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The Ecumenical Patriach (right) receives the Standards documents from  Fr Stavros.

On the 21st of September 2002, the Coordinator of the ENHCC, Fr. Stavros Kofinas, presented Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the official document of the European Standards for Health Care Chaplaincy

At the conclusion of the last Consultation in Turku, all the participating representatives agreed that the official document of the newly adopted Standards should be presented to the Ecumenical Patriarch so that they could be kept in Constantinople (Istanbul) at the Patriarchate. It was here that the Pre-consultation Committee met in January 2002 to form the first draft of the Standards that were presented to the plenary session of the ENHCC in Turku.

His All-Holiness expressed his thanks and joy in receiving the Standards document. He said that he would introduce a proposal to the Holy Synod to make the Standards an official document of the Orthodox Church and that he will send the Standards to all the Churches and institutions under see of the Patriarchate. He was most pleased with the work of the ENHCC and the European character that it has developed. Expressing his satisfaction, he offered his support in any way possible so that the Network can grow and establish itself within the European Community.

On the day of their meeting, the Ecumenical Patriarch received 800 nurses from Greece who were convening “in sail” to Constantinople. At this meeting, he asked Fr. Stavros to speak to them about the Network.

The Network’s coordinator discussed the need for the Network to establish contact with the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches and the European Community. The Ecumenical Patriarch gave advice on how this could be done. He also discussed the possibilities in forming an organization – network that will bring together all Orthodox Christians who are involved in the area of healthcare. Furthermore, they spoke about plans for an Orthodox-Muslim dialogue on issues related to religion and psychosocial issues.

In closing, His All-Holiness extended an invitation to the Network Committee to meet with him, if they decide to meet in Istanbul in September 2003.