In an atmosphere charged with emotion, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew appointed on Sunday, 5 July 2020, Bishop Kassianos of Arabissos as the new Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal And Stavropegic Monastery Of the Holy Trinity in Halki, which is situated in the same place, as the Halki seminary.
The Ecumenical Patriarch expressed the hope that the 49-year-old “silent” Theological School of Halki would reopen soon. In his homily after the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, he addressed the new abbot and pointed out: “The Mother Church has made you Abbot of the historic Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity, which has housed the Theological School of Halki since the mid-19th century. You will be able to serve in this holy institution of the Great Church of Christ and to carry on the work of your predecessors. You are flesh of the flesh of the Greek Diaspora. I am aware of your devotion to the Mother Church, your piety, your ministry for 22 years in the Metropolis of Chalcedon, and above all, your geniality, simplicity and humility.
In addition, the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to the Theological School of Halki, which has remained closed since 1971, despite the efforts of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the calls of prominent figures from around the world for its reopening.
“This year marks the 49th anniversary since the imposed suspension of the operations of the Department of Theology of our School. Unfortunately, the efforts made by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the calls of high profile individuals in politics and society around the world for the reopening of the School have not borne fruit, despite occasional positive signs. We carry on hoping and fighting. On Mount Hope, hope never disappears! We know that our God blesses and strengthens our efforts,” he said.
The Ecumenical Patriarch added, “We pray to the omniscient Lord, to give all of us the joy of the reopening of the School, to be able to hear the sweet sound of the bell, to invite the new students to the courses of the teachers, to invite them to study theology. But all that in a world, where theology must dialogue and the Church must give a good witness, contributing to its transformation.”
He also referred to Metropolitan Kyrillos of Imbros and Tenedos, the predecessor of the new abbot, who, as he noted, despite his brief ministry, showed great interest in the issues of the Monastery, and especially in the renovation and upgrading of the building complex of the School. The young abbot was very moved and expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch and thanked for honouring and entrusting him with this great responsibility and ministry.
The Ecumenical Patriarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Katholikon of the Monastery. Metropolitans Apostolos of Derkoi, Dimitrios of Princes Islands, Germanos of Tranoupolis, Chysostomos of Myros, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos,Athinagoras of Kydonia, and Maximos of Silyvria, and Archbishop Nektarios of Anthedona, the Commissioner of the Holy Sepulchre, also attended the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.