The Orthodox Church has been taking an active and increasing interest in the person and works of Martin Luther lately, according to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Constantinopolitan primate expressed this opinion during a speech at Germany’s Tübingen University on May 30, the day after receiving an honorary doctorate for his work in promoting the Orthodox-Protestant dialogue, as part of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, reports the Catholic news agency The Tablet.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople entered into a bilateral theological dialogue with the Evangelical Church of Germany in 1969.
As previously reported, during his own visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople in September 2016, Heinrich Bedford-Strom, Chairman of the Council of German Evangelical Churches, told His All-Holiness that “it would be a special honor” if the patriarch would attend the celebrations in Wittenberg and Tübingen.
The patriarch accepted, and arrived in Stuttgart on Sunday, May 28, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Evangelical Theology and History Department in Tübingen the next day. He was also presented with the German translation of his book Encountering the Mystery, and attended a two-day symposium on Evangelical and Orthodox theology.