In recent decades many efforts have been made to foster dialogue and unity between Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Popes and patriarchs have started to visit each other and to send fraternal greetings at special festival times in each other's calendars. For example Pope Paul VI, following up on his previous attempts to reach out to Orthodox Christians, invited the Coptic, or Egyptian, Orthodox leader Shenouda III to visit the Vatican in 1973. He was the first Coptic leader in over 1,500 years to visit Rome. Pope John Paul II also made frequent attempts to establish contact with various leaders of the Orthodox churches.
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