POPE JOHN PAUL H met with Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, in the Vatican last week.
After years of mutual suspicion, the Pope said that the visit left him "filled with joy."
Bartholomew I blessed the faithful together with the Pope from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica of Saint Peter.
The meetings between the two are the latest in a series since Paul VI went to Jerusalem in 1964 to meet Athenagoras II.
The current Patriarch stud
ied at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, from 1963-1965, and gained a doctorate in canon law.
Two points of difference remain between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches the role and status of the Uniate Churches and the belief that the Catholic Church encroaches on Orthodox territory. During his stay in Rome, the Patriarch lived in the Torre San Giovanni, inside the Vatican, where his predecessor, Athenagoras, had stayed in 1987.