On Saturday, 21 October 2023, the work of the 1st Bioethics Conference of the Ecumenical Patriarchate continued, which began with a short prayer, by the President of the Synodal Committee, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, along with the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Evgenios of Crete, the local Shepherd, His Eminence Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymno and Avlopotamos, The Grand Preacher Archimandrite Panaretos, the Honorable Mr. Emmanuel Chnari, Member of Parliament of Rethymnon, the Honourable Archon Exarhos Mr. Stavros Arnaoutakis, Regional Governor of Crete, a multitude of academics, clergy, members of monastic brotherhoods and interested parties from the local community and beyond.
During the first session, entitled “Bioethical challenges in the applications of modern medicine” and chaired by the His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Ierapytni and Sitia, the following speakers presented their addresses: His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, President of the Special Synodal Committee on Bioethics of the Church of Greece, The Very Rev. Protopresbyter Father. Vasilios Kalliakmanis, Professor of the Theological School of Thessaloniki, and Mr. Petros Panagiotopoulos, Professor at the same institution. Then, in the second thematic section entitled “Bioethical Discourse” and under the chairmanship of His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronesos, the following contributors spoke: His Eminence Metropolitan Myron of New Zealand together with Mr. George Olofson, The Honourable Archon Didaskalos of the Nation Mr. Konstantinos Delikostanis, Professor Emeritus of the Theological School of Athens, and Mr. Konstantinos Kornarakis, Professor of the same institution.
After the meal at the welcoming Holy Monastery of the Holy Forerunner of Atali-Bali, the third thematic session followed, entitled “Bioethical dilemmas of the pandemic” and under the chairmanship of Honourable Professor Mr. Konstantinos Spanoudakis, Vice Chancellor of the University of Crete, during which the following contributors spoke: The Honourable Archon Protoasekretis Mr. Sotirios Tsiodras (via online link), Professor of the Medical School of Athens, the Honourable Mr. Evangelos Protopapadakis, Professor of the Faculty of Philosophy at the same University, and Archimandrite Philotheos Maroudas, Doctor of Theology.
Finally, during the fourth session, entitled “The dimensions of palliative care in Bioethics” and under the chairmanship of the Honourable Archon Hieromnimon Dr. Konstantinos Zorbas, Director General of the Orthodox Academy of Crete, the following addresses were made by: Father Vassilios Raduca, Professor of the Theological School of Bucharest, the Honourable Ms. Fereniki Panagopoulou-Koutnatzi, Professor of Panteion University – Social and Political Sciences, and the Honourable Mr. Miltiadis Vantsos, Professor of the Theological School of Thessaloniki.
The comprehensive addresses, which approached current and very topical issues of Bioethics, always with reference to the positions of Orthodox Anthropology and the central theology of absolute respect for the sanctity of the human person, kept the interest of all present undiminished.
Finally, it should be noted that following the proposal of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the body of delegates unanimously decided to send a letter of respect and congratulations to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on the occasion of the 32nd Anniversary of the day of his election as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.