The Holy Metropolis of Sweden and All Scandinavia announced its latest bilingual publication in Greek and English entitled “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the 50th Anniversary of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden,” dedicated to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Stockholm in 2019 on the occasion of the semi-centennial of the establishment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s eparchy in Scandinavia via the issuance of a Patriarchal and Synodical Tome, which it presents to its flock, as well as to all parties interested in ecclesiastical affairs and history.
Through its Archpastor Metropolitan Cleopas, the Holy Metropolis of Sweden expresses its gratitude to His Excellency Metropolitan Agathangelos of Fanarion, Director General of Apostoliki Diakonia – the official publishing house and missionary arm of the Church of Greece – and his worthy coworkers, whose assistance and active display of love made this publication possible. This latest release is a continuation of the ongoing collaboration between the Holy Metropolis of Sweden and Apostoliki Diakonia on liturgical, theological, and children’s publications in Greek, English, and Swedish that are aimed at the cultivation and spiritual edification of our flock and all those interested in the Orthodox Christian faith.
This latest publication, which is composed of seven sections, begins with a chronicle of the Patriarchal visit and then proceeds to present the invitations sent by the Metropolitan of Sweden and the Lutheran Church of Sweden to the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as the joint communiqué issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Lutheran Church of Sweden.
Afterwards, it presents the speeches delivered by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew upon his arrival at the airport in Stockholm, the dinner offered in honor of the Metropolis volunteers, the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, the opening of the Museum of Hellenic Christian Heritage, on-site at the Cathedral in Stockholm, the Syriac Aramean Cathedral of St. Aphrem, the banquet and Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Lutheran Church of Sweden in Uppsala, along with the greeting of Archbishop Sotirios of Canada at the dinner honoring the Metropolis volunteers.
The speeches by the Metropolitan of Sweden at the official reception for the Ecumenical Patriarch at the airport, the Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Holy Metropolis, the dinner honoring the Metropolis volunteers, the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy, and the ensuing luncheon are presented next.
The publication also includes the greetings delivered by the Ambassadors of Greece and Cyprus, the Lutheran Bishop Johan Dalman of Strängnäs, the Syriac Aramean Archbishop Benjamin, the President of the Conference of European Churches, the Honorary Consul of Greece in Iceland, as well as the greetings issued by the representatives of the holy clergy, parish council members of the parishes of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden, and representatives from academia, Hellenic societies, and local organizations.
The fourth and fifth sections of the publication present the letters, press releases, and media publications related to the Patriarchal visit to Stockholm, while the sixth section entitled “a note of gratitude” includes the thanks extended by the Metropolitan of Sweden to all those who participated and contributed to the successful organization of the semi-centennial celebration and Patriarchal visit.
This album, which was personally edited by Metropolitan Cleopas, concludes with the presentation of photos from the framework of the celebrations that took place, which is handed down to posterity and future historians, so that these events may be recorded and evaluated by generations to come.
From this brief reference to this new publication released by the Holy Metropolis of Sweden through the Apostoliki Diakonia of the Church of Greece, the reader gains an immediate sense of the paternal care displayed by the Orthodox Church’s senior-most prelate – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew – for the Mother Church’s eparchies located all across the world, including the exarchate of the Northern Lands.
The pastoral responsibility and concern of Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden, who was elected to shepherd the local Church of Scandinavia eight years ago, is also evident. One of the aspects of his archpastoral ministry includes the successful organization of the first Clergy-Laity Assembly/Synaxis in the 50-year history of the Holy Metropolis, featuring clergy and lay delegates from the four nations comprising the spiritual jurisdiction of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden.
Moreover, the reader can readily ascertain the goodwill exhibited for cooperation and dialogue with other Christian denominations – the Lutheran, the Roman Catholic, and the Syriac Aramean Communities, in this particular instance –, as well as the Kingdom of Sweden, including the Parliament and Prime Minister, who actively displayed their respect and reverence for the world-renowned personage of the venerable head of Orthodoxy Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Nonetheless, the reader must not overlook the aspect of “volunteerism”, which is emphasized in practically all the speeches covering the Patriarchal visit as a key element in the life of this missionary eparchy, which represents the backbone and pillar of the ministry of the local Church.
All those interested in purchasing this newly released album may do so on-site at the St. George Cathedral of Stockholm, the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Oslo, or electronically by sending their request to the following e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org