Fifty rears ago, the relationship between the
Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church took a
dramatic turn towards encounter and dialogue. On
Jan. 6, 1964, Pope Paul VI (+1978) and
Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras (+1972) met on
the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. They prayed
together and exchanged the kiss of peace. This
continued a less formal meeting on the previous
day. Such a blessed encounter at that time
captured the attention of the Christian world.
It marked a dramatic turn from alienation to
engagement. This was the first formal meeting of
a Pope and Ecumenical Patriarch since 1438.