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8 /26 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA MARCH 2016

Conference on the Mother of God


at the University of Notre Dame
Once in a while, in Christian circles, a conference of Synesius of Cyrene and Gregory of Nazianzus’ Poe- Christian Studies in Brisbane. We had lunch and I re-
takes place in which the atmosphere is at once both mata Arcana and Orations.’ In 2015 he also participat- turned for Dr Doherty’s talk, which was followed by a
scholarly and prayerful; where the environment is con- ed, together with Associate Professor Bronwen Neil FA- presentation by another friend of the College, Associate
ducive towards the mutual exchange of ideas and the HA, in a Round Table organised by Father Doru on Professor Fr Joseph Azize (UND), who presented at our
strengthening of faith. ‘My Soul Magnifies the Lord ‘Dreaming in the Ascetic and Philosophical Traditions of 2014 Patristic Symposium and published an article enti-
(Luke 1:46): Mary at the beginning of the third millenni- Late Antiquity.’ Naturally, it was a pleasure to represent tled ‘Ignatius of Antioch on the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy:
um’ was one such conference. It took place on 4-5 St Andrew’s and to reciprocate Kevin’s friendship at this Logic and Methodology’ in Phronema 30:2 (2015). Fr
March at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney, with conference. He presented on ‘Virginity and Infertility: Azize presented on ‘Historical Methodology and Mary
the purpose of celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Barren Fruitfulness in “de virginitate” Literature of the the Mother of Jesus.’
University’s Sydney campus. The call for papers, which Fourth and Fifth Centuries.’ Of course, in a conference with two parallel sessions
went out last year, specifically mentioned that the con- At the beginning of the conference we were moved on the first day – and three on the second – it is impos-
venors welcomed contributions from their Orthodox by the heartfelt personal welcome given to us by Pro- sible to attend every paper. The papers I attended, in-
brothers and sisters; an invitation that was taken up by fessor Hayden Ramsay, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, cluding two additional keynotes, one by Professor John
Protopresbyter Dr Doru Costache (Senior Lecturer in Chair of College and Dean of UND, which he expressed Haldane on ‘Marian Transformations: Art, Philosophy
Patristic Studies, St Andrew’s) and myself. Fr Doru gave both privately and as part of his opening announce- and Mystical Theology,’ and another by Revd Dr Robin
a paper entitled ‘The Mystery of Mary in the Byzantine ment. Professor Ramsay also welcomed another good Koning on ‘Revisiting the Marian Dimension of Ignatian
Theotokia of Dominical Vespers,’ and I presented on friend of the College, Dr Bernard (Patrikios) Doherty, Spirituality,’ were both fascinating. It was a pleasure to
‘Theotokoupoleis: the Mother of God as Protectress of Lecturer in New Religious Movements, Cults and Sects hear the presentation of Dr Matthew Tan on ‘Marian
the Two Romes.’ We were also motivated to contribute at St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Canberra. Dr Epistemology,’ as well as the talks of Lawrence Qum-
because of the friendship of the soon-to-be doctored Doherty has presented papers at our 2013 and 2014 Pa- mou on ‘Divine Wisdom and the Blessed Mother: Bul-
Kevin Wagner, who is in the final stages of receiving his tristic Symposia, and has published an article in Phrone- gakov and Bouyer,’ Veronica Fitzpatrick on ‘The Madon-
PhD from the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. Mr ma 30:1 (2015) on ‘Cyril and Hypatia: Tracing the Con- na della Miserocordia– an Image for the 14th, 15th and
Wagner, who lectures in theology at the University of tours of an Anti-Christian Myth,’ which was based on 21st Centuries,’ and Dr Peter John McGregor on ‘Mary
Notre Dame, co-convened the conference, together his 2014 Symposium paper. He has published book re- as Priest, Prophet and King.’ I was sad to miss Dr Robert
with Sr Dr Isabell Naumann (Catholic Institute of Syd- views in Phronema and has given guest lectures for Fr Tilley’s (CIS) presentation on ‘Mary the Temple of Scrip-
ney), Sr Moira Debono (UND), Dr Paul Morissey (Campi- Doru in Patristic Studies and for me in Church History. ture: Tracing the Art of Sacred Circumlocution,’ but was
on College), and Dr Peter McGregor (Catholic Adult Ed- Bernard presented a paper entitled ‘Marian Arks Cut encouraged by several fruitful discussions with him
ucation Centre). Adrift: The Post-Roman Catholic Careers of Two Aus- throughout the conference. Congratulations are due to
Mr Wagner has presented papers at our 2013 and tralian Marian Visionaries.’ It was a pleasure to listen to the conveners of this very special conference, and grat-
2014 Patristic Symposia, and has published an article in the keynote paper of Sr Dr Isabell Naumann from CIS on itude for their profound hospitality.
our College journal, Phronema, volume 29:2 (2014) on ‘Mariology at the beginning of the third millennium’ be-
‘Theophilus of Alexandria and the Episcopal Ordination fore Fr Doru and I gave our papers, in sequence, in the
of Synesius of Cyrene.’ His next article for Phronema, to morning of the first day of the conference. Fr Doru then Dr Mario Baghos
be published shortly in the upcoming volume 31:1, is had to depart due to commitments at another confer- Lecturer in Church History
entitled ‘The Second Person of the Trinity in the Hymns ence, the 2016 Planning Meeting of the Centre for Early St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College

