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Ecumenical Patriarch points to areas of agreement with Pope

December 02, 2016

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, emphasized the many areas of agreement between Pope Francis and himself in response to the social concerns of the day.

The Ecumenical Patriarch addressed his remarks to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who was in Istanbul for the Feast of St. Andrew.

“It is the conviction of His Holiness Pope Francis and ourselves that the problem of reconciliation and peace, of justice and solidarity, cannot be resolved – while the deepest existential quests of humanity cannot be satisfied – without the contribution of faith in the living God,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said on November 30.

He continued:

With His Holiness Pope Francis of Rome, we share the same concerns, the same goals, and the same attitudes with regard to responding to the modern social and humanitarian crisis. Both of us underline the social content of freedom, love and solidarity; we both emphasize relationships and not isolation, being and not having, as well as fellowship and not greed. We resist any idealization of individualism and consumerism. We strive for a fairer world, for respect of human rights, and especially for the right of religious freedom.

The problems of refugees disturb us … Our recent encounter with Pope Francis in Assisi and our joint prayer for peace further solidified our shared conviction that our Churches must intensify their efforts against fanaticism, injustice and violence, but also toward the establishment of a culture of solidarity. We are capable of surviving without destroying the environment.

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