Metropolitan of Sweden discusses missionary work in Scandinavia at Church of Greece event
On Saturday afternoon, February 19, 2022, Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden gave an online presentation titled “Missionary Work in the Northern Lands” at a catechetical conference organized by the missionary arm of the Church of Greece, Apostoliki Diakonia . Pr. Bartholomew Iatridis, pastor of St. George’s Cathedral in Stockholm, participated.
Metropolitan Cleopas began his presentation by thanking Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, with whose permission clerics from metropolises all over Greece are put on loan to support the pastoral ministry of the missionary metropolis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Scandinavia.
He also thanked the Director General of Apostoliki Diakonia Metropolitan Agathangelos of Phanarion for his unwavering and touching support for the ministry carried out by the parishes of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden, through the publication of liturgical and theological texts, as well as catechetical resources, while expressing his thanks to the organizer of the afternoon catechetical conference, Ioannis Vidalis.
Next, Metropolitan Cleopas spoke of the venerable leader of Orthodoxy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, whose paternal care was evident during his two patriarchal visits to Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2017, on the occasion of the International Assembly of the Arctic Circle, and in Stockholm in 2019, on the occasion of the celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden.
The Metropolitan of Sweden then referred to the recent rest of his ever-memorable predecessor, Metropolitan Pavlos, formerly of Amaseia, under whose forty-year archpastoral guidance the Holy Metropolis of Sweden was able to acquire four churches.
Speaking of his eight years of ministry in Scandinavia, Metropolitan Cleopas noted that by the grace of God ten parish communities have been established (five in Sweden, three in Norway, one in Denmark and one in Iceland), which has more than doubled the existing number of parishes and bringing to a number of active clerics serving in the Metropolis from one to twelve.
Metropolitan Cleopas also pointed out that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Stockholm coincided with the first-ever clergy-laity conference in his eparchy, which was attended by 250 clergy and lay delegates from parishes operating in the four nations spiritually comprising the Holy Metropolis of Sweden. .
Another topic the Metropolitan discussed was the complete renovation of the Hermitage founded by the ever memorable Fr. Eusevios Vittis, named in honor of St. Nicholas and located in Rättvik, Sweden, the donation to the Metropolitan of a church dedicated to St. George by Ioannina the New Martyr, located in Roskilde, Denmark, the purchase of a Metropolis residence, and the complete restoration of St. George’s Cathedral in Stockholm and the Metropolitan Church of Annunciation of the Theotokos in Oslo.
Concluding his presentation, Metropolitan Cleopas noted that the local Church in Scandinavia aims to modernize its ministries and increase its facilities, referring to his vision for the establishment of a cultural center, the advancement of necessary reforms and administrative changes, the adoption of innovative ideas and modern organizational practices, as well as a development approach based on proximity to ensure the viability and progress of the parishes of the Metropolis.
Concluding his address, the Metropolitan said that “we aim to realize our vision for the next fifty years of our local Church with a focus on public benefit charities which will be supported by and feature the whole of the community as stakeholders and will possess a common mission that is truly missionary, academic, community, philanthropic and cultural.