Skip to main content

The Professor and the Patriarch

9 February 2024

Professor Norman Doe, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios.
Professor Norman Doe, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios.

A Cardiff Professor travelled to Istanbul in December to meet the spiritual leader of over 220 million Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide.

Professor Norman Doe of the School of Law and Politics presented his book Legal Thought and Eastern Orthodox Christianity: The Addresses of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (Routledge, 2023), to His All-Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. The book, which has a foreword written by Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece, was co-edited by Professor Doe and the Very Rev Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios to mark His All-Holiness’ fiftieth anniversary as a bishop.

Istanbul has for seventeen centuries been the sacred home of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is located at the Phanar. Patriarch Bartholomew invited Professor Doe, accompanied by the Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios (Director of the Patriarchal Private Office who is currently studying for a doctorate in canon law at Cardiff University) to a private audience there. Also present were Mark Hill KC (former Chair of the Ecclesiastical Law Society) and Bishop Christopher Hill (President of the Society) both of whom had contributed to the edited collection of essays.

Earlier, at a church service, the Patriarch publicly thanked Professor Doe and Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios for their work in the presence of members of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. At the private audience, Professor Doe also presented a letter of good wishes to the Patriarch from the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Reverend Andrew John (who is himself a Cardiff law graduate).

The Patriarch has on several occasions in recent years publicly pronounced his gratitude for Professor Doe’s role in suggesting and drafting the Statement of Principles of Christian Law (2016) which was launched at a workshop of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches held in September 2022 at Karlsruhe, Germany, and based on Doe’s book Christian Law: Contemporary Principles (Cambridge, 2013).

Professor Doe said: “It was such a great privilege to co-edit with Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios this book on the invaluable contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarch, himself trained as a canon lawyer, to the development of legal thought on a range of important and topical issues, including canon law, religious integration in Europe, human rights, religious freedom, and the environment. It was a pleasure to be together with Aetios and His All-Holiness Bartholomew at what was such an historical, significant, memorable and happy occasion”.

Share this story