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
On 1st August 2008, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa officiated at the Divine Liturgy which was conducted by the Great Ecclesiarch of the Throne, Archim. Isidore Salakos.
Accompanied by His Beatitude Ilia II, Patriarch of the Georgia Church, His Beatitude then visited His Excellency Prime Minister Vladimir Goyrgnidze at the Prime Ministerial Mansion in Tbilisi .
His Excellency welcomed the two Patriarchs with respect and emotion and led them into the Meeting Hall of the Prime Ministerial Council, where he addressed the Alexandrian Primate, saying: “Your Beatitude, we joyfully welcome you to Georgia . I wish to emphasize that your visit is very significant for us, as we are going through difficult times. I know that you visited Georgia 22 years ago. You will have noted the different Georgia from that time.
With respect to the recently published articles reporting that allegedly His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew believes that it is possible for the Greek Catholics (Uniates) to have a "double union", in other words, full communion with Rome as well as with Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarchate refutes this inaccurate statement and affirms it was never made. The Ecumenical Patriarchate repeats its position that full union in faith is a prerequisite for sacramental communion.
At the Patriarchate, the 5th of July 2008
From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy Synod
August 1st, 2nd - His Grace Bishop Maxim visited the Women's Monastery of the Nativity of the Forruner, in Goldendale. Gerontissa Evpraxia with the sisters of the Monastery received Bishop Maxim on Friday evening and the next day he celebrated the Divine Liturgy. On Sunday Bishop Maxim celebrated the Liturgy in the Serbian Orthodox Parish of St Stephen the Archdeacon in Portland.
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.