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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Ukrainian people are suffering due to the unholy invasion of sovereign territories

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy on Monday, 25 March 2024, at the Church of the Annunciation in Vafeochori, Bosphorus, the birthplace of the late Patriarch Joachim III. The Patriarchal Deacon Anatolios Doxastakis delivered the Divine Word during the service.

In his homily, after the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew reflected on the significance of the Feast of the Annunciation, emphasising its message of joy. He then turned his attention to the tragic events unfolding in the Middle East, Ukraine, and the recent terrorist attack in Moscow, which was unequivocally condemned by the Holy Synod. Expressing profound sorrow, the Ecumenical Patriarch offered prayers for the souls of the victims, the recovery of the injured, and solace for their grieving families.

Addressing the broader context, he lamented the fabrication of false ideologies that distort God’s gifts and deny the Creator, leading only to disappointment, pain, and destruction. He highlighted the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, attributing their suffering to the unholy invasion of sovereign territories and condemning acts of violence perpetrated against innocent civilians.

Expressing solidarity with the Russian people in their mourning, the Ecumenical Patriarch fervently prayed for healing and comfort, invoking the intercessions of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The Ecumenical Patriarch extended gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia for his devoted service and effectiveness in the region. He also commended Archimandrite Timotheos Railakis-Vranas and Chairman Mr. Chrysovalantis Tzavidis for their contributions to the Community.

Concluding his address, the Ecumenical Patriarch warmly welcomed His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Ireland and members of the “Aristotle of Attica” Department of AHEPA.

Prior to the Divine Liturgy, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received a warm welcome from Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia and the Chairman of the Ecclesiastical Committee. Following the service, he performed a Trisagion memorial service at the gravesite of the late Patriarch Joachim III’s relatives, offering prayers for their souls and remembering the recently deceased Patriarch of Bulgaria, Neophyte.