His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
On the Occasion of the Visit of His Excellency Nicolae Timofti,
President of the Republic of Moldova
(June 25, 2012).
It is with profound pleasure and sincere love that we welcome you to this sacred Center of the Orthodox Church, the courtyard of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. As you are aware, this Church has a history spanning seventeen centuries, during which it retained its administrative offices in this very city. Through the years and to this day, it constitutes the spiritual center of the Orthodox Churches throughout the world, exercising leadership among these by means of its ministry of pan-Orthodox unity and the coordination of the activities within Orthodoxy as a whole.
We were deeply touched earlier this year to be informed of the supreme award of the Order of your Republic, which was generously bestowed upon us by the Speaker of the Parliament and then acting President of Moldova, the Honorable Marian Lupu, who signed the appropriate formal decree on February 2, 2012. We humbly and gratefully accept this prestigious award from the administration of your nation on behalf of the Mother Church of Constantinople.
Your Excellency, beyond our wholehearted thanks for this exceptional honor, today we also extend our sincerest congratulations on your very recent election as President of Moldova, following a successful service as a jurist and head of Moldova’s Supreme Magistrate Council. Your impressive legal intellect and progressive political thought – together with your eloquence and kindness – have guided your nation through fundamental reforms over the last two decades.
We are fervently praying that these positive and powerful characteristics will contribute to the difficult road of reconciliation and integrity among political representatives. Above all, Your Excellency, we must commend you for your courageous and honorable confession of your faith in the living God. This conviction was, as you have said, instilled in you by the faith and spirituality of your beloved mother. Permit us to declare that it is primarily such a reverence and devotion that will ultimately overcome any wrongdoing and misconduct both in politics and society in general.
In closing, we pray that God will bless you and all your people. May your stay in our city, on the occasion of the summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, be pleasant and productive. Your Excellency, you will always be welcome among us. We ask in particular that you convey to the pious people of the Republic of Moldova the most fervent prayers and wholehearted greetings of the Mother Church. May your blessed country and its faithful people be forever filled with progress, stability and prosperity.