PANEGYRIC FEAST FOR THE 15-YEAR MINISTRY OF THE BISHOP OF CORFU, PAXOI AND DIAPONTIAN ISLANDS MR. NEKTARIOS ALONG WITH THE PRESENTATION OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL CODE OF CORFU
On Wednesday’s afternoon, November 22, 2017, the Holy Metropolis of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands organized in the Amphitheatre of the Chronically Suffering People’s foundation “The Platytera”, a panegyric feast for the 15-year ministry of the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios.
Moreover, the special anniversary volume “The Ecclesiastical Code of Corfu” by mr. Konstantinos Thimis, Secretary of the Holy Metropolis was presented.
The event was opened by the Choir of the Ecclesiastical Music School of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu “Saint Arsenios”, under the direction of the Chief- chanter mr. Georgios Ladovrechis.
In his speech, mr. Nektarios, being deeply emotional, thanked from the bottom of his heart, the Holy Clergy of the Local Church, the Monasterial communities, his associates in the offices of the Holy Metropolis, those who work in the Foundations of the local Church, in the Chronically Suffering People’s Foundation “The Platytera”, in the school for children with special needs, in the Kindergarten School “ELENI BELLOU”, in the production of the common meals and Social Supermarkets of the Metropolis, but above all the blessed people of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, who gave him their love and appreciation from the first moment that he took this position.
Furthermore, the Bishop emphasized the fact that the mission of the Bishop is to hold a Cross. As spiritual father, he is called to hear the pain, the problems and the worries of his spiritual children. He cannot be calm until even the very last member of the local Church has food to eat and water to drink. It is a huge responsibility that the Bishop bears in front of Christ, since on Judgement Day, he will apologize in front of Him.
In his conclusion, mr. Nektarios asked the attendees to pray to God for him in order to continue his work as a catechist of all people and especially of the young ones.
The first speaker was the Archimandrite Ioustinos Konstantas, Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis, who briefly referred to the 15-year ministry of his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, mr. Nektarios while emphasized at the same time, the personality of the Bishop, his ecclesiastical morality as an example for all of us to imitate, his genuine love, his longanimity and his ability to forgive.
The presentation of the special anniversary volume “The Ecclesiastical Code of Corfu” took place next, with speakers mrs. Eleni Aggelomati- Tsougkaraki, Professor in the Ionian University, father Themistoklis Mourtzanos, General Prelatic Warden of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu and mr. Konstantinos Thimis, Theologian- master of History and Secretary of the Holy Metropolis.
Mrs. Aggelomati- Tsougkaraki noted that the Ecclesiastical Code of Corfu contains 98 documents, dating from 1799 when the first Bishop was elected, till these days. It is worth noting that the Ecclesiastical Code of Corfu is original and one of the few that were saved in Greece because of the foreign occupation, in this case of Venetians, as opposed to other regions which where under the Ottoman occupation.
Father Themistoklis Mourtzanos, General Prelatic Warden of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu talked next. He focused on the conclusions that can be drawn after having studied the Code. The way of Bishops’ election is impressive after the restoration of the Episcopal Throne of Corfu by the Russians in the context of the institution of the Ionian State. The election of the bishop was made by the clergy of the local Church as opposed to the election of Protopappas, which was made by an elected body of 20 priests and 30 noblemen. After the incorporation of the Ionian State’s Church to the Church of Greece, the election of Bishop was transferred to a synodical-central level. Generally speaking, in all different ways of election, we notice the absence of the people. During the years of the Ionian State, just like during the Venetian Occupation, we see the local character of the election.
But perhaps the time has come, during which the clergy and the people in a province need to have a further say in the ecclesiastical matters including that of Bishop’s election. Moreover, Corfu has always had influence and this is depicted in the Code as well. The state held by law, which till these days continues to validate the decisions of the Church, especially those of Bishops’ elections by Presidential decrees, shows the Church and State’s relationship since the Byzantine period. It also raises concerns regarding the whole debate on the separation of State and the Church which is always brought back by different people. The way of electing indicates not only the distinctiveness of the roles but also the deep desire of the State and the Church to be together.
Closing his speech, father Themistoklis congratulated the author on his dissertation and the Bishop who decided to publish this volume.
Then the author, mr. Konstantinos Thimis started talking. Firstly, he thanked the Holy Trinity, Saint Spyridon and Saint Theodora the Queen. Secondly, he talked about his deep emotions during the time that he was writing the volume, while mentioning every single Bishop who served the Church of Corfu, the Clergy who are remembered for their morals, their piousness, their integrity and their Corfiot nobility.
What is more, mr. Thimis thanked everyone who helped him in order for this volume to be completed. First and foremost, the Bishop of Corfu who supported him from the very first moment. Also he thanked the Communicative and Educative Institution of the Holy Metropolis “Saint Spyridon”, along with his professor mrs. Eleni Aggelomati- Tsougkaraki.
A video of the 15-year ministry of mr. Nektarios followed.
The Greco- Catholic Archbishop of Corfu, mr. Ioannis Spiteris, the Deputy Governor mr. Michalas, the President of the Municipal Council of Corfu mrs. Mouzakiti and the Vice Dean of the Ionian University mr. Pappas also addressed the attendees.
The event was coordinated by mr. Christos Desyllas, Theologian, Dr. of History and Director of the Personal Office of the Bishop.