Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew thanked the Turkish government yesterday for granting permission for religious services to be held at the Church of St. Nicholas in Demre this year. Reviewing the year 2007 at a New Year's reception after a religious service at the Fener Greek Patriarchate, Patriarch Bartholomew listed the Ministry of Culture's permission for religious services to be held at the Church of St. Nicholas among the important events of the year for Orthodox Christians.
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church took a decision at its winter session on Thursday to open a department of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC).
The Synod decision stresses the need to continue the efforts taken by the Department for External Church Relations in the dialogue with the Chinese, to normalize the situation of the Orthodox Church in China.
Daniel, Patriarch of Romania and Anastasios, Archbishop of Albania visited Patriarch of Athens and All Greece, Mr Christodoulos. Patriarch of Romania visited Mr. Christodoulos in his residence in Palaio Psychico. As he said to reporters after his meeting, according to the tradition of his country, the Patriarch announces the birth of Christ directly and following this tradition he visited Mr. Christodoulos whom he brought a holly picture and chanted Christmas carols. Afterwards, Archbishop of Albania, Anastasios visited Mr. Christodoulos and discussed with him for about 20 minutes. Mr. Anastasios stated that this is the 4th time he visits Mr. Christodoulos and that he believes that he seems better this time, but what he really has- he added- is his faith, love and hope. Finally, Employment Minister, Fani Palli-Petralia met with the Archbishop yesterday in order for Mr. Christodoulos to give her blessings to effectively cope with the problems that arise in the sector of employment. After her visist, Mrs Petrallia said that the Archbishop is well briefed about current issues.
Relics of St. Alexander of Neva will be brought from St. Petersburg to the USA where Orthodox believers and representatives of other Christian confessions will have a chance to worship them.