Patriarch Bartholomew to Pray for Peace With Pope, Other Faith Leaders in Rome

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Credit: Nikos Manginos, Ecumenical Patriarchate

His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will participate in Tuesday’s interfaith ceremony and prayers with Pope Francis as part of an international Prayer for Peace initiative entitled “No One Is Saved Alone – Peace and Fraternity.”

Hosted by the Rome-based faith group The Community of Saint Egidio, the meeting is an ecumenical event in which representatives of many Christian denominations will pray together in the Basilica of Saint Mary in Aracoeli on Rome’s Capitoline Hill.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew lights a candle before his trip to Rome on Monday to participate in the interfaith prayer service. Credit: Nikos Manginos/Ecumenical Patriarchate

Patriarch Bartholomew departed for Rome on Monday to attend and speak at the international meeting. He will later have a special meeting and luncheon with Pope Francis and will also receive an honorary PhD from Antonianum University while on his visit to Rome.

He is also slated to meet with the Ambassadors of Turkey and Greece to the Vatican before returning to the Phanar on October 22.

According to a statement released by the Vatican Press Office, the prayer meeting will be followed by an interfaith ceremony in Michelangelo’s Square on Rome’s Capitoline Hill which will be also attended by world leaders.

The Community of Saint Egidio is hosting its 34th annual meeting, inspired by the historic interreligious encounter which was encouraged by St. John Paul II in 1986. The group said it is welcoming the world to this International Meeting of Prayer for Peace in the spirit of Assisi and Pope Francis’ recent encyclical “Fratelli Tutti,” (“We are All Brothers.”)

The event, which will be held in strict observance of the appropriate coronavirus measures, will be live-streamed in eight languages through the Community’s web and social media channels.

The Saint Egidio press release on the ecumenical meeting states, quoting from Fratelli Tutti, “The different religions, based on their respect for each human person as a creature called to be a child of God, contribute significantly to building fraternity and defending justice in society.”

“In a difficult moment in history, because of the pandemic but also because of old and new wars in progress – such as the one that has lasted for ten years in Syria or the current one in Nagorno-Karabakh, a solemn moment of reflection, prayer and encounter will be offered to the world from the heart of Europe: a message of hope for the future in the name of the greatest good, which is that of Peace.”

Everyone around the world may participate in the online prayer event simply by registering at this link.

On Tuesday afternoon, religious leaders from all the world’s major faith traditions will pray in multiple venues across the city.

Pope Francis, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and other Orthodox and Protestant representatives will pray together in the Basilica of Saint Mary in Aracoeli; Jews will pray in the Synagogue of Rome; and Muslims, Buddhists and representatives of other Eastern religions will pray in Rome’s Capitoline Museums.

The Capitoline ceremony will include many international figures, such as Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, and President Sergio Mattarella of Italy. A minute of silence in memory of all of the victims of the global coronavirus pandemic and all wars will conclude the event.