Ecumenical Patriarch conveys a message to COP22

The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place in from 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakech (Morocco). The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are held yearly. The previous one took place last year in Paris. On this occasion, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew conveyed a message to the participants, in which he refers to 22 years of UN conventions as “an unacceptably long period to respond to the environmental crisis” as he states that “in some ways we have come a long way. Yet, in many ways, we have made little progress”.

The Ecumenical Patriarch calls mankind “to discern the human faces impacted by our ecological sins” and prays that “that all parties at the COP22 will recognize and respond to the high stakes involved in climate change”. According to him, “one way would be to implement the COP21 agreement of Paris without further delay”. Continue reading

Saint Irenaeus Group met in Taizé


The Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group gathered for its thirteenth annual meeting from 2 to 6 November 2016 at Taizé (France), at the invitation of the Taizé Community. The 2016 meeting was chaired by the Orthodox Co-President of the Working Group, Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos.

At the opening session on Wednesday evening, November 2, the group met with the Prior of Taizé, Frère Alois. In the course of the week, members of the Working Group shared a meal with the monastic community. Throughout the meeting, the members of the group attended the daily prayers of the Community. On Sunday, the participants attended the Divine Liturgy in the old chapel of Taizé, and the Catholic Eucharist in the Church of Reconciliation. Continue reading

A new book on the dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches

A new book by Volos Academy Publications on the dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches edited by Christine Chaillot just came out in November. The main purpose of this book is to serve as a basis for reflection on this very important bilateral dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the so called “Oriental Orthodox” (Pre-chalcedonian) Churches (Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian and Syriac), which goes back to 1964 but officially started in 1985. Continue reading

Roman Catholics and Lutherans commemorate together 500 years of the Reformation

Kurt Cardinal Koch, President Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Bishop Munib Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation; Pope Francis; Reverend Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheral World Federation

Kurt Cardinal Koch, President Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Bishop Munib Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation; Pope Francis; Reverend Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheral World Federation

In 1517, in Wittenberg (Germany), Martin Luther manifested his opposition to the prevailing practice of selling indulgences in the Western Church. On 31 October 2016, Lutheran and Catholics co-hosted for the first time in history a joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in the Cathedral of Lund (Sweden).

This became possible after the important decisions taken at the Second Vatican Council in its decree “Unitatis redintegratio” on ecumenism, which inaugurated a bilateral theological between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation, which has been conducted over the last 50 years. Continue reading

A quarter of a Century on the Throne of Saint Andrew

Patriarch Bartholomew
On 22 October 2016, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated the 25th anniversary of his election as the 270th Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, successor of the Holy Apostle Andrew, in the presence of 51 bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, representatives of the Churches of Jerusalem and Cyprus, of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Greek State, clergy, monastics and laity who attended the festive Divine Liturgy for this memorable occasion. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Senior Metropolitan Constantine of Nicea greeted His All-Holiness who responded with a homily⇒ recounting his quarter of century on the throne of Saint Andrew. Continue reading

Dies Academicus of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Orthodox Theology of Chambésy

The Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Orthodox Theology of Chambésy began its 21st academic year by conferring Master degrees to six graduates (coming from the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Churches of Russia, Serbia and Greece) and welcoming seven new students into its unique tripartite program of theological studies on 15 October 2016 during the ceremony of Dies Academicus.

The Institute was founded at the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy in 1996 with the aim of « serving the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church as well as universal Christianity [… in order that] this Centre become especially a theological and scientific incubator in an ecumenical perspective, capable to train staff from all Orthodox Churches at the level of highest studies, to give them the appropriate competences to respond to the needs of their Churches, specialised in conducting inter-orthodox and inter-confessional dialogues implying a theological encounter between East and West », as it is stipulated in the patriarchal charter of foundation. Continue reading

Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions

Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions

The annual conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions took place in Rome on October 11–13, 2016. This unformal ecumenical forum that goes back to 1957 sees itself as “communions of Churches belonging to the same tradition and held together by this common heritage, conscious of living in the same universal fellowship and giving to this consciousness at least some structured visible expression” (Study Encounter, IV, 1, 1968, p. 46). Continue reading

Pope Francis Apostolic Visit to Georgia

Pope Francis

30 September–2 October 2016
By Tamara Grdzelidze

As ambassador of Georgia to the Holy See, I have been reading and listening to any and all commentary regarding the visit. It is amazing to observe how diverse the information is, how many inaccuracies appear in the various comments, and how hard the mainstream international media gets on its faults to give a negative impression on the whole. I am responding to these comments in an effort to disperse this negative cloud and promote a more realistic perspective. Continue reading

International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theo­logical Dialogue Communiqué

International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue

International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue.
Armagh, Northern Ireland, 23–29 September 2016

In the name of the Triune God, and with the blessing and guidance of our Churches, the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Armagh, Northern Ireland from 23–29 September 2016. The Commission is deeply grateful for the generous and warm hospitality offered by the Diocese of Armagh through the Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, his clergy and people. Warm greetings were also extended by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Eamon Martin, and by other Christian leaders.

The meeting began with the celebration of the Divine Orthodox Liturgy in the Cathedral of St Patrick, Armagh. The Commission was invited to join with local Anglicans in both parish and cathedral worship, including a memorable morning in the parish of St Mark, Ballymore, and a rich experience of Evensong in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. On the final day, the festival of St Michael and All Angels was celebrated, with prayers for the guidance of the angels in the continuing work. Continue reading