On Tuesday 25 April 2017, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Taizé, an ecumenical monastic community made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations. It was an exceptional visit with the brothers, several Orthodox bishops and priests, representatives of the local Churches, and the young people present that week in Taizé. In fact, this was the first visit of an Ecumenical Patriarch to this ecumenical monastic community, although contacts with the Ecumenical Patriarchate go back to 1962.
Patriarch Bartholomew attended the midday prayer during which he was welcomed by the Prior, Brother Alois, who reminded that Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and the founder of the community, Brother Roger, promoted in 1962 “the creation of an Orthodox monastic center in Taizé which was animated by the beloved Archimandrite Damaskinos, future Metropolitan of Switzerland, until he moved to Chambésy”.
In his address, the Ecumenical Patriarch spoke of Taizé as “the seat of a spiritual ecumenism, a melting-pot of reconciliation, a meeting-place that (…) inspires Christians to come together”, and reminded that the “Taizé event” acts as a powerful parable of conversion and reconciliation, focusing on the inner life that allows us to enter into the mystery of unity while fully subscribing to the life of the world.”
Patriarch Bartholomew prayed at the grave of founder, Brother Roger, who was killed in 2005, and shared a meal with the community.