Message by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Funeral Service of the late Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow12. December 2008 - 21:15
"As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race ..." (2 Tim. 4.6-7)
Like a sharp arrow, the heart of the Orthodox Church worldwide was pierced in recent days by the announcement of the unexpected repose of the venerable Primate of our sister Autocephalous Church in Russia, our beloved brother and concelebrant Alexei. Therefore, we open our occasional farewell address with the timely words of the heavenly Apostle Paul to Timothy inasmuch as we are absolutely convinced of the unbroken continuity in the martyric confession, perpetual expression and dynamic faith that are manifest from time to time in virtuous individuals, who follow St. Paul's example in their life. Of course, there is never an absolute identification between St. Paul and these individuals. Nevertheless, we are able to draw this intimation because, in all places, indomitable fighters boldly bear the cross of the same "good fight," continuing in this way the same ministry and mission through the centuries.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, on Thursday, December 11, 2008 His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral served , with the concelebration of His Grace Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno, Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the chapel of Saint John The Theologian at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Belgrade
The First Catholic-Orthodox Forum, organised by the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE) with the support of the Archdiocese of Trent and its Archbishop Mgr Luigi Bressan, is set to begin in Trent (Italy) on the afternoon of Thursday 11 December.
Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and CCEE President said, "It is also to honour the memory of His Holiness Alexis II that together with the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria that we have decided to go ahead with this Catholic-Orthodox Forum in Trent".
With the Archpastoral Blessing of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, on Sunday November 2nd, for the first time in its 47-year-long history, the parish of St George Great Martyr in Elizabeth, NJ greeted a number of holy relics for our spiritual growth as well as the healing of both the body and the soul:
On Tuesday, November 28th, His Grace, Bishop Maxim and the St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of the Western American Diocese hosted this very special Pan-Orthodox Gathering in Commemoration of the 2,000th Anniversary of the Birth of St. Paul.
He led me through the massive cathedral's cavernous nave and shadowy arcades, pointing out its fading splendors. Under the great dome, filtered amber light revealed vaulted arches, galleries and semi-domes, refracted from exquisite mosaics depicting the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus as well as long-vanished patriarchs, emperors and saints. Yet the overall impression was one of dingy neglect and piecemeal repair. I gazed up at patches of moisture and peeling paint; bricked-up windows; marble panels, their incised surfaces obscured under layers of grime; and walls covered in mustard-colored paint applied by restorers after golden mosaics had fallen away. The depressing effect was magnified by a tower of cast-iron scaffolding that cluttered the nave, testament to a lagging, intermittent campaign to stabilize the beleaguered monument.