In remarks delivered at a November 3 lecture, cosponsored by the Center for American Progress and Georgetown University, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Orthodox Christianity, discussed how a faith that has been conserved for over 2000 years can play a role in progressive change.
At Georgetown, His All Holiness addressed the power of non-violence to achieve lasting social change, the moral and religious imperative of ensuring equal access to quality health care and protecting the environment and future generations from the impending dangers of climate change.
In his remarks, His All Holiness said that these examples “illustrate some of the ways in which one of the most conservative members of the Christian family has played a role in some very progressive causes.” But his talk was not about throwing the church’s lot in with one cause or one philosophy.
As he said at the outset of his remarks:
“Let us, as the lawyers would say, make a disclaimer: By calling Christianity revolutionary, and saying it is dedicated to change, we are not siding with Progressives—just as, by conserving it, we are not siding with Conservatives. All political factions believe God is on their side—as Abraham Lincoln said of the Union and Confederacy, ‘Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.’ The only side we take is that of our faith.”
We hope you take the time to read His All Holiness’ powerful speech.