December 3, 1997



His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon of America strongly condemned this latest criminal act of the bombing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, on December 3, 1997.

Upon reflecting on this act of terror, the serious wounding of a clergyman, and the destruction of property of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Eminence said:

"Six weeks after he received the Congressional Gold Medal, the Ecumenical Patriarch was threatened by a bomb blast directed at him and his Church. This is unacceptable.

At the dawn of the 21st century, it is inconceivable that the basic human rights, such as the freedom of worship, the ability to live a peaceful life according to the law of one’s country, and the freedom to live without the constant fear of having one’s life and property destroyed without cause, are still abused and denied in countries such as Turkey.

How can a person claim for himself to be civilized, to be peace-loving, to be respectful of human rights and to be treated as part of the civilized world when his own actions violate these universally accepted tenets of humanity.

I condemn all violence and persecution of human beings everywhere, for every person is gifted by God with dignity, honor, and the right to live a peaceful life.

It is the responsibility of the Government of Turkey to provide safety and security for all of her citizens, and to seriously obey the international rules which govern a civilized society.

I, on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and all those who seek justice and peace throughout the world, condemn this act of violence and terror that occurred at the heart of Orthodox Christianity. Along with the clergyman who was seriously injured as a result of this bombing, over 300 million Orthodox Christians, and in fact all people of good will, have been wounded by this evil act.

I simply ask myself and the world: Is it possible that after nearly 2,000 years of uninterrupted history that in the latter days of the 20th century, the beacon of Orthodoxy the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople which provides the light of faith, peace, and universal hope for all people, still lives in the shadows of such violent hatred?"

[ ALITHEIA-ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ |  -  December 3, 1997 ]