On Sunday, September 23, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the memorial service on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary since the ethnic tragedy in Smyrna in 1922. The service was held at St. Fokas Church in the Mesachorion Community. In attendance were Metropolitan Germanos of Theodoroupolis, the Hon. Nicholas Matthioudakis, Consul General of Greece in Istanbul with his wife Catherine Varvarigou, Consul of Greece in Adrianople, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Information in Greece, Mr. I. Panagiotopoulos.
On September 16, 2012, the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, while on a primatial visit to Japan, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Tokyo. Among his con-celebrants were Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo, primate of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Varsonofy of Saransk and Mordovia, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Archbishop Varfolomey of Rovno and Ostrog, Archbishop Seraphim of Sendai, Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s administrative secretariat, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, Archpriest Nikolay Katsuban, dean of the ROC Tokyo representation, and Japanese clergy.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held its third annual meeting for all member hierarchs, that is, all active canonical bishops in its region. The meeting was held from September 10-12, 2012, at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. Forty-three bishops were in attendance.
The first plenary session opened on Monday morning, and began with prayer, followed by an address to the assembled hierarchs by the Chairman of the Assembly, Demetrios, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (his address will soon be posted on the Assembly website).The Archbishop expressed the sorrow of all present for the loss of Metropolitan Constantine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the U.S., who fell asleep in the Lord since the last meeting of the Assembly. He also noted the absence of two brother bishops who had recently retired, Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh and Metropolitan Jonah of Washington, D.C. Moreover, he welcomed the new bishops joining the Assembly since May 2011, the time of its last meeting: Bishop Sevastianos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Bishops Anthony, John, and Nicholas of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Bishop Daniil of the Bulgarian Diocese, Bishop Alexander of the Orthodox Church in America, and the newly-consecrated Bishop Pankratij of the Metropolis of Mexico.
On September 23, 2012, the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relation, who is on a visit to Greece with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, led the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in Agia Sophia at Psychiko, Athens. Among his concelebrants were clergy of the diocese of Athens, Greek Orthodox Church, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations, and Hierodeacon Ioann (Kopeikin), assistant to the rector of the Sts Cyril and Methodius Post-Graduate and Doctoral School.
On 18 September 2012, while on a visit to Japan, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Yoshihiko Noda, head of the Japanese government, at the Prime-Minister’s residence.