On Thursday, July 5, 2012, the President of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, Professor Mehmet Görmez, accompanied by İstanbul Chief Mufti Rahmi Yaran, visited the Phanar, where he was received by His All-Holiness. Prof. Görmez expressed support for the reopening the Theological School of Halki, saying that it is a fundamental right of non-Muslims living in Turkey to educate their own leaders and teachers. In attendance also were Metropolitans Geron Apostolos of Derkoi, Theoliptos of Iconium and Stephanos of Kallioupolis and Madyton as well as the legal advisers of the Patriarchate, Prof. and Mrs. Hussein Chatemi.
On Monday, July 2, 2012, His All-Holiness, accompanied by Metropolitans Seraphim of Kastoria and the regional Secretary of Western Macedonia, Mr. George Dakis, was welcomed at the entrance to the historical community of Nymfaio by Metropolitans Theoklitos of Florina, Pavlos of Kozani and Panteleimon of Veria as well as Mr. Nicholas Mertzos, the Honorary President of Lechovo village and Chairman of the Macedonian Studies Company. Afterward, His All-Holiness paid a short visit to Lechovo.
Bishop Porfirije and his companion, father Teodosije, a brother of the monastery of Kovilj, with their host Bishop Irinej and deacon Nemanja Mrdjenovic, secretary of the Metropolitanate of Australia-New Zealand visited the seat of the Greek Orthodox Archbishopric of Australia and New Zealand and the Orthodox Theological Faculty "Saint Andrew the First-Called" in Sidney. On this occasion they were welcomed by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia and His Grace Bishop Iacovos of Militopolis.
From the fourth through the seventh centuries A.D., a form of Christian religious devotion flourished in Palestine known as desert monasticism.
Drawing upon biblical descriptions of Elijah (1 Kings 17), John the Baptist (Matthew 3), and Jesus, thousands of devoted Christians departed into the wilderness, becoming hermits seeking the presence of God in solitude (Mark 1).
Paradoxically, this exodus into the wilderness began in the fourth century as Christianity was becoming the official religion of the Roman empire.
Representatives of Mostar Serbs and the mission of the Diocese of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and the Littoral, were from June 28 until July 3, 2012 in a visit to Prague, upon the invitation of Czech Cardinal Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Metropolitan Christopher of Czech lands and Slovakia, as well as friends of the Serbian community of Mostar; Vese Djorem, brothers Sparavalo, Milutin Peric and others.
On Sunday, July 1, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy with His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece and other Hierarchs at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Among those in attendance were the Minister of Education, Professor Constantine Arvanitopoulos, the Deputy Minister of Rural Development, Mr. Maximos Charakopoulos, the former President of the Greek Parliament, Mr. Philippos Petsalnikos, the the regional Secretary of Western Macedonia, Mr. George Dakis, the Mayor of Kastoria, Mr. Emmanuel Chatzisymeonidis, and various representatives of local authorities.