Fanar head: Anniversary of Council of Nicaea – reason for Christians’ unity

Patriarch Bartholomew. Photo: tovima

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople commented on the earlier voiced idea to meet with "several Christian Churches" in Nicaea in 2025.

The 1700th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea is an occasion, an opportunity and a call to all Christians to take more serious steps on the ecumenical path. This point of view was expressed by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in an interview with the Italian edition “Avvenire”.

Commenting on the idea to meet with representatives of various Christian Churches in Nicaea in 2025, voiced after a meeting with the head of the RCC, Pope Francis, in Jerusalem in 2014, the head of the Phanar stressed that “this can serve as an opportunity for the Christian Churches to reflect on their path, on the errors of the past, as well as of the present, and to undertake a more determined ecumenical path, capitalizing on the lessons of more than a century of modern ecumenical experience".

“The First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea is a symbol, a station, a turning point in the history of Christianity, not only because it formulated the Creed, but also because it issued 20 canons. Nicaea, therefore, offers a unique opportunity for an appreciation of our common canonical heritage of the first millennium and for an examination of the importance of canon law as an instrument for the promotion of ecumenical dialogue,” said Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

In his opinion, the canons are “essential components of the search for agreement at the level of doctrine, which has been the main and dominant focus in contemporary ecumenical discourse until now”, and the upcoming anniversary of the Council of Nicaea is “a call to all Christians to consider that what unites us is greater than what keeps us in a mere habit of separation".

“Christian unity and a common approach to the great modern problems is not only a current request, but also a command of the Founder of the Church. Great anniversaries remind us of this truth,” said the head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Earlier, Patriarch Bartholomew called the path to Christian unity the central theme of his relationship with Pope Francis.

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