The Service of Resurrection at Saint Luke Orthodox Cathedral in Hong Kong. Christ is Risen!
Keynote Address by Ecumenical Patriarch at the Official Opening of the Seminar on the 1700th Anniversary since the Edict of Milan
We glorify the risen Christ and express our gratitude to all of you as delegates of the holy Orthodox Churches and to our venerable brother First-Hierarchs for your participation in this celebration, which is a tribute of honor to the divinely-crowned Emperor Constantine, who is truly one of very few Great Saints – for “whoever among you wishes to be great must be servant of all” (Matt. 20:26-27), according to the scripture. He was the first to grant freedom to the Church and to the world, the first to put an end to the ruthless persecutions against the Church.
This year marks the 1700th anniversary since the issue of the Edict of Milan about religious freedom. Therefore, we are communicating to the Church in all places and times in order to address a message of hope, love, peace and optimism from the most holy Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical Throne in as much as the Church is the continual presence of God.
Some 1,700 years have passed since Emperor Constantine granted Christians the right to believe in God, yet “the persecution of Christians has not ceased;” thus, “the Church of Christ will never cease to generate martyrs” until God “enlightens everyone, so that they understand that peace, reconciliation, tolerance, meekness, and mercy can only have a positive effect on human society in general, especially in terms of deeds and words.”
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in conjunction with the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE), is commemorating the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan by hosting a conference devoted to religious freedom.
While many Christians celebrated Easter over a month ago as a result of differing calendar calculations, Orthodox Easter takes place much later this year, falling on May 5. Thus, at midnight on Saturday, May 4, the night that our fourth-century predecessor on the Throne of Constantinople, St. Gregory Nazianzus, described as “brighter than any sunlit day,” some 300 million Orthodox Christians will swarm churches to hear the words: “Come, receive the light!”
On Saturday, April 27, 2013, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in his native island of Imvros, where he celebrated Holy Week and Pascha for the first time in fifty years. It is also the first time during his Patriarchal tenure that His All-Holiness has celebrated Holy Week outside of the Phanar.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into an alleged plot to assassinate Patriarch Bartholomew on the 560th anniversary of the conquest of İstanbul by the Ottomans.
On Sunday, April 7, 2013, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy marking the Sunday of the Holy Cross, 3rd Sunday of Lent, at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George.
photos by Nikolaos Manginas
The Extraordinary Historical Significance of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Presence at Pope Francis’ Installation as Bishop of Rome
Amid the crush of news reports in the past month that followed Pope Benedict’s unprecedented resignation from the papacy, one of the most intriguing was the decision by His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, to attend Pope Francis’ installation as Bishop of Rome. The occasion is being presented in the media as something that [...]