In his recent interview in the Corriere della Sera, published on March 5, 2014, Pope Francis speaks about the dialogue with the Orthodox in the light of his upcoming pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Question: Will your trip to the Holy Land lead to an agreement of intercommunion with the Orthodox that Paul VI, fifty years ago, almost signed with [Patriarch] Athenagoras?
Holy Father: We are all impatient about achieving “sealed” results. But the path of unity with the Orthodox means above all walking and working together. In Buenos Aires, several Orthodox came to the catechetical courses. I usually spent Christmas and 6 January together with their bishops, who sometimes even asked the advice of our diocesan offices. I do not know if the story is true that Athenagoras told Pope Paul VI that he proposed that they walk together and send all the theologians to an island to discuss among themselves. It’s a joke, but it is important that we walk together. Orthodox theology is very rich. And I believe that they have, at this time, great theologians. Their vision of the Church and collegiality is marvelous.
Read the interview in English here