Friday, September 23, 2022

    Patriarch Bartholomew speaks of “unjust and unholy” war Russia unleashed against Ukraine

    On July 7, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew led a service in the Kyriaka Martyr Church in Athens.

    This is reported by the press service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as seen by the Spiritual Front of Ukraine.

    At the divine service, the exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine, Bishop Michael (Anishchenko) of Koman, clergy from abroad, archbishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, believers from Constantinople, and a large group of pilgrims from Athens prayed along.

    In addition, the clergy, led by Patriarch Bartholomew, visited the Balikli Monastery in Constantinople, where a memorial service was held at the grave of Patriarch Athenagoras on the anniversary of his death.

    Introducing Bishop Michael of Koman to the faithful, the Ecumenical Patriarch reminded of the “unjust and unholy” war that continues in martyred Ukraine and “which Russia started by invading Ukrainian territory and is trying to dismember this country and annex its eastern part in order to add it to its own territories, as it did a few years ago with Crimea.”

    He expressed regret because of this “unforeseen, unjustified, and unjust war.”

    Patriarch Bartholomew recalled that the Russian invasion was condemned by the Ecumenical Patriarchate from the very beginning, when it began.

    “And despite all the appeals of His Holiness the Pope, our Ecumenical Patriarchate, and many heads of states, international organizations, etc., Russia does not surrender, and the war continues, with thousands of victims. At least thirty thousand Russian servicemen died in this war, the same number, if not more, will be on the other side, on the side of Ukraine, innocent people, civilians, the elderly, and children… Schools, hospitals, and churches were destroyed… And we wish again we pray, we pray day and night for this war to end. To Bishop of Koma, who has the courage to live under bombardment and shelling, we wish strength, courage, and ask God to protect him and all our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Ukraine, and those who belong to the new Autocephalous Church, under the leadership of Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv, and those, who have not yet joined her,” Patriarch Bartholomew said.