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Bartholomew: We all become an embrace of love for our earthquake-tested brothers


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As the Patriarch said, already, the first echelon with representatives of our Communities, led by the Metropolitans of Imbros and Tenedos Kyrillos and Andreas of Forty Churches, was already transporting the food and basic necessities

His heartfelt thanks and paternal satisfaction for the moving response of the Roman Communities to the call he sent for the collection of humanitarian aid for our fellow human beings who are being tested by the consequences of the deadly earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, as well as for the reinforcement “of our sister Church of Antioch, under whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction the affected areas fall“, expressed the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his speech, today, Sunday of the Prodigal, after the Divine Liturgy he officiated at the recently celebrated Holy Church of Agios Charalambos of the Community of Veveki.

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As the Patriarch said, “already, the first echelon of representatives of our Communities, headed by the Metropolitans of Imbro and Tenedos Kyrillos and Andreas of Forty Churches, carried the food and basic necessities that your love and charity collected. We have addressed a similar appeal to the other Provinces of the all-embracing Ecumenical Throne through a recent Circular Note that we sent to them. So, we all become an embrace of love for our earthquake-tested brothers!».

His Holiness emphasized that the Bosphorus Region with its Communities is leading the way in this effort as well, and praised its Hierarchical Head, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia, both for his immediate response and for the general work carried out in it, which is the fruit of agaist of cooperation with the ecclesiastical Committees of the Communities.

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Previously, the Patriarch, in his speech, had referred to the message of the parable of the Prodigal.

Among other things, he pointed out:As we heard in the Gospel passage earlier, this Sunday is the celebration of the salvation of a lost young man and his return from the slavery of sin to the freedom experienced by the children of God.

Only when the soul is given to God is it truly free. On the contrary, all other so-called freedoms in the hustle and bustle of everyday life are enslavement and slavery. Every passion to which man succumbs is slavery, deprivation of his spiritual freedom. Liberation from spiritual slavery, which is achieved through repentance, is a regaining of true freedom, which is why there is joy in heaven over a sinner who repents».

At the end of his speech, the Patriarch congratulated the new Ecclesiastical Committee of the Veveki Community, blessing its members and wishing them success in their responsible tasks.

Previously, His Holiness was welcomed by Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia, and Panteleimon Panagiotidis, president of the newly elected Ecclesiastical Committee of the Community.

During the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarchal Deacon Hieronymos Sotirelis preached the divine word.


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