Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew ‘Overwhelmed’ By Greek Tragedy

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians has spoken of his sadness following the fire in east Attica that has claimed the lives of 81 people.

“We are overwhelmed by the dramatic developments,” he said.

“We pray that God will bring an end to this immense human and ecological destruction—which undoubtedly has immeasurable consequences—and will give strength to the victims’ relatives, as well as to all those injured and wounded,” he adds.

The statement in full:

“We are overwhelmed by the dramatic developments in the region of Attica, which we have followed from the very first moment, and are a result of the large wildfires that have destroyed human lives, the properties of residents and incinerated the vital forest wealth of Attica.

Our prayers during these difficult hours are intensified and joined together with those of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, the Metropolitans of the stricken regions and all those who are affected.

We pray that God will bring an end to this immense human and ecological destruction—which undoubtedly has immeasurable consequences—and will give strength to the victims’ relatives, as well as to all those injured and wounded.

We also share concern for the inhabitants of Crete and other regions of Greece, who, too, are plagued by fires, and we express the deep sympathy and support of the Mother Church.”