Ioanna Zikakou – November 2013
“The joyous anniversary of the Austrian Metropolis’ fifty years of life and offer, is a milestone in the Church’s course and a great event for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, speaking during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Metropolis founding. The event took place in the historic Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral located in the Greek district in the center of Vienna. The solemn liturgy was attended by priests of the Orthodox churches in Austria, social representatives, diplomats, and hundreds of believers from Austria and the surrounding countries. Referring to the history of Orthodoxy in Austria, Hungary and Central Europe, the Ecumenical Patriarch praised the personalities and the work of the prelates.
At the same time, he expressed his appreciation toward the Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria, Hungary and Central Europe, with whose initiatives and actions made it possible to renovate and remodel both chambers of the Greek National School of Vienna and the offices of metropolis. The Greek National School of Vienna is the oldest active Greek school of the Diaspora, which has been in operation for 209 years after its official recognition by the Emperor Francis the First, on May 6, 1804, and at which Greek language history, geography and religion are taught. Last Saturday, the Ecumenical Patriarch attended the celebratory concert of classical music at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, with the famous pianists, Austrian Harald Ossberger, and Greek Christos Marantos. Among others he met are: the Cardinal of Austria Christoph Schönborn, Austrian State Secretary of Integration, Sebastian Kurz and the representative of the Vatican, archbishop Peter Stephan Zurbriggen.