Thursday, June 13, 2024

Popular News

HomeNewsEuropePatriarch Bartholomew: Preparations underway for 1700th anniversary of Nicaea

Patriarch Bartholomew: Preparations underway for 1700th anniversary of Nicaea

Bartholomew I of Constantinople speaks to Vatican News about ecological conversion. He also discusses the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and the ecumenical preparations for the upcoming 1700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea.

By Joseph Tulloch – Lisbon

Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Archbishop of Constantinople and the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians, is in Lisbon this week for a conference on interreligious dialogue.  

On Wednesday morning, he delivered a stirring speech to the KAICIID interfaith forum on the “spiritual obligation” to fight against climate change.

The day afterwards, in conversation with Vatican News, he expanded on the subject.

Bartholomew I of Constantinople speaks to Vatican News about ecological conversion. He also discusses the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and the ecumenical preparations for the upcoming 1700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea.

By Joseph Tulloch – Lisbon

Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Archbishop of Constantinople and the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians, is in Lisbon this week for a conference on interreligious dialogue.  

On Wednesday morning, he delivered a stirring speech to the KAICIID interfaith forum on the “spiritual obligation” to fight against climate change.

The day afterwards, in conversation with Vatican News, he expanded on the subject.

Desacralisation and the climate crisis

I asked Patriarch Bartholomew about the practical steps that individuals can take to safeguard the environment.

In response, he urged us to “not live in excess or abundance, but with what we really need.”

“Learn to respect creation as a gift from God,” he continued. “How can we say we respect God when we destroy what He created?”.

The Ecumenical Patriarch added that the current environmental crisis comes from treating the world as a “desacralised object”, and that collaboration between political actors and religious communities is needed in order to combat it.

He stressed, moreover, that those most impacted by the crisis are “the marginalised, the poor – all those we tend to forget.”

Preparations for Nicaea’s 1700th anniversary

The Ecumenical Patriarch was speaking at a small meeting with local Catholic journalists, held in Lisbon’s Church of São Nicolau.

He spoke to them for about twenty minutes about the close ties between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, saying that his relations with Pope Francis are “more than brotherly.”

He noted that the Pope wants the pair to celebrate the 1700-year anniversary of the Council of Nicaea together, and revealed that a joint Catholic-Orthodox commission will be meeting in Istanbul in the coming days to agree on dates and other details.

Ukraine and Gaza

In his discussion with journalists, Patriarch Bartholomew also addressed the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, calling for an immediate ceasefire in both conflicts.

The Patriarch said that thousands of children have been abducted from Ukraine, and that this represents a “great contemporary tragedy”. The children, he said, should be “immediately” returned.

The Patriarch added that he was “deeply saddened” by the news that there is now a famine in Gaza.

He said that Turkey’s President Erdogan had written a letter to Pope Francis in which he described the situation in Gaza in “dramatic” terms. 

“We pray,” Patriarch Bartholomew concluded, “for a peaceful and just solution on the basis of international law.”

Popular News

Caritas Europa reiterates appeal for Gaza ceasefire

Eight months into the war in Gaza, Caritas Europa issues a statement in which...

Estonia: Catholic cententary a chance to celebrate triumph of martyrs

As the Apostolic Administration of Estonia prepares to celebrate its centenary this year, Bishop...

Rebuilding communities through sports in war-torn Ukraine

Vatican News speaks with Larissa Yatsiuk, about the work carried out in the social...

Roberto Benigni at World Children’s Day: ‘Open your eyes and dream’

Speaking after Mass in St Peter’s Square for World Children’s Day, the Italian comic...