Hands joined to build bridges
Bridges were strengthened between Catholic and Greek Orthodox communities during celebration of Sunday Mass at St Christopher’s Cathedral.
Relations between the two churches are in the spotlight with the meeting of Pope Francis with Greek Orthodox leaders during his five-day visit to Cyprus and Greece.
To coincide with the visit, Archbishop Prowse invited Fr Petros Kipouros, parish priest of Canberra’s St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, to join the celebration of 11am Mass.
Following welcoming applause for Fr Kipouros, the Archbishop said it was a “great idea to act locally when we see something very significant happening in the universal Christian churches.
“We want to assure everybody…that our friendship with the Greek Orthodox Church here in Australia, particularly in this city [and in] this Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, is strong.”
In reply, Fr Kipouros said the Catholic community was welcome to visit his church.
In Athens on 4 December, Pope Francis said he prayed that the “Spirit of love will overcome every form of resistance and make us builders of communion [between the two churches].
“Many steps have already been taken to bring us together.”
On the other side of the world, these words were being cemented at St Christopher’s.
Reflecting on their warm personal relationship, Archbishop Prowse joined hands with Fr Kipouros and said despite the “troubled history”, over the past few decades the two churches were slowly reconciling.
“We are together,” Fr Kipouros added, still with hands clasped.
“We are together. Amen, amen,” said the Archbishop.