Orthodox Christian leaders meet at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Primates of Orthodox Churches

Patriarchs, primates and representatives of all the Patriarchal and Autochephalous Orthodox Churches recommitted themselves to overcome intra-Orthodox conflicts as well as to continue theological dialogues with Christians from other confessions at a 10-12 October meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.

"Overcoming the internal conflicts of the Orthodox Church through the surrendering of nationalistic, ethnic and ideological extremes of the past" is a requisite for the "word of Orthodoxy [to] have a necessary impact on the contemporary world," reads a message issued at the end of the meeting.

Address of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Plenary Session of the European Parliament (full version)

Your Excellency Mr President of the European Parliament,
Your Excellencies, Honorable Members of the European Parliament,Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends,

Patriarch BartholomewFirst and foremost, we convey to you salutations from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, based for many many centuries in what is today Istanbul - greetings replete with esteem and respect. In particular, we express our gratitude to an old friend of ours, His Excellency Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament. We likewise express our sincerest appreciation for the extraordinary honor to address the Plenary of the European Parliament, especially on this occasion that commemorates the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Russian Orthodox Church suspends Conference of European Churches membership

The Russian Orthodox Church suspended its membership of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) on Saturday, the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations told Interfax-Religion.

"The reason for this decision was the unwillingness to consider a membership application by the Estonian Orthodox Church, a self-governing Church within the Moscow Patriarchate, which is illegitimate, groundless and going against the constitution and the CEC rules," it said.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church demote the Bishop of Chukotka Diomede to a common monk

DiomedeThe Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on Monday voted to demote the Bishop of Chukotka Diomede to a common monk. The ruling was made in absentia as Diomede refused to attend the gathering - which is no wonder since in July he declared anathema an most leaders of the church, including Patriarch Alexy II.

The Synod also degraded several clerics of Chukotka eparchy together with Diomede. Archbishop of Khabarovsk was charged to temporary rule the Chukotka church.

Communique of the The Coordinating Committee of the Joint Commission for the Theological Dialogue (Crete October 4th 2008)

The Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church met in Elounda, Crete, Greece from 27 September to 4 October 2008.

At the opening session, the two Co-Presidents of the Commission, His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper (President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon (Ecumenical Patriarchate), expressed their joy and thankfulness to God for the continuation of the theological dialogue between the two Churches. They reaffirmed the goal of the dialogue as stated at its beginning in 1980: "The purpose of the dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church is the re-establishment of full communion between these two churches. This communion, based on unity of faith according to the common experience and tradition of the early Church, will find its expression in the common celebration of the Eucharist."