CONSTANTINOPLE – The Ecumenical Patriarchate issued an official announcement regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) urging “prudence, patience, and the avoidance of panic.”
The entire Patriarchal announcement follows:
The Holy and Great Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, convened under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and among other issues, thoroughly deliberated upon the events and with a feeling of pastoral responsibility, points out the following:
1) Despite the seriousness of the situation, prudence, patience, and the avoidance of panic are advised.
2) The Church has and continues to respect medical science. Thus, the Church recommends that all the faithful adhere to the official directives of both the World Health Organization and the pertinent pronouncements and legal regulations issued by the civil authorities of their respective countries.
3) The Ecumenical Patriarchate expresses its gratitude to all those working self-sacrificially within all health, medical, nursing, and research fields in order that this new pandemic be confronted and treated.
4) The Mother Church of Constantinople knows empirically from its two-thousand-year existence that Holy Communion is “the antidote to mortality” and remains firm in its Orthodox teaching regarding the Holy Eucharist.
5) It is considered self-evident that faith in God, as transcendence and not as the abolition of human reason, along with prayer, strengthen the spiritual battle of every Christian. Therefore, the Mother Church of Constantinople urges its spiritual children throughout the world to intensify their petitions so that, strengthened and illumined by God, this contemporary tribulation may be overcome.
11 March 2020
From the Chief Secretariat
of the Holy and Sacred Synod.”