Thursday, April 12, 2012

Patriarch Bartholomew Praises Gulen’s Dialog Efforts

Bartholomew (Photo: EPA)
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune’s columnist John Kass, Patriarch Bartholomew praised Fethullah Gülen’s dialogue efforts.

Speaking about Gulen the Patriarch said:
He builds bridges, and religion should build bridges. This is why we need the dialogues. Not to have religious fanatics who divide people. The idea is to bring people of faith together for the benefit of humankind. Gülen preaches interfaith acceptance and peace. His followers number in the millions, in Turkey and across the world.
The Patriarch also shared his thoughts on the Turkish government’s handling of minority rights and praised the current administration’s “positive” record:
These are political questions but the changes have been extremely positive. Years ago, you couldn’t have dreamed of the changes. You couldn’t have believed it.” “The prime minister has promised to restore properties confiscated from Christians and Jews years ago. He has promised to reopen the Orthodox seminary at Halki, which has been closed for many years. Of course, we have concerns in some areas, and there are legal questions remaining, but the Orthodox-Islamic dialogue has been extremely positive. More positive than I ever would have imagined.

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