2001 - 03 - 10

Christian Orthodoxy - worldwide

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On March 3rd, Day of the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule and this year the Saturday preceeding the Sunday of Orthodoxy Bulgarian Metropolitan SIMEON of Western and Central Europe could bless the first orthodox church building in Portugal.
Originally the mother of Zar Simeon, Zariza IOANNA, had a chapel reminding her of her beloved Plovdiv built in the garden of her residence near Lissabon. After her death the question of future use became urgent and Zar SIMEON II and the Bulgarian Embassador in Portugal Aljoscha NEDELTCHEV took the initiative to rebuild it on the grounds of the Bulgarian Embassy.
In Sofia the council of ministers approved the project and Prime Minister Ivan KOSTOV donated a fine new iconostas and all necessary church outfit.
Zar Simeon, residing in Madrid but travelling frequently to Sofia, and Embassador Nedeltchev actively supported the rebuilding activities carried out by bulgarian born architect Nikolaj FIKOV and frequently asked the spiritual blessing of necessary decisions from Metropolitan Simeon.
The result was a magnificent large chapel or small church built in traditional bulgarian style, which now could be blessed on March 3rd. From Sofia an official delegation headed by the vice president of the Bulgarian Parlament Ivan KURTEV and vice chairman of the council for religious confessions VELINOV was welcomed by Embassador Nedeltchev and Zar Simeon II, who was acompanied by all his family. The portuguese authorities contributed to the festivity by giving the street leading to the residence the name "Zariza Ioanna".
In a speech after the solemn Divine Liturgy of Sunday of Orthodoxy Metropolitan Simeon congratulated the Orthodox Christians in Portugal to this first authentic orthodox church building. Father ALEXANDER, a local orthodox priest from portuguese descent transmitted the greetings of Metropolitan JEREMIAS of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The orthodox faithful in Lissabon up to now had approximately two Sunday services per month celebrated by father Alexander and occasionally rumanian, serbian and russian priests.
Zariza IOANNA, original founder of the chapel chapel Saint JOHN of RILA iconostas donated by Prime Minister Ivan KOSTOV Mitropolitan and Zar SIMEON II (accompanied by Zariza Margherita) lighting the first candle in the new church M. SIMEON at the end of the first Divine Liturgy in the new chapel of Saint JOHN of RILA, Lissabon M.SIMEON and choir of the new chapel of Saint JOHN of RILA, Lissabon GRAMOTA-DOKUMENT signed by Mitropolitan and Zar SIMEON II and the Representative of PrimeMinister KOSTOV and the Bulgarian Government

BULGARIA ROME 2001 03 15:
On March 15 Metropolitan NEOPHYT of Dorostol-Cerven spoke to bulgarian newspapers of sending a formal invitation to Pope JOHN PAUL to visit Bulgaria. According to Metropolitan NEOPHYT the program for this visit should be prepared by a joint commision of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church "working synchronized with the Bulgarian Government to give a good example of the hospitality of the Bulgarian People and the Bulgarian Church".
When bulgarian statesmen visited the Vatican in recent years and pronounced the usual invitations, Pope JOHN PAUL had always responded positively, but also pointed out that an invitation by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church would be necessary as well. Recently a visit to Sofia by Bishop Dr. JOSEF HOMEYER of Hildesheim (Germany) organized by Monsignore Dr. NIKOLAUS WYRWOLL of the Catholic Institute for Eastern Churches in Regensburg encountered a favorable atmosphere for bilateral talks among the two churches. As recent official meetings of Bulgarian Patriarch MAXIM with President STOYANOV and Prime Minister KOSTOV during the celebrations of the Anniversary of the Liberation of Bulgaria on March 3rd have indicated the political authorities seem to have changed their attitude and start showing the necessary minimum of respect for the country´s traditional Orthodox Church.
In the 19th century it was the church, which established the basis for the contempory bulgarian statehood by organising the bulgarian population in the Ottoman Empire building not only churches and libraries but also schools and hospitals long before the rebirth of the Bulgarian State.
For the Roman Catholic Church Bulgaria is linked to the commemoration of later Pope JOHN XXIII who had witnessed Orthodoxy during his years as Nuntius in Sofia. Primarily the Head of the Roman Catholic Church will see it as a pastoral visit to Bulgaria´s catholics organized since 1994 in 3 dioceses. (1 of byzantine and 2 of western Rite)
2 % of the bulgarian christians are catholics (approx. 90 % of western rite / 10 % of byzanine rite). Recently growing over 2 % are considered protestants (over 20 different registered denominations) but 96 % of the christian believers still belong to Bulgaria´s traditional Orthodox Church. All together christians today represent over 80 % of the Bulgarians.

EUROPE 2000 11 05 :
One of the leading personalities of the 2nd Vatican Council and the election of Carol WOJTILA to Pope JOHN-PAUL II the now 95 year old retired Archbishop of Vienna FRANZ Cardinal KÖNIG underlined the principles which proved successfull for overcoming the tragic division of Europe in the past and should also be observed for more progress in the future.
In an interview accorded to italian periodical "Il Regno" and published in "La documentation catholique" (5 Nov 2000) spoke of the risk for peace and understanding in the future if a new frontier in Europe should divide Western Europe and Orthodoxy. To prevent this he stated: "Orthodoxy will oppose Europe if we don´t try to understand it with patience: the reasons for the fears originating in observing the secularisation of Western Europe and the increasing controversal climate in the Oecumenical Dialogue". One of the reasons of progress in the past was the attitude, of which Pro Oriente,the foundation inspired by the cardinal, always was observing: "Europe needs Orthodoxy, because Orthodoxy is an integral part of Europe. We have decided to favor privileged contacts with Orthodoxy to diminish fears of proselitism and foreign influence. We have for example always been saying: It was you as Russian Orthodoxy, who have given Russia a christian culture ... we only are here to help you in your work to strengthen our common value Christianity in your own people."

EUROPE RUSSIA 2000 12 14 :
Russian Patriarch ALEKSIJ has sent letters to Pope JOHN-PAUL and to the first Hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Greece Archbishop CHRISTODOULOS of Athens to express reserves against the charta of basic rights the EU countries agreed upon in Nice, France, on 7 December 2000. Recognising some positive points of this document garanteeing basic human rights in economic and social matters it would be harmful to the soul of Europe if the spiritual ethical basis for the respect owed to dignity of the human person as well as any reverence to moral responsibility and obligations linked to human rights would be omitted in a future European Constitution. Like other christian churches had allready stated the preambula of the charta tends to ignore the religious heritage of Europe speaking only of some of it´s humanist consequences without giving room for any more profound religious perspective.
Then some details are mentioned which show these deficits of the charta. There is no mentioning of rights of humans being living in EU countries which are not EU citizens. Having set no standard in this important question will become more and more of a problem as more countries want to join the EU. The lack of respect for fundamental values is expressed also in opposing all limits for every possible form of artistic expression. This will certainly create tension and provoque hatred if the sentiments of national or religious groups are offended and attacked. In this context the Church has to remind the politicians of the limits of civil society when rules which govern the church as a divine institution should be violated.
Similar letters have been written by Metropolitan CYRILL of Smolensk, head of the department for external affairs to Rev. Keith Clements, the Secretary General of KEK (Council of European Churches) and russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov.

