His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod has been received in audience by His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch.
The meeting, on 2 May, took place while His Grace was in Istanbul, in transit, on the way to the Holy Land for a pilgrimage with some 72 faithful of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East.
His Grace was accompanied in this audience by Very Rev. Cor-bishop Auchana Kanoun, Rev. Fr. Genard Lazar, Sub-deacon Emmanuel Benjamin and Mr Joseph Rasho.
His Grace was received at the patriarchate (in the Fenar district of Istanbul) by the patriarchal deacon at 11:00 am. The deacon then gave a tour of the patriarchal cathedral of St. George the Martyr, which houses the relics of St. Gregory Nazianzus and St. John Chrysostom.
The patriarch received the Assyrian prelate and clergy at 12 noon in his personal office. After a colloquium of about one hour, during which His Grace Mar Awa handed His All Holiness Bartholomew I a very important letter from His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV addressed to the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Assyrian bishop and clergy were invited to share lunch with the patriarch and other Greek Orthodox prelates and clergy resident at the patriarchate.
During the audience, His Holiness Bartholomew I welcomed the Assyrian clergy to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and extended his sincere greetings to His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, and spoke briefly about the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s commitment to promoting understanding and dialogue among Christian Churches.
After bidding the patriarch and the members of the patriarchal court farewell with gratitude for his immense hospitality, the Assyrian delegation headed directly to the airport in order to reach the Holy Land.