Published November 30, 2023 | En Español
ATLANTA—On the Feast of St. Andrew, Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., extended his greetings on behalf of the faithful in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, to Metropolitan Alexios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis. In a Nov. 30 letter, Archbishop Hartmayer, recalls the great progress made toward “unity of our sister Churches.” The text of the archbishop’s greetings follow:
“Your Eminence Alexios, my dear brother in Christ:
As a spiritual son of St. Francis of Assisi, I greet you with his words: Peace and All Good!
On this great Feast of the Apostle St. Andrew, the First Called, I want to greet you with great affection as you celebrate your Patriarchal Feast.
Please extend my prayerful greetings and prayers, as well as those of my auxiliary bishops, clergy and lay faithful of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, to Bishop Sebastian, Father George, and to the all of the clergy and lay faithful of your God-protected Metropolis of Atlanta.
In his traditional greetings to His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Pope Francis recalled the historic meeting of His All Holiness, Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope St. Paul VI, in 1964. May their memories be eternal! The meeting took place in Jerusalem. It had been over a thousand years since the Successor of St. Andrew and the Successor of St. Peter had met. Since that meeting, great progress has been made in the quest for unity of our sister Churches. The Holy Father also noted that what people remembered most from that encounter was the warm embrace of these two humble servants of the Gospel. He writes: “With God’s help, we have been able to continue along the path laid out by our Venerable Predecessors, renewing many times the joy of meeting and embracing each other.”
As we look to the ongoing wars in the Holy Land and Ukraine, we unite our prayers for peace, along with those of his All Holiness, Bartholomew I and His Holiness, Pope Francis. We make the Holy Father’s words our own.
On this feast day of the Apostle Andrew, let us fervently pray to God, our merciful Father, that the clamor of arms, which brings only death and destruction, may cease, and that government and religious leaders may always seek the path of dialogue and reconciliation.
May the holy Apostles Peter and Andrew intercede for all peoples and obtain for them the gifts of fraternal communion and peace.
May St. Peter and St. Andrew, intercede for us in our quest for unity and peace in the world today. My Venerable and Beloved Brother, may God bless you abundantly and all those entrusted to your paternal care. Let us continue to keep one another in prayer. I look forward to seeing you in the very near future.
With much esteem and affection.
Your brother in Christ,
+Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta”