For many years, His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, has issued a statement on the protection of the environment in conjunction with his annual message marking the beginning of the ecclesiastical year on September 1.
“Our God, who created the universe and formed the earth as a perfect dwelling place for humanity, granted us the commandment and possibility to increase, multiply and fulfill creation, with dominion over all animals and plants,” writes His All-Holiness in this year’s message. “The world that surrounds us was thus offered to us as a gift by our Creator as an arena of social activity but also of spiritual sanctification in order that we might inherit the creation to be renewed in the future age. Such has always been the theological position of the Holy Great Church of Christ, which is the reason why we have pioneered an ecological effort on behalf of the sacred Ecumenical Throne for the protection of our planet, which has long suffered from us both knowingly and unknowingly.”
Some two decades ago, the Ecumenical Patriarchate designated September 1 as the “Day of Prayer for the Protection of the Environment.”
The complete text of the message may be found on the web site of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.