ORTODOKS KAMMERKOR STARTER OPP HØSTEN 2019 TIRSDAG 27. AUGUST KL 19-21 I HL. KORSETS KAPELL KORSVOLLBAKKEN 27 , OSLO
BUSS 54 TIL SKIBAKKEN GÅ OPP SKIBAKKVEIEN OG TÅSENVEIEN 100M TIL VENSTRE ØVELSE TIRSDAG 3. AUGUST KL 19-21 SAMME STED
VIL DU LÆRE MER OM ORTODOKS TRO?
Om ortodoksi på norsk
Hvis du er interessert i ortodoks tro og vil finne ut mer, kan vi i skoleåret 2016-2017 tilby en rekke foredrag innenfor rammene av studieopplegget «Om ortodoksi på norsk». Studieopplegget er et tilbud først og fremst for katekumener og de som har tenkt å konvertere seg til ortodoksien, men også andre interesserte er velkomne.
Fredag 2. september 2016, kl 19 - f. Kliment: Kirkerommet og ortodoks lære (omvisning og generelt om studieopplegget)
Onsdag 14. september 2016, kl 19 - f. Olav: Den ortodokse kirkes historie
Fredag 30. september 2016, kl 19 - f. Kliment: Den russiske ortodokse kirkes historie
Onsdag 19. oktober 2016, kl 19 - f. Olav: Forskjeller mellom østlig og vestlig tro
Fredag 4. november 2016, kl 19 - f. Olav: Helgener og engler
Onsdag 16. november 2016, kl 19 - f. Kliment: Døden og livet etter døden
Fredag 2. desember 2016, kl 19 - f. Olav: Sakramenter og mysterier
Onsdag 7. desember 2016, kl 19 - f. Kliment: Hellige Olga menighet 20 år
Sted: Vår Frelsers ortodokse kirke, Akersveien 33, Oslo (inngang gjennom hoveddøren).
I forkant av hvert foredrag/samtalekveld er det gudstjeneste i kirken - begynnelse kl 18.
I henhold til planene fortsetter studieopplegget i vårsemesteret 2017.
Ett år för Kyrkan ger en introduktion till kyrkospråken och kyrkans teologi och tradition. Ett år som alla ortodoxt kristna borde gå men som också kan vara det första steget till en präst- eller pedagogutbildning. Sök nu, börja redan nästa vecka.
A Romanian writer, Tudor is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Romania. He has published a number of articles related to philosophy and theology in different cultural and academic journals. His work focuses on the evolution of Orthodox spirituality in Western societies as well and he is going to publish a book of interviews with Westerners converted to Orthodoxy. In this article, he interviews Father Johannes Johansen, an Orthodox priest in Norway.
TP: First of all, please do tell us how you discovered Orthodoxy and why have you chosen the conversion to the Orthodox Church.
Fr. Johannes Johansen: By studying the Holy Bible. The Orthodox Church is the direct contuation of the Church that Christ himself founded on his holy apostles – the only possible Christian Church.
TP: What should we know about the Orthodox heritage of Norway, about the origins of Orthodoxy in Norway? When did actually appear the first Orthodox church in Norway?
Fr. Johannes Johansen: Everybody thinks that Norway was Roman Catholic the first 500 years and then Lutheran/protestant. BUT this is a truth which has to be corrected. The Christianity started to influence “Norway” already in the 8th century, and in the 1000-c. We have the history with St. Sunniva of Selja (described in The Saga about King Olav Tryggvason) and then we have St. Olav Haraldson who eventually Christianized Norway (Stiklestad 1030), and a little later st. Hallvard in Oslo-aerea) – all of it BEFORE the schism between Rome and the other Orthodox Churches. That means the Church/Christianity in Norway in that first period was Orthodox Church/Christianity (not “roman-catholic”).
The second point is in the far north-east: In 16. century the holy missionary Trifon came from Novgorod and Christianized all the eastern “skolt” laps (saami) people. He built the chapel in Neiden in 1565 – still existing, and the tribe he Christianized are still Orthodox people and belonging to our parish.
