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.

The Church of Greece on the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine

An extraordinary meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Orthodox Church of Greece met on 12 October 2019 and decided to approve “the normal right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to confer autocephaly, as well as the privilege of the Primate of the Church of Greece to further deal with the question of the recognition of the Church of Ukraine.”

According to the agenda, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece presented his Report entitled “The autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine”. In the introduction of his report, His Beatitude stated that the Standing Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has dealt intensively with this subject, having referred it to the relevant Synodical Commission, on Dogmatic and Legal Issues and on Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations, in order to jointly propose them to the Holy Synod. Continue reading

Churches’ Week of Action on Food 2019

The Churches’ Week of Action on Food 2019 is taking place on 13-20 October 2019. The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance invites churches around the world again to a Churches’ Week of Action on Food, an opportunity to pray, reflect and take action together, for food justice across the globe.

“The Churches’ Week of Action on Food is a week-long global campaign initiated by the WCC through which we invite the global ecumenical movement and organisations, community-based organisations and faith-based organisations to act collectively for food justice,” explains Manoj Kurian, coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and Food for Life Campaign. Continue reading

Annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions took place in Christiansfeld

The Annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions took place in Christiansfeld (Denmark) on 8-10 October 2019 hosted by the Moravian Church Worldwide Unity Board.The annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions brings together representatives from diverse Christian traditions to discuss their work and fellowship together.

Secretaries heard reports from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church, World Council of Churches, Baptist World Alliance, Global Pentecostalism, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Mennonite World Conference, Moravian Church Worldwide Unity Board, Organization of African Independent Churches, Global Christian Forum, World Convention of the Churches of Christ, World Evangelical Alliance, World Methodist Council, Lutheran World Federation, Anglican Communion, The Salvation Army, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Armenian Apostolic Church, and the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists. Continue reading