On April 16, 2013, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, visited Poland. He was accompanied by Hegumen Philaret (Bulekov), DECR vice-chairman, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations, Hierodeacon Ioann (Kopekin) assistant to the DECR chairman, A. Churyakov, a staff member of the DECR, and Orthodox laymen I. Savvidi and A. Sevastyanov.
On 13 April 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR) arrived in the Holy Mountain of Athos as head of a group of pilgrims, which consists of hegumen Philaret (Bulekov), DECR vice-chairman; archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; hieromonk Antoniy (Sevryuk), secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in Italy; hierodeacon Ioann (Kopeikin), assistant to the DECR chairman; and four laymen, including Anatoly Churiakov, a DECR staff member.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the collection of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people has begun through the efforts of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society (IOPS). Muscovites have met this initiative with a quick response. People are bringing in dressings, foodstuffs, children’s food and stationary as well as monetary donations to help those who suffer from war in remote Syria. In monasteries, which have become aid collection stations, boxed have been installed for money. The humanitarian aid collected in Russia will be handed over to His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and to Syria’s Supreme Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.
The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, on the first day of its regularly scheduled spring meeting today under the presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, issued the following statement on the barbaric attack at the Boston Marathon yesterday:
“On this day of shock and mourning, our hearts and prayers are with the victims of this latest horrendous terrorist attack. We express our unequivocal condemnation of all acts of violence and terrorism against society, which incite the justified indignation of all people who value human life, freedom and justice. We stand together with people of Boston, the participants of the Boston Marathon and their families and the people of our Nation as a whole. We call upon all our faithful to offer prayers for the repose of the souls of the innocent victims who lost their lives in these tragic events and pray for the healing of those immediately affected and for the Nation.”
On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in a formal reception in honor of the church and religious leaders by Pope Francis, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew represented the christian and faith communities in a special address to the Pope. The Patriarch's attendance at the papal inaugural mass was a historic initiative on the part of Patriarch Bartholomew inasmuch as it was the first time in history that an Ecumenical Patriarch was personally present at a papal installation.
Vatican, March 20, 2013
In the name of the Lord of powers, we wholeheartedly congratulate You on the inspired election and deserved assumption of Your new high duties as First Bishop of the venerable Church of Senior Rome, defined by the primacy of love.