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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Meets With Secretary of State Colin Powell at State Department

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Mar 5, 2002

New York, NY – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, met today with Secretary of State Colin Powell at 11:00 a.m. at the State Department. His All Holiness arrived in the United States yesterday to begin a 6-day visit to Washington, DC, Boston and New York City.

Since the September 11 tragedy, His All Holiness has played a leadership role in attempting to curb conflicts in the name of religion. In December, the Ecumenical Patriarch chaired an interfaith meeting on “The Peace of God in the World”, held in Brussels with more than 80 religious leaders representing Christianity, Judaism and Islam, organized by His All Holiness under the auspices of the European Commission and its President Romano Prodi. On January 12th in Teheran he gave a lecture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on “The Contribution of Religion to the Establishment of Peace in the Contemporary World.

Accompanying His All Holiness were: His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America; Archbishop Leo of Karelia and All Finland, Archbishop Gennadios of Italy: Metropolitan Apostolos of Moschonision; members of the Patriarchal Hierarchy; Michael Jaharis, vice-chairman of the Archdiocesan Council; Andrews Athens, President of SAE and Alex Spanos.

Immediately following the meeting with Secretary Powell, His All Holiness held a press conference in front of the State Department. The Ecumenical Patriarch characterized the meeting with Secretary Powell as cordial and forthcoming. The Secretary, he said, recognized the work of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in ecumenical relations prior to September 11th, and further expressed his appreciation to the Ecumenical Patriarch for his leadership role, following the tragedy, in encouraging dialog and increased tolerance among Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

They also discussed the reopening of The Theological School of Halki and the Secretary endorsed the reopening of the renowned School of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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