With the blessings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the spiritual leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (
held a historic and very successful Conference on the Ecumenical Patriarchate
with the theme, Reflecting on the Past –
Looking Towards the Future. Canada
The Conference was held at the Metropolitan Centre in
and attended by 300 individuals,
including many dignitaries. Toronto
The day began with introductory remarks from Metropolitan Sotirios and a video address by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Four distinguished speakers presented on various subjects that aligned with the Conference’s theme:
· Fr. Maximos Constas, a former Professor at the Harvard Divinity School, a monk at the Monastery of Simonopetra on Mount Athos, who is currently a Senior Research Scholar at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, discussed the historical and ecclesiastical role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and, specifically, St. Proklos of Constantinople.
· The keynote address was given by His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea on the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s sacred missionary work. A short but moving video was also shown about Orthodoxy in
Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Andrew Bennett, spoke on Truth, Dignity and Justice and on efforts to promote religious freedom
around the world, particularly in . Turkey
· The Order of St. Andrew’s National Commander, Dr. Anthony Limberakis, discussed the Order’s efforts to defend, protect and promote the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
A number of prominent North American Orthodox clergymen participated in the Conference including His Grace Bishop Christophoros of Andida, His Grace Bishop Ilia of Philomelion and His Grace Bishop Andriy of Krateia, each of the Ecumenical Throne, as well as His Grace Bishop Georgije of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Other eminent attendees included His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins; Robert W. Peck, Ambassador of Canada to Greece; Alexandros Ioannidis, Consul General of Greece in Toronto; Rev. Fr. Alex Karloutsos of the U.S. Archdiocese; James Anas, President of the Canadian Archons; Efthimia Coutsougeras, President of the Metropolis Philoptochos; Archdeacon Bruce Myers, Representing the Most Rev. Frederick James Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary – Canadian Council of Churches; and, Dr. Kenneth Matziorinis, President of AHEPA Canada.
The Conference was a unique opportunity for participants and interested observers to learn about the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its illustrious history, present-day challenges and sacred role in Christendom, as well as the many honourable and principled initiatives of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the 270th successor of St. Andrew the Apostle.
During his concluding remarks, Metropolitan Sotirios specifically thanked Fr. Fanourios Pappas (Parish Priest at St. Nicholas) and Mr. E. Sotiropoulos, who were the principle organizers of the Conference. In addition, His Eminence conveyed the love, good wishes and blessings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. He also thanked and glorified the Triune God and requested that participants do the same; after praising God, everyone chanted the blessed Phos Hilaron.
Photos and videos from the Conference are available on the Metropolis website gometropolis.org and YouTube channel GOMetropolisToronto.
From the office of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of
Toronto ( ) Canada
October 22, 2014