Metropolitan Hilarion meets with the Georgian Orthodox hierarchs

On 26 April 2010, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, met with Metropolitan Gerasim of Zugdidi and Thaish, head of the Foreign Department of the Georgian Orthodox Church, and Metropolitan Melchizedek of Dedoplisckaro and Ereti. The meeting took place during intermission between plenary session of the World Summit of Religious Leaders being held in Baku. They discussed topical problems on the agenda of the Inter-Orthodox dialogue, including preparations for the next session of the Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference in Chambesy and prospects of relations between the Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches.

Meeting of the European Council of Religious Leaders opens in Istanbul

The annual meeting of the European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL) opened in Istanbul on 26 April 2010. The Council is comprised of thirty representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrism from European countries. The ECRL objective is to promote peaceful coexistence of the communities of different religions in Europe. This years the Council's meeting is being held under the headline "At the Crossroads: Justice, Equality and Sharing as Basis for Cultures of Peace."

Tomáš Špidlík passed away in Lord

The Centro Aletti community with faith in the life-giving power of the Lord's Resurrection, announces the death of Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík that occurred on Friday, April 16th, at 9 p.m.Grateful for the many years during which we enjoyed his spiritual paternity and wisdom, we invite all to join in prayer to accompany him in the final and definitive passage of his faith journey towards a life without a sunset, a life more powerful than death through the grace of the Pascha of Christ.

Gazprom Exec Receives Honorof the Russian Orthodox Church

The head of a regional Gazprom subsidiary received an award from the Russian Orthodox Church for its help in restoring a regional church, the gas giant said Tuesday in a statement. Alexei Zavgorodnev, chief executive of Gazprom Transgaz Stavropol, was awarded the Order of the Blessed St. Daniel of Moscow.

Putin and Medvedev issued Easter messages to Russians

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sent Easter greetings to the nation as Russian Orthodox Church prepared to celebrate one of the holiest days in its calendar Sunday.

"The Easter festival holds a special place in the spiritual life of Russian society..." said Medvedev in a statement issued overnight by the Kremlin. He noted in particular the symbolism of the fact that this year Christians of all denominations - Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox - celebrated Easter on the same day. Their cooperation for peace and mutual understanding would contribute to the more harmonious interethnic and interconfessional relations, he added.

National Geographic features baptism at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The National Geographic Magazine in its special issue on 'Water' featured a baptism at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The caption of the photo states: "To be baptized is to be born into a new life in Christ, according to the Greek Orthodox Church. Seven-month-old Stellios Theodore Gikas is dipped three times during a ceremony at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George in Istanbul, Turkey." Theodore is the son of Meltem and Paul Gikas. Paul is a graduate of Holy Cross Seminary and serves as an assistant to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.