Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy at Saint Fotini in Smyrna on Sunday morning in the presence of many believers from the multinational Christian community of the Turkish megalopolis and a delegation from the Greek Diaspora Committee of the Hellenic Parliament.
The Patriarch performed a Trisagion service for the repose of the soul of Metropolitan Ilias of Philomelion and for the rest of the Orthodox Christian victims of the Asia Minor Catastrophe of 2022.
The Ecumenical Patriarch, among other things, referred with warm words to Metropolitan Bartholomew of Smyrna as well as to the President of the Greek Community of Smyrna, George Theodoridis, expressing the satisfaction of the Mother Church for the work that is taking place in Smyrna.
The Ecumenical Patriarch’s speech
In a full of messages and meanings speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch pointed out that the struggle for peace and justice belongs to the core of Christianity while noting that this pacifist mood passes through interfaith dialogue, mainly between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which have common origins in the wider Mediterranean area.
“It is tragic that religions, instead of acting as forces of reconciliation, contribute to the increase of hatred,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch, pointing out that in the history of humanity, peace has never been a self-evident situation, but sacrifices and initiatives by inspired personalities were required.
“The message of religions must be the rejection of war violence as a means of resolving differences between peoples,” he pointed out, while in particular referring to the war in Ukraine, describing it as an unfair war against the heroic people of Ukraine.