During the preparation of the charta the Catholic Church, the Council of European Churches have already expressed their reserves. Archbishop CHRISTODOULOS of Athens has pointed out, that France, who was presiding the EU in Nice, obviously has succeded in imposing the rest of Europe the heritage of it´s revolution thereby violating the sentiments of the majority of the Europeans, to whom Christianity is at the basis of ethic, spiritual and cultural values of this continent.

GREECE ROME 2001 03 10:
In awareness of all the problems mentioned up to now, the Greek Orthodox Church has finally decided not to oppose the planned visit of Pope JOHN PAUL, who wants to come to Greece as a "pilgrim, visiting the sites, commemorating the life and work of Holy Apostle PAUL".

EUROPE 2001 01 26:
As a result of a joined KEK-CCEE meeting in Lissabon the final text of CHARTA OECUMENICA, a statute for organizing the cooperation of the christian churches in the European Community of today and the future is now in final preparation for signature in Strasbourg on Sunday 22 April by the president of KEK (Conference of European Churches mainly the churches of Reformation and Orthodoxy), the Orthodox Metropolitan JEREMIAS of France and the president of CCEE (European Catholic Bishops Conferences) Cardinal MILOSLAV VLK of Prague. From the orthodox side also Metropolitan DANIIL of Iasi (Roumania) took part in the last meeting in Lissabon. All churches in Europe will be invited to sign and cooperate in the spirit of CHARTA OECUMENICA.

MOSCOW GENEVA 2001 02 14:
During a visit in Geneva his Holyness Patriarch ALEKSI declared that unity between the Moscow Patriarchate and the "Russian Orthodox Church outside the borders" (New-York) established by russian emigrants during the communist rule in Russia will come soon, both being of the same religious and national tradition. The 2 churches came closer after the decision of the Moscow Patriarchate´s Bishop´s Council honoring the Saints who have confessed their faith in words and deeds and were martyrised by the communists.

The talks started January 16 in Geneva were continued in Berlin February 19 on the problems of jurisdictional organisation of the orthodox parishes in Estonia and the situation in Ucraina. The orthodox parishes in Estonia are urged to work on an agreement targetting that every community could become owner of the building and property it uses.
For Ucraina possibilities for joint actions to settle the organisational schism were discussed.

A colloqium in Malta united eminent orthodox and catholic representatives in honor of the ICON of the MOTHER OF GOD of FILERMA.
Highlighted by the participation of Metropolitan CYRILL (Moscow Patriarchate), Metropolitan AMPHILOCHIJE (Serbian Patriarchate) and high representatives of the Roman Catholic Church theologians, historians, art specialists and politicians of Italy, Malta, Russia, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro gave and heard reports on the history of this Icon of the Mother of God which is reported originally being painted by the Apostle Luke. Having been honored in churches of Constantinople it became butiny of the 4th croisade to the "Knights of St. John of Jerusalem". Via the Holy Land, Cyprus and the Island of Rhodes the Icon reached Malta. In 1798 presented to the Emperor of Russia it was honored in Moscow until the revolution, after which it was brought first to Danmark and finally found it´s rest in an orthodox monastery of Montenegro, thereby becoming -as Metropolitan CYRILL declared- "... a symbol of the history of european civilisation, which had developed around the relations between its eastern and its western part (...) In the heart of these developments have always been the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, both churches having had an important role in the forming of the spiritual values of Europe and today are called to defend together these values against the attacks of libertinistic ideology, that uses all possible pressure to chase religion out of public life."
In the course of this coloqium the delegations of the Orthodox Churches were given the honor of a reception by the President of the Republic of Malta Guido DE MARCO.

SOFIA 2001 02 02:
Hundreds of orthodox believers and clerics protested in the streets of Sofia against government and city politician`s supporting schismatic church organisations outside the only Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which alone is recognised in all Orthodoxy. Several bishops took part in the protests against this strong political interference in church affairs.
As a historical fact the rebirth of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church preceeded the creation of the Bulgarian State. It was the church, which established the basis for the contempory bulgarian statehood by organising the bulgarian population in the Ottoman Empire building not only churches and libraries but also schools and hospitals.
From this time important property had been as resources under church administration before it was confiscated at the beginning of communist rule.
Today -in times of "restitution of private property" - newly formed adventurous groups have occupied most of these financial resources of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church claiming to speak for the "true Bulgarian Orthodox Church". Though the traditional church has kept the support and pastoral responsibility of more then 90 % of the orthodox faithful in the country, politicians in power of government and law-courts today strongly protect their political sympathizers among the rebels and thereby prevent the proper use of churches, candle and vestment production and precious city buildings.

PARIS 2001 02 10:
PARISH of the THREE HOLY HIERARCHS: 70 year Jubilee
February 10 to 12 2001 a visit of Metropolitan CYRILL, head of the foreign department of Moscow Patriarchate accompanied by Metropolitan AMFILOHIJE and Bishop LUKA (Serbian Patriarchate), Archbishop ANATOLI (vicar bishop of Moscow Patriarchate Great Britain), Archbishop SERGI and his vicar bishops PAUL and MICHAEL (todays responsible bishops for the russian parishes under Constantinople Patriarchate), Bishop INNOKENTI (Moscow Patriarchate) and also visited by Metropolitan JEREMY (Patriarchate Constantinople) highlighted the jubilee celebrations of the Parish and underlined the importance of these christians who brought Orthodoxy in Russian Tradition to the West.
The parish had to be founded in 1931 by orthodox christians loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate, when Metropolitan EVLOGI of Paris left his patriarchate and took refuge under the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
One of the most prominent past members of the parish are Metropolitan ANTHONY (London), who was one of the founders, later became monk and priest there and the eminent orthodox theologian Vladimir LOSSKY.
All speeches, a message of Patrarch ALEKSI and a meeting of Metropolitan CYRILL at the seat of Archbishop SERGI underlined the necessity to heal the wounds of the past and today jointly to confess orthodox christianity in the world.
Today the parish church is the seat of Bishop INNOKENTI, Diocese of Moscow Patriarchate for France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain with 5 monasteries and 17 parishes and whose Secretarian is Professor Dimitri SHAKHOVSKOY.
The importance of this parish, which is giving daily whitness in the center of modern Paris Orthodoxy by strictly observing all daily church services was documented by a concert of its choir directed since 45 years by George KISSELHOFF and the publishing of an almanach of the church`s eminent iconographs L. A. Ouspensky and Monk GREGORY (Krug), the most important iconographs of the 20´th century.

