Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Statement on the Global Wildfires

In recent weeks, our planet has witnessed extreme heatwaves and expansive wildfires throughout the world—from the rain forests of the Amazon and desert regions of Africa, normally snow-covered regions such as the Arctic and Alaska to far away countries from Spain to Siberia. Month after month, we have experienced record temperatures and unprecedented heatwaves, resulting in the destruction of millions of acres and the disruption of millions of people. And the intensity of these fires and storms is progressively increasing and intensifying, mandating critical and commensurate changes on our part.

Scientists warn us about the threat of such fires to the world’s ecosystems, which are becoming increasingly jeopardized and vulnerable. The impact of these fires could reverberate for generations, affecting soil, infrastructure, and human beings. Trees are vital for the soil, for our survival and for our soul. Trees are not simply valuable for their aesthetic beauty or commercial benefit, but essentially for our defense against climate change. Planting more trees is certainly commendable, but cutting down less trees is perhaps the most compelling response to global warming. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew attended the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace in Lindau (Germany) from 20-23 August 2019 where he delivered the keynote address. Religions for Peace, in partnership with the Foundation Peace Dialogue of the World Religions and Civil Society, is the world’s most representative, multi-religious gathering of religious communities. Every 5-7 years, Religions for Peace convenes a World Assembly for the purpose of forging a deep moral consensus on contemporary challenges, electing a new World Council and advancing multi-religious action across and beyond the Religions for Peace network.

The Religions for Peace 10th World Assembly, under the theme “Caring for our Common Future: Advancing Shared Well-being,” was attended by 800 senior religious leaders, youth and women of faith from over 100 countries, joined by 100 representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society groups to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships for the common good. Previous Religions for Peace Assemblies have resulted in highly effective multi-religious projects in peacebuilding and development in all word regions. Continue reading

Visit of the President of Ukraine to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The President of Ukraine, Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, paid a visit to the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Phanar on 8 August 2019 and was received with the honors provided by the Patriarchal Protocol. President Zelensky, who was accompanied by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Ankara, Mr. Andrii Sybiha, the Consul General of Ukraine in Instanbul, Mr. Oleksandr Gaman, and a large delegation of officials of the Presidency; arrived in the Chamber of the Throne, in the main building of the Patriarchal headquarters, where the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew awaited and welcomed him, in the presence of Hierarchs of the Throne. The Ecumenical Patriarch held a private meeting with the President of Ukraine at the official Patriarchal Office for more than an hour.

“Your visit comes after the publication and promulgation of the Tomos of Autocephaly for the newly established Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which, we request, will always have your high protection and your support for the work that has already begun in Ukraine. We, in Constantinople, who have given you baptism 1,031 years ago, have given autocephaly, the ability for your Church to carry out her work independently and unaffected by any outside intervention. Constantinople will not interfere with the internal affairs of the Church in Ukraine. She is completely independent and autocephalous. From here, from Constantinople, from the Phanar, she will only have high protection and our continued prayers for the success of her work,” he said, welcoming the Ukrainian President. “We send the blessing and love of the Mother of the Church of Constantinople, in the person of your dear Excellency, to the whole pious Ukrainian people.” For his part, President Zelenskyy expressed his pleasure for the visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for the honor of meeting with His All-Holiness. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch will visit Mount Athos in October

On 3 August 2019, a Delegation of the Holy Community of Mount Athos, consisting of Monk Nikodemos of the Great Lavra, Monk Nikodemos of the Monastery of Saint Paul and Hieromonk Sisoes of Xenophontos Monastery, had a meeting with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to prepare the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch on Mount Athos on 19-22 October 2019. Continue reading

International Conference on the Theological Heritage of Fr. Georges Florovsky

An International Conference on “The Theological Heritage of Fr. Georges Florovsky” is organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his death by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul on 1-3 September 2019. Hierarchs, clergy, distinguished university professors and theologians from universities from all over the world  will attend the International Conference which will be inaugurated by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Fr. Florovsky was a groundbreaking theologian and professor, and has been described as the “Chief of the Orthodox Theologians” of the twentieth century. His inspiring appeal to the theologians to return to the patristic sources and to acquire the spirit of the Fathers, as well as his appeal to the Church to respond to historical and ecumenical challenges of our time was a landmark for Orthodox theology which influenced the Christian thought until today. Continue reading

New eBook Available: The Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine Autocephaly

The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America — Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle — have published an eBook on The Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine Autocephaly: Historical, Canonical, and Pastoral Perspectives. It is available to download for free. The goal of this eBook is to present information regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine Autocephaly. In the words of Editor Evagelos Sotiropoulos, “The articles in this essay will hopefully add a measured quantity of love and hope – and fact – on the issue of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ukraine Autocephaly.”

The eBook includes the following articles written by a diverse and noteworthy assembly of Orthodox commentators. Continue reading

“Extreme weather phenomena remind us the reaction of nature” says Ecumenical Patriarch

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: Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarchate elected a new Archbishop for Great Britain

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at its regular session of 12 June 2019, has elected Metropolitan Nikitas of the Dardanelles as new Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain. He succeeds to His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios who enters his retirement after serving in the United Kingdom for 60 years as deacon, priest, assistant Bishop and Archbishop.

His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain was born in Tampa, Florida, USA in 1955 and was serving until now as Director of Patriarch Athenagoras Patriarchal Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, California, USA. He has been involved in the organisation of three Forums on Modern Slavery hosted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 2017. He will be enthroned in the Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom in London on 27 July 2019.

Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Response to False, Unsubstantiated, and Slanderous Charges Regarding Ukraine Autocephaly

After journalists’ questions about offensive statements against the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which were allegedly made recently by a member of the autonomous presence of the Patriarchate of Moscow in Ukraine, the Director of the Press and Communication Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Nikos Papachristou, said:

Allegations or information from anyone claiming that the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, allegedly sought and received, or requested, any form of compensation, financial or other, whether from political or ecclesiastical persons, is absolutely false, unsubstantiated and slanderous. At the same time, such allegations are also highly offensive to the Mother Church of Constantinople, from which nine other local Churches, including Moscow, received their Autocephaly, through analogous and similar processes.

It is characteristic that the Ecumenical Patriarch, in a recent speech referring to the granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, pointed out that “the proper ecclesiological response given by the Ecumenical Patriarchate was and is always based on the eternal tradition of the Church, inspired by the Gospel, with respect to the sacred canons and free from any political and diplomatic pressure. Indeed, this must be made clear in the light of the accusations and misinformation circulating on the Internet, the well known fake news, which is used against the canonical rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Continue reading

Pope Francis of Rome gave relics of Saint Peter to the Church of Constantinople

The delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which participated in the celebration of the throne feast of the Church of Rome on 29 June 2019, received from Pope Francis an unexpected and valuable gift: a reliquary with the holy relics of Saint Peter the Apostle, which were kept in the private chapel of the Pope at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. These are nine fragments of Saint Peter’s bones, which, after important archaeological excavations, have been confirmed to be authentic. At the request of Pope Paul VI in 1968, these fragments have been separated from the rest of the relics and placed in a bronze reliquary with the inscription: “Of the bones found in the Vatican Basilica belonging to the holy Apostle Peter”. These relics were exhibited in the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican only once, on 24 November, 2013, on the occasion of the closing of the Holy Year of Faith. The rest of the relics of the Apostle are kept under the main altar of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Continue reading