LAST UPDATE: 19:30
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a message on the 30th anniversary since the establishment of the Feast of Indiction, that it the beginning of a new ecclesiastical year, as the “Day of Protection of the Environment.”
He stated that his message was addressed not only to Orthodox faithful but also to representatives of other religions, to political environmentalists and to “every person of goodwill.”
The environmental actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate acted as a trigger for theologists so that they put forward the teaching of Christian anthropology and the spirit of Orthodox asceticism as a basis for understanding and dealing with the ecological problem.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew emphasized that the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s interest in protecting the planet was not a reaction to the current ecological crisis, which was merely the occasion for the Church to reiterate its ecological principles.
“Respect and protection of the Creation is one aspect of our faith and the essence of our life as a Church. The life of the Church itself is an experience of ecology, a deep respect to and care for the Creation and source of its ecological actions,” the Ecumenical Patriarch mentioned.
The Ecumenical Patriarch noted that it was important that Archbishops and Metropolises had developed ecological initiatives and practices aiming at protecting the environment.
He stressed the need to focus on the education of young people in order to cultivate their ecological awareness and solidarity.
Finally, he wished “that the new ecclesiastical year would be productive and fruitful” while calling on “the children of the Mother Church to pray for the safety of Lord’s Creation and to fight for the protection of the natural environment.”
He added that the ecological problem reveals that “our world is unity and the problems are universal and common. In order to tackle the risks, multifaceted mobilization and co-ordination are required. It is inconceivable for humanity to be aware of the gravity of the aforementioned problem and to continue to behave as if it had never existed.”