Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will pay his first foreign visit to Ukraine. "I would like to visit the mother of Russian cities - Kiev, our ancient capital and the center of Russian Orthodoxy," Patriarch Kirill told the Rossiya TV channel.
On the occasion of the installation of Kirill as the new patriarch of Moscow, ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I has sent him a message focused on the common journey of the Orthodox Churches, in facing the challenges of today's world. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has rejoiced over the election of Kirill, says the message read today by the envoy from Bartholomew I, and participates with great joy in the celebrations for his installation. The vision of the Mother Church for the common journey, continues the message, is accompanied by good hope and good will, because an active and creative man has been elected at this historical juncture. A man of proven ecclesial merit, characterized by wisdom and by his contribution to Christian unity.
Pope Benedict XVI has sent his greetings to the new Russian Orthodox patriarch, pledging to work for closer relations and citing areas of common interest. The Vatican released a personal message Monday from Benedict to Patriarch Kirill a day after his installation as successor to the late Patriarch Alexy II.
Plans for the construction of a new Russian Orthodox church have been approved by Helsinki building authorities. The Orthodox Congregation of St. Nicholas, which operates under the Patriarchate of Moscow, has been hoping to build a new church in Itäkeskus in the east of Helsinki since 2004. However, the traditional Russian onion-domed church as been difficult to adapt to the urban landscape of the area.
A small company in San Antonio, Texas has re-created, as an art form, an authentic and faithful-to-scripture set of the two stone tablets referred to in the Bible. The company, HaShem Artworks, will sponsor its initial public display at the Norris Conference Centers located in Crossroads Mall in San Antonio. The exhibit will be limited to two hours-on Sunday, February 8, 2009, from 5:00PM until 7:00PM. There is absolutely no admission charge. HaShem Artworks wants the public to be able to see these authentic Two Stone Tablets so that people will know that the Ten Commandments as given in the original ancient language and which bear the name of the Deity of Judaism and of Christianity are "back" into the world as credible re-creations.