His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
The Trinity Across Disciplines and Cultures
Fordham University – Lincoln Center – Room 140W G76A
(140 W. 62nd St., New York)
September 22, 2023
Dear Monsignor Piero Coda,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am truly delighted to greet all of you at this remarkable gathering, the Symposium on “The Trinity Across Disciplines and Cultures,” featuring Monsignor Piero Coda’s extraordinary scholarship. It is my distinct honor to extend warm and heartfelt greetings to each and every one of you. I would like to begin by commending the organizers of this wonderful event, the many institutions within Fordham University that contributed to its success, most notably the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. I am also very grateful to our dear friends of the Focolari Movement for the opportunity to address this august assembly in anticipation of Monsignor Piero Coda’s lecture.
We are fortunate today to share the stage with a renowned theologian who has dedicated both his career and his entire life to the exploration of the mystery of the Holy Trinity as a source of unity and communion. Indeed, it is a central principle to our Christian theology in the East as well as in the West, and it plays a profound role in shaping various aspects of our Christian faith and practice. The Holy Trinity influences our spiritual experience within the Church, informs our understanding of communion, and serves as the foundation of our unity and reconciliation.
Following the seminal teaching of the Cappadocian Fathers, and the foundational thoughts of Saint Maximus the Confessor, our ecclesial vision is grounded in the understanding that the Holy Trinity inspires our spiritual experience of the Church and of salvation. Trinitarian theology and ecclesiology are so intimately and inextricably related. As the central mystical action of the church, the Divine Liturgy is where we unite with the Risen Christ, participate in outpourings of the life-giving Spirit, and commune with God the Father. The Eucharist, as a Trinitarian expression, is a sign of the unity that lives in the communion of its members. As Metropolitan John of Pergamon used to say: “The Church is not simply an institution. She is a 'mode of existence,' a way of being. The mystery of the Church is deeply bound to the being of man, to the being of the world and to the very being of God. Ecclesial being is bound to the very being of God.”
Today, we are invited to think of the intersectional influence of the Holy Trinity across disciplines and cultures. I am convinced that this approach also speaks to our ecumenical vocation and mission of Christian reconciliation and unity.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
We wish you all a successful conference, exploring the mystery of the Holy Trinity as the Alpha and Omega of our faith, revealed by Christ’s mission into the world and supported by the action of the Holy Spirit. We look forward to listening to Monsignor Piero Coda and the conversation which will follow.
Thank you for your kind attention!