The Pope says he plans to visit Turkey in 2025 to mark the Nicea anniversary

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he truly hopes to celebrate the 1,700th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in Turkey in 2025.

„I hope that the commemoration of this very important event will encourage all believers in Christ to bear witness together to their faith and desire for greater unity,” he told a group of Orthodox leaders at a June 28 meeting at the Vatican.

A delegation representing the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was in Rome for the Feast of Saints on June 29. Peter and Paul.

“The Pope thanked the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the invitation to celebrate the anniversary near the meeting place. This is a trip I really want to do. „

Pope Francis invited the delegation and the faithful they represent to come to Rome for the Holy Year 2025. “He asked for support, together with your prayers, so that the year of your grace may not lack abundant spiritual fruits. What you have to offer would be great. „

“Dialogue between our churches poses no danger to the integrity of the faith; Rather, it is a necessity that arises from our faithfulness to the Lord, and through the exchange of gifts and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit leads us to the full truth,” he said.

He promoted the work of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which „began to examine delicate historical and theological issues.”

“My hope is that pastors and theologians involved in this process will go beyond purely academic debates and listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the life of the Church. And, at the same time, what has already been studied and agreed upon will be fully embraced by our communities and emerging spaces,” he said.

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„There will always be resistance everywhere, but we must move forward with courage,” the Pope added.

The Council, which began meeting in May 325, gave birth to the Nicene Creed, affirmed the full divinity of Christ, and established the formula for determining the date of Easter. The city of Nicaea is known today as Iznik.

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