With Pope Benedict recent retirement, the important focus is being overlooked. The unity of all 'Churches of God' for peace.
On Oct. 11, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 11 to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Mass also opened the Year of Faith. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
This is the formal statement by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
"It is with regret that we have learned of the decision by His Holiness Pope Benedict to retire from his Throne, because with his wisdom and experience he could have provided much more to the Church and the world.
Pope Benedict leaves an indelible mark on the life and history of the Roman Catholic Church, sealed not only by his brief papacy, but also by his broad and longstanding contribution as a theologian and hierarch of his Church, as well as his universally acknowledged prestige.
His writings will long speak of his deep theological understanding, through his knowledge of the Fathers of the undivided Church, his familiarity with contemporary reality, and his keen interest in the problems of humankind.
We Orthodox will always honor him as a friend of our Church and a faithful servant of the sacred proposition for the union of all. Moreover, we shall rejoice upon learning of his sound health and the productivity of his theological work.
Personally, we remember with emotion his visit to the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate over six years ago, together with the numerous encounters and excellent cooperation, which we enjoyed throughout the duration of his primatial ministry.
From the Phanar, we pray that the Lord will manifest his worthy successor as the head of the sister Church of Rome, and that we may also continue with this successor on our common journey toward the unity of all unto the glory of God."
Feeling a spiritual connection with His All Holiness Barhtholmew, also I am very heavy hearted for both of us. We are in different countries, with this constant pressure and burden of injustice that has taken place. In Istambul, Turkey, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Orthodox Christians sets an example to endure in faith. The people with sincere faith will shine their light and unite with us in peace.
As written in a previous article, the connection also with Pope Benedict is with the realisation that this gentleman is spiritual and extremely knowledgable. Both gentlemen understand Providence too. All the deception in the world is not going to win over God or Jesus Christ. People only need to read the Book of Revelation to see that everything that is happening, is already written.
The unity of people globally is neccessary now - to see people as family and we have our differences. The only conversion that is being asked for is the conversion of heart. People defend their religion and condemn people from other faiths. The church I am born into is from my mother and her family and before this. The Greek Orthodox Church is the persecuted Church.
The Persecuted Church has been given the Spiritual Key to share spiritual understanding.
Hagia Sophia is situated on a rock that once stood the Temple of Athena. This could be a neutral ground and light for people of all nations - not as a museum. Restore this Holy Place for all people who want to light a candle and pray.
Hagia Sophia in Istambul at dusk. Photo © Helen Betts.
For over 900 years the Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople; the principal setting for church councils and imperial ceremonies. In 1204 the cathedral was desecrated and plundered by the Crusaders, who ousted the Patriarch of Constantinople and replaced him with a Latin bishop. This event compounded the division of the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches that had begun with the Great Schism of 1054. May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror entered triumphantly into the city of Constantinople. Being amazed at the beauty of the Hagia Sophia, he converted it into his imperial mosque.
As you can see and read from above, today there is a unity of brothers, with the love of Christ.
Hagia Sophia was a place of worship for Christians and Muslims. Is there any reason why Christians and Muslims cannot pray together today? God does not obstruct the prayers to him - man has prevented this and placed so many rules and even changed the truth. I have prayed with Hindus and for people of all nationalities and faiths. We are all under the umbrella of one God.
Some weeks ago I had a vision inside a big old church with carpets laid on the floor. It seems a shame to spoil this article to share the pretence to be photographed as if praying by 'an actress'....What is most important I saw the building become a place of prayer again and felt this could be Hagia Sophia. A few years years ago I was inspired to return this to be so.
In 1934 a law was made to forbid religious services at the former cathedral and mosque.
Thousands of Muslims pray for the landmark to become a mosque. In a protest reported on May 26, 2012, worshippers shouted, "Break the chains, let Hagia Sophia Mosque open," and "God is great" before kneeling in prayer as tourists looked on.
"Keeping Hagia Sophia Mosque closed is an insult to our mostly Muslim population of 75 million. It symbolises our ill-treatment by the West," Salih Turhan, head of the Anatolian Youth Association.
Hagia Sophia was the world's greatest Cathedral for almost a millennium before invading Ottomans converted it into a mosque in the 15th century. Christ did not conquest this world with the sword, with creating dept, with war or deception.
Muslims wait for the Imam Mahdi, Jews for the Masihach. Why do people reject that a woman is divinely guided. Hagia Sophia is named Holy Wisdom and built in honor of the Virgin Mary who was divinely guided by God and an intercessor for prayer. Eventually Muslims are going to have to realise we are many who are being divinely guided to bring peace and healing in our world.
It is unknown what is written in the Quran relating to Jubilee Laws, however the Holy Bible identifies the obligation to return land to it's rightful owner so that land can always be protected by God for the people. Once the British establishment decided to partition the Holy Land, they became obliged to obey Jubilee Law too. The Queen knows this already and must abide by this by her oath.
Today the King of Jerusalem title held by Juan Carlos of Spain. He must abide by Jubillee Law too. There are no excuses not to.
Many people want Pope Benedict XVI to be elected again - such a positive impact this gentleman has has. What is most important is the people have been shown both in the Coptic Orthodox Church and with the Catholic Church, both are trusting in the deciding process that God will place whoever is meant to be as the Spiritual Leader of the Church. There is a side that is not being considered and that is the important role in bringing people together to unite in peace - also religious tolerance.
Each person is learning their own lessons and evolving accordingly. In the early church spiritual understanding has been given to enable people to evolve spiritually. There was a time when people understood that we are a soul in a physical body. We are born for a spiritual purpose. This is a materialistic era where greed and people trample on people to get ahead. The price people pay from having man change the laws and people are suffering because the hunger for power superceeds submitting to the Almighty Power.
God revealed himself in Jesus Christ to be loving and forgiving - very patient too with 'the people'. The Almighty Heavenly Father knows exactly 'ALL' the deception that is taking place. It is not His plan to excuse yet another World War.
God is not a religion or a possession. A church building is a house of God for union with God. Our world is divided between beleivers and those who are not. It also divided by religions. When there is created conflict, this needs sorting out!
The ebb and flow of the tide is an example of the ebb and flow of life. If we want to live in a harmonious world, the people who are the cause of man made laws and oppression, must acknowledge what they are doing to change. A time of cruelty as in biblical times is creeping up again. So many people have forgetten the reason why God is the only Ruling Authority.
Every Muslim knows Christ was born miraculously - he was born to be the saviour of all people. Kings and Queens of history have claimed to rule by divine right. A few males have even delared theirselves to be rightfully Emperor/King of Kings. They are not!
There are people who are condmening countries of people and different religions. Such a limited mentality who have not evolved to realise that if this mindset were put in a position of authority, then there would be many more million people killed. The meaning of religion is the belief in a powerful God - a supreme being beyond human manipulation who is Ruling over this earth and everyone. If you consider yourself to be religious, then just believe and trust in this Almighty Powerful God and let Him do the rest.
Peace, love and best wishes
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