Also known as "The Prayer of the Heart"
Also known as "The Prayer of the Heart"
Introduction by Father Demetrios Serfes:
All God loving Eastern Orthodox Christian souls during these times of Holy Great Lent, and as well as in preparation for our Lord's Holy Glorious Resurrection, should beseech our merciful Lord Jesus Christ for the much sufferings of those in the lands of Yugoslavia and Kosovo. At the same time we should appeal for peace and good will among all men!
Our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ our Lord has been expressed,
for all who are currently suffering at this time, and appeals have been
made by His All Holiness The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, His Eminence,
Archbishop Spyridon, the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,
and by His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah Presiding Hierarch of the Diocese
of Denver. The Greek Orthodox hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church
in Constantinople and in America have asked that the bombings halt, as
well as time for prayer.
NEWS ON THE
March 29, 1999
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Issues Appeal for a Cease-fire
New York, NY - His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Primate of world-side Orthodox Christianity has issued the following appeal for a cease-fire in the Kosovo conflict. The full text of the His All Holiness' message is below.
APPEAL OF HIS ALL HOLINESS
I, Patriarch Bartholomew, in the name of God who loves humankind, in the name of the human race, in the name of civilization, at this season of the religious feast of the Muslims, the Easter of the Roman Catholics and Protestants, the Passover of the Jews and the Pascha of the Orthodox, on bended knees fervently appeal from the tormented depths of my heart to all world government leaders, to military commanders and to those armed forces throughout the world, that they cease fire immediately and permanently. We beseech them to use mutual understanding and mutual concession to resolve peacefully their regional, international and worldwide disputes, in order that the peace of God and mercy. Amen.
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
Archbishop Spryidon Asks President Clinton to Halt Bombing
His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah of Proikonisou
March 25, 1999
All Pious Priests and Deacons
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Beloved in the Lord,
The absence of moral integrity that has been apparent among the leaders and representatives of our nation during recent years has now affected a very fragile region of the world. The killing of innocent children, women, and men has now begun with the use of bombs paid for by our tax dollars. Our leaders have made a very strong statement with their recent actions that "might makes right." They have conveniently forgotten that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. In this regard they now initiate the immoral dictators of our generation in how to rule and how to control. And the peace that they insist upon is false and fabricated.
For the greatest super power in the world to dictate to the leader of a small, sovereign nation, which has been suffering from internal restrictions and lengthy external boycotts, "Sign my peace treaty or I will make your land desolate and subject your people to abject misery and poverty," is the epitome of moral corruption and evil intent.
In the face of this moral decay among our leaders, we Americans have been conformably basking in the spirit of apathy and indifference. So long as the stock market and our economy are healthy, we cannot be bothered by what is going on in another part of the world, even during this time of Great Lent! Yet those of us who hurt when others hut are consoled, knowing that God looks down from above; and we are confident that in His time He will act. He will have compassion on all innocent people who unjustly suffer. He know who we are, everyone of us. He came and lived among us and experienced more than anyone else the evil in the world. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to us to do away with the evil degradation in this world and we crucified Him! But He conquered death by His death and everything that denotes sin and death. "Be of good courage," He said, "I have overcome the world."
As this millennium comes to an end, the war that has broken out in the Balkans intensify as enlightened monastics of recent years have prophesied. The slaughter of many people in a brief time span will be horrific.
What can we do? What must we do? Is is our Christian responsibility to pray for all the victims of this unfolding tragedy. Strangely once again in less than sixty years the same people, their children and now their grandchildren will be shedding their blood on the same soil that has been saturated by human blood for the past eight hundred years. We must pray for the survivors that they will call upon the name of God for His intervention.
Truly, how terribly ironic it is that the first American bombs fell on the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the Archangel Gabriel and her acceptance to give birth to the Savior of the world! Can this be her way of telling us to offer fervent prayers to her for her intercessions to her divine Son? She knows that in this region of the Balkans the earth has received the blood of over one million human souls since 1940, most of them Serbian Orthodox Christians.
Reflecting upon this and after deep prayer I ask all my priests together with our people to rise up as we approach Great and Holy Week and to participate in a Paraklesis Service to the holy Theotokos on Friday, April 2, 1999 and to ask her to protect all the people of the Balkans from the evil that now comes upon them.
With Paternal Blessings,