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On Wednesday morning, September 13, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Doxology that was held to mark the centenary of the autonomy of the Church of Estonia at the Holy Cathedral of Saints Simeon and Anne in Tallinn.
Τhe Ecumenical Patriarch, in his homily, referred to the way Autonomy was granted to the Church of Estonia by the Ecumenical Throne:
“These days we celebrate together with you, with the autonomous Orthodox Church of Estonia, the 100th anniversary since its autonomy. The Church of Constantinople willingly responded to the appeals and the pleas of both the state and the Church of the people of God and granted you autonomy in 1923. The Church of Russia seeked to abolish this status granted to you by the Ecumenical Throne by force of arms. You have gone through some tough times. There were many martyrs under Metropolitan Platonas. God wanted the atheist communist regime to fall and Estonia to gain its independence. Then, again, the Church and the State of this country addressed the Mother Church and asked for the restoration of their autonomy. Constantinople responded willingly by exercising its canonical rights which provoked a strong reaction from the Church of Russia. Didn’t the same thing happen a few years ago when Constantinople granted autocephaly to Ukraine? We make decisions in accordance with the sacred canons of the Church but the other side uses weapons, threats and circumvents the sacred canons and order of the Orthodox Church.”
Bartholomew: I urge you to be united and obey and respect the primate of your church
In addition, the Ecumenical Patriarch mentioned, in his homily, Metropolitan Stefanos of Tallinn and All Estonia:
“You here, during the 24 years that you have been the head of the autonomous church, have done a lot with your associates. You reorganized the Estonian Church, you created a theological school, you built good relations with the State and the other Christian doctrines here so that we can glorify God through your hierarchical ministry and, therefore, we feel gratitude. Every time I come to Estonia, and I came here several times, I see the constant growth and progress of your Church. The Mother Church is proud of you. We see that all the canonical decisions taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate were correct and bear fruit. We would like to thank the Estonian state, the President and the Prime Minister for their continued protection of our autonomous Orthodox Church,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch.
“The Autonomous Church here is an integral part of Estonian society and enjoys prestige and respect,” he added.
“I urge you to be united, to obey and respect the primate of your church, your shepherd. He has been elaborating on several plans for the future of the Church, which will be carried out throughout the second Centennial, and we hope that God will help him to fulfill his plans, to be in good health and to have a long life together with his associates,” he concluded in his homily.
Watch the video with the homily of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Greek and Estonian:
Photos: Nikos Papachristou