As you know, my name is Andrew. I’m named after St. Andrew the Apostle, the brother of St. Peter (the first Pope) and the first to respond to the call of Christ. You could just imagine how stoked I was that Pope Benedict XVI promulgated his new encyclical Spe Salvi (“By hope we were saved”) on the feast of St. Andrew, November 30th!
So why an encyclical on HOPE on the feast of St. Andrew?
Well, the Pope very much HOPES for a reunion between the Eastern Orthodox Christians with Rome, ending a schism which has last for 950 years! It just so happened that Benedict was visiting Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Eastern Orthodox Constantinople, on November 30th. According to the Eastern Orthodox, Bartholomew I is the direct successor of St. Andrew the Apostle – which means the successors of the brothers Andrew and Peter were together as the Pope gave the world an encyclical on hope!
I sincerely hope that by 2054, the 1000-year anniversary of the East-West split, the two will be reunited. Hmm.. that’ll mean there will be about 1.7 billion Catholics and only about 300 million Protestants in the world. HOPEFULLY soon there will be ONE Church and the world will finally be able to believe in Christ (at least according to Jesus’ prayer in John 17, that is)!
Check out Spe Salvi!