Thursday, November 15, 2018

Orthodox Episcopal Conference of Benelux met

Brussels ( - The Orthodox Episcopal Conference of Benelux (CEOB) met, for the sixteenth time, at the headquarters of the Orthodox Metropolis, Avenue Charbo 71 in Brussels, on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, under the chairmanship of His Eminence the Metropolitan Athénagoras of Belgium (Ecumenical Patriarchate). Also present were Bishop Marc, representative of Metropolitan Joseph (Patriarchate of Romania) and Bishop Dosithée (Patriarchate of Georgia).

This meeting of the Episcopal Conference began with a prayer for the unity of the Orthodox Church.

The dialogue of the religions recognized by the Belgian State with the federal government was a subject presented by His Eminence the Metropolitan of Belgium Athenagoras so that the other bishops will learn some important details for the life of the parishes. These include a charter for managers of "non-profit associations" in connection with recognized religions. The bishops were also informed of the developments concerning the Orthodox chaplaincies in Belgian prisons and armies.

The Institute of Orthodox Theology "Apostle Paul" and his new curriculum was also a subject of exchange and reflection. Two new years are added: the preparatory year and the year of the master program. The bishops undertake to inform the faithful.

The bishops also discussed topics related to the life of Orthodoxy in the Netherlands. They heard important news about the foundation "Orthodox Church in the Netherlands", making the decision to proceed to a sending authority (zendende instantie) specific to the Orthodox Church and in collaboration with the ancient Eastern Churches. They also discussed the protocol of the "Confidentiality Committee in the Netherlands" (Protocol voor de vertrouwenscommissie).

The bishops had the opportunity to exchange new information on the different Orthodox presences and in particular on the visit of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the three Benelux countries in November 2019, on the occasion of the Jubilee of of the Holy Metropolis of Belgium, created in 1969. This visit will give the opportunity of a meeting of the patriarch with the members of the CEOB. The next meeting of the Benelux Orthodox Episcopal Conference will take place on 4 June 2019.

The Benelux Orthodox Episcopal Conference was created by a decision of the 4th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Conference held in Chambésy (Geneva) in June 2009.

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