Δευτέρα, 23 Ιουλίου 2007

ΠΟΡΙΣΜΑΤΑ Β' Συνεδρίου Ορθοδόξου Νεολαίας "Μέλη της Εκκλησίας - Πολίτες του Κόσμου", Κωνσταντινούπολη, 11-16 Ιουλίου 2007


2nd ORTHODOX YOUTH CONFERENCE
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH – CITIZENS OF THE WORLD
Istanbul, 11-16 July 2007

CONCLUSIONS

“You are the light of the world.” (Math. 5:14)

The Ecumenical Patriarchate, under the auspices and blessing of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, organized in the City, from the 11th until the 16th of July, the 2nd Orthodox Youth Conference, with the theme: “Members of the Church – Citizens of the World.” The first such Conference had taken place in the City in June of the year 2000.

Approximately 900 young men and women participated in this Conference from all of the Eparchies of the Ecumenical Patriarchate around the world, from sister Orthodox Churches, from Monastic Communities, from other Christian Churches and Confessions, from Orthodox Theological Schools, Academies, Institutes and Seminars, International Church Organizations, International Youth Associations, Cultural Foundations, as well as from the local Christian Churches.

The Conference constituted a forum for getting to know each other, for communication and dialogue, an unique opportunity to meet the Mother Church and personally His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch. In addition, to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Theological School of Halki, as well the ancient monuments of the City. Stemming from different cultural environments, we realized the ecumenical dimension of Orthodoxy and its unifying power and at the same time the richness of each of our traditions. We experienced that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not a national Church, but that it embodies the ecumenical spirit and the universal dimensions of the Christian Gospel, where the ethnic, linguistic and cultural expression of its members is not only not downgraded but also becomes richer, and is established as an instrument of society.

The opening of the Conference was blessed by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. His All Holiness reminded us, the youth, of our personal place and role into the god-human body of the Church, according to the gift that each has been given or will be entrusted with in the future by God. His All Holiness invited us to recognize as soon as possible our special talent and our role in the Church and to willingly respond responsibly to the calling of God. As citizens of the Kingdom who are simultaneously citizens of the world, we should neither identify with the world, nor reject the world without cause, but take a “critical stance” in the world according to the standard that our polity “exists in the heavens” (Philip. 3:20).

The different presentations and discussions which followed revealed to all of us the creative intensity and dialectic between our capacities as Members of the Church and as Citizens of the World.

1. The Eucharistic and eschatological identity of the Church does not release us from our responsibility and witness in history and the world. The eschatological nature of the Church is incompatible with an anti-canonical and anti-historical eschatology. The phrase “not of the world” not only does not refute the phrase “in the world” but strengthens and orientates it towards eternity. With the Eucharist the Church is placed at the end of history, but at the same time in the center of history.

2. Mission belongs to the identity of the Church. It is more of an ontological characteristic, an expression of her Trinitarian structure and life, rather than relating to her operation and activity. The Holy Spirit is a spirit of witness. Christian Mission cannot have hidden goals and a proselytic character. We are witnesses of the salvation in Christ and the others are free to decide. This Orthodox ethos of mission lives within the worship of the Church and we ought to rediscover it anew. Participation in the Divine Liturgy must become today an authentic source for authentic missionary inspiration and activity.

3. Since the heart of the Church beats in the Holy Eucharist, the Divine Liturgy is always a spring of salvific experience and knowledge. For this reason, it is significant not only to understand the liturgical life of the Church, but also to live the liturgical ethos of the Church as the core of our life. The mystery and the sacraments of the Church also provide the respect and protection of creation, which is the Eucharistic relation with the world.

4. The miracle of saintliness adorns the life of the Church throughout the ages. The saints save those that experienced the presence of God, those that suffered like Christ, spiritual fathers and mothers, known and unknown workers of the Gospel and martyrs of the faith, true revolutionaries, authentic prototypes of Christian life. Saintliness was, and is, the verdict of our judgment.

5. The expression of the Eucharistic existence of the Church and the proposition of Orthodoxy for the modern world is the “civilization of being,” freedom as love and love as freedom. Christ is the liberator, the Truth which sets us free. The Christian understanding of personhood resists against the modern glorification of the individual, as well as the discrediting of the human person within the giant impersonal economic and communication frameworks.

