CONSTANTINOPLE – In a statement released Sunday, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his revulsion and deep shock at the murderous shootings at El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, “which killed and injured many of our fellow citizens,” reads the statement.
Patriarch Bartholomew said he strongly condemns “all acts of hatred, be it racial, religious or social, but also any form of violence and fundamentalism, wherever they may come from.”
“Hate and violence,” he pointed out, “cause a great deal of pain and fear, and are sometimes the cause of further acts of violence in the form of revenge. In the face of this rising, dangerous and bloody phenomenon, every person of good will must display strong spiritual resistance.”
He called on everyone “to work, through dialogue and in a spirit of mutual respect, to preserve peaceful coexistence and cooperation, against practices that boost fear and divide society.”
“The Holy Church of Christ, in faith in the teaching of our Lord, is making strenuous efforts in this direction. The Church prays for the resting of the victims’ souls, and expresses its heartfelt condolences to their families, and wishes courage and speedy recovery to the injured. At the same time, it expresses its sympathy and support for the local community of El Paso as well as Dayton, the US government and people in the US,” said the Patriarchate.
The Ecumenical Patriarch asked the Archbishop of America Elpidoforos to convey the above message of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to local and national authorities and to the people of the United States at large.