23 November, Sabauni staff were hosted by Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanari.
After the official presentation of the Sabauni delegation, ecumenical patriarch expressed his satisfaction, that sabauni is a place where Catholics and Orthodox people can cooperate together “I am very glad that you have very friendly cooperation with our Catholic brothers at your University. I would like to say, that the cooperation with other Christian churches and especially with Catholic Church of Rome is one of the priorities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. We believe that in light of the challenges and passions of today, we, the Christian churches, must come together and witness the truth of our faith before the whole world.
I have my personal sympathies towards the Catholic brothers, as I studied for three years in Rome, with Jesuit brother in the Eastern Christian University, where I defended my thesis on Canon Law. I have been prepared as the teacher for the Spiritual Seminary of Halki, but as you know, this seminary is closed until now. I have very close ties with Pope Francis, with whom I met quite often and discuss the current actual issues, such Social and environmental issues. In one of his letters, "Laudato si," the Pope writes of the patriarchy's work in environmental matters.
The Ecumenical Patriarch also touched upon the relations of Georgians and Greeks from ancient times and separately mentioned the respect and brotherly love of the Patriarch of Georgia, His Holiness Ilia II. "Ilia II is a very bright person not only for the Georgian nation, but for the whole Orthodox world," he said. He also expressed a great desire and support for the establishment of a Georgian community in Istanbul, where would be a Georgian priest there, alike Russian, Romanian and Bulgarian communities.
At the end of the meeting, the Patriarch presented the newly released book "Meeting with Secrets" translated by Shota Kintsurashvili, adding: "I give you this book not only because it is written by me, but because the position presented here represents the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Please, read it and distribute it to your surroundings because I know that there are a number of erroneous views about the Ecumenical Patriarchate".
Mons. Giuseppe Pasotto, a founder of Sabauni and Apostolic Administrator of Latin Catholics in Caucasus, thanked the Patriarch for the acceptance and noted that for him, as the founder of the Sabauni, the harmonious cooperation of Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters is very important "Our university aims to create a free space where the employers have the possibility to develop not only professionally, but spiritually as well, regardless of religious beliefs. We want to look ahead and not overlook only the present. Our visit today is also linked to this goal and we would like to ask you for your blessing for our future joint work. "
At the end of the meeting, the Rector and the founder of the Sabauni presented memorable gifts to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
After Fannari residence, Sabauni staff visited the island of Khalki, where the residence of the Ecumenical Patriarch is located with the Trinity Monastery (IX century) and also Khalki School (1841) with the richest library. This residence has been held for many years and still holds various important meetings and Holy Synods.
The visit to Istanbul turned out to be very interesting and impressive for everyone. Irma Tsulaia, Sabaunis’ human resources manager, appreciates this visit: “On November 23, at St. George's Day we visited the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew, who hosted us at his residence and gave us symbolic gifts. The same day we visited the Hulk Academy, even though it is currently closed, it was still very interesting to see the study audiences and the ancient library, which holds more than 45,000 books. It was also very impressive to see the halls where the Holy Synod was and still is.
I think our visit to Istanbul was very successful. In a very short time, we were able to see many interesting places and get useful information.
I would like to thank the Sabauni administration for this opportunity and I hope we will be able to make similar visits in the future. "