scandal to the world."

        After entrusting the conversion of the sins committed against the unity desired by God to the intercession of the apostles Andrew, Peter, and Paul, the Pope confirmed that this intention is one of the most important objectives of the Jubilee and assured the Orthodox that "the Catholic Church is prepared to do everything possible to remove the obstacles, consolidate the dialogue and collaborate in every initiative directed toward advancing in full communion of faith and witness."

        At the end of the message, the Holy Father expressed his joy at the thought of next January 18, when representatives of the ecumenical Patriarchate will be by his side during the ceremony to open the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

        The Patriarchate of Constantinople will return the Vatican delegation's visit by sending representatives to Rome for the feast of the apostles Ss. Peter and Paul on June 29. ZE99113003

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December 2, 1999       volume 10, no. 229


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