December 3, 1997
RESPONSE TO BOMBING OF ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
BY HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP SPYRIDON
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
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 | www.alitheia.org/EA-NW&.HTM - December 3, 1997 ]