Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mass with Greek-Melkite Patriarch

This morning, as he usually does, the Holy Father, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.  Today, the Pope did not give a homily but rather pronounced some brief words of explanation regarding the significance of today's celebration.  The Patriarch of the Church of Antioch for Greek-Melkites, His Beatitude, Yousef Absi concelebrated this morning along with the Holy Father.  At the conclusion of the Mass, the Patriarch thanked the Holy Father in French and the Pope invited His Beatitude to join him in imparting the final blessing.

Explanation provided by His Holiness, Pope Francis
during the Mass celebrated at the Casa Santa Marta

This Mass with our brother, Patriarch Youssef, will create apostolic communion: he is the father of a Church, of a Church that pre-dates Christianity and he comes to embrace Peter, to say I am in communion with Peter.  This is the significance of today's celebration: the embrace of te father of a Church with Peter.  A rich Church, with it's own theology within Catholic theology, with its own marvellous liturgy and with a people, who at this moment, many of whom are being crucified, like Jesus.  Let us offer this Mass for the people, for those who are suffering, for Christians who are being persecuted in the Middle East, who are giving their lives, who are giving up their goods, their property because they are being driven away.  And let us also offer this Mass for the ministry of our brother Youssef.

Words of Gratitude offered by His Beatitude, Patriarch Youssef
at the conclusion of the Mass at the Casa Santa Marta

Your Holiness,

I want to thank you for this beautiful Mass of communion, in the name of the entire Synod of our Greek-Melkite Catholic Church.  Personally, I am truly moved by Your fraternal charity, by gestures of fraternity, solidarity which has been demonstrated to our Church, in the course of this Mass.  We promise that we will hold these memories always in our hearts, in all our hearts, the clergy and the faithful, and we will also remember this event, this historical moment, this moment that is so beautiful that I cannot describe it: this fraternity, this communion that unites all the disciples of Jesus.  Thank you, Your Holiness.

No comments: