Greece: Pope Francis on Communion – Vatican News

Excerpts from Pope Francis’ing address to His Holiness Hironimus II at the Archdiocese

Summary of Pope’s Sermon

Monsignor Joji Vadakara, Vatican City

“Grace and peace from God” (Rm 1,7). Pope Francis began his address to the Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church, Hironim II, by saying that St. Paul greets you with these words from Greece to the faithful in Rome. The pope said he was inspired to pray in front of the tombs of the two apostles given by God to the church in Rome to renew the existing apostolic fellowship and nurture brotherly love.

General tradition

Pointing out his trip to Lesovos in 2016, the Pope said the Mediterranean Sea was not only a place of alienation but also a place of unification of people. The pope pointed out that just as the olive trees in these places, which are centuries old, have their roots hidden in the ground, we too have the roots of the apostles in common for centuries. The pope explained that these roots, which grew from the seeds of the gospel, had great effects on Greek culture, and that many church fathers and early ecumenical councils were clear examples of this.

Distance between churches

After the unification of the early church, the pope acknowledged that various issues had eroded relations between the churches, and that many of the decisions and choices made in the past about the Catholic Church were far from the gospel, and once again apologized to God and the brethren for such wrongdoings. The pope said that whatever our history, our roots are common and that this plant of God bears fruit through the work of the same Holy Spirit, so it is a blessing to recognize each other’s fruit and thank God.

The light of the Holy Spirit

The pope reminded us that the end result of olive oil is oil, which in ancient times gave light to dispel darkness, and reminded us that the olive oil reminds us of the Holy Spirit and that with the help of the Holy Spirit who gave birth to the Church, we too can darken and lighten our ways.

The Holy Spirit who gives fellowship

The Holy Spirit is the ointment of fellowship. Scripture speaks of the oil that illuminates the face of man (Ps. 104,5). Can we see the unique value that shines in every human being? For personal and organizational reasons, even Jesus’ disciples today find it difficult to reach out to fellow believers. The Holy Father wished that the Holy Spirit, which is poured out on us, would give us the growth of unity, and hoped that we would be able to respect the liberties of others and thus bear witness to the world that we are disciples of Christ. Because, if we are not one, how can we proclaim to the world the love of Christ that unites peoples? The pope said that we can pray to the Holy Spirit who unites us to unite us in the model of the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Spirit, the ointment of knowledge

This anointing oil of Christ wants to inspire the lives of Christians as well. The pope said that one can grow in the consciousness of God by obeying the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and treat others with an open mind. In this sense, the pope pointed out that Greek culture had also cultured Christianity. The pope highlighted the collaborative efforts of various universities and other church movements at this time as a result of the efforts of the Church and the Catholic Church in Greece. “May the Holy Spirit help us to move forward wisely in this way,” he said.

The Holy Spirit who gives comfort

The Holy Spirit is our helper who comforts us. The Spirit anointed Christ to proclaim the gospel to the poor, the release of prisoners, and the freedom of the oppressed. He still urges us to care for the weak and the poor, and to submit to God and man. People needed help here, as everywhere, in times of financial crisis. Through mutual cooperation we can serve others and bring them the comfort of the gospel. The pope reminded us that now more than ever, the Holy Spirit invites us to heal the wounds of humanity with the ointment of love.

Christ’s call to stand together

Pope Benedict XVI reminded his disciples that Christ had asked for comfort in prayer and intimacy, and that this thought was inviting us to the Mount of Olives. He also brings us the invitation to “stay here and do not sleep.” Christ said in the plural, “you”. We too must stay awake and pray for God’s consolation in the world. Pope Francis quoted Pope John Paul II (Ut unum sint, 2) as saying that our historical memories need to be cleansed and that followers of Christ are invited to forgive and reconcile with one another by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of the Risen Christ

The vision of the risen Lord received by the frightened apostles helped them to reconcile with their disappointing experiences. It gave them a new hope and compassion from the wounds that seemed impossible to heal, and it also helped them to find a love that transforms themselves into a body that is greater than their faults. The Pope wished that the Spirit of the risen Christ would help us not to be discouraged by the erroneous thoughts of the past, but to be free from the prejudices that once existed and to look at reality with new eyes.

Referring to the synodal activities being prepared in the Catholic Church, the Pope said that they have much to learn from the Orthodox Church. The pope said that they are doing this because they are convinced that as the brothers draw closer to the faith, the consolation of the Holy Spirit will flow to us.


On this journey, the Pope said that many of the great saints who were in this country and the martyrs who are now more present than ever should help us, and stressed that although they lived on this earth in different faiths, they live together in heaven. The pope concluded his sermon by wishing that we, the descendants of the apostles, would ask the Holy Spirit to give us a new Pentecostal experience, and that the Spirit would enlighten us with fellowship, enlighten us with his wisdom, and anoint us with his consolation.


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