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Ecumenical Patriarch: “The Ecumenical Patriarchate has never been an expression of an Orthodoxy that is closed to the world”

The ordination of the new Bishop of Dorylaios was performed with splendor

The ordination to the episcopate of the Bishop-Designate Damaskinos of Dorylaios, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropygial Holy Trinity Monastery of Tsangarolon Chania, was celebrated with great splendor on the morning of Sunday, December 15, in the Church of Pammegiston Taxiarchon.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated the Divine Liturgy, which was concelebrated by Metropolitans Dimitrios, Geron of the Princes’ Islands, Irenaios of Myriophytos and Peristasis, Theoleptos of Iconium, Andreas of Arkalochori, Kastelli and Viannos, Pavlos of Servia and Kozani, Dionysios of Corinth, Metropolitan Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronas, Nikiphoros of Kinshasa, Chrysostomos of Trikkis and Stagon, and

Kyrillos of Ierapitnis and Siteia. The abbots of the Mount Athos Monasteries of Lavra and Esphigmenou, Archimandrites Prodromos and Bartholomew, as well as the abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery of Tsangarolon, Archimandrite Amphilochios.

Before the ordination, the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed heartfelt words to the Bishop-Designate Damaskinos in connection with the new apostolic service entrusted to him by the Mother Church, and emphasized the importance of the institution of the Bishop in the Church.

“According to Orthodox ecclesiology, the Bishop is first and foremost the Prelate of the Eucharist, by which all his multidimensional work is nourished. The Bishop is Eucharistic in all aspects of his duty and witness. […]

“The eucharistic, diaconal and eschatological identity of the Church today is threatened not only by secularism, but also by an introverted and barren spirituality, which is often seen as an expression of authentic Orthodox doctrine. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has never been an expression of an Orthodoxy that is closed to the world.

“The theological dialogues of Orthodoxy that were initiated by the Holy Great Church of Christ came into being in the 20th century and continue today. The Church of Constantinople led all the preparation and realization of the Holy and Great Synod in Crete in June 2016, which emphasized the mission and witness of the Orthodox Church in the modern world.”

His All-Holiness then addressed ten paternal exhortations to the new Bishop of the Church:

“First. Preach to the people of God in staunch faithfulness to the dogmatic and canonical tradition of the Church.

“Second. Strive to preserve, cultivate and defend the spiritual value and culture of Orthodoxy.

“Third. As a bishop also remain a servant (deacon) of the people of God. The ‘work of service’ preserves all the wealth of Orthodox charity, the sacrificial love for the ‘brother.’ ‘Shepherds truly prove love. For love the Great Shepherd is crucified’ (John of Sinai, Ladder of Divine Ascent, 11,1).

“Fourth. To be interested in the existential problems of modern man, to know the impasses, but also to appreciate and exploit the positive perspectives of the culture of our time.

“Fifth. Always remember that the mission of the Church is to transform the world. Obviously, the rejection of the world cannot be a contribution to its transformation.

“Sixth. Respect for the Orthodox tradition should not be an obstacle to meeting the Christian world. You were educated in Orthodox Theology at the Chambesy Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Geneva and came to know the Roman Catholic and Protestant theological traditions intimately. We are sure that you have acquired a spirit of dialogue there, which you will use in your ministry.

“Seventh. You bear the name of the great theologian and Father of the Church, the dogmatist and leading figure of the Orthodox faith, the hymnographer and melodist, the poet of the ‘dogmatic chants’ of Damascus. Honor this name by devoting yourself to the teaching of the Church, to the study of the Fathers, to the faithful proclamation of the Gospel, and to the good witness to ‘the hope within us.’

“Eighth. In all your efforts, do not forget that nothing is our own work and achievement. God is ‘at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:13).

“The name of the Holy Martyr we celebrate today, Saint Eleutherios, leads us to the last two exhortations to you.

“One, then. Divine grace, always healing the sick and supplying what is missing, does not turn man into a passive recipient of the above gifts. The sublime gift of Christ the Savior to us is freedom as a share in the God-given reality of the Church, which is the place where the ‘new creation’ of man is realized as deliverance from sin and death, and as a Christlike repentance in the hope of eternal life. The Church’s pathway to freedom is the way of the cross. We carry our cross, always gazing at the risen Lord of glory.

“Tenth and last. Monasticism is the flesh of the flesh of the Church and fleshes out, with its ascetic ethics, eschatological orientation, and the high spiritual culture it has created, the ‘common freedom’ in the Church, as an authentic testimony of the coming of grace and the expected fullness in the Kingdom. Monasticism is transcendent not only of its own but also of our ‘being,’ insofar as it is expressed ‘pharisaically’ as self-righteousness or as claiming rights and privileges. The unconditional and limitless offer of oneself to Christ and the Church is a source of dynamism and creativity and today shows the direction in which modern individualist culture can overcome its many impasses.”

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the newly ordained Bishop, having received the Hierarchical Mitre and the rod from the hands of His All-Holiness, completed the dismissal according to the order of the Hierarchical Throne.

Present and concelebrating were the Hierarchs Konstantinos, Geron of Nicaea, Irenaios of Crete, Chrysostomos of Myra, Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selino, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Athenagoras of Kydonia, Archbishop Anthidonos Nektarios, Commissioner of the Holy Sepulcher in Istanbul, the Bishops Dimitrios of Thermon, Adrianos of Halicarnassus and Irenaios of Efmenias, clergymen, Fathers of Mount Athos, monks, the Deputy Minister of Education and Religious Affairs of Greece, Prof. Vassilios Digalakis, the Consul of Greece in Istanbul, Ms. Danae Vassilakis, the former Deputy Foreign Minister, Antonis Diamataris, the former MP and cabinet minister Christos Markogiannakis, former MP Evangelia Kouroupakis, Archons Offikion of the Holy Great Church of Christ, the mother, relatives and friends of the newly ordained Bishop, numerous believers from Istanbul and pilgrims from Crete, as well as from other areas of Greece.

Immediately afterwards, at the reception given in the Church Community Hall, the new Bishop Damaskinos of Dorylaios, in his address, expressed his devotion and respect to the person of His All-Holiness, and thanked the Holy Hierarchs of the Synod for their election, as well as for participating in his ordination.

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