We thank from all our heart everyone, who has come to this dinner, which is an expression of our joy and gratitude. We offer this in sign of our joy and deep love for all of you and to mark the end of our official visit in the friendly Estonia and of finding so many new friends. All the experiences and meetings here have left lively and inextinguishable memories in our heart, which will forever feed the feelings of fraternity and universality, which have always inspirited and are inspiriting now the Ecumenical Patriarchate and us personally.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has for one thousand and seven hundred years been girded with a towel to serve the Orthodox Churches all over the world. Taking its cross, it has trustingly followed our Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings. It has not placed itself in a position of power and supremacy towards the other Churches, but has been like a good Samarian, who pours oil and wine onto their wounds to heel them. For this reason is the first rank of honor, which the sacred canons and the Orthodox consciousness has granted it beginning from the 2nd Ecumenical Council, not a rank of any advantage, but a first place with the most difficult work and serving, the priority to carry the first and most heavy cross.
It is called to solve most difficult problems and often criticized by on or the other or even both parties involved, but as a caring Mother it is trying with love to bring peace to all its children, although sometimes, if the sacred canons, the profit of all Churches, the situation or the spirit of equal and impartial love towards everyone demands, it is forced to take sides.
The Patriarchate does not foster divisions, but if the conditions points that for the good of one Church need autonomy or autocephaly, it has granted one without hesitation. Animated by the same spirit, it granted some hundred years ago autocephaly with the honor of Patriarchate to the holy Russian Church and to many other Churches in the course of centuries. In all these cases the cooperation between the Churches has gone better and the spiritual unity of them has remained unbreakable, so that it has been confirmed that the nature of the Orthodox Church as one body of Christ is not influenced by the self-sufficiency of holy bishoprics, already dating from the time of the apostles. With the same in mind, and on the basis of the Estonian Government of that time, it granted autonomy in 1923 to the Estonian Orthodox Church, and reactivated it some time ago, and has made and will make everything to help its restoration and normal working. By all this it has had no intention to touch the holy Russian Church, but has only sincerely wanted to help the Estonian Church, which has suffered through the atheistic persecutions.
We are sure that when the first storms calm down and peace of the spirit is reestablished, all will see that this calm decision was advantageous and indispensable for all.
Rising the glasses let us look into the future with a firm hope that a vision of a blooming and fruit-bearing Orthodox Church in Estonia will soon become a pleasant reality and that the Church of Russia will soon be healed from the great wounds that were inflicted to it during the atheistic persecution and that love and cooperation in Christ will brighten the faces and hearts of everyone. For the realization of this beautiful and Christian goal, which would be in advantage of both peoples, and for the health and prosperity of both, let us drink, Your Excellency, having confidence in Christ that He inspirits all our motives.

You can read the response of the President of Estonia Lennart Meri

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