Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople speaks about the Popes forthcoming visit to Istanbul, religious freedom and there is a little about the Turkish state control (persecution) of the Orthodox Church Turkey as well as a snippet about thre Orthodox- Catholic talks in Belgrade.
"In general, the pope is awaited in Turkey with joy and love," he said. He added that he was certain the government would take all necessary security measures to guarantee the pope's safety during the visit. Patriarch Bartholomew met with reporters the day after the European Union pressed the Turkish government to take several steps to respect the rights of religious minorities. Turkey is trying to enter the European Union, and Orthodox church officials are hoping that process will help expand religious freedom in the country.
The patriarch ends by speaking of the recent theological encounter in Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, opened the way for a discussion on papal primacy, long considered one of the most difficult ecumenical issues. Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Orthodox co-chairman of the international Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue commission, told the reporters that Orthodox representatives to the dialogue have somewhat divergent views on papal primacy. Because they represent 15 Orthodox churches, he said, they do not feel they have to assume a unified position."Of course, the Roman Catholic Church is more disciplined, more organized, more obedient. We are more ...," he said, pausing to find the right word."Democratic," Patriarch Bartholomew said with a laugh, completing his sentence for him.
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