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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Meets with Cardinals Keeler and McCarrick and Apostolic Nuncio

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Mar 8, 2002

New York, NY – Warmth and cordiality marked a meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, and

William Cardinal Keeler, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore; Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, DC; Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio and Directors of Offices of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on Wednesday morning in Washington, DC. His All Holiness was in Washington, DC beginning a six-day visit to Washington, DC, Boston and New York City.

Joining His All Holiness were Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Leo of Karelia and All Finland, Archbishop Gennadios of Italy and Metropolitan Apostolos of Moschonision, members of the Patriarchal Hierarchy.

In his welcome, His All Holiness, referencing the ongoing dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, said, “We meet with you today with great willingness and joy and we thank you for this opportunity to communicate with you spiritually. Your invitation demonstrates your sincere desire for the cultivation and development of inter-Christian dialogue. In our present day when so much effort is expended on inter-religious dialogues and the creation of a spirit of mutual understanding of one another and the peaceful co-existence among nations of religious persuasions that have little in common with Christianity, we, as Christians are charged by God himself to restore our unity, so that the world will believe in the divine mission of the Church of Christ. (John 17,2)”

Cardinal Keeler, a longtime friend of His All Holiness who had hosted the Ecumenical Patriarch in Baltimore during his visit to the United States in 1997, responded warmly to the Ecumenical Patriarch’s remarks. The ensuing hour-long discussion centered on issues of concern to all, including the role that religious leaders must play for healing and reconciliation in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy.

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