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Ecumenical Patriarch: The sacredness of human beings must become a priority in the world today

ATHENS-

Orthodoxy is called upon today to work as a positive challenge in the modern world and to place at the top of its priorities the sacredness of the human being and the integrity of creation, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said on Monday, in a video screened at the 4th Archon International Conference in Athens.

The Conference takes place on May 26-29, and its theme is “Protecting Religious Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights”. It is organized by the Archons of the Eumenical Patriarchate of America, Australia, Canada and Europe. According to the Orthodox Times, cited on the Archons page, “This high-level international conference is the latest of innumerable Archon initiatives to defend the Ecumenical Patriarchate and protect religious freedom worldwide.”

In his message, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said, “Orthodoxy is called upon today to work as a positive challenge in the modern world, as a God-moving prospect of life and freedom during a time of redefining the priorities of values, placing at the top of the evaluating scale the sacredness of the human being and the integrity of creation.”

The spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Christians thanked the organizers, and noted that the confluence of the Orthodox Church with human rights is an area which reveals its right relationship with politics. “While the Church is not involved in politics in the strict meaning of the term, its role as witness is fundamentally and timelessly political: it struggles against the falsification of humanity in its various forms, it stigmatizes racism, discriminations, the modern forms of slavery, it resists the powers and trends that undermine social cohesion and peace, it promotes the culture of solidarity and dialog, convergence and collaboration,” Bartholomew said.

The objection that this intervention involves the Church in the ambiguity of human affairs and turns Christian witnessing into a political act is unfounded in theological terms, and an indication of the weakening of the sense of importance of historic developments, he added.

The Conference opened at the Stoa of Attalus in Athens, while the Ecumenical Patriarch is being represented at the Conference meetings by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.

[ANA-MPA]

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