Biden, orthodox patriarch discuss climate, religious freedom

President Joe Biden and the religious leader of Japanese Orthodox Christians talked about strategies to combat weather transform and to end the coronavirus pandemic as properly as the importance of religious flexibility in the course of an Oval Workplace session Monday.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, 81, achieved separately with Biden and Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken not prolonged following remaining hospitalized overnight for sensation unwell at the outset of his 12-working day pay a visit to to the United States.

Though Bartholomew’s pay a visit to was expected to draw focus to the plight of the compact Orthodox Christian minority in his homeland of Turkey, he took a diplomatic tone at an before breakfast meeting hosted by Turkish Ambassador Hasan Murat Mercan, in accordance to remarks unveiled by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Bartholomew reported his mission as patriarch “is purely spiritual, and demonstrates how Turkey can be — not only an inclusive culture, but a bridge-builder concerning East and West.” He named the ambassador’s welcome an instance of mutual “dialogue and regard.”

The remarks did not refer to ongoing sore points this kind of as the Turkish government’s closure of an Orthodox seminary on the Turkish island of Halki 50 decades in the past.

Blinken, having said that, “reaffirmed that the reopening of the Halki Seminary stays a continued priority” in accordance to Point out Department spokesperson Ned Selling price.

“They talked about the U.S. commitment to supporting spiritual freedom about the earth and prospects to do the job with the Orthodox Christian local community around the world on challenges of shared worry, as nicely as with spiritual minorities in Turkey and the area,” Cost claimed.

The White House claimed the assembly concerning Bartholomew and Biden “underscored the significant role that religion communities engage in in confronting the array of worldwide troubles we all experience.”

Bartholomew stated at the White Dwelling that he was abundantly content with his visit, praising Biden as a “man of faith, and male of eyesight.”

“We are not able to allow for any brief sighted political agendas to interfere with our interactions, that are by, and in, Christ Jesus, the Lord and Savior of the planet.” he said.

Blinken also praised the “remarkable leadership” Bartholomew, from time to time recognised as the “green patriarch,” has revealed in contacting for alternatives to the local weather crisis.

Bartholomew also explained Monday he’d join with Pope Francis and the leaders of other big religions all around the globe to get in touch with on the global local community to facilitate COVID-19 vaccinations for the environment, particularly for lousy nations.

Bartholomew was produced from a Washington hospital Monday early morning right after an overnight remain. He was brought to George Washington College Medical center on Sunday evening following he felt “unwell” owing to the prolonged flight on Saturday and the active agenda of events, in accordance to the Greek Orthodox archdiocese.

Bartholomew is the patriarch of Constantinople, based mostly in Turkey. He is considered very first among equals between Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, which gives him prominence but not the electrical power of a Catholic pope. He does oversee Greek Orthodox and some other jurisdictions, despite the fact that huge portions of the Eastern Orthodox planet are self-governing underneath their own patriarchs.


Related Press author Alexandra Jaffe contributed to this report.


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