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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Meet with Pope Francis in Jerusalem May 24-26, 2014

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Feb 20, 2014

NEW YORK – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of over 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, will meet with Pope Francis May 24-26, 2014 in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The immediate purpose of the meeting is to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the meeting of their predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I. That meeting, in 1964, was the first time an Ecumenical Patriarch and a Pope of Rome had met in over five hundred years. This historic encounter led to the Lifting of the Anathemas (December 7, 1965) that occurred between the two Churches over one thousand years before, in the year 1054.

The impetus for the meeting in May originated during the installation of the new Pontiff in March of 2013.  In a manifestation of Christian love and mutual respect, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew personally attended the enthronement of Pope Francis. This was the first documented time in history that a Primate of Constantinople attended the installation of the Primate of Rome. During these ceremonial days, the agreement to commemorate this remarkable anniversary was born in their joint private meeting.

Archbishop Demetrios of America, who will accompany the Ecumenical Patriarch as member of the official delegation, remarked on the announcement that was issued from the See of Constantinople yesterday:

“We very much look forward to witnessing this fraternal meeting in the sacred City of Jerusalem, where fifty years ago another similar meeting marked the beginning of positive relations between Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians after a long period of silence. As the Apostolic Successor to the See of the First-Called Disciple Saint Andrew, the brother of Peter, as well as the Archbishop of New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew recognizes the weighty responsibility of leading with the help of God the efforts for improving and enhancing the relationship with the Elder Rome.”

His All Holiness Bartholomew is the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarch. He is the 269th successor of the 2,000-year old local Christian Church founded by St. Andrew. The Ecumenical Patriarch is a living witness to the world of Orthodoxy's painful and redemptive struggle for religious freedom and to the innate dignity of humankind. As a citizen of Turkey, His All Holiness's personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue among the Christian, Islamic and Jewish worlds. He is known throughout the world as the “Green Patriarch” for his groundbreaking environmental initiatives and ecological theology. For his inspiring efforts on behalf of religious freedom and human rights, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was heralded as a Bridge Builder and Peacemaker and awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the U.S. Congress in 1997.

Additional information about the visit of may be found online at: http://www.patriarchate.org

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