ECUMENISM: Mount Athos Elders at Catholic Monastery, Praying with Patriarch Bartholomew and Catholic Monks

The brotherhood of the Athonite Xenophontos and Pantocrator monasteries along with Patriarch Bartholomew took part in vespers at a Roman Catholic monastery.

Originally appeared at: Union of Orthodox Journalists

On November 12, 2019, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople visited the Catholic community of the Notre Dame de Saint-Remy Abbey in Rochefort of the monastic order of the Cistercians, according to the official Facebook page of the Chevetogne Abbey.

In particular, it is said that Patriarch Bartholomew "was warmly welcomed by Father Gilbert Degros and the monastic community, as well as a large number of believers, friends and visitors to the monastery."

Patriarch Bartholomew during the vespers at the Catholic Chevetogne Monastery. Photo: Facebook

It is reported that “Dom Lambert Vos, the abbot of the Chevetogne Monastery, his three predecessors and the entire brotherhood of his monastery took part in the vespers, as well as the abbot of the Maredsous Monastery, Father Bernard Lorent, and other monks, nuns and religious figures.”

According to the information posted on the abbey’s page, “during the vespers, a choir of Chevetogne monks performed Greek-Slavic and Byzantine hymns in the main temple of the monastery in full concordance with each other at this solemn event.”

From its sources, the UOJ learned that in addition to Patriarch Bartholomew, the hegumen of Athonite Monastery Xenophontos, Archimandrite Alexy, and Hieromonk Theophilos from Pantocrator Monastery took part in joint vespers in the above Catholic monastery.

At the same time, the Greek edition Romfea reports that "the abbot of the monastery Gilbert Degros expressed heartfelt gratitude to Patriarch Bartholomew for his honorable presence in the monastery, while the patriarch expressed accordingly his joy for having the opportunity to attend the monastery."

In addition, he thanked the abbot for fraternal relations and significant assistance provided by the monastery to the Holy See of Belgium.

The publication reports that Patriarch Bartholomew presented the abbot with a silver carved cross; in turn, the Rochefort Monastery presented the patriarch with a luxurious leather-bound Bible, a copy of the XIV century Bible.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, in his message to Pope Francis, said that "the restoration of (Eucharistic – Ed.) Communion between our Churches remains our sincere hope, the main object of our prayers and the goal of the dialogue of truth established between our Churches."

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