“For us, Orthodox Christians, the dialogue and struggle for the protection of human rights is a duty that derives from the core of our faith,” said in his speech Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 14, at the Patriarchal Cathedral.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomed the group of students from the Theological Academies and seminaries of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine, who participated in the 15-day training program organized in Volos by the Academy for Theological Studies of Metropolis of Demetrias and Almyros.
The group of students, accompanied by their professors from Ukraine, travelled to Constantinople, led by Metropolitan Ignatios Demetrias and Almyros.
In his speech, Bartholomew referred in particular to the role and mission of theology and theologians in the modern world.
“The theologian must hear the beat of his contemporaries and must follow the example set by the Apostles. It is obvious that the theologian’s work is particularly demanding. Theologians must be interactive and communicative, interested in ‘people’s concerns’, be sensitive to the adventures of human freedom.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch also pointed out that “Orthodox theology gives priority to community over individual and to peacebuilding over religious fundamentalism.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch referred to the memory of the 630 Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, who assembled in Chalcedon, stressing that this council issued 30 disciplinary canons, which define “the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s jurisdiction regarding the shepherding of all the areas beyond the limits of its jurisdiction.”
He added that the recent granting of autocephaly status in Ukraine “highlights the timeliness of these synodal decisions regarding the important initiative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the recognition of the Church by the rest of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches.”