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Metropolitan Geron Emmanuel of Chalcedon Enthroned in Constantinople (Pics & Vid)

CONSTANTINOPLE – The enthronement of the newly elected Metropolitan Geron Emmanuel of Chalcedon was done with splendor according to the established ecclesiastical order and tradition on March 20 in the historic Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Chalcedon in the presence of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

“Real change comes from within,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said in his address, urging the new Shepherd to continue “the irreplaceable tradition of our Holy Orthodox Church, and the tradition of the Romiosini of Constantinople.”

Many Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne, His Eminence Metropolitan Georgios of Guinea, as a representative of the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and its Primate, His Beatitude Theodoros, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, His Eminence Archbishop Nektarios of Anthidon, Commissioner of the Holy Sepulcher in Constantinople, His Eminence Archbishop Efstratios of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, as a representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, representatives of other denominations, the Mufti of Kadıköy, Mahmut Çakır, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, His Excellency Konstantinos Vlasis, as a representative of the Greek Government, the Deputy Minister of Education and Religions of Greece, Zetta Makri, the Ambassadors of the United States and Ukraine to Turkey, David Satterfield and Andrii Sybiha, respectively, the Consuls General of Greece in Constantinople, the Honorable Georgia Sultanopoulou, of Ukraine, the Honorable Oleksandr Gaman, of France, the Honorable Olivier Gauvin, of Northern Macedonia, the Honorable Aktan Ago, other diplomats, the Prefect of Chalcedon (Kadıköy), the Honorable Dr. Mustafa Özarslan, the Mayor of Athens, the Honorable Costas Bakogiannis, clergy, monks of Mount Athos, Archons of the Holy Great Church of Christ, representatives of the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of the City and the Mayor of Chalcedon (Kadıköy), and many believers from the city and abroad. The enthronement ceremony was covered by a number of representatives of local and international print and electronic media.

In his address, the Ecumenical Patriarch recalled that over thirty years ago, when he himself was enthroned as Primate of the Geron Metropolis of Chalcedon, succeeding the late Metropolitan and Geron Meliton (Hatzis), a leading ecclesiastical figure, in his inaugural sermon he had raised the question of whether a sacred and official moment, such as the day of the enthronement of a new pastor, belongs to the enthroned or to the Church, saying, “we personally lived that day as a blessed moment in the life of the Church, and today, glorifying the Triune God, we live it again, with all the dear Holy Hierarchs present, as well as the members of the Patriarchal Court, the Most Honorable Archons of the Holy Great Church of Christ, as well as the pious clergy and the Christ-loving people of Chalcedon, the continuation of the Church, as the Metropolitan Emmanuel, richly blessed by God, was called, moved by God and chosen by the votes of the members of our Holy and Sacred Synod, to become the Shepherd of this historic Eparchy, putting his hand to the plow (Luke 9:62) and beginning a multifaceted work: responsibility to God, responsibility to God, responsibility for the salvation of the faithful, and responsibility to the First-Throned Church of Constantinople.”

Addressing the new Metropolitan Geron of Chalcedon, His All-Holiness noted:

“You have exercised, holy brother, for twenty-five years now, an episcopal work, which is for every bishop a practical display of the transforming power of the Church in the world, of the grace that comes to us in Christ and of the coming Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You are called to continue this high work of ministry from a different rampart and to contribute to the greatness of the Apostolic and Martyr Church of Constantinople, of the eternal relics adorned with achievements, ranging from a flow of tears to those that are drenched in blood of the martyrs, enriched by the holy relics. You come to live from today on in this great Eparchy – after being assigned to the ‘city of light’ [Paris] and the glorious Cathedral of Saint Stephen – to settle in the City of cities, the Queen of Cities, and in beautiful Asian Chalcedon, with this see of the majestic Holy Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. The pious people of your Eparchy are waiting for you, with whom we are sure you will live with sacrificial love and paternal affection. We do not have today, Your Eminence, in this historic Metropolis, the old greatness, the numerous flock, our pulsating community life, our schools and institutions. However, we remind you and all those present of the words of the late Metropolitan Meliton of Chalcedon, the most honorable predecessor of both of us, from his enthronement ceremony, on October 30, 1966, about 55 years ago, which still resonate in his sanctuary. ‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32). Let us not prejudge the unfathomable will of God and let us not prejudge His divine plans … The purpose of all trials is always of the Lord, and the purpose of the Lord is always good. Because the Lord is merciful and compassionate. After all, our brothers and children in the Lord, you know very well that only a few guarded Thermopylae … Let us not forget that a few carried crosses for the many, and that Christ, who was crucified for all, is risen from the dead.’” (Chalcedonia, p. 44)