PARIS 2001 02 18:
After the traditional academic speech, this year presented by Father JOHN BRECK, Professor of Biblical Exegese, on the topic: "Read the Bible following the Holy Fathers", Father BORIS BOBRINSKOY, Doyen of the institute, presented the yearly report:
50 regular students of 17 home countries (Armenia, Bulgaria, Canada, Corea, Finland, France, Grèce, Libanon, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Roumania, Russia, Yougoslavia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine
studies: 9 in propedeutic preparation, 11 for diplomas, 17 for masters, 16 for doctors
completions: 7 diplomas, 4 masters
300 registered students in the Studies by Correspondence Program
studies are also supported in Brussels and Gand (Belgium) and Barcelona (Spain)
but the financial situation stays complicated
"Day of Open Doors" will be organised May 13 2001

KOSOVO ATHENS 2001 01 22:
In a visit to the greek soldiers of the international peece keeping force in Kosovo the Archbishop of Athens pointed out the negative results of the western interbention:
"First the Serbians have tried to drive out the Albanians. Then the NATO has intervened, declaring wanting to protect the Albanians. The result are 150.000 people, exiled from their own home and country... The West has not yet realised the crime it has committed."
Afterwards he met the Serbian Patriarch PAUL in the 14th-century monastery of Gracanica and donnated 115.000 German Marks as a contribution for the reconstruction of some of the churches in Kosovo and Metochia destroyed and devastated in majority after the NATO intervention.

KOSOVO USA 2001 02 12:

SLOVAKIA 2001 01 28:
The orthodox Metropolitan NICOLAS of Presov, the greek-catholic Bishop JAN HIRKA and the Slovak Government have reached an agreement to peacefully end the disputes over the ownership over the churches in Slovakia which were used by orthodox communities before the end of the communist rule and since then claimed by the greek-orthodox church, who had built them with the result of leaving many orthodox parishes without church. In the agreement these church buildings will stay property of the greek-catholic church, but the orthodox will receive financial support by the slovak government to build new churches for the now homeless parishes.

ROME KIEV 2000 12 01:

KIEV 2001 02 02:
ORTHODOXIE AKTUELL 2001 / 2 (in german):

Brief des Metropoliten von Kiev Vladimir an Papst Johannes Paul II.

Eure Heiligkeit!

Gestatten Sie mir zunächst, Ihnen herzlich für die Glückwünsche zu danken, die Sie mir zu meinem 65.Geburtstag gesandt haben. Ihrem Schreiben habe ich zum ersten Mal, wenn auch auf indirekte Weise, eine Bestätigung aus Rom über den bevorstehenden Besuch Ihrer Heiligkeit in der Ukraine entnommen. Wir hatten Kenntnis von den Einladungen, unser Land zu besuchen, die Ihnen vom Präsidenten und von der Regierung der Ukraine, aber auch von den römisch-katholischen und den griechisch-katholischen Bischöfen gesandt wurden. Zweifellos kann man die katholische Gemeinde der Ukraine verstehen, die das Oberhaupt ihrer Kirche bei sich zu Hause zu sehen wünscht. Wir bringen ebenso das gebührende Verständnis für die Position der Leitung des ukrainischen Staates auf, der bestrebt ist, eine offenere Außenpolitik zu betreiben und auf diese Weise das Ansehen unseres Landes in der internationalen Arena zu erhöhen.
Zugleich muss unbedingt daran erinnert werden, dass die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung der Ukraine nach ihrer Konfession immer orthodox war und bleibt. Die gesamte historische Lebensordnung unseres Volkes, seine Kultur und seine Traditionen sind auf engste Weise mit der Orthodoxie verbunden. Die Ukraine ist ein organischer Teil des Orthodoxen Ostens. Die überwiegende Mehrheit der orthodoxen Gläubigen der Ukraine bildet die Gemeinde der Ukrainischen Orthodoxen Kirche. Im Zusammenhang damit löst es Befremden aus, dass der Besuch Ihrer Heiligkeit in unserem Land geplant und vorbereitet wurde ohne offizielle Benachrichtigung unserer Kirche und ohne irgendeine Einladung ihrerseits.
Diese Situation wurde von den Kirchenführern der Ukrainischen Orthodoxen Kirche erörtert, die einstimmig die Entscheidung trafen, sich an Ihre Heiligkeit zu wenden mit der Bitte, Ihren Besuch in der Ukraine aufzuschieben, damit er in einer für die gegenseitigen Beziehungen zwischen unseren Kirchen günstigeren Zeit stattfinden kann und damit die Ukrainische Orthodoxe Kirche sich offiziell an der Einladung Ihrer Heiligkeit und an der Vorbereitung des Programms Ihres Besuchs beteiligen kann. Der Hauptgrund dieser Entscheidung ist die Ungeklärtheit der Beziehungen zwischen den Griechisch-Katholischen und den Orthodoxen in der Westukraine. Natürlich wendet heute niemand offene Gewalt an. Vor diesem Hintergrund hat sich, nicht ohne Beteiligung des offiziellen Vatikans, die Illusion gebildet, dass dieses Problem gelöst sei und dass Ihr Besuch die endgültige friedliche Lösung des zwischenkonfessionellen Konflikts in der Westukraine fördern werde. Jedoch stellt solch eine Ansicht einen schweren Irrtum dar. Auch wenn es kein Aufflammen von Gewalt gibt, sind die Beziehungen zwischen den Orthodoxen und den Griechisch-Katholischen in dieser Region aufs äußerste gespannt. Bis heute haben die Orthodoxen an vielen Orten der Westukraine keine Möglichkeit, Kirchengebäude zu nutzen, die von den Griechisch-Katholischen okkupiert worden sind. Keine einzige der Vereinbarungen zu dieser Problematik, die zwischen dem Moskauer Patriarchat und dem Vatikan getroffen worden ist, wurde befolgt. Im Zusammenhang mit dem oben Dargelegten besteht die Befürchtung, dass Ihr voraussichtlicher Besuch nur die zur Zeit gegebene Lage der Dinge, die für unsere Kirche äußerst ungünstig ist, verfestigen wird.
Eurer Heiligkeit ist zweifellos bekannt, dass im Laufe des letzten Jahrzehnts von den Griechisch-Katholischen mehr als 1000 Gotteshäuser okkupiert worden sind, was zur Folge hatte, dass drei Eparchien der Ukrainischen Orthodoxen Kirche zerschlagen worden sind: die von L'vov, die von Ivano-Frankovsk und die von Ternopol'.
Ein vollwertiges kirchliches Leben ist in diesen Eparchien bis heute nicht wiederhergestellt. Der Anschein von Frieden zwischen Orthodoxen und Griechisch-Katholischen in der Westukraine, der mit Hilfe Ihres Besuches erweckt werden kann, wird den Versuch bedeuten, Frieden ohne Gerechtigkeit zu schaffen, welcher niemals dauerhaft sein wird und überhaupt kein echter Frieden im christlichen Verständnis dieses Wortes sein wird. Nach dem Abschluss eines solchen "Friedens" werden die Leiden des orthodoxen Volkes in der Westukraine weitergehen. Und können wir denn einander die Hand reichen und dadurch die Illusion von Übereinstimmung und Wohlergehen schaffen, wenn das Volk leidet? Millionen einfacher orthodoxer Gläubiger werden diesen Besuch ablehnen, was mich und den gesamten Episkopat der Ukrainischen Orthodoxen Kirche in die Situation bringen wird, dass wir uns nicht mit Ihnen treffen können. Daher erklären wir offiziell, dass es im Falle eines Besuches Ihrer Heiligkeit in der Ukraine in dem vorgeschlagenen Zeitraum zwischen uns keine Begegnung geben wird und dass kein einziger Kleriker unserer Kirche am Besuchsprogramm teilnehmen wird. Ein anderes Problem, das ein Hindernis für Ihren Besuch in der Ukraine zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt darstellt, ist die Unklarheit in der Einstellung der Römisch-Katholischen Kirche zu den Spaltungen, die unter den Orthodoxen unseres Landes bestehen. Sie haben zweifellos Kenntnis von den beiden Abspaltungsstrukturen, die es in der Ukraine gibt, der sogenannten "Ukrainischen orthodoxen Kirche des Kiever Patriarchats" und der "Ukrainischen autokephalen orthodoxen Kirche". Bei allen Verhandlungen zwischen dem Moskauer Patriarchat und der Römisch-Katholischen Kirche war die Rede von der Notwendigkeit, seitens des Vatikans ausschließlich die kanonischen orthodoxen Strukturen in der Ukraine anzuerkennen. Wenn jedoch im Laufe Ihres Besuchs eine Begegnung Ihrer Heiligkeit mit irgendeinem der Führer der Spaltungsstrukturen stattfinden wird, besonders mit dem Pseudopatriarchen Filaret, der von unserer Kirche mit dem Anathema belegt ist, wird das bedeuten, dass die Römisch-Katholische Kirche die Prinzipien der kanonischen Beziehungen zwischen den Kirchen ignoriert und sich auf grobe Weise in unsere inneren Angelegenheiten einmischt, indem sie die Spalter mit ihrer Autorität unterstützt. Dieses kann die unangenehmsten Folgen für die Beziehungen zwischen der Römisch-Katholischen Kirche und den Orthodoxen nach sich ziehen.
Der Verzicht auf die Einhaltung der ekklesiologischen Prinzipien der zwischenkirchlichen Beziehungen wird den praktischen Abbruch jedweder Beziehungen zwischen unseren Kirchen bedeuten und folglich das Ende der Epoche des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils in den orthodox-katholischen Beziehungen.
Wir beten zum Herrn, dass dies nicht geschehen möge und dass der Pontifikat Ihrer Heiligkeit nicht die Prinzipien der orthodox-katholischen Beziehungen zerstören wird, die mit so viel Mühe dank der weisen Handlungen Ihrer Vorgänger und hervorragender orthodoxer Kirchenführer gewonnen wurden. Wir hoffen, dass Sie, Eure Heiligkeit, das oben Dargelegte beachten werden und im Namen einer weiteren positiven Entwicklung der Beziehungen zwischen unseren beiden großen Kirchen Ihren vorgesehenen Besuch in der Ukraine aufschieben werden. Wir sind aufrichtig davon überzeugt, dass, wenn Sie das gebührende Verständnis für die Gefühle der orthodoxen Gläubigen zeigen werden, dies die gerechte Unterstützung breiter Schichten der Bevölkerung der Ukraine hervorrufen wird und der Erringung von Frieden und Eintracht zwischen den Christen beider Kirchen förderlich sein wird. Das oben Dargelegte ist die offizielle Position von 42 Bischöfen der Ukrainischen Orthodoxen Kirche.

