In memoriam Nikos Manginas

The late Nikos Manginas, official photographer of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, passed away on 10 April 2021, in the morning, in his room at the Phanar. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, informed of the sudden death of his close collaborator, performed a memorial service for the rest of his soul immediately after the Divine Liturgy, which he presided from the throne.

Later, the Patriarchal Court headed by the Grand Prime Chancellor Theodoros, assisted by Archimandrite Gregory, Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, and Grand Archimandrite Agathangelos, escorted the remains of the late Nikos Manginas, performing a memorial service in the courtyard of the Patriarchate, in front of the Patriarchal Church. The funeral service of the late Nikos Manginas will be held on Tuesday 13 April at noon at the Sisli Cemetery in Istanbul.

Nikos Manginas, a native of Constantinople, loved the art of photography from his very young age. Already from his youth, he recorded with his lens the life of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of the Greek Diaspora, and the daily life on the two shores of the Bosphorus. As a student of the Zographeion High School, he participated in a photography competition on the theme of the old city of Constantinople, and won a special prize. As a young man, he started collaborating with Greek and foreign magazines and newspapers that published his photo reports. For the last 30 years, he has systematically captured the action and work of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, accompanying him on his pastoral visits around the world.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent condolences after the repose of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

On 9 April 2021, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II announced with deep sorrow the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away peacefully on that morning at Windsor Castle. Prince Philip was born on 10 June 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu and was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, who later founded a monastery of Greek Orthodox nuns, the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, modeled after the convent that her aunt, the Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, had founded in Russia.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent the following condolence letter to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

Continue reading

In memoriam Senior Metropolitan Constantine of Nicaea (1929-2021)

His Eminence the Senior Metropolitan Constantine of Nicaea, distinguished hierarch of the Ecumenical Throne, passed away on 8 April 2021 at the age of 92 years. Metropolitan Constantine of blessed memory was recently hospitalized, where His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had visited him.

The distinguished hierarch Constantine (Harissiadis) was born in Chalcedon on 23 July 1929. He graduated from the Theological School of Halki in 1950. He was ordained a deacon on 17 December 1950 by Metropolitan Iakovos of Derka and priest on 22 April 1956. He served as deacon of the Community of Saint George Makrochori of the Metropolis of Derka (1950-1952) and then as archdeacon of the Metropolis of Derka (1952-1953). From 1956 to 1962, he served as secretary of the Theological School of Halki. From 1962 to 1966, he continued his theological studies at the Catholic University of Paris. On 15 November 1966, he was appointed professor at the Theological School of Halki. On 16 January 1972, he was ordained titular Bishop of Apollonia, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Constantinople, at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George at the Phanar. The ordination was performed by Metropolitan Meliton of Chalcedon, assisted by Metropolitans Maximos of Laodicea, Ieronymos of Rodopolis, Symeon of Irinoupolis and Gabriel of Kolonia. He served as the hierarchical head of the Tataoulon district in Constantinople from March to July 1972 and as Grand First Chancellor of the Patriarchate from July 1972 to March 1974. On 26 March 1974, he was elected Metropolitan of the Princes’ Islands and on 15 March 1977, Metropolitan of Derka. On 29 August 2011, he was elected Senior Metropolitan of Nicaea.

Preparatory Committee of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Orthodox Church met online

An Extraordinary Meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 18th Plenary Session of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran World Federation was held via Video Call on Thursday, 11 March 2021. The Meeting was hosted by the Lutheran World Federation and Co-chaired by Bishop Dr. Johann Schneider (Evangelical Church in Central Germany/EKMD), from the Lutheran World Federation side, and by H.E. Metropolitan Prof. Dr. Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate) from the Orthodox side, under the topic “Covid-19: Blessing as work of the Holy Spirit in extraordinary times: Liturgical and non-liturgical aspects”.

Orthodox participants were: H.E. Metropolitan Prof. Dr. Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and V. Rev. Grand Archimandrite Dr. Agathangelos Siskos, Archivist (Co-secretary, Ecumenical Patriarchate), V. Rev. Archimandrite Philip Hall (Patriarchate of Antioch), V. Rev. Protopresbyter Prof. (Em.) Dr. George Dion Dragas (Patriarchate of Jerusalem), Ass. Prof. Dr. Rade Kisić (Patriarchate of Serbia), Rev. Presbyter Dr. Cosmin Pricop (Patriarchate of Romania), Prof. Dr. Nathan Hoppe (Church of Albania), V. Rev. Protopresbyter Stefanos Chrysanthou (Consultant, Church of Cyprus) and Prof. (Em.) Dr. Konstantinos Delikostantis (Consultant, Ecumenical Patriarchate).

