It has been announced the The Ecumenical Patriarch will be attending the Inauguration Mass of Pope Francis. (the first time this has happened)
It's great news. Very encouraging.Rather less good though is that Justin Welby won't be going. He's sending the Abp of York instead.Rowan Williams went to Pope Benedict's inauguration, and Donald Coggan attended Pope John Paul II's.
It is great news - but, of course, strictly speaking, it is not the "first time" but the "first time since the Great Schism". The address of the Patriarch - in fluent Italian - and the allocution of the Holy Father are on the Vatican TV player and are well worth study. I don't think it matters too much that +Justin Cantuar was not present. +John Ebor was there and he alone of the CofE delegation kissed the Holy Father's ring. Perhaps Abp Welby would have come across as more the CEO of an "ecclesial NGO".