Thronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

In a solemn atmosphere, the Ecumenical Patriarchate honored the memory of its founder, St. Andrew the Apostle. On Saturday 30 November 2019, a solemn Divine Liturgy was concelebrated by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and by the Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria, with the participation of Archbishop Irenaeus of Crete, Metropolitans Makarios of Anea, Basil of Constantia and Ammochostos (Church of Cyprus), Theodoritos of Laodicea, George of Guinea (Patriarchate of Alexandria), Athenagoras of Belgium, Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronos, Nathanael of Kos and Nisyros, Dionysios of Zakynthos (Church of Greece), Athenagoras of Kydonia, Myronos of New Zealand, and Evstratij of Chernihiv and Nizhyn (Church of Ukraine).

The Divine Liturgy was attended by the official delegation of the Church of Rome, headed by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. On the eve, the delegation of the Vatican met in a private audience the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew  and had its bi-annual informal talks with the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Continue reading

Patriarchate of Alexandria Officially Recognizes Ukraine Autocephaly

On Friday, November 8, 2019, the Patriarchate of Alexandria officially recognized the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. During the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Archangels in the Dahir district of Cairo, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria commemorated His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine in the diptychs. The official announcement of Patriarchate of Alexandria states: Continue reading

The Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church met in Bose

Benefiting once again from the warm and generous hospitality of the brothers and sisters of the Monastic Community of Bose, the Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, under the co-presidency of Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity, and Archbishop Job of Telmessos, permanent representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to the World Council of Churches, met from 11 to 15 November 2019 at the Monastery of Bose (Italy). The Committee examined a revised draft text entitled, “Primacy and Synodality in the Second Millennium and Today”. It is envisaged that a further meeting of the Coordinating Committee will be held in 2020.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: “Water is a right for every human being and every creature”

The International Congress “Water Week” in Amsterdam was honored by the presence of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on 5 November, 2019, shortly after his arrival in the Netherlands for a pastoral visit in link with the 50th anniversary of the Metropolis of Belgium and the Exarchate of Netherlands and Luxembourg. The “International Water Week” which are held these days in Amsterdam is a series of events which implies various international organizations, governments and companies related to water, its preservation and other means of management.

The organizers, informed since a long time of the coming of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Netherlands, invited him to pronounce the closing speech of the Congress. This is the first time that the organization has invited a spiritual leader as a speaker, giving the Church the opportunity to express her views and opinions on the precious good of water . Continue reading

International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Canterbury

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 Canterbury, England from 10 to 17 October 2019 to continue consideration of ecology and end-of-life issues. The meeting was hosted by The Very Revd Robert Willis, Dean of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Canterbury on behalf of the Anglican Communion. The Commission is deeply grateful to the Dean for his generous and warm hospitality.

As ever, the Commission’s work was undergirded by daily prayer and worship. The Commission attended the Sunday Eucharist at Canterbury Cathedral, and the celebration of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy at the parish of the Archangel Michael, Margate, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium, Co-Chairman of the Commission. On this occasion Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain (Ecumenical Patriarchate) made his first visit to the parish and greeted members of the Commission. The Archbishop generously hosted a lunch, provided by the parish community and Archimandrite Vissarion Kokliotis. Continue reading

In Memoriam Elias Crisostomo Abramides

Elias Crisostomo Abramides, an active delegate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the World Council of Churches since 1990, suddenly passed away in Buenos Aires on 21 October 2019. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in a Greek Orthodox family. Licentiate in Chemical Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, orientated to Environmental Protection Studies, he was since 1991 a commissioner and an advisor of the WCC. He co-founded the WCC Working Group on Climate Change of which he was co-moderator, and was designated as WCC contact person to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He was also Executive Secretary of the Ecumenical Commission of Christian Churches in Argentina and a member of the Argentine Council for Religious Freedom. He was a speaker on “Religious Approaches to Climate Change” in the 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum meeting in Buenos Aires. His conferences, lectures, articles and statements written at local and international levels were mainly centred on climate change and protection of Creation from the justice, ethical and historical standpoint. We reproduce here his last contribution to the July-August 2019 issue of Enimerosis, the Newsletter of the Permanent Representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC. May his memory be eternal! Continue reading

WCC General Secretary nominated as presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway

The Bishops’ Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway has nominated World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit as its new presiding bishop. There is an overall college of bishops behind the nomination. There is only one nominee for the position, as the regulations allow.

