SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, sent a congratulatory letter to Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, April 19, 2005, upon learning of his election as the 265th head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict, the former Joseph Cardinal Radzinger, succeeds the late Pope John Paul II, who passed away over two weeks ago in Vatican City.
The text of the letter reads as follows.
“I greet Your Holiness with brotherly love in Christ on the occasion of your election as Bishop of Rome and successor to the ancient See of Saint Peter. As you assume the responsibilities and heavy burdens of the ministry with which you have been entrusted, I wish to assure you of my brotherly esteem and prayerful best wishes.
“Your ever-memorable predecessor, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, was greatly respected by many Orthodox Christians throughout the world. It is my sincere hope and prayer that Your Holiness will be inspired by his example and will continue to work for the realization of our Lord’s high-priestly prayer, ‘That all may be one’ (John 17:21).
“Be assured of my steadfast prayer that Almighty God will bless you with strength and good health, so that you may serve Christ and the flock with which He has entrusted you for many long and fruitful years. As you begin your pontificate, may the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, intercede for you before the Throne of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest.”
Thanks: Directions to Orthodoxy