0
0
0
s2sdefault

Completion of the Round table on

THE ROLE OF THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN THE 21st CENTURY

AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH

On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, a round table was held on "The role of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the 21st century and the contribution of the Orthodox Church”. Participants included the Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in WCC, His Eminence Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos, Professor at the Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Orthodox Theology in Chambesy, Geneva; Dr. Katerina Kocandrl-Bauer, researcher and lecturer at the Ecumenical Institute of the Protestant Theological School of Charles University in Prague; and Dr. Razvan Porumb, lecturer at the Cambridge Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies. The discussion was moderated by Georgios Vlantis, Associate of Volos Academy and Director of the Council of Churches of Bavaria. The event was co-organized by Volos Academy for Theological Studies and the Cambridge Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies.

The Archbishop of Telmessos opened the presentation with a comprehensive review of the history of the Orthodox Church’s contribution to WCC, recalling, among other things, the promotion of the ecological issue. He went on to list current challenges, such as the anti-ecumenical fundamentalism, ethnophyletism (an issue the crucial nature of which is highlighted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine), and secularization. Katerina Bauer referred to the example of her homeland, the Czech Republic, and its special character due to the local coexistence of various Christian denominations, but also to the experience of the communist past. Tendencies of anti-ecumenism, self-sufficiency and exclusion appear in the Czech Republic as well. Bauer stressed the need to overcome suspicion, to practice solidarity, but also to be open to the messages of spiritual ecumenism. Razvan Porumb, who spoke last, pointed out the connection between intra-Orthodox problems and ecumenical challenges: it is necessary for Orthodoxy to resolve its internal issues and abandon defense as a primary attitude, as this leads it to a constant search of enemies and heretics as a way of self-determination.

In the extensive discussion that followed, which included lots of (self)criticism, the problem of the orthodox introversion was brought to focus. The role of the WCC as a meeting place for the Orthodox Churches was highlighted, reminding that the latter often find it difficult to communicate with each other. There were also questions about the condemnable Russian invasion of Ukraine and the highly problematic stance of the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate, which has sparked an international debate over the expediency of expelling the Russian Orthodox Church from the WCC. The participants stressed the need to continue the dialogue, which, however, should take place on equal terms, without a privileged treatment of the difficult participants. The need to include the Ukrainian Orthodox in the ecumenical dialogue was particularly emphasized.

In his concluding greeting, His Eminence Ignatius, Metropolitan of Demetriados, President of the Volos Academy, underlined the Orthodox contribution to the ecumenical dialogue, but also the need for self-criticism of the Orthodox, given the challenges of the contemporary world, but also the intra-Orthodox tensions. He highlighted especially the contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the inter-Christian dialogue and expressed the hope that Orthodoxy will give a testimony of unity at the General Assembly in Karlsruhe.

The video of the event is available at the addresses in Greek

 

and in English.

The next event of the series "Time for Action" will take place on May 17. It will again be an online round table on "”The Hermeneutics of the Canons and the place of the Rudder in today's Church life”. Contributors will be His Eminence Gregorios (Papathomas), Metropolitan of Peristeri, Professor of the Theological School of Athens University; Theodoros Giagou, Professor of the Theological School of Thessaloniki University; and Denia (Spyridoula) Athanassopoulou-Kypriou, PhD, University of Manchester. Also, a Conference on Hamilcar Alivizatos, will take place in situ in Volos, May 6-8, 2022.

Event Callendar

Announcements

TIME FOR ACTION - 4th Season

TIME FOR ACTION - 4th Season

Taking advantage of the possibilities offered by modern communication technology, Volos Academy for Theological Studies organizes for the fourth consecutive Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 1
  • 2