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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis Marks Sunday of Orthodoxy at the Phanar

CONSTANTINOPLE – The Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated on March 13 at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople with the participation of the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

His-All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated at the Divine Liturgy while his co-celebrants were the Hierarchs, Geron Demitrios of Princes’ Islands, Nektarios of Anthedon, Seraphim of Sebastia, Irineos of Myriophytos and Peristaseos, Chrysostom of Myron, Nikandros of Irinoupolis, Polycarp of Italy, Amphilochios of Adrianople, Gerasimos of Petra and Hersonissos, and Andreas of Saranta Ekklision.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, fifth right, talks to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, fifth left, after attending a ceremony for Orthodox Christians at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

During the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, the ordination of Monk Barnabas to the diaconate took place. He belongs to the Monastic Brotherhood of the Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist in Essex England.

His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyatira and Great Britain preached about the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

Before the ordination of the new deacon, the Ecumenical Patriarch, in his speech, referred to the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine and called for an immediate end to the invasion and war and to give a new opportunity to dialogue.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, center, is surrounded by security guards, as he leaves after attending a ceremony for Orthodox Christians at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The Patriarch said: “Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the ‘God of peace’. His Church prays for ‘peace from above,’ the ‘peace of God, which surpasses all understanding’ (Phil. d, 7), but also ‘for the peace of the world,’ which is the conjoined twin of ‘justice’.

“We watch the tragedy of the Ukrainian people, and admire their fierce resistance against the shameless invader.

“We are also pleased to see the brave reaction of Russian citizens to the bloodshed. We call for an immediate ceasefire on all fronts of the war.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, right, sits in front of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, as he leads a ceremony for Orthodox Christians at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Violence and war not only do not resolve differences, but cause pain and death and create more complex problems.

“The invasion and war must end immediately – now – and a new opportunity must be given to dialogue, the vehicle of peace par excellence. War is a violation of international law, which is now ‘the law of peace.’”

His All Holiness, in connection with the deacon candidate’s Cypriot origins, spoke warmly about Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis lights a candle as he arrives to attend a ceremony for Orthodox Christians at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The Patriarch said, “we extend our warmest wishes for the speedy recovery of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus. We are grateful to him for his support to the Ecumenical Throne for the 2016 Great Synod and for his exemplary stance on the issue of the Ukrainian Autocephaly. We also thank him for his recent donation to the Metropolis of Belgium, which will help fulfill its mission in the center of Europe.”

In his brief greeting to the Prime Minister of Greece, the Ecumenical Patriarch warmly welcomed him to the seat of the Orthodoxy, and thanked the Greek State for its continued interest in the issues of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He also wished every success in the meeting of the Prime Minister with the President of Turkey, and referring again to the dramatic situation in Ukraine, he reiterated the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s support to the struggling Ukrainian people.

Later in the afternoon the Patriarch met with Prime Minister Mitsotakis at the Consulate General of Greece in Constantinople.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, center right, talks to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, center left, after attending a ceremony for Orthodox Christians at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

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