Edict of Milan Seminar 2013
Religious Freedom Today -- Emperor Constantine’s Edict of Milan: 1700 years later
On Friday, May 17, 2013, the Ecumenical Patriarchate honored the 1700th anniversary of Emperor Constantine the Great's "Edict of Milan" by hosting an international and interfaith one-day seminar in collaboration with the Council of European Episcopal Churches at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. The seminar -- which was held only days before the Orthodox Feast of Saints Constantine and [his mother] Helen as well as in the city founded by and named after Constantine the Emperor -- was generously sponsored by the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. The joint moderators were Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Péter Cardinal Erdö (CCEE).
The seminar officially opened with a keynote address by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who also organized a pilgrimage with the seminar's participants the following day to the site of St. Constantine's death in Hereke, Turkey. On Sunday, Feast of the Myrrh-Bearing Women, His All-Holiness presided over a Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy at the historic Holy Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring at Baloukli.
Over the weekend, the Orthodox Churches were represented by His Beatitude Ilia II, Catholicos and Patriarch of all Georgia, as well as Hierarchs from the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, and Albania. In addition to the delegates from the CCEE, other Roman Catholic representatives included Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, Apostolic Nuncio in Ankara, and Bishop Louis Pelâtre. Also in attendance among the delegates and dignitaries were distinguished professors and diplomatic personnel from many countries.