LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO H.E. SPYRIDON, METROPOLITAN OF HELIOPOLIS,
ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEATH
OF H.B. PATRIARCH IGNACE IV HAZIM
Your Eminence, I have just learned with sadness that the Lord has called H.B. Ignace IV Hazim, Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, to him. I offer to you, to the Holy Synod and to all members of the Church my deepest condolences and I assure you of my union in prayer with those who are mourning their father and pastor.
In the course of his long life of service to the Gospel, the late Patriarch offered a luminous witness of faith and charity, working with dedication to spiritually uplift the flock which he had been entrusted to him and for the great cause of reconciliation of peace among men.
I give thanks to the Lord for the positive and effective contribution that Patriarch Ignace made to the rapprochement of our two Churches. May his memory also invite us to continue on the path of dialogue and of the search for full communion in Christ!
I assure you of my prayers for the suffering faithful of your Church and for peace in the region, and reaffirming all my participation, I beg you, Your Eminence, to accept the expression of my sincerest wishes in Christ.
From the Vatican, 6 December 2012
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
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