On [[November 1]], 1948, Athenagoras was elected Patriarch of [[Constantinople]], and was flown to Istanbul in the personal airplane of then-president Harry Truman. As patriarch, he was actively involved with the [[World Council of Churches]] and improving relations with the [[Pope]]. His long reign ended with his died in Istanbul on July 7, 1972.
His meeting with [[Pope
]] Paul VI in 1964 in Jerusalem led to rescinding the 1054 [[ excommunication]] s of the [[Great Schism]]. This was a significant step towards restoring communion between Rome and Constantinople. It produced the Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration of 1965, which was read out on [[December 7]], 1965, simultaneously at a public meeting of the Second Vatican Council in Rome and at a special ceremony in Istanbul. The declaration did not end the 1054 schism, but showed a desire for greater reconciliation between the two churches , represented by Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. Nevertheless, not all Orthodox leaders at the time were happy with this Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration, e.g., Metr. [[Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York|Philaret]] 's 1965 epistle to the patriarch.
title=Archbishop of North and South America
<br>Church of Constantinople|