A new proposal is put forward by the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC), in the context of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s actions for the environment – after all, September 1 has been established as the day of prayer for the protection of the natural environment, a day on which the Church celebrates the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, known as the “Beginning of the Indictus“.

This initiative of OAC, concerns the realization of an International Ecological School with participants from Europe and North America, with physical presence, at the Foundation’s premises, 11-18 November 2023. It is organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC), ECEN (European Christian Environmental Network) and the OAC Institute of Theology and Ecology, under the direction of Antonios Kalogerakis.

This action is part of the OAC’s efforts to promote “Green Parishes”, as a continuation of the Foundation’s efforts in this regard, which have been launched since 2014. As Dr. Konstantinos Zorbas, Director General of OAC, points out, each effort is fully integrated into the more general actions for the protection of the world around us and this is “a hope for the future, since only then is there sustainable development and progress, when we care at the same time for the integrity of creation and the protection of the dignity and rights of man” (Message of His Most Devine All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the Protection of the Natural Environment, 2023).

The topics of the Eco-School include issues such as: Climate Justice, Water and Nutrition.

The OAC invites any interested person, sensitive to environmental issues, aged between 18 and 30 and with a good command of English, to carefully follow the instructions of the World Council of Churches and apply for participation in the November Eco-School at the OAC, exclusively through the following link, which provides all relevant information:


Participation in an International School with the prestige of the World Council of Churches, ECEN and OAC is a unique experience, since it is the first time that such a School is being held in Europe and in our country.

The deadline for applications is September 16, 2023 and it is recommended that the above link be opened as early as possible. A Certificate of Attendance will be issued.

It should be noted that only those whose application has been approved by the World Council of Churches, due to the relevant international procedures, will be able to attend this Ecological School.

The importance of the mentioned Eco-School is more relevant than ever, today, when we are living in conditions of extreme fires. A few flames are enough to stir up the whole of nature, which “flocks and fuses together” (Rom. 8:19). We are losing organised ecosystems with incalculable consequences for man and nature itself. And that is where the other man emerges, the man of solidarity and giving, because as His Most Devine All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew underlines, the Church “continues her struggle for the integrity of creation, aware that her concern for the natural environment is not an additional action in her life, but an essential expression and realization of it, as an extension of the Eucharist in all the forms and dimensions of her good witness in the world” (2023). The School has this very aim to seek the deepest values within the community in the face of extreme circumstances – including climate collapse.

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