On December 19, 2013, His All-Holiness received an honorary doctorate from Istanbul's Boğaziçi University (formerly Robert College) for his extraordinary vision and initiatives for the protection of the natural environment. The award comes on the occasion of Boğaziçi University's 150th anniversary.
Not only is this Turkish institution of higher learning the first ever to be ranked (as it has since 2012) among the top 200 universities in the world, but this is the first Turkish university to bestow such an honor on His All-Holiness, and the first also publicly to acknowledge his status and position as Ecumenical Patriarch, a title which has been used since the 6th century A.D.
In his address to the university, His All-Holiness spoke on the theme of "Compassion: Caring for Creation; Caring for our Future."
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