Friday, April 24, 2009

Metropolitan Anthimos

I like the top photo, which was taken as we stood around the bishop's throne immediately before the beginning of the Liturgy -- it is Fr. Panayioti and Fr. Alexios, our parish priests here in Panorama, along with me.

The photo immediately above is taken from behind the altar and is of Metr. Anthimos speaking to the people immediately before communion.

There is a small controversy in Panorama these days regarding the Church and a land deal with the municipality of Panorama. The sensationalist Greek media has tried to make a big deal out of it, but it's really nothing. As I understand it, the municipality (or, more specifically, the mayor) gave the Metropolis of Thessaloniki a parcel of land on which to build a nursing home. Then a certain segment of the city council (those in the far-left party) objected and have tried to make it into a political thing, accusing the conservative party of being in some sort of conspiracy with the Church.

Anyway, Metr. Anthimos addressed this issue, among other things, in his talk.

The photo immediately below was taken after the Liturgy, as we headed out of the church and down to the parish hall for coffee and refreshments with the bishop.

I took the photo at the bottom as we stood to end the coffee hour, and the chanters sang to the Metropolitan. You can see that he saw me taking the photo. : )

To his right is Professor Dimitris Tselingidis, one of the most well-known theologians in Greece. To his left is retired Professor Georgios Mantzaridis, who is even better known. We are fortunate that both of these theologians live in Panorama and attend our parish.

When I spoke with the Metropolitan, I thanked him for allowing Bishop Maxim to come here to Thessaloniki to ordain me. This, along with the fact that Pelagia is pregnant with triplets, made us a conversation piece during coffee, and Fr. Alexios told him the story of Pelagia's family, the EOC, etc., and how we had become Orthodox and came to study in Greece. Metr. Anthimos seemed quite interested in all this, so I suppose I remain in his good graces. : )

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