Archive for March 20th, 2013

A Sign of Hope

The first Patriarch of Constantinople to attend a papal inauguration in almost 1,000 years!

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The new pope has written several books, none of which have been translated. Some are available in Spanish. From the titles, he appears to have written extensively on social justice issues, If any of you who are fluent in Spanish want to acquire and translate his writings I would be more than happy to publish excerpts. Here is what he has written:

  • Bergoglio, Jorge (1982) (in Spanish). Meditaciones para religiosos [Meditations for the Religious]. Buenos Aires: Diego de Torres. OCLC 644781822.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (1992) (in Spanish). Reflexiones en esperanza [Reflections of Hope]. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Universidad del Salvador. OCLC 36380521.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2003) (in Spanish). Educar: exigencia y pasión: desafíos para educadores cristianos [To Educate: Exactingness and Passion: Challenges for Christian Educators]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505124572.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2003) (in Spanish). Ponerse la patria al hombro: memoria y camino de esperanza [Putting the Motherland on One’s Shoulders: Memoir and Path of Hope]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125111.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2005) (in Spanish). La nación por construir: utopía, pensamiento y compromiso: VIII Jornada de Pastoral Social [The Nation to Be Built: Utopia, Thought, and Commitment]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125463.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2006) (in Spanish). Corrupción y pecado: algunas reflexiones en torno al tema de la corrupción [Corruption and Sin: Some Thoughts on Corruption]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505125722.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2007) (in Spanish). El verdadero poder es el servicio [True Power Is Service]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. OCLC 688511686.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2009) (in Spanish). Seminario: las deudas sociales de nuestro tiempo: la deuda social según la doctrina de la iglesia [Seminar: the Social Debts of Our Time: Social Debt According to Church Doctrine]. Buenos Aires: EPOCA-USAL. ISBN 9788493741235.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge; Skorka, Abraham (2010) (in Spanish). Sobre el cielo y la tierra [On Heaven and Earth]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana. ISBN 9789500732932.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2010) (in Spanish). Seminario Internacional: consenso para el desarrollo: reflexiones sobre solidaridad y desarrollo [International seminar: Consensus about Development: Reflexions on Solidarity and development]. Buenos Aires: EPOCA. ISBN 9789875073524.
  • Bergoglio, Jorge (2011) (in Spanish). Nosotros como ciudadanos, nosotros como pueblo: hacia un bicentenario en justicia y solidaridad [Ourselves as Citizens, Ourselves as a People: towards a Bicentenary in Justice and Solidarity]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claretiana. ISBN 9789505127443.

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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew greets Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA in Rome.

Here is a list of the Orthodox clergy who attended Pope Francis’ inauguration Liturgy:

Ecumenical Patriarchate
His All Holiness BARTHOLOMEW (Ecumenical Patriarch)
His Eminence Metropolitan GENNADIOS
His Eminence JOHN (Metropolitan of Pergamon)
His Eminence Metropolitan TARASIOS
Mr Karlos Irakli TARINAS

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
His Eminence Archbishop SERAPHIM

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
His Eminence Metropolitan SILUAN

Russian Orthodox Church
His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION
His Excellency Bishop SERGY
Hieromonk ANTONIY

Patriarchate of Georgia
His Eminence Metropolitan GERASIME
Reverend Father Gia ZVIADADZE
Reverend Father IOANE

Serbian Orthodox Church
His Eminence Metropolitan AMFILOHIJE
Protopresbyter Obren JOVANOVIC
Protodeacon Igor BALABAN

Patriarchate of Romania
His Eminence Metropolitan IOSIF
His Grace SILUAN
Revd Deacon EFREM

Orthodox Church of Cyprus
His Eminence Metropolitan NIKIFOROS
His Eminence Metropolitan ISAIAS

Orthodox Church of Greece
His Grace Bishop DIONYSIOS
Most Reverend Archimandrite IGNATIOS

Orthodox Church of Albania
His Eminence Metropolitan JOHN

Ukrainian Orthodox Church
His Eminence Metropolitan PLATON
His Eminence Metropolitan ANTONIY
Revd Archimandrite FILIPP

Orthodox Church in America
His Eminence Metropolitan TIKHON
Revd Father Eric TOSI

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Pope Francis meets with the Metropolitan Hilarion and the Russian delegation.


The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papal throne has been warmly greeted in Moscow. Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church believe that administrative disagreements between the Orthodox and Catholic churches might now be overcome. Russian Catholics are even expressing the hope that Pope Francis “will be close to contemporary Russian spirituality.”

“The new pontiff is a very distinguished church leader,” said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, commenting on the pope’s election. “It’s probably no accident that he is the first pope to take the name of Francis – undoubtedly in honor of Francis of Assisi, who is revered in the Roman Catholic Church as an example of Christian poverty, humility and service to the poor.”

The metropolitan said that service to the poor and needy is a priority for churches today, and the Russian Orthodox Church has a major focus on this.

“We see a big area here where we can work together with the Roman Catholic Church,” said Hilarion. “I hope this alliance between us will develop under the new pontiff.”

“We hope that Francis will give a boost to the development of the relationship between our churches, which started under his predecessor,” said Archpriest Dimitry Sizonenko, secretary for inter-Christian relations of the synodal Department for External Church Relations. “He [Bergoglio] once said that he loves Dostoyevsky, and one would like to hope that he also loves the spiritual traditions of Russian Orthodoxy.”

People who know the new pontiff personally say that an improvement in the relationship is quite possible.

“When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio regularly visited the Orthodox church on Christmas Eve,” said Bishop John of Caracas and South America, whose seat is in Buenos Aires. According to the bishop, this shows that “the new pope has a very good attitude toward Orthodoxy and Orthodox believers.”

Russian Catholics also think that Orthodox–Catholic relations can expect substantial progress under Pope Francis.

“The newly elected pope knows the Byzantine Christian tradition well, since he had members of the Greek Catholic Church in his care in Argentina and is therefore very familiar with Orthodox–Catholic relations,” said Father Igor Kovalevsky, general secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Russian Federation.

According to Igor Baranov, who works on the editorial staff of The Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Francis “is close to the Orthodox position on matters of public morality (marriage, abortion, euthanasia).”

“Just as the character of Francis of Assisi was close to Russian culture, so too the character of Pope Francis will be close to modern Russian spirituality,” said Baranov.

The tension in relations between the Vatican and the Moscow Patriarchate arose at the beginning of the 1990s, when Greek Catholics in Ukraine seized Orthodox churches. Despite the positive forecasts, both sides still note that it is too early to talk about the possibility of a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill.

“A meeting between the new pontiff and the patriarch is likely to happen on neutral territory and only when the Russians are ready for it,” said Kovalevsky.

“I think such a meeting is possible, but the time and place will depend most of all on how quickly we can overcome the conflicts that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” Hilarion said.

The metropolitan acknowledges, however, that “the [newly elected] pope has more than once testified to his spiritual sympathy with the Orthodox Church and his desire for close contacts with it.” Hilarion’s first meeting with Pope Francis will be in the Vatican, where the new pontiff will be inaugurated on March 19.

First published in Russian in Kommersant.


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