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Haaretz - Patriarch Bartholomew, the man behind the pope's mission

JERUSALEM — If anyone gets credit for bringing Pope Francis I, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to Israel this week, it is All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of over 300 million Orthodox Christian faithful worldwide.

It all started when Patriarch Bartholomew attended Pope Francis' investiture last March — the first time that a spiritual head of the Orthodox Christians has attended such a papal inaugural Mass since the "Great Schism" in 1054. Seeing as the moment was historic, Patriarch Bartholomew went one further, suggesting a joint religious road trip of sorts to Jerusalem — to mark and celebrate the reconciliation between the two churches 50 years ago.

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