First Orthodox liturgy conducted at North Pole

Северни полNorth Pole (Camp Barneo), April 6, Interfax - The first Orthodox Church service has been conducted at the North Pole, 90 degrees north of Greenwich.

The service was performed by Archbishop Ignaty of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka, two priests and a deacon of the Kamchatka diocese in a tent, put up on an ice floe specially for the occasion for a few hours, an Interfax-Religion correspondent reported. The tent, large enough to accommodate 15 worshipers, was sanctified by Archbishop Ignaty in honor of the Twelve Apostles, "as a sign, that the teachings of Jesus Christ have reached the Earth's extreme boundaries."

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev challenges WCC

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

When the World Council of Churches (WCC) opened its international central committee meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, in February, delegates heard a passionate plea for orthodoxy from a Russian Orthodox bishop.

According to The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, the Russian Orthodox bishop of Vienna and Austria, stepped up to a microphone and boldly challenged the assembled delegates.

An Assyrian Orthodox priest fatally shot in Iraq

BAGHDAD, April 5 -- An Assyrian Orthodox priest was fatally shot Saturday in an upscale neighborhood of the capital, the second such killing in Iraq in recent weeks.

Youssef Adel, 40, was gunned down as he was leaving his home in Karrada, considered one of Baghdad's safest neighborhoods, according to a police spokesman and a priest with knowledge of the incident.

Russia Sends Aid to Kosovo Serbs

Путин

The first planeload of Russian humanitarian aid has arrived in Belgrade for delivery to the Serb minority in Kosovo.

The relief flights were ordered by President Putin after a request by the Serbian government.

Distribution will be carried out by the Serbian Red Cross.

"A plane left this morning at 0900 (0500 GMT) for Belgrade, with 40 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including baby food. It is for the Serbian population of Kosovo," said Veronika Smolskaya, of Russia's emergency situations ministry.

"We are planning more flights for a total of 140 tonnes of aid," she added.

Mr Putin had ordered the deliveries in March, after the Serbian government requested food, medicine and medical equipment.

Source: BBC NEWS Europe

 

Metropolitan Amfilochios congratulates Prime Minister Clark on not recognizing Kosovo independence

Metropolitan AmfilochiosWELLINGTON (19 March 2008) In a letter of the same date addressed to the Right Honourable Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilochios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of New Zealand and Exarchate of Oceana, applauded the decision of the Government of New Zealand not to recognize the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence.

Third Sunday of Lent

Cross

This Sunday commemorates the venerable Cross and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Cross as such takes on meaning and adoration because of the Crucifixion of Christ upon it. Therefore, whether it be in hymns or prayers, it is understood that the Cross without Christ has no meaning or place in Christianity. The adoration of the Cross in the middle of Great Lent is to remind the faithful in advance of the Crucifixion of Christ.