Pope Francis: ‘You have a great patriarch’

On his return flight from Romania, Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for the Romanian Patriarch Daniel.

‘You have a great patriarch,’ the pope told the Romanian journalists June 2, spending about 35 minutes with reporters answering five questions.

When asked by Cristian Micaci from Radio Maria Romania about the relations between Catholics and Orthodox, Pope Francis praised the personality of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

‘You have a great patriarch, a man of great heart, a great scholar, he knows the mysticism of the Desert Fathers, the spiritual mysticism, he studied in Germany and is also a man of prayer. It’s easy to get close to Daniel, we talked like brothers,’ the pope said as cited by Vatican News.

Pope Francis spoke with journalists on his return flight from Romania. Photo: Vatican News

Pope Francis met personally with Patriarch Daniel during the first day of his visit to Romania, spending around two hours at the Patriarchal Palace and at the National Cathedral in Bucharest.

At the Patriarchate’s Palace, Francis also met with the members of the Permanent Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Being received with warm applause at the National Cathedral, the pope told the congregation that ‘Our Father is a prayer that leaves us troubled and crying out in protest against the famine of love in our time.’

Patriarch Daniel expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for “the liturgical spaces offered by Catholic communities to Romanian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe”.

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Read more: Full text of Pope Francis’ in-flight press conference from Romania

Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu

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