Patriarchs, primates and representatives of all the Patriarchal and Autochephalous Orthodox Churches recommitted themselves to overcome intra-Orthodox conflicts as well as to continue theological dialogues with Christians from other confessions at a 10-12 October meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.
"Overcoming the internal conflicts of the Orthodox Church through the surrendering of nationalistic, ethnic and ideological extremes of the past" is a requisite for the "word of Orthodoxy [to] have a necessary impact on the contemporary world," reads a message issued at the end of the meeting.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
1. Through the Grace of God, the Primates and the Representatives of the local Orthodox Churches have gathered from 10-12 October, 2008, in the Phanar, at the invitation and under the presidency of the First among us, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on the occasion of the proclamation of this year as the year of Saint Paul, Apostle to the Nations. We have deliberated in fraternal love on the issues that concern the Orthodox Church, and participating in the festivities of this occasion, we celebrated together the Holy Eucharist in the Most Sacred Patriarchal Church of the Ecumenical Throne, today, 12 October 2008, Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. During these days, we have been strengthened by the truth of the gifts of divine providence received by the Apostle to the Nations, which rendered him a superb "chosen vessel" (Acts 9:15) of God and a shining model of apostolic ministry for the body of the Church.
The entire Orthodox Church is honoring this Apostle during the current year of the Lord, promoting him as an example to its faithful for a contemporary witness of our faith to "those near and those afar" (Eph. 2:17).
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.
His 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 monk11. October 2008 - 14:32
The 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)10. October 2008 - 13:57
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."