News

Syrian army recaptures Ma`loula

Syrian armed forces have reportedly managed to retake full control of the Christian town of Ma’loula as the army continues to gain more ground in its fight against Takfiri militants.

“The army has taken full control of Ma’loula and restored security and stability,” AFP quoted a Syrian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying on Monday, adding, “Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamoun,” which is situated in the countryside of the capital, Damascus.

Police, Palestinians clash on Temple Mount

After opening of Mughrabi Gate, dozens of Palestinians entered the area; 3 were arrested and others dispersed by stun grenade after throwing rocks at police.

Police clashed with dozens of Palestinian youths at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem who threw rocks and fireworks at them following the opening of the Mughrabi gate on Tuesday morning. Some of the men wore masks, according to police.

Unlawful seizure of monastic lands in Kosovo and Metohija continuing

According to a report of the brethren of the Serbian Monastery of Sts Cosmas and Damian in Zociste, a local Albanian individual has recently seized a parcel of land, belonging to the monastery.      The brethren have discovered that one of local Albanians unlawfully ploughed up and farmed the piece of land, situated not far from the monastery, reports the Kosovo Diary portal. At the same time, the monastery possesses all necessary documentation for this land.

Furthermore, since the beginning of the construction work on the restoration of the monastery complex, there have been ongoing verbal provocations against the brethren and workers. Sts Cosmas and Damian Monastery is situated close to the settlement of Orahovac in Metohija and is famous for its numerous miracles of healing from the saints' relics. In spite of its nationwide popularity, the monastery was completely destroyed in 1999 by Albanian militants and the church was blown up. The Serbian population was virtually driven away from the immediate vicinity of the monastery. At the present time a small community of monks, headed by Archimandrite Stephen, is living in the monastery. It remains the center of spiritual life, first of all for the Serbians from neighboring Orahovac and Velika Hoca.

Pope Francis to visit Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem

The Holy Father will meet twice the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, hold an ecumenical meeting in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, and sign a joint declaration. The pilgrimage will also mark the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras.

The pope will hold two meetings with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as an ecumenical meeting in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. He will also sign a joint declaration.

The Polish Orthodox Church Will Return to the Old Calendar in June

The Polish  Orthodox Church will return to the Julian calendar. This decision was taken  during the spring session of the Council of Bishops, which took place on March  18 at the residence of Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland.

The decision was taken due to the fact that most of parishes of the Polish  Orthodox Church (96%) celebrate church holidays on the Old Calendar. Thus, the  Council canceled the decree of April 12, 1924, that introduced the New Calendar  into the Polish Church.