Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians reported promising progress Friday in talks on overcoming their Great Schism of 1054 and bringing the two largest denominations in Christianity back to full communion. Experts meeting in Vienna this week agreed the two could eventually become “sister churches” that recognize the Roman pope as their titular head but retain many church structures, liturgy and customs that developed over the past millennium. The delegation heads stressed unity was still far off, but their upbeat report reflected growing cooperation between Rome and the Orthodox churches traditionally centered in Russia, Greece, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

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