Catholic, Greek Orthodox leaders in U.S. welcome pope-patriarch meeting

Catholic, Greek Orthodox leaders in U.S. welcome pope-patriarch meeting

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America welcomed the May 25 meeting between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem. Pope Francis’ May 24-26 trip to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories will commemorate the January 1964 visit of Pope Paul VI to the Holy Land and his visit with Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. The 1964 meeting was a joyful occasion “that swept aside centuries of hostility and division” and “has born good fruit,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is USCCB president, and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios, who also is chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States. In a joint statement released May 15 in Washington, the two archbishops pointed to a growing closeness between Catholic and Orthodox Christians over the last 50 years that has allowed them “to speak with one voice” on issues facing society. “We commit ourselves to increased cooperation in these areas, including social, economic and ethical dilemmas,” they said.

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