Pope Francis has met with the foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church ahead of a Nov. 25 visit to the Vatican by President Vladimir Putin.
The Vatican released no details of Tuesday’s meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion, in Rome for a Catholic-Orthodox conference on family values.
The World Council of Churches (WCC ) has expressed deep concern over the issue of respect for the rights of Orthodox believers in Kosovo and also the FYR Macedonia. During the General Assembly the Council issued a public Statement about the politicization of religion and the rights of religious minorities, stating:
"The Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia categorically denied the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric the right to register as a religious community. The government’s involvement in the legal system of the country resulted in the unlawful confinement of the head of this Church. Lately, Kosovo has been faced with the systematic destruction of over 100 Orthodox Christian holy shrines, as well as reviewing the history in terms of their cultural background, which endangers the existence of the Orthodox Serbs."
WCC urged governments of all countries to strengthen mechanisms that would ensure the survival and protection of the rights of religious minorities. Furthermore, states are encouraged to implement anti-discrimination laws to protect individuals and communities who are persecuted for professing their faith.
With a blessing of the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Moscow Synodal Choir conducted by Russia’a Honoured Artist A. A. Puzakov, took part in the 12th International Spiritual Music Festival held from October 29 to November 10, 2013, in Rome. It is organized by the Pro Musica e Arte Foundation in cooperation with the Vatican.
The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches continues its works in Busan, South Korea. Present at the assembly is the delegation of the Catholicosate of All Armenians.
On November 3, the members of the delegation of the Mother See attended celebrations of Divine Liturgy at the Coptic and Greek Orthodox Churches. During the Divine Liturgy in the Coptic Orthodox Church, the 14th anniversary of the reign of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, was honored and celebrated.
Your Holinesses and Beatitudes, Your Eminences and Graces, dear brothers and sisters, esteemed delegates of the Assembly,
The World Council of Churches has a long and rich history. Set up after the Second World War, the Council responded to the expectations of Christians of various confessions who strove to meet, to get to know each other and to work together. Over the sixty five years since the founding of the WCC, several generations of Christians belonging to religious communities that were cut off from each other have discovered for themselves the faith and life of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Many prejudices regarding other Christian traditions have been overcome, yet at the same time that which divides Christians to the present has been acknowledged ever more clearly and deeply. The greatest achievement of the Council has been those encounters, that well intentioned and mutual respectful inter-Christian communication, which has never allowed for compromises in the field of theology and morality and which has enabled us to remain true to ourselves and to bear witness to our faith, while at the same time growing in love for each other.