The Ecumenical Patriarch celebrates at worship services in Halki and Prinkipo
In a solemn atmosphere, the great Feast of the Lord, the Holy Transfiguration of Christ the Savior, was celebrated in Prinkipo, where the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated the Divine Liturgy today, August 6, in the designated Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the island.
The Metropolitan Geron Dimitrios of the Princes' Islands was concelebrant, while the Mayor of the Princes' Islands, Mr. Erdem Gül, honored the Feast at the ancient monastery with his presence.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His All-Holiness, in accord with tradition, blessed the grapes, which were donated by the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of the City, Mr. Ekrem Imamoglou.
On the eve of the Feast, His All-Holiness celebrated Holy Vespers at the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegial Skete of the Transfiguration of Christ in Halki.
Also present were the Metropolitan Geron Dimitrios of the Princes' Islands; the Archbishop Anthidonos Nektarios, Commissioner of the Holy Sepulcher in the City; Bishop Kyrillos of Erythres, Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery at Halki, which is in charge of the Skete; the Consul General of Greece in the City, Ms. Georgia Sultanopoulo; the MP of SYRIZA, Andreas Michaelides, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, along with his Advisor, Konstantinos Migdalis; the Ambassador of Greece to Vietnam, John Raptakis; the President of the Commission of the Community of Prinkipo, Ms. Agni Nikolaidou, and a large number of believers from the City and the islands, as well as from abroad.
In his address after Vespers, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew referred to the history of the Skete and the effort in 2007 by officials and bulldozers of the Forest Service to demolish the chapel.
“We had here a humble chapel flattened by the bulldozer of bureaucracy, of prejudice against us, of the passion and fanaticism of some minor civil servants,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said, and referred to his earlier meeting with the Ambassador of New Zealand at the Phanar. “We talked, of course, about the recent terrorist attack on mosques in her country, with so many innocent people killed, people who went to perform their prayers in accordance with their faith, and this had to be fully respected by everyone, and yet the terrorist found them at the time of their prayer and took the divine gift of life from about fifty of them. And we talked about how bad religious fanaticism, fundamentalism is, and how religions must work, as our Patriarchate does so strongly, consciously and conscientiously, for the dialogue of religions and cultures, for mutual respect and mutual love, for solidarity between individuals and peoples. This was not the case here with the Skete, but the bulldozers came and destroyed this little church. What was wrong with them?”