The third point is 1920 – when a group of ablout 1000 Russian refugee came from Archangelsk/Murmansk to Norway and founded “The Orthodox Church (St. Nicholas Parish) in Norway”, still existing, my parish. The parish has after that expanded much.
TP: Can you please talk about the fullness of the Norwegian Orthodox tradition among the other orthodox traditions in Eastern and Central Europe? I don’t know if this is a right question, but I am thinking about the fact that there should be a some kind of fullness as I have mentioned above.
Fr. Johannes Johansen: In fact, we can not yet talk about a Norwegian Orthodox cultural tradition, but we can say that it is in the process of being formed. First of all the language: we are using more and more norwegian (in stead of church-slavonic) because of the international composition of members in the parishes. We are also combining Russian/slavonic music with the byzantine. We have published a great range of books, and translated most of the liturgical texts.
TP: Who are the most important saints celebrated in the Norwegian Orthodox Church?
Fr. Johannes Johansen: We do not say “The Norwegian Orthodox Church” but “The Orthodox Church in Norway” (an important difference). The most important saints for Orthodoxy in Norway are: St. Sunniva, St. Olav, St. Hallvard and St. Trifon, the apostles Peter and Paul. St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. Nicholas.
TP: What can you say about the dialogue between the Norwegian Orthodox Church and the other local and traditional orthodox churches such as the Russian, the Greek or the Serbian one?
Fr. Johannes Johansen: We try to have good and friendly relations to them. But a great difference between them and us, is that they are very nationalistic, while we welcome people of all nationalities, for us the Orthodox faith and Tradition is the only thing that matters.
TP: Which are the most important Orthodox churches and monasteries in Norway?
St Nicholas Church in Oslo. St. Georges chapel in Neiden. St. Trifon monastery in Hurdal.
TP: I also wish to find out more information about the written books concerning the Orthodoxy in Norway. So, what books should we read so that we can better discover the Orthodox Church in Norway?
Fr. Johannes Johansen: In 2003 we published a book of the history of the parish of St Nicholas (the first and oldest parish in Norway) in Oslo. Now we are ready to publish a book about the monastery of St. Trifon also.
TP: Which is the main role and importance of the Orthodox Church in the Norwegian society at this moment?
Fr. Johannes Johansen: We try to defend traditional Christian dogma and moral standards againt modernism and secularisation. We are active in oecumenical movement to witness about Orthodoxy.
This interview is one of many that will be published in the book “The rediscovery of Orthodox heritage of the West” by Tudor Petcu, containing interviews with different Westerners converted to Orthodoxy. It will be published in two volumes and the first one will appear by the end of this year.
Hl. Peter og hl. Paulus dag
29. juni (12. juli)
GRATULERER MED DAGEN!
HELLIGE SUNNIVA-DAGEN BLE FEIRET PÅ SELJE
8.-9. juli ble hl Sunniva feiret på Selje. Fader Johannes forrettet Liturgi i Selje kirke fredag 8. juli sammen med munkediakon Serafim. Etterpå dro følget på pilegrimstur til Sunnivahulen på Selja hvor det ble bedt en moleben. Ca 30 personer deltok i markeringen.
Lørdag ble det feiret Liturgi i det nye ortodokse Mikaels-kapellet i Selje hvor f.Olav forettet sammen med munkediakon Agatangelos. Etter liturgien var det kirkekaffe i galleri Amdam hvor Caroline Serck-Hanssen holdt foredrag om hl. Trifon. Takk til f.Agatangelos som gjorde denne feiring mulig og til galleri-eier Kjell-Stig Amdam som åpnet galleriet og hjemmet sitt for oss.
