The reunification ceremony of three marble fragments from the Parthenon temple with the Acropolis Museum’s lasting exhibit was held on Friday evening at the museum’s Parthenon Gallery.

These fragments from the metopes, the frieze and the pediments of the Parthenon have been gifted individually by Pope Francis to the Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece.

Four customers of a Catholic delegation from the Vatican who arrived in Athens on Thursday also attended.

The delegation provided its head, Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Dicastery for Advertising and marketing Christian Unity, Underneath-Secretary Monsignor Andrea Palmieri, Director of the Vatican Museums Dr Barbara Jatta, and Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawłowski, Apostolic Nuncio to Greece.

Bishop Farrell spoke about the importance of the Pope’s gesture, an “ecclesiastical, cultural and social gesture of friendship and solidarity with the people of Greece”, which he pointed out “confirms even far more strongly the friendship and the spiritual closeness among our Churches.”

Go through the homily of Bishop Farrell

Your Beatitude, Venerable Archbishop of Athens and of All Greece,
Honourable Primary Minister of the Hellenic Republic, (Kyriakos Mitsotakis)
Your Excellency the Minister for Lifestyle and Activity, (Styliani-Lina Mendoni),
Eminences, Excellencies,
Dear Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the Holy See,
Dear Ambassadors, Authorities and Officers,
Expensive Director of this illustrious Museum of the Acropolis,
Females and Gentlemen,

His Holiness Pope Francis wished that our delegation existing at this memorable ceremony really should stand for the Dicastery responsible for fraternal relations among the Churches – Monsignor Andrea Palmieri and myself, the eminent Director of the Vatican Museums, Dr Barbara Jatta, and the Apostolic Nuncio to Greece, His Excellency Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawlowski.

In this way, the gifting of the fragments of the Parthenon, which have been held in the Vatican Museums for a lot more than two centuries, demonstrates by itself as an ecclesial, cultural and social gesture of friendship and solidarity with the people of Greece.

The conclusion of Pope Francis to give these fragments to Your Beatitude matured in the context of his fraternal relations with the Orthodox Church, and specially of his assembly with Your Beatitude throughout his take a look at to Greece in December 2021.

The gesture therefore has specific importance in affirming ever far more strongly the friendship and non secular closeness in between our Churches. Pope Francis needs me to convey to Your Beatitude and to the entire body of the Church of Greece his warmest greetings and prayerful good needs.

The fragments, representing three different factors of the decoration of the planet renowned Athenian Temple, have now returned to their authentic homeland. Persons of goodwill can see in this party the expression of a shared hope that our various cultures, and artwork alone, will normally be a privileged signifies of dialogue and come across among the peoples. In that trade, we enrich every other, in the superb variety of our histories, our achievements and the common aspiration to peace and fraternity. The meeting of diverse cultures can be the medium that lets the human family members to flourish in regard for our differences and sensibilities.

We have to hope that from the come upon among peoples and their cultures – of which the homecoming of the Parthenon fragments is a person eloquent indication – will spring the understanding and solidarity that sales opportunities to peace.

These days, sadly, we are witnesses of the absence of peace in the earth, in particular as it has an effect on our personal continent, Europe.

Hopefully, with God’s assist, the goodwill that conjures up this celebration will spread and mature right up until – in the eyesight of the prophet Isaiah — swords shall be turned into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks right up until nation shall not raise up sword in opposition to nation, nor shall there be war any additional (cfr. Isaiah 2:4).

Conveying when much more the greetings of His Holiness Pope Francis and, as a result of all of you, thanking the Orthodox Church of Greece and the Hellenic Condition for the warmth and generosity of the hospitality supplied our Vatican delegation, we guarantee you of our intimate joy at the realization of your genuine would like to have the Parthenon fragments at home in their place of origin. Thank you.


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