Patriarch Bartholomew to return to US hospital for medical tests

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The leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians will undergo medical tests on Wednesday in his second hospital stay during a visit to the United States, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the church.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, 81, will be admitted later Wednesday to Mount Sinai Hospital to undergo an angiogram, a test that assesses blood vessels, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese said.

The tests “will evaluate the need for a stent,” it said in a statement.

Bartholomew spent the night at a Washington hospital on October 24 at the start of his visit.

The archdiocese said the İstanbul-based religious leader was feeling unwell after his long flight and spent the night under observation “out of an abundance of precaution.”

Bartholomew resumed his visit the following day, which included a White House meeting with President Joe Biden.

The patriarch has sought US support amid a renewal of tensions in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year controversially reconverted Hagia Sophia — originally the Byzantine Empire’s main cathedral — into a mosque from a museum.

Elected in 1991, Bartholomew has been outspoken on the environment and has cultivated closer relations both with Islam and Roman Catholicism.

In 2013, he attended the investiture of Pope Francis, the first patriarch to do so since the 1054 schism between Byzantium and Rome.

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