Pave Benedikt og patriark Bartolomeus møttes både i går kveld (til vesper) og i dag til den hellige liturgi (=messe) på festdagen for apostelen Andreas. Paven lovet at Den katolske kirke ville gjøre alt den kunne for å få større enhet mellom verdens 1,1 milliarder katolikker og 250 millioner ortodokse, og han refererte også til De ortodokse som søsterkirker.
In a similar spirit, Patriarch Bartholomew I vowed commitment to “the unwavering journey toward the restoration of full communion among our churches,” even referring to Benedict XVI as “our brother, and bishop of the elder Rome.” In their Common Declaration, Benedict and Bartholomew pledged “to renew our commitment to move towards full communion.”
John Allen skriver videre om dette møtet, og er nokså nøktern i sin konklusjon:
This is not the first time a pope and a patriarch have issued such paeans to unity. Benedict XVI is actually the third pope to visit the Phanar, following in the footsteps of Paul VI in 1967 and John Paul II in 1979.
In the light of almost 40 years of experience, such events have to be evaluated on two levels: the symbolic and the substantive. Symbolically, they offer powerful testimony to the success of the ecumenical movement in overcoming old prejudices and pointing the way towards new Christianity unity. Substantively, however, they normally leave the underlying disagreements between the various Christian bodies largely unresolved – including, above all, the power of the papacy.
Such appeared to be the case again today.