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Ecumenical Patriarch pays tribute to Pope Benedict’s theology

Catholic World News - May 06, 2014

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, has paid tribute to Pope Benedict XVI’s work as a theologian.

Speaking at the opening of a conference on Benedict XVI and Orthodoxy, the Ecumenical Patriarch said that “Pope Benedict was an admirer and student of patristic theology and spirituality. He did not regard the Church Fathers as monuments of the past, but as an essential dimension of life and of the Church’s identity.”

“The entire journey of Pope Benedict is characterized by stability and unwavering devotion to the fundamental ecclesiological principles and by complete dedication to the Church,” he continued. “We share common challenges with Pope Benedict; and our opinions coincide on many contemporary problems.”

“The message that emerges from the impressive ecclesiastical and theological work of Pope Benedict is the creative coexistence of the offering of the Church and the study of theology,” the Ecumenical Patriarch added. “We especially greet the fact that, among the scholars of Pope Benedict’s theology, there are also Orthodox academics, something that we are certain also delights the Pope himself.”

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