Orthodox leader says he will meet with Pope Benedict XVI

The spiritual leader of the world's 200 million-plus &to=http://english.pravda.ru/culture/2001/12/13/23510.html' target=_blank>Orthodox Christians said Thursday that he is eager to meet with Pope Benedict XVI sometime in the coming year in an effort to heal the long-standing rift between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Visiting this heavily Greek community northwest of Tampa for the annual Feast of the Epiphany celebration, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I told reporters that the pope plans an official visit sometime this year to his headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey.

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