From 18th to 19th October 2017, the deans of the faculties of orthodox theology in Romania paid a visit to the European capital and to the centuries-old university center of Leuven.
The first day started with a visit at the Permanent Office of the Romanian Patriarchate to the EU and St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church, where the guests were briefed on the specific mission of our Permanent Office in Brussels and on the evolution of the restoration work of the building.
In the afternoon, the delegation was received at the European Parliament by Laurentiu Rebega, Romanian MEP. They were introduced to the ways of functioning of the EU institutions and had an exchange on the most pressing issues that the Union is currently facing. It was emphasised that all the various crises that have been shaking our societies in recent years are actually routed in a deep crisis of values, hence the need for Europe and Europeans to reconsider and rediscover those values which laid at the basis of the original European construct, as envisaged by its founding fathers.
In the evening, the Romanian delegation had a meeting with the members of the Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches to the EU, who briefed them on their current activities and on their recent annual meeting in Moscow, on 6-8 October 2017.
The second day of the visit started with a guided tour of the University Library, in Leuven, which celebrates 500 years from the foundation of the Collegium Trilingue. Here, curator prof. dr. Jan Papy explained how the study of Latin, Greek and Hebrew contributed to the development of the University of Leuven as a dominant center of humanism in Europe and led the delegation on a heritage walk of the Erasmus’ Dream. Collegiume Trilingue exhibition.
Thereafter the members of the delegation were received at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies by the Dean, Prof. Mathijs Lamberigts, and by Prof. Peter de Mey, head of the Centre for Ecumenical Studies. The meeting started with a presentation of the faculty’s research projects, many of which include Romanian researchers and master students, and of the ways in which further joint projects can be strengthened in the coming years. Then, the group had the privilege to visit the Preciosa room of the Maurits Sabbe Library, which shelters a rich collection of about 200.000 rare books, including the 14th century famous Anjou Bible.