The speech of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, during the coliturgy with Archbishop Stefanos of Ohrid on Pentecost Sunday at the Phanar, contained many messages in all directions.
The Ecumenical Patriarch referred, among other things, to the great feast of Pentecost, and stressed that “the Church is the gift of the Holy Spirit to the world.
Without the Church, faith in Christ could not be established in the world. Church means permanent and continuous Pentecost. ”
As Bartholomew stressed, “we regret having to talk about ourselves, but it is necessary to reveal the truth.
The Great Church of Christ in Constantinople is the mother and nurturer of every child. She doesn’t use her responsibilities for show-offs and smugness.
Sacrifices, worries, admonishes, prays and participates in the pleasant and unpleasant things of the local Churches. ” And he adds: “History proves it, today confirms it. Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, even the Church of Cyprus, would not exist without the assistance of the Ecumenical Patriarchs.
Unfortunately, the greatness and naivety of the Mother Church is perceived by the beneficiaries as indifference, weakness and incompetence. ”
Addressing the Archbishop of Ohrid, he stressed that “it is time to review the ecclesiology of self-sufficiency and misunderstood introversion.
It needs stability. The terminology of Slavonic and Greek-speaking Orthodoxy – which was wrongly derived – is not a dilemma. The Orthodox church is One. We can’t afford to be petty. You know better than anyone how much stubborn obsessions cost.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called on the Archbishop of Ohrid to entrust the Mother Church “with the care of her.
We have said time and time again that we are willing to deal with yourselves. Your course from now on depends solely on your own behavior and choices. ”
The Ecumenical Patriarch also thanked the Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia for his presence at the Phanar.
Archbishop of Ohrid: We love the neighboring hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne in Northern Greece
On his part, Archbishop Stefanos of Ohrid expressed his emotion for the day.” Today’s event means a lot to us: here, from where we felt the initiative and heard the joyous judgment for our appeal, here we perform liturgy and we receive restoration and we all enter in unity.
Not on any day or feast of faith, but precisely on the feast of Pentecost, when the Church was founded, in the sense that the Apostles became members of the Body of Christ.”
Elsewhere in his speech, Archbishop Stefanos said that “yes, we are patriots, like all our neighbors! We also love the country in which we were born and live, as well as the people we come from and live with.
But we also love our neighbors! We also love the neighboring hierarchs of your Throne, in Northern Greece.
We await with love and impatience the moment we see them face to face, embrace them and concelebrate with them.
This was once a dream, but today it is a reality – and you are the guardian angel of this reality.” He noted that the history of the Ohrid Archdiocese does not exist without the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“The Mother Church of Constantinople always knew, with love, to find the way in the hearts of the wronged, overwhelmed, sick, tired of the conditions of time and history. ”
Concluding his speech, the Archbishop of Ohrid stressed: “You are well aware of the desire of our hierarchy and our Orthodox people, and we do not hide this from you, nor from the members of the sectarian hierarchy of your Church and your faithful people.
But, God is our witness, that as much hope as we have, so much and complete trust we have in Your judgment, in Your opinion of the time in which these things must be settled. In You We leave judgment for time and please, do not forget us, but help us to progress.
In You is the responsibility of the Mother Church for the good and the prosperity of the Orthodox family, in You are the privileges and the just and we ask nothing more than what others received, or in some way different from the one with whom you gave the other autocephalous of history and of the present.
Our promise is that we will tirelessly work for our prosperity and patiently wait for that welcome moment.
Let the news of today’s event of the restoration of our unity with the Orthodox world, for this Pentecost, during which, after centuries, the Patriarch of Constantinople presided over the Divine Liturgy and concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with the Archbishop of Ohrid – the father with the son, the brother with the brother, the co-celebrator with the co-celebrator.
Let today’s joy last for many years! May our bond with the Holy Mother Church of Constantinople be eternal!”
The Ecumenical Patriarch then received the Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Prime Minister Kovačevski expressed his warm thanks to the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop of Ohrid, and referring to the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy, he spoke of a great and historic day.
Photos: Nikos Papachristou / Ecumenical Patriarchate