Ecumenical Patriarch reaffirms power of faith for social justice

 — July 1, 20131 juil. 2013

Faith can be a powerful ally in addressing issues of social justice, said Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He called faith a bearer of unique perspectives on eradicating poverty, balancing amidst globalization, combating fundamentalism, racism, and developing religious tolerance during conflicts.

Bartholomew I was interviewed for Independent Balkan News Agency on 1 July, speaking on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a founding member of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

“It is precisely the role of religion to respond to the needs of the world’s poor as well as to vulnerable and marginalized people. In fact, it is a rare instance where a faith institution is not a defining marker of the space and character of a community,” he said.

Bartholomew I explained the “supra-national and supra-regional” and global character of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, yet he noted a special place for the Balkans.

“We have always held a special place in our prayer for the people of the Balkans and reserved a special place in our heart for the innocent suffering of people and the unjustifiable death of children in recent wars of the Balkans.”

He went on to say that the “Ecumenical Patriarchate possesses a unique perspective on religious tolerance and inter-faith dialogue, working for reconciliation among Christian churches, as well as for environmental awareness and the protection of the earth’s natural resources, which are directly impacted and destroyed by war.”

Bartholomew I has been engaged with the WCC in the promotion of unity among churches and in addressing many concerns of the ecumenical movement.

Posted: July 1, 2013 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Orthodox
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