Mit Liebe in Christo, Hoffnung auf Verständnis und aufrichtigen guten Wünschen

22. Januar 2001


Metropolit von Kiev und der ganzen Ukraine

(Hier aus "ORTHODOXIE AKTUELL" - Übersetzung aus dem Russischen von Ilse Koppe-Hartmann)

ATHENS 2001 01 25:

AFRICA 2001 02 09:
Patriarch PETER of Alexandria and Africa paid a visit to western Africa Febr. 9 to 14 accompanied by Bishop MAKARIOS of Zimbabwe. In all places big crowds of mainly young people greeted the patriarch.
In Lagos he was welcomed by Bishop ALEXANDER, head of the orthodox mission in Nigeria. He presided the dedication ceremony for the recently built cathedral of the Resurection and visited the St.Anthony´s Orthodox Theologic Seminary. In the city of Onitsa he presented the newly translated liturgical books in the Ibo language to the local orthodox community.
After a doxology in the church of the Passing-Away-of-the-Mother-of-God his holyness visited the city of Nanka, where a church is under construction for the local orthodox parish financed by donations of the Diocese of the Oecumenical Patriarchate in Great Britain.

In Cameroun, where the Patriarch had been bishop before his election, he was greeted by Metropolitan THEODOROS of the Orthodox Diocese of Cameroun.
In the capital Yaounde his holyness prayed doxology in the Cathedral of the Annonciation and visited St.Marc´s theologic seminary where he met the local clergy. Further visits where to Douala (2 orthodox parishes), Balmayo, Melit and Ounfu where local orthodox communities have built new churches.

The Orthodox Church in NIGERIA is the largest in Western Africa.
10.000 orthodox christians are served by 20 local priests, graduated from the seminary in Lagos.

The Orthodox Church in CAMEROUN consists of 20 african parishes served by priests from Cameroun and one greek parish. The seminary in Yaounde forms at present 15 students.

The first orthodox priest was ordinated after Hong Kong had become a part of China by Metropolitan NIKITAS of South-East Asia (Patriarchate of Constantiople) during the celebration of Theophany. Father DANIEL TOYNE was ordained for the orthodox parishes in Singapore. His newly registered parish will be formed by orthodox christians of serbian, greek, russian, georgian and local citicens of Singapore.

USA 2001 01 19:


>>> NEW EVENTS <<<







The Academy of Orthodox Christian Studies (Volos, Greece), under the direction of its President, Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitrias, will operate this year from 6 to 31 August 2001 at the Conference Centre of the Holy Metropolis of Dimitrias, Melissatike, Volos. The Academy operates under the auspices of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.

During this four-week period, scholars, teachers and specialists from around the world will present courses in Orthodox theology for lay men and women who wish to improve their knowledge of the Orthodox faith. No formal education about the life and teaching of the Orthodox Church is required of the applicants, and non-Orthodox are encouraged to enrol. The Academy will provide a unique opportunity people of all backgrounds and traditions to experience the ethos and substance, the thought and tradition, the life and practice of catholic and apostolic Christianity. By addressing the traditions and resources of all Orthodox jurisdictions, the Academy offers a stimulating education to the faithful enabling them to appreciate both the common inheritance and the rich variety within Orthodoxy.

The lectures will be delivered either in English or in Greek, with professional translation services available. By presenting a well-rounded introduction to the spirit and wisdom of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the themes will provide the participants also with a sound education in the Church’s understanding and use of Scripture, in ecclesiastical history, theology, worship and spirituality. The participants will be able to reflect intelligently on the role of the Church in the world and will also be given the appropriate intellectual tools for theological enquiry and deliberation.

