The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed the undivided and enduring interest of the Mother Church for the Omogeneia and Greeks from abroad who have settled in Istanbul in recent years, at an event held Saturday, February 15, in the afternoon at Astiki School Galata, at the initiative of a group of Greeks living abroad in Istanbul.
“Your Ecumenical Patriarch is by your side, sharing your hopes and anxieties for our future in the historic Center of Orthodoxy. We are all justly proud to be the bearers and followers of a great tradition of spiritual culture, whose high and philanthropic values have a worldwide impact,” His All-Holiness told attendees, and elsewhere in his address pointed out: “We are confident that all of you have the ability and the duty to contribute together to the path of the Omogeneia to the future. There is no one left. This City, and our continued presence in it, must be at the center of our interests. Our love for the City and our traditions will act as an unending force of contribution to and participation in the common effort. If you don’t fight for us, who else will do it?”
His All-Holiness urged everyone to work together in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity.
“We have to face challenges with confidence and optimism, but also with realism. Optimism, so as not to be utopian and emotional, must be based on awareness of the magnitude of the challenge, on commitment and persistence, on solidarity and mutual appreciation. Problems are not solved with suppression and silence. Issues of timing become more difficult over time. It is essential for our present and our future here to make it possible for our Wakf administrations to recruit new people, who will give new impetus to community affairs.”
Immediately afterwards, His All-Holiness blessed and cut the vasilopita while having the opportunity to converse with many of the settlers in Istanbul, Greeks from abroad.
Previously His All-Holiness, accompanied by the Protosynkellos Andreas, was addressed by the President of the Ephorate of the Astiki School Galata, Mrs. Mary Komorosano, Mrs. Anna Andreou on behalf of the organizers, and Mr. Panteleimon Vigas, one of the most active members of the Omogeneia, who helped organize this important joint event.