Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a message to COP-23

The 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference is an international meeting of political leaders and activists to discuss environmental issues. It is being held in Bonn (Germany) from 6–17 November 2017. The conference incorporated the twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP-23), the thirteenth meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol (CMP13), and the second meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA2). The purpose of the conference is to discuss and implement plans about combating climate change, especially the Paris Agreement. On that occasion, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent the following message: Continue reading

General Secretary of the Muslim World League visited the WCC

His Eminence Dr Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, general secretary of the Muslim World League visited for te first time the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 9 November 2017, where he discussed with WCC leaders both the meaning and importance of “just peace.” Both institutions have a common commitment to justice and peace.

In his opening remarks, Al-Issa said: “Peace cannot be achieved without total justice, abstract justice can only lead to false peace.” He added: “Religious freedom is a human and logical necessity, a given if we understand the holy texts correctly.” Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch spoke at the World Policy Conference in Marrakech

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew took part in the tenth edition of the World Policy Conference in Marrakech (Marocco) on 3-5 November 2017. One should note that he is the only world religious leader to have been invited to speak at this important event. The World Policy Conference (WPC), launched by the Institut Français de Relations Internationales (IFRI) at the end of 2007, is the first effort at a systematic assessment of the organisation of world governance that would respond to the realities of the 21st century. It brings together top-level decision-makers, researchers and opinion leaders. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch at the Second International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East”

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Athens from 30 October to 1 November 2017 to participate in the Second International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East”, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic at a time when the situation in the Middle East remains volatile. Present were the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulos, and the Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, as well as the Patriarchs Theodoros II of Alexandria and Theophilos III of Jerusalem, the Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens, the Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk representing the Moscow Patriarchate, a high-ranking delegation from the Vatican, and prominent religious leaders from the Muslim and Jewish worlds. Continue reading

Meeting of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue

The International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Malta on 14–21 October 2017 and issued the following Communiqué:

In the name of the Triune God, and with the blessing and guidance of our Churches, the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Sliema, Republic of Malta from 14 to 21 October 2017. The Commission is deeply grateful for the comprehensive and warm hospitality offered by the Anglican Communion. As always the work of the Commission was undergirded by daily prayer and worship. The Commission attended the Sunday Parish Eucharist at the Anglican Pro-Cathedral of St Paul and a celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox Parish Church of St George in Valletta. Continue reading

Dies Academicus of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Orthodox Theology of Chambésy

The Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Orthodox Theology of Chambésy began its 22nd academic year by conferring Master degrees to height  graduates (coming from the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Churches of Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Poland) and welcoming seven new students into its unique tripartite program of theological studies on 14 October 2017 during the ceremony of Dies Academicus.

For the academic year 2017-2018, 14 students are registered in this unique program of theological studies, coming from the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Churches of Russia, Serbia, Georgia and Greece. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew — Keynote Speaker at the Arctic Circle Assembly

At the invitation of Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of Iceland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Arctic Circle Assembly, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew delivered the keynote address in Reykjavik (Iceland) on 13 October 2017 to the Arctic Circle Assembly before a gathering of 2,000 participants from governments, corporations, universities and ecological institutions.

The Ecumenical Patriarch spoke on the importance and influence of religion on raising awareness on the ecological crisis of our time, underlining that spiritual leaders, scientists and politicians cannot avoid engaging in dialogue with one another on climate change. “In order to change what we see,” His All-Holiness declared, “we have to change how we see it. We have to change how we perceive and treat the world, how we use our knowledge and skills to sustain and enhance it.” The Ecumenical Patriarch was also received for a private conversation at the Harpa conference and concert hall with the Bjarni Benediktsson, prime minister of Iceland.

The Ecumenical Patriarch is known for his ecumenical relationship-building, his advocacy for environmental concerns and his work related to peacemaking and reconciliation. He came to Iceland with a five-member delegation on the occasion of the WCC Conference on Just Peace with Earth happening in link with the Arctic Circle Assembly.

Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group met in Romania

The Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group gathered for its fourteenth annual meeting from 4 to 8 October 2017 at Caraiman Monastery (Romania), at the invitation of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The 2017 meeting was chaired by the Catholic Co-president of the Working Group, Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg. The group sincerely thanked its former Co-President Archbishop Job of Telmessos who had to withdraw from the group due to the fact that he became Co-President of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches. Continue reading

Unicef, World Council of Churches and the Churches’ Commitments to Children

On 29 of September 2017, Mrs. Antonia Antonopoulos, UNICEF Head of Civil Society Partnerships, who is a Canadian Greek Orthodox from the Holy Metropolis of Toronto, and Mrs. Frédérique Seidel, responsible for the World Council of Churches (WCC) program on Churches’ Commitments to Children visited the Permanent Representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC to present the collaboration between the UNICEF and the WCC on the Churches’s Commitments to Children.

Both were sensitive to the appeal made by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his Christmas encyclical last December “to respect the identity and sacredness of childhood” and who pointed out at the plague of child mortality, hunger and child labor, child abuse and psychological violence, as well as the dangers of altering children’s souls through their uncontrolled exposure to the influence of contemporary electronic means of communication. On that occasion, the Ecumenical Patriarchate had declare 2017 as the Year of Protection of the Sacredness of Childhood, inviting everyone to recognize and respect the rights and integrity of children. Continue reading