Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I prayed for unity of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul today (November 29, 2014), according to the Rome Reports website.
The most powerful moment of the two Christian leaders came when Pope Francis made this request to the Patriarch: "I ask you a favor, to bless me and the Church of Rome." After such a crucial request, they prayed together the Lord's Prayer in Latin.
During the gathering both religious leaders addressed each other. The Patriarch said he welcomed Pope Francis with joy, honor, and recognition. He added that he hopes his visit will help both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches come closer.
Pope Francis answered to the Patriarch's address explaining that they are "brothers in hope." Pope Francis is the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics around the world, while Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is the spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.
Christianity became divided in 1054AD in what is called the Great Schism, which tore apart the Christian Church into Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) branches.