Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Pope sorrow over Constantinople

During a visit by the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Pope John Paul II has expressed his sorrow over the sacking of Constantinople by Catholic crusaders in 1204.

The BBC reports that the Holy Father said he welcomed the patriarch to the Vatican with "joy" and hoped for a healing in the long rift between Eastern and Western Christianity.

"We are praying that the Lord of history purifies our memories of every prejudice and resentment and allows us to freely proceed on the road of unity," he said.

He referred to the "painful episodes of history" which had cast a shadow over their relationship.

"In particular, we cannot forget what happened in the month of April 1204," he said. "How can we not share, at a distance of eight centuries, the anger and the pain."

Relations between the Catholic and Orthodox churches have undergone renewed tension over claims the Catholics are trying extend their influence in the traditionally Orthodox countries of the former Soviet Union.

The Pope has previously apologised for sins committed by Catholics against Orthodox Christians, for the Crusades themselves, and to Jews for anti-Semitism.

Patriarch Bartholomew was at the Vatican for the first time in nine years.

The Pope remains keen to visit Russia, but Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexiy II has refused to sanction the move.

Pope sorrow over Constantinople (BBC 29/6/04)

Pope welcomes Israeli and Palestinian families (Independent Catholic News 29/6/04)
Pope urges Patriarch to resume ecumenical talks (Catholic World News 29/6/04)
Pope calls on Orthodox Patriarch to walk toward reconciliation and beyond painful memories of past confrontations (Catholic News Agency 29/6/04)
Pope Hoping Patriarch's Visit Boosts Ecumenism (Zenit 27/6/04)
John Paul II Assails Torture as "Intolerable" (Zenit 27/6/04)
44 Archbishops to Receive Pallium in Rome (Zenit 27/6/04)
John Paul II to Vacation in Italian Alps (Zenit 27/6/04)
Indonesian Religious Leaders Visit Pope (Zenit 27/6/04)
Vatican Releases WW2 Letter on Helping Jews (Reuters 28/6/04)
Sports, a means for renewal of the person and of society (Vatican Information Service 26/6/04)
Holy Father to go to Valle D'Aosta Region July 5 to 17 (Vatican Information Service 26/6/04)
Pope encourages all to pray for Christian Unity (Vatican Information Service 26/6/04)
Pope condemns torture, asks prayers for peace (Catholic World News 28/6/04)

30 Jun 2004