Orthodox Churches

Release, statement mark closing of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America

From May 25-27, the second annual Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America gathered for its meeting at the Chicago O'Hare Hilton. There was a total of 45 bishops in attendance. In addition, nearly all of the members were present at the Assembly: the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Albanian Orthodox Diocese; the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese; the Patriarchate of Moscow, including the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas; the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church; and the Orthodox Church in America. Not represented were the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese, as they currently have no bishop, owing to the recent repose of Metropolitan Nicholas; the Georgian Orthodox Church, whose bishop resides in Georgia; most of the bishops of Canada and Mexico, as the Canadian bishops anticipate their own assembly, as do those of Mexico and Central America who have requested to join the Assembly of South America. The Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church were detained by the business of their Synod in Belgrade, which was in session at the same time, and by delays in travel caused by the volcanic ash over Europe, and so were not able to attend.

Historic concelebration of the Divine Liturgy by OCA Metropolitan Jonah, ROCOR Metropolitan Hilarion

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America [OCA], and His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia [ROCOR], concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at Saint Nicholas Cathedral here on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

The Liturgy was an historic one, in that it marked "the first joint service of the American Bishops and the Russian Orthodox Church after nearly 70 years of the liturgical period of absence of communication," according to the web site of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA. It represents the fruit of the diligent labors undertaken by the joint OCA-ROCOR Commission.

Day of Slavic writing celebrated in Russia, abroad

The celebration of the Day of Slavic Writing opened with the patriarch's liturgy in the Kremlin Uspensky Cathedral on Tuesday. The service was followed by a religious procession from Red Square to Vasilyevsky Spusk, where Patriarch Kirill officially opened the annual festival. A big festival was also held there.

The Day of Slavic Writing, celebrated on May 24, is associated with the memory of St. Cyril and Methodius, who created the Slavic alphabet and translated the Gospels into Old Slavonic. The holiday was celebrated in Russia on an official level from the middle of the 19th century until the 1917 revolution. The Day of Slavic Writing has been celebrated in contemporary Russia for over 20 years.

Metropolitan Hilarion: It is urgent that a system of protecting Christians against persecution be organized

Esteemed Mr. Prime-Minister,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have assembled here in Jamaica not only to sum up the Decade to Overcome Violence declared by the World Council of Churches in 2001 but also to discern together the scale and forms taken by violence in today's world. The principle question we have to answer is what we as Christians can do together in the face of growing violence, aggression, exploitation and terror. Symbolically, the World Council has accepted the invitation of churches in Jamaica and chosen for this forum this very beautiful island, which at the same time is a place with one of the heaviest rates of violence in the world.

Attempt to create Abkhaz "metropolia" will cause deadlock

The creation of a new "metropolia" in Abkhazia announced late last week will only make it more difficult to resolve the Abkhaz church issue, the Moscow Patriarchate has said.

"The church canon laws do not involve the making of decisions to create new metropolitanates, let alone autocephalous churches, at "clerical-laic" congresses. And the nomination by the "laic congress" of bishop candidates is explicitly prohibited by the canon law," Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy head of the Synodal Department of External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

The Russian Orthodox Church surprised by the statement of Milo Djukanovic

Statement of the father Nikolai Balashov, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church to Tanjug.  

The Orthodox Churches of the whole world do not doubt that this so-called montenegrin orthodox church is the non-canonical schismatic organization , so these statements of the leader from Podgorica surprised, said Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church Nikolai Balashov.