Saturday, June 29, 2013
The Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul is the occasion for the Patriarch of Constantinople to visit or send a delegation to visit the Bishop of Rome. The former leads the See of St. Andrew, “the first one to be called” and the latter the See of St. Peter, “the first one among the Apostles.”
Patriarch Bartholomew visited Rome earlier this year to attend the installation of Pope Francis. That may have been the first time a Patriarch of Constantinople attended that event since 1054, when the churches of East and West separated.
Until that time unity persisted despite differences between East and West. The restoration of unity is the goal of the annual meeting on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul. They were united and very different. Unity is possible.