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Ecumenical Patriarch leads "Silent Prayer for the Planet" in Arctic

Religious leaders from throughout the world were invited by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to participate in a silent prayer for the planet near the Jakobshavn Glacier, which is melting due to global warming.

During this past summer on September 7, 2007, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople was joined by religious leaders from all over the world to participate in a "silent prayer for the planet" during the environmental symposium, "The Arctic: Mirror of Life", held in Ilulissat, Greenland.

Standing aboard a Norwegian cruise ship a few hundred yards from Greenland's melting ice-sheet, the Jakobshavn Glacier, His All Holiness led the prayer with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington and other Catholic bishops, Protestant leaders, Shia and Sunni scholars, Hindu, Shinto, and Zen Buddhist leaders and Jewish religious leaders, including the Grand Rabbi of Paris.

The glacier at Ilulissat, which supposedly spawned the iceberg that sank the Titantic, is now flowing three times faster into the sea than it was 10 years ago. The ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off. Scientists monitoring events this past summer said the acceleration could be catastrophic in terms of sea-level rise.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said afterwards they had prayed "for the planet and for the Earth, for salvation of life and heart, for the coming generation, and for Creation".

To learn more on this symposium, visit the "Religion, Science, and the Environment" web site at: www.rsesymposia.org


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