Bishop kills summit of religions

In a further indication of how frigid relations between the Orthodox Church of Greece and the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate have become, a Greek bishop yesterday said he had successfully sabotaged a religious summit planned by the Patriarchate in Thessaloniki. Panteleimon, bishop of Thessaloniki, said he was «in the happy position to announce» that, as a result of his intervention, a meeting of the leaders of the three monotheistic faiths, organized by Patriarch Vartholomaios, «has been definitely canceled.» He did not say why he had sabotaged the Thessaloniki meeting of Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders, which was to have taken place on June 29. The summit, one of Vartholomaios’s initiatives intended to improve relations between religions, was to have discussed ways of defusing religious and national tensions and contributing to world peace. The first such meeting was held in Brussels in December 2001. The patriarch is regarded as a traitor by some Orthodox zealots due to his attempts to mend fences with the Roman Catholics.