6. The Orthodox Church, with its functioning as the place of the “culture of the person,” currently makes up the invitation and challenge, offering a new proposal for life and freedom in response to the dramatic impasses of our world. Far from dogmatisms, absolutisms and superficial ethics, the Church witnesses the Word of the Cross and the Resurrection and renders it contemporary, existential and timely. Faced with the “confusion of the heart” and the overturning of values, our Church promotes the truth of life in Christ, the genuineness of interpersonal relationships, the respect for human rights, encourages volunteerism, cultivates the respect towards the natural environment and it’s the Eucharistic use of the world, expresses the word of hope in response to anthropological and bioethical dilemmas and the utilitarian logic of the science and of technology.

7. Faced with modern globalization, the Church is called to her ecumenical elements, to resist the dynamic pressures towards inhumanity that is brought about by the preeminence of economic considerations and the dwindling of societal achievements, to participate in a globalization with a human face and to operate as a place beyond economic considerations and vindications, where the culture of solidarity and love can be cultivated, where not only are particular cultural identities preserved, but also operate as a vehicle for communion and participation.

8. The Church’s answer and stance to the other great challenge, secularization, cannot be the secularization of the Church. The Church can reveal its soteriological role only if She remains faithful to Her Eucharistic identity, to what She ontologically is and which She is always so much more than what She does and says in the world. If the Church identifies itself with the world, it loses its salvific operation and it impoverishes its prophetic and discerning word.

9. We Orthodox Youth consider the Church as the ideal place for the development and respect of freedom of the person, and as a communion of relations the Church should promote particular pastoral care for the disenfranchised youth. With Her participation the Church must remain faithful to Her founder and His particular relation to the “workers and the overburdened.” The Church must collaborate with the vehicles of socialization and contribute to the functioning of institutions of support and solidarity, embodying everywhere and always the love of the good Samaritan, the instinctive affection towards the specific ailing person. The Christian philanthropic intervention is never abstracted or impersonal.

10. In our time the relationship of the family is increasingly described sociologically and legalistically. We consider that the family must be alternatively conceived anew in the Christian perspective, away from narrow institutional parameters, and to expand itself towards the authentic ecclesiastical and eschatological dimensions, as a laboratory of salvation and Theosis of the person, as an icon of the Church.

11. We know that we the youth are the focus of the spiritual care of the Church. In the chaos of proposals and definitional meanings of what we call youth, we listen to the “Come to me” of Christ and of the Church. We are sure that the answer to that invitation offers an outlet to the existential problems that torment us. One such current problem is loneliness, one of the most common human experiences throughout the ages, particularly present in modern societies, where the dis-functionality of human relations and the absence of solidarity within the community are manifest. The Orthodox life option in the context of loneliness is the call to living participation in the life of the Church. In the Church, the Truth is not just “something” but “someone.” It is not something that is held, that is understood by the intellect, but is communion and relationship with Christ and with fellow human beings.

12. Our conference dealt with the issue of relations between opposite sexes and the authentic operation of sexuality and eros. The presentations of the speakers brought to light the complexity, the anthropological and psychological roots and operation of sexuality. The discussion uncovered the difficulties affirming sexuality by young people and faithfulness to the ethos of freedom in Christ. The request for a realistic approach to the subject of pre-marital sex by the pastoral Church and theology was discussed. In parallel to the references to eros as mutual attachment and meeting of two persons, the conference stressed the meaning of Christian marriage as the place where the relationship between man and woman is fully consummated and as a “mystery of love” for which we must prepare, the authenticity and preservation of which we must struggle for.

13. Many young persons expressed the respect for the choice of the monastic life and the value of abstinence and asceticism. The subject of abstinence and asceticism, and determining the Christian meaning of these terms, was generally discussed. It was also stressed that the relationship with ourselves and with others is always connected to the icon that we have of the person and meaning of existence. When we see ourselves and the others as machines, we act and we react mechanically. When we consider blissfulness as the object of life, we then use everyone and everything as the means to achieve our blissfulness. When, however, we see ourselves and the other as an icon of God, when we have uncovered asceticism as a source of freedom, then our attitude towards ourselves and others is not possessive, but loving. The life in Christ is not possession, but relation.

