Ecumenical Round-up

So lots of ecumenical stuff happening these days.

Yesterday, despite a relative dearth of media coverage, Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, had a short private meeting with B16 in Rome. You can hear his interview with Vatican Radio, and read his talk at San Anselmo here. (Thanks to open book for the links.)

And, in the buildup for the pope's visit to Turkey in a few days, lots of activity, ecclesiastical and political. Yesterday a group of Islamist protestors occupying Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, and had to be dispersed using tear gas. Expect a lot more along those lines in the days to come.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate has published the official papal visit website, which includes a podcast on Orthodox-Catholic relations. In many ways the lowkey nature of the Anglican primate's visit to Rome in contrast with B16's visit to Constantinople for the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the city, is a good signal of Benedict's priorities: the Anglican dialogue, while important, is not at the top of the Vatican's current priorities or hopes. B16 has long held a personal interest in Roman Catholic-Orthodox reconciliation. And, while B16 is not the showman that John Paul II was, I wouldn't be surprised if we see some sort of dramatic gesture, either symbolic or practical, during his visit to the Phanar.

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