Following a short time, the closing session of the Holy and Great Council concluded.
On this occasion, His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed a word of gratitude. His Holiness thanked all the Primates of Autocephalous Orthodox Churches who participated in the proceedings, stressing out that “the grace and illumination of the Holy Spirit, which constitutes the entire institution of the Church, led to unanimity”. In addition, His Holiness thanked the organizers, the supporters, those who were directly or indirectly involved, and to those who prayed for the good proceeding of the Holy Council in Crete.
The Ecumenical Patriarch exclaimed: “Together We wrote history! We wrote a new chapter in the history of the Church!”
Referring to the normality of the proceedings, Patriarch Bartholomew said that there have been difficulties, not everything was easy, not everything was pink, but the Council fathers demonstrated that they are united in diversity.
Furthermore, he urged all the Primates that returning to their countries to convey the peaceful message of Christ, which also constitutes the message of the Holy and Great Council.
His Holiness ended his speech gratefully, by saying: “The God of peace is with us! Christ in our midst!”
Next, His Beatitude Theodoros, Patriarch of Alexandria, took the floor, and congratulated the Ecumenical Patriarch. He also underlined the fact that even though the hierarchs are coming from diverse backgrounds and linguistic cultures, this “has not prevented reaching agreement” among them.
For the good proceeding of the Council, but also for his 25th anniversary of patriarchal office, His Beatitude Theodoros offered the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew a hierarchal encolpion panagia and cross set, in order to express that the patriarchal office means both bearing a cross and attaining to resurrection.
To conclude with, His Holiness Bartholomew announced that tomorrow, during the Divine Liturgy, after the Gospel reading, Metropolitan Jeremiah of Switzerland, coordinator of the Secretariat of the Holy and Great Council, will read out the Message of the Council for the world.
We note that during his speech, His Holiness Bartholomew referred to His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel and appreciated him as an accomplished theologian, recalling the period when His Beatitude taught as university lector at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey (1980-1988).