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Dr. Paul Meyendorff Attends Inter-Orthodox Meeting in Kos, Greece
11–17 October 2012 • Off–Campus • Virginia Nieuwsma
From October 11–17, Dr. Paul Meyendorff, The Fr. Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology and editor of St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, participated in the Inter–Orthodox Pre–Assembly Consultation in Kos, Greece. The meeting, sponsored through the initiative of the World Council of Churches (WCC), gathered approximately forty Eastern and Oriental Orthodox bishops and theologians to prepare for the next WCC Assembly in Busan, Korea, slated for October 2013.
The WCC website reported that the presiding hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Kos and Nysiros, was joined by "His Eminence Metropolitan Prof. Dr. Gennadios of Sassima on behalf of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and His Eminence Metropolitan Mor Eustathius Matta Roham on behalf of the Oriental Orthodox Church."
Dr. Meyendorff attended the consultation as a representative of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), and chaired the drafting committee, which prepared a common Orthodox response concerning the theme of the Assembly: "God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace." The statement, which affirms the commitment of the Orthodox to work for justice and peace on the basis of the Orthodox theological tradition, will be published on the WCC website.
Meeting on the island of Kos, Greece, amidst an atmosphere of economic distress and difficulty, the theologians and hierarchs prayed for the sufferings of the Greek people, and expressed the hope that they would soon experience relief from hardship. Throughout the week of the consultation, delegates visited several local parishes for worship, to learn about the realities of daily life in Kos.
Some of the bishops and theologians participating in the consultation hailed from the Middle East, and they spoke to the group about new developments in the troubled region. Attendees expressed "their deep concern for the escalation of violence in the region, especially in Syria, (and) prayed for peace in the Middle East," noted the WCC's report afterwards.