CONSTANTINOPLE – The Government of Hungary made a substantial donation to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of ten thousand of face masks to meet the needs its needs and those of its parishes in Turkey, as a precautionary measure against coronavirus and to prevent its spread.
The gift was brought to the Phanar by the Consul General of Hungary in Constantinople, Laszlo Keller, accompanied by his assistant, Tamas Torma.
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received them at the Patriarchal Office and expressed his warm thanks to the Government of Hungary for its donation, but also for its generally harmonious cooperation with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
He also handed over to the Consul General Patriarchal Letters to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country, expressing the gratitude of the Mother Church for this spontaneous and kind donation, especially useful under the current difficult circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.
The distribution of the protective masks will be placed under the supervision of the Hierarchs of the Eparchies of the Throne in Turkey as well as the Patriarchal overseers of the various regions of the Holy Archdiocese of Constantinople.
The Government of Hungary in 2017 donated to the Ecumenical Patriarchate a 9000 sq. meter building in the center of Budapest, which after the necessary renovation work starting this year with the funding of the Government of Hungary, will be the headquarters of its Exarchate in Hungary, which is under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Holy Metropolis of Austria, which ecclesiastically and canonically belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Three years earlier, in 2014, a Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Hungarian Government, which regulates the relations of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Hungary with the State. It is worth noting that the Cooperation Agreement highlights the important role that the Orthodox Church has played in the history of Hungary.
Also, during the official visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to Budapest, in 2001, His All Holiness was awarded, in a special ceremony in the Parliament, the medal of the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Republic.