Das Oberhaupt der orthodoxen Kirchen, der Ökumenische Patriarch Bartholomäus I. aus Konstantinopel (Istanbul) begrüßt die Lübecker
Brot + Fisch-Tage. In seiner Grußbotschaft bringt er seine Freude darüber zum Ausdruck, dass die Idee zu Brot und Fisch auf dem von ihm initiierten Symposium „The Baltic Sea – a common Heritage, a a shared Responsibility“ im Jahr 2003 entstand.
His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
It is with great joy that we address the auspicious gathering in the beautiful City of Lübeck, as part of the innovative project "Bread and Fish: Caring for the Baltic," a programme aimed at preserving the endangered lands and waters of the region.
The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand by means of five loaves and two fishes is recorded by all four Evangelists. A central feature of all Gospel accounts of this miracle of our Lord is the fact that each of the Evangelists records the "material" result of the breaking of the Bread and the blessing of the fish; the Synoptic Gospels state: "And all ate and were filled", while St. John describes how everyone ate "as much as they wanted."
It is frequently assumed that the protection of the natural environment is a matter that concerns politicians, scientists and technocrats alone. Yet, it is a profoundly religious issue. In fact, a Church cannot be true to its vocation or faithful to its mission unless it is seriously concerned with the preservation of God's creation. The Eucharist challenges us to strive toward a just community and fair society, where basic food and water is sufficient for everyone.
The Biblical accounts, then, reveal some fundamental principles of ecological theology.
The environmental problem that our world faces is the common responsibility of all. We should all care for creation for the sake of our children and future generations. We take particular pleasure in this Lübeck gathering knowing that the "Bread and Fish" movement was created and flowered at our Baltic Sea Symposium in 2003.
The Symposium fostered the virtue of interdependence between science and religion in relation to reducing the human footprint on our planet. We are, therefore, deeply gratified that your project is truly an ecumenical effort, involving all members of the community.
We promise to be with you in prayer and in Spirit on this blessed occasion. May your symposium be the beginning of many more such "Bread and Fish" days throughout the world.
Fervent supplicant before the Lord