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Pan-Orthodox Council: Pentecostal liturgy. Patriarch Bartholomew, “The world is thirsty for a message of hope”

With a 4-hour liturgy, yesterday the leaders of the Orthodox Churches jointly celebrated the great Feast of Pentecost in the Church of Saint Menas in Heraklion. The liturgy was officiated by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, surrounded by Patriarchs Theodore of Alexandria, Theophilos of Jerusalem, Irinej of Serbia, Daniel of Romania; archbishops Chrysostomos of Cyprus and Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece, metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and all Poland, and archbishops Anastasios of Albania and Rastislav of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The liturgy was also attended by the president of the Greek Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, members of the government and local political authorities. Speaking to the primates and to a crowd of bishops, priests and ley people from inside and outside the Church, the Ecumenical Patriarch spoke of the unity and Catholicism of the Church. “This is also the day we cry to the Paraclete and beg him to come and stay with us, to guard us in his truth and holiness, according to the grieving prayer of the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane”. Jesus’s prayer for unity is “man’s primal question in a divided world”. “Regardless of our differences – Bartholomew said –, we Orthodox must point out that the only way to go, in the world, is unity. Of course, this way requires a living sacrifice, a lot of work and a hard fight, not to get apart. What is certain is that this Council will help in this sense, by establishing – through the consultation of the Holy Spirit, and honest, constructive dialogue – a climate of mutual trust and understanding”.
“Our mission is the unity of the Orthodox Church and its devotees”, the Patriarch then reiterated. “Putting aide the problems due to our different ethnical origin, let’s beg the Paraclete that he may descend upon us, so that, enlightened by he who is light and life and a spiritual source of wisdom (…), we can speak to the world, that is thirsty for a message of truth, purity and hope”.

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