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Bartolomeo I

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Born Demetrios Archondonis in 1940 on the island of Imvros (today, Gökçeada, Turkey), His All-Holiness Bartholomew was elected in October 1991 as the 270th Archbishop of the 2000-year-old Church founded by St. Andrew, serving as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.

The personal experience and theological formation of the Ecumenical Patriarch provide him with a unique perspective on ecumenical relations and environmental issues. His All-Holiness has worked tirelessly for reconciliation among Christian Churches and acquired an international reputation for raising ecological awareness on a global level. He has worked to advance reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, as well as other Christian confessions, through theological dialogues and personal encounters with respective leaders in order to address issues of common concern. Closely involved with the World Council of Churches, he has served on its Executive and Central Committees and Faith and Order Commission. Moreover, he has initiated numerous international meetings and conversations with Muslim and Jewish leaders in an effort to promote mutual respect and religious tolerance worldwide, but especially in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, thereby proving a pioneer in interfaith encounters throughout the world. Finally, the Ecumenical Patriarch has presided over the historic restoration of the Autocephalous Church of Albania and the Autonomous Church of Estonia, also providing spiritual and moral support to many traditional Orthodox countries emerging from decades of wide-scale religious persecution behind the Iron Curtain.

A citizen of Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received his elementary and secondary education in Imvros and Istanbul. After completing undergraduate studies at the Theological School of Halki, Istanbul, His All-Holiness pursued graduate studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute of the Gregorian University in Rome, the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey (Switzerland) and the University of Munich. His doctoral dissertation was in the field of Canon Law; he was a founding member of the Society of Canon Law of the Oriental Churches. Ordained to the Diaconate in 1961 and to the Priesthood in 1969, he served as Assistant Dean at the Theological School of Halki (1968-72) before being appointed Personal Secretary to his predecessor, the late Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios (1972-90), as well as being elected Metropolitan of Philadelphia (1973) and, later, Metropolitan of Chalcedon (1990).

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew holds numerous honorary doctorates, from prestigious academic institutions such as the universities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Ioannina (in Greece), Georgetown and Yale (in the USA), Flinders and Manila (in Australasia), London, Edinburgh, Louvain, Moscow, Bologna and Bucharest (in Europe). He speaks Greek, Turkish, Italian, German, French and English; he is also fluent in classical Greek and Latin.

The role of the Ecumenical Patriarch as the primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world and transnational figure of global significance continues to prove increasingly vital. His All-Holiness has co-sponsored international peace conferences, as well as meetings on the subjects of racism and fundamentalism, bringing together Jews, Christians and Muslims for the purpose of generating greater cooperation and mutual understanding. He has been invited to address the European Parliament, UNESCO, the World Economic Forum, as well as numerous national parliaments. He has organized eight international, inter-faith and inter-disciplinary symposia, as well as numerous seminars and summits, to address ecological problems in the rivers and seas of the world, initiatives earning him the title "Green Patriarch" and the award of several significant environmental awards.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's tenure has been characterized by inter-Orthodox cooperation, inter-Christian and inter-religious dialogue, as well as by formal trips to Orthodox and Muslim countries seldom previously visited. He has exchanged numerous invitations with Church and State dignitaries. His efforts to promote religious freedom and human rights, his initiatives to advance religious tolerance among the world's religions, together with his work toward international peace and environmental protection have justly placed him at the forefront of global visionaries, peacemakers and bridge-builders as an apostle of love, peace and reconciliation. In 1997, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the United States Congress.

[September 2016]

Assisi 2016 - Thirst for Peace


Tirana 2015 - Peace is Always Possible




September 13 2016

30 years of dialogue in a 30 seconds videoclip. Watch! #peaceispossible #Assisi2016

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September 8 2016

Mercy, the Heart of Peace: Prayer and dialogue for peace in the Spirit of Assisi

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | ID | HU
September 30 2015

VIDEO: Refugee crisis, one of the main topics at Sant'Egidio's international meeting "Peace is Alway Possible"

September 22 2015

In the Great Lakes region, wounded by so much violence, Sant'Egidio speaks of peace in the Spirit of Assisi #peaceispossible

A meeting between the religions in Bukavu in communion with Tirana
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September 21 2015

Peace is possible also in Nakuru, Kenya

More than 2000 youth gathered for a Prayer in the Spirit of Assisi run by the Community of Sant'Egidio
September 15 2015

The religious leaders of Benin united against violence affirm their commitment to peace in communion with Tirana

They claim that "Peace is always possible"
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all related news

October 24 2016 | ROME, ITALY

HUMANITARIAN CORRIDORS, our answer to the war in Syria

the words by Andrea Riccardi at the press conference in the airport, welcoming the refugees that arrived this morning. WATCH PHOTO AND VIDEO
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October 20 2016

One month after Assisi 2016, many meetings to answer to the "Thirst for Peace" of the world

Among the latest: Kenya, Uganda etc...
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October 19 2016

Out of war, beyond the sea: the way of hope. WATCH!

In the next few days other refugees from Syria will arrive to Italy through the humanitarian corridors. Here is a video with voices and stories of those who have fled from war and arrived to Italy with this project.
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September 30 2016
Vida Nueva
Marco Impagliazzo: “Los líderes musulmanes deben denunciar con más valentía el terrorismo”
September 21 2016
La Vanguardia
El papa Francisco pide que ante la guerra no haya "división entre las religiones"
September 19 2016
Vida Nueva
Líderes religiosos de todo el mundo conmemoran el 30º aniversario del ‘Espíritu de Asís’
September 19 2016
Francesc se suma al compromís de les religions per la pau a Assís
September 19 2016
Alto Adige
ad Assisi l'Onu delle Religioni per la Pace
all press-related