His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received His Excellency Yves Leterne, the Prime Minister of Belgium, to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on December 30, 2009.
Before his departure from the Phanar, the Belgian Prime Minister toured the Patriarchal Church of St. George and finally said: "It was very interesting to visit the roots of the Christian faith in this region of the world. The Orthodox Church is one of those roots, binding together the whole society."
A reception was given on 19 December 2009 on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church to mark the 10th anniversary of Orthodoxy in Thailand. The celebrations were led Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relation as head of an official delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate.
On the Day of St. Ambrose of Milan, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine celebrates Divine Liturgy in Milan22. December 2009 - 10:36
On December 20, 2009, the Commemoration Day of St. Ambrose of Milan - the patron saint of the Russian parish in Milan, His Beatitude Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Saints, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church in Corsia dei Servi, occupied by the parish.
Among his concelebrants were Archbishop Philip of Poltava and Mirgorod, Bishop Ambrose of Chernigov and Novgorod-Seversky, Bishop Alexander of Pereyaslavl-Khmelnitsky, Archpriest Nikolay Makar as well as clergy of the Italian parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church who accompanied His Beatitude on his pilgrimage to Italy.
His All Holiness Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians who constitute the second largest Christian denomination in the world, will be featured on the CBS News program 60 Minutes reported by Bob Simon, scheduled to air on Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 7 p.m. EST. The segment will focus on the Orthodox Church, the most ancient Christian church, and its development from its earliest years to modern times in what is now the Republic of Turkey.
From the moment of his election as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and subsequent move to New York, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion makes two trips a year-in summer and winter-to his Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. The worshipers of over 30 churches, monasteries and sketes joyfully await the arrival of their Vladyka. These visits always coincide with a great number of events in the life of the Diocese of the Russian diaspora. Life within the Russian Orthodox community picks up pace in an effort to fit in with the schedule of Vladyka Hilarion.