Afterwards, the Ecumenical Patriarch recalled that in this historic ecclesiastical Eparchy, the Fourth Ecumenical Council was held (451), in which the “dogma of Chalcedon” was formulated. “The Synod of Chalcedon has left an indelible record in the documents of the Great Church, through Canons 9, 17 and 28 it irrevocably ratified the position and responsibility of the Church of Constantinople as a center of unity and canonical appeal of Eastern Christianity,” His All-Holiness emphasized.

The Ecumenical Patriarch then referred to the long experience of the new Shepherd of the Geron Metropolis of Chalcedon from the important missions the Mother Church assigned to him from time to time.

 “You have offered many valuable contributions in the field of interfaith dialogue. You have deservedly gained the trust of your interlocutors, which is the most important resource for the progress of the whole project. To date, you have applied what was proposed by the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church (Crete, 2016) for the meeting of religions: ‘The Church strives to make ‘the peace from on high’ more tangibly felt on Earth. True peace is not achieved by force of arms, but only through love that ‘does not seek its own’ (1 Cor 13.5). The oil of faith must be used to soothe and heal the wounds of others, not to rekindle new fires of hatred.’” (Encyclical, § 17).

Then, on behalf of the Holy Clergy, the new Metropolitan was welcomed by the Bishop Smaragdos of Daphnousia, and on behalf of the congregation by the Honorable Georgios Stephanopoulos, Archon Offikialos and University Professor.

In his enthronement speech, His Eminence the Metropolitan Emmanuel Geron of Chalcedon, stated, among other things:

“‘I heard the voice of God to Abraham, and He spoke plainly, saying, come out of your land and from your kindred, and come forth into the land; and, behold, I come to you, even to your father’s house.’ For indeed, Western Europe took the place for My Humility of the land and my kinship, but the paternal heart of my father is always my home. I received this message and I hurried, rejoicing to come for the rest of my life to the feet of the wisest Gamaliel of the Law of charity in the Phanar, of Your All-Holiness, as your genuine and grateful son … From the city of light, to the side of the lamp of the Oikoumene, from the ‘sacred river’ (Seine) to the martyred and holy sanctified waters of the Bosphorus, from the Bethany of my ministry to the Bithynia of our spiritual ancestors. Megara the colony was conquered under the spirit of the true God. Here Apollo’s famous oracle preached the good news about our Lord Jesus Christ in the dogma of the blessed fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council.”

Concluding his sermon, he once again expressed his gratitude to His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch:

“The end of the journey is dedicated to you, the first and the last of my life, the personal teacher of my theoretical foundation and my benefactor, the sturdy Archbishop of the overseers, the seventy-seven-times forgiving of our shortcomings Angel of the Kingdom of the Seven Hills, the star-spangled cloak of a series of all his noble Predecessors, full of responsibilities. May the blessed Fathers gathered here in Constantinople honor the Ecumenical Patriarch, the only one who is honored to accept appeals, the superior who has the jurisdiction and accepts under him all the peoples outside the prescribed territories, and the all-holy institution, which since 1991 has been the most prominent personality of its History, Your Holy Highness. I do not intend to express here, Lord and Master of my life, your benevolence to me, or my unspeakable affection, unbridled love, and unfathomable providence. These are indelible in my whole being. But I submit my absolute gratitude, the fidelity to my last breath to the institution and to your person, my unwavering and non-negotiable devotion, my remaining under your holy command and as a Simon of Cyrene helping to carry the Cross of your responsibilities.”

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