Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed deep sorrow over the repose of the late Patriarch of Serbia Irinej, while expressing support and love and sending his heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to the ailing Archbishops of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos, and of Albania, Anastasios, yesterday at the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Constantinople.
The Ecumenical Patriarch explained that due to the COVID-19 restrictions he could not travel to Serbia for the funeral service for the late Patriarch Irinej, as it had been the case for other funeral services for other primates. For this reason, he asked Metropolitan Hrisostom of Dabro-Bosnia, locum tenens of the Patriarchate of Serbia, to represent the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
He then expressed support and sent heartfelt wishes to Archbishops of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos, and of Albania, Anastasios, both of whom are being hospitalized at Evangelismos Hospital in Athens.
“We sent them our wishes that their ordeal is over soon and that they both return to their hierarchical duties. They are both dear brothers, we have worked together many times in the past, both within the framework of our bilateral relations and the pan-Orthodox relations. I was accompanied to Ukraine about twelve years ago, when other primates were afraid to come, they were afraid of the threats posed by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Archbishops of Athens and of Albania were by my side and we concelebrated the liturgy in Kyiv. They were valuable collaborators of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Holy and Great Synod of Crete and our collaboration will be written down in the church history. I wish them a speedy recovery and return to their duties again.”
During the Divine Liturgy, the Ecumenical Patriarch ordained Deacon of the Community Nikodimos Saidam as presbyter and Alex Torrance, Professor of the University of Notre Dame, as deacon.
“For us Christians, all people are brothers. The incarnation, crucifixion and resurrections of Jesus Christ incarnated is for the humankind. Our Church preaches love for our neighbor, which is always specific. We do not love the “man” in an abstract manner but those we meet in our daily lives, he stressed addressing Fr. Nikodimos.