The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received on Thursday, 6 April 2023, Massimo Fusarelli, Superior of the Franciscan Order, from Rome, together with members of the related Brotherhood and his collaborators, on the occasion of the bestowal to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Holy Church of Santa Maria in Smyrna, which belongs to the said Order, for the needs of the Holy Metropolis of Smyrna.
The meeting, held in a cordial atmosphere, was also attended by Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon and Metropolitan Bartholomew of Smyrna, as well as the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Smyrna, Georgios Theodoridis.
The Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his warm thanks to Pope Francis, who immediately responded to the request of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as towards Father Massimo Fusarelli, for the granting of the said old Holy Church, of the 17th century.
It should be noted that the Holy Metropolis of Smyrna currently has a small Church, dedicated to Saint Fotini, which, however, is no longer sufficient to cover the needs of the growing Orthodox Community of the region.
Immediately after the meeting, the official signing of the Church concession agreement took place in the Hall of the Hierarchs of the Patriarchal House. The agreement was signed on behalf of the Mother Church by Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon and, on behalf of the Franciscans, Rev. Father Massimo Fusarelli.
Afterwards, the director of the Franciscan Order and his entourage were offered hospitality at the Patriarchal table.
Photos: Nikos Papachristou / Ecumenical Patriarchate