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.
The European Supreme Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg has allowed recourse to appeal for the Ecumenical Patriarchate against the Turkish States illegal occupation of the Orphanage on the prince Buyukada islands, in Marmara Sea, claiming ownership.
It is the world's largest wooden structure and though it has lain completely abandoned since 1962, its majesty still dominates the panorama of the Island. It was built in 1898 by a French company and was destined for the use of a luxury hotel and casino, but the then Sultan Abdulhamid II did not grant the licence. It was then bought over by the Turkish banker of Greek origins Zafiris, who donated it to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to transform it into an Orthodox orphanage and school. The donation received the Sultan's blessing who sanctioned the move by living formal ownership to the Patriarchate in a donation act of 150 gold lires for charity.