Brussels, January 28, 2012
Participating in the event were: His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon (Constantinople Patriarchate), Chairman; His Eminence Archbishop Simon of Brussels and Belgium (Moscow Patriarchate), Vice Chairman; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Koman, Exarch of Russian Orthodox Churches of the Constantinople Patriarchate in Western Europe; His Grace Bishop Luka of France and Western Europe (Serbian Patriarchate); His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of Western and Southern Europe (Romanian Patriarchate), Treasurer; His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia); His Grace Bishop Maximos of Evmenia (Belgian Diocese of the Constantinople Patriarchate), and His Grace Bishop Athenagoras (Belgian Diocese of the Constantinople Patriarchate), Secretary.
Matters pertaining to the developing process of the official recognition of Orthodox Christianity in Netherlands were discussed at the meeting.
With the aim of uniting pastoral efforts of various jurisdictions and a more visible confession of the faith before the world, the participants of the forum decided to create several committees within the framework of the Bishops’ Conference. Each of these (Pastoral Stewardship, Youth, Liturgical Publishing, Informational, and Inter-Christian and Interfaith Dialog), will each be headed by a bishop with the participation of competent clergymen and laypersons.
The participants supported the proposal by Archbishop Simon to publish the lives of saints of the undivided Church who lived in the territory of what is now referred to as Benelux.
The fraternal and constructive meeting concluded with common prayer and dinner.
The Orthodox Bishops’ Conference of the countries of Benelux was created in accordance with a decision made at the IV All-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference in Chambesy, Switzerland, in June 2009. The first meeting of the conference was held in June 2010, and the second was held in April 2011. A total of twelve Orthodox bishops serve in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.