The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew : “Stop the war now!”

A new appeal to stop the war in Ukraine, which has already led to the death of thousands of our fellow human beings and the exile of hundreds of thousands of others, was addressed by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in his speech, on the Second Sunday of Lent.

“Dear Christians, war can and should never be an option for resolving any disputes. Weapons scatter death and, of course, do not discriminate. They kill everyone. This is evidenced by the tragic images that have been going around the world for the last twenty-five days.

Unfortunately, the Orthodox brothers-invaders of Ukraine, a sovereign and independent state, seem to seek the utter humiliation of their proud, loyal and brotherly Ukrainian people, who are fighting heroically and sacrificially for their freedom. At the same time, however, those who chose the path of war are leading their own youth to doom. Several thousand Russian soldiers have lost their lives. Because its effects are already being experienced by ordinary people on both sides. Ukrainian and Russian mothers have separated their children who went to war, and many of them are already, unfortunately, mourning their loss.

We seize the opportunity of our presence here to fight once again with all our might: stop this horror! Stop the war now! Madness is enough! How much more blood will our earth withstand? How many more dead will the earth fit in her womb? How many more tears will water her soil?”

His All Holiness noted that in the face of this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, the Mother Church could not remain inactive and indifferent. He recalled that from the very beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, He personally and the Ecumenical Patriarchate unequivocally condemned it and called for an immediate end to the war, calling for uninterrupted prayer “for the peace of the universe”, to which only sincerely dialogue leads.

“We mobilized all our communities here to collect food and basic necessities for our trialed brothers in Ukraine, but also to host, to the best of their ability, families who have found refuge in our city.

The response was really moving and we are very proud of our Greek community here, which proved once again that the heart of the Orthodox Greeks of the City beats loudly and is pulsating with the strong desire of the help of those in need nearby…”

Earlier, the Patriarch referred to the honored, today, by our Church, great Hierarch and Theologian, Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, originally from Constantinople.

“A prominent monk of Mount Athos, Palamas is a shining star in the imaginary firmament of the Church, whose wisdom and holiness are recognized today by his former opponents in the West.

This great offspring of our city was also a very productive writer, and apart from his dogmatic, ascetic and moral works, he also left didactic and constructive works. In one of them he typically says that when love is lacking somewhere, it is impossible for God’s grace and protection to remain there. Elsewhere, which is thought to have been written about the current tragic situation of our brothers in Ukraine, St. Gregory Palamas says that we must seek peace, not only because we are all brothers as children of the same God the Father, but also for we have the same mother, the Church, and the same piety, whose leader and finisher is Christ, the Son of God, who is not only our God, but He has blessed us and accepted us to be our Brother. And he asks: if without peace with all men it is impossible for someone to see God, how can one hope that he will see Him in the next life, he who has no peace with those whom he considers his brothers?”