On April 17, 2008, His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman issued a letter to the clergy of the Diocese of Alaska.
The text of Metropolitan Herman's is as follows.
"The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting at the OCA Chancery in Oyster Bay Cove, NY, on April 17, 2008, has issued the following statement.
ROME, April 17 (RIA Novosti) - Italy has launched procedures to return the St. Nicolas Orthodox church, in the southern city of Bari, back to Russia, a source in the Russian embassy in the country said Friday.
On Thursday the city council of Bari unanimously voted to hand the 100-year-old church to the Italian government so that it can subsequently become Russian property.
A man who presided as the Orthodox Church's bishop in Alaska from 1973 to 1995 has died. Archbishop Gregory Afonsky was 82.
Gregory helped establish St. Herman Pastoral School, which first opened its doors in Kenai and later moved to Kodiak. The school was later named a seminary by national church leaders.
Gregory was named archbishop in 1995.
A memorial was held Wednesday in Sitka.
Moscow, April 16, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church instructed Archbishop Vikenty of Yekaterinburg to draft a program of events in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the deaths of last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family.
Religious services in commemoration of the royal martyrs will be held in all Russian churches on July 16-17, the Holy Synod also decided at a session in Moscow on Tuesday. The members of the religious and public program Yekaterinburg Initiative urged the Russian leadership last month to rename all communities on the Russian map related to the people who had to do with the killing of the royal family.
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II has voiced the hope that the UN will ensure the rights of Orthodox believers in Kosovo and Metochia.
"I hope the United Nations will do its best to ensure the access of Orthodox Christians to sacred places in Kosovo and prevent acts of violence against religious sites on that territory," he told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the St. Daniel's Monastery in Moscow on Thursday.