Bishop of Corfu, Mr. Nektarios: “To find in Christ the real spirituality”
On the morning of Saturday, February 16, 2019, was held at the Spiritual Center, with the support of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu and the Union of Christian Scientists of the Prefecture of Corfu, a special historic meeting of the Hellenic Bible Society on the 200th anniversary of its foundation in Corfu.
The meeting was addressed by the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios, who pointed out, inter alia, the following:
“The Greek Bible Society exists to spread the Holy Bible. When it was founded in the Greek world our people, despite the great efforts of the Church and many enlightened scholars, faced a huge problem and education and spiritual training. That is why the spread of the Bible was a very important event … For Orthodox theology, the Holy Bible along with the Holy Tradition are the two pillars upon which our Christian faith is based. In Orthodox worship, the Bible plays a key role. There is no Sequence in which the word of God is not used directly and indirectly. Immediately with the quote of excerpts of Evangelical and Apostolic, as well as Old Testament, from the psalms, prophecies, the Pentateuch and other historical books. Indirectly using paraphrase as the basis for hymns and other wishes.
Of course, and for Orthodox theology, the word of God must be in every house in every family. However, the interpretation of the Bible is not meant outside of the ecclesiastical way, and it has to do with the Fathers of our Church who studied, memorized, preached the biblical discourse, giving us the criteria of true spirituality and experience and interpretation.
We therefore welcome and congratulate on the initiatives of both the Biblical Society and the Apostolic Ministry of the Church of Greece, as well as the Orthodox Christian organizations so that the Old Testament and the Old Testament can be translated into translations, approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all the Orthodox Churches, performances and brief interpretations, so that the people of God, and every one interested in the truth of faith, can study and search the scriptures. Great is today the facility with the online accessibility of the Biblical Logos and here the Greek Bible Society is pioneering, as everyone can read the Bible on the Internet and in the approved translation.
In times in which spirituality has been disconnected from the biblical tradition and Christ is degraded as a teacher along with all other religious initiates, it is our responsibility in and through biblical reason to demonstrate the Christ-centeredness of our hope ”
The first speaker on behalf of the Orthodox Church was Dimitris Metallinos, Professor of the Department of Archives and Library Science of the Ionian University, who in his contribution referred to the historical elements of the creation and subsequent course of the Biblical Society in the Ionian Islands initially and in the rest of Greece later. The speaker pointed out that the phenomena of atheism, religious indifference and, above all, religious neutrality, which is now being demanded to be enforced in our country’s constitution, now necessitate the re-announcement of the so-called Christian countries on the basis of the common tradition and conciliarity, of the first millennium of the common and undistorted framework of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Then the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archbishop Ioannis Spiteris, who referred to the efforts of the Second Vatican Synod to cultivate the word of God, emphasized the indifference of Christians on the Gospel and the responsibility of all confessions to fight the Bible and be read and applied. Besides, the Bible is the basis of the Christian tradition, along with the teaching of the Church’s tradition.
Afterwards, the Bishop of Evangelical Church of Corfu, Mr. Miltiadis Pantelios, also made a retrospection in the history of the Biblical Society, pointing out the collaboration of the Biblical Society with the prevailing confession in every place and the prospect of the word God is given in a language understood by the people. He stressed that in Greece today Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestants use the translation of the Biblical Society, which is approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, uniting and collaborating.
Then, the chairman of the Hellenic Bible Society, his Eminence the Bishop of Demetrias and Almyros Mr. Ignatios, spoke, who pointed out that for the last 20 years the trust between the Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic and the Protestant Brothers has been forged, and Greece is a model to be imitated and the other Orthodox churches, with the sole purpose of re-evangelizing our people, in order for the Greeks to re-examine the word of God. The EWC has been able to have its approved version today by the Orthodox Patriarchates and the Church of Greece, as it also provides for our constitution, giving the widest possible audience a translation of the New Testament. Another area of cooperation through the EWC is the protection of the family, the cell of our society, which is in other words the union of man and woman and co-creation.
Moreover, Mr Ignatios referred to the attempted change of Article 3 of the Constitution in order to make our country a neutral state. In this change nobody agrees. The constitution provides for and includes freedom of religion. Evidence is that recently all Christian and other Homologues in Greece were recognized, they left the status of just a private presence and entered a status that recognizes their religiosity. Nothing prevents everyone from feeling free in this place, practicing his religious duties, having the faith that he wants, and, of course, at the same time having a paragraph in the Constitution that there is a majority vote, the Orthodox. Unfortunately what they are trying to do will lead all Christians to a margin, with the known results that will come after any court decisions.
Ending his Eminence the Bishop of Demetrias and Almiros, he reminded the audience by the danger of secularization in a Greece where the critical moments we are passing create conditions to prevail against other trends, completely anti-biblical from the other side, of a black cloud that separates people and is amazed by how anyone can understand it. The saving answer is to remain Christians, who will preach that every person is a living image of Christ. The sacred Cleric, on the other hand, offers the Light and the Truth of the Risen Lord.
Then the CEO of GBS Mr. Michalis Hatzigiannis informed about the operation of the Company.
On behalf of the Union of Christian Scientists, Mrs. Irini Malaha addressed the greeting.
Coordinator of the Conference was Prot. Themistoklis Mourtzanos, General Prelatic Warden of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu.