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Sofia, Bulgaria, May 5, 2019 / 08:54 am (CNA).- In Bulgaria Sunday, Pope Francis said Catholics and Orthodox are united by the blood of the martyrs and the Christians who continue to suffer for the faith even today.
“How many Christians in this country endured suffering for the name of Jesus, particularly during the persecution of the last century! The ecumenism of blood!” the pope said May 5.
Patriarch - Neophyte - Head - Bulgarian - Orthodox
Addressing Patriarch Neophyte, the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the Holy Synod, he said, “On this journey, we are sustained by great numbers of our brothers and sisters, to whom I would especially like to render homage: the witnesses of Easter.”
Pope Francis met Patriarch Neophyte and the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on a May 5-7 visit to Sofia and Rakovski, Bulgaria, and to Skopje, North Macedonia.
Francis - Witnesses - Easter - Brothers - Sisters
“I believe,” Francis continued, “that these witnesses of Easter, brothers and sisters of different confessions united in heaven by divine charity, now look to us as seeds planted in the earth and meant to bear fruit.”
“While so many other brothers and sisters of ours throughout the world continue to suffer for their faith, they ask us not to remain closed, but to open ourselves, for only in this way can those seeds bear fruit,” he stated.
Pope - Ecumenism - Ecumenism - Mission - Meeting
The pope also spoke about an “ecumenism of the poor” and an “ecumenism of mission,” in the meeting.
The “ecumenism of the poor,” he said, is the call “to journey and act together in order to bear witness to the Lord, particularly by serving the poorest and most neglected of our brothers and sisters, in whom he is present.”
Example - Saints - Cyril - Methodius - Catholics
Pointing to the example of Saints Cyril and Methodius, venerated by both Catholics and Orthodox, he urged an “ecumenism of mission,” between Catholics and Orthodox, “as heirs of the faith of the...
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