Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (CNS photo/John Thavis)
In a historic development, it was announced today that
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, will attend Pope Francis’
installation Mass in Rome March 19, the first time such an event as taken place
since the Great Schism in 1054.
The ecumenical patriarch will be accompanied by Ioannis Zizioulas,
metropolitan of Pergamon and co-president of the Joint International Commission
for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, as
well as Tarassios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Argentina, and Gennadios, Orthodox
Metropolitan of Italy.
between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second Vatican
Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological dialogue.
Benedict XVI, the dialogue picked up in earnest after a lull. In trying to
promote it, the pope suggested ways to express the primacy of Peter's successor
that could be acceptable to the Orthodox, finding his inspiration from the
undivided Church of the first millennium.