Halki Summit V becomes an inspiration for environmental projects in Romania

The participants at the Fifth Halki Summit, dedicated to protecting the environment and entitled “Sustaining the Future of the Planet Together”, issued a joint statement at the end of the conference. The participants from Romania met organizations working in the field and discovered inspiration and possibilities for cooperation.

In the post-event statement, participants called on the Sister Churches and all those who care about “our common home”, Planet Earth, to get involved in educating people and to develop “a shared ecological ethos.”

As artisans of peace and fraternity, we seek to implement good practices, committing ourselves to work on interdisciplinary pathways to form new paradigms that can interpret and transform reality. In this way, we aspire to overcome the culture of waste, knowing that what we do to our world, “we also do to the least of our brothers and sisters” (Mt 25.40).

In this regard, they declared that they fully adhere to the exhortation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to reinforce connections between ourselves and all of God’s creation,” between our faith and our action, between our theology and our spirituality, between what we say and what we do, between science and religion,” as well as the connection of responsibility we have towards future generations.

A Romanian delegation attended the fifth edition of the Halki Summit, including Father Ciprian Ioniță, Patriarchal Counselor, Father Vasile Stanciu, Director of the Doctoral School “Isidor Todoran” at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca, Father Ioan Chirilă, Professor at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Cluj-Napoca, and PhD student Cristiana Sporea.

“It was a special experience for me, especially since we have this project, Eco-initiatives, which we carry out in the Archdiocese of Bucharest and the Metropolis of Bessarabia, with the help of Diaconia Social Mission,” said Father Ciprian Ioniță, President of Filatropia Federation of the Romanian Patriarchate.

“I have seen that the other Orthodox Churches are also involved in such projects. For example, some organizations of the sister Orthodox Churches have already published materials; they have certain curricula and are already doing training sessions. So we have established links with other organizations – not only in the Orthodox world – that are doing such projects.”

Father Ciprian Ioniță said that the most helpful thing remaining after the summit was the conviction that the organizations of the Romanian Orthodox Church can initiate several ecology projects, especially with a practical component, together with organizations from abroad.

Rev. Professor Ioan Chirilă from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at “Babeș-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca is currently working on an educational program with an ecological theme. It will be addressed both to the children participating in the Eco-Initiatives project camps and to the clergy involved in the project.

The pilot project “Eco-initiatives in the parishes of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Romania and the Republic of Moldova” is an educational program. However, it also has a practical component, Father Ciprian Ioniță recalled.

“After a camp with such a theme, where they learn to be environmentally friendly, follow nine months in which children must do practical activities in their parish group,” the President of Filantropia Federation noted.

The fifth Halki Summit took place in Istanbul on June 8-11, 2022. The Halki Summit is an initiative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to discuss the future of the planet and ways to adopt an ecological ethic.

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Photography courtesy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

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