Tragically, in later times we grew apart. Worldly concerns poisoned us, weeds of suspicion increased our distance and we ceased to nurture communion. Pope Francis I, December 2021.

Toward the end of 2021, while I was completing work for the publication of this volume, Pope Francis I made a visit to Greece and Cyprus in an effort to bring the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches closer together. The sentiment he expressed was conciliatory, lamenting the centuries of division within the Christian community. The most urgent headlines from the pope’s trip to the eastern Mediterranean, however, were not about the olive branch of reconciliation; rather, they focused on a small group of hecklers who had assembled to protest the pope’s visit. They accused Francis I of moving away from centuries of Christian orthodoxy, shouting ‘Heretic!’ at the pope.