Orthodoxy and the Baltic States

An important part of the ecumenical patriarch’s tour was his contact with Orthodox churches in the Baltic region. Vartholomaios received a warm welcome from local church authorities and the Orthodox flock. He conducted numerous religious services, revitalizing an age-old relationship. The only cloud was the absence of any contact with the Russian Orthodox Church, whose non-participation brought about the cancellation of the meeting in St Petersburg that had been planned. This did not go unnoticed and it was commented on in a communique from the patriarch which mentioned «the joint decision of the Russian authorities and the Russian Church not to cooperate in this endeavor with the Ecumenical Patriarchate,» and the «anti-ecological stance» of the Russian authorities.