Pope John Paul the Second, as flies to Turkey on Wednesday (28 November) has said his two day visit to the country is aimed at seeking reunification of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, which have been divided for almost one thousand years.
Pope John Paul the Second, as flies to Turkey on Wednesday (28 November) has said his two day visit to the country is aimed at seeking reunification of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, which have been divided for almost one thousand years. The visit follows that of Pope paul the Sixty, 12 years ago ... then aimed at strengthening the ties between the two Christian faiths; which between them have a total of almost one thousand million members.
SYNOPSIS: The visit of Paul the Sixth, in July, 1967, was the first by a Roman Catholic Pontiff since the split between Rome and the Orthodox Churches some nine hundred years earlier. Historically, the division was a gradual process which began in the first centuries of the Christian era and was furthered by language and cultural differences. During Pope Paul's visit he had talks with Athenagoras the First, leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, as m he'd met two years earlier in Jerusalem, an event which paved the way for the present moves toward reunification. Today, an estimated 250 million Orthodox members are spread in the Middle East, the Balkans and Russia, with Istanbul (Constantinople) as the centre.
The present leader of the Orthodox Church in Turkey in Dimitrios the First ... as , with the Turkish government, issued the invitation to Pope John Paul
The split between the two faiths, in 1054, was over the issue of Papal authority. It was over this same question that Rome and the English and other North European Churches divided in the 16th century. Pope John Paul has already said he is committed to the search for Christian unity and has made it clear that when he meets Patriarch Dimitrios it will only be the beginning of the move to heal the rift.
The ruins at Ephesus, in western Turkey ... an area of religious significance, and which the Pope, like Paul before him, is to visit. It has many shrines associated with the early days of Christianity, including a stone hut where the Virgin Mary is said to have spent the last years of her life. When Paul the Sixth was here he told onlookers 'One Lord, one faith, one baptism' ... a message Pope John Paul is likely to echo this week.