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Επίσκεψη Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου στην Πολωνία

Επίσκεψη στην Πολωνία πραγματοποιεί από εχθές και μέχρι την Παρασκευή 20 Αυγούστου, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, προσκεκλημένος της Πολωνικής Ορθόδοξης Αυτοκέφαλης Εκκλησίας.
Την πρώτη ημέρα της επίσκεψής του, πραγματοποιήθηκε πανηγυρική δοξολογία στον καθεδρικό ναό της Αγίας Μαρίας της Μαγδαληνής στη Βαρσοβία, παρουσία του Έλληνα Πρέσβη στην Πολωνία κ. Γαβριήλ Κοπτσίδη.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Maria Magdalene church

Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης σε σύντομο χαιρετισμό του ευχαρίστησε τον Μητροπολίτη Βαρσοβίας και πάσης Πολωνίας Σάββα, για την «αδελφική» -όπως την χαρακτήρισε φιλοξενία του.
Σήμερα ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος θα συναντηθεί με τον Πρόεδρο της πολωνικής Βουλής, Grzegorz Schetyna, ενώ στο πρόγραμμα περιλαμβάνεται και επίσκεψη στο όρος Γκραμπάρκα, όπου θα συμμετάσχει στις εκδηλώσεις για τους εορτασμούς της Μεταμορφώσεως. Το όρος Γκραμπάρκα θεωρείται ο κατεξοχήν τόπος λατρείας και προσκυνήματος των ορθοδόξων της Πολωνίας.
Την Παρασκευή ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης θα επισκεφθεί το Λούμπλιν, όπου σε τελετή στο Καθολικό Πανεπιστήμιο της πόλης – Πανεπιστήμιο που στο παρελθόν δίδαξε θεολογία ο Πάπας Ιωάννης Παύλος ο Β’- θα ανακηρυχθεί επίτιμος διδάκτορας.
Όπως σημειώνει ο πολωνικός Τύπος, ο τίτλος του επίτιμου διδάκτορα απονέμεται σε «έναν εξαιρετικά ενεργό θρησκευτικό ηγέτη, εκπρόσωπο της ειρήνης και της συμφιλίωσης, της θρησκευτικής ελευθερίας, της αξιοπρέπειας και των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, καθώς και της φροντίδας για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος».

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The Patriarch on “60 minutes”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was featured on the CBS news programme “60 Minutes,” on December 20. Patriarch Bartholomew was invited to give his account on the history of the Christian Orthodox Church, and its development in modern times.

The Patriarch spoke of the restrictions posed by the Turkish authorities to himself and the functions of the Patriarchate, and objected to being – himself and the Greek minority – “treated as second class Turkish citizens.”

Commenting on the Patriarch’s statements, Turkey’s Foreign Minister labelled the comments as “extremely unfortunate.”
Following the remark, the Greek Foreign Ministry issued an announcement according to which “the Patriarch is the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians who constitute the second largest Christian Church in the world.
It is a leader recognised for his wisdom and modesty, but also for his steadfast support over Turkey’s accession to the European Union. Whenever the disappointment of a leader of such calibre is illustrated with such clarity it is everyone’s duty, let alone of those responsible for the Patriarchate and the Greek minority in Turkey, to take heed.”

Greek Prime Minister’s First Trip Abroad

» In Istanbul

On his first trip abroad to attend the informal meeting of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Istanbul, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, held talks, on October 9, with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglou and discussed all issues concerning Greek-Turkish relations. Papandreou pointed out to Erdogan that, “we have proved that we want good relations with Turkey and we support its European course,” adding however, that “Turkey must also take the steps that Europe requires so that its accession course can move forward.” Earlier, in a message to the Turkish people, Papandreou had stressed that they “know that I am always honest with them. Honest and open in the positive prospects we have in cooperating, but also honest in talking about the real problems we still have between our two countries.” Regarding Cyprus, the prime minister said that a solution should be found -a just, European solution for a unified Cyprus, free of dependencies on its motherlands, free of occupation troops, divisions and walls that have no place in the European Union.

Regarding bilateral relations, the PM said that the two countries must respect borders and territorial integrity and this would be the basis of a durable and strong good neighbourly relationship. Papandreou made these statements during his meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who, according to the premier with his wisdom and action has promoted Orthodoxy worldwide, championing objectives such as protection of the environment and ecology.

» OSCE CiO Welcomes Turkey-Armenia Accords

The Chairman-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Greece’s premier and foreign minister George Papandreou welcomed the signing of an agreement between Armenia and Turkey for the normalisation of their relations, which was signed on October 10, following months of Swiss-mediated talks.

» SEECP Meeting: A roadmap for Accession

Addressing the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Istanbul, Prime Minister and FM George Papandreou stressed that the Southeastern Europe and the Balkans can contribute to a new dynamic in Europe.

“A new dynamic in enlarging the European Union […] and creating a socially just Europe […] with a greater role in the world.” Papandreou said that a revised version of the so-called Thessaloniki Agenda – the basis of the Greek Presidency in the EU in 2003 – and a roadmap for accession of the rest of the Western Balkans with a specific date can contribute to this process.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: PM and FM Papandreou’s speech at the informal meeting of FMs

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Lodges Demarche

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced on Monday that he had lodged a demarche with the Iranian government for the release of Greek journalist Iason Athanasiadis. The Patriarchate’s relations with Islamic countries are considered to be good, especially with Iran, which Bartholomew visited in 2002. Google News: News items Athanasiadis’ arrest
Athanasiadis

Theological School of Halki

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Turkish Dailies Hürriyet (April 18) and Today’s Zaman (April 27) report on the Theological School of Halki (Istanbul, Turkey), Ecumenical Patriarchate’s theology and primary seminary, closed by the Turkish authorities in 1971.  Since 1971, there have been attempts to reopen the Halki Theological Seminary. The debate over the potential opening up of the Seminary is, while not these days at the top of the public agenda, a topic which will clearly come up often in the near future.   In fact, it most recently came up during the visit to Turkey by US President Barack Obama (April 7).

1020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Celebrating the 1,020th anniversary of the conversion of Russia to Christianity, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia officiated at a joint service in Kiev yesterday. Present at the ceremony were Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios and Kiev Metropolitan Vladimir. The two Patriarchs assisted a meeting marking the beginning of a new era in the relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow with the Mother Church, resolving past tensions. After the meeting, Smolensk Metropolitan Kyrill stated that it was “sincere and with God’s help all problems will be handled,” while Patriarch Alexy underlined that “dialogue is the base to handle all issues.” The Moscow Patriarch will participate in a synod of Orthodox Patriarchs organised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Fanar, Istanbul, next October.