The meeting held on Sunday 3 April 2022 with the Greek Orthodox Church on the Day of the Vicariate of Istanbul it made it possible to develop the synodal preparations initiated by the local churches and at the episcopate level at the ecumenical level.
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos presided over the meeting which was also attended by clergy, monks and faithful, together with Metropolitan Reverend Andreas, the Most Reverend Metropolitans and the Most Reverend Father Aetios. Mons. Ramzi Garmou of the Archdiocese of the Chaldeans also met with Mons. Massimiliano Palinuro.
After prayers and hymns, the Ecclesiarch Reverend Father Aetios gave his speech on the theme of Synodality.
The full text of his conference is:
Mons. Massimilano Palinuro referring to the speech of Father Aetios, said:
“Your Holiness, we want to thank you for welcoming us. Thank you for praying with us and for us. Thank you for having guided the Holy Orthodox Church on the path of dialogue and fraternity. Our community sees in your Holiness a man of God, strong in faith, courageous in building the unity of the Church, free from the judgment of others and the calculation of convenience, only desirous of carrying out the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ: “that all may be one”. If here in Istanbul and in Turkey Catholics and Orthodox pray together as one Church, it is also due to your courage, your example and your teaching.”
At the end of the meeting, His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew offered a gift to the Most Reverend Mons. Massimiliano Palinuro, then Monsignor Massimiliano offered the icon of the “Good Shepherd” to His Beatitude the Patriarch.
Monsignor Maximilian began his speech with a sentence from the Bible, the Psalms:
Thank you for welcomed with the heart of a father the Catholic community that lives in Istanbul, in your Constantinople. Today, on our journey towards Holy Easter, in this glorious Church of Haghia Triada, you have given us the opportunity to pray together and to share the joy of being brothers in Christ.
Παναγιώτατε, thanks to your great example, and in full continuity with your predecessors Athenagoras and Demetrios, the joy of full communion of Church already tasted in this city of Constantinople. Here, in fact, in a context in which we Christians are a small minority, we almost forced to love each other and to build unity. Supported by Your example and your teaching, both Catholics and Orthodox, we are breaking down the walls of prejudice and learning to value differences. Constantinople, thanks to the teaching and example of your Holiness, has become a laboratory in which the future of a united Church is built, the one Great Church of Christ.
At this moment, the Catholic community that lives in this city wishes to express its deepest affection and sincere devotion to you. 37 priests serving in 22 Latin Catholic churches from various religious congregations are present here. About 30 religious women engaged in charitable and educational works bring her their affection. Numerous catechists and committed lay people are present here to represent the thousands of local and foreign Catholics residing here, who without exception love you and pray for you.
Accepting the invitation of the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Catholic Church is experiencing a synodal journey in preparation for the Great Jubilee of 2025, the year in which we will celebrate together the 17th centenary of the celebration of the Holy and Universal Council of Nicaea. The Pope invited us to learn to walk together as a synodal Church. Aware that in the Orthodox Church Synodality is a precious value and a constant practice, in this spirit of sharing gifts and values, we asked you to communicate to us the experience of Synodality as it is realized in your experience. We are therefore ready to welcome this moment of sharing.”
At the end of the meeting, His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew offered a gift to the Most Reverend Mons. Massimiliano Palinuro, then Monsignor Massimiliano offered the icon of the “Good Shepherd” to his Beatitude the Patriarch.
At the presentation of the icon, Mons.Massimiliano said:
Our Community wishes to express its most sincere gratitude to Metropolitan Andrew of Saranta, owner of this glorious Church of Aya Triada for having welcomed us with a particular spirit of fraternity, and to the Great Ecclesiarch Aetios for having shown us with great competence the value of Synodality in the Orthodox Church.
Your Holiness, you should know that the Catholic community that lives in Istanbul loves you and prays for you every day. May the Lord keep you at the head of the Church for a long time so that your presence may continue to be an encouragement for us to persevere in following the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Before the start of the meeting in the church, the monument erected to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his Beatitude the Patriarch Bartholomew was inaugurated.