Georgia’s ancient capital Mtskheta becomes holy city

Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia has conferred the title of “holy city” on Georgia’s ancient capital Mtskheta – a place revered by all Georgians.

“Mtskheta is regaining its ancient name and full title of a holy city and of Georgia’s sacred capital,” the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church said during Sunday’s liturgy in the Cathedral of St. Trinity in Tbilisi.

Christian Council of Sweden visits Patriarchate

In the morning of Saturday the 16th/29th of March 2014, a delegation of thirty representatives of Sweden’s Christian Churches visited the Patriarchate.

The delegation, numbering approximately thirty pilgrims, represents Christian Churches in Sweden, namely Orthodox, Roman-Catholics, Lutherans, Ante-Chalcidonians etc.

The group, which is representative of the Christian entity in Sweden, living in liberty, was received by H.B. Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Hagiotaphite Fathers.

Patriarch of Jerusalem in Ramallah

 On the evening of Friday the 15th/28th of March 2014, His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, led the service for the Fourth Stasis of the Salutations to Theotokos in the Holy Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour for the Rum Orthodox, Arab-speaking Community of Ramallah, of the Palestinian State.

Holy Friday Epitaphion Service to be celebrated for the first time in over 57 years in Turkish occupied Cyprus

After a haitus of 57 years, in the part of Cyprus that was occupied by Turks in 1971, the service of the Epitaphion (Burial Shroud) will be performed on Holy Friday at St. George's Church in the city of Famagusta. Moreover, with the permission of the Turkish authorities, now once a month Divine Liturgy will be served here on Sundays, reports Romfea.gr. The Epitaphion service will be celebrated by Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia-Ammochostos. St. George's Church, which dates back to the 15th century, is situated within a wall of the city's medieval fortress. "This makes us very happy," said Metropolitan Vasilios in his interview with the Athens News Agency, as he spoke about the ongoing activities "to prepare church for the service, which will be celebrated after half century haitus." "More than that,” the metropolitan added, “arrangement of a cross procession with the Epitaphion along the streets of Famagusta within the ramparts is currently being agreed upon." 

Meeting of Interreligious Council of Russia takes places in Moscow

On 3 April 2014, a regular session of the Interreligious Council of Russia, chaired by archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Department for Church and Society Relations, took place at the Danilovskaya Hotel in Moscow. Taking part in the meeting were representatives of Russia’s traditional religions, as well as Mr. Anton Ignatenko, representative of the Moscow Government, and Mr. Ivan Korostelev, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.