Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, while welcoming, today, a large group of pilgrims from the Glyfada Women’s Association “We”, mentioned the struggles and the suffering of the Mother Church of Constantinople.
Speaking about the work of his predecessors, he made special reference to Patriarch Athenagoras, who during his Patriarchy suffered the tragic events of September 6 and 7, 1955. “It was a black page in the period of his brilliant Patriarchy,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said. Elsewhere in his speech, he emphasized:
“Whatever happens around us, and despite the shrinkage of the Diaspora, we endure. We have a fighting spirit, we are optimistic about tomorrow, which is in God’s hands. We, as human beings, do whatever we can, leaving the rest in God’s hands, and He does not disappoint us.
Our Patriarchate has endured many temptations, many trials, many persecutions, but for 1700 years it has been here, staunch and firm.
Whatever happens around us we have a spiritual principle, a spiritual power, which makes us withstand temptations and difficulties. And when our term of office, our work, our road, end, we hand over the baton to the younger, and therefore, the life of the Church and the Diaspora, intertwined, continues from generation to generation, from year to year, from century to century.
That is why we have reached 1700 years, by the grace of God, sometimes in better conditions, sometimes in worse, as a famous saying goes, “both on our own and along with many others”, either way, we struggle and carry on.