8th International Conference of Orthodox Theology

The four-day works of the 8th International Conference of Orthodox Theology, organized by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, were completed on Thursday, May 24, 2018, with a large number of speakers, delegates and students on the theme: “The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox Theology in the 21st Century “.

The international academic theological community, with one hundred and twenty elected speakers, clergy and lay people, from 15 countries and 25 Theological Schools, Institutes and Research Centers, has responded to its duty to assist in the work of the Church with theological thought and research and concrete proposals. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch at the conference of Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Rome on 23-26 May 2018 to give an address at the conference New Policies and Life Styles in the Digital Age, held on the 25th anniversary of the Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation.  His addressed focused on the fields of economy and ecology, of science and technology, and of society and politics.

The Ecumenical Patriarch stressed that “today, we are facing a serious crisis and its social outcomes on a global scale. We regard this worldwide crisis as a crisis of solidarity, an ongoing process of desolidarization, which puts the very future of humanity at risk. It is our deep conviction, that the future of humanity is related to the resistance against this crisis and the establishment of a culture of solidarity.”

During his visit to Rome, the Ecumenical Patriarch had a private meeting with Pope Francis, as well as a meeting with Pope Emeritus Benedict.  On 23 May, the Ecumenical Patriarch visited the Roman Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli, where he venerated the relics of the apostles Sts. Phillip and James Brother of the Lord.

Old Problems in the New World: A Forum on Modern Slavery

Under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a second forum on modern slavery convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from May 5-8, 2018. This forum, entitled Old Problems in the New World, was co-sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and South America, and the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (Berkeley, California). The purpose of this gathering was to bring together distinguished practitioners, policymakers, theologians, and scholars from within Latin America and other parts of the world to explore the myriad dimensions of the scourge of modern slavery. The forum was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, with welcoming remarks offered by diplomats and dignitaries, and opened with video messages from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, His Holiness Pope Francis, and His Grace Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury. Continue reading

Third Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum

The  Global Christian Forum, which connects the broadest range of global Christianity, held its third Global Gathering in Bogotá, Colombia from 23-27 April, under the theme ‘Let mutual love continue’(Heb 13:1). It brought together the widest variety of Christian traditions, with 251 church leaders from nearly every stream of global Christianity and 55 nations.

Against the backdrop of growing division in the world, the ‘meeting itself became a message’ of careful listening and respectful engagement across barriers of old enmities and historic separations.

In recognition of the churches of the host nation, the Message said participants “have listened to, and been inspired by, witnesses working for peace. We pray that the peace process may continue in Colombia and bring hope and reconciliation to those who are suffering and struggling.” Continue reading

Reflecting on new Perspectives for Orthodox-Catholic Encounters

On 24-26 April 2018, a seminar was organized by the foundation Pro Oriente at the Orthodox Academy of Crete, entitled: “Crossroads of Theological Dialogues. Reflecting on new Perspectives for Orthodox-Catholic Encounters”. The aim of this gathering of selected representatives from the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, North American Orthodox Catholic Consultations, Joint Commission of the German Bishops’ Conference and Orthodox Bishops’ Conference in Germany, Joint Catholic-Orthodox Committee of France, Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group and Pro Oriente Commission of Young Orthodox and Catholic Theologians, was to make better known the work of each group and encourage synergies between them as the Joint International Commission is entering in a new stage of work. Among the participants were the two co-presidents of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church — Cardinal Kurt Koch and Archbishop Job of Telmessos.

The inspiring and frank discussions have proved that the path engaged by the Joint International Commission at the meeting of its coordinating committee last September in Leros is the right one and at the same time have emphasized that the fear of fundamentalism is the major threat today for the Ecumenical Movement in general and for the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue in particular.

A common journey for the WCC and the Focolare

Basta amare! This is the core of Chiara Lubich’s message for unity. A message full of hope and respect for the work of the World Council of Churches (WCC) towards justice and peace.

On 18 April, more than 160 people attended the WCC – Focolare joint event opened by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary, and Father Jesús Morán, co-president of the Focolare Movement. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch: The Mother Church of all Balkan peoples is Constantinople

On 10 April 2018,  visited President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Ivanic  and FYROM President Gjorge Ivanov visited the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Phanar, in Istanbul where they were cordially received by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

In their private meeting, at the Patriarchal Office, which lasted for half an hour, President Ivanic and the Ecumenical Patriarch had the opportunity to discuss various issues of the times.

An hour later, in their private meeting at the Patriarchal Office, FYROM President Gjorge Ivanov, accompanied by his wife and son, his colleagues and his Ambassador to Ankara, discussed various subjects and exchanged greetings and gifts for Easter. Continue reading

Meeting of a Working Group for the Dialogue between Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches

On 12 April 2018, at the initiative of the co-presidents of the International Theological Commission for the Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France and Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta, and in their presence, a working group, consisting of bishops from both families of Churches, met in Antelias (near Beirut, Lebanon). They were hosted by His Holiness Aram, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the evolution of the bilateral theological dialogue and to prepare the next meeting of the joint commission. This bilateral theological dialogue began in 1985 and produced, on the basis of a common understanding of the apostolic faith, a number of convergent documents on Christology. (See first and second agreed statements). The purpose of this meeting was to explore together the possibilities of reactivating this important process in the lives of the two families of churches. The next meeting of the plenary of the Commission will take place at the end of October 2018.

President of Ukraine visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s headquarters at the Phanar in Istanbul on 9 April 2018. President Poroshenko was accompanied by the Vice-President of the Government of Ukraine Mr Gennadiy Zubko, the Foreign Minister Mr Pavlo Klimkin, a large group of his collaborators and his Ambassador to Ankara Mr Andriy Sybiga.

President Poroshenko expressed his warmest Paschal wishes to the Ecumenical Patriarch who gave his blessings and expressed his wishes of the Mother Church of Constantinople to Mr. Poroshenko and to the entire Ukrainian people. Continue reading