Pope & Patriarchs: The 1848 Letters of Pope Pius IX and the Orthodox Patriarchs

November 3, 2010

Pope Pius IX about 1865

Shortly after his ascension to the papal throne in 1846, Pope Pius IX wrote the Apostolic Letter In suprema Petri apostoli sede,  “On the Supreme Throne of Peter the Apostle” (6 January 1848). While it was primarily intended for Eastern Catholics of the various Oriental Rites it also addressed Orthodox Christians, calling them back to unity with Rome.

Fr. Aidan Nichols characterizes Pius IX’s letter as

“the first ‘unionist’ encyclical of the modern papacy” and as the first part of  “a papal concern for the Christian East of a depth and urgency not seen since Florence.” “Thousands upon thousands” of this letter were distributed in a Greek translation directly to the Orthodox faithful. (Rome and the Eastern Churches, p. 352).

Despite its historical importance as one of the first texts of the modern era relative to Catholic—Orthodox relations, English translations of Pius IX’s letter have been few and, until now, have not been available online.

Patriarch Anthimos VI of Constantinople

A translation from the French version, published in the journal Irenikon in 1929, has been prepared by Michaël de Verteuil. The French text can be found here at the Internet Archive and was supplied by the Monastery of Chevetogne, publishers of Irenikon.

The reply to Pius IX’s letter, issued by the Orthodox Patriarchs later that year, is better known and is online here and used with permission.

The Orthodox Patriarchs’ reply was signed by Anthimos VI, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, along with Hierotheus, Patriarch of Alexandria, Methodios, Patriarch of Antioch and Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem, along with the Holy Synods of each of the Patriarchates.

Click at the link below to download a PDF file of Pope Pius IX’s Apostolic Letter together with the reply of the Orthodox Patriarchs:

Click here to download PDF

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Divine Liturgy from Montreal

April 27, 2010

For you Francophones — but there’s some English (and Arabic, too!)

Part of the focus of this blog is information about Orthodoxy in French, so here is a documentary highlighting the Divine Liturgy from St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

If you only speak English, hang in there. The introduction is exclusively French, but once the Liturgy begins (about 5 minutes in) that changes. This is a tri-lingual parish. Actually, there’s also a smattering of Greek also:


Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël!

December 26, 2009

Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël!

As a sometimes student of Spanish and French, I want to wish all a very Merry Christmas in both these languages!

For a look at Christmas from an Eastern Christian perspective in Spanish, check out this page from Iglesia de la Santisima Virgen Maria — Santiago, Chile.

It contains a full explanation of the Feast of the Nativity in Spanish. Those who read some Spanish will recognize these quotes from the Canon for Nativity and its troparion.

Cristo ha nacido, glorifícale. Cristo ha venido del cielo, ven a su encuentro. Cristo está sobre la tierra, elévense. Canta al Señor, toda la tierra. Canten con alegría, oh pueblos. Pues Él ha sido glorificado. (Primera Oda del Canon de la Navidad)

Tu nacimiento, oh Cristo Nuestro Dios, ha hecho resplandecer sobre el mundo la luz de la sabiduría. Porque los que adoraban las estrellas aprendieron de la estrella a adorarte a Ti, el Sol de Justicia, que desde las alturas viniste. Oh Señor, Gloria a Ti. (Tropario)

A similar page for the Nativity in French can be found here. Here’s the troparion in French:

Ta naissance, Ô Christ, notre Dieu,
a fait resplendir dans le monde la lumière de l’intelligence.
Ceux qui servaient les astres

sont insruits par l’astre de t’adorer,
Soleil de Justice, et te contempler,

Orient veant des hauteurs.
Seigneur, gloire à toi !

Le Christ est né! Glorifions-Le!

¡Cristo ha nacido! ¡Glorifícale!

Christ is born! Glorify Him!


Español & Français

December 13, 2009

In the sidebar I’ve tried to put some notable links to Eastern Church sources in Spanish and French. There are links to liturgical, biblical and personal blogs. I’m soliciting input for additional links in both French and Spanish relating to the Eastern Church. Merci! Muchas gracias!