The second day of the Synaxis of the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople commenced in the early hours of Thursday, September 2, 2021, in order to cover a vast number of topics on the agenda.
Among the presented topics was a lengthy discussion about the spiritual dimensions of the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic, titled “The Pandemic and Ecclesiastical Life”. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his parental gratitude to the hierarchs of the Patriarchate for their archpastoral love and care for the spiritual flock of the Church in various Metropolias and Eparchies of the Great Church of Christ. Hie Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon presented a Response to the Introductory Remarks of the Patriarch, offering communal gratitude of the brother-hierarchs to His All-Holiness for his guidance and leadership by example during the past 18 months of the ongoing Pandemic struggle and for the 30 years of spiritual leadership on the Patriarchal Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
An important presentation was made by the renown medical expert Prof. Soterios Tsiordas, who at length reflected on the medical and spiritual variances of concern as related to the ongoing increase in infection by Delta variance of the virus. The hierarchs of the Church reflected on Preventative, Therapeutic and Spiritual means of care for the flock of Christ. The presentations were made by Their Eminences Metropolitan Nektarios of Hong Kong, Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria, Metropolitan Kyrillos of Hierapytne and Seteia as well Metropolitan Makarios of Australia.
Following the discussion, the hierarchs entered a second session of the day, touching upon the pastoral dimensions of the Church, which was titled “The Proclamation of the Gospel in the 21st Century” and led by Their Eminences Archbishop Soterios of Canada, Metropolitan Soterios of Pisidia, Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea; Their Graces Bishop Tomotheos of Assos, Bishop Raphael of Ilion, Bishop Ambrosios of Argyroupolis.
The third session of the day included a discussion on “The Church and the Contemporary World”, reflecting on the ministry of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in today’s geopolitical, ecclesiastical and social environment. Presentations were made by His Excellency Demetrios Paraskevopoulos: “Contemporary Geopolitical Data and the Orthodox Church”; His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Krene: “The Ecumenical Patriarchate: The Canonical Tradition and Ecclesiology in Light of Contemporary Developments”; and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America: “The Ecclesiastical Fund Established in Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Name: An Initiative of the Archdiocese of America.”
The day concluded with another set of presentations on the Ecumenical and Inter-Christian and Interreligious Relations, which were made by the esteemed Professor Aristotelis Papanikalaou: “Regarding the Document “For the Light of the World”, Mr. George Vlantes: “The Contemporary Landscape pf Ecumenical Relations” and by his Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon: “The Ecumenical patriarchate in Dialogue with the non-Christian Religions.”