On February 11, 2013, the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, made comments to ITAR-TASS news agency concerning that coming reports about the retirement of the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI.
Reports about the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI have proved to be unexpected even for his closest associates. Cardinal Sodano described it as ‘a thunder out of a clear sky’. Really, there have been no precedents of this kind in the modern history of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II remained in office to the end despite his serious health problems.
New patriarch enthroned during a holy Liturgy in Damascus on Sunday amid civil war. John Yazigi (57) replaces Ignatius Hazim as the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. Patriarch Ignatius died in December.
"We are certain that Syria will find a way to salvation through dialogue and a peaceful political solution," the Patriarch said after his inauguration that was broadcast live by Syrian State TV.
Source: The Associated Press
On Wednesday, February 6, 2013, His All-Holiness presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Monastery of Halki on the occasion of the Feast of St. Photios, former Patriarch of Constantinople as well as traditionally considered Founder of the same Monastery and Patron Saint of the Halki Theological School. Following the Divine Liturgy, His All-Holiness elevated Fr. Samuel, who serves at the Monastery, to the rank of Archimandrite.
2013 – Solemn Year of Saints Emperors Constantine and Helen and Commemorative Year of “Dumitru Staniloae” at the Romanian Patriarchate
On 19th January 2013, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, received the courtesy call in the Patriarchal See of the Melkite Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch and All the East, who was in Egypt. During the meeting best wishes were exchanged for the New year and the situation of the Christians in the Middle East was discussed. His Beatitude had the opportunity of presenting the missionary and philanthropic activities of the Alexandrian Patriarchate and Patriarch Gregorios with warm words expressed his admiration for the missionary work being undertaken by the Alexandrian Church on the African continent.
The third day of the Council’s work began with the Divine Liturgy praying at which were His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and members of the Council.
In the beginning of the plenary session at the Hall of Church Council in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, chairman of the Inter-Council Presence’s Commission on Cooperation between the Church, State and Society, presented a draft document on the position of the Church on the development of technologies of recording and processing of personal data; discussion followed.