Maloney Meets With Patriarch Bartholomew I
Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, met last week with His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, a major leader of the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith who serves as Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, as she was attending an international conference in Istanbul, Turkey jointly hosted by the United Nations Population Fund and the International Conference of Parliamentarians. The two leaders discussed working together to improve the relationship between the Turkish government and the Eastern Orthodox Church and to reclaim long-confiscated church lands, some of which have already been returned.
He also thanked Maloney again for her leadership in the successful effort to bestow a Congressional Gold Medal on
“It was a great honor to meet with such a beloved spiritual leader. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is a guide for so many in the communities I am proud to represent, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with him in person,” Maloney said. “I was particularly pleased to discuss ways that I can continue to serve members of the Eastern Orthodox community, including efforts to urge the Turkish government to return confiscated church property,” she said.
Bartholomew is one of the world’s preeminent spiritual leaders and peacemakers, representing more than 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.
The founder and co-chair of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, Maloney introduced a House Resolution in March that calls on Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Maloney was also a co-sponsor of Public Law 105-51, which authorized the naming of Bartholomew as a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award, in 1997.