Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria
Alexandria of Egypt (Agenzia Fides) - «It is now a fact that the world is entering an apocalyptic era, where no one feels safe, and where the drums of war are synchronized with the cries of men's hearts `who die from fear and expectation of what will happen on earth’». With these intense words, citing the expressions of Jesus in the Gospel of John, Theodoros II, Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and of all Africa, wanted to suggest the revelatory significance of the time that the whole human family is facing, in the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is what he expressed in the Encyclical Letter addressed to the bishops and to all the baptized who are part of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa. «With a contrite heart and with tears, at night and during the day», reads the patriarchal message «let us raise our hands in prayer to the merciful Lord, begging him to have compassion for humanity and silence the trumpets of the Apocalypse, so that joy and peace can return to people's daily lives again».
With his pastoral epistle, Patriarch Theodoros declares that he wants to express his concern and paternal support to all «regarding the serious problem of the pandemic due to COVID-19». Addressed to all the baptized, and in particular to the bishops, the Patriarch recalls that «as Christians and pastors we must not lose our hope in God. We believe and preach Almighty God, the God of love and mercy».
In the letter, also thinking of the Orthodox Christian communities cared for by the Patriarchate in various countries of the African continent, Theodoros makes a vibrant reference to the alarming news on the spread of the coronavirus also in sub-Saharan Africa. «There is only one point», Theodoros points out to bishops and priests, «which I, as your spiritual father, would like to ask you: be close to your flock, comfort and support our African confreres, teach them elementary proper sanitation and cleanliness, given that most do not have access to clean water. And since the situation is serious, I advise you to respect the orders and provisions of the Countries in which you operate, so that our Holy Church does not become a cause of scandal, but is an example of social solidarity and charity». (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 24/3/2020)