PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Two exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople – Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. and Metropolitan Emmanuel of France – will be represented on a panel of experts who will answer questions about Ukraine’s Orthodox autocephaly during a nationwide call-in virtual town hall meeting hosted by the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on January 26 in New York. News of their participation was released on January 22.
The meeting aims to inform about the prerogatives and responsibilities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since signing the Tomos of autocephaly on January 5 and the transfer of the Tomos by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Metropolitan Epifaniy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on January 6 in Istanbul.
The meeting will attempt to explain why Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has taken the pastoral initiative to grant independence to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and clarify the issues that have been clouded by the massive amounts of misinformation that have been circulating through social media.
The principal speaker is Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, who was appointed by Patriarch Bartholomew to chair the Patriarchal Commission that reviewed and advised the Holy Patriarchal Synod on the question of autocephaly for Ukraine. No one in the world is more directly familiar with all aspects of the process that led to the issuance of the Tomos for Ukraine autocephaly, or better equipped to explain why this issue is so crucial for the Orthodox Church as a whole today.
Archbishop Daniel will provide insights from his role in the process, both in Ukraine and Istanbul, and respond to any questions related to his work in facilitating the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s granting of autocephaly for Ukraine.
Also speaking will be the Rev. Deacon Nicholas E. Denysenko, Ph.D. (Orthodox Church in America), a professor of theology at Valparaiso University who specializes in liturgical theology and Orthodox Christianity. His most recent books are: “The People’s Faith: The Liturgy of the Faithful in Orthodoxy” and “The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation.”
Vera Shevzov, Ph.D., a professor of religion, Russian, East European and Eurasian studies at Smith College, rounds out the speaker roster. Her regular course offerings include “Eastern Christianity,” and “The Russian Icon: Culture, Politics, and the Sacred.” Her book “Russian Orthodoxy on the Eve of Revolution” was awarded the Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History. Her research and publications have spanned a wide variety of topics in modern and contemporary Orthodoxy in Russia.
Archon George E. Demacopoulos, Ph.D., of Fordham University will serve as moderator. He is co-director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham and is a specialist in the history of Christianity.
The virtual town meeting was to be held on January 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. EST, via telephone conference call and passcode. Participants were invited to ask questions to the panelists via telephone, or fill out a form and submit it by Friday, January 25. For more details, readers may visit http://Archons.org/townhall.