Apart from the lectures themselves, the Programme will also include workshops in Byzantine sacred art and Orthodox chant, elementary courses in Russian and Greek, excursions to monasteries, visits to parishes, opportunities for sight seeing around the spectacular villages of the Pelion hills and bathing in the Aegean.



General Information

Dates: 6 – 31 August 2001

Place: Volos, Greece

Organisers: The Holy Metropolis of Dimitrias

President: His Eminence Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitrias

Eligible Participants: Orthodox and non-Orthodox men and women aged 18 and over

Requirements: Secondary School education

Programme: Lectures on Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Workshops and Language Classes

Excursions to monasteries and parishes, Sight-seeing and recreation

Lecturers:The Rev. Thomas Hopko (New York)

The Rev. John Jillions (Cambridge)

Mrs Mariamna Fortounatto (London)

The Rt Rev Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia (Oxford)

The Rev. Nikolaos Loudovikos (Thessaloniki)

The Rev. George Tsetsis (Geneva)

Prof. Anestis Keselopoulos (Thessaloniki)

Prof. George Philias (Athens)

Dr Evanthia Adamtziloglou (Thessaloniki)

Workshops: The Rev. Epiphanios Oikonomou (Byzantine Music)

The Rev. Dimitrios Katounis (Byzantine Iconography)

Instructor in Greek

Instructor in Russian

Senior Faculty: Dr Dimitri Oikonomou (Oxford)

Dr Konstantinos Zorbas (Volos)


Co-ordinators: The Rev. Themistokles Mourtzanos

Aikaterini Karkala-Zorba

Contact Address:Holy Metropolis of Demetrias

Academy of Orthodox Theological Studies

Conference Center Melissatika

GR-385 00 Melissatika-Volos

Tel. & Fax: +30-421-61700

E-mail: info@imd.gr

Costs: For the entire period: $1000 (US). Includes full board at the beachside Kalloni Hotel in two-bedded rooms, all meals and domestic excursions.

Does not include airfares, telephone calls, personal expenses or optional excursions.

For three weeks: $750 (US)

For two weeks: $500 (US)

For one week: $250 (US)

Application Deadline: 10 July 2000. A non-refundable $200 deposit to be paid upon application.



07.00 Breakfast

08.00 Departure from Hotel for the Conference Centre

08.15 Mattins at the Chapel of the Conference Centre

09.30 First Lecture

11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 Second Lecture

13.30 Lunch at the Conference Centre

14.30 1st departure for the hotel. (Those who wish to may remain in the Library or use the Computer Room.)

16.00 2nd departure for the hotel.

16.00-17.30 Free time

18.00 Coffee


18.45 Workshop Sessions

21.00 Evening Meal at parishes

22.30 Compline



6 - 10 August 2001

1. Rev. John Jillions: Unity and Diversity in the New Testament

2. Dr. Evanthia Adamtziloglou: The Outreach of the Gospel Message to Modern Man

13 – 17 August 2001

1. Rev. George Tsetsis: Ecumenicity and Orthodoxy. The Present and the Future of the Ecumenical Dialogue

2. Mrs Mariamna Fortounatto: The Incarnation in Iconography

20 – 24 August 2001

1. Rev. Thomas Hopko: Human Relationships

2. Dr. George Filias: Liturgical Theology in the Orthodox Church

27 – 31 August 2001

1. Bishop Kallistos Ware: The Doctrine of the Human Person in Orthodox Theology

2. Dr. Anestis Kesselopoulos: The Church and the Contemporary World

3. Rev. Nikolaos Loudovikos: Trinitarianism in Orthodox Ecclesiology





VOLOS 385 00


Tel/fax: (0030-421) 617 00

e-mail: info@imd.gr

SUMMER LECTURES: 6– 31 August 2001




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of the

“La Ramée” Abbey, February 16-18 2001

For the seventh consecutive time the Orthodox youth movement “Syndesmos-Belgium” organised a retreat weekend. This gathering, which had the blessing of Metropolitan PANTELEIMON of Belgium (Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the Benelux: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) took place from February 16th till 18th in  “La Ramée” Abbey at Jauchelette, close to Namur. The more than seventy participants were cordially welcomed by the local monial community. Let’s also remind that Syndesmos-België is member of the international fellowship of Orthodox youth called “Syndesmos-International”.

Getting acquainted at the arrival at Friday evening was only necessary for few, since most people met again with a vivid memory of the last youth weekend. After a rather cheerful and noisy breakfast, there were first of all morning prayers in the chapel of the monastery.

At ten o’clock it was time to officially open the Gathering with a word of welcome by the president of the Belgian branch of “syndesmos”:Bernard Peckstadt. First of all he welcomed the two guest speakers: Archimandrite Ioachim Tsopanoglou (Marseilles, F) and Lydia Obolensky (Paris, F), who is the regional representative of Syndesmos for Western Europe. He equally welcomed Hildo Bos, temporary president of “Syndesmos-International” and president of “Syndesmos-Netherlands”, who faithfully helps by skilfully translating the conferences. Bernard also expressed special thanks to all participants which came from all parts of Belgium, namely from Bruges, Kortrijk, Ghent, Brussels, Limburg, Peronnes-lez-Binche, Verviers, Namur etc. (more then 40 young people), but equally the foreign delegations: from “Syndesmos-Netherlands” (including its president Hildo Bos and its secretary Sacha Van Der Greft), a delegation from the youth of Strasbourg led by Christos Filiotis, a delegation of the Nepsis youth movement and A.C.E.R., both from Paris, and three young people from Great Britain and a representation from Germany. In the afternoon we welcomed the secretary-general of Syndesmos-International,  Rebecca Hookway (Athens), who coincidentally happened to be in Brussels for a meeting.

Finally Bernard also proposed the theme of the weekend: "Having beheld the True Light".

We’d like to propose some thoughts from the speech of Bernard at the opening of the weekend:  Yes, "Having beheld the True Light" is the theme of our gathering. “These are the words which we, together with the choir, repeat each time at the end of the Divine Liturgy. Our vocation as young people is to carry the Light of Christ continuously to all known and unknown people who He will place on our way! But in order to be able to carry this Light, we have to accept it first. We can only do this by regularly participating in, or -to put it in a better way- concelebrating the liturgy and receiving the sacraments, the starting point of each Orthodox Christian. Next to this we can deepen our faith also by getting into prayer with Him. We think especially at the Jesus Prayer. Finally I hope we may absorb a little bit of His Light in ourselves during this youth weekend, supported by our “Syndesmos spirit”. Syndesmos is a Greek word which means “bond”. It is this “bond” that we, the youth, also need to support each other in our spiritual life as real brothers and sisters in Christ”.

Afterwards Archimandrite Ioachim Tsopanoglou talked about the theme of the weekend "A New Message in a World without God". His exposition was very profound and filled with rich spiritual ideas. He analysed for example the Lord’s Prayer verse by verse. He also spoke about the sacrament of the brother. Aftrer his exposition the youth was invited to ask him some questions.

