Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, has sent Christmas greetings to Pope Benedict XVI, Supreme Patriarchate and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, Archbishop Yukka Paarma of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland, Archbishop Rowan Williams of the Anglican Community and to the heads of other non-Orthodox Christian Churches. Below is the text of Archbishop Hilarion's Christmas greetings:
My cordial greetings to you on the occasion of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
Primate of the Russian Church addresses faculty and students of the Russian Academy of State Service under the President31. December 2009 - 11:41
On 29 December 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the leadership, faculty, and students of the Russian Academy of State Service under the President of the Russian Federation. Present at the meeting were Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations; archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal Department for Church-State Relations; V. Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Department for Information; archpriest Andrei Milkin, acting chief of the Patriarch's protocol service; hieromonk Philipp (Ryabykh), deputy chairman of the DECR; Rev. Sergy Zvonarev, acting DECR secretary for far abroad countries; hierodeacon Antony (Sevryuk), chief of the Patriarch's personal secretariat; archpriest Georgy Studenov, rector of the Church of St. Michael in Troparevo; and DECR staff members K. Peregudin, M. Palasio, and V. Yefanova.
Agreement on cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Academy of State Service is signed31. December 2009 - 11:39
On 29 December 2009, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited the Russian Academy of State Service under the President of the Russian Federation (RASS), where he, together with the rector V. Yegorov, signed an agreement on cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the RASS.
The agreement would serve to "the strengthening of spiritual and moral principles in Russian society..., and cooperation both in studies of the development of relations between the Church and the state and education."
The Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church congratulates the feast of the birth of the Divine God-Child to believers and prelates of the Christian churches which celebrate Christmas on December 25.
Unbelievable but true: the headquarters of the Secretariat for the entry of Turkey into the European Union is a building confiscated from the Orthodox Christian community in the 90s. The building is located in Istanbul, in the well-known area of Ortakoy, under the first bridge over the Bosphorus. Before the seizure, the building was used as a primary school for children of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy. Here, once lived a thriving Orthodox community, now non-existent because of past purges against minorities, executed by the "secular" Turkish State.
His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received warm, fraternal greetings from Pope Benedict XVI on November 30th, the Feastday of the Ecumenical Throne, of St. Andrew the First-Called Disciple.
The Pope's message was delivered to the Ecumenical Patriarch by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. The Vatican delegation also included Bishop Brian Farrell, Fr. Vladimiro Caroli, Fr. Andrea Palmieri, and Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, the apostolic nuncio in Ankara.