March 20, 2011 • Off-Campus Event
On March 20, 2011, our dean, Fr. John Behr, and our assistant professor of Canon Law, Fr. Alexander Rentel, attended the ordination of Archmandrite Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis), to his episcopal position as Metropolitan of Proussa (now known as “Bursa”), in Istanbul, Turkey. His Eminence’s consecration to the episcopacy was held at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. In June 2010, Metropolitan Elpidophoros — former Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Great Church of Constantinople—honored our seminary by presenting a paper (“Greek Orthodox, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the Church in the U.S.A.,” published in St. Vladimir’s Seminary Quarterly  54.3–4) during the international “Hellenism and Orthodoxy” symposium  held on our campus.
During their visit, Frs. John and Alexander met with and received the blessing of the His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew , who received the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa from St. Vladimir’s in 1997, and they presented him with an icon of the Holy and Great Prince Vladimir. They were also able to greet His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk , chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, who attended the ordination, along with a number of representatives from other local churches.
Both dean and professor reflected upon their exceptional visit. Fr. Alexander— whose doctoral work had examined the patriarchal liturgy of Constantinople in the fourteenth century—commented upon how wonderful it had been to experience first hand the same “taste of heaven” that the emissaries of the Holy Prince Vladimir had found in the patriarchal services in the 10th century.
Fr. John reflected on the catholicity of Orthodoxy that he had observed: “It is very important,” he noted, “that Orthodoxy not only be local, but also one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. It is this particular synthesis of local and catholic, particular and universal, that we strive to represent here at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. It was wonderful to have attended the event, and to see such Orthodoxy in action.”