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VATICAN CITY (RNS) The 74-year-old patriarch from Turkey and the 77-year-old Argentinian pontiff come from opposite sides of the globe, but the two have established a strong personal connection

Categories: Beliefs

Beliefs: , ,

Josephine McKenna

Josephine McKenna

Josephine McKenna has more than 30 years' experience in print, broadcast and interactive media. Based in Rome since 2007, she covered the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis and canonizations of their predecessors. Now she covers all things Vatican for RNS.


  1. This is a divine event marking the celebration of Pentecost. It is another step closer to being an answer to Jesus’s prayer to the Father that we would become one with one another and with Him. Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth. alleluia!

  2. To put things in perspective, the animosity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches produced almost 1000 years of bloodshed which includes:

    -“The Massacre of the Latins” in the 12th Century

    -The sack of Constantinople during the 4th Crusade

    -Wars for control of Greece in the 13th Century

    -World War One was touched off by clashes between Orthodox Serbian nationalists and Catholic Austrian overlords, leading to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

    -Some of the worst atrocities committed entirely by Nazi collaborators in World War II were by Catholic Croatian Ustase against Orthodox Serbs. This includes the last forced conversion to the Catholic faith in 1944.

    -The Yugoslav Civil War in the 1990’s began as a conflict between Orthodox Serbia and Catholic Croatia. Genocide reared its ugly head in Europe for the first time in half a century

    -The current conflict in the Ukraine has a sectarian element to it which was introduced by Putin

    The fact that people are STILL shedding blood over these differences in sect make unification highly, highly unlikely.

    • Deacon Jim Stagg

      It is a sad commentary on today’s values that this negative response seems necessary to append to an otherwise hopeful meeting.

      May we live as people of Faith, with real Hope for a better tomorrow, without the endless repetition of all our failures in the past?

      Peace of the Christ be with you.

      • All I am saying is don’t expect miracles here. The divisions are real. The bad blood is still there. The differences are irreconcilable. Respect and mutual admiration is a more realistic goal than unification.

        People of faith have found excuses for shedding the blood of other people of faith for centuries. Sects of Christianity still look for excuses to fight each other in this day and age. Given its long history, Peace of the Christ seems to be peace of the grave.

  3. When Jesus Christ prayed that they would become one, He was evidently speaking of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church becoming one. The Roman Catholic Church may become one with some of the weak Protestant Churches. The Orthodox Church is very Holy and Righteous!

  4. +++John Tomas I of scandinavia

    It is a Joy,that our Holy Father,the Patriarch of Patriarchs slowly approach one of the Popes,in a seriouse attempt to unificate the faithful in christ.There is a second pope,the coptic pope.It was the vision of my dear catholic friend,pope John Paul II as well.even if forces within the Vatican at that time restrained his goals.At that time,HB Demetrios I was residing the Throne of Constantinople,the very Patriarch who Consecrated me as bishop and Archbishop in 1988.
    HB Patriarch Demetrios I established a dialogue between orthodoxy and Rome already in 1979 and in 1987 he celebrated mass with John Paul II in S:T Petterschurch in greec.
    HB Batholomew have the same vision and have taken yet many steps towards the catholics.
    Just as HB Demitrios and Pope John Paul II meet in mutual respect and liked each others,so do HB Bartholomew and Pope Fransicus.
    It is a Joy for christendom and a power from God,to influence the politicians of the world,toward a world more run by Love than hate.