Thirteen Lebanese and Syrian nuns who were kidnapped by rebels from the historic Christian town of Maaloula in December have been released and are now returning back to Syria after traveling through Lebanon.
The nuns arrived in the village of Jdeidet Yabus on the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon late on Sunday.
A solemn, festal part of the gathering began with the Vigil service and akathist to Most Holy Mother of God which was celebrated by Patriarch Theodor of Alexandria and with the participation of the primates of the Orthodox Churches, at the church of Holy Archangels on Bosphorus, in the Istanbul’s quarter of Mega Revma, full of believers from Istanbul and Greece.
The working is about to be finished with today’s morning session. The message of the Orthodox patriarchs and other primates of Orthodox Churches to the church and whole public will be solemnly announced during the Holy Liturgy on Sunday of Orthodoxy at the Cathedral church of Saint George on the Phanar.
At the invitation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the First-Hierarchs of all the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will gather from March 6-9, 2014, for a Sacred Synaxis at the Phanar in order to deliberate on matters pertaining to the entire Orthodox Church throughout the world and procedural issues for the convocation of the Holy and Great Council, whose preparation is coming to an end.
Commission for the preparation of the meeting of Primates of Local Orthodox Churches concludes its work7. March 2014 - 8:28
On 5 March 2014, the commission for the preparation of the forthcoming meeting of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, chaired by Metropolitan John of Pergamon, continued its work at the Throne Hall of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Taking part in the commission was the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, which included Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; and deacon Anatoly Churiakov, a DECR staff member.
Brotherly meeting of Primates of Church of Constantinople and Russian Church takes place at the Patriarchate of Constantinople6. March 2014 - 9:44
On 5 March 2014, upon his arrival to Istanbul, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia headed for the Patriarchate of Constantinople where he met with His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.
His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople warmly greeted the Primate of the Russian Church and his suite and expressed his joy over the participation of Patriarch Kirill in the meeting (synaxis) of the Primates and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches.