Pope Francis apparently would often pray and read the Bible with the financial manager for his diocese, who is an Evangelical Christian. I’ll leave it to others to draw possible connections and make predictions about the possibility of Pope Francis following the lead of his predecessors and participating at an ecumenical prayer service at Assisi or to note that it would be especially appropriate for Pope Francis to make a meaningful visit to Assisi for extremely obvious reasons.
Apparently, he will also be able to follow up on some of Benedict XVI’s work with Lutherans, and the Patriarch of Constantinople will attend Pope Francis’ inauguration Mass… something that hasn’t happened for almost 1000 years. I have heard it said that Benedict XVI was the Pope of Christian Unity; if so, I very much hope that we see more of the fruits of his labors in the years to come.
I don’t think I should have to justify my interest in religious ecumenism. It was in fact in the context of ecumenism that I first heard of Irenicism (If there is any novelty in my use of the term, it is in my application of the idea to political discourse).