Alle foto: Caroline Serck-Hanssen
ARCHBISHOP JOB (GETCHA) BECAME CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT ORTHODOX AND CATHOLIC INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE
Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos replaced another hierarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Metropolitan of Pergamon John (Zizioulas) in the post of co-chairman of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
Addressing Archbishop of Job at the meeting with a delegation of Constantinople held at the Vatican on June 28, Pope Francis greeted him on a new appointment. It was reported by Blahovest-info citing the Vatican’s press service.
Metropolitan John (Ziziulas) was born in 1931 in Greece. This is one of the most famous contemporary Orthodox theologians. He headed the commission since 2006, when its meeting was held in Belgrade after a long break. Previous meetings took place in 2000 in Emmitsburg (USA) and were dedicated to uniatism.
Archbishop Job (Getcha) was born on December 31, 1974 in Montreal into an ethnic Ukrainian family - natives of Galicia. He was a parishioner of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (in 1990 it was accepted in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople).
In 1996 he was ordained as hierodeacon, in 1998 he moved to France, where he was tonsured into the mantle by
Archimandrite Placide (Deseille). In 2003, he moved to Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe following the Russian tradition and was ordained hieromonk by Gabriel (de Vylder) of Komana.
He defended his doctoral thesis at St. Sergius Institute. He took part in the work of a number of committees. He was a lecturer at universities.
In 2004, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite.
In 2013, he was elected chairman of the Western European Patriarchate. The episcopal ordination of Archimandrite Job was performed on 30 November of the same year by Patriarch Bartholomew in St. George's Cathedral in the Phanar (Istanbul).
On November 29, 2015 he was transferred to the post of representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches in Geneva.
Archbishop Job is well familiar to those who followed the progress of the Cathedral of the Orthodox Churches in Crete. He was one of the main speakers at the daily press briefings.
FRA DEN ORTODOKSE KIRKES
HELLIGE OG STORE KONSIL
I Faderens og Sønnens og Helligåndens navn.
Med takkesang, lovsyinger og tilber vi Gud i Treenighet, som har gitt oss i Pinsens høytidsdager å samles her på øyen Kreta, som har blitt helliggjort av Hl. Paulus, folkeslagenes Apostel, og hans disippel Titus, hans «ektefødte barn i vår felles tro» (Tit. 1, 4), og, ved Helligåndens inspirasjon, å gjennomføre møtene til vår Ortodokse Kirkes Hellige og Store Konsil – sammenkalt av Hans Allhellighet den Økumeniske Patriark Bartholomeos, ved fellesbestemmelse fra Deres Saligheter, de allhellige ortodokse kirkenes overhoder – til Hans hellige Navns ære og for stor velsignelse for Hans folk og for hele verden, som bekjenner med den guddommelige Paulus: «Således akte dere oss som Kristi tjenere og husholdere over Guds mysterier» (1 Kor. 4, 1).
Den ene, hellige, katolske og apostoliske Kirkes Hellige og Store Konsil utgjør et autentisk vitne til tro til Gudmennesket Kristus, Guds enbårne Sønn og Ord, som ved sin menneskevorden, ved alt sitt verk på jord, ved sitt offer på Korset og ved sin Oppstandelse, åpenbarte den Treenige Gud som uendelig kjærlighet. Med én røst og ett hjerte retter vi derfor dette budskapet om «det håp som bor i oss» (1 Peter 3, 15), ikke bare til vår allhellige Kirkes sønner og døtre, men til hvert menneske, «langt borte eller nær ved» (Ef. 2, 17). «Vårt håp» (1 Tim. 1, 1), verdens Frelser, ble åpenbart som «Gud med oss» (Matt. 1, 23) og som Gud «for vår skyld» (Rom. 8, 32), «som vil at alle mennesker skal bli frelst og komme til sannhets erkjennelse» (1 Tim. 1, 4). Vi forkynner Hans miskunn og skjuler ikke Hans store velsignelser, vi minnes Herrens ord om at «Himmel og jord skal forgå, men mine ord skal ingenlunde forgå» (Matt. 24, 35) og «fulle av glede» (1 Joh. 1, 4) forkynner vi troens, håpets og kjærlighetens Evangelium, mens vi ser frem til den «dag uten kveld og uten ende» (Basilios den Store, Om de seks dager II, PG 29.54). At vi har «vår borgerrett i himmelen» svekker på ingen måte vårt vitne i verden, men heller styrker det.
