.- As many around the globe pray for Pope Benedict’s current trip to Turkey, the Orthodox and Roman Catholic prelates of Boston, as well as those of Denver, have issued statements committing their own prayers for the success of the Holy Father’s visit with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul this week.
In their joint statement, Metropolitan Methodios and Cardinal Seán O'Malley said they are praying for “the safety and fruitful ecumenical dialogue of their respective Church world leaders.”
The prelates said they are hopeful that the meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Benedict, “the two ‘bridge builders’ and ‘peacemakers’ of Apostolic Christendom, will influence ties between their respective churches and have a profound impact on religious freedom and on the recognition of minority rights.”
The Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic prelates of Denver did the same. Archbishop Charles Chaput each said it was important to pray for the success of the trip in order to “establish dialogue with Muslims but also to be of support to the Greek Orthodox Church.”
Metropolitan Isaiah, in a recent address to his parishes, said the papal visit would have “a positive effect on the way the Turkish government regards the Christian minority in Turkey.”
“The Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church formed the one, single, unified Christian Church of the first millennium,” said the Denver prelates in their statement. “Historical, political, and cultural forces unfortunately created an unnatural wedge between eastern and western Christendom over a thousand years ago. It has been the heartfelt desire of both Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians to see this divide narrowed, and to once again resume the unity of the Church.”