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Dean Skedros Attends Meeting at Ecumenical Patriarchate

At the invitation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, James Skedros, Dean of Holy Cross, attended a meeting of thirty scholars on January 4-5, 2016, held at the Patriarchate in Constantinople. The purpose of the encounter was to establish connections with theologians and academics working in various disciplines and ministries throughout the world in order to become better acquainted with their interests and aspirations for the Church, especially in light of the Holy and Great Council. In his address to the scholars, His All-Holiness noted: “We have invited you because we consider you as a small representative group of a much larger segment of our Church, a symbol of our loving concern for all those ministering to the Word of God in manifold ways throughout the world. You comprise theologians and historians, scholars and teachers, women and men from the United States and Europe, as well as from Asia and Australia.” “In this way,” he added, “we can strengthen the bonds between hierarchal ministry and lay diakonia for the benefit of the Body of Christ.” The entire text of His All-Holiness’ address is available here.

According to Dr. Skedros, “the gathering was a very positive occasion in concert with the celebration of the Feast of Theophany. Conversations focused on how lay theologians and academics, committed to serving both the academy and the Church, can bring their experiences and expertise to assist with the apostolic witness of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church as a whole.” Dr. Skedros noted in particular that “the meeting focused primarily upon the upcoming Holy and Great Council and how the synod can serve as an important expression of the Orthodox Church’s synodal character.” 

The afternoon of January 5th was dedicated to an open discussion on preparations for the Holy and Great Council. His Eminence Senior Metropolitan John of Pergamon chaired two extensive sessions and addressed participants, engaging in wide-ranging discussions with the scholars about goals, challenges, and opportunities of the Council. 

Several Holy Cross alumni were present at the meeting: Dr. George Demacopoulos, Fordham University; Dr. Perry Hamalis, North Central College; Dr. John Klentos, Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute; V. Rev. Dr. Panteleimon Manoussakis, Holy Cross College; V. Rev. Dr. Chrysostomos Nassis, University of Thessaloniki; Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University; V. Rev. Dr. Nathanael Symeonidis, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; and Dr. Anton Vrame, Department of Religious Education.