4.13.2016 10:37 AM ET
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Before St. John Paul II arrived in Greece in 2001 there were protests by Orthodox faithful and an all-night prayer vigil by Orthodox monks on Mount Athos, praying that the pope would not come.
But things have changed. "You see it, you hear it and it's huge," said Maristella Tsamatropoulou, spokeswoman for Caritas Hellas, the Catholic charity in Greece.
Caritas and Apostoli, the Greek Orthodox charitable agency, have signed a formal cooperation agreement and have been working together for years. First, they sought to respond to the needs created by Greece's major economic crisis and, now, they have joined forces to help the tens of thousands of refugees stuck in the country.