8 September 2003
The Church of Greece Has Rejected Patriarchates Claim
The Patriarchate of Constantinople has asked the Church of Greece to submit the list of candidates for the Metropolis of Salonica for approval. The H. Synod of the Church of Greece answered negatively, objecting that such a submission restricts its authority as an autocephalous Church. Besides, the Patriarchate has since 1929 signed its abdication from the claim to approve. Consequently, the Church of Greece has not an obligation to submit list of candidates. But doing honour to the Patriarchate, the Church of Greece is sending the list for information only.
[ecclesia report, Sept. 5]
"The request by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to approve the list of candidate metropolitans in the "New Territories" raises questions among circles that have no particular interest in religious affairs, nor any reason to be fond of Christodoulos. The latest fray between the two churches is the last thing needed in a country that has been repeatedly exposed to outside threats. Fortunately, Christodoulos has so far resisted pouring more oil on the flames."
["Kathimerini" daily, August 27]
The Archbishop in Brussels
Archbishop Christodoulos will visit Brussels in October 4-8. Archbishop will have talks with the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi and the President of the European Parliament Pat Cox. Archbishop will give a talk in the Hall of EPP-ED.
We'll publish the full schedule of the visit soon.
[ecclesia report, Sept. 5]
Prodi Calls for Recognition of Christianity in Euro Text
The inseparable bond between Europe and Christianity calls for the latter's recognition in the Constitutional Treaty, says the president of the European Commission.
Romano Prodi demonstrated his conviction in No. 3 of Dialoghi, the quarterly magazine of Italian Catholic Action, where he describes some aspects of the "Europe we are and the one we should be."
According to Prodi, "the monotheist religions, particularly the Christian religion," have been "one of the essential roots of Europe and one of its factors of development," as "the history of Europe and the history of Christianity are indissolubly united." All this "must be recognized in the Constitutional Treaty," he writes.
In Prodi's opinion, recognition of the Christian roots does not impede "discovering the roots that link Europe with the people of Israel" and "affirming our will to dialogue with Islam." On the contrary, "the encounter of values of different inspirations" can become "a factor of greater integration," overcoming the "conflicts which have divided us for centuries," he said.
It is an imperative step given the role the continent is called to assume "in a context of multilateralism and supranational democracy" on the international scene, very different from the image offered until today of a Europe "of division and political calculations," Prodi added.
[Source: Zenit, 4 Sept]
European Parliament Report Calls for the Abolition of the Special Status of Mount Athos
The plenary session of the Euro-Parliament passed a proposal-report prepared by French Euro-deputy Fode Sylla concerning the EU Fundamental Rights situation for 2002, which includes, among others, a reference to the special status enjoyed by the monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece.
In essence, the Euro-deputies call on the Greek government to proceed with the lifting of the entry ban to Mount Athos directed on women.
The Sylla report got negative votes from the Euro-deputies of the Greek governing Socialist Party of PASOK. After the vote, the head of PASOK's Euro-deputies Mr. Katiforis submitted a written statement to the Euro-Parliament Presiding Board justifying their position. Among others, they mentioned that Mount Athos enjoys a special status, which was secured with a joint statement included in Greece's EEC Accession Treaty
It is also mentioned that in the Amsterdam Treaty Final Act annex there is a statement by Greece, which is a reminder of the Joint Statement on Mount Athos attached to the Final Act of Greece's Accession Treaty.
[MEP, 4 Sept]
See on Myriobiblos Library:
I. Konidaris, The Mount Athos Avaton
The Greek Alternate Foreign Minister On the Status of Mount Athos
The special status enjoyed by the monastic community of Mount Athos, northern Greece, is directly linked with a history of over one thousand years in Greece, with the country's traditions, values, symbols and religious faith, stated Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Tasos Yiannitsis.
The statement was made on the occasion of the report on the fundamental rights situation in the EU that was passed in the European Parliament. The report, among others, calls on the Greek government to lift the entry ban to Mount Athos directed on women.
Mr. Yiannitsis also stressed that the status of Mount Athos is special and the Greek government is firm in defending it.
[MEP, 4 Sept]
Vatican Committee Organizes Summer School on Greek and Latin Literature
As the debate on European roots continues, concrete initiatives are underway by the Holy See to further study in European culture. One such initiative comes from the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, which organizes a summer school "Schola Aestiva" in Sicily.
A campus will be available from September 11-19, for students interested in the study of Greek and Latin texts, both classic as well as Christian. Professor Giovanni Maria Vian, of the Department of Patristic Philology of Rome's "La Sapienza" University, and member of the Pontifical Organizing Committee, heads the program.
Professor Vian explained in statements to ZENIT that "the idea of this course is to return to the sources of European culture, to the Greco-Roman, pagan, and Christian roots." In order to do so, "twenty students have been invited of the Universities of Athens, Greece; Heidelberg, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Kiel, Germany; and Rome, Italy; who will share ten days of September in Oliveri, Sicily with humanities professors." "The majority of students are girls," professor Vian said, commenting on those most interested in the program.
The course will count on the participation of German professor Walter Berschin, regarded as one of the most outstanding specialists in the Middle Ages, both Greek and Latin.
See on Myriobiblos Library:
Philologist Vian told ZENIT that His Beatitude Christodoulos, archbishop of Athens and all Greece, wrote a letter to Kostas Simitis, current rotating president of the European Union, during the first semester of this year, requesting the study of Greek and Latin.
Valuation and knowledge of Greek
Early Byzantine Italy and the Maritime Lands of the West
From the Middle of the Eleven Century to the Latin Conquest of Constantinople
According to Vian, the proposal was "unheard of, as until now the Greeks did not take Latin into consideration, and it is the first time that they speak officially of it."
The school is one of the "Ad fontes" projects proposed by the Pontifical Committee to "uphold humanistic formation in schools and universities throughout Europe and thus contribute effectively to the debate on the cultural roots of the continent."
According to a statement of the committee, "without the study of Latin, Greek, and the Classic and Christian heritage, there is the danger of losing the characteristic traces of European identity, precisely at the time when there is a desire to build the unity of the continent"