rm

Relevant portions of the speech by His Holiness Pope Francis at the meeting with His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II at Vatican

Your Holiness , It is a joy for me to meet Your Holiness and the distinguished delegation of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Through you, I greet a Church that was founded upon the witness, even to martyrdom, that Saint Thomas gave to Our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostolic fraternity which united the first disciples in their service of the Gospel, today also unites our Churches, notwithstanding the many divisions that have arisen in the sometimes sad course of history, divisions which, thanks be to God, we are endeavouring to overcome in obedience to Lord's will and desire (cf. Jn 17:21). The Apostle Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" (Jn 2:28) with one of the most beautiful confessions of faith in Christ handed down by the Gospels. a faith which proclaims the divinity of Christ, his lordship in our lives. and his victory over sin and death through his resurrection. This event is so real that Saint Thomas is invited to touch for himself the actual marks of the crucified and risen Jesus (cf. Jn 20:27). It is precisely in this faith that we meet each other: it is this faith that unites us, even if we cannot yet share the Eucharistic table: and it is this faith which urges us to continue and intensify the commitment to ecumenism, encounter and dialogue towards full communion. With deep affection I welcome Your Holiness and the members of your delegation and I ask you to convey my cordial greetings to the Bishops, clergy and faithful of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. I also greet to the communities you are visiting in Europe. I wanted to recall some of the steps in these 30 years of the growing closeness between us. because I believe that on the ecumenical path it is important to look with trust to the steps that have been completed. overcoming prejudices and closed attitudes which are part of a kind of "culture of clashes" and source of division. and giving way to a "culture of encounter ". which educates us for mutual understanding and for working towards unity. Alone however, this is impossible; our witnesses and poverty slow the progress. For this reason, it is important to intensify our prayer, because only the Holy Spirit with his grace. his light and his warmth can melt our coldness and guide our steps towards an ever greater brotherhood. Prayer and commitment in order to let relationships of friendship and cooperation grow at various levels, in the clergy, among the faithful, and among the various churches born from the witness given by St Thomas. May the Holy Spirit continue to enlighten us and guide us towards reconciliation and harmony, overcoming all causes of division and rivalry which have marked our past. Your Holiness, let us walk this path together, looking with trust towards that day in which. with the help of God, we will be united at the altar of Christ's sacrifice, in the fullness of Eucharistic communion. Let us pray for one another, invoking the protection of Saint Peter and Saint Thomas upon all the flock that has been entrusted to our pastoral care. May they who worked together for the Gospel, intercede for us and accompany the journey of our Churches.