As Representatives of our Orthodox Churches to the European Institutions we humbly wish to assure our brothers and sisters in Christ that we are firmly committed to work together with the European authorities to promote the values inspired by the Gospel and the Orthodox Tradition. Our work is enhanced by the collaboration with all Christians and with every person of good will.
We follow the hard work of preparation for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, due to meet in Crete next June 2016, with our prayers. We believe and hope that the Council may renew fervor of all the faithful for accomplishing their mission as witnesses to the principles of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It will definitely be a splendid opportunity to manifest the unity among all local Orthodox Churches.
Witnessing to Christ today is a vocation to be in humble service for the sake of all. Life in Christ for us is of capital importance as many parts of our world are being transformed into secularized societies, estranged from all reference to God and His Truth. We believe that the role of the Church today is vital in front of instances of violence, terrorist acts and atrocities, which expose many people to wrath and a deep feeling of prevailing injustice in the international order.
We express our concern for the ongoing war in the Middle East and the persecution of Christians who lived in the region for centuries. We also express our concern in view of the humanitarian crisis related to the refugees and immigrants who turn their eyes to Europe as a safe haven for themselves and their children. This fact poses many questions about the conditions in their place of origin and the reasons why adequate security and peace is not safeguarded everywhere in the world.
Promotion of our common values involves a concern about the growing inequity in the distribution of material goods. Consumerism and greed are corrosive factors for social cohesion. Therefore, moderation in our lifestyle and care for our neighbor have to be cultivated as essential values of our societies.
We feel that as Christians we need to take special care of the traditional form of family, as a constitutive element of paramount importance in our society and pay particular attention to the education of its younger members.
We pray that the outcome of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church gives hope to a world in search of peace and love.
Very Rev. Archimandrite Aimilianos Bogiannou (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
Very Rev. Archpriest Dimitrij Sizonenko (Patriarchate of Moscow)
Rev. Prof. Dr. Sorin Șelaru (Romanian Patriarchate)
†Anthony, Metropolitan of West and Central Europe (Bulgarian Patriarchate)
†Porfyrios, Bishop of Neapolis (Orthodox Church of Cyprus)
†Athanasios, Metropolitan of Achaia (Orthodox Church of Greece)
Bruxelles, 20 April 2016
The Committee of the Representatives of the Orthodox Churches to the European Union brings together the representatives in Brussels of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the Patriarchate of Romania, the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, the Church of Cyprus and the Church of Greece.