WCC Planning Committee for the 11th Assembly in 2021

As it concluded its meeting in Cyprus, held from 9-16 January, and hosted by Metropolitan Vasilios of Ammochostos and Constantia of the Church of Cyprus, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee (APC) released a report to the WCC Executive Committee detailing building blocks for the 11th WCC Assembly, to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2021.

There will be 775 delegates at the assembly. The Assembly Worship Planning Committee will hold its first meeting in the Karlsruhe region on 5-11 July 2019. A host committee is soon to be established in order  to involve churches on national, regional and local levels. The APC also discussed the theme for the assembly: “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.” In its report, the APC described the 11th Assembly as “a place of listening to each other, building trusted relationships, discerning together the way forward, encouraging each other to work together for change, and celebrating Christ’s gift of love with gratitude and joy.” Continue reading

Archimandrite Michael Anishchenko appointed head of stauropegion in Kiev

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, during its meeting on 9-11 January 2019, following its decision of 11 October 2018 to restaure a stauropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev, one of the many stavropigia that the Ecumenical Patriarchate used to have in Ukraine in the past centuries, has appointed as its head The Very Reverend Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Michael Anishchenko, who headed until now the Orthodox Community in Antalya (Turkey) of the Holy Metropolis of Pisidia.

Forum on Modern Slavery – Awareness, Action and Impact

The Third International Forum on Modern Slavery organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the theme “Awareness, Action and Impact” took place in Istanbul, Turkey on 5-8 January 2019. Recognizing that modern slavery is a global scourge that traps millions of people to lives of suffering, injustice and humiliation, His All-Holiness established a Task Force on Modern Slavery as a commitment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to learn, to act and to witness towards the elimination of the interconnected forms of visible and invisible enslavement affecting over 46 million people worldwide. The first Forum, “Sins Before Our Eyes,” was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in February 2017. The second Forum, “Old Problems in the New World,” was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in May 2018. Continue reading

Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine

On Saturday, January 5, 2019, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the Tomos of Autocephaly, thereby officially granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Present for this special ceremony, which took place in the Venerable Patriarchal Church of Saint George, were His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kyiv and all Ukraine, His Excellency Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, numerous Ukrainian government officials and members of parliament, Hierarchs of the Throne and several international press and media outlets. Continue reading