The Archbishop of America Elpidophoros spoke of a disaster that shocked the Church, referring to the fire that broke out in the Greek Hospital of Balikli in Constantinople.
As he stated in a message, “today, our Church is shaken by a catastrophe: a devastating fire that caused extensive structural damage at the Balıklı Greek Hospital in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul. The hospital is a historic building and a vital institution that today cares for our elderly sisters and brothers residing in the city.
We are grateful to our merciful God that no casualties have been reported. We are thankful to the Firefighters who extinguished the flames, the hospital staff, and those who rushed to the scene throughout the city to bring the patients to safety.
I will visit the hospital as soon as I arrive in Istanbul for the third Centennial Pilgrimage, which begins Monday.
In the interim, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America prepares to respond to this tragedy. As His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew has noted, “Human lives matter. Buildings, facilities, material things can be restored,” and our Omogeneia will contribute in any way we can to mitigate the material damages that have been suffered so that the Balıklı Greek Hospital can continue its mission caring for the elderly and infirmed.