Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Meets with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as part of his Patriarchal and Apostolic Visit to the United States met yesterday, Wednesday, October 28, with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations Headquarters.

The Secretary General warmly received the Ecumenical Patriarch, and after the two were photographed together, His All Holiness signed the official visitor's book.

The meeting that ensued was held in a cordial atmosphere. The discussion revolved around the issues of mutual environmental concerns, climate change and the initiatives for dialogue among people, religions and cultures.

In a comment to the Press, following the meeting, His All Holiness said that Mr. Ban Ki-moon is aware of the environmental initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its efforts toward the advancement of interfaith dialogue. He also made the point that the work of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is aimed at some of the same goals as those of the United Nations: the betterment of humanity both through interfaith dialogue and through the efforts for the protection of the natural environment.

Following the meeting, His All Holiness visited the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan, where he was received by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and other Jewish religious and lay leaders. Rabbi Schneier offered a warm welcome to the Ecumenical Patriarch, a few passages from the Book of Psalms were read and children sung hymns and songs. Rabbi Schneier presented His All Holiness with a silver Menorah as a gift.

Later in the afternoon at his hotel, the Ecumenical Patriarch met with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. In the evening Archbishop Demetrios of America hosted an Archdiocesan Leadership Dinner in honor of His All Holiness at the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park.

During the activities of the day His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was accompanied by Archbishop Demetrios of America and Metropolitans Athanasios of Chalcedon, Emmanuel of France, and Ambrosios of Korea and the Metropolitans of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Iakovos of Chicago, Maximos of Pittsburgh, Methodios of Boston, Isaiah of Denver, Alexios of Atlanta, Nicholas of Detroit, Gerasimos of San Francisco and Evangelos of New Jersey.