Since the appointment at Istanbul had to be postponed for another year due to the danger of further terrorist attacks, the Bishops friends of the Focolare Movement wanted nevertheless to show a visible sign of solidarity to the Christian community of Constantinople by sending a small delegation. For this reason Cardinal Miloslav Vlk and Lutheran Bishop Henrik Svenungsson left Rome on November 28 to partecipate on behalf of all the Bishops friends of the Focolare, at the ceremony marking the Feastday of St. Andrew the Apostle, considered founder and patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
They were received by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
They also had meetings with Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II, with the Vicar of the Syro-Orthodox Patriarchate, Cetin, and with the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Edmund Farhat. They spent hours of warm ecumenical exchange against the background of a city which, unfortunately, bears the deep scars of recent events. The delegation coincided with the official Vatican delegation led by Cardinal Kasper, as well as that of the World Council of Churches Geneva-based, represented by Dr. Konrad Raiser.