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Primate hails Patriarch as a ‘model of peace’

17 January 2014


Together: Archbishop Welby and Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul

Together: Archbishop Welby and Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of his desire that the Eastern and Western Churches be reconciled, during his first visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, in Istanbul. Archbishop Welby told Patriarch Bartholomew on Monday that reconciliation was "very dear to my heart and one of my key priorities".

During the two-day visit, Patriarch Bartholomew told the Archbishop that he was confident that Anglican-Orthodox dialogue would "continue to flourish and to make positive progress".

Among the subjects that they discussed were the importance ofcontinuing theological dialogue, raising awareness of environmental issues, and a commitment to cooperate in being a witness to an increasingly secular world.

In his response to the Patriarch's welcome, Archbishop Welby spoke of how he prayed daily for the Orthodox bishops in Syria. He went on to say that, although religion was being used as a pretext for violence across the world, the real reason was the "greed and pride of human beings". He described the Patriarch as a model of "peace and reconciliation", particularly in his "historic visit for the installation of His Holiness Pope Francis".

Patriarch Bartholomew also said: "As Anglicans and Orthodox, we share in particular a joint concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East, who are confronting increasing problems and, in many places, are undergoing a veritable persecution."

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