“With intense feelings of emotion and awe we climbed the hill of Hope, coming to the loaded historical memories and spiritual aura Holy Theological School of Halki, this spiritual center of the Orthodox World. Personally, my emotion is twofold because I remember the first time I visited the School as a postgraduate student thirty years ago, when the abbot and headmaster was a humble hierarch, an Ossian figure, a truly modern saint, the blessed German metropolitan Theodoroupolis. With the above words, the general secretary of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy (DSO), Dr. Maximos Harakopoulos addressed the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Agia Triados Halki, Bishop of Arabissos Cassianos during the warm reception of the delegation of the DSO in Theological Seminary.
The Greek parliamentary delegation of the DSO, which is in Istanbul for the throne of the Apostle Andrew and the 30 years of the Patriarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, visited the School of Halki on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the suspension of its operation.
“Matrix” of spiritual people
Maximos Harakopoulos noted that “the Theological School is not only an inexhaustible source of knowledge on issues related to theological science, but also contributed and still contributes to the general consolidation of letters. Halki was a “spiritual womb” that gave birth during its operation, for over a century, to about 1,000 people of spirit and great hierarchs. From this School graduated personalities who took leading positions in the Orthodox Church. Hundreds of bishops, 12 Ecumenical Patriarchs – including the current Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew – as well as Prelates of the Patriarchal Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches received their education at the Halki School. However, it was also the place that inspired personalities of the spirit and the intellect, such as the great writer Georgios Vizyinos, who studied here in 1873 and gave literature an ethnographic style imbued with the ideals contained in the Greek-Christian tradition.
The spirit of openness
The head of the DSO underlined that “Halki instilled in its students the spirit of open horizons, the universal view of things, which I believe had a catalytic effect on shaping the climate for the removal of the schism and the dialogue with the Catholic Church, with other religions and dogmas. We need this spirit of openness, the spirit of Halki, more than ever today, when ecclesiastical nationalisms are re-emerging.
Unfortunately, this nursery of enlightened people, transmitting the universal spirit of Orthodoxy, ceased to function unjustifiably fifty years ago. And, despite the international persuasions for the reopening of the School, as an act of justice and logic, there has not been a corresponding response “.
Halki to reopen its gates
Maximos Harakopoulos concluded by saying that “as Secretary General of the DSO and interpreting the feelings of the colleagues of the Greek delegation, I want you to know that we will make every effort within our Organization for international information and awareness on the issue of Halki. I hope and hope, with God’s help, that the obstacles are removed and that the School soon reopens its gates to fulfill its invaluable educational and spiritual role. May it be done in the days of the current Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who worked as hard as anyone else to remove this injustice. “
The DSO delegation visited the premises of the Theological School and was guided to its emblematic library, where antiquities are kept, with the oldest, as it was said, dating from 1496.
In addition to Maximos Harakopoulos, the DSO delegation includes MPs Athanasios Davakis, Stavros Keletsis, Andreas Michailidis and Ioannis Sarakiotis, as well as the advisor of the Organization, Dr. Costas Mygdalis.
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