On Tuesday, 16 May 2023, a meeting of the Volos Academy of Theological Studies was held with a delegation from the Kyiv Theological Academy of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine which is visiting Greece these days. The Academy of Theological Studies was represented by the president of the Board of Directors, Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitrias, its director, Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis, and many of her scientific collaborators and staff.
The nine-member Ukrainian delegation included Metropolitan Theodoros of Poltava, President of the Synodal Committee of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine for Youth, the Rector of the Theological Academy of Kyiv, and Chairman of the Synodal Committees on Religious Education and on the Calendar Question, Protopresbyter Oleksandr Trofimlyuk, Consul of Ukraine in Thessaloniki, Mr. Oleksandr Sosonyuk and other distinguished clergy and laity.
Presenting the more than twenty-year existence of the Academy of Volos, its director, Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis, emphasized its interest in issues where theology meets the problems of modern man and underlined the support it provided from the first moment to the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, with summer training programs for clergy and theologians from Ukraine as early as 2019. He also highlighted the fact that the Academy was one of the pioneers of the now-famous Declaration against the Teaching of the Russian World, the teaching that forms the religious background of the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory.
For his part, Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitrias referred to the strong support for Ukrainian autocephaly by the Dimitrias Metropolis and expressed the support of the Church of Greece to the war-tested but admirable Ukrainian people, wishing for the speedy restoration of justice and peace.
In His Response, Metropolitan Theodoros of Poltava, offered thanks for the movements of cooperation that have been carried out so far, reminding that the Ukrainians are currently fighting not just for the homeland, but for their own lives, while the rector Fr. Oleksandr Trofimlyuk, recalling the centuries-old history of the Kyiv Academy – despite the interruption of its operation during the Soviet period – and its relations with academic institutions of Greece, expressed the belief that the relations between the two institutions will be strengthened to achieve many common goals. He emphasized the need to renew theological studies and their orientation towards contemporary issues, the need to exchange know-how in all subjects, and invited the Director of the Academy to join the studies committee of the publications of the Kyiv Academy.
At the conclusion of the speeches, the two delegations exchanged gifts and signed a memorandum of cooperation, while then the director of the Academy took the Ukrainian delegation on a tour of the premises of the Conference Centre in Melissatika, which gave rise to discussions on the details of the mode of operation, the cooperation with the researchers, the management of archival material, etc.