14. Particular reference was made to the subject of the current forms of entertainment and enjoyment. The youth cannot instantly deny current modes of enjoyment, as long as they do not offend the human person. Many conference participants expressed the view that this subject should not be approached with prescriptions and detailed strict guidelines for their way of life. Objections were formulated for a spirituality which guides and isolates the youth, developing within them introversion and an elitist attitude. The Orthodox believer, as an ecclesial being which draws the fullness of its identity from the final days, cannot remain closed off to the self-sufficiency of a personal belief and ethical cleanliness, and be indifferent and uninspiring. We believe that the Christian is a fiery person, creative and loving, open and dynamic, an illumined person who affirms life.

15. In the age of communications and the society of information, we Christians are called to use with prudence and trust the capabilities which new technologies offer for the spreading of the Word of the Gospel, making attempts to always transform the personless trajectories and forms of contact into an opportunity for personal communion and parallel enrichment. In the chaos of information, the Gospel of the incarnated Word of God, which is closer to each of us than we are to ourselves, calls us to a life of genuine personal communication through which, and only which, can the spontaneous need of an individual for communion with other persons be satisfied, which is always blessed with the presence of the Triune God.

16. In our conference we ascertained the value of dialogue, which is the real acceptance of the other with his or her difference and the real respect of their freedom. We consider the word “openness,” openness to what is different, towards other Christian confessions, towards other religions, towards other civilizations, towards our fellow human beings in general, the essential meaning of our identity. Apart from participation, openness expresses a profound vision of the Orthodox Youth. A closed-off Orthodoxy not only does not correspond to our most authentic traditions, and not only does it not express the ethos of ecclesiastical freedom, but also ignores universal values, the creation of which the Church has substantially contributed to. No possibility for a real Christian witness exists in the contemporary world without openness.

17. We believe that Christian identity and openness not only can co-exist, but that the one feeds the other. We cultivate our particular identity, knowing that that is how we can understand and accept the particularity of the other. Respecting others’ differences, we uncover the unexpected aspects of our own personality. In the honest dialogue with the other which is different, not only do we not betray our faith, but we make it known and project it further. The future does not belong to the disinterested and the half-hearted, but to those that love their tradition and for this reason respect the traditions of others.

18. We know that, as members of the Church, we convey as well as continue a millennia-long tradition. This means that we ought to discover in depth the Orthodox ecclesiastical way of life, to familiarize ourselves with the historical forms of expression of the Church and to simultaneously salvage and preserve without corruption the elements of our ecclesiastical tradition in the age we live in and to convey them to the next generation in an equally authentic, intelligible and practical manner. The Orthodox Youth demonstrate our conviction that the Church provides for us existential support and a refuge for life.

19. We wish to give our Christian witness with our own dynamism, our own way and while respecting our own priorities. We do not want to be thought of simply as the “future of the Church,” remaining in the margin of contemporary developments, but desire to presently contribute to what is going on today, to participate energetically in the pastoral, communal and liturgical life of the Church. We the youth have distinctly pronounced existential concerns and social sensitivities, a developed sense of the conflicts and disappointment of life, which the adults stopped noticing. We do not believe that there exist simple prescriptions for the exercise of our freedom. We are convinced that inside of each of us are priceless gifts and philanthropic potential, which are graced and multiplied inside of the Church for the multiplication of the body of Christ and for the general good.

20. We thank warmly the venerable head of Orthodoxy, the authentic, dynamic and the mainly youthful Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for the opportunity he gave to us to participate in this conference, for the heart-felt Abrahamic hospitality, for the cherished experiences that we lived these days in the Queen of Cities. We closed the Conference with the indelible illumined figure of the Patriarch in our hearts and minds! Warm thanks and congratulations we address to the President, H.E. Metropolitan Gennadios and the members of the Organizing Committee and to all those who participated visibly or invisibly in the success of this ecumenical synaxis. We express our desire to follow in the near future with the 3rd Orthodox Youth Conference, in which we believe that more presentations should be handled by younger conference participants.

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: