His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made a statement on the extreme weather phenomena, due to which seven people died recently and many were injured in Chalkidiki, in Northern Greece, on 10 July 2019.
The Ecumenical Patriarch said that the extreme weather phenomena remind us the reaction of nature as a result of the disrespectful human interference in it. He stressed that the Ecumenical Patriarchate had been struggling for the protection of the natural environment since 1989 because the consequences of its devastation affect the whole planet. He stated that he was close to the families of the victims, in spirit and prayer, and urged all to pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and recovery of the injured:
“That was a shocking moment for the inhabitants of Chalkidiki and Northern Greece, and the Mother Church of Constantinople is spiritually and prayerfully close to the families of the victims and the injured. The Mother Church asks the Creator to heal their wounds and to protect this region and Greece from any danger and threat.
Extreme weather phenomena remind us not only of the power of nature, but also of its reaction as a result of the disrespectful human interference in it. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, for decades, has been struggling to protect the natural environment, which is our common house, and we must not destroy it because the consequences affect not only the place where the natural ecosystem is destroyed but the whole planet as well.
We call upon all people of good will to take this line of action, that is to preserve the Creation and to urge everyone to pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and the recovery of the injured and to support, by all available means, our fellow humans who had countless repercussions and serious material damage.”