Halki Summit V brought together Orthodox and Catholics scholars and students from all over the world on the theme: “Sustaining the Future of the Planet Together: The Prophetic Ministry of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew” in Istanbul, Turkey (June 8-11, 2022), with such distinguished speakers as Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Argiolas, Dr. Nikolaos Asproulis, Prof. Vincenzo Buonomo, Msgr. Prof. Piero Coda and Vasilios N. Makrides.
The goal was to reflect on the ecological inspiration and initiatives of our respective global religious leaders, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis. It is not coincidental for the Christian world—and vital for the protection of the environment—that the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch have issued joint statements on caring for God’s gift of creation. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew published encyclicals and initiated conferences on ecological issues for more than thirty years. His Holiness Pope Francis published a seminal encyclical and publicly spoke on climate change from the outset of his ministry. Together the two leaders present a unified approach and prophetic voice on the inseparable relationship between sustainability of the planet and salvation of the world.
The Halki Summit is a gathering of activists, scientists, journalists, business leaders, theologians, and academics engaging and working across intellectual boundaries to bring the global environmental discussion to a new and richer place. At the heart of that discussion is the belief that no effort can be successful without a fundamental change in values as manifested in ethics, spirituality, and religion.
Halki Summit V Final Statement
We, the participants at the Fifth Halki Summit entitled “Sustaining the Future of the Planet Together” – an international and interdisciplinary conference co-organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Sophia University Institute, inspired by the prophetic magisterium of Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis – wish to appeal to our Churches and to all those who care about our common home:
The sincere communication and mutual attentiveness, as well as the open exchange of ecclesial approaches and reflections experienced throughout our summit (June 8–11, 2022), have led us to discover that we are at a decisive turning point for the future of the human family, in which our Churches are called to play an essential educational role through the “Global Compact on Education.”
The challenge or opportunity to which we are called is that of developing a shared ecological ethos. As artisans of peace and fraternity, we seek to implement good practices, committing ourselves to work on interdisciplinary pathways for the formation of new paradigms that can interpret and transform reality. In this way, we aspire to overcome the culture of waste, knowing that what we do to our world “we also do to the least of our brothers and sisters” (Mt 25.40).
Therefore, with conviction and gratitude we embrace the exhortation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: “Always remember that our vocation as Christians is about making and reinforcing connections between ourselves and all of God’s creation, between our faith and our action, between our theology and our spirituality, between what we say and what we do, between science and religion, between our beliefs and every discipline, between our sacramental communion and our social consciousness, between our generation and the generations to come, just as between heaven and earth, between our two churches, but also with other churches and other faith communities.”