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The Spring Session of the Orthodox Bishops’ Assembly in Germany took place from March 5 to 7, 2017, in Munich. The ruling and vicar bishops of the dioceses in the country celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the ROCOR’s Cathedral of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Church of Russia, held working meetings and met with faculty and students of the Orthodox Theology Training Center of the Ludwig Maximillian-University in Munich.

The main working session took place on March 6 at the Serbian St. Jovan Vladimir church compound in Munich. After the agenda was announced, reports were made by representatives of the Bishops’ Assembly commissions. The head of the translation commission, Archbishop Mark of Berlin-Germany and Great Britain (ROCOR), presented the first official German version of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which had been approved by all the Orthodox bishops in Germany.

The hierarchs considered problems involved in teaching Orthodox faith in general education schools in some federal lands. Special attention was given to the licensing of teachers, recognition of theological higher education certificates in countries not members of the EU, as well as possible ways of raising the level of the teachers. Having considered the state of affairs in dioceses, the participants stressed the need to intensify the work of joint Orthodox pastoral conferences.

Archpriest Constantine Miron (Patriarchate of Constantinople), the commissioner of the Bishops’ Conference on Inter-Christian Cooperation, made a report on the state of affairs in the field of relationships with other Christian confessions. The bishops considered the nature and dynamic of the development of inter-Christian relations and expressed concern for the activity of pseudo-Orthodox schismatic groups in Germany.

On March 7, the participants in the session visited the University of Munich center for Orthodox theology. The center’s staff presented the programs implemented in the university and spoke about possibilities for deepening one’s knowledge and carrying out research work at the center.

After the presentation, the final meeting of the Spring Session took place. It was agreed that the next, Autumn Session of the Orthodox Bishops’ Assembly in Germany will take place in late October in Aachen, the ROC Diocese of Berlin-Germany website reports.

DECR Communication Service