I dette følger vi tradisjonen til apostlene og vår Kirkes fedre som forkynte Kristus og, ved Ham, den frelsende erfaringen av Kirkens tro, og som talte om Gud «slik fiskere kaster et nett,» altså på apostolisk måte, til folk av hver alder for å forvalte til dem frihetens Evangelium, for «til frihet har Kristus frigjort oss» (Gal. 5, 1). Kirken lever ikke for seg selv. Hun ofrer seg selv for hele menneskeligheten for å løfte opp og fornye verden til en ny himmel og en ny jord (Åp. 21, 1). Hun vitner derfor til Evangeliet og forvalter Guds nådegaver i verden: Hans kjærlighet, fred, rettferd, forsoning, Oppstandelsens kraft og forventningen om det evige liv.
Pinsepreken av erkebiskop Johannes av Charioupolis
Til Fedre, Proster,
prester og diakoner, munker og nonner, til de troende og til alle venner av
eksarkatet av ortodokse menigheter av russisk tradisjon i Vest-Europa under
økumeniske patriarkatet; en god og hellig pinsefest.
Fader Olav deltok på vesper i Hl.Hallvards katedralens ruiner i gamlebyen i Oslo. Det er blitt en tradisjon at man i forbindelse med Hallvardsdagen 15. mai feirer en økumenisk vesper. Det var Hl. Hallvard katolske menighet og Grønnland menighet (Dnk) som sto for gjennomføringen. Det er ellers et omfattende program for store og små i forkant av gudstjenesten.
Erkebiskop Johannes tronstigning blir 26. mai kl 17 i hl. Alexander Nevsky katedralen i Paris
KRISTUS ER OPPSTANDEN!
Vi ønsker alle en riktig god påskehøytid!
Matutin på Store tirsdag ble feiret i Den greske kirken i Oslo.
Metropolitt Cleopas av Skandinavia var på besøk i Oslo og flere prester og øvrighetspersoner var tilstede. Ordfører Marianne Borgen var tilstede og flere fra Den greske ambassaden. f.Olav deltok sammen med f. Kliment fra hl Olga menighet og f.Christoforos fra hl. Herman menighet i Kristiansand, foruten f.Alexandros, sokneprest i menigheten.
Påsken i Fredrikstad
Langfredag 29.april kl 18: Bønn ved Kristi grav med prosesjon av epitafiet
Lørdag 30.april kl 21: Påskenattsgudstjeneste Begge gudstjenestene er på norsk.
Det er ikke kirkekaffe disse dagene
Den hellige synode har bifalt valget av erkebiskop Johannes
Den 28. mars valgte den ekstraordinære generalforsamlingen som var samlet i Paris, biskop Johannes av Charioupolis til ny erkebiskop av eksarkatet av menigheter av russisk tradisjon i Vest-Europa. Den 22. april bifalt den hellige synode av Konstantinopels patriarkat valget. Fra denne dato skal erkebiskop Johannes nevnes i eksarkatets gudstjenester etter hans hellighet patriark Bartolomeus.
Det er liturgi igjen i Fredrikstad søndag 3. april kl. 11
3. søndag i Den store fasten, Korshylningen
Mk 8, 34-9,1
Kameratklubben, Frydenberggaten 14
Hvis det er noen som trenger transport, gi beskjed med adresse
så skal vi prøve å arrangere transport, hvis vi klarer.
Det er flott om noen kan komme kl 10 og sette opp kirken og
at noen kan ta ansvaret for kjøkkenet etter liturgien.
Vi har fått beskjed om at renholdet etter liturgiene ikke er bra nok, så
vi trenger at noen tar ansvar for dette.
Håper jeg ser dere.
Ta gjerne med noe til kirkekaffen.
