XXIst International Ecumenical Conference,on Orthodox Spirituality
- Press Release, 29 August 2013
*XXIst International Ecumenical Conference
on Orthodox Spirituality***
/in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches /
**THE AGES OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE *
Monastery of Bose, 4-7 September 2013
/The Ages of the Spiritual Life/ is the title, inspired by the book of
the Russian theologian Paul Evdokimov, of the 21st International
Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality, organized in
collaboration with the Orthodox Churches, which will be held at the
Monastery of Bose on 4--7 September 2013.
The passage from one age to another in life is the common experience of
all, but is often difficult to live. Contemporary culture, held between
the idolatry of immutable youth and the removal of old age and of death,
appears to have lost a sense of the bounds between the ages of life and
to postpone to an indefinite future the decisions of mature age. In the
understanding of the Christian East the spiritual life is essential for
authentic human maturity.
The conference in Bose, with the participation of bishops and monks
belonging to the Orthodox Churches, to the Reform, and to the Catholic
Church and of scholars from various countries, intends to listen to the
wisdom of the fathers and to offer a space for reflection on the theme
of spiritual maturity through crises of passage and phases of trial.
Particular attention will be paid to the final phase of life and of
Christian hope in the face of death.
In the inaugural session the speakers will be *Enzo Bianchi*, prior of
Bose, bishop Iosif of Patara, delegate of the ecumenical patriarch
Bartholomew ("Spiritual life and Christian unity"), father *Michail
Z(eltov* of the Moscow Patriarchate ("Baptism, the source of life in
In four days of meetings and discussions open to the public the speakers
will be: Biblical scholars (*Andrej Desnickij*, Moscow; *Petros
Vassiliadis*, Thessalonica), patrologists (*Sebastian Brock*, Oxford;
*Andrew Louth*, Durham; *Symeon Paschalidis*, Thessalonica; *Norman
Russell*, Farnham), eastern and western monks (fr *Michel Van Parys*,
Chevetogne monastery; igumen *Metodije Markovic'*, Monastery of St
Nicholas, Vranje; igumen *Nikolay Pavlyk*, Holy Trinity-St Sergius
Lavra), theologians and writers (*Vassilios Thermos*, Athens; *Andrei
Ples,u*, Bucharest; *John Behr*, New York; *Porphyrios Giorgi*, Balamand).
Christian spiritual life is born in baptism, with incorporation in
Christ, and grows to the measure of full maturity in Christ (Eph 4:13).
In the ascetic tradition, spiritual growth goes through various stages
or steps, in which the person learns to know its own limits, also the
Spirit's action, which leads to the transfiguration of everything human.
What indications does the Orthodox monastic tradition offer for
understanding the relation between the various stages of human life and
the ages of spiritual life? What is the relation between youth and
spiritual fervor, between middle age and service to one's neighbor,
between old age and Christian hope in sickness and in death?
These are some of the questions that will be treated in an exchange of
views moderated by Konstantin Sigov (Kiev), dedicated to /Christian hope
in the ages of life/, with the participation of *Michel Evdokimov*
(Paris), *Antoine Arjakovsky* (Paris), *Athanasios Papathanassiou*
(Athens), and metropolitan *Vassilios* (Karayannis) of Kostantia and
Ammochostos, delegate of the Archbishop Cyprus Chrysostomos II,
moderator of the commission "Faith and Order" of the World Council of
Churches, rappresented at the conference by *Michel Nseir*.
Learning to discern the Spirit's action in every age means also opening
paths of hope for men and women who experience suffering and loneliness.
The Church, as a space of communion and of communication among men and
between men and God, is also an occasion for a fraternal encounter so as
to live time that has sense. This theme will be treated in the final
paper of the conference, "Time in the life of the Church", by bishop
*Maxim* of Western America of the Serbian Orthodox Church (Los Angeles).
Those present at the conference for the Catholic Church will be:
*Mansueto Bianchi*, bishop of Pistoia, president of the commission
"Ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue" of the Italian Bishops'
Conference, archbishop *Antonio Mennini*, apostolic nuncio in the United
Kingdom, bishop *Gabriele Mana* of Biella, retired archbishop of Perugia
*Giuseppe Chiaretti*, and *Hyacinthe Destivelle*, the delegate of the
Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
Bishop *Konstantin* (Ostrovskij) of Zarajsk will lead the delegation of
the Moscow Patriarchate, which includes father *Dimitrij Sizonenko*,
responsible for inter-Christian dialogue of the Departemnt for external
relations. Other participants will be archbishop *Stefan* of Homel' and
Z(hiobin (Exarchate of Belarus), metropolitan *Zosima* of Vladikavkaz,
father *Stefan Domuschi*, delegate of the Moscow Theological Academy,
archimandrite *Serafim* (Petrovskij), delegate of metropolitan Aleksandr
of Alma Ata and Kazakhstan, hieromonks *Amvrosij* (Vajnagij) e *Pimen*
(Vojat) of the Lavra of the Caves in Kiev, delegates of metropolitan
*Antonij* of Boryspil, vicar of the metropolitan of Kiev and rector of
the Kiev Theological Academy.
Bishop *Ignatie* of Mures, of the Romanian Orthodox Church will
represent patriarch Daniel. Other participants will be metropolitan
*Dometian* of Vidin and bishop *Boris* of Agatonitsa (Bulgarian Orthodox
Church), bishop *Alexander* (Golitzin) of Toledo and bishop
*Melchisedek* of Pittsburgh (Orthodox Church of America), fr *Zakaria
*(Baghumian) (Armenian Apostolic Church), delegate of the Catholikos of
all Armenians Garechin II, archimandrite *Athenagoras* (Fasiolo)
(Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Malta), canon *Hugh Wybrew* (Church
of England), delegate of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
To be noted is the presence of monks and nuns from Orthodox monasteries
(Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Mount Sinai,
Armenia, France, England, United States), from Catholic and Reformed
monasteries (Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary). We note also
the presence of father *Joustinos* of the St Catherine Monastery on
Sinai in Egypt, fr *Evdokimos Karakoulakis* of the Koutloumoussiou
monastery on Mount Athos, of fr *Vasilije* (Grolimund) of Geilnau.
Present at the conference will be the ambassador of Romania to the Holy
See *Bogdan Tataru*, the consul general of the Russian Federation in
Milan *Aleksandr Nourizade*, and professors *Gelian Prochorov* (St
Petersburg), *Spyridon Kontoyannis* and *Nikitas Aliprandis* (Athens),
*Pantelis Kalaitzidis* (Volos).
***THE AGES OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE*
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