A work-in-progress Bay Area Pan-Orthodox events calendar is now available online. The calendar intends to provide announcements of all publicized events across all parishes and jurisdictions in the greater Bay Area (Active membership in SCOBA is the criteria for inclusion). Roll-out is intended to take place in three phases. Phase one is now complete. All diocesan and metropolitan events for 2009 have been posted, including conferences and retreats. Antiochian, Greek, ROCOR, and OCA calendars are currently collected in this central location.
Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk urges European countries to be more active in promoting Christian value system instead of talking about islamisation. "Today there's a lot of talking about islamisation of Europe, about demographic conquest of Europe. Big Muslim families shouldn't irritate us, it's natural to have a lot of children. We should better think why Christians prefer to have so few children?" the Bishop said at a Moscow meeting with Italian Ambassador in the Russian Federation Vittorio Claudio Surdo on Tuesday.
The Holy Fire, which miraculously descents in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, will be delivered by a special flight at 10.30 p.m. to Vnukovo airport on April 18, Saturday. The shrine will be taken to Christ the Savior Cathedral and conveyed to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for the Easter service, press service of St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation has told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
Byelorussian President Alexander Lukashenko believes the Russian Orthodox Church will be more active in building unity between Byelorussia and Russia. "We much anticipate and believe that the Russian Orthodox Church should become a more active participant in the process of uniting our states, and perhaps even in uniting Slavic civilization based on Byelorussia, Ukraine and Russia," Lukashenko told journalists in Minsk speaking on the results of his Friday meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
The Russian Orthodox parish of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women in Venice fundraises for victims of the recent earthquake in Aquila. "On the day of God's visitation, when Italians faced the trial, our Orthodox duty is respond to grief of people who lost their relatives, houses, are deprived of hot food and warm cloths," the address is quoted as saying by the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church relations press service on Tuesday.
Easter is not based on a myth, a theory or a fairy tale, but rather on the very real historical event of Christ's death and resurrection, says Benedict XVI. The Pope said this today during the Easter message he delivered from St. Peter's balcony at midday before he imparted his blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world). He began with the question: "What is there after death?"