Francis Asks Bartholomew for Blessing

ISTANBUL, TURKEY : Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (R) blesses Pope Francis during an Ecumenical Prayer in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George in Istanbul November 29, 2014. Pope Francis arrived in Turkey on Friday at a sensitive moment for the Muslim nation, as it cares for 1.6 million refugees and weighs how to deal with the Islamic State group as its fighters grab chunks of Syria and Iraq across Turkey’s southern border. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)[/caption]

Bartholomew is the 270th and current Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, regarded as the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Francis is the 266th and current Pope, Bishop of Rome regarded as the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Their two religions – Francis’ Roman Catholicism and Bartholomew’s Eastern Orthodoxy – have been at odds with each other since “The Great Schism” in the year 1054: a mega split effecting the beliefs, teachings, language, politics, history, geography and culture of a quarter of the world that to this day has never been forgiven.

This is what interfaith, hope, forgiveness… and change looks like today… THIS PHOTO IS HUGE!

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Francis Asks Bartholomew for Blessing

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