“Vision and fighting spirit. Cooperation, mutual support and not individualism. To fight collectively and not individually, without taking sides in politics, that is, to be divided. Strength in unity!”
This is the message sent by Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden during an interview he gave yesterday, on Thomas Sunday.
The Metropolitan spoke about the consequences of the pandemic of the coronavirus in the ecclesiastical events of his eparchy and about his own vision for the Church in Scandinavia.
He stated that although Divine Liturgies were held behind closed doors, without people, “inside the temple we are never alone. Christ is the one who offers and spreads himself in the Eucharistic synaxis. The 8,000 people who watched the Anastasis service online were not indifferent spectators, but participated by praying.”
He described as a top event of 2019 the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Metropolis of Sweden and the need to organize the first Clergy-Laity Congress in the eparchy, during the patriarchal visit, for thus children had the opportunity to be taught by the wisdom and simplicity of their Father and Patriarch.
As his vision for the coming years, he set out the staffing of the parishes with more clergy, the staffing of the Monastery of St. Nicholas with a small monastic fraternity, and the creation of a Spiritual Multicenter and camps.
He rewarded the presence of the children in the temple, emphasizing that “in the faces of the children I see tomorrow’s leaders of the Greek community in Scandinavia, the successors of our vision.”
He thanked Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and the Archpriests of the Church of Greece, who support the work of his eparchy by approving the secondment of their clergy in Scandinavia.
Asked what he would like people to remember about him after years, he replied: “Nothing about me personally, not even my name. We, the clergy, are servants of the Word of God.”