The nomination is now being forwarded to the National Church Council, which is responsible for the further process until the appointment. The National Church Council has arranged for appointment at its meeting in Trondheim on 30-31 January 2020. Continue reading

The ceremony of the Dies Academicus of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Orthodox Theology of the Orthodox Center of Chambésy

The traditional ceremony of the Dies academicus of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Orthodox Theology took place on Thursday 17 October 2019 at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy (Geneva). After the service of the blessing of the waters and the reading of the message of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, addresses were delivered by the Metropolitan Maxime of Switzerland, Director of the Orthodox Center, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Rector of the Institute, Prof. Franz Mali, Vice-Rector of the University of Fribourg, and Prof. Christophe Chalamet, Vice-Dean of the autonomous Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Geneva. Then came the distribution of the diplomas of Master of Arts in Theological Studies (Specialization: Orthodoxy and Inter-Christian Studies) from the University of Fribourg and of the pittacia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the four graduates of this year: Mr. Lazaros Kalaitzidis (Church of Greece), Deacon Evgenios Karakonstantakis (Ecumenical Patriarchate), Mr. Christos Xiros (Church of Greece) and Mr. Georgios Zacharioudakis (Ecumenical Patriarchate). On behalf of all the students, Deacon Evgenios Karakonstantakis delivered a speech of thanks. The ceremony, which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, religious institutions in Geneva and many guests, ended with the singing of the polychronion in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, followed by a cocktail in the reception room of the Orthodox Center of Chambésy.

Consultation of Orthodox Women in Albania

A consultation took place in Durres, Albania on 3-7 October 2019, bringing together Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox women involved in the work of the World Council of Churches since the 10th WCC Assembly in Busan (Korea) in 2013. The Orthodox women participating in the Consultation were members of the WCC governing bodies, commissioners or advisors within WCC programmes, resource persons and WCC female staff. They shared their ecumenical experiences and discussed the Orthodox women’s agenda towards the 11th WCC Assembly to be held in Karlsruhe (Germany) in 2021.

Participants attended the Sunday Divine Liturgy at the Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral of Tirana and had an official hearing from His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania. Anastasios discussed extensively with them the role of contemporary women in the Church by sharing insights from the liturgical life in the Orthodox Church of Albania where women have very active roles. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed the annual conference of “Forum 2000” Foundation

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Prague on 15 October 2019, where he addressed the 23rd annual conference of “Forum 2000” Foundation under the title “Recovering the Promise of 1989”. The Forum 2000 Foundation pursues the legacy of Václav Havel by supporting the values of democracy and respect for human rights, assisting the development of civil society, and encouraging religious, cultural and ethnic tolerance. It provides a platform for global leaders, as well as thinkers and courageous individuals from every field of endeavor, to openly debate and share these critical issues.

The Forum 2000 conferences and other events organized by the Forum 2000 Foundation are held in Prague, Czech Republic. Since 1997, Forum 2000 organizes an annual conference which has attracted a number of prominent thought leaders, Nobel laureates, former and acting politicians, business leaders and other individuals, whose common denominative is experience with bearing responsibility. Prince Hassan bin Talal, Yohei Sasakawa, Frederik Willem de Klerk, Bill Clinton, Oscar Arias Sánchez, the Dalai Lama, Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres, Mario Soares, Hana Suchocká, Shirin Ebadi, Sergey Kovalyov, Nicholas Winton, Madeleine Albright, and Wole Soyinka are just a few of those who have attended the Forum 2000 events.

During his visit, His All-Holiness met with His Grace Bishop Isaia of Sumperk from the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.