On Wednesday, the 6th/19th of October 2016, Roman Catholic officials from the Synnod of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Reinhard Marxh, and from the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Bishop Heinrich Betford-Strohm, whilst on a visit to the Holy Land in search of Christianity’s roots, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, visited the Patriarchate. Their aim, they said, was unity to the extent possible.
The officials were welcomed by H.B. Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in the presence of Hagiotaphite Fathers. His Beatitude talked of the significance of Jerusalem for the three monotheistic religions, especially Christianity, being the city were Christ was Crucified and Resurrected; He also spoke of the importance of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, as witness of Christian truth on the very site of its revelation. Finally, He referred to the significance of the ongoing restoration works on the Holy Aedicula.
During the visit, the Bishops offered Patriarch Theophilos a fourpartite cross, symbol of their celebrated anniversary. His Beatitude offered an icon of Theotokos Jerusalemite and of the Aedicula of the Holy Sepulchre of the Resurrected Christ.