This year, due to the pandemic of the coronavirus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate was unable to send a delegation to the Church of Rome on the occasion of her Thronal Feast, the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, on 29 June 2020. Nevertheless, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent the following letter to Pope Francis:
His Holiness Francis, Pope of Elder Rome: rejoice in the Lord.
In concelebrating with You the all-sacred memory of St. Peter, Chief among the Apostles, along with St. Paul, Preacher to the Nations and “Apostle of freedom,” who joyously proclaimed the Gospel of the all-saving Divine Oikonomia and gave their lives as martyrs in Rome, we address to Your Holiness our wholehearted wishes and greet You in godly embrace.
The prevailing pandemic of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has rendered impossible the commission and presence of a formal Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Your See for the Thronal Feast of the Church of Rome, as customary over the last decades. We participate from a distance in this festive joy and venerate here with devotion the sacred relics of Peter, the founder of Your Church, the brother of Andrew, our Patron and First-Called among the Apostles, as we also draw strength and blessing from those relics that You kindly gifted to the Church of Constantinople. Continue reading