Riga (AsiaNews) - The Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate "welcomes the
appeal of our brother in Christ, Pope Francis, for a day of prayer and fasting
for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world, a prayer that has been constant
since the bloody conflict started in Damascus," said the Ecumenical Patriarch
of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, during an official visit to Estonia.
"The Ecumenical Patriarchate and we personally look forward to the
developments of the situation in Syria, and more generally in the Middle East, praying
that peace shall prevail," the patriarch said during a meeting with the speaker
of the Estonian Parliament Ene Ergma.
For the Orthodox
leader, only if peace wins "shall it be possible for Christians
in the Middle East continue to live without any impediment in their lands."
"Let us closely follow the G20 summit in St Petersburg, and let us hope that
decisions taken [there] will be used to contribute to a peaceful solution to the
political question in Syria."
The Church of Constantinople, the patriarch said, "welcomes Pope Francis's appeal
to the Christians of the Earth to unite in prayer and fasting next Saturday so
that peace may prevail in the fiery Syrian land, hoping that God might enlighten
the minds of policy makers and prevent military actions that would inevitably
result in the death of innocent victims."
Bartholomew added, "We, too, shall heed the call from our brother in
Christ Francis to pray next Saturday for this purpose as we have always done since
the start of the bloody conflict in Syria."