The Ecumenical Patriarchate congratulated new US President Joseph Biden on taking up his duties and welcomed the two symbolic decisions he took immediately after his inauguration:
- He lifted travel bans imposed in 13 Muslim-majority countries.
It is recalled that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has launched a formal academic dialogue with Islam over the last decades and has so far held about 15 joint conferences. There, they discussed several matters regarding humanity and aimed at getting better acquainted with each other and achieving mutual respect between the two monotheistic religions. In addition, they aimed at consolidating world peace and solidarity.
In the context of this interfaith dialogue, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in the 30 years of his patriarchal ministry, has officially visited many Muslim countries, such as Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, etc., and has developed friendly relations and maintained constant communication with religious leaders of Islam and scholars.
At the same time, he has convened summits with representatives of the three monotheistic religions in Constantinople, in Brussels, etc. The Bosphorus Declarations (1994, 2005) and the Brussels Declarations (2001) are, after all, internationally known.
2. He reinstated the US to the Paris climate agreement
The successive initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to raise awareness of the world public opinion for the protection of the natural environment and to inspire respect and love for the planet earth – our common “home” are well known. The Ecumenical Patriarch has convened so far nine major international, interdisciplinary and interreligious ecological symposiums at sea, smaller relevant seminars in Halki, while in recent years he been convening thematic conferences called “Halki Summit”, the fourth of which will take up its work online on January 26.
Patriarch Bartholomew has participated in many environmental events in various parts of the world, has delivered a series of speeches on ecological issues and has published many texts on the matter. Patriarch Bartholomew was deemed as “the Green Patriarch” due to his contribution to the protection of Creation.
Regarding the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Patriarch Bartholomew took part in various phases of its preparation. The Ecumenical Patriarch accompanied the then President of France, Hollande, following his invitation, to a relevant conference held in the Philippines.
In this context, He repeatedly expressed his opposition to the US stance on the Kyoto Protocol and later to their decision to withdraw themselves from the Paris Agreement. He was bound to welcome President Biden’s decision to reinstate his country in the global effort to tackle climate change.