VOLUME XXI WINTER 2017 ISSUE 1
Below are a compilation of congratulatory messages from religious leaders and digniatries from around the world to His All-Holiness Bartholomew on the occasion of his 25th anniversary of enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch:
His Holiness Bartholomaios
Archbishop of Constantinople
It was a source of great joy for me during our recent meeting in Assisi to be able to express personally to Your Holiness my congratulations on the twenty-fifth anniversary of your election as Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch. I assure you, beloved Brother in Christ, of my spiritual closeness on this significant anniversary, as I join you in a prayer of thanksgiving to God the Father, source of all good, for the abundant blessings he has bestowed upon your life and ministry and, through you, upon the Church. In expressing my heartfelt best wishes for your health and spiritual joy, I renew to Your Holiness the sentiments of my steadfast esteem and friendship, and I willingly exchange with you a fraternal embrace in the Lord.
October 19, 2016
HIS HOLINESS BARTHOLOMEW
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE-NEW ROME AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
Your Holiness, Beloved Brother in the Lord and Concelebrant at God’s Altar,
Please accept my fraternal and cordial greetings with the memorable date — the 25th anniversary of your election and elevation to the Throne of Holy Primates of New Rome.
A quarter of a century ago the Lord of peace, Who has a wise dispensation towards His Church, laid on your shoulders a laborious cross of Patriarchal ministry. You were elected to the see, which is covered with the imperishable glory of the great teachers and saints: John Chrysostom, Gregory the Theologian and other holy fathers pleasing unto the Lord. Finding inspiration in “the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12), fought by your blessed predecessors, and bearing in mind all the afflictions and hardships that they suffered, you carry out your Primatial ministry and overcome various temptations, taking a zealous care of the good of the Church and being firm in your trust in God.
During your decades-long Primatial ministry, you have been bearing an active witness to the Orthodox faith in the non-Christian milieu, making considerable efforts aimed at promoting peace and accord among the nations, and zealously defending the human life, the environment and the whole creation of God. Such manifold activities of the Holy Church of Constantinople have received recognition both in the Christian world and beyond, thanks to, among other things, the talents that God granted to you in abundance and that you strive to cultivate.
I especially appreciate the fraternal and constructive nature of our personal relationships, unchanging for many decades, and our closest cooperation for the benefit of our Churches and the whole Holy Orthodoxy.
On this day, memorable for the plenitude of the Church of Constantinople, I prayerfully wish to Your Holiness the bountiful help from the Lord in your Patriarchal ministry, peace and unceasing joy in the Holy Spirit.
Many and good years!
With brotherly love in Jesus Christ,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA
Bucharest, 22 October 2016
His Holiness BARTHOLOMAIOS,
Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome,
Beloved Brother and Concelebrant,
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Your Holiness’ election (22nd October 1991) and of your enthronement (2nd November 1991) as the 270th Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, we address you a respectful and brotherly message of congratulations.
Your Holiness’ personality and intense activity, both in ecclesiastical and in other spheres of life is well known and appreciated in the whole of the Orthodox Church and also respected throughout the rest of the Christendom and in the world at large. Thus, throughout your entire service as Ecumenical Patriarch, Your Holiness have constantly promoted the role and place of each sister Orthodox Church in strengthening and deepening the panorthodox unity and in assuming responsibility towards solving humanitarian crises within the contemporary society, through specific assistance.
At the same time, you have greatly contributed to the affirmation of dignity and role of Orthodoxy in the world of today, marked by big challenges and rapid changes.
In a very specific way, we would also like to thank once again to Your Holiness for hosting, for the past 12 years, the Romanian Orthodox community in Constantinople, in the church dedicated by the Holy Martyr Ruler Prince Constantine Brancoveanu to the Holy Martyr Paraschevi.
At this particular moment when you celebrate 25 years of service as Ecumenical Patriarch and over 55 years of ecclesiastical ministry, on behalf of the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Romanian Orthodox Church, we wish Your Holiness many years to come in good health, help from God in this very important and demanding service, for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the welfare of Orthodoxy.
With deep esteem and fraternal embrace in Jesus Christ,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
To His All-Holiness, Bartholomew I,
Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch
We wholeheartedly congratulate you on the 25th anniversary of your enthronement.
In our era of controversies, it is an arduous labour to bear the Cross of the foremost hierarch; the Patriarchate of Constantinople has always been the arena of universal interests and spiritual battles; therefore the Lord has bestowed upon you a heavy and honourable mission.
The Church of Georgia has many times had your support, love and respect. We trust your wisdom and thoughtfulness and hope that, despite the existing problems, you will be the person to advocate peace and unity among the Orthodox Churches.
We wish you many years of life and the Lord’s support in your high ministry for the benefit of the entire Orthodox world.
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia
November 1, 2016
I am pleased to join in paying tribute to His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as he marks the 25th anniversary of his election as Ecumenical Patriarch.
Guided by the teachings of his faith, His All-Holiness, Bartholomew, has long been a pillar of wisdom and enlightenment for people around the world. His work–whether promoting peace and reconciliation, standing for human rights and freedoms, supporting refugees, or encouraging us to be stewards of the one planet we share–has helped transcend divides that have set people apart throughout history. At the heart of his efforts lies a fundamental truth about our common humanity: that it is our sacred obligation to spend our time here on Earth working together to forge a brighter future for all–including for generations that have not yet come to be.
I hope the years ahead bring continued blessings to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s ministry, and I send all those marking this special milestone my very best wishes.
For the last quarter century, the world has been blessed to have the spiritual leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who has taken unprecedented steps to deepen cooperation within the Orthodox sects and to establish inter-religious dialogues with other Christian churches as well as with Muslim and Jewish communities. His All Holiness has worked tirelessly to move the Orthodox Church forward and repair bonds that have frayed over the centuries, including by being the first spiritual head of the Eastern Orthodox Christians to attend a papal inauguration since the Great Schism, and convening the first Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Christian Church in over 1,200 years. I have had the great honor of seeing Patriarch Bartholomew’s spiritual leadership for myself, and am inspired by his work on human rights, religious tolerance, and environmental protection. I send my best wishes to His All Holiness on this momentous milestone.
October 28, 2016
I am writing this letter to wish you a most sincere congratulations on your twenty-fifth anniversary as Ecumenical Patriarch. Your steadfast conviction to the Orthodox Church has set an example for Orthodox Christians around the world. As the Bible says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7). Recently, the members of all different religious groups have been plagued by violence, contempt, and divison.
Your inter-religious dialogue, promotion of religious freedom and human rights for the last twenty-five years has provided members of the Christian faith with a steadfast vision of hope. The dedication you have shown in fighting against religious persecution, pushing for the reopening of the Halki Seminary, and the reconciliation among Christian Churches has promoted the Orthodox faith and has set an example that all humans, from world leaders to ordinary members of society, should strive to emulate.
As an Archon of the Order of St. Andrew, I want to express my utmost gratitude for your service and dedication to the Orthodox Church. Your leadership is inspired myself and many others to defend and promote the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition. Again, I wish you congratulations and pray for many more years of success. Axios!
* Mr. Priebus is currently the Chief of Staff of President Donald Trump at the White House