He began his remarks with the teaching and the belief that “the light of Christ shines more brightly than any darkness in our hearts and in our world,” offering this idea as the underlying premise to the theme of the assembly, that “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”
Yet, we have fallen short of this ideal, he suggested. Asking each of us the question, “how can we reconcile our magnificent faith with our manifest failure?”
The Ecumenical Patriarch was referring to our “sin of ignoring the divine presence in all things and in all people,” and our failure to look larger than ourselves to “discern and detect the purpose for which God has created everyone and everything.”
His words were delivered on 1 September, which he notes as a “consecrated day of prayer and protection for God’s sacred creation,” and a day that “Orthodox Christians since 1989 have dedicated to praying for the protection of God’s gift of creation.”
His All-Holiness cited climate change as the greatest threat to our planet, describing a need for repentance “from indiscriminate habits and destructive practices toward other people and in relation to nature’s resources.” He also called to attention the current conflict in Ukraine and the “unjust suffering of our brothers and sisters,” as a space where we might pledge our repentance.
Delivering his words remotely, his All-Holiness highlighted that we are capable of “restoring the shattered image of creation,” by adopting a spirit of humility and appreciating the world “as larger than ourselves.” All of creation “constitutes a cosmic liturgy,” he continued, and there is “a need for cosmic repentance and cosmic resurrection.”
“We should never reduce our religious life to ourselves and our own interests. We should always recall our vocation to transform all of God’s creation,” he said.
Greeting of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the 11th Assembly
Livestream of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany
Photos of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany