In work session on Wednesday, 25 February 2009, the Holy Synod adopted unanimously, Case no. 638/2009 regarding the issue of new electronic passports that include biometric data:
1. 1. Take note of the letter no. 638 of 28 January 2009 Patriarch Daniel to the Ministry of Administration and Interior, which requires some clarification about the new electronic passports that include biometric data.
Patriarch Alexy II was writing his diary all through his patriarchal ministry, in autumn 2009 it is going to be conveyed to the museum of Christ the Savior Cathedral and then it will be published, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Publishing Council Archpriest Vladimir Silovyev told Interfax-Religion. "His Holiness the Patriarch's personal notes require further research as Alexy II didn't think they would be exhibited and published," the priest said.
President Dmitry Medvedev and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the winners of the Prize of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations for 2008 in the Kremlin Patriarch's Palace on Thursday. In the middle of the working day Medvedev came to the Patriarch's Palace to personally meet with the winners - Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic, Metropolitan Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, St.Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko and representative of the Bucharest University, Archpriest Stephan Buciu.
Lent began today for members of the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith, who will now embark on seven weeks of fasting and purification in preparation for Easter. At the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in San Gabriel on Sunday, about 50 parishioners congregated to pray, take Holy Communion.
Italy on Sunday returned ownership to Russia of an Orthodox church named after St. Nicholas in a goodwill gesture toward Moscow and the Orthodox faithful. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev traveled to the southern Italian city of Bari for the hand-over, which was aimed at boosting ties between the two countries and improving often-tense Roman Catholic-Russian Orthodox relations.
Pope Benedict met his Beatitude Christophoros, Metropolitan of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Head of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper told us more about this young and vibrant church.