07.12.

1965: Pope and Orthodox Patriarch Lift Mutual Excommunications

1965: Pope and Orthodox Patriarch Lift Mutual Excommunications
Photo Credit To http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/images/AthenagorasAndPaulVI.jpg

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  • historical event: Pope and Patriarch issued a joint statement of regret for the events that led to the schism. It is interesting that the excommunications were effective from 1054 until 1965 – more than 910 years!

On this day, just one day before the end of the Second Vatican Council, the bilateral abolition of excommunication between the Pope and Patriarch of Constantinople was announced. Just to recall, these excommunications were in force since 1054, when there was a schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Church. The rescinding of the excommunications was performed by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras simultaneously in Rome and Constantinople. On that occasion, they released a joint declaration of regret for the events that led to the schism. Of course, the act of rescinding the excommunication did not end the schism, but it did create the possibility of a much better ecumenical dialogue.

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