Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – “Every Christian pilgrimage is not only a geographical journey, but also and above all an opportunity to take a path of inner renewal taking us ever closer to Christ our Lord”, said Pope Francis to the members of the Oriental Lumen Foundation in America, who are meeting in Rome in these days as part of an ecumenical pilgrimage.
“These dimensions are absolutely essential to proceed along the road that leads us to reconciliation and full communion among all believers in Christ. There is no true ecumenical dialogue without openness to inner renewal and the search for greater fidelity to Christ and to His will”.
The Holy Father expressed his satisfaction at learning that the pilgrims had decided to honour the memory of Popes St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, remarking that “this decision underlines their great contribution to the development of ever closer relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. The example of these two saints is without doubt enriching for all of us, since they always bore witness to an ardent passion for Christian unity”.
The Pope asked those present to pray for him during their pilgrimage to Rome, “so that, with the intercession of these two Saints, my predecessors, I may carry out my ministry as bishop of Rome in the service of the communion and unity of the Church, always following the will of the Lord”. With regard to the pilgrims' upcoming meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holinesss Bartholomaio I, in Fanar, he remarked that he too will meet with the Patriarch during his apostolic trip to Turkey in November. “I beg you to convey to him my cordial and fraternal greetings, as testimony of my affection and esteem”.