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John Allen got it done before the long weekend, this time

Conversations with a couple of archbishops, in town for their pallia, of course, an interesting note about the Mass yesterday:

After expressing greetings to Patriarch Bartholomew I in his homily, Benedict conceded that Rome and Constantinople are still divided over the interpretation of the Petrine office, but stressed a number of areas where there is strong agreement: "We are together in apostolic succession, we are profoundly united with one another in terms of episcopal ministry and the sacrament of the priesthood, and we confess together the same faith of the apostles as it is given to us by Scripture and as it is interpreted in the great Councils," the pope said, drawing strong applause.

Even Benedict XVI’s body language bespoke ecumenical concern.

During the entrance procession at the beginning of the June 29 Mass, Benedict walked straight up the central aisle of St. Peter’s Basilica. He made a point, however, of walking over to Metropolitan Johannes, who was leading the delegation from Constantinople, and shaking hands.

Later, when the Mass had ended and Benedict walked down under the main altar to pray briefly before the remains of St. Peter, he was positioned by papal liturgist Archbishop Piero Marini with Johannes behind him. Benedict shuffled to the side and motioned to Johannes to join him, and the two stood side by side.

More on the canonization process for JP2, a Scriptural conference held this week, and some notes on the Compendium and the Pope’s new book.

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