CEC Theological Reflections: Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The painting depicts Ecclesia militans and refers to the Ecclesia triumphans, including those who lost their lives during the pandemic. The flames represent the prayers people offer all around the world despite restrictions regarding church attendance. The church buildings represent the different Christian traditions in Europe. Despite their dogmatic and other differences, they stand together in the time of pain, uncertainty, fear and death. The two symbols of the Eucharist stand as a hopeful remembrance of the eschatological nature of the Christian communion. © CEC/Nikos Kosmidis

As part of CEC’s new online series of monthly Theological Reflections titled “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” read here reflections from the Greek theologian Dr Stavros Yangazoglou on “The Church as communion of faith, worship and life: Ecclesiological challenges and antinomies during the pandemic and health restrictions.”

In the Orthodox Tradition the Church is realised when the Divine Eucharist is offered “for the life of the world”. In this way, the Church becomes a charismatic community and a real witness of faith, love and hope to the world on its way to the Kingdom. The Church, therefore, does not constitute a mere community but must represent and charismatically witness to the life and experience in Christ through the communion of faith and sacramental worship – always in relation to the world and humanity. The health restrictions and the deprivation of worship and sacramental life imposed by the current pandemic pose a series of theological and mainly ecclesiological challenges for the identity of the Church, which is connected with the celebration of the Eucharist. Please click here to read full text

 

About the author:

Dr Stavros Yangazoglou is a graduate of the Faculty of Theology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He studied ecumenical theology at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey and medieval philosophy and theology at Fribourg in Switzerland. Since 2005, he has been teaching systematic theology at the Hellenic Open University in Athens. In 2017, he was elected assistant professor of Dogmatics in the Department of Theology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Stavros Yangazoglou is member of CEC Thematic Group Ecclesiology and Mission, representing the Church of Greece.


Exploring Church in Mission:
Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic

CEC’s new online theological series “Exploring Church in Mission” is launched by CEC Thematic Group on Ecclesiology and Mission. The theme for this year’s series is “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

The series aims to foster ecumenical theological reflection on current topics related to ecclesiology and mission. The theological reflections featured in the series will explore diverse perspectives from CEC Member Churches.

Each month a new theological reflection will be published on CEC website.

In the current year, the series will explore the topic “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 pandemic”. The series will highlight different theological positions of churches in Europe on communion and the eucharist, in this way contributing to a better understanding of the reasons behind different responses to COVID related restrictions imposed on worship by governments.

Disclaimer: The impressions expressed in the theological reflections are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the Conference of European Churches.

For more information contact CEC Executive Secretary Katerina Pekridou

Learn more about CEC’s work on Ecclesiology and Mission



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