Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew once again expressed his condemnation of the war that began with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Speaking at a press conference on the conference of Orthodox youths in Turkey organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in early September, the Patriarch said that “I have expressed the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since the beginning of this painful war. I said that it is unjustified and unacceptable.”
He continued: “His Beatitude the Patriarch of Moscow said that it was a holy war and tried to justify it and explain it in spiritual and religious terms.
But I have allowed myself to correct it and say that it is not a holy war but an unholy and evil war. When thousands of new soldiers are killed on both sides, and not only soldiers but also civilians, how can we bless this war with our two hands, as the Blessed Patriarch of Moscow unfortunately does?”
He also stressed that Russia could choose another way to solve its problems with the Ukraine with which it borders. “He chose the worst way. We want this war to end an hour earlier, for the Western powers to help persuade Russia.”
At the beginning of his speech, referring to the conference, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated that the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the Mother Church, always shows a strong interest in youth.
“We have Russians, Ukrainians, Gagauzians, Georgians, Romanians, and so on and we all surround them with the same affection without making any discrimination in favor of one or at the expense of the other. They are all children of the Patriarchate as long as they live here, in Turkey.”
He underlined that “according to the canonical law of the Orthodox Church, no other Church has jurisdiction over the Orthodox who live in Turkey, except the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the local Church. Neither the Russian Patriarchate, the Romanian Patriarchate, nor the Bulgarian Patriarchate. No church has jurisdiction. All these young people who will gather next Wednesday at the hotel for the conference, all of them are spiritual children of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch noted that “we want to show the love and affection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the interest of the Church in the members of society who come out in the field of life. And that they belong to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whatever their national origin. And the Patriarchate is at their disposal to meet their religious and spiritual needs.”
The languages of the conference are Greek, English, Turkish, and Russian.