Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis Pray Together at Holy Sepulcher

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness Pope Francis celebrated a fifty-year milestone today, continuing the legacy of their predecessors Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. Meeting at the Apostolic Delegation in the Old City of Jerusalem, the worldwide heads of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches signed a Joint Declaration affirming their commitment to and anticipation of full sacramental unity in obedience to the commandment of Jesus Christ that his "disciples may be one." They also expressed their profound concern for the plight of Christians in the Middle East and reaffirmed their fervent commitment to respect and protect God's creation. Finally, they underlined the importance of dialogue among the world's religions.
After the Joint Declaration was signed, the two global Christian leaders proceeded to the Church of the Resurrection, where they venerated the Holy Sepulcher, the Tomb of Christ. Following some private moments in the Cenotaph, they offered an ecumenical prayer of thanksgiving, which was attended by other local Christian leaders and faithful from all over the world.