CONSTANTINOPLE – The Mother Church of Constantinople commemorated on Saturday, December 14, 2019 the memory of the late Metropolitan Meliton (Hatzis) of Chalcedon, the distinguished Hierarch of the Ecumenical Throne in modern times, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his death.
His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch described the emblematic, as he called him, ecclesiastical figure of his spiritual father, who is “a model of the exercise of the office of bishop, and of sacrificial care for the divinely-inspired and canonical functioning of ecclesiastical affairs.” He also spoke of “a charismatic preacher of the Gospel, a fighter for Orthodoxy, a visionary and a man of dialogue.”
He also emphasized his theological contribution with reference to the principle of the divine and human character of the Church, to ecclesiological anthropology, and in the context of inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian dialogues. As a prominent characteristic of the personality of the late Hierarch, His All-Holiness pointed out that “his pure heart was full of immense joy, of this priceless gift of God’s grace,” in the face of the greatest difficulties.
The Metropolitans Athanasios, Geron of Chalcedon, John, Geron of Pergamon and Meliton of Philadelphia spoke about the charismatic personality of the late Hierarch, his wide-ranging contribution to the Mother Church and also to Orthodoxy in general, in the course of the ecumenical movement, and in particular in the rapprochement of Rome and Constantinople, as well as in his sacrificial offering as Shepherd of the People of God to the Metropolis of Imbros and Tenedos.
Attending the tribute, which was moderated by the Archon Didaskalos of the Nation (Genous), Professor Konstantinos Delikonstantis, were the Metropolitans Konstantinos, Geron of Nikaia, Apostolos, Geron of Derkon, Dimitrios, Geron of the Princes’ Islands, Germanos of Tranoupolis, Irenaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Chrysostomos of Myra, Theoleptos of Iconium, Andreas of Arkalochori, Kastelli and Viannos, Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronon, Nikiforos of Kinshasa, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Athenagoras of Kydonia, and Maximos of Selyvria, as well as the Bishops Dimitrios of Thermai, Adrianos of Halicarnassus, and Benjamin of Tralleis, and clergymen, monks of Mount Athos, Archons and a multitude of people.
In the morning at the Memorial Church of St. Ignatios Theophoros in Chalcedon, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the V. Rev. Grand Chancellor Andrew and the deacon Gregorios, Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, at the end of which the Ecumenical Patriarch honored the memory of the late Hierarch and laid flowers upon his grave.
The Prelates familiar with Metropolitan Meliton concelebrated: Athanasios, Geron of Chalcedon and other Hierarchs of the Throne, while clerics of the Patriarchal Court and the Holy Metropolis of Chalcedon, Archons of the Holy Great Church of Christ and devout Christians honored his memory.
A memorial reception followed.