Turkey prepares to join EU in a building confiscated from the Orthodox

Unbelievable but true: the headquarters of the Secretariat for the entry of Turkey into the European Union is a building confiscated from the Orthodox Christian community in the 90s. The building is located in Istanbul, in the well-known area of Ortakoy, under the first bridge over the Bosphorus. Before the seizure, the building was used as a primary school for children of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy. Here, once lived a thriving Orthodox community, now non-existent because of past purges against minorities, executed by the "secular" Turkish State.

7th Academic Consultation Between Orthodox and Judaism "The World in Crisis: Ethical Challenges and Religious Perspectives"

The Seventh Academic Consultation of Orthodox Christianity and Judaism was held in Athens, Greece, on "The World in Crisis: Ethical Challenges and Religious Perspectives" from November 10-12, 2009. The meeting was generously sponsored by the Greek Government, the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle (Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate), and others. Thirty delegates participated in the meeting, co-chaired by Rabbi Prof. Richard A. Marker, Chair of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) and His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Director of the Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union, Office of Interreligious and Intercultural Affairs, Brussels.

Pope Greets Ecumenical Patriarch on Feast of Saint Andrew the First Called

His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received warm, fraternal greetings from Pope Benedict XVI on November 30th, the Feastday of the Ecumenical Throne, of St. Andrew the First-Called Disciple.

The Pope's message was delivered to the Ecumenical Patriarch by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. The Vatican delegation also included Bishop Brian Farrell, Fr. Vladimiro Caroli, Fr. Andrea Palmieri, and Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, the apostolic nuncio in Ankara.

Theological and catechetical courses for laity launched in Hamburg

Theological and catechetical courses for laity were inaugurated on Nov. 26 at the Church of St. John of Kronstadt in Hamburg. The lay courses have been organized with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia who instructed the faculty of St. Tikhon's Orthodox University to help the Hamburg community in implementing the project. Archpriest Vladimir Vorobyev, rector of St. Tikhon's University, officiated at the prayer service for the commencement of the courses. Present were clergy from fraternal Orthodox communities in Hamburg and other cities in Germany as well as representatives of other Christian confessions and various public organizations.

President Dmitry Medvedev wins the prize of the Patriarch Alexy II International Foundation of the Unity of Orthodox Nations

The prize commission of the Unity of Orthodox Nations International Foundation meeting on 24 November 2009 with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, chairman of the Foundation's Patrons Board, considered candidates for the Foundation's prize in the nomination ‘For outstanding work to strengthen the unity of Orthodox nations and to promote Christian values in the life of society'. It was agreed to award the 2009 prize to President Dmitry Medvedev.