Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Vespers Service in commemoration of Saint Nektarios on Friday, November 8, 2019, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The Ecumenical Patriarch received a warm welcome from both the Diocese of Rotterdam and other dioceses. Metropolitan Isaac of Antioch in Germany and the Netherlands, Bishop Dositheos of Georgia in Belgium and the Netherlands, an envoy of the Russian Archbishop, Presbyter Michael Baker, Catholic Bishop Hans van den Hende of Rotterdam, Old Catholic Archbishop Joris Vercammen of Utrecht, the Greek Ambassador in the Netherlands, Nikolaos Plexidas, the Cypriot Ambassador, Elpidoforos Oikonomou, and local government representatives attended the Patriarchal Vespers Service.
The Ecumenical Patriarch referred to the history of the Orthodoxy in the Netherlands and to the current development of parishes, which is an important effort made by the Metropolitan Athenagoras and the new clergy of his Province.
In particular, he said, “You should always remain united with the Metropolitan and the priests. You should remain steadfast in your faith and keep the Greek traditions alive. Be proud of your precious spiritual heritage! May God give you a long and healthy life ahead.”
In the context of the Patriarch’s presence in the Netherlands on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Holy Metropolis, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium expressed his great joy and thanked the Orthodox Hierarchs, the Hierarchs of the Catholic and the Old Catholic Church, who attended the event. Lastly, he spoke of the good cooperation at inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian level.