In his role as ELCA presiding bishop, Mark S. Hanson told Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that he has "come to appreciate all the more that Lutherans and Orthodox have much that binds us together." Hanson noted that followers of Martin Luther hope to forge strong ties with Constantinople (Istanbul) and that key agreements have been reached in the U.S. Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue.
Hanson met with Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey, when he led a 14-member joint ELCA-Lutheran World Federation delegation in January The ELCA group was originally scheduled to visit Orthodox leaders as part of the presiding bishopï¿½s March 2003 ecumenical journey but postponed the Istanbul trip until 2004 because of security concerns related to the start of the U.S.-led war with Iraq.
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