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Warm Welcome In Finland For Patriarch

Rev Tuomas Mäkipää writes:- “The Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew of Constantinople, has been visiting Finland to share celebrations with the Holy Orthodox Church of Finland which received its status as an autonomous church ninety years ago.

“As part of his three-day visit the Finnish Ecumenical Council had invited the Patriarch to Lutheran Cathedral of Espoo to meet representatives of the Ecumenical Council. I represented the Chaplaincy of St Nicholas, known as the Anglican Church in Finland, at this reception. The Lutheran Archbishop of Turku and Finland, Kari Mäkinen, and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Helsinki, Teemu Sippo greeted His All-holiness on behalf to the Christian Churches in this country.

“After the occasion at the Espoo Cathedral, during the coffee, first thing His All-holiness said was; “Where is that Anglican priest?” He wanted to speak with me about the kidnapping of The Most Revd Ignatius Kattey, a Nigerian Archbishop. I was able to brief him and he expressed his concern for those two Orthodox bishop who are missing in Syria. I assured him about our prayers for the safe release of all three bishops and, especially at the moment, for the people of Syria.

“Bishop Geoffrey sent his greetings to His All-holiness. In his letter Bishop Geoffrey mentioned the good relationships the Finnish Lutheran Church and the Church of England have under the Porvoo Agreement. He assured the Patriarch about our prayers for fuller realisation of our unity in Christ.”