On 4th March 2010 in the Throne Room of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa the opening ceremony of the work of the 2nd Internation Philosophy Conference entitled “The Meaning of Citizen in Hellenic Philosophy” took place with particular solemnity.The conference, which is under the auspices of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, is organised by the Athens Academy and the Centre for Research of Hellenic Philosophy and is being realised with the generous sponsorship of the National Bank of Greece and the Ktimatiki Etairia Dimosiou.
The opening meeting was presided over by the Venerable Primate of the Alexandrian Church who, with warmth and cordiality welcomed all – the majority of whom are academics – to the Patriarchal See and wished then a productive and creative presence in this spiritual meeting.
His Beatitude awarded the Cross of St Mark to the President of the Athens Academy, Mr. Konstantinos Sbolopoulos, thereby honouring the entire Athens Academy.
In his reply, Mr. Sbolopoulos, visibly moved, thanked the Patriarch for the honour he bestowed on him and expressed his gratitude for the wholehearted hospitality of the Patriarchal See. He emphasized the importance of the organisation of such conferences as the capping of research programmes and saluted the prospect of the challenge of creating relative philosophical searches in the future.
In his address to the conference the former President of the Athens Academy, Mr. Panos Ligomenidis, focused the attention of those present on the meaning technologically cabled citizen in our arrogant community and emphasized the dangers brought about by the distance between science and spirituality.
Next to speak was the Director of the Centre for Research of Greek Philosophy, Mrs. Maria Protopapa – Marneli, who stressed the historical problems on the issue of the responsibility and rights of the citizen within the framework of various political forms of government.
Also addressing the gathering were the Honourable Consul General of Greece in Alexandria Mr. George Diakofotakis and, on behalf of the Alexandrian Library, Dr Kyriakos Savvopoulos.
The written interpolation by the academic Mr. Konstantinos Despotopoulos followed, with particular emphasis on issues of the theory of the citizen according to all that is contained in the Politika by Aristotle, which he defined as the classic Bible of politology.
The Academic Mr. Evangelos Moutsopoulos then took the stand and spoke on the meaning of equality as an inviolable right of citizens and the necessity of embracing this by all citizens from a young age.
The opening meeting ended with the speech of the Superintendent of the Historic and Paleographical Archive, Mr. Agamemnon Tselikas, who spoke of the historicity of the Alexandrian Patriarchal Library, where the work of the second and third days of the conference will be hosted. Making particular mention of the valuable manuscripts which have historically been accumulated at the Patriarchal Library, he emphasized the historic and scientific significance of its Aristotelian manuscripts.
His Beatitude closed the proceedings of the opening meeting and called on those present to walk with him through the Patriarchal Mansion and he inaugurated the exhibition of artisi Anca Seel entitled “Portraits of Archangels”. The first day of the conference ended with a reception hosted in honour of those attending the conference in the Alexandrian Library.