On 3 April 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies, professor of the Moscow Theological Academy and of the University of Fribourg, opened a conference on “Episcopal Ordination and Episcopal Ministry according to Catholic and Orthodox Doctrine and Canon Law” at the University of Fribourg. Taking part in the conference, which will last four days, are bishops and theologians from the Roman Cath0olic Church and the Orthodox Churches, faculty and students of the universities of Switzerland.
The delegation of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of Saint Basil of Ostrog, led by its dean protopresbyter-stavrophor Boris Brajovic, paid an official visit to the Kiev Theological Academy and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kiev.
On Friday, 29 March 2013, the delegation met with the dean of the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol. The delegations discussed the ways of cooperation and improvement of the relations between the two faculties. The first vice chancellor of the Kiev Spiritual Academy Vladimir Burega and professor of the Faculty of Theology in Foca Darko Djogo were also attended at the meeting.
The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy."
In the Orthodox Church, the last Sunday before Great Lent – the day on which, at Vespers, Lent is liturgically announced and inaugurated – is called Forgiveness Sunday. On the morning of that Sunday, at the Divine Liturgy, we hear the words of Christ:
"If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses..." (Mark 6:14-15)
The Crucifixion, fragment (Studenica Monastery, Serbia).Great Lent is the 40-day season of spiritual preparation that comes before the most important Feast of the Christian year, Holy Pascha (which means “Passover” and is commonly called “Easter”,). It is the central part of a larger time of preparation called the Triodion season.
The Triodion begins ten weeks before Easter and is divided into three main parts: three Pre-Lenten weeks of preparing our hearts, the six weeks of Lent, and Holy Week. The main theme of the Triodion is repentance—mankind's return to God, our loving Father.
This annual season of repentance is a spiritual journey with our Savior. Our goal is to meet the risen Lord Jesus, Who reunites us with God the Father. The Father is always waiting to greet us with outstretched hands. We must ask ourselves the question, “Are we willing to turn to Him?”
During Great Lent, the Church teaches us how to receive Him by using the two great means of repentance— prayer and fasting.
At the invitation of His Eminence Nicolae, archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas, The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary (SVOTS) traveled to Bucharest to sign a cooperative agreement between SVOTS and the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest. His visit, blessed by His Beatitude Daniel, archbishop of Bucharest, metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrudgea, locum tenens of the throne of Caesarea of Cappadocia, patriarch of Romania, began on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee when he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Constantine and Helen.