In the afternoon this was follow by a second conference, proposed by Lydia Obolensky who spoke about : "What’s the Use of The Church Today ?” Her conference consisted mainly in posing questions which she thought are often asked by Orthodox youth from Western Europe, and to which she answered in a personal way. The aim of this to give first of all an oversight of questions and to express our own opinion and ask questions about the Church later on in smaller circles, during the workshops…

After the coffee-break the youth split into three “workshop” groups, animated by resp. Archimandrite Athenagoras Peckstadt and Hildo Bos (group 1); by Christos Filiotis and Lydia Obolensky (group 2) en Hieromonk Boris Chapzal and Athanase de Theux (groep 3). These workshops were also a genuine success. They offered an opportunity to the youth  to have especially interesting talks concerning the theme of the weekend. In these workshops one feels well how open and spontaneous young people are and can exchange thoughts in an optimal way in small circles. At the same time there was also a rather practical workshop, animated by  Christophe D’Aloisio, which purpose it was to introduce young people to French-spoken Byzantine music.

After supper and a short choir rehearsal it was time for the celebration of the Vigil in the beautiful church of the abbey. This prayer-service was conducted by Archimandrite Athenagóras Peckstadt (Bruges), assisted by Deacon George Perris (Limburg). For the occasion the church was transformed a bit into an Orthodox church, especially by placing icons everywhere. Four choirs took care of the singing: one, conducted by Carlo Snauwaert, in Dutch, one, conducted by Hildo Bos, in French and Slavonic, one, conducted by Christophe d’Aloisio, in Greek and French (Byzantine tradition) and one, conducted by Father Pompiliu Nacu, in Romanian. Because of the international character of the weekend, several languages were being used, namely Dutch, French, Greek, Romanian, Slavonic and English.

The Vigil was followed by a cheerfull being together with singing and dancing.

The Sunday of the weekend was crowned by the Divine Liturgy, officiated by Father Dominique Verbeke (Ghent) who concelebrated with the Priests Guy Leroy (from Hamme-Mille) and Pompiliu Nacu (Rumanian priest studying at the French-speaking Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve).

Once more there were several choirs conducted by Carlo Snauwaert, Hildo Bos and Christos D’Aloisio. The tune was being set by the same pan-Orthodox atmosphere as during the Vigil.

After lunch Hildo Bos gave a presentation of the calendar of activities Syndesmos-international for the year 2001, followed by a short evaluation during which some young people from different parishes in Belgium and one representative of each foreign delegation gave her/his impressions. The moment of goodbye came too soon. Everyone went homeward with her/his personal impressions.

No, the youth is not lost as one often hears!! All those who partook in the weekend are living witnesses to that fact. Now it’s up to them and the youth-sympathisers to pass these experiences to others.
The only thing left is the hope and the wish that even more young people from all different parishes of Belgium may take part in these gatherings!


Responsible for Syndesmos-Belgium :

Bernard Peckstadt, (president)
de Vrièrestraat 19
Tel. & Fax +32 50 510 074
E-mail : syndesmos.belgium@skynet.be


this information received from:

Persdienst van de Orthodoxe Kerk in België
Press Service of the Orthodox Church in Belgium


Responsible for the media:
Archimandrite Athenagoras Peckstadt
Elizabetlaan 329 bus 51

Tel. +32 475 351 301 & +32 50 519 553
Fax. +32 50 519 553
E-mail : Ath.Peck@advalvas.be




DATA on Orthodox Churches worldwide

United in Faith, Prayer and Divine Service World-Orthodoxy consists of local churches like parts of the mystical body of Christ, with Christ as their only Lord and Master. Their "Presiding Bishops" independant of their title as Patriarch, Archbishop or Metropolitan lead totally independently elected church administrations.
For consultations and coordination they may be called by the Oecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who will preside as First among Equals.

in similar service tradition but officially not afiliated is the family of the "Old Oriental Churches"
(in brackets)

WORLDWIDE: about 177 Mio. + (41 Mio. Old Oriental Churches)

Patriarchate of Constantinople: 5 Mio. (mainly in worldwide diaspora: e.g. 1,5 Mio in USA)

Patriarchate of Alexandria: 15.000

Patriarchate of Antiochia: 500.000 (mainly in worlwide diaspora: e.g. 250.000 in USA)

Patriarchate of Jerusalem: 300.000

Russian Orthodox Church - Patriarchate of Moscow: 120 Mio.

Russian Orthodox Church - Outside Russia: 1, 5 Mio.

Serbian Orthodox Church: 11 Mio.

Roumanian Orthodox Church: 18 Mio.

Bulgarian Orthodox Church: 7 Mio.

Greek Orthodox Church: 9, 5 Mio.

(Coptic and Ethiopian Church: 37 Mio.)

Orthodox Church of Georgia - Patriarchate of Tbilissi: 2, 5 Mio.

(Armenian Apostolic Church: 2, 5 Mio.)

(Syrian Orthodox Church, also present in India: 1, 6 Mio.)

Orthodox Church of Cyprus: 600.000

Orthodox Churches of:
Albania: 500.000
Polonia: 900.000
Finland: 60.000
Czech. Lands and Slowakia: 80.000
Japan: 25.000


(german: Orthodoxe Zusammenarbeit
(german: SYNDESMOS - Weltbund Orthodoxer Jugend

(german: Archiv: Themenkomplex ORTHODOXE ORTS-kIRCHEN

(german: Archiv: Themenkomplex ORTHODOXE DIASPORA

(german: Archiv: Nachrichten aus 1999 und davor
- Intra-Orthodoxe Kooperation -



99 JUL 25 SYNDESMOS-HELSINKI: 16. Generalversammlung
260 Delegierte, Gäste und Beobachter aus 46 Ländern kamen vom 17. bis 25. Juli 1999 im Kloster Neu-Valamo zur 16. Generalversammlung von
SYNDESMOS zusammen.
Der Vorsteher der Finnischen Orthodoxen Kirche, Erzbischof JOHANNES von Karelien eröffnete die Versammlung. Viele Orthodoxe Patriarchen und Vorsteher von Ortskirchen hatten unterstützende Botschaften gesandt.
Nach der Aufnahme von 15 neuer Mitglieder ist SYNDESMOS mit 125 Mitgliedern in 40 Län;dern die grösste christliche Jugendorganisation.
Neuwahlen der Spitze dieser Orthodoxen Welt-Jugend-Organisation besimmten die neuen Verantwortlichen:
Präsident: Emmanuel KOUMBARELIS (Laie, Biologe, Orthodoxe Kirche von Griechenland)
3 Vize-Präsidenten: Nathalia KULKOVA (Russland), Milivoj RADJIC (Serbien), Hildo BOS (Niederlande)
Das Exekutivkommittee bestehend aus je einem Vertreter von 10 Weltregionen:
Cornelius GURELE-WAMBI (Uganda), vater DANIEL Nachang Kyu (Korea), vater ANASTASIOS Bourantas (USA), Fadi ABOU MRAD (Libanon), Plamen SIVOV (Bulgarien), Bohumil VOPRSAL (Slovakei), Evgenij PETROVSKIJ (Russland), Nina LOIMI (Finnland), Spyridon TSIMOURIS (Griechenland), Lydia OBOLENSKY (Frankreich)
und Sami HABIB MITRI (Ägypten) als Vertreter der assoziierten vor-chalzädonensischen Kirchen.

