The International Congress “Water Week” in Amsterdam was honored by the presence of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on 5 November, 2019, shortly after his arrival in the Netherlands for a pastoral visit in link with the 50th anniversary of the Metropolis of Belgium and the Exarchate of Netherlands and Luxembourg. The “International Water Week” which are held these days in Amsterdam is a series of events which implies various international organizations, governments and companies related to water, its preservation and other means of management.
The organizers, informed since a long time of the coming of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Netherlands, invited him to pronounce the closing speech of the Congress. This is the first time that the organization has invited a spiritual leader as a speaker, giving the Church the opportunity to express her views and opinions on the precious good of water .
In his speech, His All-Holiness stressed, among other things, the importance of Science and Church working together on topics of ecology and environmental protection, while at the same time highlighting the important role of the water in the life of man and the world, justifying the strengthening of conservation efforts and new management methods.
The Ecumenical Patriarch stated: “All areas of human knowledge are complemented by the heart, bringing us from the culture of exploitation and consumerism, to recognition and generosity […] All efforts for better water management is the cry of a human soul who recognizes water as a gift, which must interest all creation. Our deep belief is that water is the inviolable and inalienable right of every human being and every creature. Water has rocked us since birth, keeps us alive and heals us from our diseases. It vivifies our spirit, cleanses our body and strengthens our thought. We share the miracle of water with all creation. Every human being here, every human being in the world, is concretely an ocean in miniature. This is why, two decades ago, we declared that “polluting the waters of the earth for human beings… is tantamount to committing a sin!” […] It is the responsibility of everyone — politicians and religious leaders, communities and individuals, businesses and industries — to leave water sustainable, clean and safe for the future of our cities and citizens, as well as for all human beings and our planet. Such sustainability is not just the right technology, the right company or the consistent policy. Such viability is the only way to peaceful cohabitation and global survival. We owe it to our world and our future generations.”