Patriarch, pope to seek dialogue with Muslims

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope John Paul and Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, made a joint commitment yesterday to work for «real dialogue» with Islam and combat terrorism together. The Pope and the patriarch signed a joint declaration on a range of issues at the end of the patriarch’s official visit to the Vatican. During the visit, Vartholomaios’s first to the Vatican in nine years, the two leaders made a number of appeals for the unity of the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity that split in the Great Schism of 1054. Among the joint goals in their declaration was to «build a real dialogue with Islam because indifference and reciprocal ignorance can only spawn distrust and even hate.» The two sides also committed themselves to «healing the plague of terrorism with love.»