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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain

“No religion is allowed to use the name of God to justify injustice. We must eliminate all fanaticism that, in the name of God, does not respect the individuality of each person”, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew affirmed, during an ecumenical prayer service at the Cathedral of Almudena in Madrid, on Sunday afternoon, 15 October 2023.

The Ecumenical Patriarch, who is currently conducting an official visit to Madrid, was welcomed with warm words by the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal José Cobo, in the presence of other clergy of the Roman Catholic Church.

In his speech, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also underlined that “there cannot be peace without mutual respect and recognition, there cannot be peace without fruitful cooperation between all the peoples of the world”.

That which Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed, as commented by Spanish media services, was not a trivial reflection, with his attention directed to the Ukrainian community, considering his strong condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine during these almost two years of war, with the subsequent distancing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

Referring to the “path of unity”, he introduced a proposal: “To deal with all the problems that unite us or divide us, approaching formal theological dialogue” in order to achieve “full reconciliation and full mutual understanding”. He acknowledged that “the road to the common cup is still plagued by unforeseen events, falls, sometimes even coldness and fatigue, but it is a road of no return.”

“Dialogue is absolutely necessary for our mutual knowledge, because dialogue does not take away anything from the identity of each, but enriches it with the experience of the other,” said the Patriarch.

Also, the Ecumenical Patriarch, unwaveringly supporting ecology, said: “We are firmly committed, especially with the beloved brother of Rome, Pope Francis, to the protection of the natural environment and all that God’s creation contains. It is not about some kind of pantheism, but about a proper relationship between Man, the Guardian of Creation, with Creation itself and with its Creator.”

The Cardinal of Madrid praised the “ecotheology” of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, which illuminated Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’.