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Ecumenical Patriarch reaffirms commitment to Christian unity

Catholic World News - July 13, 2012

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has reaffirmed the See of Constantinople’s commitment to work for Christian unity.

Patriarch Bartholomew, who has held office since 1991, said that his predecessor Patriarch Athenagoras

was criticized at the time for the openness he had demonstrated. Our Ecumenical Patriarchate, then as now, is continuously criticized for the ecumenical dialogue it pursues, as if it were our wish to sell Orthodoxy. Nothing is more unfounded. And yet today is no longer the epoch of egoistic withdrawal into self, autarchy and self-sufficiency.

“Only through dialogue that it is possible to attain agreement, rapprochement and reconciliation” among Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew added.

The Ecumenical Patriarch holds a primacy of honor, though not of jurisdiction, among the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has 3.5 million members, while the largest Orthodox church (the Russian Orthodox) has 110 million members.

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  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Jul. 13, 2012 9:20 PM ET USA

    While we can't make light of the ongoing issues, I find myself very sympathetic to Pope John Paul the Great's comment: "All that is lacking for full communion is full communion."

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 13, 2012 5:25 PM ET USA

    I very much admire Patriarch Bartholemew, a courageous, learned and far-seeing man. I have to admire those who elected him, as well.

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