In a fraternal gesture Pope Francis asked for the blessing of Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who marked a historic moment in ecumenical dialogue by kissing the head of the Bishop of Rome.
“At the end the Pope asked the patriarch to bless him, and the Patriarch kissed him,” Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi recounted to journalists in a Nov. 29 press briefing.
“It’s not the first time, I already saw the Pope asking for the blessing of another brother, but this familiar way of the Patriarch kissing Pope’s head (is a first).”
The emotional moment came at the end of a busy second day during Pope Francis’ Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey.