Today is the feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew, the first called and brother of St. Peter. It is also the feast of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. For some time now the Church of Rome sends a representative to her sister Church of Constantinople for the feast of St. Andrew. ( The reverse is true on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in June.) This year Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, lead the Roman delegation. Cardinal Koch read an address from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict spoke on the importance of the exchange of fraternal delegations on the two major feasts of Rome and Constantinople. The exchange of annual visits:
is testimony to the fraternal bonds which join us together. It is a profound and genuine communion, if still imperfect, which is based not on human motives of courtesy or convenience but rather on our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. … This solid foundation allows us to proceed together confidently on the path to the re-establishment of full communion.
The full article, from the Vatican Information Service can be read here.
Through the prayers of St. Peter and St. Andrew may the Catholic and Orthodox Churches continue to work for the reunion of the Church east and west.
Andrew, first-called of the Apostles
and brother of the foremost disciple,
entreat the Master of all
to grant peace to the world
and to our souls great mercy.