· Patriarch Bartholomew on peace in the Balkans ·
“The vision of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate has always embraced the idea and responsibility of
serving as a bridge between Christians, Muslims, and Jews”. The Ecumenical
Patriarch of Constantinope Bartholomew said this at a conference on the
initiatives for peace in the Balkans which was held over the past few days in
Istanbul. “The Ecumenical Patriarchate has always been convinced of its wider
role and responsibility in the world. This keen sense of obligation before
other people and before God has inspired manifold initiatives, such as our
tireless efforts to consolidate the unity of the Orthodox Church worldwide, an
effort which has often been fraught with national tensions and political
divisions. This was the purpose that we convened the recent international
assembly of the Heads of all Orthodox Churches, held at the Phanar from 6-9
“The same philosophy,” the Patriarch continued, “has inspired our encouragement in principle of ecumenical discussions from the early 20th century, providing the impetus for bilateral discussions with other Christian Churches. Perhaps the most fruitful of these theological dialogues have been engaged with the Roman Catholic Church. One of the highlights of this dialogue was the historic meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI in Jerusalem in 1964, which we shall commemorate this coming May at our meeting with Pope Francis in the Holy Land as an affirmation and commitment to inter-Christian dialogue”.
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