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Metropolitan of Messinia at the Clergy Synaxis of the Archdiocese of Cyprus

On Monday, 4 December 2023, a priestly synaxis was held at the Great Synodikon of the Holy Archdiocese of Cyprus with His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia invited as the speaker.

The speaker was introduced by His Beatitude Archbishop Georgios of Cyprus, whom he thanked for his presence in the Archdiocese and for accepting the invitation to speak to the clergy of the Holy Archdiocese of Cyprus.

The Metropolitan of Messinia elaborated on the topic “Priesthood: charism in the Church and ministry in the world. The ecclesiology of the ministry”.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos referred to the Christological and pneumatological basis of the charismatic priesthood. “The starting point for the issue of the priesthood and charismatic liturgies in the Church is their Christological view. It is no coincidence that in the texts of the New Testament, all existing functions are attributed to Christ. This starting point leads us to consider that every ministry in the Church is identified with this ministry of Christ, which, as a ministry in the body of Christ, is a projection of the presence of Christ in the Church, an element necessary in any theological approach to the issue of liturgies.

The second starting point is that the ministry of Christ in the Church presupposes the presence of the Holy Spirit, noting the necessity of the Holy Spirit in the event of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.”

Metropolitan Chrysostomos then referred to the charismatic ministries and the Divine Eucharist “Based on the criterion of the relationship between the Eucharist, the canonical Bishop, and the ministries, there is also a distinction between the structural – Eucharistic ministries, and the non-structural ministries.

The third element he developed in his speech was about priestly charisms and ministry to the community. “The priesthood exists only within the Eucharistic community and not outside or above it. Ordination, as an act of charism, places the priest in a special relationship with his community. This means that within this particular community, he is called to function and minister. Moreover, we should not forget that the Church is in the world but not of the world.”

In the second part of his speech, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia developed the ecclesiological framework of the ministry. “Both for the people of Israel and in the life of the early Church, the ministry has always been associated with specific persons. The persons were characterised as servants of God and mediators between God and God’s people, such as Moses who was considered the minister of the first covenant (2 Corinthians 3,7,9). The second part was divided into two parts. The first is the bishop and the non-structural functions in the Church. “In the life of the Church it is known that in addition to the so-called structural functions of the bishop – presbyter, deacon, and laity, which exist by ordination, there are also the non-structural ones, which come from ordination and which could be characterised as historical functions because they serve only the horizontal and historical dimension of the Church.” The second is the priesthood and the scientific ministry “in the world”. “The bishop, as the head of the Eucharistic community, is called to embrace the problems of the world and life.

The Metropolitan stressed that “the parish must become the centre of the ministry and life of the ecclesiastical body. It should be communicated to those charismatic members of the parish, those active in the parish ministry, that no one is left over in the parish work, thus utilising their special gifts. In the parish ministry, no one is considered self-sufficient, but everyone is called to serve. This utilisation presupposes the offer of sacrifice and loving freedom, which leads to genuine volunteerism.

The Bishop must inspire the members of the parish – Eucharistic communities, even to the point that the Church respects the freedom of even the sinner, but fights the cause of his sinfulness and its consequences, providing impartially every opportunity for repentance.”

Finally, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia thanked His Beatitude Archbishop Georgios of Cyprus for the invitation and wished everyone a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

Present at the synaxis were His Beatitude Archbishop Georgios of Cyprus, His Eminence Metropolitan Porphyrios of Tamasos and Oreini, and His Grace Bishop Christoforos of Karpasia and His Grace Bishop Porphyrios of Neapolis.

A fruitful dialogue followed while the Synaxis was concluded by the Bishop of Karpasia, thanking the guest speaker for his deep theological speech and address.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos, after the priestly synaxis, had a meeting with the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, His Beatitude Archbishop Georgios of Justiniana and All Cyprus.

It should be noted that on the occasion of his presence at the Archdiocese, the Metropolitan of Messinia performed a Trisagion service at the tomb of the late Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, with whom he had known for several years.