EP Bartholomew Calls Upon Orthodox to “Repent” for Harming the Environment

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EP Bartholomew Calls Upon Orthodox to “Repent” for Harming the Environment

We didn’t have a “we didn’t see that coming” category…. but we do now.

Pay your flatulence tax with joy, sirs!

(Source) ISTANBUL (CNS) — Praying for the protection of the environment includes asking God’s forgiveness for the small or serious ways each individual contributes to pollution, said the Ecumenical Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople.

Patriarch Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox and a longtime promoter of Christian ecology, issued a message on the environment Aug. 27 in preparation for the celebration Sept. 1 of the Day of Prayer for the Environment.

The Sept. 1 observance was begun by Patriarch Bartholomew’s predecessor in 1989 and has been adopted by other Christians, including the Catholic Church in Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has said the day of prayer is an important ecumenical initiative.

In his message for the 2012 observance, Patriarch Bartholomew said God “created the universe and formed the earth as a perfect dwelling place for humanity.”

Praying that God protect his creation, therefore, is “essentially a petition of repentance for our sinfulness in destroying the world instead of working to preserve and sustain its ever-flourishing resources reasonably and carefully,” the patriarch said.


  1. B.Peter Brandt-Sørheim says:

    I don’t want to condemn anything good, yes, mankind was placed in the garden to care for it, to make decisions about its care…but it is so sad to hear from the claimant to the patriarchal throne a message that is but tangental to the primary understanding of the the Orthodox…that no one cometh to the Father save by His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ in Whose Name only is there salvation…sadly this primary message seems too often muted and shunted to the side, even called into question by other behaviours and statements in the larger world of those who claim to name themselves canonical Orthodox. No, not by all and not at all times, but often enough to make us who also claim the name Orthodox fearful of mixing in the doings, the comings and the goings of those Orthodox who presume to deny our Orthodoxy. O mores! O tempora! Deacon Fr Finbarr

  2. yes that message of coming to The Father through Christ is often muted, but as John the Baptist said you must show works indicating (worthy of) repentance. The sins of pride, gluttony and ambition are back of most wrong, and while these also figure in the green agenda which exploits environmental concerns for evil purposes, the fact remains that “tend the garden and keep it” is not what we have been doing. Even when God gave us permission to kill and eat animals, He required we give Him their blood. Everything is not just our tool, that includes our children, friends, etc.

    While more serious evils exist than pollution of the environment, merely giving assent to correct doctrine and saying “have mercy on me a sinner” without examining our selves, our cultures, incl. nominally Orthodox cultures, and everything with a view to changing ourselves and cultivating humility, instead of playing out various spiritual sins in contexts of authority or family or whatever, is not repentance which means to quit whatever one is doing or thinking that is wrong.

    • B.Peter Brandt-Sørheim says:

      I whole heartedly agree with you Christine. We cannot just cherry pick our way through the precepts of God nor our responsibilities in context. If I proclaim right doctrine without simultaneously working for the poor, the abused and the creation around me, I am a noisy thing of limited worth. Now that I am retired, albeit in gracious border-line poverty (by USA standards) there yet things I can do in the community…pertinent here is the volunteering of my time and services at the local Catholic Food Pantry. Pertinent is my on-line advocacy (letter writing) for environmental concerns. I seek to do as God brings to my opportunity to do. Pertinent is my local advocacy for proper companion animal care. We could each enummerate the diverse opportunities that come to hand. I cannot do everything but what I can I seek to do…as must we all. We must ask our Lord to open our hearts and minds to see and serve.

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