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For the first time since the Great Schism, Ecumenical Patriarch to attend Pope's inaugural Mass

Istanbul, Turkey

In a historic development, it was announced that His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will attend Pope Francis' installation Mass in Rome, Tuesday, March 19, the first time such an event as taken place since the Great Schism in 1054.

From The Catholic World Report:

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.

Relations between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second Vatican Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological dialogue.

Under 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.

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