Patriarch opens center amid thaw in ties

Patriarch opens center amid thaw in ties

Ushering in a new era in the relationship between Athens and the Phanar, Greek Archbishop Ieronymos and visiting Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios together attended the inauguration of a gerontology center in the town of Dilesi in Viotia, central Greece, on Thursday. Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos was also at the event. 

Vartholomaios stressed the social importance and necessity of the 65-bed center, noting that 20 percent of the Greek population is over the age of 65. 

The visit by Vartholomaios has been touted as yet another example of the recent thaw in relations between the two religious leaders after a chilly spell. 

However, while Ieronymos is on the same page as Vartholomaios with regard to the contentious decision by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant independence to the Church of Ukraine from Moscow, several bishops in Greece – who are considered the “opposition” to Ieronymos within the Church – have reportedly raised their objections.

Moreover, a number of sources reckon that the delay by two committees of the Holy Synod in providing their final recommendations on the issue is linked to these objections.

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