On Sunday, 14 January 2024, His Eminence Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias and Almyros, will concelebrate with Metropolitan Stefanos of Tallinn and all Estonia (and also, with Metropolitan Grigorios of Peristeri) at the Church of St Simeon and St Anna in Tallinn, Estonia.
After the service, Metropolitan Ignatius will honour Metropolitan Stefanos awarding him with the Grand Cross, the Highest Honorary Distinction of the Metropolis of Demetrias.
A distinguished personality of the Orthodox world, Metropolitan Stefanos of Tallinn harmoniously combines not only fidelity to Tradition with the demands for renewal but also combines spirituality with the concern for problems of the contemporary world.
After a lot of significant theological and pastoral work within the boundaries of the Metropolis of France until 1999, Metropolitan Stefanos made every effort to strengthen the presence of Orthodoxy in Estonia, from the very first moment he became the leader of the Autonomous Orthodox Church in this Baltic country.
He strengthened the ties with the local people and culture but also promoted Orthodox unity, despite the various adversities he encountered there, due to the policies of the Moscow Patriarchate; and he decisively contributed to the almost pan-Orthodox (with the single exception of Russia) recognition of the autonomy of the Orthodox Church in Estonia.
Equally important was his interest in interreligious dialogue, but also in the pastoral treatment of migrants, an issue that is constantly on the front line, especially in Southern Europe. His engagement with topics such as cinema, the theology of beauty, and other similar issues, reveal the sensitivities of a gifted man who has been ministering to the Church of Christ in Estonia in an insightful way for years.
The Metropolitan of Tallinn keeps close ties with the Metropolis of Demetrias, which become clear in the cooperation of the Orthodox Institute of St. Plato of Estonia with the Volos Academy for Theological Studies.
The two Hierarchs have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (2019), inaugurating a fruitful collaboration in the field of theological teaching, focusing particularly on contemporary problems and challenges.
Photo courtesy of Nicholas Kitsios from the website https://basilica.ro/