Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Top Orth.Patriarch to Visit US, Meet Pres.Biden; Bartholomew Leads over 200M Orth.Christians

 The spiritual leader of the world's 200 million Eastern Orthodox Christians brings an agenda spanning religious, political and environmental issues to a 12-day U.S. visit beginning this week that includes a meeting with President Joe Biden and various ceremonial and interfaith gatherings, the Religious News website reports today (October 26, 2021).

Bartholomew's title, Patriarch of Constantinople, reflects the ancient imperial name of the city now known as Istanbul in the predominantly-Islam  country of Turkey where Orthodox Christians are mostly ethnically Greek, and are a small minority.

Bartholomew will receive an honorary degree from the University  of Notre Dame on October 28 in an event highlighting efforts to improve Orthodox-Catholic ties, centuries after the two churches broke apart in 1054 amid disputes over theology and papal claims of supremacy. 

The Patriarch of Constantinople is considered the first among equals in the Eastern Orthodox hierarchy, which gives him a role of leadership, but not as much power as the Catholic pope.

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