Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew welcomed Pope Benedict XVI during the Doxology, performed at the Patriarchal Cathedral, and underlined the significance of this city for the history of the Christian Church. It is the place where Ecumenical Councils and Synods of the Ancient Church took place, where saints, martyrs, confessors, theologians and teachers of the Church were illuminated, and where the faith of the Orthodox "strengthened the oecumene."
His All Holiness Bartholomew also referred to the visits of the former Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as the return, two years earlier, to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the holy relics of Saints Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom.
also expressed the gratefulness of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
to Pope Benedict XVI for willingly continuing the tradition of
his predecessor to visit the See of the Ecumenical