Vienna, 19 October 2011 Press release

Spindelegger pays tribute to the tireless dialogue efforts of Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria, the late Michael Staikos

Vienna, 19 October 2011 – “His 25 years as a bishop and 20 years as head of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Austria are two impressive milestones in the career and the life of a man, which was characterised by service to God and the community”, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in tribute to the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria, Michael Staikos.

“His clear commitment to an open and critical dialogue made him a central partner in discussions on the role of the church and the religions. Together with the late Cardinal Franz König the memory of whose life and work is very much alive, he was a tireless champion of dialogue between the Christian churches and the religious communities”, the Foreign Minister said.

Only one week ago – and despite serious illness – Metropolitan Staikos participated in the ceremonial signing of the foundation agreement for the King Abdullah Centre for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialog. He also demonstrated his tireless commitment to dialogue between the religious communities in early May at a dialogue event involving Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger, representatives of the Christian Churches and the Jewish and Islamic communities organised by the Austrian Foreign Ministry to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris. “He always underlined that what unites us is often more powerful and of greater effect than what divides us“, Spindelegger concluded.

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