Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has once again condemned the war which Russia unleashed against Ukraine.
Speaking at a press conference on the occasion of the Orthodox youth conference in Turkey, the patriarch said, “I have expressed the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since the beginning of this painful war. I said that this is unjustified and unacceptable,” reports orthodoxtimes.com.
He continued: “Patriarch of Moscow said that it was a holy war, and tried to justify it and explain it in spiritual and religious terms.
But I have allowed myself to correct it and say that it is not a holy war but an unholy and evil war. When thousands of new soldiers are killed on both sides, and not only soldiers but also civilians, how can we bless this war with our two hands, as the Blessed Patriarch of Moscow unfortunately does?”
He also emphasized that Russia could choose another way to solve its problems with Ukraine, with which it borders. “He chose the worst way. We want this war to end an hour earlier, for the Western powers help pursuade Russia.”
Regarding the youth conference
At the beginning of his speech, touching on the conference, the Ecumenical Patriarch noted that the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the Mother Church, always expresses great interest in young people.
“We have Russians, Ukrainians, Gagauzians, Georgians, Romanians, and so on and we all surround them with the same affection without making any discrimination in favor of one or at the expense of the other. They are all children of the Patriarchate as long as they live here, in Turkey.”
He emphasized that “according to the canonical law of the Orthodox Church, no other Church has jurisdiction over the Orthodox who live in Turkey, except the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the local Church. Neither the Russian Patriarchate, the Romanian Patriarchate, nor the Bulgarian Patriarchate. No church has jurisdiction. All these young people who will gather next Wednesday at the hotel for the conference, all of them are spiritual children of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch noted that ” “we want to show the love and affection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the interest of the Church in the members of society who come out in the field of life. And that they belong to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whatever their national origin. And the Patriarchate is at their disposal to meet their religious and spiritual needs.”
It should be recalled that, in September, Archbishop Epifaniy of Kyiv and all Ukraine is expected to visit Greece.