Olet täällä

Welcoming Speech at the First meeting of Ecumenical Officers and Secretaries for Theology in Kaunisniemi

Dear fathers, brothers and sisters in Christ,

On behalf of the Orthodox Church of Finland I warmly welcome the Conference of European Churches (CEC) to hold its two-day seminar for the Ecumenical Officers and Secretaries for Theology here at our Retreat Center in Kaunisniemi.

One of the primary objectives of this meeting is to listen the priorities and key questions in the areas of ecclesiology and mission and to identify partners within the “migrant” and “minority ethnic” churches in order to reflect the ecumenical fellowship with them. If I may emphasize that in the Orthodox Church, ecclesiology is often understood in the light of conciliarity. The conciliar method attempts nowadays – for example in our local Church – to place sufficient emphasis on the charism of each part of the Church, hence, bishops, priests and the laity. For us the meaning of conciliarity is important theologically as well. As we might know that the Greek word for “council” is “synodos,” which originates from the words “syn” and “odos,” meaning being on the same road. And journeying towards a common Christian vision should be something that will unite us.

The Orthodox Church in Finland is vivid. We have various ecumenical relations both on the level of dialogues and on the ordinary peoples’ life. We are willing to promote ecumenical relations as well as to be involved in the theological and ethical discussion raised by churches and the society. 

It is a true richness for the orthodoxy in Finland to be between the East and the West, to carry out the Eastern liturgical and theological tradition in the Western society. After all, it is the missionary effort of every one of us to reach those who question Christ and the Church, those who doubt, those who have given up on faith, those who suffer, those who are broken and those who live ecclesiastically outside of the Church. It is here that we once again should find the answers to these questions in order to fulfill our apostolic ministry. There are so many ways to serve this mission.

With these words I wish you all fruitful discussions in the true spirit of the ecumenical fellowship. May our good and life-giving God bless your work during these two days.

© Suomen ortodoksisen arkkipiispan kanslia, Liisankatu 29 A, 00170 Helsinki, puh. 020 6100 240, helsingin.hiippakunta@ort.fi