SYNDESMOS - Weltbund Orthodoxer Jugend: 50 Jahrjubiläum der Gründungsversammlung

Von 27.03. - 02.04. 1999 trafen sich Organisatoren orthodoxer Jugendbewegungen aus 19 Ländern in Bossey am Genfer See um am Gründungsort des Weltbunds der Orthodoxen Jugend SYNDESMOS über den bisherigen und den zukünftigen Weg dieser "weltweiten Koordination der orthodoxen Jugendbewegungen" nachzudenken. Von den jungen Leuten, die 1949 den Anfang gemacht hatten, und immer noch jugendlich engagiert wirken, waren Dr. Ioannis LAPPAS aus Athen und Velisar GAJIC aus Paris gekommen. Zusammen mit 2 SYNDESMOS-Vorsitzenden, Dr. Dimitri OIKONOMOU und Bischof DIMITRIOS von Xanthos, 4 SYNDESMOS-Generalsekretären, Vladimir MISIJUK, Alexander BELOPOPSKY, Gabriel HABIB und Anu TALVIVAARA, und 2 SYNDESMOS-Stellvertretenden-Vorsitzenden, Manos KOUMBARELIS und Vater JOHN MATUSIAK stellte Dr. LAPPAS namens der Gründer fest, dass SYNDESMOS auch nach 50 Jahren noch nichts vom Schwung der Anfangszeit verloren hat und die besten Chancen hat, in der inzwischen deutlich veränderten Welt neue Dienste für die orthodoxe Jugend und die Einheit der Orthodoxie in aller Welt zu leisten.

SYNDESMOS "Band der Einheit im Geiste" (Eph. 3,4: "Erstrebt die Einheit im Geiste durch das Band des Friedens (=griech. syndesmos)" ist der Weltbund Orthodoxer Jugend, 1953 gegründet umfaßt er heute 118 Mitglieds-Organisationen in 41 Ländern in aller Welt. Ziel von Syndesmos ist Verständigung und Zusammenarbeit zwischen orthodoxen Jugendbewegungen und theologischen Lehranstalten in aller Welt zu unterstützen und ein tieferes Verständnis für den gemeinsamen Glauben fördern.

Vorsitzender: Dr. Dimitri Oikonomou
Generalsekretär: Vladimir Misijuk
SYNDESMOS General-Sekretariat
PO Box 22, P - 15-950 BIALYSTOK, POLEN
+48 85 6534 884 / Fax: +48 85 6543 747
e-mail: syndesmos@bianet.com.pl




- Intra-Orthodoxe Kooperation -

Orthodoxe Theologische Institute - institutionelle Zusammenarbeit im Aufbau

Mit dem Segen Seiner Heiligkeit Patriarch ALEKSIJ II von Moskau und ganz Russland fand vom 20.- 26 Januar 1999 eine von Syndesmos organisierte Internationale Konsultation Orthodoxer Theologischer Lehranstalten in der St.Petersburger Theologischen Akademie statt.
In dieser 7.Konsultation wurde der Versuch unternommen unter den orthodoxen theologischen Lehranstalten, von denen allein 30 Mitglieder von Syndesmos sind, mit dem Aufbau einer weltweit institutionalisierten Zusammenarbeit zu beginnen. Das grosse Interesse daran kam in der bisher höchsten Beteiligung an einer Konsultation zum Ausdruck: 45 Lehranstalten aus 17 Ländern waren durch 75 Repräsentanten vertreten. Dazu kamen weitere 30 Vertreter orthodoxer Jugend- und Bildungsorganisationen.
Zu den Teilnehmern sprachen:
Seine Exzellenz, der Hochgeweihte KONSTANTIN, Bischof von Tikhvin, Rektor von St.Petersburger Akademie und Seminar: "Kirche, Liturgie und Bildung"
Priestermönch HILARION (Alfejev), Moskau: "Christliche Bildung im Osten"
Vater RAUNO Pietarinen, Ilomantsi, Finnland: "Orthodoxe Bildung: Kontinuität von Jugenddiensten und religiöser Bildung im Gemeindeleben"
Dr. Athanassios PAPATHANASSIOU, Athen, Griechenland: "Die Sprache der Kirche - Die Sprache der Welt: Abenteuer der Kommunikation oder Konflikt"
Vater VLADIMIR Fedorov, St.Petersburg: "Orthodoxe Sendung und die Moderne Welt"
Igumen ALEXANDER Fedorov, St.Petersburg: "Christliche Kunst und die Sendung der Kirche"
Vater KIRILL Kopeikin: "Wechselwirkungen zwischen Theologischer und Weltlicher Bildung"

Zahlreiche Initiativen zeigten das Interesse am Aufbau organisierter Zusammenarbeit:
- Herausgabe eines jährlich aktualisierten Verzeichnis Orthodoxer Theologischer Lehranstalten (ca. 100 weltweit)
- Jährliche Biographien der Fakultätsmitglieder aller Orthodoxer Theologischer Lehranstalten mit ihren wissenschaftlichen Veröffentlichungen
- Koordination von Professoren- und Studentenaustausch
- Konsultationen und öffentlichen Konferenzen zu spezifischen Fragen
- Unterstützung von Lokalen und Regionalen Treffen Orthodoxer Theologischer Lehranstalten
- Benennung einer Kontaktperson aus jeder Lehranstalt zum Aufbau der neuen Vereinigung
- Aufstellung eines Kommittees zur Lenkung der Arbeit der neuen Vereinigung
- Benennung eines haupt- oder nebenamtlichen Sekretariatsmitarbeiters bei Syndesmos zur Koordination der Aktivitäten der neuen Vereinigung

Orthodoxe Journalisten - Internationaler Verband in Gründung

Eine einwöchige Konferenz orthodoxer Persönlichkeiten aus der Welt der Medien fand vom 16. - 23. Mai in Volos, Griechenland statt und beschloss die Gründung einer INTERNATIONALEN VEREINIGUNG ORTHODOXER JOURNALISTEN. 75 Journalisten und Pressesprecher orthodoxer kirchen aus 23 Ländern tagten auf Einladung von Syndesmos und dem Metropoliten IGNATIOS von Demetrias unter dem Vorsitz von Vater JOHN Matusiak, Stellv.Vorsitzender von Syndesmos und Communications Director der Orthodoxen Kirche in Amerika.
Andrei ZOLOTOV von der Moscow Times, Antoine NIVIERE von der in Paris beheimateten Institution "Service Orthodoxe de Presse", und Liana KANELLI und Dr. Angelos VALIANATOS aus Griechenland hielten die Hauptreferate.
In den Diskussionen wurde immer wieder die Aufmerksamkeit auf die Notwendigkeit einer starken orthodoxen Präsenz im Internet gelenkt.
Zur Gründung der INTERNATIONALEN VEREINIGUNG ORTHODOXER JOURNALISTEN wurde eine Arbeitsgruppe gebildet, die einen Lenkungsausschuss zur Organisation der erforderlichen Aktivitäten bestimmte. Der "Kerngruppe" gehören Andrei ZOLOTOV, Jean TCHEKHAN, Vater APOSTOLOS Forlides, Konstantinos TSILIS und Vater JOHN Matusiak an.
Besuche bei orthodoxen Medien und Radiosendern in Griechenland ergänzten das Programm.

