In the presence of President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and representatives of almost all Orthodox Churches, the opening of the International Scientific Conference of the Journal “Theologia” of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece was held yesterday.
The Conference on “Orthodox Theology on the way to the’immaterial reality’ of late modernity”, which is organized on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of this journal, began its work at the Metropolitan Church of Athens, on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 11.
At the invitation of the Holy Synod and its President, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, Ecumenical PatriarchBartholomew, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Archbishop Georgios of Cyprus, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, Metropolitan Panteleimon of Naucratis, who represented Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria, Metropolitan Ephraim of Berroia and Bishop Romanos of Seleucia, as representatives of the Patriarchate of Antioch, Archbishop Nektarios of Antidon, and Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Athens,Raphael Grivas, as representatives of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Bishop Ignatije of Braničevo represented the Church of Serbia and Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia. Archbishop Ciprian of Buzau and Vrancea and Fr. George Holbea represented the Church of Romania and Patriarch Daniel of Romania.
The Church of Bulgaria and Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria were represented by Metropolitan Grigory of Vratsa, Bishop Polikarp of Belogradchik (Lefkoupolis) and Deacon Simeon Borisov Ivaylov.
The Church of Georgia and Archbishop Ilia of Georgia were represented by Metropolitan Theodore of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti (Chuadze), Metropolitan Andrew of Gori and Ateni and Protopresbyter George Zviadadze. The Church of Poland was represented by Professors of Theology Jerzy Ostapczuk and Jerzy Betlejko.
In addition, the following heads of the Autonomous Orthodox Churches attended:
Archbishop Leo of Helsinki and All Finland, along with Deacon Andreas Salminen and Jelisei Heikkila.
Metropolitan Stefan of Tallinn and All Estonia,
Metropolitan Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronas from the Semi-autonomous Church of Crete.
The Secretary of the Organizing Committee of the Conference and Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Theologia“, Mr. Alexandros Katsiaras, in his address spoke about the materialistic era we live in.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his greeting, among other things, pointed out: “The journal ‘Theologia’ enters the second century of its life, with the inheritance and legacy of its successful and creative course to date, its fidelity to the Orthodox tradition, the belief that humans are not only citizens of the world, but also ‘heavenly citizens’, who seek a benchmark on earth, just like culture, politics, science, economy, earthly bliss. Neither the rise in living standards, nor social progress, nor scientific knowledge, fully cover and satisfy humans, who indeed shall not live “onbread alone” ( Matthew 4: 4). Obviously, science is the ‘great power’ of our time. Great power, however, is also faith in God, which answers the deepest existential questions of humans. It is widely known that the dizzying progress of science is due to the fact questions ad to be answered which are at the center of philosophy and theology.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch underlined: “The topic of the Conference rightly reminds us that humanity is moving towards the ‘intangible reality of late modernity’. The discourse on ‘intangible reality’ refers to the set of new situations and challenges, which are associated with the dominance of the internet and the scientific and technological developments in our lives in general. These change the way of life of individuals and peoples, control our desires and needs and lead humanity towards a re-evaluation of things. Nevertheless, no sane person can deny the many benefits of technology. Resistance to certain trends of technology does not in any way mean its total rejection.”