Statement about Preparations for the 13th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches

The Orthodox on the way to Lyon
‘Called to One Hope in Christ'

STATEMENT

1. Upon the invitation of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and under the moderatorship of His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate), 27 hierarchs, priests, deacons, university professors and lay persons (male and female), representing nearly all of the Orthodox Churches members of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), gathered in Ierapetra, Crete, Greece, from 27 to 30 April 2009, within the framework of preparations for the 13th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, which will be held in Lyon, France, from 15 to 21 July 2009, under the theme, "Called to One Hope in Christ". The Consultation was honored by the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Irineos of Crete at the official opening prayer at Saint George Cathedral in Ierapetra and the inaugural session, as well as by His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronas (Chania).

St.Sava College – The Next Step Forward

In the weeks leading up to Pascha, His Grace Bishop Irinej extended a heartfelt invitation to a number of individuals within the community to find their place and to offer their expertise and enthusiasm for a project which he said is, "perhaps the greatest challenge that our Serbian Orthodox Church in Sydney has undertaken, but one which is surely destined to become her greatest joy," referring to St.Sava College.

Restriction of religious teaching in public schools in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

An independent United Nations human rights expert expressed disbelief today at the backlash targeted against a recent court decision to restrict religious teaching in public schools in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Wrapping up a five-day visit to the country, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, issued a statement noting that the Constitution "provides that religious communities and groups are separate from the State and equal before the law.

Meeting of the Israel-Vatican Bilateral Commission held in Jerusalem

The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the State of Israel and the Holy See has held a Plenary meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel today, Thursday, 30 April 2009, for the purpose of advancing the negotiations pursuant to Article 10 §2 of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel (30 Dec.1993).

The Delegation of the State of Israel was led by Mr. Daniel Ayalon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and was composed, in addition, of the following Members:

Epiclesis at the Patriarchate chapel

Today at the Patriarchate chapel in Belgrade Epiclesis was held before the general annual session of the Plenary meeting of the Patriarchate Head Board of the SOC. The meeting was presided by His Eminence Archbishop Amfilohije of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral.