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Working visit of the Synodal Committee of the Church of Greece to the Phanar

A working visit dedicated to the subject of combating human trafficking was carried out on Monday, 26 June 2023, at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The working visit was attended by the President of the Special Synodal Committee on Special Pastoral Issues and Situations of the Church of Greece, His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Ilion, Acharna and Petroupolis, the Secretary of the Synodal Committee, Archimandrite Spyridon Katramados, The Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Ilion, Acharna and Petroupolis, Archimandrite Nikodimos Athanasiou, the Director of the Youth Office and member of the Special Synodal Committee, Mr. Dimitrios Anifantakis, and the Assistant Professor of Medicine at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and member of the Special Synodal Committee Mr. Theodoros Pittaras.

The Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum of Greece and National Rapporteur for Combating Human Trafficking, Mr. Heracles Moskof, who is also a close associate of the committee, participated in the mission.

His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras and the members of the mission were warmly welcomed by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who had extended the particularly honourable invitation to carry out the working visit. During a meeting that took place, both the Ecumenical Patriarch, and Metropolitan Athenagoras found the need to give an ecumenical spiritual dimension to the issue of combating human trafficking, a phenomenon against which the Church must act dynamically, protecting the victims of modern slavery and contributing by all means to the limitation and eventual elimination of this sickening social phenomenon.

Finally, it was decided in the immediate future to jointly plan and implement large-scale actions, which will concern the clerical and lay members of the Church, as well as initiatives to inform and raise public awareness of trafficking, as well as horizontal actions of multifaceted support for victims, both within the boundaries of the Church of Greece and in Metropolises of the Diaspora.