On August 24, 2014, in compliance with the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church Holy Synod, a delegation of the Russian Church arrived in Tehran for the 9th session of the Joint Russian-Iranian Commission for Dialogue “Orthodoxy-Islam”.
The delegation is led by Archbishop Feofilakt of Pyatigorsk and Cherkessk. It includes Archpriest Vladislav Tsypin, Moscow Theological Academy; Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, secretary for the far abroad, Department for External Church Relation; Rev. Dimitry Safonov, head of the DECR section for interreligious contacts; Rev. Iliya Yakovenko, assistant to Archbishop Feofilakt, and Ms. Ye. Dunaeva, senior researcher, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences.
After the enthronement celebration at the Kiev Laura of the Caves, during which Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk voiced a patriarchal letter of recognition to the new Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, he shared his thoughts about the mission of the Church in Ukraine and priority tasks facing its Primate in a talk with Deacon Yevgeny Murzin, a correspondent of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate:
In each historical era, especially at turning points in history, the Lord calls to the high primatial ministry those who by their life have shown their commitment to Him and His Church. Today we cannot but recall how – in 1992, at a crucial moment for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church when a threat emerged to the unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy because of a schism – the Council of Bishops unanimously elected His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir as the Primate.
EEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Sumela Monastery in Turkey for the fifth consecutive year and officiated the Divine Liturgy held in the historic monastery.
Hundreds of worshipers attended the liturgy for the Dormition of Virgin Mary in an atmosphere of piety and emotion.People arrived in Trabzon by air, car or even bikes in order to attend the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Panagia Sumela Monastery on Mount Mela.The Ecumenical Patriarch did not fail to mention the difficulties faced by both the clergy and people in order to perform the liturgy in the historical monastery.
On August 13, 2014, the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which took place at the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, elected Metropolitan Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina, Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of Kiev, as Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Council was attended by 82 bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church including 52 diocesan bishops, 22 suffragan bishops, and 8 (out of 9) supernumerary bishops.
On August 14 a unique event started in Sevastopol – a cross procession by sea. “Children are going by sea: Sevastopol – Kerch 2014”.
The international procession of the cross with visits to the Crimean Churches of Holy Right-Believing Prince Alexander Nevsky is being held as part of the “Alexander Nevsky – the name of Russia” program, carried out with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. It is implementing the project of social partnership of the state, the Church, the army, and the society for the spiritual, moral and patriotic education of children and youth. The sea procession to the Crimean churches itself is being held with the blessing of His Eminence Bishop Nazary of Kronstadt, the program’s spiritual leader and Father-Superior of the Holy Trinity – Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg, reports the Sevastopol Deanery’s website.