Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. AP photo
Fener Greek-Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I has expressed his sadness over the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, saying the head of the Catholic Church had “built bridges.”
“I am really saddened by news of the resignation of the pope, who was doing his utmost to connect the Catholic and Orthodox
churches and overcome differences,” Bartholomew told Turkish daily Posta on Feb. 11.
Bartholomew praised Benedict, describing him as “a highly influential figure in the Church, not only as a Pope but also as a theologian.”
“He was a person who could solve problems not only in religion, but also in the problems that we are facing today,” Bartholomew said, adding that he believed the pontiff would continue to be a prominent figure even after stepping down as pope. “He was an important reference to everyone. Thus, I believe he will continue to add value to the world with his research and articles,” he said.
“As the Fener Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate, we hope the new pope will also contribute to the fraternity between the Churches,” Bartholomew added.