Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I, a spiritual leader who represents Eastern Orthodox Christianity, has called for the creation of a churches' umbrella body in Europe to include Roman Catholics alongside Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants.
"It is only by engaging in dialogue and by closely cooperating that the churches will prove capable of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the world in a convincing and effective way," the Orthodox leader said in a 19 July address in Lyon, France to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Conference of European Churches.
Greece's new Acropolis museum will drop some scenes of a short film by director Costa Gavras after protests from the Greek Orthodox Church, the museum's director said Sunday.
The row over the film, which informs visitors about the history of the 5th century BC Parthenon temple and depicts early Christians ruining the monument, erupted just weeks after the opening of the new Acropolis museum in June.
On August 3, the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill during his visit to Sevastopol stressed the importance of the work of orthodox clergymen in the Russian army. Kirill stated that the modern soldier must be "strong in spirit" and emphasized the importance of spiritual support for servicemen, noting that, "for warriors to be capable of that [sacrificing their lives], we must support them with our prayers, while clergymen should be working with the armed forces," he explained (Interfax, August 3).
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan promised democratic reforms on Saturday in a rare meeting with Turkey's religious minority leaders highlighting the issue of minority rights, a key stumbling block in its EU membership bid.
Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and leaders of the small Armenian, Jewish, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic communities had lunch with Erdogan and senior ministers on Buyukada island near Istanbul, a patriarchate official told Reuters on condition his name not be used.
The United Russia political party plans to involve the Moscow Patriarchate in legislative work. "We agreed we would show the Patriarchate the State Duma's plan for legislative work and hold preliminary consultations on all questions that may raise doubts to avoid mutual misunderstanding," Deputy Secretary of the Party's General Council Presidium and Head of the State Duma Labor and Social Policy Committee Andrey Isayev told Interfax-Religion.