Thursday, April 18, 2024

    Ecumenical Patriarch: Russian invasion of Ukraine serves as stark reminder of constant presence of evil

    After presiding over the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Nicholas on Sunday, February 25, 2024, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made a heartfelt appeal to the international community. He urged global leaders not to turn a blind eye to the ongoing bloodshed in Ukraine, following a memorial service honoring the Ukrainians who sacrificed their lives defending their nation’s independence and territorial integrity.

    That’s according to Orthodox Times.

    The service marked the two-year anniversary of the extensive Russian invasion of Ukraine and commemorated the ten-year milestone since the events of 2014.

    “Ten years ago, the world witnessed the bravery and sacrifice of the ‘Heavenly Hundred’ and the decisive spirit of the Revolution of Dignity. Meanwhile, two years have already passed since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in a conflict that seems endless. The wounds left by this unjustified act are still fresh and the pain is still palpable. So we have gathered here today to honor the memory of those who lost their lives and to reflect on the profound impact of their courage and resilience.”

    The Ecumenical Patriarch, speaking in English, pointed out that those who lost their lives in the events of 2014 are not only martyrs for their country, but are symbols of hope and inspiration for people around the world. “Their sacrifice serves as a reminder that even in the darkest moments, the flame of freedom cannot be extinguished,” he stressed.

    He also stressed, “The invasion of Russian forces in Ukraine stands as a stark example of the injustice and oppression that the Church must denounce. It cannot be justified. It is an attack on the dignity and sovereignty of a people who have long fought for their self-determination and have long suffered under the yoke of tyranny. It defies the fundamental principles of justice and peace that lie at the core of our faith.”

    The Ecumenical Patriarch urged the Ukrainian people to remain united and not lose hope because it is the only way to achieve their goal and the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in battle is not in vain. He expressed the conviction that the Ukrainian people will emerge victorious from this war.

    “As people of faith, we are called to stand up for what is right and speak out against oppression and totalitarianism wherever they occur. The Russian invasion of Ukraine serves as a stark reminder of the constant presence of evil and hatred in our world and the urgent need for all people of goodwill to unite against injustice,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch. He reiterated that the Holy Great Church of Christ stands with the members of the Ukrainian Community of Constantinople but also with all Ukrainians accross the world as they continue their struggle for a better future.

    “Let us work tirelessly for much-needed reconciliation and peace, knowing that God is with us in all our struggles. May the memory of all those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Ukraine be eternal and may their sacrifice inspire us to build a world where peace, justice, mercy and love prevail.”

    The Consul General of Ukraine in Constantinople, Roman Nedilskyi, also gave a short speech.