Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Relations
The Metropolis of Boston Ecumenical Office works to strengthen relationships with the Christian and interfaith communities, both in Boston and throughout New England. The Metropolis continues to be an active member of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. In 2018, the Annunciation Cathedral in Boston hosted the MCC Annual Meeting.
The Metropolis maintains ongoing interaction with the Roman Catholic Church. Such interactions include: the annual exchange of representatives on the feasts of Ss. Peter and Paul and St. Andrew; Hierarchical visits at the Roman Catholic Chrism Mass on Holy Tuesday and the Orthodox celebration of Pascha.
In the broader Christian community, the Metropolis has participated and taken a leadership role in the Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and Unite Boston ecumenical gatherings. Additionally, the Metropolis was part of a national event in Boston that discussed ways to “take back Sunday” as a day of worship and family.
The Metropolis also seeks to foster relationships with churches throughout the area, especially with the non-Chalcedonian communities such as the Armenian and Coptic churches. The Metropolis helped organize and hosted an event to commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
The Metropolis has taken an active stance in the critical social-ethical issues facing the Boston community. His Eminence helped lead the response of local religious leaders to referenda on physician assisted suicide and the legalization of marijuana.
In the interfaith community, the Metropolis has had and continues to have a productive and fruitful dialogue with the local Jewish community. Several events were organized in which guest speakers spoke on a variety of religious and cultural topics and members of the respective communities gathered in fellowship.
The Metropolitan Ecumenical Office has as its main function the task of providing information, stimulating interest and coordinating ecumenical activities throughout New England. It adheres to the principle that Orthodoxy and Orthodox ecumenism must always speak the truth, never compromising the integrity and purity of Orthodox teachings, but always respecting the sincerity of the religious convictions and spiritual sensitivities of others. A number of clergy and laymen comprise the Ecumenical/Interfaith Commission of our Metropolis, each representing His Eminence in the various areas of common interest.
A strong bond of Christian love and cooperation exists between the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Metropolitan Methodios and Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley regularly meet and share in Christian fellowship, offering opportunities for the faithful of both Churches to pray together. Since the joint pilgrimage of Bostonian Catholics and Orthodox in 1996 to Rome and Constantinople, with the follow-up Pilgrimage in 2007, it has become tradition here Boston for Metropolitan Methodios to lead a delegation of the Orthodox faithful to join our Catholic brethren for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul at the Festal Vespers on June 29. On November 29, at the Feast of St. Andrew, His Eminence Cardinal Seàn reciprocates by leading a group of Catholics to the celebration of St. Andrew, Patron Saint of our Metropolis. This local tradition mirrors that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople who also sends a delegation to Rome to share the feast of Rome’s Patron Saints. St. Andrew is the Patron for the Greek Orthodox Mother Church of Constantinople and therefore on November 29, at the Feast of St. Andrew, the Vatican sends a delegation to the Greek Orthodox in Constantinople. The local celebration in Boston has always been important as a way of bringing to life the examples of the hierarchs and beginning to make reality of our hope for unity.
For more information on Ecumenical and Interfaith relations, visit the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese: www.ecumenical.goarch.org .