Russian Orthodox Church suspends Conference of European Churches membership

The Russian Orthodox Church suspended its membership of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) on Saturday, the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations told Interfax-Religion.

"The reason for this decision was the unwillingness to consider a membership application by the Estonian Orthodox Church, a self-governing Church within the Moscow Patriarchate, which is illegitimate, groundless and going against the constitution and the CEC rules," it said.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addresses Synaxis of the Heads of Orthodox Churches

Synaxis of the PatriarchsHis All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed the leaders of the world's Orthodox churches on Friday, October 10, 2008, for the official opening of the Synaxis of the Heads of the Orthodox Churches and Pauline Symposium. The three-day meeting is being held at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George in Istanbul, Turkey. The church leaders will later travel to sites visited by Saint Paul in Turkey and Greece later this week.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church demote the Bishop of Chukotka Diomede to a common monk

DiomedeThe Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on Monday voted to demote the Bishop of Chukotka Diomede to a common monk. The ruling was made in absentia as Diomede refused to attend the gathering - which is no wonder since in July he declared anathema an most leaders of the church, including Patriarch Alexy II.

The Synod also degraded several clerics of Chukotka eparchy together with Diomede. Archbishop of Khabarovsk was charged to temporary rule the Chukotka church.

Communique of the The Coordinating Committee of the Joint Commission for the Theological Dialogue (Crete October 4th 2008)

The Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church met in Elounda, Crete, Greece from 27 September to 4 October 2008.

At the opening session, the two Co-Presidents of the Commission, His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper (President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon (Ecumenical Patriarchate), expressed their joy and thankfulness to God for the continuation of the theological dialogue between the two Churches. They reaffirmed the goal of the dialogue as stated at its beginning in 1980: "The purpose of the dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church is the re-establishment of full communion between these two churches. This communion, based on unity of faith according to the common experience and tradition of the early Church, will find its expression in the common celebration of the Eucharist."

6th session of the Dialogue of Civilizations Forum on Rhodes (Bishop Athanasius represents SOC)

The 6th annual session of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations on the Greek island of Rhodes will beat all records of the previous years by the number of participants. "This time, the forum will bring together about 600 people," Vladimir Yakunin, Co-Chairman of the forum, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Center of National Glory of Russia, said at a briefing in Moscow.

Synaxis of the Heads of the Orthodox Churches in Constantinople

On the occasion of the celebration of the Year 2008 as the Year of Saint Paul and under the presidency of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the Synaxis of the Heads of the Orthodox Churches, is called in Constantinople, October 9-12. The Synaxis is held along the Pauline Symposium which will run through October 16.

This biblical symposium is held in honor of St. Paul and will focus on aspects of the life, the apostolic activity and the teachings of the great Apostle of the Nations which are connected with our contemporary world. The Pauline Symposium is an academic offering of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Primates of the Church for the enrichment of their pastoral care and work.