Monday, November 27, 2006

Prayer for Orthodox-Roman Catholic Unity

From His Emminence, Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, on the occasion of the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Constantinople to meet with Patriarch Bartholomew:

O Holy Father, from Whom all blessings flow, we come before Thee in meekness and bow down: humbly we beseech Thee to look kindly upon the meeting of Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, and Pope Benedict, Pontiff of Rome. For too long, there hath been division and alienation in the Church, when there should have been the unity of the Body of Christ. We beg Thy mercy and wisdom, O Lord, to provide for the welfare of the holy churches of God and for their union. Let this occasion of fellowship be for the healing of old disputes. In Thy infinite power, protect these Shepherds of the Great and Holy Pasture of Christ. Shield them, and all who attend, from the peril of harm. And in Thy matchless grace, establish a bright new work in these latter days, so that the world might see the Face of Christ; so that men and women might repent, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved in the Apostolic Church of God. For these supplications, we humbly beseech Thee, Holy Father, hear us and have mercy.

Biretta Tips to both Ben Andersen ( ) and Ben Johnson (

Since we are approaching the feast of St. Andrew, Patron of Constantinople (November 30), it is most proper, good Christian soul, that we pray that the recent meeting between His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Holy Father Benedict, Pope of Rome, will be rich in charity and foster a renewed understanding between these two communions.

I realize that such a wish puts me outside the "rigorist" set, those who prefer to see the Pope of Rome as "little better than a graceless witch-doctor who needs to accept Baptism by the monks of Athos" (Ben Andersen), but so be it. I, with Subdeacon Ben Andersen, will throw in my lot with "Metrpopolitan Nicholas, Patriarch Bartholomew, and all pious Orthodox who pray and work for the healing of the accursed schism of East and West, through the intercessions of our Blessed Lady and of Ss. Peter and Andrew, Apostles and brothers."

Now let's see if the way could be clear for a meeting between the "First Rome" and the "Third Rome".

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