Theological and catechetical courses for laity launched in Hamburg

Theological and catechetical courses for laity were inaugurated on Nov. 26 at the Church of St. John of Kronstadt in Hamburg. The lay courses have been organized with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia who instructed the faculty of St. Tikhon's Orthodox University to help the Hamburg community in implementing the project. Archpriest Vladimir Vorobyev, rector of St. Tikhon's University, officiated at the prayer service for the commencement of the courses. Present were clergy from fraternal Orthodox communities in Hamburg and other cities in Germany as well as representatives of other Christian confessions and various public organizations.

President Dmitry Medvedev wins the prize of the Patriarch Alexy II International Foundation of the Unity of Orthodox Nations

The prize commission of the Unity of Orthodox Nations International Foundation meeting on 24 November 2009 with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, chairman of the Foundation's Patrons Board, considered candidates for the Foundation's prize in the nomination ‘For outstanding work to strengthen the unity of Orthodox nations and to promote Christian values in the life of society'. It was agreed to award the 2009 prize to President Dmitry Medvedev.

Memorial service held in Moscow for victims of mass starvation in the USSR

Victims of the mass starvation and repression were commemorated on 28 November 2009 at the Cathedral of the Epiphany at Yelokhovo in Moscow. The Office for the Dead was led by the rector of the church, Protopresbyter Matfey Stadniuk. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal department for church-state relations, delivered a homily.

3d World Congress of Compatriots to be held in Moscow

The 3d World Congress of Compatriots who reside abroad will be held on December 1-2, 2009, in Moscow. It is expected to be attended by nearly 1000 people from 90 countries. The Congress will be opened on December 1 at the House of Unions Column Hall. Among those who are expected to come for the opening are His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov, Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, as well as Moscow Mayor Yu. Luzhkov and the Tatarstan President M. Shaymiev.

7th Academic Consultation Between Orthodox and Judaism "The World in Crisis: Ethical Challenges and Religious Perspectives"

The Seventh Academic Consultation of Orthodox Christianity and Judaism was held in Athens, Greece, on "The World in Crisis: Ethical Challenges and Religious Perspectives" from November 10-12, 2009. The meeting was generously sponsored by the Greek Government, the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle (Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate), and others. Thirty delegates participated in the meeting, co-chaired by Rabbi Prof. Richard A. Marker, Chair of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) and His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Director of the Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union, Office of Interreligious and Intercultural Affairs, Brussels.

Building of Russian-Orthodox church awaiting go-ahead

A request for the building of a Russian Orthodox Church in Malta is being evaluated by the authorities, Foreign Minister Tonio Borg said today.

He was replying to a question in Parliament by Labour MP Carmelo Abela , who asked what progress had been made following a request by the local Russian Orthodox community to build a church in Malta. Mr Abela said it appeared that all permits had been issued and what was required now was the go-ahead by the Cabinet. The minister did not give further details.


Faith and Order Plenary Commission meeting 2009

The Faith and Order Plenary Commission meeting, which took place in Kolympari, Crete, 7-13 October 2009, has come to an end. Participants noted an emerging coherence between the three current studies on Nature and Mission of the Church, Sources of Authority and Moral Discernment in the Churches. A tendency to give more space to an "ecclesiology from below" based on the concrete experience of "being church in a particular context", rather than describing the church theoretically "from above", was encouraged.