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Message for the Volume of the Halki Seminars (17 November 2004)


To all the beloved brothers and children of our Modesty in the Holy Spirit: Grace and blessings from our Lord God Almighty, who created the universe with wisdom and attends to it with paternal love.

Today, the ancient saying, Every cloud has a silver lining, finds its full affirmation. On the one hand, the technical culture of the society of abundance continuously broadens its remarkable and inconceivable achievements. On the other hand, the ecological plight inflicted that follows weighs down the natural endurance and tolerance of the ecosystems of our beautiful planet, our most beautiful earth.

The entire problem, we normally believe on account of our technologically captured mindset, is, and it is stated, the normal result of our inconsiderate abuse of the physical world. The Church, however, through the Holy Scriptures and patristic writings, teaches that the problem is primarily spiritual in nature and reveals a purely material and worldly notion of creation, which result in its progressive and vulgar catastrophe.

How much are we encouraged when we recite the famous 103rd psalm of the prophet David!  How much do we marvel affirming the love of our Lord Jesus Christ towards His creation! And also, how much are we taught by contemplating the lives of the Saints of our Church in reconciling ourselves with the entire created world in a respectful manner!

But unfortunately, by transgressing continuously, and ever more often the principle, All things in moderation, and by being possessed by a insatiable and selfish and conquest-based mind on account of this wonderfully fashioned and generously given world of ours, we make our earthly dwelling place an irreparable self-destructive vice.

For this very reason, that is, the promotion of the Orthodox ecclesiastical worldview regarding the environment, the Holy Great Church of Christ, and we personally, have undertaken the special crusade of increasing the awareness and sensitivity of those responsible, but also of the general public, on the protection of our planet from all the abuse we, its visitors, cause; and this crusade has truly been so warmly received worldwide. 

An outcome of such our efforts, except from the other undertakings, is the organization of special Ecological Seminars, which took place for a number of years in the Sacred Monastery of the Holy Trinity on Halki. During these seminars specialists and others very well informed presented papers concerning the ecological problems faced and an effort was made to distribute broadly their conclusions through the media.

Remembering the phrase, Things written remain, we decided to publish the above-mentioned scientific papers so that they will be communicated to as many sensitive people as possible and, thus, broaden the circle of those who think correctly on this great and increasing problem of ecology.

Concluding, we wish to express our warm appreciation to all those who kindly participated in the Seminaries on Halki, and we fervently pray that the Lord and Creator of the universe enlighten all, so that, behaving with respect towards our fellow natural creatures, be granted to join the supernatural ones in our heavenly and remaining homeland, the desired Paradise.  We also thank all our collaborators for the excellent preparation and publication of this collective volume.

May the grace and blessing of the Lord be with you all.

A.D. 2004, November 17

Your beloved brother in Christ
and fervent supplicant before God,

+ Bartholomew of Constantinople