Head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper, presented a message by Pope of Rome Benedict XVI to Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II on Thursday. He told the Patriarch he was glad to meet him and to hand over the Pontiff's message. The cardinal also voiced hope that the meeting would promote further contacts between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. "The Orthodox-Catholic dialogue is necessary," Alexy II said. The two Churches have similar positions on many modern problems, among them morals, social and family relations, human rights and bio-ethics.
His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymus II met the president of PASOK, Mr. G. Papandreou, at his Parliament office. Their meeting lasted for more than an hour. After their meeting His Beatitude, referred to the collaboration he had with Mr. Papandreou as a Metropolite when Mr. Papandreou was the Minister of Education. He underlined that their collaboration was very fruitful. He also stated that he has recorded and continues to record the problems from the Church's point of view and added that the society and the Church will collaborate as far as culture and social welfare are concerned, since both the Church and society fight for man's wellbeing. He also stated that he was very satisfied with the conversation he had with Mr. Papandreou.
The Russian Orthodox Church is concerned that some missionaries don't observe the law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations as they conceal their confession, Interfax-Religion reports. "The Russian law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations clearly reads: "Name of the religious organization should contain information on its confession. Religious organization should indicate its full title when carrying out its activities," Vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin writes in his Scraps essays published by the Pravoslavnaya Moskva paper.
According to a press release from the Greek Orthodox Church in the US, Archbishop Demetrios of America will travel to Russia on May 21, leading a delegation from the Archdiocese on an official visit to the Patriarchate of Moscow. This first official visit of an Archbishop of America to the Church of Russia comes after the invitation of Patriarch Alexy II, conveyed both in person by His Grace Bishop Mercurius of Zaraisk, the Administrator of the Parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States, and in writing by His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the Head of External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Accompanying the Archbishop on the seven day visit will be two Members of the Holy Eparchial Synod, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston and Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, as well as the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Bishop Savas of Troas, Mr. Michael Jaharis, the Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, representatives of major Church organizations, and accompanying staff.
On the 22 of May the city of Tripoli honors its protectors-Saints, Neomartyrs Demetrius and Paul, therefore the traditional religious festivities and a Litany of the Neomartyrs' icon will take place.
This year His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymus II will visit Tripoli, invited by His Reverence Metropolite of Madinia and Kynouria Mr. Alexander.
Prior to his February election as archbishop, the 70-year-old Ieronymos was bishop of Thebes in central Greece where he was appointed in 1981. He is regarded as a moderate, very active and energetic and in favor of good relations with the Patriarchate Patriarch Bartholomeos has stressed tolerance and reconciliation throughout his ministry.
Constantinople has had an unusual visitor this past weekend - Archbishop Ieronymos of Greece and Athens who was elected head of the Orthodox Church of Greece last February following the death of Archbishop Christodoulos. He came as the guest of Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos.