Orthodox Academy of Crete celebrates 50th anniversary

Several religious and cultural manifestations were organized on October 2-4, 2018, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Orthodox Academy of Crete.

The events organized at Kolymbari, Crete, were chaired by His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.


On behalf of the Romanian Patriarch, the festivities were attended by His Grace Bishop Visarion of Tulcea.

Also present were Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, and Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the President of the Greek Republic.

A working session was held Tuesday, October 2, at the Academy, where new members were elected and proposals for the future were made.

St Nikephoros Church

The same day, His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew led the consecration ceremony of the first church dedicated to Saint Nikephoros the Leper at Sirikari, 80km far from Chania.

The ceremony was attended by President Pavlopoulos and thousands of believers.

In the evening, His Holiness inaugurated the Annousakeio Intensive Care Unit of the Metropolis of Kissamos and Selinon.

Divine Liturgy and memorial service

On Wednesday, October 3, all hierarchs attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated at the Stavropegic Monastery of Gonia, at the end of which Prof. Konstantinos Zorbas, president of the Academy of Crete, was bestowed the title of Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Following the Divine Liturgy, a memorial service was officiated for the rest of the souls of the founders and benefactors of the Academy.

The Ecumenical Patriarch opened the Gonia monastery’s church museum where some old books printed in Iasi and Bucharest in Greek language are exhibited.

Festive session

The festive session dedicated to the Academy’s 50th anniversary took place Wednesday in the presence of 300 persons in the same place where the works of the Holy and Great Council were held.

As delegate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Visarion conveyed those present the blessing of Patriarch Daniel, and wished a successful and fruitful future ‘to this prestigious Church institution conducting a rich missionary, inter-confessional and knowledge-based activity of the values of ecumenical Orthodoxy, and which in 2016 hosted the works of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.

In his speech, the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos pointed to the role played by the Orthodox Church in the life of today’s society and noted the challenges the Church faces.

‘The manifestations in Crete were loaded with special spiritual meanings through liturgical ministry as well as other festive moments, thus paying a well-deserved tribute to the founders of the Orthodox Academy of Crete, but also to those who today work in the service of Orthodoxy and the fostering of inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian relations,’ Bishop Visarion told Basilica.ro.

Orthodox Academy of Crete

The Orthodox Academy of Crete is a public welfare institution in the category of National Foundations.

It functions in canonical relationship with the Holy Metropolis of Kissamos and Selinon, and it operates under the spiritual auspices of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

The OAC is administered by a 10-member board under the presidency of His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Kissamos and Selinon, Amphilochios.

The basic mission of the OAC is the dialogical witness and the liturgical ministry of Orthodoxy in the modern world; therefore, it is devoted to the cultivation of the spirit of dialogue between Orthodoxy and other confessions and religions, but also between faith, science and culture.

Inspired by the platonic tradition of symphilosophein (philosophising together), the OAC aspires to be a place for dialogue and spiritual exchange in the service of God and humankind.

Foto credit: Episcopia Tulcii

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