The Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Benelux (CEOB) was convened at its 26th meeting which took place at the headquarters of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Belgium, in Brussels, on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium. Metropolitan John of Dubna, Bishop Mark of Neamts, representative on behalf of Metropolitan Joseph of the Patriarchate of Romania, Bishop Dositheus of the Patriarchate of Georgia, His Metropolitan Anthony of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria and Bishop Joachim of Apollonia, Auxiliary Bishop of Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium of the Ecumenical Patriarchate also participated.
The bishops prayed for the repose of the soul of Metropolitan Emeritus Panteleimon of Belgium who pass away on January 24, 2023, and president of the Episcopal Assembly from its creation in 2010 until 2013.
They recalled Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Benelux pilgrimage to Georgia, shared their impressions and experiences of this trip and the Meeting with Patriarch Ilia of Georgia.
The bishops exchanged views on the problems and perspectives regarding the recognition of Orthodox parishes in Belgium. Flanders has resumed the recognition of parishes.
They took note of developments in the life of the Orthodox Church in the Netherlands and the summer camp for children and young people to be held from 23 to 29 July 2023 in Hoge Rielen (Belgium).
They also referred to the efforts made to safeguard religion courses which seem to be facing difficulties in Wallonia. They also appeal to those who wish to teach the course of Orthodox religion to apply to the administration of the Orthodox Church in Belgium.
The hierarchs were also informed about the changes and the situation of prison chaplaincy in Belgium and are also appealing to potential candidates.
They spoke of the importance of Lenten concelebrations in the three Benelux countries and on other occasions as a strong sign of the unity of the Orthodox Church despite the current problems.
The bishops exchanged information and news from their respective dioceses.
The next meeting of the Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Benelux is scheduled for the 6th of November 2023.
The Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Benelux was established by decision of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, held in Chambésy (Geneva) in June 2009.