“Knowing the Purpose of Everything Through the Power of the Resurrection”:
The First Two Days
The St. Maximus the Confessor Symposium, “Knowing the Purpose of Everything Through the Power of the Resurrection,” co-hosted in Belgrade by the Belgrade Theological Faculty and the Orthodox Christian Studies Program of Fordham University, has begun with opening remarks by Bishop Maxim of Alhambra and the Western American Diocese, Patristics Professor at the Faculty and a Maximus scholar in his own right. Bishop Maxim introduced the new dean of the Faculty, Professor Predrag Puzović , who expressed his satisfaction at beginning his term as dean with such a grand event. He observed that St. Maximus is the “most universal spirit of his time and probably greatest thinker in the history of the Church. He has become the focal point of reference in modern Orthodox and Catholic dialogue.” The first church dedicated to St. Maximus, he noted, is in Serbia.
Bishop Maxim, chief organizer of the event, included in his welcome address, greetings to panelists and guests from His Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch and His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Orthodox Patriarch.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in his address, noted that “The Saints represent God’s gift to the world, precious beacons within the darkness of this transient world, and an example to be followed leading us to our final goal – the Kingdom of God.” Among these saints, who we commemorate this weekend, is the Confessor Maximus. Born in the sixth century and reposed in the seventh century, he, like all saints, belongs to the timelessness of the Kingdom of God, wherein we have him as a Heavenly intercessor before the Throne of Christ. The Ecumenical Patriarch highlight St. Maximus’s major contributions to theology in his address: his emphasis on love as the foremost of the virtues, his staunch defense of the two wills of Christ during the monothelite controversy, his distinction between the natural and the gnomic will, and his insistence that there is no natural evil, but the negligence of thoughts, from which stems mistaken actions and, important for a consideration of the contemporary ecological problem, the mistaken use of things that results from mistaken thoughts.
His Eminence Amfilohije, Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Bishop-Administrattor of the Diocese of Buenos Aires and South-Central American of the Serbian Patriarchate, visited the parish in Santiago, the capital city of Chile, from 6-9 October 2012.
On the Feast day of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God on Sunday, October 14, 2012 , His Eminence Nikolaj, Metropolitan of Dabrobosna celebrated the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy at Saint Sava church in Foča and consecrated new crosses for this church. At the Liturgv, four priests and one deacon of this church concelebrated and the choir of the Seminary of Saint Peter of Dabrobosna in Foča sang responses.
Metropolitan Nikolaj awarded Mr. Milorad Dodik, the President of the Republic of Srpska, with the highest distinction of the Metropolitanate of Dabrobosna – the Golden order of Saint Peter of Dabrobosna for outstanding devotion to build the church of Saint Sava in Foča.
His Grace Dr Irinej, Bishop of Backa received on October 15, 2012 at the Bishop’s Residence, Mr. Milos Vucevic – the Mayor of Novi Sad who was accompanied by Mr. Milos Vucevic – Deputy Mayor. Protopresbyter Vladan Simic – Secretary of the Bishop of Backa also attended the meeting.