Baptismal reception into the Orthodox Church
of Polish Academic Professor Paweł P. Wróblewski
Press announcement by the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator dated 13/9/2012
By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, «...in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.» (Acts 10:34); it was by His condescension that He invited into the Ark of Salvation - the Orthodox Church - Mr. Paweł Wróblewski, the Polish (Adjunct) Professor of the Seat of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy of the School of Philosophy of Wroclaw (formerly "Breslau"), who was baptized in our Holy Monastery.
Professor Paweł P. Wróblewski, Dr.(Ph.D.) of the History of Philosophy, specialized in the delivery of the texts of Aristotelian works (Corpus Aristotelicum), is descended from a Polish family traditionally dedicated to Roman Catholicism. He came in contact with the Holy Fathers of the Church three years ago through their sacred and divinely-inspired texts and became aware of the unique Truth of Orthodoxy, as well as the need to become incorporated therein, through holy Baptism. His acquaintance with the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator at Melissochori in northern Greece reinforced his convictions, and he subsequently communicated with the Monastery, so that his already lengthy search might find an optimistic fulfilment, in accordance with the divinely-inspired Canons of the Ecumenical Councils.
In a recent letter that he had sent to the local High Priest and our Prelate, the Metropolitan of Langadas, Lete and Rendini, Fr.John, the Professor deposited the experiences that had led him to his incorporation into the Orthodox Church; among other things, he wrote the following:
«When I first attended the Greek-spoken Divine Liturgy of Saint John the Chrysostom, the heavens opened up before me during the prayers, and the Lord touched my soul from Above... From the moment that God revealed the truth of Orthodoxy to my inner world - whose influence is so strong that whoever finds it becomes certain that it is what he was always seeking - I knew I had found my spiritual Home.».
Professor Wróblewski then spoke of his desire to be incorporated in the Church in the manner defined by the sacred Canons - that is, the Apostolic ones, especially the 46th, also those of the Ecumenical Councils, as well as the canonical epistles of Saint Basil the Great. In Poland, on account of the prevalence of the ecclesiology of Ecumenism and the (altered, as he wrote) "baptismal theology", it was not possible for him to be accepted through baptism, inasmuch as the incorporation through Chrismation is becoming more and more scarce there, and incorporation into Orthodoxy is being replaced from the year 2000 onwards, by Confession and Holy Communion alone.
Professor Wróblewski's baptism took place in the morning of Thursday, the 13th of September, in the Catholicon (Main Church) of the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator at Melissochori, by His Eminence the Metropolitan John, who, after the Baptismal rite, addressed the neophyte with words of praise for God's bounteous Providence and the Professor's reciprocation to it, and words of edification for Paul (Paweł), to whom His Eminence stressed the uniqueness of Orthodoxy and the deifying energy that acts within Her boundaries, as well as the need for our constant spiritual struggle, "lest we become disqualified" (1 Cor.9:27)
During the baptismal rite, where the "positive alteration" of the Professor was evident, all the Brothers of the Holy Monastery were present and prayerfully participating, along with Stephen, the godfather. His Eminence honoured with his presence the entire event of this blessing, and later continued his conversation with Professor Wróblewski during the ensuing customary offerings and the meal in the Dining Hall, urging him to also visit other places of spiritual blessing, as well as the natural beauty of our region.
The University of Wroclaw (Uniwersytet Wrocławski) is one of the oldest Universities of Eastern Europe and the largest in the area, founded by the Jesuits around three centuries ago, currently hosting 40.000 students and 1.900 candidate doctors. The last participation of the young and hope-bearing Professor was at the International Russo-Polish Scientific Conference, regarding «Problems of Culture in Russian and Polish Scientific Thought» (Saint Petersburg, 21-25 May 2012), where Professor Wróblewski expounded the topic of “The Cultural Creativity of the Christendom according to Georges Florovsky”).
The photograph we have inserted here is from the Conference «Paradigms of Freedom in Philosophy and Theology» (Κonferencja “Paradygmaty Wolności w Filo”). The Professor has participated -parallel to his academic activity- in official missions of the Polish State abroad.
His ecclesiologically documented and conscious turn to Orthodoxy, from within the traditional and austere roman-catholic environment of Poland is proof that not only does the Lord work salvation for those who were "afar off and to those who were near" (Ephes.2:17), but also that once again, those who baptismally become joined to the Body of Christ - the Orthodox Church - act with a benevolent conscience and are internally "informed", by having as their uncontested and unerring criterion and starting point the truthful documentation of ecclesiastic history, dogmatic self-awareness and the worshipping and canonical praxis of the Catholic Orthodox Church throughout the centuries.