His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will deliver a keynote speech on "What are our Ecumenical tasks in future Europe?"
His All Holiness is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Since ascending the Ecumenical Throne on November 2nd, 1991, he has tirelessly pursued the vision of his enthronement message spiritual revival, Orthodox unity, Christian reconciliation, interfaith tolerance and coexistence, protection of the environment and a world united in peace, justice, solidarity and love.
As Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew has helped the Church to expand on many fronts. Through dialogue and visitations, he has greatly advanced Orthodox relations with the Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists and others. His All Holiness has taken a highly active role in post communist Eastern Europe by strengthening contacts and relations with various Orthodox national churches and through direct visits to several Orthodox nations, including Russia.
Known in Europe as the "Green Patriarch," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has taken the lead among all religious leaders in his concern for the environment. His All Holiness has initiated seminars and dialogues to discuss the need for the mobilization of moral and spiritual forces to achieve harmony between humanity and nature.
As the leader of the Orthodox Christian Church, His All Holiness represents the voice and concerns of a long-suffering, but fast growing faith. Orthodox Churches are gaining adherents across the globe, but particularly in the developed world, where individuals are turning to Orthodoxy in record numbers because they are finding in it the simple peace, love, and salvation they have been seeking.
As a citizen of Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue between the Christian and Islamic worlds. He has made a valuable contribution to global conflict resolution and peace building, as in the case of the former Yugoslavia. The Ecumenical Patriarch has worked persistently to advance reconciliation among Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox communities in the region and around the world.
His All Holiness is profoundly committed to expressing the religious importance of protecting and preserving the environment. He has received Prince Philip, and with him sponsored a conference on the Environment at the Theological School of Halki. He has established the first day of September as an occasion of an annual Message on the protection of creation, as well as establishing that same day as a day of prayer in the Ecumenical Patriarchate and throughout the Orthodox world.
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was born February 29,1940, in the village of Aghioi Theodoroi on the Aegean island of Imvros (Turkey), to Christos and Meropi Archontonis who christened him Demetrios.