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Orthodox patriarch raps 'fanatical' opponents of ecumenism

February 22, 2010

Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has issued an encyclical letter defending ecumenism against the complaints of "unacceptably fanatical" Orthodox opponents. "The Orthodox Church does not fear dialogue because truth is not afraid of dialogue," the Ecumenical Patriarch wrote. He reminded the Orthodox faithful that the quest for Christian unity is a command from Jesus Christ.

The Orthodox Patriarch said that some critics of ecumenism have stirred up opposition with false reports about an imminent takeover by Rome, in which "the Pope will supposedly subjugate the Orthodox." He ensured his readers that any future plan for union would be subject to the approval of Orthodox synods. In any case, the Patriarch said, despite promising developments in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, the differences "remain numerous and require lengthy debate."


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