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Speeches and Addresses

Remarks and Toast of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Luncheon Hosted by the Museum of the Bible

Washington, D.C.
October 25, 2021

* * *

Chairman Green,
Chief Executive Officer Hargrove,
Your Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros,
Honored Guests,

Upon the recommendation of our doctors, we are unable to be physically present with you today at the Museum of the Bible, in order to behold and admire your reverence for the Holy Scripture of our shared Christian Faith. Nevertheless — thanks to modern technology — we are still able to marvel at the imagination you have employed in this House of the Muses that graces the Capital City of the United States.

As we address you, the Museum of the Bible manifests the love for the words of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, and His Holy Prophets. These life-giving “words of eternal life,” which “never pass away,” are most certainly deserving of this shrine, which you have raised up to the glory of God.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople represents the memory of the Church, not only from the doctrinal and constitutional side of the Holy Tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, but also from that which bears witness through Sacred Scripture. All of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse are within our sphere. Furthermore, our continuous memory has allowed us to share with the world the Scripture as it was used in worship – in liturgy, and in its original language.

The public reading of these lectionary texts during the Divine Liturgy created a centripetal, binding force, that shaped the texts of the New Testament in particular. The lection pulls them together, because as the Apostle Paul says:

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”*

It is our hope that this Museum, made possible by the magnanimous generosity of the Green Family, and by the innumerable talents enlisted to create such a marvelous space, will bring about a resurgence in the reading of the Holy Scripture, and the faith in our Lord that comes from it.

We thank you for the gracious welcome that you have personally extended to our honorable entourage, and we invoke upon you and your families, as well as all of your co-workers here at the Museum of the Bible, the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, marvelously witnessed in the Holy Scriptures.


* Romans 10:17.