On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in a formal reception in honor of the church and religious leaders by Pope Francis, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew represented the christian and faith communities in a special address to the Pope. The Patriarch's attendance at the papal inaugural mass was a historic initiative on the part of Patriarch Bartholomew inasmuch as it was the first time in history that an Ecumenical Patriarch was personally present at a papal installation.
Vatican, March 20, 2013
In the name of the Lord of powers, we wholeheartedly congratulate You on the inspired election and deserved assumption of Your new high duties as First Bishop of the venerable Church of Senior Rome, defined by the primacy of love.
The diverse collection Mount Athos of the internationally renowned painter and architect Efthimios Varlamis, brings mystagogy and universal human values of Athonite life to the center of the EU. The exhibition will be presented on March 25, in the central hall of the European Parliament, on the initiative of the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Anni Podimata.
In the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland on Sunday of Orthodoxy the remembrance of the victory of the Holy Church over iconoclasm was celebrated. His Grace Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa, the Administrator of the Diocese of Austria and Switzerland, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Vienna’s church of the Resurrection of Christ in the presence of concelebrating priests and pious people.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the West Coast gathered to celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy. This year the Hierarchs and faithful celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vesper services at the Los Altos at the Church of the Redeemer.
On 24 March 2013, the first Sunday in Lent known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and the Office of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, press service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia reports.
Immediately following the election of Pope Francis on the evening of March 13, His All-Holiness communicated the following congratulatory message to the Vatican:
In the joy and jubilation of Your election as the pastoral leader of Roman Catholic Christians throughout the world, we are communicating with Your Holiness in order to express to You and the devout faithful of Your blessed Church our wholehearted congratulations and sincerest salutations on this special day.
Permit us also, on this historic occasion, to convey our unfeigned wishes and fervent prayers that your papal tenure may prove to be a source of peace in our world of turmoil and division, a refuge and consolation for our Lord’s poor and suffering brothers and sisters, as well as a continuation of our journey toward reconciliation and consolidation of the dialogue for the unity of our Sister Churches.