His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand, as appointed by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, joined other Orthodox Church delegates with more than 200 participants from around the globe, for an event of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) in Manila, the Philippines. Its aim is to rethink, in terms of Trinitarian Theology, mission and evangelism, developing a draft of the WCC statement on mission and evangelism that succeeds a statement of thirty years ago.
NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Barry O'Farrell, has unveiled the NSW Government's strategy for the advancement of multiculturalism during the inaugural Premier's Harmony Dinner on 28 March 2012.
Speaking to 600 community guests, Mr. O'Farrell launched the Multicultural Advantage Action Plan with the Minster for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello.
Turkey has decided to reopen a former Greek Orthodox seminary on an island off the coast of İstanbul, according to a statement made by US President Barack Obama.
The EU and the US have frequently criticized Turkey for not reopening the Halki Greek Orthodox seminary — which experts say is related to Turkey’s interpretation of secularism — and failing to take measures to protect the patriarchate’s property rights. The patriarchate is under the protection of international law, as outlined in the Treaty of Lausanne. The patriarch has long complained about the status of the seminary, located on the island of Heybeliada near İstanbul, as well as other property issues. The government says it has been assessing a number of legal options to reopen the Halki seminary, which Bartholomew says is of vital importance for the survival of the Greek Orthodox clergy.
On Sunday, March 25, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos at the Annunciation Church of Theotokos in Vafeochorion.
Among those in attendance were the former Prime Minister of Greece, the Hon. George Papandreou, and his wife Ada, Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos and the General Consul of Greece in Istanbul, the Hon. Nikolaos Matthioudakis.
The archaeological examination by robotic camera of an intact first century tomb in Jerusalem has revealed a set of limestone Jewish ossuaries or “bone boxes” that are engraved with a rare Greek inscription and a unique iconographic image that the scholars involved identify as distinctly Christian. The four-line Greek inscription on one ossuary refers to God “raising up” someone and a carved image found on an adjacent ossuary shows what appears to be a large fish with a human stick figure in its mouth, interpreted by the excavation team to be an image evoking the biblical story of Jonah.