His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, sent greetings to His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinopole, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary his election.
The text of the letter reads as follows.
“Your All Holiness: The twentieth anniversary of your election as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch on October 22 is a milestone in the life of the Orthodox Church. The last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century have been challenging times in the history of the world and in the witness of the Orthodox Church. In your ministry you have shown wisdom, dignity, and steadfastness of faith in the midst of the difficulties, as well as the opportunities, of our time.
“As the Holy Apostle Peter teaches us, ‘Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence [1 Peter 3:15]. Your Holiness has led Your Patriarchate and the whole Orthodox Church in this spirit.
“The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America and the monastics, clergy, and faithful of our Church, together with me, pray to God for Your Holiness in the words of the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, asking that you may be granted peace, safety, honor, health, and length of days, rightly to define the word of God’s truth.”