On 13 May 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, currently on a visit to China, visited St. Sophia Cathedral in Harbin. He was accompanied by Ambassador Andrei Denisov of the Russian Federation to the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Sergei Paltov, Russian Consul General in Shenyang, Mr. Zhang Lebin, deputy director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs under the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and members of the official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Staff members of the municipal architecture and art museum housed in the building of the cathedral told His Holiness about its history.
Patriarch Kirill recalled the destruction of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow and underlined the importance of preserving any traces of Russian presence in China for the development of relations between China and Russia.
His Holiness and his suite sang Paschal troparion.
On May 12, 2013, the second Sunday after Pascha, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the territory of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Beijing in which the Russian Orthodox Mission in China used to be.
The Primate of the Russian Church was assisted by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s administrative secretariat, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, Archpriest Aleksiy Kiselev, dean of the Orthodox community in Shanghai, Rev. Sergiy Voronin, rector of the church of the Assumption of the Russian Embassy in Beijing, and Rev. Ilia Kosykh, acting head of the DECR communication service.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate in conjunction with the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe organizes a scientific conference devoted to religious freedom in Europe. His All-Holiness Bartholomew of Constantinople has sent invitations for this two-day conference, which will take place on May 17 and 18 in Istanbul.
His Grace Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa will participate in the work of this seminar.
The cause of the conference represents a publication of the Edict of Milan 1700 years ago, when Emperor Constantine and southeast Roman co-ruler Licinius proclaimed religious freedom to Christianity and other religions.
On Saturday, April 27, 2013, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in his native island of Imvros, where he will celebrate Holy Week and Pascha for the first time in fifty years. He is accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonies and Archdeacon Maximos Vgenopoulos. His Eminence Metropolitan Stephanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos is serving as Patriarchal Vicar at the Patriarchal Church of St. George at the Phanar.
Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on Thursday arrived in Boston on his first visit to the United States, following an invitation from Archbishop Demetrios of America
Archbishop Ieronymos will be proclaimed an honorary professor of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston during the graduation ceremony on Saturday.
The Archbishop visited the Boston Art Museum on Thursday and the scene of the bloody bomb attack near the finishing line of the Boston marathon race last month. Later in the evening, he will attend a formal dinner given in his honor by Metropolitan Bishop Methodios.