Enthronement Address of His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh
December 9th, 2011Posted by: Internet Ministries
New information technologies have always provoked reactions of fear. A large part of Plato’s Republic, ironically, is a warning about the dangers to society of the spread of a new technology, the alphabet. There may even be a few of us here who are old enough to remember that the invention of the telephone was rejected from fear for the end of personal privacy. Truth be told, there are elements of insight in the anti-technological fears of those who urge caution. But technology, as an element of the material world, is in and of itself neutral, neither good nor evil in its own terms. It is always and only the use to which we put our inventions that gives them their moral value.
The Internet, therefore, cannot be shunned or neglected as irrelevant to the Church’s mission. An Orthodox presence on the Internet is vital. There is in the electronic media a capacity to reach the unchurched and to draw them in, a capacity that far exceeds the power of print or any other media of decades past. In fact, our Archdiocese has been among the first to recognize the incredible potential for outreach and evangelism made possible by the new technologies, and our Internet presence is second to none. The dissemination of information about our faith and activities has never been so wide-ranging. But so much more is possible on the level of inter-connectivity. The potentials for entering into and maintaining meaningful contact have yet to be explored. As your Metropolitan, I commit myself to exploring with you the possibilities for “doing a new thing” for Christ through the emergent and ever-evolving electronic technologies. The World Wide Web constitutes the modern version of the “highways and byways” of the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-23). If we would obey the command to make the Master’s house full, we must go there with our invitation to join the banquet. As the Apostle Paul took advantage of every opportunity, in synagogue and agora, both in and out of season, to bring people to Christ, we too must meet people where they are and fellowship with them, in a spirit of compassion and love. I take to heart the powerful, pastorally provocative words of St Paul: Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor. 9:19-23).
Read the entirety of Metropolitan Savas’ Enthronement Address here.