Ecumenical Patriarchate, European bishops to commemorate Edict of Milan
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in conjunction with the
Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE), is commemorating
the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan by hosting a conference
devoted to religious freedom.
The edict, issued by Constantine, granted “to the Christians and others
full authority to observe that religion which each preferred.” The
conference will be moderated by Cardinal Péter Erdö of
Esztergom-Budapest and Metropolitan Emmanuel, who heads an Orthodox
diocese in France.
“1700 years after the Edict of Milan, Christians are still dying in the
world for their adherence to Christ, while in Europe the acts of
intolerance and discrimination against Christians are on the increase,”
said Metropolitan Emmanuel. “So we thought it appropriate to recall the
anniversary of this important Edict for the history of Europe with a
seminar which will enable us to take stock of religious freedom in
Europe and the world, in the knowledge that Christianity is a gift for
those societies which have welcomed it.”
Keynote speakers at the conference, which will take place in Istanbul on
May 17 and 18, include scholars from Yale University and the Ambrosian
Library; other speakers include representatives of the Jewish and Muslim
communities and the Turkish government. A Maronite Catholic archbishop
will discuss the situation of Christians in the Middle East.