Annual IOCC Benefit Dinner

ioccOver 200 people, from various jurisdictions, gathered together on Sunday November 16, 2008 in Minneapolis for the annual IOCC Benefit Dinner. His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand was the featured speaker and shared his personal experiences about working with IOCC in various locales around the world in offering people a "hand up" from their often dire circumstances. His Grace is on a speaking tour of the United States on behalf of IOCC and his diocese has provided half of the $100,000 matching grant for IOCC's work in Kosovo and Metohija. Before his ordination, the Bishop was an IOCC staff member, and while a priest served on the IOCC Board.

His Grace Bishop Irinej Rallies Orthodox Faithful on Behalf of Kosovo and Metohija

IOCCInternational Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which since 1993 has provided more than $75 million in emergency relief and development programs to the former Yugoslavia, is currently hosting a special speaking tour featuring his Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand. Bishop Irinej is rallying American Orthodox faithful on behalf of families living in the isolated enclaves of Kosovo and Metohija. "I'm letting people know the daily reality for children in Kosovo is to go to school under armed escort," said the Serbian bishop who is originally from Ohio and was once an IOCC employee. "We must be that ray of hope for those children even in the simplest provision of school books and school kits," he said.

No preparations for Alexy II meeting with Pontiff - Moscow Patriarchate

Preparations for a possible meeting between Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II and Pope of Rome Benedict XVI have not begun, told head of the Secretariat for Christian Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Priest Igor Vyzhanov.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addresses Synaxis of the Heads of Orthodox Churches

Synaxis of the PatriarchsHis All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed the leaders of the world's Orthodox churches on Friday, October 10, 2008, for the official opening of the Synaxis of the Heads of the Orthodox Churches and Pauline Symposium. The three-day meeting is being held at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George in Istanbul, Turkey. The church leaders will later travel to sites visited by Saint Paul in Turkey and Greece later this week.

Bishop Hilarion of Vienna issues open letter concerning the question of his candidacy as OCA Metropolitan

In an open letter sent to the OCA Chancery on November 6, 2008, His Grace, Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Vienna and Austria addressed recent discussions about his possible candidacy as Metropolitan of All America and Canada.

Bishop Hilarion's letter reads as follows.

"In recent weeks my name was mentioned many times in connection with the forthcoming elections of the OCA primate. I also received letters, e-mails and phone calls asking for permission to nominate me for this position at the All-American Council. I am grateful for this unexpected outpouring of love and appreciation, and I am humbled and touched by the trust that so many Orthodox Americans apparently have in me.