On the 66th anniversary of the September events of 1955, “the violent, sad and tragic events to the detriment of the Greek Diaspora took place, during which most of the Orthodox churches of Constantinople and other monuments of Rome were destroyed or severely damaged,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcoming on Monday, September 6, 2021, at the Patriarchal Church in the Phanar, a large group of Teachers from Greece and Cyprus, who participated in the Forum “Ecumenical Initiative for the protection of the environment and culture”.
“We believe that behind the destruction of religious monuments is the very bad alteration of our freedom, which also causes ecological problems.
Religious fanaticism, this morbid expression of religious faith, and the “complex of the human god”, which does not recognize measures and limits, but wants man to be the absolute ruler of nature, are today the great challenge and the terrible threat for nature and culture.
It is no coincidence that the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church (Crete 2016) referred with emphasis to the modern ecological crisis and the destruction of religious monuments, and condemned humanism and fundamentalism in all its forms.
The Ecumenical Patriarch then underlined the important role that education plays in the formation of the new generation and in the transmission to it of top values and principles.
“Many and essentially for the future of humanity depend on whether and to what extent education will be able to transmit to the new generation the principles of ecological ethics, the understanding of diversity, and the respect of human dignity and spiritual values.
We reiterate that education without ecological, humanitarian, and spiritual orientation is a parody of education. The future belongs to an authentic education of responsible freedom, in the service of the Being and not of the Have, of solidarity and not of securing the rights of the enclosed individual.
We are here, guarding Thermopylae, firm, courageous, gazing at “Christ only”, fully aware that “without Him, we can do nothing”.