Benelux Orthodox Bishops concerned over the lack of Orthodox religious education teachers

The canonical Orthodox bishops of the Benelux Union voiced worry about the unavailability of instructors for Orthodox religious education during their 25th assembly last week and invited applications. The hierarchs also addressed methods to increase the quality of religious education curricula.

On behalf of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Iosif of Western and Southern Europe was represented by his Assistant Bishop Marc of Neamț at the Orthodox Bishops’ Assembly of Benelux, which met in Brussels on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.

Theological and religious education in the region was discussed at the sessions.

The meeting was presided over by Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium, who briefed the bishops about the Orthodox presence in the Netherlands and the operation of the “St. Irenaios” Orthodox Theological Institute at the University of Nimègue.

The hierarchs also examined the history and growth of the Orthodox Church’s position in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

The bishops examined the functioning of the Institute of Orthodox Theology “Apostle Paul” in its two parts (Dutch and French-speaking), as well as some aspects of Orthodox education in Belgium. They expressed concern over the tendency to marginalise religious education in public and community schools in Belgium.

Concerning Flanders, the bishops have carefully considered topics such as parishioner recognition, digitisation, the list of clergy members, pastoral care in hospitals, and others.

The Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Benelux held its 25th meeting on November 16 at the offices of the Greek Metropolis in Brussels, under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium (Ecumenical Patriarchate).

Participants included Metropolitan Isaac (Patriarchate of Antioch), Bishop John of Domodedovos, a representative of Metropolitan John of Doubna (Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox parishes – Patriarchate of Moscow), Bishop Justin (Patriarchate of Serbia), Bishop Marc of Neamț (Romanian Patriarchate), Bishop Dositheos (Patriarchate of Georgia), and Bishop Ioakeim of Apollonia (Assistant of the Greek Metropolitan of Belgium).

The next meeting of the Assembly Orthodox Canonical Bishops of Benelux is scheduled for June 6, 2023.

The Orthodox Bishops’ Assembly of Benelux was established following a decision of the Fourth Pan-Orthodox Preconciliar Conference convened in Chambésy, Geneva, in June 2009.


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