Sunday, June 16 2024

Orthodoxy Must Address Modern Challenges Says Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Bartholomew message screen

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed a screened message at the 4th Archon International Conference in Athens and emphasized the need for Orthodoxy to address modern challenges by prioritizing the sacredness of the human being and the integrity of creation.

HDN Newsroom

The conference, held from May 26-29, focuses on "Protecting Religious Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights" and is organised by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of America, Australia, Canada, and Europe.

Bartholomew's message underscored the importance of Orthodoxy as a "positive challenge" and a "God-moving prospect of life and freedom" in today's world. He highlighted the church's role in advocating for human rights, social cohesion, and peace, stating that while the Church is not politically involved in the strict sense, its mission is inherently political in defending humanity against racism, discrimination, and modern forms of slavery.

"Orthodoxy must work as a positive challenge in the modern world, placing the sacredness of the human being and the integrity of creation at the top of its priorities," Bartholomew said. He thanked the conference organisers and noted that the intersection of the Orthodox Church with human rights reveals its appropriate relationship with politics.

Bartholomew also addressed concerns that the church's involvement in human rights issues could be seen as political interference, dismissing such objections as theologically unfounded. "The church's role as a witness is fundamentally and timelessly political: it promotes the culture of solidarity, dialogue, convergence, and collaboration," he added.

The conference, held at the historic Stoa of Attalus in Athens, includes representation from Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarch. The Orthodox Times reported that this high-level international conference is part of numerous Archon initiatives aimed at defending the Ecumenical Patriarchate and protecting religious freedom globally.