On 4 September 2013, the Supreme Church Council of the Russian Orthodox Church met for a regular session at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The session was chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who declared the session open and presented the agenda. He greeted the participants and said that the meeting might not be attractive to the press but is very important, as we ought to consider the implementation of decisions taken by the Bishops’ Council and of the Supreme Church Council, to have a thorough look at the process of the work being done, which tasks we have done and which we have failed to do.
On Friday the 17th/30th of August 2013, the new Archbishop of the Ethiopian Church in Jerusalem, Mr Daniel Ilma, visited the Patriarchate upon assuming office after the election of his predecessor, Archbishop Aba Mattias, as Patriarch of Ethiopia.
The new Ethiopian Archbishop was received by His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, in the presence of Fathers of the Holy Sepulcher.
On Tuesday the 16th/29th of August 2013, the Spiritual Center of the Bethlehem Pilgrimage was officially inaugurated.
The Center is set up at a residence near the Basilica of the Nativity, and the Central Monastery of the Greek Orthodox located within. The residence was purchased and renovated by the Patriarchal Commissioner in Bethlehem, His Eminence Theophylaktos, Archbishop of Jordan.
The Center is intended to include various teaching and educational departments for the youth of the Arab-speaking congregation in Bethlehem (Rum Orthodox), i.e. courses on the History of the Holy Land, the Church of Jerusalem, the Holy Sites, Byzantine Music, computer literacy, foreign languages etc.
On Wednesday the 15th/28th of August 2013, the feast of the Dormition of Theotokos was celebrated by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem at the Bier of the Mother of God.
Vespers was first held on the evening of the feast, led by the Most Reverend Joachim, Metropolitan of Zambia at the Patriarchate of Alexandria. The cantor of the Church of the Resurrection, Archimandrite f. Aristovoulos chanted the Vespers’ troparia in the Byzantine mode, especially so the Doxastikon “With a sign by the authority of God” within the eight modes (octoechos), whilst the faithful people piously observed, placing lit candles along the steps of the church.
Statement issued from the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Balamand, on 30th August 2013
I raised my eyes to the mountains where I receive my help.
Our countries are passing through a difficult phase and challenging circumstances with their peoples being threatened by several dangers. This painful situation in which we find ourselves and in which the lives of many are threatened by killing, kidnapping, forced immigration and the use of weapons of mass destruction, violation of international law, bombs everywhere destroying the security of individuals and home countries and religion being used to implant division between compatriots, make us feel sad. The war continues to threaten our homelands and the possibilities for peace seem to be diminished. In the midst of all these circumstances our Church is well rooted in this land and we insist on certain common principles as the basis for her involvement in public affairs. She demands that international organizations adopt appropriate steps which would promote the protection of the inhabitants of these lands. She invites all interested states to abandon, directly or indirectly, all their private narrow interests in order to help prepare an appropriate context for Syria to arrive at the fundamentals of a political and peaceful solution through the logic of dialogue rather than that of deadly conflict.