Georgian Catholicos Patriarch Illia II spoke about the political crisis in Georgia in His Sunday Preachment today. The Patriarch expressed his concern that Orthodox Russians were bombing Orthodox Georgians and that such aggression had never occurred in the history of two nations. ''Indeed, we are facing very serious peril, but don't be afraid of anything, God is with us and Virgin Mary is protecting is, but one thing concerns us very deeply that Orthodox Russians are bombing Orthodox Georgians. This is unprecedented act of relations between our countries. Reinforce your prayer and God will save Georgia. There is a saying ''Water will flow up and down and will return to its weir. So, believe that God will not separate Georgia into peices,'' Patriarch declared.
Having learnt about the hostilities in Tshinvali and its outskirts, I call upon the warring parties to cease fire and return to the path of dialogue. Blood is being shed in South Ossetia and people are being killed and this makes my heart to grieve profoundly. Among those who have lifted their hand against each other are Orthodox Christians. What is more, those who have come into conflict are Orthodox nations who are called by the Lord to live in brotherhood and love. I am aware of the appeal to peace made by His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya of All Georgia. I also make my ardent appeal to those who have gone blind with hatred: stop! Do not let more blood be shed, do not let today's conflict be expanded many times over! Show common sense and virtue: sit at the negotiation table for talks with respect for the traditions, views and aspirations of both the Georgian and Ossetian peoples. The Russian Church is ready to unite efforts with the Georgian Church and help in achieving peace. May our God, Who ‘is not a God of disorder but of peace' (1 Cor. 14:33), be our Helper in this endeavor.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
The Serbian Orthodox Church has held a memorial service for Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn and praised him as a friend of the Serbian people. The service was held at Saborna Crkva or the Cathedral Church in the Serbian capital Belgrade. Many prominent Serbs attended.
The body of outstanding Russian writer and public figure Alexander Solzhenitsyn was buried at the cemetery of the Donskoy Monastery in Moscow on Wednesday. Archbishop Alexy of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, the Russian Patriarch's vicar, conducted a mourning service.
President Dmitry Medvedev attended. The ceremony was without speeches. Guards of Honor had brought the coffin from the monastery's Grand Cathedral to the sound of church hymns.
On July 16, 2008 Father Miguel Arranz S.J., the well-known liturgics professor who taught at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, in Moscow and in St Petersburg, passed away. The funeral took place two days later, at the Jesuit chapel of the Vatican Curia in the Vatican.