The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, convened under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and among other issues, thoroughly deliberated upon the facts about the COVID-19 (Corona) virus and in a spirit of pastoral responsibility, highlights the following:
1) Despite the seriousness of the situation, prudence, patience, and the avoidance of panic are advised.
2) The Church has shown and continues to show respect to medical science. Thus, the Church encourages all the faithful to adhere to the official directives of both the World Health Organization and the pertinent pronouncements and legal regulations issued by the civil authorities of their respective countries.
3) The Ecumenical Patriarchate expresses its gratitude to all those working self-sacrificially in every health sector—medical, nursing, and research—in order that this new pandemic be confronted and treated.
4) The Holy Great Church of Christ knows from the experience of its two-thousand-year-old journey that Holy Communion is “the antidote to death” and remains firm in the Orthodox teaching regarding the Holy Eucharist.
5) It is considered self-evident that faith in God, as transcendence of human reason and not as its abolition, along with prayer strengthen the spiritual struggle of every Christian. Therefore, the Mother Church of Constantinople urges its spiritual children throughout the world to intensify their petitions, so that, through God’s support and illumination, this contemporary tribulation may be overcome.
11 March 2020
From the Chief Secretariat
of the Holy and Sacred Synod