On March 5, 2014, the Wednesday of the first week of Lent, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, after a morning service at the Church of Christ the Saviour, left for Istanbul (Constantinople) for a meeting of heads and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches. The Primates come to Istanbul at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
Despite the suggestions repeatedly made by the Russian Church that the date of the meeting should be changed, it will take place during the first week of Lent and expected to conclude on Sunday, March 9.
“His Holiness the Patriarch very much regrets that he cannot share in prayer with his flock in the forthcoming days of the first week of Lent”, said the head of the Patriarchal Press Service, Deacon Alexander Volkov.
Deacon Alexander also related that during his stay at the Patriarchate of Constantinople, on the land sanctified by the feat of many old ascetics, His Holiness Kirill will pray for the strengthening of all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church who have begun Lenten pursuits.
The feast of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, marking nine centuries since his birth, was solemnly celebrated at the Hilandar Monastery
On the eve of the feast-day, February 28nd, His Grace Bishop Jovan of Ulpiana, Vicar of the Serbian Patriarch, as well as numerous guests from Mt. Athos and all the Serbian lands, arrived to the monastery. The Bishop was welcomed by the brotherhood and the abbot of the monastery. His Grace officiated the all-night Vigil service and the Hierarchal Liturgy next morning.
On Sunday, March 2, 2014, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew traveled to Hungary for a two-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
His All-Holiness was warmly received by Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, Minister of State for Church and Minority and Non-governmental Relations, György Hölvényi, Greek Ambassador Dimitris Giannakakis, Turkish Ambassador Sakir Fakili, the Greek Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, Ioannis Stamatekos, Consul General of Hungary in Istanbul, Gábor Kiss, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief of Protocol, Zoltán Nagy, and Senior Advisor/Protocol Officer Márta Pópáné Linka.
That evening, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew settled in the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest. The official Patriarchal delegation includes Metropolitan Emmanuel of France and Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria.
Message from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia regarding the situation in Ukraine, on 2 March 2014.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has sent the following Message to Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of Kiev, Metropolitan Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina, to the Archpastors, Pastors and All the Faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on the Situation in Ukraine:
Your Eminence Onufry Beloved in the Lord, Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of Kiev,