Over the next few days a total of 140 archbishops and bishops will participate in a five-day event in Istanbul (Constantinople) between August 29 and September 2. The Synaxis of the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne is an annual event of the Patriarchate to celebrate the beginning of the Ecclesial Year and coincides with the Orthodox day for the Environment.
This year’s event is quite unique, as this is perhaps the first time that the fullest cohort of bishops possible was invited (rather than just representatives) and a large number came. All the bishops of the “new lands” in Greece were invited, for example. These are diocese now within the Republic of Greece who find spiritual authority in the Ecumenical Throne but were cut off from the Ecumenical Throne some eight decades ago with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and while still under the spiritual aegis of the Ecumenical Patriarch are also members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.
The purpose of the meeting seems to be twofold to celebrate the beginning of the Church Year on 1st September, but also learn about preparations for the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Synod, which is scheduled to be held next year (2016) and as a forum for the prelates to exchange ideas and discuss a wide-range of issues, such as the environment and churches’ role on the matter, interfaith dialogue and other social issues. This is not a decision making council but a meeting to bring fellow hierarchy up to date about the Church’s participation in various dialogues and forums. Clerics from churches in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia are in attendance.
Let us pray for our hierarchs and the Church of Christ
Videos of proceedings (mainly in Greek) from Amen.gr
On TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2015, Orthodox hierarchs from all over the world will gather in the Patriarchal Church of St. George at the Phanar in Constantinople for the Ceremony of the Indiction, the official proclamation of a new year of grace. This year, more than 100 hierarchs will sign the Act of Indiction, in order of seniority, beginning with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW and continuing to the most recently consecrated ruling bishop.