Athens, June 16, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a message of unity of Orthodox Churches upon his arrival in Crete for the Holy and Great Orthodox Synod. The Holiness, during the welcoming ceremony at the airport of Chania, thanked all those who have contributed to the conduct of the Synod, which he described as “large and important event”, while he did not fail to mention the decision of some Orthodox Churches not attend.
“This great event is overshadowed by the decision of some Churches not to participate in the Holy Synod. The responsibility for the decision rests with these churches and their Primates, because just five months ago in Geneva, during the gathering of Orthodox Primates, we decided and signed to come in June to Crete and realise this vision that all Churches share for the proclamation and the demonstration of the unity of the Orthodox Church and in deliberation and decision, together, for the problems, the Orthodox world is facing today”, Mr Bartholomew said, to add: “I wish these Churches, even in retrospect, even at the last moment, would reconsider the decision, to respect their signatures, and come here, in Crete”.
At the airport of Chania Ecumenical Patriarch was welcomed, on behalf of the government, the alternate Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis, the Ambassador Christina Balta, the Archbishop of Crete, Irineos, hierarchs, clergy from all over the island, and all of the local authorities. The Armed Forces presented an honorary contingent. Welcoming Ecumenical Patriarch, Mr Amanatidis said that it is a great honor for the country to host this great meeting and assured that the Greek State has taken all necessary steps to ensure good coordination and functioning of public services that will contribute to its smooth conducting.
On Thursday June 16th at 20:00, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will be in Crete and will host a dinner in honour of Orthodox Primates.