Als Höhepunkt und bestmöglichen Startimpuls für die weitere Arbeit sehen die orthodoxen Journalisten in dem persönlichen Segen den ihnen Seine Allheiligkeit der Oekumenische Patriarch BARTHOLOMÄOS nach einer gemeinsamen Verehrung der Gebeine des Hl. NEKTARIOS auf AEGINA gab.



99 SEP 01 WKR-GENF: Dialogkommission: 1. Sitzung für Dezember 99 geplant
Im Dezember 1999 soll voraussichtlich auf Rhodos die 1. Sitzung der Dialogkommission zwischen den Orthodoxen kirchen einerseits und dem Oekumenischen Rat der Kirchen (Genf) andererseits stattfinden.
Dies gaben in Genf in einer Pressekonferenz die derzeitigen Vertreter der beiden Seiten, Bischof Rolf Koppe (EKD) für den Oekumenischen Rat der Kirchen und Gabriel Habib (Patriarchat Antiochia, ehem. Sekretär des Rates der kirchen im Nahen Osten, dzt. verantwortlich für internationale Beziehungen des Rates der kirchen in den USA) für die Orthodoxen kirchen.
Die Einrichtung dieser Kommission wurde anlässlich der aufgetretenen Probleme mit der bisherigen Behandlung der Orthodoxen im Oekumenischen Rat der Kirchen auf der 8.Generalversammlung in Harare beschlossen. Die Kommission soll aus jeweils 30 Mitgliedern von beiden Seiten bestehen und nach 3 Jahren Ergebnisse vorlegen.

99 SEP 03 WKR-GENF: Plenarsitzung des Zentralkommittees in Genf
158 Repräsentanten Anglikanischer, Protestantischer und Orthodoxer Mitgliedskirchen zogen Bilanz über die 8. Generalversammlung in Harare. Als Vorsitzender des Zentralkommittees rief Katholikos ARAM I. zu einer "Oekumene des Volkes Gottes" auf, der einen "Oekumenismus der Eliten" ablösen müsse.
SYNDESMOS "Band der Einheit im Geiste" (Eph. 3,4: "Erstrebt die Einheit im Geiste durch das Band des Friedens (=griech. syndesmos)" ist der Weltbund Orthodoxer Jugend, 1953 gegründet umfaßt er heute 118 Mitglieds-Organisationen in 41 Ländern in aller Welt. Ziel von Syndesmos ist Verständigung und Zusammenarbeit zwischen orthodoxen Jugendbewegungen und theologischen Lehranstalten in aller Welt zu unterstützen und ein tieferes Verständnis für den gemeinsamen Glauben fördern.

Vorsitzender: Dr. Dimitri Oikonomou
Generalsekretär: Vladimir Misijuk
SYNDESMOS General-Sekretariat
PO Box 22, P - 15-950 BIALYSTOK, POLEN
+48 85 6534 884 / Fax: +48 85 6543 747
e-mail: syndesmos@bianet.com.pl



"KIRCHE": Warum wir "kirchen" klein schreiben:

Nach AFANASSIEFF, dem grossen orthodoxen Theologen und Vater der orthodoxen Ekklesiologie im Westen in L´ÉGLISE du SAINT ÉSPRIT unterscheiden wir zwischen der einen "KIRCHE" ,dem mystischen Leib Christi, dem "Organismus des Heils" und " k irchen" als örtlich und geschichtlich geprägte menschliche Organisationen.
" k irchen" sind nach der ursprünglichen orthodoxen Ekklesiologie im Wesentlichen bloss Zusammenfassungen von Bistüern.
Vollständige Kirche im theologischen Sinn ist schon ein Bistum (bei den Griechen "Metropolie") mit einem Bischof, seinen Geistlichen und Weltchristen. Die Versammlung der Bischöfe eines Volkes oder eines Gebietes wählen einen Ersten (Erzbischof oder Patriarchen), "ohne den zu konsultieren, sie nichts unternehmen, und der nichts unternimmt ohne sie zu konsultieren".
Für die gesamte Weltkirche entscheidende Fragen werden dann in Versammlungen der Weltkirche beraten; auf Einladung durch den Oekumenischen Patriarchen (Konstantinopel) der der Erste unter Gleichen, unter den Vorstehern aller orthodoxen Kirchen ist.
Wie alles in dieser noch nicht endgültig verklärten Welt wurden und werden auch diese Prinzipien immer wieder Opfer von Schwäche und unvollkommenen zeitgeistbedingten Staats- und Gesellschaftsmodellen. Konstantinopel ist oft noch vom alten kaiserlichen Byzanz beeinflusst, Russland hat Jahrhunderte oft rücksichtsloser Zaren- und Kommunistenherrschaft hinter sich, rumänische und bulgarische Kirchenverfassungen sind von den Idealen der bürgerlichen Demokratie des 19.Jahrhunderts geprägt. Da aber Keiner dem anderen übergeordnet ist, und so mehrere Modelle menschlicher Organisationsformen parallel überleben können, ist es immer möglich eingetretene Fehlentwicklungen wieder zu korrigieren.
"Kirche" ist der Leib Christi und die Einheit der "real existierenden" Orthodoxie auf Erden wird durch keine menschliche Macht oder Autorität sondern das Band christlicher Liebe erreicht.
Praktisch gesprochen: Man spürt unter den orthodoxen Gläubigen in allen orthodoxen " k irchen" die Freude daran, auch mit sonst verschiedenen Völkern (z.B. Finnen und Arabern) etwas gemeinsam zu haben und der einen "KIRCHE" anzugehören.


SOP - Service Orthodoxe de Presse

ist eine Monatsschrift in französischer Sprache, die ihre Leser regelmässig und umfassend über das Leben der orthodoxen Kirche in Frankreich und in der Welt informiert und die aktuellen Ereignisse reflektiert. SOP stellt sich unter die Auspizien der Versammlung der Orthodoxen Bischöfe Frankreichs und ist ein Dienst der von der Orthodoxen Fraternität in Westeuropa sichergestellt wird.

Abonnements und Dokumentation: sopdoc@micronet.fr

Adresse: 14, rue Victor-Hugo, F - 92 400 COURBEVOIE, FRANCE + 33 (0)1 43 33 52 48 Fax: +33 (0)1 43 33 86 72

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