Turkey returned the title deed for a Greek boys' orphanage to the head of the Greek Orthodox church today, complying with an order from the European Court of Human Rights.
The deed for the orphanage on the island of Heybeliada near Istanbul was given to Cem Murat Sofuoglu, a lawyer for the Istanbul-based patriarchate, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
- Your Eminence, I should first welcome you to Greece. It is very big honor for all of us that you are on Rhodes Island although it is not an official visit. What brings you here?
- Here, in Rhodes currently there is an Orthodox - Catholic Forum which brings together participants from all European Orthodox Churches as well as from various Churches and Organizations in Europe. The idea of the creation of this Forum initially belongs to Cardinal Erdo of Budapest and to me. The idea is that we should informally discuss various questions of common interest. The first Forum, which took place in Trento (Italy) two years ago, discussed family issues such as marriage, procreation, abortion, the value of human life and so on. This meeting is dedicated to the relations between the church and the state in various European countries.
Priest Dmitry Bogolyubov told an Interfax-Religion correspondent on Sunday that at 3 a.m. on November 6, unidentified criminals rushed into the guard's house, beat the guard, then tied him up and started torturing him trying to clear out where to find money and valuable things. "They torn down his cross, insulted him as a Christian. Then they broke open the kiosk, forced open the safe, took the money and silver items (crosses, rings, chains). They took off the bars, broke the window and passed to the sanctuary, threw about all the things there as well as in prayer part of the church, in the choirs. They broke open boxes for donations. Thanks God, they didn't take church utensils and icons," the priest said.
At the patronal feast day in the only opened church in Harbin, of the Holy Protection of the Theotokos, Fr Michael Wang, the priest from Shanghai of Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church, celebrated the Divine Liturgy, during which several dozen Chinese and Russian believers prayed. For Orthodox believers in Harbin the clergy visit is a rare opportunity to take part in religious services.
The members of the First Episcopal Assembly of all canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania welcomed the opportunity to meet in Sydney from 16-18 October, 2010 under the chairmanship ex officio of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia.
The Assembly commenced with a Divine Liturgy manifesting our essential eucharistic unity at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, Redfern, Sydney.
INVITATION - On the occasion of the Episcopal Assembly of all canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania and Asia, which will take place in Sydney from 16th-18th October 2010, there will be on Sunday 17th october 2010, from 7:30 am in the Cathedral of the church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, Redfern, a concelebration of the Divine Liturgy, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, with Their Eminences Hierarchs Paul of the Antiochian Church, Agapit of the Russian, Irinej of the Serbian, Michael of the Romanian, Their Eminences Metropolitans Amphilochios of New Zealand, Ambrosios of Korea, Nectarios of Hong Kong, and Their Graces Assistant Bishops Ezekiel of Dervis, Seraphim of Apollonias and Nikandros of Dorylaion, assisted by Priests of all jurisdictions.
We invite you to pray together with us. After the Liturgy, refreshments will be served in the Main Hall of the Theological College, next to the Cathedral.
In Sydney, 5th October 2010.
+Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias