|Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew|
The common Mother of all Orthodox, the Church of Christ, the Body of our eternal Lord and divine-human Jesus Christ, compassionately ministers through all of its activities but especially through the Divine Eucharist, by offering its holy gifts to their Creator in the mystery of salvation. It does this with proven boundless and indiscriminate love toward all of its members to the degree also demonstrated by our heavenly Father.
In its prayerful memory, the Church always bears in mind the presence of its children, maintaining a vivid interest and concern for all that relates to and influences their lives. This is why it does not remain unmoved or indifferent by the ongoing and daily destruction of the natural environment resulting from human greed and vain profit, which in turn implies an essential turning of the Lord’s face and results in consequential turbulence in nature and fracture in its crown, namely human existence, whose very survival is threatened.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate and we have for many years assessed the signs of our times as well as the Eucharistic obligation of the Orthodox Church. Thus we declared and devoted the commencement of the ecclesiastical year, namely September 1st, as a day of prayer and supplication for the preservation of God’s creation, which has been inherited by us as our environment. On this day, we bow our heart and soul, invoking God’s Word to look down upon His creation with loving kindness that He might overlook our sinfulness and greed, “opening up His hand to fill all of creation with goodness” and bring an end to the destructive path of the world.
|E. P. Bartholomew, President Obama|
mobilization of their resources in order to return to the state that reflects – if not the absolute Eucharistic and doxological condition of Adam and Eve – at least the condition inspired by God’s grace and mercy.
The unlimited and insatiable exploitation of the natural resources of creation, which constitutes the primary cause of the destruction of the natural environment, is – according to the witness of theology, science and the arts – the result of man’s fall, that is to say, our disobedience to the Lord’s command and non-conformation to God’s will.
|E. P. Bartholomew, Archbishop Ieronymos|
The Mother Church calls us “to cultivate the whole of creation in the divine Word and life-giving Spirit,” just as St. Symeon the Stylite, whom we celebrate today, so that we may ascend “from the natural to the supernatural” and commit ourselves “to the simple and absolute mystical visions of theology” in order to be raised from creation to the Creator. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that deifies humankind and at the same time unites it with the natural environment in order that we may perceive it as part of our very selves and respect it as something sacred without deviating toward abuses and extremes.
|E. P. Bartholomew, Pope Francis|
It is only when we proceed with this mindset – respecting the contribution of every living being and vegetable in the universal liturgy of life – that we can resolve with the power of divine grace and not by means of the weakly human violence all of our environmental challenges. This message of life is a message of our responsibility to continue our spiritual struggle and effort with prayer, exhortation, encouragement and appeal, attracting the attention of all people with regard to the necessity to protect ourselves from the imminent wrath resulting from our estrangement from nature. The constant focus of humanity on earthly and corruptible things provokes the ecological problems inasmuch as, when we increasingly turn toward the earth and this world, we are increasingly alienated from heaven and God.
|R. T. Erdoğan, E. P. Bartholomew|
|Archbishop Sotirios, E. P. Bartholomew, P. Karousos|
September 1, 2014
Your Fervent Supplicant before God,
†Bartholomew of Constantinople