Early Vespers of the XXIX Sunday of Ordinary Time
Pope Benedict XVI & Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
SATURDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2008 - AFTERNOON
- SPEECH BY THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW I
- WORDS FROM THE HOLY FATHER
Saturday 18 October 2008, at 5:00 p.m., in the Sistine Chapel, on the occasion of the participation of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the Holy Father Benedict XVI presided over the celebration of Early Vespers of the XXIX Sunday of Ordinary Time. The following persons participated in this celebration: the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Members of the Presidency of the Synod of Bishops, 60 Cardinals and Patriarchs, 170 Archbishops and Bishops, 200 Priests, Religious and Lay persons participating in the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
WORDS FROM THE HOLY FATHER
During the Celebration, after the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy Father gave the following words:
With all my heart I would like to say "Thank you" for your words. The Fathers' applause was more than just an expression of courtesy, it was truly an expression of a deep spiritual joy and of a living experience of our communion. At this time, we have truly lived the "Synod": we have walked together on the path in the land of the Divine Word under the guidance of Your Holiness and we have tasted its beauty, with the great joy of being listeners of the Word of God, of being confronted with the gift of His Word.
What you have said truly nourished the Fathers' spirit, what you said about the Holy Scripture and due to this it is highly contextualized in our times, with a great Christian realism that shows us the challenges. We have seen that going to the heart of the Holy Scripture, to truly encounter the Word in the words, to penetrate in the Word of God opens the eyes up to today's reality for our world also.
And this was also a joyous event - an experience of unity, perhaps not a perfect one, but a true and deep one. I thought: your Fathers, that you have quoted so many times, are also our Fathers, and ours are also yours: if we have common Fathers, how could we not be brothers? Thank you Your Holiness. Your words will follow us in our work next week - and beyond - on a common path with you.
Thank you, Your Holiness.
[Original text: Italian]