Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited St.Sophia, the former principal church of the whole Christian world, now a museum, on Saturday during his stay in Istanbul.
According to Interfax-Religion correspondent, Patriarch Kirill accompanied by representatives of Turkish authorities, museum management, and the clergy of the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates saw the courtyard and the inside chapels of St. Sophia, the surviving Byzantine frescoes and listened to a short tour about the cathedral's history, the traditions of divine services in the Byzantine Empire and enthronement of its emperors.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia discussed prospects of a spiritual ministry to Orthodox Russians residing in Turkey and visiting that country.
Patriarch Kirill said more and more Russian-speaking Orthodox believers were coming to Turkey each year, and they need churches, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told the media after the talks in Ankara on Monday.
Presidents of Serbia and Greece Boris Tadic and Carolos Papoulias opened this evening in Belgrade the Center of the Hellenic Fund for Culture. President Tadic emphasized during the celebration that Serbs and Greeks have common history, but they will have a common future within the European Union.
President Papoulias said that Serbia and Greece today build together an epoch of peace on the Balkans. " Serbia have all rights to be in EU because of its history, culture and geographic location", said President of Greece, who in last two days in Belgrade has given the full support to European integration processes in Serbia, as well as its endeavor to preserve its territorial integrity in Kosovo and Metohija.
Russia will restore a small church in Italian city of Aquila destroyed in the earthquake, Aide to the Russian President Sergey Prikhodko has told journalists on Friday. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offered Presidents of Russia and the USA Dmitry Medvedev and Barak Obama to visit Aquila and see how restoration works were going on in the town destroyed in the earthquake.
On the occasion of the Independence Day of the USA, which is being celebrated on July 4, at the residence of the U.S. embassy on Dedinje there was organized a formal reception of high representatives from all parts of public life - state, religious, cultural and other.
With "great emotion" Benedict XVI announced that a recent scientific probe confirmed what Catholic tradition has always held, namely that the body of the Apostle Paul is located under the papal altar in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The announcement was made today in the basilica itself during the homily of the First Vespers of the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, which brings the Pauline Year to a close, a year that was held to celebrate 2,000 years since the birth of the Apostle of Tarsus.