NY ERKEBISKOP VALGT
Biskop Jean av Charioupolis, vår locum tenens, ble mandag 28. Mars valgt til exarkatets nye erkebiskop med overveldende flertall på 87%. Han blir formelt valgt av synoden i Det økumeniske patriarkatet 19. april.
Lenten Message 2016 of His Excellence JOHN, Bishop of Charioupolis
This year again, the beginning of the Great Fast is overshadowed by the dark clouds piling up over the head of humanity. Wars with all the accompanying human tragedies which they cause, pollution of nature, upheaval in the Middle East where we cannot yet understand either causes and outcome or the suffering of poor nations faced with the increasing gulf between North and South. The common man, for such we are, confronted with such an apocalyptic scenario, feels as weak as the grass of the fields. As part of the "masses", he has the feeling that everything is controlled above his head and his own vision has no impact on the course of events. Our weakness is once more emphasized.
Yet Saint Paul tells us that it is precisely in weakness that strength lies. Lent is the privileged time for spiritual awareness of our human weakness. Yes, what can we offer to God, other than this weakness, this sin that overwhelms us and that we see at work every day both in and outside of us, and whose existence is real. To be a Christian is to be aware of ones finiteness and sinful condition, that is to say a creature experiencing in the flesh the freedom to choose between good and evil, knowing that victory over evil can only be the conjoining of the work of God and that of man. Now our collective sin is great. This is why fasting within the Church is necessary. To be aware of ones personal weakness like the publican: "God, have mercy on the sinner that I am" is the absolute condition of the collective conscience. The Christian by his fasting says to the world that there are limits to even the most legitimate desires. It is a call and an reveille to overcome: solitude, separation, anxiety in the face of insecurity, the need to gain a place in society, fear of the judgment of others, the desire to climb the ladder of power. All these characterize our consumer society and we are all tempted to identify with it by means of one or other of these desires.
Now, if we follow Christ, we see that witnessing to the Kingdom will actually make us outsiders in relation to these desires and this consumer society which reassures us. To fast is to be "marginalised", to reflect a different reality, a different mode of action in the world. God works through the weakness brought about by fasting. Fasting for God makes one more merciful to oneself and ones brothers, changes ones view of creation by developing sensitivity to the rhythms of nature and life. Fasting reminds us how, what Solzhenitsyn calls "self-limitation" of ones needs, restores to man his freedom and frees him from the vicious circle of consumption. Putting limits on ourselves for Christ and the love of others is the true fast which makes us grow spiritually and brings to the world a truly Christian response.
Our entire spiritual tradition teaches us that. But we have formalized and ritualized it to such an extent, that we no longer see what it is all about, and in particular why it is still relevant today. It is for us to embody this tradition in this time of Lent to make triumphant in our lives what Christ was: peace, love, mercy and joy for the glory of the Father.
Wishing you all a good and holy Lent.
+ John, Bishop of Charioupolis, Patriarchal Vicar and Locum tenens,
Catechetical Homlily on the Occasion of Holy and Great Lent (2016)
Prot. No. 284
† B A R T H O L O M E W
BY THE MERCY OF GOD ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE, NEW-ROME, AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH, TO THE PLENITUDE OF THE CHURCH, GRACE AND PEACE FROM OUR SAVIOR CHRIST, TOGETHER WITH OUR PRAYER, BLESSING AND FORGIVENESS
Beloved and blessed brethren and children in the Lord,
Yet again this year, through the God-inspired words, the holy Psalmist ushers the Orthodox faithful into the “mystery” of Holy and Great Lent, pointing out the benevolence of the Lord and the workings thereof as he cries out, the Lord works mercy and righteousness for all the oppressed (Psalm 102,6). For the Lord satisfies our desire with good things so that our youth is renewed like that of the eagle (c.f. .5).
As we all know, each person, created in the image and the likeness of God, constitutes a temple of the Lord. All the more, those of us who have been baptized in Christ, anointed with Holy Chrism, and grafted onto the olive tree of the Orthodox Church, are temples of the Holy Spirit Who resides in us. This is the case even as we distance ourselves from the Lord by committing sin—voluntary or involuntary—for if we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Tim 2:13).
Unfortunately, the stain of sin hinders the Grace of the Holy Spirit to work in us. For this reason, our Holy Orthodox Church established the forthcoming period of fasting during Holy and Great Lent to allow us to cleanse ourselves through repentance, and thereby becoming worthy to receive the life-giving Passion and the glorious Resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ. The poet of the Great Canon, Saint Andreas of Crete, urges: Come, my wretched soul, and confess your sins in the flesh to the Creator of all. From this moment forsake your former foolishness and offer to God tears of repentance (Great Canon, Monday Ode 1).
The Church, always concerned about our salvation and spiritual perfection, initiates her members into this period of repentance, urging them all to struggle against the materialistic and covetous way of life, which, as a “heavy yoke,” grounds the soul and drags it upon the earth, hindering its ability to spread its wings toward heaven and the kingdom of God.
In this way, through repentance and purifying tears, we are clothed again with our original beauty and our God-spun shroud that we lost after the fall, covering ourselves, instead, with the coat of shame similar to the fig leaves worn by Adam.
The fast and abstinence from food, idle talk, and deceitful thought represent the start of the correct, restrained, and temperate use of material goods, with the common good as its goal. In this way, we eliminate the negative impact that irrational use of goods may have upon society and the natural environment. This, therefore, allows for the prevailing of the philanthropic fast, which should not render judgment over the oppressed, but offer mercy, grace and comfort for them and for us on our journey toward the likeness of God (St. Basil Great).
In this way, a temperate use of goods sanctifies both matter and our lives since perishable matter is not the goal per se of sanctification, but rather, its means. Therefore, according to the evangelical periscope, the fast should constitute a motive for restraint, with a final goal to abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13), according to the word of the Great Apostle of the Nations Paul. This holds true even for today’s poor “Lazarus” and for those seeking refuge.
Furthermore, the true spirit of the fast and of abstinence should not be forgotten, since this is what renders them acceptable to the Lord, as James the Apostles teaches: religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world (James 1, 27). For we shall not obtain grace—offered to us in abundance through the fast and through abstinence—simply by refusing and abstaining from food. The Prophet Isaiah wonders: Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists; is this the kind of fast I have chosen? (Isaiah 58: 4). The Lord declares, through the Prophet, I have not chosen such a fast, but one that asks you to share your food with the hungry, that encourages you to invite the homeless into your home, and to clothe the naked when you see them (Isaiah 58, 5-7).
Especially in our times, the financial and refugee crises, as well as the multitude of hardships that plague the world today offer to us Orthodox Christians the possibility to cultivate the authentic spirit of the fast, linking abstinence from food with acts of charity and solidarity toward our brethren most in need—those who suffer, the poor, the homeless, the refugees, those who have no place to rest their head (Math. 8: 20), and those who are forced by the harsh conditions of war, challenges, and grief to abandon their paternal homes and to travel amid countless risks, dangers, and sorrows.
When our fast is accompanied by an increase in philanthropy and love toward the least of our brethren in the Lord, regardless of their race, religion, language and origin, then the fast shall ascend to the throne of God as a fragrant incense, and angels shall stand by us while we fast, in the same way they ministered to the Lord in the desert.
We offer our heartfelt fraternal and paternal prayers to all, that the imminent phase the Holy Fast will prove fruitful and sanctifying, replete of grace and holiness, and that God will render us worthy and without tribulation to enter into the eternal and life-giving Chalice—the life-bearing Side of the Lord—from which sprang as the fountain of deliverance and wisdom (Great Canon, Wednesday, Ode 4)
May the Divine Grace and the abundant Mercy of the Lord be with you all, bretheren and children, so that you may receive, through the evangelical ethos, the Gift of the Feast of feasts and the Celebration of celebrations—the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom all glory, dominion, honor, and thanksgiving now and to the endless ages. Amen.
