Russian Church against defining holodomor as genocide, but urges to denounce Bolshevik actions that caused it

The Moscow Patriarchate believes actions of Bolsheviks that caused mass famine of the 1930s should be decisively assessed, but urges to renounce attempts to consider the tragedy genocide. "The theme of mass holodomor of the 1930s gives grounds for thinking both in Ukraine and in Russia. Kiev should understand that this tragedy didn't affect only Ukrainian people, and Moscow should decisively condemn Bolshevik actions that resulted in mass famine," Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax-Religion on Thursday.

Annual IOCC Benefit Dinner

ioccOver 200 people, from various jurisdictions, gathered together on Sunday November 16, 2008 in Minneapolis for the annual IOCC Benefit Dinner. His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand was the featured speaker and shared his personal experiences about working with IOCC in various locales around the world in offering people a "hand up" from their often dire circumstances. His Grace is on a speaking tour of the United States on behalf of IOCC and his diocese has provided half of the $100,000 matching grant for IOCC's work in Kosovo and Metohija. Before his ordination, the Bishop was an IOCC staff member, and while a priest served on the IOCC Board.

His Grace Bishop Irinej Rallies Orthodox Faithful on Behalf of Kosovo and Metohija

IOCCInternational Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which since 1993 has provided more than $75 million in emergency relief and development programs to the former Yugoslavia, is currently hosting a special speaking tour featuring his Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand. Bishop Irinej is rallying American Orthodox faithful on behalf of families living in the isolated enclaves of Kosovo and Metohija. "I'm letting people know the daily reality for children in Kosovo is to go to school under armed escort," said the Serbian bishop who is originally from Ohio and was once an IOCC employee. "We must be that ray of hope for those children even in the simplest provision of school books and school kits," he said.

Public communique of the Holy Hierarchical Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Communique from the second regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, held in Belgrade November 11-15, 2008.

With the blessings of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia and under the presidency of His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands who, in accordance with Article 62 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church took the place of His Holiness, who was absent for health reasons, the second regular Assembly of the Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church took place November 11 through 15, 2008 at the Patriarchate in Belgrade.

Best wishes for the new Head of the Orthodox Church in America

His Beatitude Kyr JONAH
Archbishop of Washington and New York,
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Route 25 A, Oyster Bay Cove,
SYOSSET, NY 11791
U S A

YOUR BEATITUDE,

Beloved Brother in Christ,

On the occasion of Your election as Head of the Orthodox Church in America, We, on behalf of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle, of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, of our pious people, as well as on Our own behalf, extend to You Our whole-hearted and brotherly best wishes for Your fruitful archpastoral ministry on the throne of the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, being sure that Your pastoral-ecclesial efforts will contribute not only to the spiritual and moral rebirth of the people of God that is entrusted to You directly by Divine providence, but also to the entire Orthodox Church of Christ.

We recommend Ourselves to Your holy payers and remain Your Brother in Christ and Concelebrant.

On Behalf of the Serbian Patriarch,
ARCHBISHOP OF CETINJE and
METROPOLITAN OF MONTENEGRO
A m f i l o h i j e

Communique (November 13, 2008)

On Thursday, November 13 2008, after the celebration of Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the Patriarchate chapel of Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-Gushing, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Their Graces Bishops Kontantin of Central Europe and Joakim of Polog and Kumanovo visited His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade.

When His Holiness received the Holy Communion, the Bishops informed him about the work of the Holy Assembly of Bishops and the decision of the Assembly, concerning his plea to be allowed to retire from active service due to "physical disability", with full respect to causes from his plea requests him to remain the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

His Holiness accepted the decision of the Assembly peaceably and blessed its further work.