Today, the Hon. Andrew Scheer, the Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, issued the following statement regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
We are sincerely thankful and express our gratitude to Mr. Scheer — who also celebrates his Name Day today for the feast of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle — for his kind statement, his support of religious freedom for the Church of Constantinople, and for his gracious words regarding the Orthodox Christian community in Canada.
OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, issues the following statement to celebrate the Patronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
“Today, Christians across Canada and around the world celebrate Saint Andrew the First-Called Apostle. St Andrew is the founder of the Church at Byzantium and thus the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the see of the patriarch who holds the primacy of honour in the global Eastern Orthodox community.
“The Patriarchs of Constantinople have led the Byzantine Christian world since the 4th century, and have been a defining influence over Eastern Christianity throughout that time. Led today by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Church of Constantinople is a leading international voice promoting the Christian faith, religious freedom, inter-community dialogue and peaceful co-existence, as well as the importance of caring for Creation.
“Patriarch Bartholomew, as spiritual leader of the world’s approximately 300 million Orthodox Christians, has proven himself to be an effective bridge builder in a volatile world since becoming Ecumenical Patriarch in 1991.
We can see this leadership in action in the Patriarch’s pastoral response to the Ukrainian people, and in the steps he has taken to unite the Ukrainian Orthodox community and to grant them ecclesial independence.
“On behalf of Canada’s Conservatives, I extend my sincere best wishes to Canada’s Orthodox Christians, who are so integral to the social fabric of our communities from coast to coast.
I also pass along my warmest regards to Patriarch Bartholomew and all people of goodwill gathering to celebrate St Andrew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate and throughout the world today.” [Note: original letter below.