By George Vlantis*
On Thursday, September 30, 2021, the assembly of the representatives of the Council of the Christian Churches of Baden-Württemberg took place, during which the new Presidency of the most important body of the multilateral ecumenical dialogue in this great German state was elected.
The clergyman of the Holy Metropolis of Germany, Father Dimitrios Katsanos, hierarchical head of the parish of the Assumption of the Virgin in the city of Reutlingen, was unanimously elected President. The active priest, who just a few days ago received the offikion of the Protopresbyter from Metropolitan Augustinos of Germany, is the first orthodox Christian President in the history of this Council. Also, for the first time, such a young person emerges in this position.
Father Dimitrios was born in 1985 in Ioannina. A graduate of the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Vella and the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki, he served from 2006 to 2012 in the Parish of the Annunciation of the Virgin Ludwigshafen as a lay preacher, to be ordained next year and to work as a priest first of the parish of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Kirchheim Unter Teck and then of the aforementioned parish of the Assumption of the Virgin Reutlingen.
In addition to his diverse pastoral work, he has developed a special activity in the inter-Christian and inter-religious dialogue. From 2018 until today’s election, he was vice-president of the Council of the Baden-Württemberg Churches, where he represents the Holy Metropolis of Germany together with Protopresbyter Georgios Basioudis (parish of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Mannheim).
The unanimous election of Father Demetrius is a presumption of the orthodoxy’s appreciation in the context of the ecumenical dialogue in Germany, which is reflected, among other things, in the following facts: President of the Council of Christian Churches of Germany is the Protopresbyter Konstantinos Myron, of the Ecumenical Council of Berlin-Brandenburg, Bishop Emmanuel Sfiatkos of Christoupolis, while in the Presidium of the Council of Churches of Bavaria, which is chaired by the author, participates Archimandrite George Siomos, succeeding the Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Fr. Apostolos Malamousis.
In particular, the tradition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is centrally present in the ecumenical development of the country. This is the fruit of the hard work of many under the wise guidance of Metropolitan Augustinos of Germany.
* George Vlantis is the Director of the Council of Christian Churches (ACK) of Bavaria