Our history has taught us that unhealthy nationalism only opens wounds, destroys consciences, fanaticizes people, breeds enemies, divides populations.
Our Holy Monastery has been facing the effects of fanaticism for so many years, with the occupation of its main building by people who preach fanaticism.
Whose heart did not ache to hear the news!
But Hagia Sophia haughtily endures. It stands patiently on the edge of the Bosphorus.
It has been the jewel of our faith for centuries now. It is a global destination, above religions and peoples, a universal cultural heritage, a global symbol of unity.
This unity is the answer for all of us to every movement of nationalism and fanaticism.
Eventually, whatever happens, it will be called Hagia Sophia, its reputation will shine, its memory will unite us.
+ Archimandrite Bartholomew
Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.