BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has arrived in Bucharest for the dedication of a cathedral to mark 100 years since modern-day Romania was created in the aftermath of World War I.
The Istanbul-based patriarch Bartholomew I, considered the "first among equals" in the Orthodox world, praised the Romanian Orthodox Church on Friday for its "conciliatory and peaceful" nature.
In October, Bartholomew I decided to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Russia then broke off ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate. Romania called on both sides to promote a "unity of faith" that also would allow churches pastoral and administrative freedom.
The "Salvation of the People" cathedral will be dedicated Sunday. The church says the unfinished building has cost 110 million euros ($125 million).
Some 86 percent of Romanians are Christian Orthodox.