Patriarch Bartholomew addressed the Ukrainian nation on the anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster
Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation suffered the worst nuclear disaster in history - at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
This was stated by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a special video address to the discussion of the Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.
"Today, exactly 35 years later, when Orthodox Christians have re-entered the Week of the Holy Passions of our Savior, the echoes of those explosions - the effects of which were felt far away in the then Soviet Union - are still in our minds and hearts," he said.
"On this sad anniversary, we mourn the victims of the disaster, which not only spread to Ukraine's neighbors in the north and west, but also affected the wider region in the south and east, causing waves of environmental destruction, irreversible damage to health and loss of human life ", - added the Ecumenical Patriarch.
He noted that the peaceful use of nuclear energy during the 1950s and 1960s was a promising hope for humanity: "The terrible Chornobyl accident reminded us all of how premature and hasty such an approach and such expectations were."
Patriarch Bartholomew stressed that humanity should never forget the tragic consequences of their own failures and learn to say "no!” to technologies with harmful effects on the environment.
"Perhaps the biggest lesson we can learn from Chornobyl is that we share the world with all people and all living things. Our world is one and unique. Pollution knows no boundaries. We are all called to realize the importance of restraint and respect, of hope for a cleaner and safer world, for a clean and safe energy that is truly possible and viable today. This is the way of repentance,“ he said.
Patriarch stressed that people must learn to say "yes!” to “an alternative system of values, a different way of life: one that affirms the beauty and dignity of all people and all things. Our choices and actions affect every detail of our planet and affect the future of next generations. "
"As the Mother Church of our beloved Ukrainian people, we pray with all our hearts that the memory of Chornobyl will not be in vain. Instead, let it be eternal and transformative. Blessed be Holy Week! May God's grace be with all of you! ” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed Ukrainians.