In a message released on Tuesday 1 September, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew says “a change of direction toward an ecological economy is an unwavering necessity.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has issued a message to Orthodox bishops and faithful, calling for a renewed commitment to protecting the environment.
His message comes on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, September 1, which also marks the beginning of the Byzantine ecclesiastical year. The Day of Prayer was originally established by Bartholomew’s predecessor, Dimitrios, in 1989, and later adopted by other Orthodox churches. In a significant ecumenical gesture, Pope Francis in 2015 announced that the Catholic Church would also observe the Day on September 1.
In his letter, the Ecumenical Patriarch says, “It is a shared conviction that, in our time, the natural environment is threatened like never before in the history of humankind.” While modern advances have provided great benefits, they can also prove destructive if misused.
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With thanks to Vatican News.