Greece and Turkey build on plan for return of refugees


Greece and Turkey signed a readmission agreement “As a first reaction I’m deeply concerned about any
for migrants who cross the Aegean to be returned, arrangement that would involve the blanket return of
building on the basis for a potential deal between the anyone from one country to another without spelling
European Union and Ankara brokered in the early out the refugee protection safeguards under interna-
hours of the day regarding the direct resettlement of tional law,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi told the Euro-
refugees. pean Parliament in Strasbourg.
Only a few hours after they completed 16-hour ne- He said the plan did not offer sufficient guarantees
gotiations in Brussels, Greek Prime Minister Alexis under international law, adding that refugees should
Tsipras and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu only be returned to a country if it could be proved
met in Izmir on Tuesday as part of the latest High-Lev- that their asylum application would be properly
el Cooperation Council between the two sides. processed.
The two leaders signed six agreements. Perhaps the Grandi called for refugees to be screened before
most significant was a bilateral deal for the migrants being sent away from Greece “to identify highly at-
who are not eligible for international protection to be risk categories that may not be appropriate for re-
readmitted to Turkey after crossing into Greece. The turn.”
two countries already had such an agreement but His concerns were shared by Human Rights Watch.
Tuesday’s pact changes the process used so Greece due to meet with the Turkish premier again to finalize “A fundamental contradiction lies at the heart of the
can return the migrants immediately. the plan. EU-Turkey deal taking shape,” said Bill Frelick,
“[It] sends a clear message to migrants coming “The aim here is to discourage irregular migration refugee rights director at the rights group. “The par-
from third countries, rather than countries at war... and... to recognize those Syrians in our camps who ties failed to say how individual needs for interna-
that there is neither the political will [to allow their the EU will accept – though we will not force anyone tional protection would be fairly assessed during the
passage] nor the ability to cross to Europe,” said to go against their will – on legal routes,” Davutoglu rapid-fire mass expulsions they agreed would take
Davutoglu. said. place.”
“This is the reality we ought to sincerely convey to The Greek delegation appeared encouraged by de- “Refugees should not be used as bargaining chips,”
them in order to stop, to reduce, this unbearable flow velopments in Brussels and Izmir. Athens is adamant Frelick said. “The integrity of the EU’s asylum system,
for our countries.” that without Turkey’s cooperation there is no hope of indeed the integrity of European values, is at stake.”
The deal rubber-stamped in Izmir came in the wake the number of refugee arrivals in Greece decreasing Rights group Amnesty International said the pro-
of a Turkish proposal in Brussels to accept the return significantly. posal was full of “moral and legal flaws.”
of all migrants and refugees who cross the Aegean to However, the plan for the EU to take one refugee “The idea of bartering refugees for refugees is not
reach Greece in return for EU countries resettling a- from Turkey for each one that is returned from only dangerously dehumanizing, but also offers no
sylum seekers directly from Turkey. Tsipras said that Greece was not applauded by the UN Refugee Agency sustainable long-term solution to the ongoing hu-
he found the proposal “interesting.” EU leaders are (UNHCR). manitarian crisis,” Amnesty’s Iverna McGowan said.