Bartholomew: Chernobyl teaches us to say "yes" to God and creation; "No" to technology at all costs
The ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople marks 30 years since the nuclear disaster that shook Ukraine and the world: "We have to keep forever the memory of what happened. But we must also learn to say 'no' to technology with destructive effects and 'yes' to the reality that is beyond us, the Creator of all creation. "
Istanbul (AsiaNews) - 30 years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster "we must forever remember. We must recall the names of all those, known and unknown, who lost their lives as a result of our actions, just as we must retain vivid in our heart and mind the tragic consequences of our failures". But we also need to "learn to say 'no' to technology with destructive effects", be able "to say 'enough' in front of the consumer mentality and market economy " and finally "to say 'yes' and bow before the actually above us, the Creator of all creation”: writes the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, in a message marking 30 years since the nuclear disaster that shook Ukraine and the world.
In the text, the Christian leader said: "Memory is a powerful attribute in religion, and particularly in Christianity where it becomes a transformative force. It is the way in which we relate to the past, change our attitude and conduct in the present, and assume responsibility for the future".
But memory is not enough: "we have reached a point in technological development where we must learn to say “No!” to technologies with destructive side effects. We are in dire need of an ethic of technology. We have been gifted with unique resources of a beautiful planet. However, these resources of underground carbon are not unlimited. Moreover, with regard to nuclear energy specifically, we cannot assess success or sustainability purely in terms of financial profit"
That is why, adds Bartholomew, "we must also learn to say 'enough' to the mentality of consumerism and market economy competition. We have reached a point in our economic development where we must learn to say “Enough!” to the mentality of consumerism and the competition of market economy. It is time to be honest with ourselves and with God, acknowledging that the Christian gospel is not always really or readily compatible with the ways of the world; indeed, the message of Jesus Christ and the Church Fathers aims at restraining the crude passions of greed and avarice"
Finally, concludes the ecumenical patriarch, and most importantly: "Let us learn to say 'yes' to another reality beyond ourselves, to the Creator of all creation, before whom we should kneel in humility and surrender in prayer, recognizing that he and everything he created is for all, not just our own selfish desires".
Chernobyl, therefore, "should be a lesson on the containment of ourselves and sharing what we have. We must show compassion, show respect and build peace, not only with our neighbors but with the whole of creation".