Pope Francis and Cardinal Kurt Koch hope that there will be full communion and "visible unity" between the Roman Catholic Church and the Phanar.
On March 12, 2021, Pope Francis sent a congratulatory message to the new Metropolitan of Italy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Exarch Polycarp (Stavropoulos) of Southern Europe, in which he expressed the hope that the RCC and Phanar would enter into "complete visible unity", the official website of the Vatican reports.
The Pope believes that Catholics and Orthodox will be able to transform, "with God's help, the communion already uniting us into a complete visible unity."
In addition, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, reminded the Phanar hierarch "of the importance of joint efforts in proclaiming the Word of God, educating new generations and serving those most in need."
According to the cardinal, "this fraternal cooperation is designed to make a particular and effective contribution to the full restoration of communion between our Churches."
The new Metropolitan of Italy replaced Bishop Gennady (Zervos) in this post, who died in October 2020.
Metropolitan Arseny of Austria (Patriarchate of Constantinople), Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe; Metropolitan Chrysostom of Cyrene of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and Bishop John of the Coptic Orthodox Church took part in the ceremony of enthronement of Metropolitan Polycarp.
It was also attended by Francesco Moralia, “patriarch” of Venice, Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and Ambrogio Spreafico, representative of the Catholic Episcopate of Italy.
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