Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke about reconciliation and the need to promote Christian unity during his visit to the ecumenical monastic order of Taizé in central France on Tuesday, in a first ever visit by an Ecumenical Patriarch.
“To reconcile is above all to heal the evils of history, the scars of time, mutual misunderstandings, conflicts of memory, fratricidal hatreds. In this sense, the division between Christians to which we intend to respond by praying for the unity of the Churches is a spiritual wound, with shared responsibilities—whether accepted or not,” he said in his speech.
Bartholomew, who was invited to Taizé by Brother Alois, was accompanied by the Metropolitan of France Emmanuel and the Metropolitan of Silivri Maximos.
After his speech, the Patriarch offered an icon of St. Andrew the Apostle and then visited the Orthodox chapel of the community where he was welcomed by Orthodox youths. He then visited the cemetery, where the founder of the community, Brother Roger, is buried.
The Community of Taizé was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, a Reformed Protestant. It numbers more than 100 brothers from Protestant and Catholic traditions.