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~ The greatest lack in this world is compassion and care ~

~ The greatest lack in this world is compassion and care ~
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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Opening Session: Holy and Great Council - His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

The main address is taking place in Greek and yet we cannot ignore the setting and backdrop that is revealed on the wall for all to see. This is televised and recorded in its entirety.

On the wall is written in different languages the words:

'He called all to unity'

His Holiness Bartholomew states in English after his opening:

'We would like now to turn our attention to and warmly welcome all of our distinguished observers and official guests as well as the many esteemed members of the press to this opening session of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.
Very reverand clergy and dearly beloved friends of the Orthodox church, honorable representatives of other Christian churches, as well as of the World European and the Middle Eastern Council of churches.
It is with genunine joy and fraternal affection that we behold you amoung us on the auspicious occasion on this historical Pan-Orthodox Assembly which as you know we have prepared, planned and desired for many decades and longer.
Throuughout these years, your support and prayers have always proved a valuable source of encouragement and strength to us. Moreover we have journeyed together in theological dialogue and Ecumenical co-operation.
In our willingness to respond to the theological divisions of the past and the global challenges of our time.
Dear friends, you have been aware of our struggles and efforts to ovecome almost unsurmountable barriers resulting from difficult historical and political circumstances facing all of our beloved sister Orthodox churches. In one way or another whether through persecution or oppression, suffering and isolation as well as in more recent years, tragic conflict in regions which have been as the Cradle of Christianity over many centuries and the emerging unjustifiable humanitarian crisis of countless refugees.
You have witnessed our tribulation but today you are also witnessing our jubiliation. You have observed our hope and today you are present amoung us as we give Thanks and Glory to God for His Loving Kindness and Abundant Mercy. For in His Providence and Compassion The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.
Therefore as we humbly commence the deliberations of the Holy and Great Council after the solemn concelebration of the divine lithergy on the occasion of the Great Feast of Pentecost.
We are delighted that you are able to share with us in the joy of our gathering all together in the same place (Acts 2:1) where the gentle power and life giving inspiration of the Comforter, the Spirit of God showers its abundance gifts and establishes the whole structure of the Church όλον συγκροτεί τον θεσμόν της Εκκλησίας.
Today on the Feast of the Holy Spirit as we realise a life long dream and desire to work together on the same road and be together in Council our Joy is truly fulfilled as sister Orthodox autocephalos churches while our company is surely enriched by the presence of you all as beloved guests and invaluable friends of the Orthodox Church.
May God bless you as well as the Church communions and many communities that you represent amoung us. We thank you for honoring us with your presence and we ask for your prayers as we commence our discussions and make our decisions.
God is in our midst. Thank you'

Peace be with you
Pauline Maria

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