On Sunday the 1st of July, the 41st Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was opened by His Eminence Archbishop Demitrios in the presence of thousands of delegates from all over the United States. This auspicious four day event brings together hundreds of clergymen and some five thousand laypeople, including the presidents of parish boards, women's auxilliary organisations, youth workers, musical directors and other departmental leaders, who gather to discuss and formulate the implementation of various programmes and strategies, critical to the continued development of the life of the Church on this vast continent.
On Friday, June 29, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul, and on the occasion of the Nameday of Metropolitan Pavlos of Servia and Kozani. Participating hierarchs included Metropolitans Chrysostomos of Dodoni, Nikolaos of Karpenisi, John of Pergamon, Apostolos of Milite, Chrysostomos of Messinia, Seraphim of Kastoria, Gennadios of Sassima, Joel of Edessa, Basil of Elassona, Theokletos of Florina, Pavlos of Siatista, Kyrillos of Kifisia, Dionisios of Zakinthos, Emmanuel of Kilkis, as well as Archbishop Damaskinos of Joppa and Bishop Panteleimon of Theoupolis. The service was held at SS. Constantine and Helen Church in Kozani.
On Thursday, June 28, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the Divine Liturgy at the newly restored Church of the Dormition in Velventos of Kozani. Among others, Metropolitan Pavlos of Servia and Kozani was in attendance.
UNESCO's World Heritage committee on Friday approved a Palestinian bid to place the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its list of sites of World Heritage in Danger. It was a decision seen by some countries as a too politicized. Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi said the vote was an affirmation of Palestinian sovereignty over the site that marks the place where Christians believe Jesus was born, the Associated Press reports.
The 21-member committee, meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, voted 13-6 to include the church and pilgrimage route, located in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, on its list of sites. There were two abstentions.
Patriarch Kirill attends the Slavic Unity Festival – 2012 at the border of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine3. July 2012 - 9:00
On June 30, 2012, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia attended the opening of the Slavic Unity – 2012, an international festival of Slavic nations. This year it was held under the motto ‘The Future to Be Built by the Youth’. It is the second time that the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church attends the festival at the Three Sisters, a monument at the border of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
His Holiness arrived at the meeting place of the Russian delegation by helicopter.