By Carrie Stefanski
With all the modern world-issues and charities driving Pope Francis’s schedule, remembering a great historical event may have fallen off your radar. Fifty years ago, Pope Paul IV made a hugely significant pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This was the first meeting to restore unity between Catholics and the Orthodox Christians in 910 years.
In January 1964, in Jerusalem (Pope Paul IV) embraced and exchanged the kiss of peace with Athenagoras, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and together they recited the Lord’s Prayer. (GRANFIELD, P., pg. 32)
Yep, this event was almost 1000 years after the (Great) Eastern Schism, when the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church came to be. Well, scholars argue the actual dates and details, read the debates yourself in the New Catholic Encyclopedia.
Pope Paul’s great strides in love, unity, and forgiveness are comparable to Pope Francis.
In all, Paul VI made nine pastoral pilgrimages. (His Orthodox meeting being the first.)
- In December 1964, he stopped in Lebanon on his way to Bombay, India for the International Eucharistic Congress.
- In a moving address in French to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1965, he said that the Church is “an expert in humanity,” and he pleaded for world peace: “No more war. War never again.” He concluded his one day visit to New York by celebrating Mass at Yankee Stadium before 90,000.
- The occasion for his visit to Portugal in 1967 was the fiftieth anniversary of the appearances of Our Lady at Fatima. 5) In July 1967, meeting with Patriarch Athenagoras in Istanbul, Paul VI said that Rome and Constantinople regard each other as sister Churches.
- The occasion of his visit to Colombia, August 1968, was the Eucharistic Congress at Bogotá and the meeting of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference (CELAM) at Medellín. 7) In Geneva, Switzerland, June 1969, the Pope attended ceremonies celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Labor Organization. He also visited the headquarters of the World Council of Churches and introduced himself with the words: “We are here among you. Our name is Peter.”
- Uganda July 1969. In Kampala he prayed at the shrine of the 22 Ugandan martyrs that he had canonized in 1964. He encouraged the African bishops to develop a genuine African Christianity.
- Far East, November 1970. This ten-day visit was his longest. He stopped at Tehran, Karachi, Manila, Samoa, Australia, Jakarta, and Sri Lanka. At the Manila airport, he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by a knife-wielding Bolivian painter. The Pope forgave him on the spot. (GRANFIELD, P., pg. 32)
Pope Francis’ commemorative visit may inspire your patrons to dig into the roots and history of their Catholic faith. It’s your lucky day, the 14-volume print edition of Gale’s New Catholic Encyclopedia is available for less than $500.
We’re spring cleaning and have deep discounts on over 600 print titles until June 27. Download the title list to make your selections today! Once you’ve selected your titles and are ready to order, send your list to Lori Spallone at [email protected], or fax it to 248.699.8043 (Attn: Lori Spallone).
GRANFIELD, P. “Paul VI, Pope.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 11. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 26-33.
SCOURTIS, C. “Eastern Schism.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 22-27.
About the Author
Carrie is starting her public library career after six years in higher education IT. She has a B.S. in written communications, gets her work/life balance playing roller derby, and still has her first library card.
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