On Thursday, September 6, 2018, the 16th Clerical Conference of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands was held at the Amphitheatre of the Chronically Suffering People’s Foundation “The Platytera”. This year’s topic was the “mystery of paternity” with main speaker Mr. Christos Giannaras, scholar, author and emeritus professor of the Panteion University.
A greeting was addressed by His Beatitude, Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania, Mr. Anastasios who underlined the importance of the spiritual work that a Priest has to do, as a father, particularly in these difficult times we live.
What we still require is the Sanctification and Theosis of humans. Therefore, we need to acquire more love, faith and humbleness through praying.
In his speech, his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios invited the priests to see paternity right, and the priesthood not as a mere job, but as a relationship with humans, to fill it with God’s order, love, comfort and be servants and not controllers of humans.
Then, Mr. Giannaras talked and noted that by birth, humans are introduced to existence. A father gives existence. However, understanding such a fact is difficult.
Unfortunately, the Church today is seen as a mere supplement to life. On the contrary, the Church is the entrance to another way of being. Understanding is not enough. The way of knowing, experiencing in other words, is the way of sharing in the truth within the Church. In the way of the Church we meet people with God and among us and this is a feast!
In our culture there is another way of understanding reality through eg. science and news. This has the effect of living with impressions and not with reality. The way of our life is artificial, a world of impressions and spectacles.
In addition, Mr. Giannaras stressed that a large number of sermons refer to ideas, beliefs, not to talk about another way of life. The word faith for people is translated into belief.
Inside the Church, however, the word loyalty means trust and is in no way ideology. We have the empirical certainty that in Him whom we surrender, loves us.
To experience this experience, we need to get out of the “I”. Faith is Grace. I belong to the Church means I have given myself to the Love that forms the Church.
Most people regard going to church as a simple prayer. The idea that we do not go to the Church to pray, we go to celebrate, is lost. The church meeting is another class event, the professor pointed out.
Finally, it was noted that the Clerical Conference was preceded by the celebration of Divine Liturgy at the Holy Church of the Holy Trinity of the C.S.F. and the memorial commemoration given by his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Mr. Nektarios, in order to rest the souls of the consecrated Archpriests, Priests, Hieromonks, Deacons and Monks of the local Church.
Like every year, during the conference voluntary blood donation took place to support both the blood bank of the Holy Metropolis and the Hospital of Corfu.