N E W S
CONGRESS OF ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS
BULGARIA, 5-10 OCTOBER 2004
Observations, Resolutions and Recommendations
the delegates to the Sixth Congress of Higher Orthodox Theological Schools (HOThS),
believe that it is necessary to hold regular meetings in order to discuss
current theological problems.
We are convinced that regular meetings of our Theological Schools are important
for our acquaintance with common problems relating to the Theological Programs
of our Schools, as well as with the specific problems of each School and other
We wish to underline that the coordination between different HOThS and their
Local Orthodox Churches is of principal importance. It is obvious that Theology
cannot be rightly pursued outside the Church, just as the Church cannot be
understood without Theology.
We acknowledge the existence of specific problems at regional level between
Local Orthodox Churches and HOThS. This is why we recommend that these problems
are recognized and are resolved in a spirit of cooperation between Theological
Schools and Local Churches.
5. We express our belief that we live in a new age, where the matters to be discussed are dictated by a new world (political and cultural) reality. This is why we must work together – on an Inter-Orthodox, as well as Inter-Confessional, Inter-Religious and Multi-Cultural level – in order to respond to the challenges of the new millennium.
We have resolved that a Standing Committee is elected by the delegates of the 6th
Congress to serve for two years, which will coordinate communication between
We have resolved that the above Standing Committee will prepare the 7th
Congress of HOThS, which is to take place in Joensuu (Finland) at the beginning
of June, 2006.
We have resolved that the members of this Standing Committee will be the
following: 1) The President of the Organizing Committee of the 6th
Congress in Sofia, Prof. Dr. Ivan Dimitrov; 2) The Dean of the Theological
Faculty of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), Prof. Dr. Christos
Oikonomou; 3) The Dean of the Theological Faculty of Belgrade University, Rev.
Dr. Vladan Perishi; 4) The Head of the Department of Orthodox Theology at
Joensuu University (Finland), Prof. Dr. Petri Piiroinen; 5) The Dean of Holy
Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline MA (USA), Rev. Prof. Dr.
Emmanuel Clapsis; 6) The Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, Archbishop
Eugeniy of Verea and 7) The Dean of the Orthodox Theological Faculty in
Bucharest (Rumania), Rev. Prof. Dr. Nikolai Necula.
We have confirmed the need for a European orientation of HOThS. Thus we insist
on accepting the declarations (made in Berlin, Prague, Bologna and Paris) of the
Ministers of Education of the member States of the EU.
10. We have resolved, in the line with the above, that a European Forum of the Orthodox Schools of Theology is established, which will be organized according to the protocol of the European Commission (26 January, 2004). The aim of this Forum will be to achieve coordination and effective Cooperation between all HOThS of the EU member States and in that way to be a witness of Orthodox Theology in the face of the European Institutions. The following Presidium for this Forum was elected:
President: V. Rev. Prof. Dr. Archimandrite Grigorios Papathomas, “Saint Sergius” Institute of Orthodox Theology of Paris (France).
Vice-President: Prof. Dr. Emile Traitchev, Faculty of Theology, “Saint Kliment” University of Sofia (Bulgaria).
Secretary General: Director Prof. Christophe D’Aloisio, Center of Orthodox Theology of Brussels (Belgium).
Treasurer: Ass. Prof. Dr. Radu Preda, Faculty of Orthodox Theology of Cluj-Napoca (Romania).
Member: Professor Dr. Christos Oikonomou, Faculty of Theology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece).
We recommend the establishment of a World Association of Schools of Orthodox
Theology (WASOTh), to which every Orthodox School could apply for membership.
This WASOTh will be headed by an elected seven-member Organizing Committee,
which will include: a Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer.
12. We unanimously recommend that the above-mentioned Standing Committee (cf. no 8) will serve for the time being as Organizing Committee of WASOTh until the next Congress:
Chairman: Prof. Dr. Christos Oikonomou (Thessaloniki, Greece)
Secretary: Rev. Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis(Brookline, MA, USA)
Treasurer: Prof. Dr. Petri Piiroinen (Joensuu, Finland)
Members: Dr. Ivan Dimitrov (Sofia, Bulgaria), Rev. Dr. Vladan Perishič (Belgrade, Serbia), Archbishop Eugeniy of Verea (Moscow, Russia), Rev. Prof. Dr. Nikolai Necula (Bucharest, Romania).
We recommend the setting up of a mechanism for coordinating operations among the
HOThS and their Congresses. This can only be realized through financial support,
which will facilitate a higher level of effectiveness. The financial support
must be sought from the Local Orthodox Churches, private Foundations, the EU and
We recommend exchanges of Professors, Lecturers, students, experience and
activities between different Orthodox Theological Schools.
We recommend the publication of a pamphlet of general instructions from the
Deans of HOThS and Rectors of the Respective Universities. This should be
accompanied by short lists of academic research, publications of Professors, as
well as brief descriptions of the academic programs of each Orthodox Institution
We recommend that the Standing Committee of the 7th Congress of HOThS
takes care of the collection and publication of the above pamphlet.
17. We also recommend that the Organizing Committee of the 6th Congress of HOThS and the Faculty of Theology of the University of Sofia take care of the publication in English of the Proceedings of the 6th Congress.
As a Conclusion, we wish to stress that the Congresses of the HOThS continue to
determine their future activities by constantly drawing upon the Orthodox
Tradition and spirituality, the liturgical experience of the Church and the
treasures of Biblical and Patristic Theology as constituting fundamental axioms
for the expression of the Orthodox witness in the contemporary world.
(Executive Secretary: Rev. Prof. Dr. George Dion. Dragas)
Contents & Index