The Fifth Halki Summit, was held in Istanbul, Turkiye. Four days of talks and discussion on care for the environment for the future of the planet.
At the end of the fifth Halki Summit, entitled “Sustaining the Future of the Planet Together,” we said our goodbyes in an atmosphere of warmth and friendship. The international, interdisciplinary meeting was organized jointly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul) and the Sophia University Institute, Loppiano (Italy). It was inspired by the prophetic teaching of Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis and all agreed that it was an event of the Holy Spirit. Not by chance, the Summit was held in the week between the two dates of Pentecost in our respective Churches.
The sincere communication and mutual attentiveness, as well as the open exchange of ecclesial approaches and reflections, led us to discover that we are at a decisive turning point for the future of the human family, in which each person has a responsible part to play.
The challenge or opportunity to which we are called is that of developing a shared ecological ethos. As artisans of peace and fraternity, we wish to implement good practices in every sphere, whether educational or pastoral, social, economic or political. We committed ourselves to work on interdisciplinary pathways for the formation of new paradigms that can interpret and transform reality and overcome the culture of waste. It became clear that effective action can only be achieved through non-elitist education, in which the Churches are actively engaged.
At the end, all participants wished to make an appeal “to the Churches and those who care about our common home”. We hope not to leave this event behind us as a beautiful memory, but instead, starting from our own conversion, nourished by evangelical wisdom, to work together for real change in the capacity to care. “Ecological culture”, Pope Francis reminds us, “Cannot be reduced to a series of urgent and partial responses to the immediate problems of pollution, environmental decay and the depletion of natural resources. There needs to be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm. Otherwise, even the best ecological initiatives can find themselves caught up in the same globalized logic. To seek only a technical remedy to each environmental problem which comes up is to separate what is in reality interconnected and to mask the true and deepest problems of the global system” (Laudato Si’, no. 111).
Vincenzo Di Pilato
(Photo: Alfonso Zamuner, Noemi Sanches e Nikos Papachristou)