CONSTANTINOPLE – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew speaking during the celebration of Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Trimythous, at the Patriarchal and Stavropegic Skete in Halki said that “this year was especially important for the Mother Church of Constantinople because at its very beginning we had the blessing of God to grant as Ecumenical Patriarchate the Tomos of Autocephaly to our sister, now, Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The Patriarch added that “disputed as it may have been and still is by some, it is now an ecclesiastical fact, recorded as a historical one, and this young sister Church of ours has been added to the Diptychs list of the Autocephalous Churches.”
The Patriarch referred to the life of the Wonderworker Saint Spyridon and especially to his simplicity and humility. He said that “we wish for world peace, which is disrupted in many parts of the world, far and wide, and human blood is unjustly shed, the blood of young people. Therefore, our Church will not stop praying for world peace.”
The Patriarch introduced Metropolitan Panteleimon of Maroneia and Komotini who was present and asked him to address the congregation.
Metropolitan Panteleimon, who shepherds one of the Metropolises of the Ecumenical Throne, one of the Metropolises in the New Lands, referred to the feast of St. Spyridon and also to the importance of the doctrines of our Church, which “are not mere legal formalities but have a soteriological dimension.”
Metropolitan Panteleimon said that “staying within the Church and obeying their Bishop wherever they are is preferable to any differentiation. I want to ask you, Your All-Holiness, to wish us all, clergy and lay people, to be united and faithful to the tradition of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which is the Holy Great Church of Christ that you lead steadily.”