Lutheran participants were representing various member churches of the Lutheran World Federation: Bishop Dr. Johann Schneider (Evangelical Church in Central Germany/EKMD), Rev. Prof. Dr. Dirk G. Lange (Co-secretary, Lutheran World Federation – Office Geneva), Bishop Ibrahim Azar (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land), Prof. Dr. Kenneth G. Appold (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), Rev. Mag. Theol. Dr. Anne Burghardt (Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church), Rev. Prof. Dr. Stephanie Dietrich (Evangelical Church of Norway), Rev. Prof. Dr. Heta Hurskainen (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland), Rev. Prof. Dr. Stefan Tobler (Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania), Rev. Prof. Dr. Jennifer Wasmuth (Consultant, Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg, France) and Rev. Prof. Dr. Risto Saarinen (Consultant, Helsinki University, Finland).

Continue reading

Joint visit the mayors of Athens and of Istanbul to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On 19 March 2021, the mayors of Athens and of Istanbul, Mr. Costas Bakoyannis and Ekrem Ammamoğlu, paid a joint visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They were warmly welcomed by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who expressed his joy for the joint visit of the leaders of the two historic cities to the Center of Orthodoxy.

During their meeting, His All-Holiness stressed, among other things, the importance of developing closer cooperation between the two cities for the benefit not only of their citizens, but of the peoples of Greece and Turkey in general, and recalled the respective visit to Phanar of their predecessors, Mayors Miltiadis Evert and Bedrettin Dalan, which took place in 1988. He also referred to the very good relations that Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos developed during his tenure as Mayor with the then Mayor of Istanbul and current President of the Turkish Republic, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“In any case, we wish the friendly relations between the two cities, the two countries and the two people, to be cultivated and to progress for the good of both sides”, noted His All-Holiness and added: “Our Patriarchate always feels that it is a bridge between the two sides, a bridge of friendship, peace, solidarity for the happiness of the inhabitants of the two cities and the two countries”.The meeting, which lasted about an hour, was attended by their Eminences Metropolitan Elder Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Makarios of Australia and Cyril of Imbros and Tenedos, Archon Prof. Konstantinos Delikostantis, Director of the First Patriarchal Office, as well as the associates of the mayors. Afterwards, Mr. Bakoyannis and his associates prayed in the patriarchal church, where the Grand Prime-Chancellor Theodoros informed them about its history and showed them the holy relics that are kept in it.

Elections of new Metropolitans and promotions in the Patriarchal Court

On 17-19 March 2021, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate presided by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew convened for its first session in its new composition, including their Eminences Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon and Metropolitans Dimitrios of Metres and Athyra, Ambrosios of Karpathos and Kasos, Apostolos of Militos, Alexios of Atlanta, Joseph of Proconnesus, Meliton of Philadelphia, Joseph of Buenos Aires, Cleopas of Sweden and all Scandinavia, Maximos of Selyvria, Makarios of Australia and Kyrillos of Imbros and Tenedos.

At the proposal of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Very Rev. Grand Prime-Chancellor Andreas Sophianopoulos was elected Metropolitan of Forty Churches, and the Very Rev. Archimandrite Joachim Billis, Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, was elected Metropolitan of Proussa.

The Ecumenical Patriarch also announced that Grand Archdeacon Theodore Meimaris was appointed as the Grand Prime-Chancellor of the Patriarchal Court, Deacon Paisios Kokkinakis, Director of the Private Patriarchal Office, was promoted to Grand Archdeacon, and Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios Nikiforos was appointed as the new Director of the Private Patriarchal Office.

According to the decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Undersecretary Deacon Grigorios Fraggakis was promoted Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod, the Synodal Codifier, Deacon Vosporios Magkafas, became Undersecretary, and the Patriarchal Deacon Ecumenios Amanatidis was appointed as interim Synodal Codifier until further notice.

Visit of a Delegation of Members of the Ukrainian Parliament to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

While welcoming at the Phanar a group of members of the Ukrainian Parliament and their associates on 6 March 2021, His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his belief that “the unity of Orthodoxy is in no way being tested as a consequence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s response to the request of the Ukrainian people” for the granting of autocephaly.

