Archbishop, Pope, call for tolerance

Kathimerini Danilo Schiavella December 15, 2006

Pact to mend ties signed at Vatican

Pope Benedict and Archbishop Christodoulos call for tolerance.Pope Benedict XVI (right) and Archbishop Christodoulos sign an agreement following historic talks at the Vatican yesterday. The two religious leaders issued a joint appeal against religious fanaticism and violence.

Archbishop Christodoulos and Pope Benedict XVI, after a landmark meeting at the Vatican yesterday, issued a joint appeal against religious fanaticism and violence, and pledged to pursue “the difficult path of dialogue” in order to heal a centuries-old rift between their two churches.

In a joint statement signed following their talks, the two religious leaders also vowed to defend “the Christian roots of the European continent” and to promote “human dignity” and “respect for minorities.” They also called on developed countries to “offer greater support to poorer states.”

“We believe that all religions have a particular role to play in preserving world peace and that these (religions) should not develop into breeding grounds for intolerance and violence,” the statement said.

Christodoulos, who is the first Greek archbishop to visit the Vatican, stressed “the need for collaboration of religions, and not only between the Christian churches.”

But the statement also stressed the “urgent need for persistence on the road of constructive dialogue… to restore the desired unity of the (Christian) Church.”

Benedict XVI added that both the Catholic and Orthodox churches must defend Europe’s spiritual values against “the new risks that confront the Christian faith, namely growing secularism, relativism and nihilism.” Christodoulos condemned the “trend of gradual de-Christianization of Europe, aimed at excluding the church from public life.”

During his talks with the pope, Christodoulos took the opportunity to ask for the return of a piece of the Parthenon being kept in the Vatican museums. According to a Vatican spokesman, the pope was perplexed by the request, perhaps not aware that the vast museums contain the fragment, but said he would consider the request.

Christodoulos received a papal gift of two metal rings from the chain believed to have bound the Apostle Paul prior to his execution by the Romans.


1 thought on “Archbishop, Pope, call for tolerance”

  1. Well finally!!! After 2000 years of dogma supporting “religious fanaticism” and it’s maintenance and continuation by “violence”, there has been an infallible proclamation against it (I think I heard a shudder from the Devil just now!). Some have the gall to question the “development of doctrine”, but how can they say to this practical result – talk about saving souls! We have a bright spot here in the church my friends. It gets even better because contained in this document, that will be read by several dozens people at least, is the recognition of human dignity, and something new called “respect” – which they feel should be given not only to real people but abstract categories called “minorities” as well. And the poor, my gosh the poor!!! Read the document again my friends – it mentions the poor and asks that someone, somewhere, should do something about their “states”! Thanks goodness, I mean with Christianity so focused on actually helping the poor it forgot all about their “states”.

    I think the 5 or 6 protestants who read this hole-ly document will reconsider their congregational tendencies, that’s fur sur….

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