Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios (c) conducts a communion service yesterday during the feast of Saint Andrew at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George in Istanbul. Pope Benedict XVI was invited to attend the service but stayed in Rome after the Turkish government proposed he visit the country next year. Cardinal Walter Kasper and several other Roman Catholic clergymen attended instead. Vartholomaios and Benedict have both indicated that they want to improve relations between their churches. Kasper read out a letter from the pope in which he called for continued dialogue, which he prayed would be fruitful.