Bishop Maxim spoke at XXI International Conference on Orthodox Spirituality in Monastery in Bose, Italy

XXI International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality


Bose, Wednesday 4 - Saturday 7 September 2013

in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches

Bose, 9 September 2013

On Saturday, 7 September 2013, the 21st International Ecumenical Conference ended at the Bose Monastery. Hierarchs and monastics belonging to the Orthodox Churches, to the Reform, and to the Catholic Church, after four intense days of meetings and dialogue, ended their work with a prayer for peace in the Bose monastery church, adhering to the appeal of the bishop of Rome, pope Francis.

 The representatives of the Churches

The Bose conference wanted to listen to the wisdom of the fathers, to offer a space for reflection on the theme of spiritual maturity through the crises of passage from one age to another of life, believing that the spiritual dimension is essential for authentic human maturity. This is the idea emphasized in the numerous messages of greeting from the heads of the Churches, among them the messages of the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I, read by the patriarch’s delegate, bishop Iosif of Patara; of metropolitan Ilarion in the name of the patriarch of Moscow Kirill; and that of cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in the name of pope Francis.

For the Catholic Church, those present at the conference were bishop Mansueto Bianchi of Pistoia, president of the commission “Ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue” of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, who read the greeting of bishop Mariano Crociata, secretary general of the Italian Bishops’ Conference; archbishop Antonio Mennini, apostolic nuncio to the United Kingdom; bishop Gabriele Mana of Biella, our local bishop; and father Hyacinthe Destivelle of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who brought the message of its president, cardinal Kurt Koch.

Bishop Konstantin (Ostrovskij) of Zarajsk led the delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate, with fatherDimitrij Sizonenko, responsible for inter-Christian dialogue at the Department for external affairs. BishopStefan of Homel’ and Žlobin read the message of metropolitan Filaret of Minsk, patriarchal exarch of Belarus. Present were also archbishop Zosima of Vladikavkaz, father Stefan Domuschi, delegate of the Moscow Theological Academy, archimandrite Serafim(Petrovski), delegate of metropolitan Aleksandr of Alma Ata and Kazakhstan, hieromonks Amvrosij (Vajnahij) and Pimen (Vojat) of the Lavra of the Caves, who brought greetings from metropolitan Volodymyr of Kiev.

Bishop Ignatie of Mureş read the message of patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Participating in the work of the conference were metropolitan Dometian of Vidin, who transmitted the personal greetings of patriarch Neofit and bishop Boris of Agatonitsa (Bulgarian Orthodox Church); bishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh (Orthodox Church of America); archimandrite Athenagoras (Fasiolo), who brought the greetings of metropolitan Gennadios of Italy; canon Hugh Wybrew, who read the greeting of the archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby; Bishop Maxim of Western America, who read the letter of Irinej, Patriarch of Serbia.

The messages of Karekin II, catholicos of all the Armenians, of archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, ofmetropolitan Elias of Beirut, and of the secretary general of the World Council of Churches Olaf Fikse Tveit were read respectively by fr Zakaria Baghumyan, prof.Spirydon Kontoyannis, fr Porphyrios Giorgi, andMichel Nseir.

There was an important presence of monks and nuns from Orthodox monasteries (Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Mount Sinai, Armenia, France, England, United States), and Catholic and Reformed monasteries (Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary). In particular we may not frJoustinos of the St Catherine Monastery on Sinai, frEvdokimos Karakoulakis of the Koutloumoussiou monastery on Mount Athos, of fr Vasilije Grolimund of Geilnau. Participating in the Conference were also the ambassador of Romania to the Holy See Bogdan Tataru-Cazaban and professors Gelian Prochorov (St Petersburg), Nikitas Aliprandis (Athens), Pantelis Kalaitzidis (Volos).