Archbishop Iakovos called 'devoted champion' of Orthodox-Catholic unity
Published: April 14, 2005
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With the death of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos, U.S. Catholics "lost a dear friend and a devoted champion of the cause of unity between our churches," said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Archbishop Iakovos, who was primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas from 1959 to 1996, died April 10 of a pulmonary ailment in Stamford, Conn. He was 93. Just one month after his election as archbishop of the Americas, Archbishop Iakovos met in private audience with Pope John XXIII. "This truly historic event was the first official contact at such a high level between our two churches since the 16th century," the bishop said. "In subsequent years, until Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras (of Constantinople) established a personal relationship of their own, Archbishop Iakovos remained a primary instrument of communication between the two churches," he added.
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