The Ecumenical Patriarchate wishes and prays for the divided people and nations to unite, to have a creative co-operation, and to bring peace to the world, as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated on Saturday, June 29, at the Phanar, welcoming a large delegation of the “National Council of Churches of Korea” (NCCK), headed by Pastor Dr. Lee Hong-Jung.
The Ecumenical Patriarch appealed to all Orthodox people around the world to intensify their prayers for peace in the Korean Peninsula and the reunification of North and South Korea.
“It was very moving when we went to the border separating North and South Korea”, Bartholomew said, referring to the visit he made to South Korea last December.
“It takes solidarity and love. Germany used to be divided, but fortunately reunited. Today, Korea, Cyprus and perhaps other parts of the world remain divided. Our prayer is to unite peoples, nations, so that creative cooperation, unity and peace prevail”, stressed the Ecumenical Patriarch.
In his speech, Bartholomew also referred to the work of the Orthodox Holy Metropolis of Korea and its Primate, Metropolitan Ambrosios.
Ecumenical Patriarch added that “Unfortunately, the sister Orthodox Church of Russia is also causing problems in Korea and is trying to divide the Orthodox flock. It created a separate Orthodox parish, the one of the Resurrection of the Lord, and its representatives in Seoul call and try to bring over Orthodox brothers or catechumens (indoctrinated) in Orthodoxy, dividing the flock of the Metropolis of Korea. This is very sad, it is a great temptation”.
“From Archbishop Theophanes, who had been ministering in Seoul as a priest, under Metropolitan Ambrosios, we were expecting a different and more grateful support for our work. Metropolitan Ambrosios issued detailed circulars, condemning what our brothers Russians are doing, and putting things on their right and true basis. We, as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, thank our Korean brothers for showing understanding and respect for the regular order and the Protothrone status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate within the entire Orthodox Church”, continued Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Concluding his speech, Bartholomew wished the NCCK Korean delegation’s trip to promote the message of peaceful coexistence in the Korean peninsula to be successful.