These lines from John Allen's National Catholic Reporter daily Vatican column made me choke up, especially in light of the historical animosity of the Orthodox towards the Catholic Church:
“Sometimes when you’re living in the shadows of religious asphyxiation, a brother coming from the West can bring light to the East,” said Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, an official of the Ecumenical Patriarch based in New York.On the Islam end, it really is remarkable how the Holy See right now is the only serious Western dialogue partner with Islam as a religion on a large scale. Is there any Western state, church, or NGO right now that could duplicate the Pope's potential impact on Islam's spiritual orientation to the West and Islam's own self-reflection? Screw your exclusively private and individualized spirituality -- let Christ be a light unto the nations!
“Peter has come to give strength to his older brother,” Karloutsos told NCR on the margins of the liturgy celebrated by Benedict and Bartholomew this evening, describing its impact as “almost incomprehensible.”