The current pandemic in many European countries leads to the cancellation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s scheduled visit to Austria on Saturday, September 26, who was expected to lay the foundation stone of the first Orthodox monastery in Austria in Central Europe.
Initially, the formal foundation ceremony was scheduled for June 27, but was then postponed as part of measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, and will now be held three months later by the Metropolitan of Austria and Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe, Arsenios, Roman Catholic Bishop Ägidius Zsifkovics, and the Governor of the Austrian state of Burgenland, Hans Peter Doskozil. Construction work will begin in early October.
Read the full announcement of the Metropolis of Austria:
The Holy Metropolis of Austria regrets to inform you that, on the occasion of The ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone at the first Orthodox Monastery in Central Europe “Agia Skepi,” the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the general crisis in Greek-Turkish relations. Nevertheless, the ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 26 at 11:00 a.m. at the site of the construction of the monastery by the Metropolitan of Austria and Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe, Arsenios, with the prayers and supplications of the Ecumenical Patriarch. The ceremony will be attended by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Eisenstadt, Ägidius Zsifkovics, and the Governor of Burgenland, Hans Peter Doskozil.