Pope set to receive lecture from Greek Orthodox Archbishop
Greek Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos will not pray with John Paul II when he visits Athens later this week, but instead lecture the Holy Father about 1000 years of disputes between the two Churches.
"There will be no joint praying whatsoever," the Holy Synod, the Greek Church's administrative body, announced on Friday after a meeting to discuss the papal visit.
Instead, Archbishop Christodoulos has been instructed to spell out for the Pope all Orthodox complaints, many stemming from the Great Schism of 1054, which resulted in Eastern Churches splitting from Rome.
"(He) will present with honesty, clarity, theological and historical documentation, all issues of dogma, ecclesiastical and theological, which cause grief, bitterness and perplexity to the Orthodox world,'' Holy Synod spokesman Metropolitan Efstathios told reporters.
Pope John Paul and Archbishop Christodoulos, who have never met, will be together on three occasions during the visit, which is set to take place on Friday and Saturday.
The archbishop helped the Pope realise his dream of retracing the footsteps of Paul in southern Europe by lifting long-standing Orthodox objections to the visit last month.