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November 1, 2023

In Memory of Fr. John Romanides (+ November 1, 2001-2023)

Below I translated an In Memorium to Fr. John Romanides posted today by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, in which he announced a new article he wrote covering Fr. Romanides's tenure as Professor of Dogmatics at Holy School of Theology in Boston, which I will shortly begin translating. After this I want to translate a lecture the Metropolitan gave on Fr. Romanides at Vatopaidi Monastery on Mount Athos, which was followed by an interesting question and answer session. With this I also want to announce a further effort by me to focus on getting some of Fr. Romanides's other works translated and published, beginning this month, so stay tuned as this will be a long process, but also long overdue. There is also one correction I want to make from the text below: Fr. Romanides and Fr. Florovsky did not live in the same apartment building in Boston specifically, but they shared a duplex in nearby Cambridge, less than a mile from Harvard University, where Fr. Florovsky also taught besides Holy Cross, and where Fr. Romanides was working on a Ph.D under him, though it was never completed due to the both of them eventually taking on different positions outside of Boston.
In Memory of Fr. John Romanides (2001-2023)
By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

22 years ago today, specifically on November 1st 2001, there reposed in Athens, on the day of the Holy Unmercenaries, in front of the Sacred Church of Saint Kyriaki on Athens Street, the top Dogmatic theologian and historian, but also a confessor of the faith of the Fathers of the Church, Fr. John Romanides.

Towards the end of his biological life, at his request, he was listed among the Clergy (Clericologion) of the Sacred Metropolis of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou, and for this reason and as his Metropolitan I dealt with the entire process of his funeral service, in collaboration with Professor Protopresbyter Fr. George Metallinos, his friend from the same university, and other Clergy, in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, where representatives of the four Theological Departments of the two Theological Schools, Athens and Thessaloniki, and representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Mr. Christodoulos, spoke.

Fr. John Romanides lived the first half of his life in America, he studied at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston, at Yale and Harvard Universities, at St. Vladimir's in New York, at the St. Sergius Institute in Paris and at the Theological School in Athens. The second half of his life he lived between the Theological School of Thessaloniki and the Theological School of Lebanon, and participated in the theological dialogues between the Church and other Confessions, as a representative of the Church of Greece.

His theological knowledge from his rich research work was great, his knowledge of the English and French languages was adequate, but his vast historical knowledge also helped him in his work. He was an intelligent man and a connoisseur of the Fathers of the Church, in the clear prerequisites of their theology, which was the participation in the purifying, illuminating and deifying energy of God.

As a theological memorial in his memory I will publish a text I recently wrote titled "Fr. John Romanides as a Professor of Dogmatics at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston of America", which took place in the years 1960-1962, when although he was only 33-34 years old he was yet a mature Dogmatic Theologian.

It should be noted that he was a student of Fr. George Florovsky and indeed his best student, a fact that those who refer to Fr. George Florovsky carefully and consciously overlook, as happened recently at a Theological Conference, but during this period when he was teaching Dogmatics at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston he was a fellow Professor with Fr. George Florovsky and they lived in the same apartment building in Boston.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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