Orthodox Patriarch in historic consultation with Turkey’s government

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has met with lawmakers to discuss proposed changes to the country?s constitution. The appearance by the Ecumenical Patriarch?the acknowledged ?first among equals? of Orthodox Church leaders?is historic insofar as the Turkish government has never before acknowledged his stature as a religious leader.

?We are confident that our viewpoints will be taken into consideration,? Patriarch Bartholomew said after his session with the legislators. He pointed out that his meeting was important insofar as minority groups were being consulted. ?We don?t want to be second-class citizens,? he said.

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