Statement by the Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations
In January 2013, a wave of the defilement of Orthodox churches and burial places has swept Kosovo.
According to the press service of the Raska-Prizren diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the 19th century Church of the Holy Trinity at the Babljak village near Urosevac was plundered and defiled. In 1999, it survived arson by extremists.
St Vladimir's Theological Seminary commemorated the feast of the Three Hierarchs. Among the celebrants were His Grace The Right Rev. Maxim, bishop of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America (an episcopal member of the SVOTS Board of Trustees), the Very Rev. Dr. Predrag Puzovic, dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Belgrade, Serbia, and Dr. Bogdan Lubardic, assistant professor at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology.
On Thursday, January 31, 2013, His All-Holiness presided over the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs. The commemoration of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom at the Patriarchal Church of St. George was attended by Metropolitans Geron Constantine of Nicaea, Geron Apostolos of Derkoi, Evangelos of Perghe, Germanos of Theodoroupolis, Iakovos of the Princes Islands, Meliton of Philadelphia, Demetrios of Sebasteia, Ireneos of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Chrysostomos of Myra, and Stephanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos.
The Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Churches began its work at the Hall of Church Councils in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on 2 February 2013. 290 archpastors from 247 dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) were invited to take part in the Council. They arrived from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Latvia, Lithuania, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Estonia, and from some far abroad countries in which the ROC dioceses exist.
On January 27, 2013, His Beatitude Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, was enthroned as the 6th Primate of the Orthodox Church in America elected on November 13, 2012 at the 17th All-American Council in Parma, Ohio. The enthronement took place at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington.
On Saturday, January 26, 2013, His All-Holiness received Monks Evdokimos and Barnabas from the Sacred Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of Vatopedi on Mt. Athos. The Monks submitted to the Ecumenical Patriarch a special volume (with essays and photographs) dedicated to 25th Anniversary since the establishment of the current Brotherhood at Vatopedi Monastery .