LWF President Mark Hanson Praises 'Inspiring Leadership' of Ecumenical Patriarch
- LWF President Mark Hanson Praises 'Inspiring Leadership' of Ecumenical
"Lutherans and Orthodox Have Much That Bind Us Together"
ISTANBUL, Turkey/GENEVA, 3 February 2004 (LWI) - President of the Lutheran
World Federation (LWF) Bishop Mark S. Hanson, has expressed his admiration
for the inspiring leadership of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I .
Your intense concern for all of Gods Creation -- combined with spiritual
renewal provides inspiring leadership for the care of creation, said
Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA) at a meeting with His All Holiness Bartholomew I, January 28.
Hanson led an ELCA delegation paying an official visit to the Ecumenical
Patriarchate of Constantinople. LWF General Secretary, Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko,
accompanied by Co-President of the Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission,
Archbishop Dr Georg Kretschmar (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and
Other States), and Director of the LWF Office for Communication Services, Ms
Karin Achtelstetter, joined the LWF president and ELCA delegation during
For security reasons the visit of the LWF president and ELCA delegation was
not announced in advance.
Your challenge that an ever-growing materialism and global economy may be
occurring at the expense of the environment is prophetic, Hanson said in
his message to the Ecumenical Patriarch. The LWF president also underlined
the patriarchs commitment to peace and reconciliation as well as for
justice and truth in church and society.
As ELCA presiding bishop, he had come to appreciate that Lutherans and
Orthodox have much that bind us together, Hanson said. In the United
States of America, we have had a positive history of ecumenical dialogue and
of common witness on behalf of justice and peace for all.
His All Holiness Bartholomew I informed the LWF and ELCA delegation about
his recent visit to Cuba, where he consecrated the countrys first Orthodox
church. The Ecumenical Patriarch also spoke about his meeting with Cuban
leader Fidel Castro and the latters offer to build an Orthodox theological
school in Cuba to ensure the training of Orthodox clergy for Latin America
During their stay, January 26-31, the LWF president and ELCA delegation also
met with the Armenian Patriarch, His Beatitude Mesrop II as well as with
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