Greeting them in the patriarchal church immediately after the Vespers service, His All-Holiness warmly welcomed the members of the Ukrainian delegation, accompanied by the Consul General of Ukraine in Istanbul, Mr. Oleksandr Gaman, and reminded that the concern of the Mother Church of Constantinople for the ecclesiastical life of the Ukrainian people has been timeless.

“The granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2019 was first and foremost a tender expression of pastoral concern for spiritual justice and freedom. For decades, if not centuries, Ukraine was not able to enjoy complete ecclesiastical independence from external influences. Until recently, most of the Ukrainian people were outside of the Orthodox Church. This was a sorrowful reality for the Body of Christ, because the ecclesiastical division in your country was a deep wound in the communion of the entire Orthodox Church. Recall the words of St. Paul the Apostle: ‘if one member suffers, all suffer together’ (1 Cor 12:26).”

Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew attended a meeting in Ankara

Responding to the invitation of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Ankara on 2 March 2021, where he attended a meeting held at the Presidential Palace. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented to a large audience, composed of politicians, diplomats, representatives of religious communities and minorities, judges of the supreme jurisdiction, academics and other personalities, a series of political reforms under the title “Program of action for human rights”. During the presentation, the President warmly greeted the Ecumenical Patriarch and other personalities, as well as representatives of religious communities. The President also sent his greetings to the Patriarch on his birthday and presented him with a symbolic present. The Patriarch was accompanied by the Very Reverend Archimandrite Joachim Billis, Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew congratulated Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia

On 18 February 2021, His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana was elected as the new Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Serbia, in the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a congratulatory letter to the newly-elected Patriarch of Serbia in which he stated that “the votes came before God and through the election, He whispered affectionately to the ears of the holy clergy and the valuable people of the Church of Serbia.” He stressed that “a brother was added to the successors of our Holy Father Sava, Archbishop of Serbia, who had been ordained and granted autocephaly by our predecessor, [Patriarch] Manuel [of Constantinople] in Nicaea.” “Today you are welcomed with joy, responsibility, toil, agony, and struggle by Christ for the sake of every soul of Orthodox Christians within your local Church,” he added.

The Ecumenical Patriarch wished that the patriarchal ministry of the newly elected patriarch “to be long, auspicious and renewed by the Holy Spirit and by the Lord”, underlining that “an important prerequisite and solid foundation of your patriarchal ministry is your devotion to the Divine and Holy Canons and to the Church, which continues to exist by our Scriptures and our works. If you follow this path, you will surely have succeeded in God’s work.” “The Mother Church of Constantinople, from which your local Church was born, congratulates and rejoices in your election. We express to you our undivided love and respect, our dear brother in Christ,” concluded the Ecumenical Patriarch who also had a phone conversation with the newly elected Patriarch of Serbia on that day.

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca also sent a congratulation letter to Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia. “The election of Your Holiness is an encouragement for the entire Orthodox family and beyond,” wrote Sauca in his letter of congratulations. “Your work for reconciliation among Christians and your contribution to the pacification of the Balkans over the past years is a source of inspiration and builds now on the legacy of your worthy predecessor, Patriarch Irinej, who promoted a culture of peace among peoples and nations.”

February Meeting of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate convened for its regular meeting on 16-18 February 2021 under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

During its meeting, it proceeded to the election of four hierarchs. His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France was elected as Senior Metropolitan of Chalcedon, in replacement of the former Metropolitan of Chalcedon Athanasios who was put into retirement. His Grace Bishop Kyrillos of Abydos, Professor at the University of Athens and at the Institute of Post-Graduate Studies in Orthodox theology in Chambésy, was elected Metropolitan of Krini and was appointed Patriarchal Exarch at the head of the newly constituted Exarchate of Malta. Also, the Holy Synod proceeded to the elections of auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain at the request of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain: the Very Reverend Archimandrite Raphael Pavouris was elected Bishop of Helios and the Very Reverend Archimandrite Iakovos Savva was elected Bishop of Claudiopolis.

Among other things, the Holy Synod reorganized the Synodal Committees in order to ensure their more efficient operation and appointed Archon Paris Asanakis, Lawyer in Piraeus, Athens, Greece, to the position of Legal Adviser of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.