ΕΣΕΙΣ - January 4-17, 1997


 Community News


Patriarch Bartholomew to Visit USA in October

His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I will make his first pastoral visit to the United States since his installation as the 270th Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople, Turkey, five years ago. Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Western Hemisphere, has announced that His All Holiness will be in the United States from October 20th to November 9th, 1997. The Patriarch's tour will include Washington DC, New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities.

His All Holiness Bartholomew I Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome.

His All Holiness Bartholomew is the Ecumenical Patriarch and spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians. He is considered as first among equals of the Orthodox Churches in the world. These include the four ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, and the Greek, Albanian, Byelorussian, Bulgarian, Carpatho-Russian, Cypriot, Czechoslovakian, Finnish, Georgian, Polish, Romanian, Sinai, Serbian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, making up the second largest Christian body in the world.

"Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew," said Archbishop Spyridon, "will bring the message of Orthodoxy -- which is one of Christian mission, Church unity and peace -- to the citizens of the United States".

In the five years since becoming Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew has helped the Church to expand on many fronts. Through dialogue and visitations he has greatly advanced Orthodox relations with the Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists and others. His All Holiness has taken a highly active role in post-communist Eastern Europe by strengthening contacts and relations with the various Orthodox national churches and through direct visits to several Orthodox nations including Russia. He has taken the lead among all religious leaders in his concern for the environment. His All Holiness has initiated seminars and dialogues to discuss the the need for the mobilization of moral and spiritual forces to achieve harmony between humanity and nature.

The Patriarch has traveled extensively and just completed a historic month-long visit to Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand where he was welcomed by huge throngs of Orthodox faithful.

The Ecumenical Patriarch holds the position of spiritual primacy within the Orthodox Church, unlike the Pope who has a position of jurisdiction primacy in the Roman Catholic Church. The Orthodox Church is comprised of self-governing Churches each administratively independent of the other but united by common faith. Their underlying unity is based on the identity of doctrine, sacramental life, worship, church order and spirituality, which distinguishes Orthodox Christianity.

[ ΕΣΕΙΣ - Issue 204 - January 4-17, 1997 - p. 58 ]