17 October, 2006
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Monday paid a visit to the Bank of Greece, where he officially opened a two-day seminar on "The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Economy of the Nation".
This was the first-ever visit by an ecumenical Patriarch to the country's central bank.
During the opening address, Bartholomew referred to relations between society and the economy, he said that the economy should serve society and the "economy of relationships that generate culture". Pointing to the major monuments bequeathed to the nation by benefactors in years gone by, he said they confirmed the view that the economy in the past did not operate autonomously with the sole aim of accumulating wealth.
This was not the case at present, he added, when the economy acted independently of social benefit, leading to the "inhumanity of the global economy".
The seminar was subsequently addressed by Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas, who noted the Patriarchate's role as a "protective shell" for the productive and creative activities of Greeks during the years of Ottoman occupation and rule, fostering the development of the major Greek trade and financial houses of the East, the establishment of the first banks and in bringing businesses and human resources to the newly founded Greek state, thus forming the basis for its economic growth.
The seminar was attended by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, European Central Bank vice-president Loukas Papademos, Patriarchate benefactor Theodoros Angelopoulos, members of the Athens Academy and representatives of other religions and denominations.
Earlier, the Patriarch had paid a visit to Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the autocephalous Church of Greece.
During their meeting, Christodoulos underlined the unwavering support of the Greek Church and the Greek people for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, saying that it considered any attempt to undermine the Patriarchate's ecumenical status a "personal issue".
"Constantinople is the mother of the Churches and the first in the order of Holy Orthodox Churches," Christodoulos stressed.
Deputy FM meets with Patriarch Vartholomeos: Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis met on Monday with visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, a foreign ministry press release said.
Talks focused on issues relating to the functioning of the Patriarchate.
Source: Athens News Agency