Cyril and Methodius are as it were the connecting links or spiritual bridge between the Eastern and Western traditions, which both come together in the one great Tradition of the universal Church. For us they are the champions and also the patrons of the ecumenical endeavor of the sister Churches of East and West, for the rediscovery through prayer and dialogue of visible Unity in perfect and total communion, “the unity which”, as I said on the occasion of my visit to Bari, “is neither absorption nor fusion”. Unity is a meeting in truth and love, granted to us by the Spirit. Cyril and Methodius, in their personality and their work, are figures that awaken in all Christians a great “longing for union” and for unity between the two sister Churches of East and West.
John Paul II
Speech, ecumenical meeting in the Basilica of Saint Nicholas at Bari
26 February 1984