Orthodox Patriarch Will Visit John Paul II

Bartholomew I Going to Rome for June 29 Solemnity

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II will meet here June 29 with the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople -- a significant step for ecumenism since the latter usually sends a delegation to Rome, instead of visiting personally.



The meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew I will take place on the solemnity of the Sts. Peter and Paul, patrons of the Diocese of Rome.

That Tuesday afternoon, the Holy Father will preside at a Mass in St. Peter's Square with the participation of the patriarch.

In past years, the Pontiff returned the visit of representatives of the Orthodox Patriarchate by sending a delegation to the Patriarchal See of Constantinople on Nov. 30 for the feast of St. Andrew, founder of the Church in Constantinople and brother of St. Peter, Bishop of Rome.

The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced the meeting with the patriarch when it published the papal calendar for May and June.

Among his other public events, the Pope will canonize six saints, attend the first national meeting of Catholic youth in Switzerland, and preside at the Corpus Christi celebrations in Rome.

On Sunday, May 16, in St. Peter's Square the Holy Father will canonize Luigi Orione, Annibale Maria Di Francia, Joseph Manyanet y Vives, Nimatullah Kassab Al Hardini, Paola Elisabetta Cerioli and Gianna Beretta Molla.

As already announced, on June 5-6 the Pope will travel to Bern, Switzerland, to attend the first National Meeting of Catholic Swiss Youth. It will be his 103rd international trip, and the first this year.

On June 10, John Paul II plans to preside at the Mass on the solemnity of Corpus Christi, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Afterward, the Pope will participate in a Eucharistic procession through the streets of Rome to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.