By Desmond Fisher
JERUSALEM THE outstanding achievement of Pope Paul's historic visit to the Holy Land is likely to be the establishment of a joint committee of representatives of the Latin and Greek churches in an effort to promote Christian unity. I understand that this momentous step was agreed in principle between the Pope and the Patriarch at their meetings in Jerusalem this week
the first such contact between Greek and Latin for over 500 years.
The committee would examine the doctrinal and other differences between the two Churches. It would probably be based in Jerusalem. On the success of its work would depend the Greek Orthodox decision about sending observers to the next session of the Vatican Council in September.
Both the Pope and the Patriarch gave many indications of this decision in their speeches when they met on Sunday night and this morning. Again in their final joint communique—an event unparalleled in the history of the Church—they stressed that their meetings in Jerusalem were only a prelude of further meetings to come.
After the second meeting with the Pope today, Patriarch Athenagoras raised the golden chalice he had received as a gift from the Pope and declared he earnestly hoped that one day Pope Paul and himself would mix water and wine in it together.