Eastern Christian Leaders Signal Support for a New Europe

Bishop Returns from Meeting with Russian and Armenian

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, JAN. 15, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II and the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Karekin II, have expressed their strong sense of belonging to Europe and their Churches´ interest in contributing to the future shape of the continent.

It is the time «to propose a common contribution, together with the Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Churches, and the churches of the Reformation, to a Christian social ethic for the political development of Europe,» said Bishop Josef Homeyer.

The bishop, president of the Commission of the Bishops´ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), returned from a visit to Alexy II and Karekin II on Monday.

Bishop Homeyer said that without the voice of the Churches and the contribution of the Jewish and Islamic communities, Europe risks being unable to meet the challenge of globalization.

Together with the Russian patriarch and the Armenian Catholicos, Bishop Homeyer said he is convinced that globalization should represent justice for all, not wealth for a few.

The meetings took place within the framework of a series of annual visits by Bishop Homeyer to the leaders of the Orthodox Churches in Sofia, Bucharest, Minsk, Athens and Belgrade, as well as to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul, Turkey.

The bishop´s visits coincided with John Paul II´s address to the Diplomatic Corps last Thursday. The Pope lamented that leaders of the European Union had rejected the contribution of communities of believers in writing the future European Convention.

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