Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Local Prelates Issue Joint Statement On Pope’s Trip

Published November 23, 2006

Metropolitan Alexios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta and Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta have issued a joint statement of fraternal understanding and prayer for the upcoming three-day visit of Pope Benedict XVI with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul, Turkey, on Nov. 29-Dec 1. As global tensions run high, the local Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic hierarchs pray for the safety and fruitful ecumenical dialogue of their respective Church world leaders.

Pope Benedict will visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the invitation of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the spiritual leader of more than 270 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, for the occasion of the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, the older brother of St. Peter. St. Andrew traveled across Asia Minor and is the founder of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the former name for present-day Istanbul. Both prelates are noted throughout the world for their extraordinary efforts to create bridges of truth and love across religious, ethnic, environmental and political divides.

Metropolitan Alexios and Archbishop Gregory 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.