Washington Post – Pope, Patriarch Pray in Holy Sepulcher Church

Washington Post – Pope, Patriarch Pray in Holy Sepulcher Church


Logo-for-Washington-Post The Washington Post’s article, the ’Pope, Patriarch Pray in Holy Sepulcher Church’, on May 26, 2014, provided excellent insights about Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s historic meeting in Jerusalem this week.  The article is well worth reading, as it summarizes the nuances of this historic meeting and the profound grace of each leader.

Father Chris Metropulos, Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Network, was “selected as the network’s English-language analyst for the religious leaders’ prayer service” with Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, noted the Sun-Sentinel journalist, Lois K. Solomon.

The Associated Press reported that Pope “Francis has said his primary reason for coming to the region was to mark the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. Their 1964 embrace ended 900 years of mutual excommunication and estrangement sparked by the Great Schism of 1054, which split Christianity.”

Picture of the Tomb of Jesus Christ

Picture of the Tomb of Jesus Christ at the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

The article noted how “Bartholomew, for his part, called for their meeting at Christ’s tomb to show how fear, religious fanaticism and hatred of people of other faiths and races can be overcome by love.”  “The message of the life-giving tomb is clear: love the other, the different other, the followers of other faiths and other confessions,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

If you have the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, challenge your own faith by discerning the veracity of what you see, get down on your hands and knees and pray at Christ’s tomb, you will find that one experiences a profound realism that Jesus’s message of love, forgiveness and selflessness, despite our differences, is the only truth that matters. The Guardians of the Tomb of Christ are those who have enabled us to learn of the original teachings of Christ, some 2000 years later.

Symbol of the Guardians of the Tomb of Christ

The symbol of the Guardian of the Tomb is one that is seen through-out the Holy Land

In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Christianity has survived every corrupt culture in the history of the world.  Our response to the current moral trend is not to worry, but neither do we do nothing.  Light shines, salt savors, truth matters, prayer works, love overcomes, Jesus saves, the gospel transforms.”

We welcome your thoughts, questions and insights. To read the full article on the Washington Post web site, click here.

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About author

Nick Mavrick

Nick Mavrick served on the OCN Board of Directors. The OCN Board consists of volunteers, who are also donors, and are passionate about giving back to the Orthodox Church. We welcome other volunteers to join us.