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The Ecumenical Patriarch met with President Macron of France

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had an official meeting on Monday morning, 22 April 2024, with the President of the French Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, who received him with great respect and due honours at the Élysée Palace.

The talks, which lasted more than an hour, took place in a cordial atmosphere and focused on the initiatives of the Ecumenical Throne as well as on current events. In particular, President Macron showed particular interest in the developments in the Orthodox Church due to the ongoing armed conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

President Macron congratulated the Ecumenical Patriarch for his unequivocal condemnation of war and for the example he set as a leading religious figure. The Patriarch thanked the President of France for the honorary invitation and his warm words and conveyed the blessings of the Church of Constantinople for the successful organisation and conduct of the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris next summer. His All-Holiness also expressed the hope that the principle of truce, which has prevailed during the Olympic Games since ancient times, will prevail during this year’s historic event.

Present at the meeting on behalf of the French Presidency were Ms. Anastasia Colosimo, Advisor for International Communications, Mr. Bertrand Buchwalter, Advisor for Europe-Turkey Issues, Ms. Violaine Demaret, Advisor for Security Issues, and Ambassador Jean-Christophe Peaucelle, Advisor for Religious Affairs.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate was represented by His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, His Eminence Metropolitan Dimitrios of France, His Eminence Metropolitan Andreas of Saranta Ekklisies, and Archimandrite Aetios, Director of the Private Office of the Ecumenical Patriarch. After the meeting, the Patriarch and his entourage were officially photographed with the President, who escorted the Ecumenical Patriarch to his vehicle.

The Ecumenical Patriarch and his entourage then proceeded to the headquarters of the Assembly of Roman Catholic Bishops of France, where he was warmly welcomed by its President, Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims. The President of the Assembly spoke at length about the Ecumenical Patriarch’s environmental initiatives, which have also inspired Pope Francis.

The Patriarch responded appropriately, emphasising his fraternal relationship with the Pope, their common emphasis on synodality, and the opportunities that the upcoming 2025 anniversary of the 1700th anniversary of the convening of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea offers for relations between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.