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    » 04/28/2008, 00.00

    TURKEY

    Ecumenical patriarch: Easter, Christ’s victory over death belongs to all Christians

    NAT da Polis

    In his Easter message Bartholomew underlines how the resurrection, which the Orthodox world celebrates today, has changed the reality of all those who have faith in Him. A prayer for peace in the world.

    Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Christ’s resurrection is the one and only true springtime in the life of man.  This is the fundamental point of the Ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I’s Easter message delivered to a crowd of faithful who had come from all corners of the Christian world to celebrate together with him the Orthodox Easter. Their presence went some way to filling the empty spaces of those Christians forced to flee continuing restrictions.

    “Look, Winter has passed! – began Bartholomew – and the springtime” of our salvation “has come”.  “Flowers are blossoming in the fields, the song of the turtledoves can be heard,  (….) and vines are sending forth their fragrance”. Sacred, holy, great Easter has come and it warms us, shining forth and illuminating the world.  “Now the whole world is filled with light, the heavens, the earth and the underworld”.  “Christ has risen!”, “he has risen from the dead and with his death he has quashed death itself”.  “The underworld has been embittered by its encounter with Him, because not only has he cancelled out all of their powers and emptied their darkened abode, gifting life to all who until that moment lay in tombs, but because he gifts life without end and the certain resurrection of all those who until the end of time believe in Him, live in Him and maintain their profession of faith in Him”.

    “Here, beloved Brothers, wanted Children – continued Bartholomew – is the meaning of this great feast, springtime atmosphere, which the Church announces with the season of joy to the entire world.  The harsh winter of death has passed! The cold tyranny of the devil has been completely defeated, the terrible reign of shadows and perdition has been dissolved.  The Lord has established his kingdom, he has dressed himself in splendour!.  We have seen Christ who willingly suffered on the Cross for his extreme love, who died and was buried for us and for our salvation.  We have adored Him, resurrected from the dead, and together with the Apostles and the women myrophores we have heard the words spoken by Him Peace to All! and Rejoice! And our hearts are filled with joy.  And no-one can take that joy from you, because it has come to pass that the personal death of each one of us has been definitively defeated.  From the moment when we too crucify the carnal thoughts of the old man that lies within each of us, with his passions and desires”.

     “Our eternal problem – continues Bartholomew – was thus resolved once and for all by the Risen Lord-  Our aguish has ended.  Christ has risen and life reigns!.  Since then, our life and resurrection has no longer been a request, a dream, a utopia, but a concrete reality.  A reality that has a concrete person and name, ‘above all other names’, Jesus Christ, before whom ‘even knee shall bow, in heaven on earth and below’ and very tongue shall profess his Kingdom, his glory and the inheritance of his Father, together with all those who are participants in his crucifixion, death and resurrection, like ‘a first born son of many children’.

    “From our martyred Patriarchal and Ecumenical Cathedra – concluded Bartholomew – we continuously pray that the Lord grant us peace in the world, the light of truth and justice to the souls of men, patience and relief to those who are being tried, the taste of salvation and eternal life to all faithful”.

     

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    See also

    21/04/2009 TURKEY
    Bartholomew: the Resurrection is the only answer to the desperation of today's man
    Against the philosophers of the "death of God," the ecumenical patriarch stresses that for the Church as well, God did die, on Golgotha, but he rose again, it is "one who died who is the captain of life": in him, today's man, betrayed by his idols, can find consolation and salvation.

    12/07/2007 TURKEY
    Christians should take the good from secularised world without identifying with it, says Bartholomew
    In opening the Second Orthodox Youth Conference, the Ecumenical Patriarch says that being Christians in this world means obeying all that is not contrary to God’s will, like fish which are “not made of salt in spite of the fact that they live and swim in the salt-filled sea.”

    29/12/2008 TURKEY
    Bartholomew I: the Nativity, the only reality against falsehood and illusions
    The Nativity message of the ecumenical patriarch stresses that "the hopes" of men - including finance - have now been unmasked and humiliated. Young people are also suffering and protesting over the uncertainty of their future. The Church proclaims the only way to dispel the darkness enveloping the planet.

    22/09/2009 TURKEY
    Christian tombs desecrated in an historic Istanbul cemetery
    About 90 tombstones are broken. Incidents of this nature are not rate in the city but the local press failed to report it. Only recently and through a movie, have young Turks begun to learn about past anti-Christian pogroms. Ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew visits the cemetery in question.

    29/01/2008 TURKEY
    Divided in Ravenna, Russian and Estonian Orthodox to talk
    Bartholomew I is promoting a meeting between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Church of Estonia. Last October the Russians quit the Ravenna meeting because of the presence of Estonian representatives. In concluding the prayer for Christian unity, the ecumenical patriarch expressed his desire to see the process of unification speed up, stressing how ‘historical’ was the joint declaration made by Catholics and Orthodox in Ravenna. He also talks about spreading the Gospel in Hong Kong.



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