Archbishop assures patriarch of support

Archbiship Christodoulos yesterday told visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios that the Church of Greece fully backed his efforts to gain the recognition of Turkish authorities for the Istanbul-based Patriarchate. «When efforts are made that threaten the ecumenical nature of the Patriarchate or its existence then this is a personal issue, for us and for Hellenism as a whole,» the archbishop told Vartholomaios during talks in Athens. Vartholomaios stressed that the Patriarchate was interested in peace and unity. «We are not aspiring toward hegemony, as the Patriarchate in Moscow charges, nor to impose our views. We just want to serve the unity of the Orthodox Church all over the world,» Vartholomaios said. «As long as we believe in God, we are never alone,» added the patriarch, whom Christodoulos described as «the father of our nation.»