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Pope receives Greek FM Bakoyannis

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.ana.gr/anaweb/user/showplain?maindoc=5492880&maindocimg=5492306&service=102 Pope receives Greek FM Bakoyannis VATICAN (ANA-MPA L. Hatzikyriakos)
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2007
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      Pope receives Greek FM Bakoyannis

      VATICAN (ANA-MPA L. Hatzikyriakos) Greek Foreign Minister Dora
      Bakoyannis was given a private audience at the Vatican by Pope
      Benedict XVI on Wednesday. During the 15-minute meeting, they
      discussed issues concerning the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in
      Istanbul, Turkey's prospects of joining the European Union and the
      situation in the surrounding region.

      "Today's meeting with Pope Benedict XVI was for us particularly
      important because it gave us an opportunity to have a detailed
      discussion on issues concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the need
      for international support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate at a time
      that is particularly difficult, in the wake of the Turkish court's
      decision," she said after meeting the Pope.

      The minister was referring to a recent decision by a Turkish
      court that disputed the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanar
      to call itself as "Ecumenical" - a title that has followed it down
      several centuries - and asserted that it actually represented only a
      tiny community of Greek Orthodox Christians that still remain in Turkey.

      The Greek minister stressed that this was a time when "we must
      unite our voices and explain to all that decisions of this sort have
      absolutely no place in the modern world".

      She underlined that the ecumenical nature of the Patriarchate in
      Fanar was not disputed by its history nor by those of the Orthodox
      faith, who recognised the foremost primate of the Orthodox Church as
      the Ecumenical Patriarch.

      "The message of Pope Benedict was exceedingly clear and I
      believe that the Vatican will continue to carry it everywhere with
      the same intensity," Bakoyannis added, noting that the Pope had also
      expressed his best wishes for the speedy recovery of Archbishop
      Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church.

      "He was fully informed about the state of the Archbishop's
      health and, as you remember, he had also sent a telegram and one of
      his representatives to Athens," she said. Christodoulos has been in
      hospital for the past weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a
      tumour from his intestine.

      Bakoyannis then had a longer meeting with the Vatican's foreign
      minister, the Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop
      Dominique Mamberti.

      She said that her talks with Mamberti had covered Greece's
      dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over
      that republic's adopted name of 'Macedonia', following the
      Archbishop's recent visit to Skopje, and other issues concerning the area.
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