Holy and Great Lend, 2016 Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople Your fervent supplicant to God
Ny erkebiskop velges 28. mars
Erkebispedømmerådet har etter forslag fra menighetene, foreslått to kandidater som valget skal stå mellom. Det er biskop, exarkatets locum tenens, Jean av Charioupolis og Prestemunk i Det engelske prostiet, Porphyrios Plant. Synoden i Konstantinopel skal nå godkjenne kandidatene og så samles prester og legfolk i Paris 28. marsfor å velge ny erkebiskop.
Detalj av Marias fødsel - ikonet. Bysantinsk (gresk) makedonske Skole an Em. Panselinos, fresken finnes på Athos, Hellas.
Malt av Giannis Bothos @giannisbothos i Athen, på Skolen for bysantinske Ikonmaling og bysantinsk mosaikk av Pr. Elias.
Fagpedagogisk ledelse 1998-2008: Nikol Konstante
The synaxis of the primates of the Orthodox Churches is underway, from January 22-27, 2016 at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy.
At the opening of the event, His Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, delivered a speech thanking the other primates of the Orthodox Churches as well as the delegations for accepting the change of place for the synaxis from the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s residence in Istanbul, Turkey, to the Chambésy center, which is “meant for serving pan-Orthodox unity, and which for a long time has hosted and still hosts many inter-Orthodox and pan-Orthodox meetings.”
Next, the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to the themes that will be discussed at the Holy and Great Synod, which were established at the first presynodal Pan-Orthodox Conference of 1976, namely:
The Orthodox Diaspora;
Autocephaly and the manner in which it is to be proclaimed;
Autonomy and the manner in which it is to be proclaimed;
Impediments to marriage;
Adaptation of fasting ordinances;
Relations of Orthodox Churches with the wider Christian world;
Orthodoxy and the ecumenical movement;
Contributions of the local Orthodox Churches to the promotion of the Christian ideals of peace, freedom, brotherhood and love among peoples, and the elimination of racial discrimination.
Nevertheless, His Holiness noted that consensus hasn’t been reached on some themes during the meetings of the Commission for the Preparation of the Holy and Great Synod, thus asking whether the eight themes that were validated at a Pan-Orthodox level are sufficient for the agenda of the Synod, or is it necessary to postpone the convocation of the Synod until pan-Orthodox unanimity can be reached upon all the other themes (autocephaly, diptychs, impediments to marriage and common calendar).
The Holy and Great Synod is of direct and vital interest both for the Orthodox lay faithful, clergy and monastics, and for the rest of the Christian world
Emphasizing the fact that “the Holy and Great Synod is of direct and vital interest both for the Orthodox faithful, clergy and monastics, and for the rest of the Christian world,” His Holiness added that several other persons should attend the proceedings of the Holy and Great Synod as observers: both clergy, monastics and lay faithful of the Orthodox Church, and those of other Christian Churches or Confessions, found in dialogue with the Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarch offered as an example the fact that at the prcoeedings of the Second Vatican Council, the Orthodox Church delegated observers to attend the Council.
Referring to the fact that even before the meeting of the Holy and Great Synod, some “fighters for Orthodoxy” call it a robber council, the Ecumenical Patriarch asked what kind of authority will its decisions have, and what will be the canonical consequences for disobeying the decisions.
The Patriarch of Constantinople also spoke about the significance of the words "consensus" and "unanimity." Furthermore, Patriarch Bartholomew emphasized the fact that “if a synod meets under the threat of its dissolution, it had better not taken place” and referred to some Ecumenical Synods that met even when some local Churches were absent.
His Holiness addressed other practical details: the duration of the Holy and Great Synod and the establishment of a common secretariat of the Synod. The Ecumenical Patriarch proposed that the Pan-Orthodox Synod should be carried out for at least two weeks, and its works should be accompanied by Church services.
Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 13: 11) were the Biblical words with which His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew concluded his speech.