Archbishop set for trip to Vatican

Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the Church of Greece, has arranged an historic meeting with Pope Benedict XVI which will take place at the Vatican next month, Greek Church officials said yesterday. Christodoulos will be the first Greek Church leader to visit the Vatican when he arrives in Rome on December 14. «The Holy Synod expressed its joy over the visit, whose fruits will be positive,» the Church of Greece said in a statement. Christodoulos had agreed to meet with the late Pope John Paul II three years ago but the trip was canceled at the last minute after senior clerics expressed objections to the meeting. Pope John Paul II visited Greece in 2001 to the anger of some hardline Orthodox Christians who regard the pope as being evil. The Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been at odds since their schism in 1054. The pope is expected to present Christodoulos with a section of the chain of Saint Peter, a significant Christian relic, during his visit.

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