Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Addressed a Message to the Organizers and Participants of the 13th Ecumenical Social Week

2020-10-02 14:00

On September 10, 2020, in response to the appeal of Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew wrote a letter to the organizers and participants of the 13th Ecumenical Social Week, which will take place from October 7 to 10, 2020. This Forum is organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the Ukrainian Catholic University in cooperation with the Lviv City Council and with the involvement of other academic institutions, civil authorities and community organizations.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has for many years been one of the leaders in biblical and theological reinterpretation of the environmental issues. His eco-initiatives date back to the mid-1980s. The Patriarch organized a series of international and interdisciplinary symposia in the Aegean (1995) and Black (1997) seas, along the Danube (1999), in the Adriatic (2002) and Baltic (2003) seas, on the Amazon (2006) and Mississippi (2009) rivers. The Patriarch of Constantinople stressed the urgency of the topic raised by the 13th ESW “Hear the cry of the Earth: an integrated ecology in action”. The issue of environmental challenges is extremely important for humanity, so everyone should join this discussion on “protecting the resources of our planet for the benefit of all people, especially «the least of the brothers [and sisters]», the most vulnerable and marginalized in our world”. The issue of ecology is beginning to unite representatives of religious communities, government and business, public and educational sectors, all concerned.

The Archbishop of Constantinople noted the good ecumenical situation in Ukraine, where the Churches actively cooperate in various environmental initiatives and is especially pleased with “the close cooperation between the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Catholic Church”. Bartholomew stressed that the Churches must work out “in their vision for the transformation of the world and the benefit of all people”.

Patriarch Bartholomew emphasized the important role of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in its academic and socio-practical activities: “we are in particular deeply impressed with the unique contribution of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the Ukrainian Catholic University, which provides graduate degrees in the filed of ecumenical relations and dialogue, while at the same time coordinating numerous conferences and publications for the sake of advancing peace and reconciliation nationally, regionally, and globally”.

The Patriarch of Constantinople and New Rome wished fruitful work during the 13th ESW and conveyed his sincerest paternal greetings and heartfelt patriarchal blessings on participants of the forum.

The Letter of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in English

Institute of Ecumenical Studies

Photo from the website of the Ecumenical Patriarchate