CAN FRANCIS HEAL THE GREAT SCHISM?
Pope Francis has raised hopes of East-West unity. But we mustn’t be naïve, says Ed West. Many Orthodox really dislike Catholicism
FIFTY YEARS AGO Pope Paul VI met the Patriarch of Constantinople in Jerusalem. It was a moment of jawdropping significance. The leaders of the Eastern and Western churches had not met in five centuries. Three years later Paul VI visited Istanbul, the first pontiff to set foot there since since 710. John Paul II and Benedict XVI followed suit, and Francis made the trip last weekend. Did he bring East-West unity any closer? Few people think so. Least of all, it seems, the Holy Father.
First, some historical background. The Patriarch of Constantinople is the world’s senior Orthodox bishop – but in a city with few Christians. A century ago, most of its citizens were Orthodox, but after the Armenian genocide
Thhe Popee aand thhe Ecummenical Paatriarchh embrace duuring a prayer seervice in Isstanbul
12 CATHOLIC HERALD, DECEMBER 5 2014
/PA U L H A R
C N S