First hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York Diocese deceased on Sunday at the age of 80. Metropolitan Laurus passed away on the Feast of Orthodoxy. He was born Vassily Mikhailovich Skurla on January 1, 1928, in the village of Ladomirova, present day Slovakia. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1950, and became a hieromonk in 1954. Fr. Laurus graduated from the Holy Trinity Theological Seminary in 1954 and was appointed its inspector in 1960. He was elevated to archimandrite on April 17, 1966. Archimandrite Laurus was consecrated bishop of Manhattan on August 12, 1967, and appointed archbishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity on October 20, 1981. The same year Laurus was elected First hierarch and Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York.
Metropolitan Laurus was actively involved in restoring canonical unity of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and abroad broken after the civil war. Metropolitan Laurus will be buried at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, where the ROCOR administrative center is situated and where previous ROCOR first hierarchs were buried.
Bulletin Issued by the VMA’s Medical Council on the Health Condition of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle14. March 2008 - 13:37
The Main Medical Council engaged in the treatment of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle headed by Chief of the Military Medical Academy Major General Prof. Dr. Miodrag Jevtic, PhD, met at 10 o'clock a.m. on March 12, 2008.
The Council gave a detailed analysis of the course of the disease, as well as the diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation measures that had been adopted. Following a four month long treatment of serious cardiac, pulmonary and neurological disfunctions with life-threatening complications, a very favourable therapeutic effect has been achieved along with an improved general health condition.
The current health condition of His Holiness has been stabilized. The pace of the functional recovery is appropriate for the patient's age. His Holiness is conscious and able to follow his interlocutors in a light conversation. The patient receives visitors and spends part of the day in a sitting position.
In order to maintain the achieved condition and avoid possible recurrent complications, it is mandatory to provide the patient with full general care and medical monitoring, which would be difficult to establish elsewhere.
In the Council's opinion, the medical monitoring and physical rehabilitaion program should be continued at the Military Medical Academy.
The VMA Administration
The Right Honourable Helen Clark
PO Box 18888
Honourable Prime Minister:
We write to you on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the patriotic Serbian community in New Zealand to offer our sincere appreciation to you and to the Government of New Zealand for your prudent decision not to extend diplomatic recognition to Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence and secession from the Republic of Serbia.
Kosovo including its integral territory of Metohija is Serbia's spiritual Jerusalem and the very cradle of the Serbian nation. Kosovo is and remains a province of the sovereign Republic of Serbia in accordance with The Charter of The United Nations, Security Council Resolution 1244, as well as all relevant international conventions on human rights, the rights of peoples and on the inviolability of internationally recognized borders. Therefore, the recognition of Kosovo as an independent entity would violate every established norm of International Law concerned with nation building.
AUSTRALIA'S Serbian Orthodox bishop has written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urging him to reverse Australia's recognition of Kosovo and warning that it increases the risk of terrorism. Bishop Irinej told Mr Rudd that the Government had a foreign policy mandate to be independent rather than automatically falling into line with the US and Britain. "Recognition of Kosovo betrays this trust placed in you and your Government by the Australian people," he wrote in the letter. At least 2000 members of Melbourne's Serb community are expected to gather at Federation Square tonight to oppose Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia, announced at the weekend.
ANTIOCHIAN ARCHBISHOP PAUL OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND REQUESTS SECOND READING OF RUDD GOVERNMENT
Sydney, 10 March 2008, His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Paul of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand in his letters to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith, requested a second reading of their decision of 19 February 2008 to recognise Kosovo's unilateral secession from the Republic of Serbia. "The determination of final status can neither be seen as a reward for systematic violence and organized terror", stated the Archbishop, "nor undertaken without the continued, full involvement of the Serbian government and the United Nations." For these reasons, the head of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Australia urged Prime Minister Rudd and his government to revoke their decision to recognise Kosovo independence, while using Australia's good standing as an international citizen to respect the rule of law by fostering negotiation and constructive dialogue among the interested parties.
There are institutes and symbols adopted by nations, churches or groups of men which represent certain ideals accumulated in the past. These institutes, that is precepts recognized as authoritative, and symbols represent the thoughts and feelings of those who created or adopted them and put in them all the experience of the past, often through struggle and sacrifice. A few feet of ribbon for instance, red, blue and white in color, have little value as is. But if one puts them in a certain pattern of stripes and stars, they become the flag of the United States and represent the ideals and unity of the people of America. The flag reminds us of the people's struggle for liberty. It represents the national unity which attained for them their rights as a people. The same could be said for the institutes of a nation, army or any group of people. These institutes are created by the people and are used by them in certain ways for certain aims. Some of these institutes are the means for achieving certain values and ideals. In the life of the Church of Christ there are many institutes created and maintained to meet the needs of the people - the Ecclesia. Among these is the Great Lent which falls within the year-cycle of the life of the Church before Pascha-Easter. Lent is the period of time for self-examination by the believer; of putting on the spiritual armor of the Militant Church; of applying the riches of prayers and almsgiving; of adopting deeply the meaning of repentance; of atonement and reconciliation with God Almighty.