On May 15, the Holy Father Benedict XVI traveled to the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem for an ecumenical meeting with the representatives of the Christian community in the Holy Land. After greeting His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III, the Holy Father recalled the "historic meetings" that have taken place in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I, and also between Pope John Paul II and His Beatitude Patriarch Diodoros. "These encounters, including my visit today, are of great symbolic significance. They recall that the light of the East has illumined the entire world from the very moment when a 'rising sun' came to visit us and they remind us too that from here the Gospel was preached to all nations," the Pope said.
Here is the text of the address Benedict XVI gave 15th May in an ecumenical meeting at the Greek Orthodox patriarchate of Jerusalem.
"Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with profound gratitude and joy that I make this visit to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem; a moment to which I have much looked forward. I thank His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III for his kind words of fraternal greeting, which I warmly reciprocate. I also express to all of you my heartfelt gratitude for providing me with this opportunity to meet once again the many leaders of Churches and ecclesial communities present.
Europe will fail to meet Islamic challenges, unless it revives Christianity, a known Jewish theologian believes15. May 2009 - 9:25
Islamization of Europe might become irreversible, if the Christian Church fails to strengthen its positions, a known researcher of Judaism Pinchas Polonsky believes. "A demographic intervention of Islam presents great challenges to Europe which Europe, to my mind, fails to meet, unless it recovers a certain Christian paradigm," Polonsky said at a meeting of the Russian Jewish Congress business club in Moscow.
The Moscow Patriarchate reminded EU leadership of spiritual roots of the current downfall. "With any crisis, we need primarily to look for spiritual reasons. This is also true for the current economic recession," head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk said at a meeting of the President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso and the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering with representatives of European traditional religions held in Brussels.
The EU leadership stated its intention to establish a strong cooperation with the continent's religious leaders. "Together we will have to meet the challenges faced by our society. This is our common responsibility," the President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso said at a meeting with representatives of Europe's traditional religions held in Brussels, the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate reports Wednesday.
Alla Generalow, Director of Liturgical Music at St. Vladimir's Seminary (SVS), conducted the seminary's touring men's choir at two parishes in Maryland on February 21 and 22, 2009. The choir sang at St. Mark Church in Bethesda, MD, a parish within the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), for Vespers, and Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Potomac, MD, a parish within the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA), for Divine Liturgy. The V. Rev. Gregory Safchuk (SVS '82), rector of St. Mark, and the V. Rev. George Rados (SVS '61), rector of SS. Peter and Paul, both are alumni of St. Vladimir's.