The Archbishop of Canterbury affirmed his commitment to the reconciliation of Eastern and Western churches during a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Monday 13 January 2014.
The Most Rev Justin Welby was meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew during a two-day visit to Istanbul.
During their meeting Archbishop Welby said that Patriarch Bartholomew had been “an example of peace and reconciliation, politically, with the natural world, and in your historic visit to the installation of His Holiness Pope Francis I.
“Such reconciliation [is] very dear to my heart and is one of my key priorities. It is the call of Christ that all may be one so that the world may see. I will therefore be taking back with me the warmth of your hospitality and also, after our discussions today and tomorrow, a renewed and refreshed focus for greater unity and closer fellowship. We want to carry the cross of our divisions, but be filled with the hope and joy that comes from the grace and the love of Jesus.”
Archbishop Welby travelled to Istanbul on Monday at the invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who, as Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church.
His visit included an official reception in the Chamber of the Throne, a discussion with the Synodical Committee for Inter-Christian Affairs, and a visit to the Holy Theological School of Halki.
Archbishop Welby told Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew it would be a privilege to welcome him to London in 2015.