His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in a long interview published by the Italian newspaper Avvenire, following an interview with three European newspapers of Christian inspiration, speaks of ecumenism, of confrontation between religions, of intra-Orthodox debates.
Your All-Holiness, you have been ministering for thirty years as Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. How do you see this time, especially the ecumenical encounters you may have had with three Roman pontiffs and with the leaders of other Christian churches?
For all that he has bestowed upon me in all circumstances of my life, I give glory to God. I have never been a supporter of introverted orthodoxy. The mission of the Church is to bear witness to the gospel and to transform the world into Christ, which of course does not happen by remaining indifferent to the gospel or by rejecting it. As a patriarch, I fought for the stability and unity of orthodoxy, for intercultural, interreligious and inter-Christian dialogue, and I took many initiatives for the protection of the natural environment, for peace. and solidarity, for the respect of human rights, the first of which is freedom of religion, always drawing from the inexhaustible source of the Orthodox tradition. And the issue of promoting Christian unity is something that I have always considered central throughout my life.Continue reading