Istanbul - An appeal to the spiritual and political leaders for the Christian family and denunciation of the continuing persecution of Christians were the focus of the Christmas message of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.
On Christmas Eve, the Patriarch evoked the moment in Bethlehem when " our Lord who has always existed , the Lord without beginning and end, immaterial and imperceptible came in silence , simplicity , poverty, and as a foreigner in the drama of history. " With its incarnation He has sanctified human existence showing us the way out of our human difficulties, while honouring both our material and spiritual motherhood.
But at the same time , Bartholomew continued , "Our Lord has exalted and defined the role of the union between a man and a woman ," and the Christian family , which "constitutes the cell of life and the cradle for the correct and proper growth of the children . " And we believe , the message continues , that "not only the spiritual leaders and shepherds of the human flock , but also the powerful of this world know and accept this truth and divine reality." Because "it is our duty to raise awareness and support this family union source of the right , healthy growth and development of our battered society."
"For 2013 years - he exclaimed Bartholomew - Our Lord is killed every day in the person of thousands of embryos killed by the will of their parents. For 2013 years have passed and Christ is mocked and ridiculed in the person of unfortunate children, who experience the crisis of the family, destitution and poverty". And 2013 years have passed and "our Creator incarnate is still being persecuted by contemporary Herods in the Christians in Syria and elsewhere."
And "2013 have passed and Christ still flees like a refugee not only in Egypt, but also in Lebanon, Europe, America and elsewhere, seeking security in an insecure world: 2013 years have passed and the child Jesus remains imprisoned with the two hierarchs in Syria, Paul (Yazigi) and Youhanna (Ibrahim), as well as the Orthodox nuns and many other known and unknown Christians: 2013 years have passed and Christ is crucified with those who are tortured and killed in order not to betray their faith in Him" .
After the Christmas Mass, Bartholomew received the young Christians of Constantinople, talking with them, among other things, he praised the work "of his brother Pope Francis."