Report from the meeting of the Joint Commission of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference and the Serbian Orthodox Church24. April 2017 - 10:19
The fourth meeting of the Joint Commission of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference and the Serbian Orthodox Church was held at the Bishop's Palace in Pozega, Croatia, on the 20th and 21st April 2017, the task of which was to jointly consider the figure of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac before, during and after the Second World War. The theme of the meeting was "The attitude of Archbishop Stepinac towards the Serbian Orthodox Church from 1941 to 1945".
President of the Republic of Italy
Mr. SERGIO MATTARELLA
Rome – Italy
Honorable Mr. President,
We are deeply shocked by the news on the devastating earthquake which struck Italy all of a sudden. The hearts of thousands of relatives bear indelible scars due to a huge number of the deceased, the injured and the missing ones.
On the behalf of the fullness of the Serbian Orthodox Church and on Our own behalf, please accept sincere condolences on the pain of the families of the tragically deceased and the heavily injured in this extraordinary tragedy.
To You personally and to all the people who have been entrusted to You, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people, with sorrow in the heart, send our sincere prayerful wishes and moral support for the fast recovery and spiritual consolation in these hard times of the disaster.
We pray to the God to grant repose of the souls to all the tragically perished, fast recovery to the injured, and consolationto the relatives for their pain, and that the Italian people may overcome the present diffuculties.
Mr. GIUSEPPE MANZO
Ambassador of the Republic of Italy
On behalf of the Serbian Orthodox people and on Our own behalf, please accept Our deep and sincere condolence on the occasion of the tragedy that struck the Republic of Italy – a devastating earthquake which took a huge number of human lives and caused material damages across your beautiful country.
Sincerely sharing the pain with the people of Italy, we pray to God the Merciful One that the appaling sufferings come to an end, and that the missing persons be found safe so that they may return to the embrace of their closest ones.
We use this opportunity to request Your Excellency that Our letter of condolence, sent to the President of the Republic of Italy – Mr. Sergio Mattarella, be kindly forwarded to His Excellency the President.
ENCYCLICAL OF THE HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
With a hymn of thanksgiving, we praise and worship God in Trinity, who has enabled us to gather together during the days of the feast of Pentecost here on the island of Crete, which has been sanctified by St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, and his disciple Titus, his “true son in the common faith” (Tit 1.4), and, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to conclude the sessions of this Holy and Great Council of our Orthodox Church – convened by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, by the common will of Their Beatitudes the Primates of the most holy Orthodox Churches – for the glory of His most holy Name and for the great blessing of His people and of the whole world, confessing with the divine Paul: “Let people then regard us thus: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor 4.1).
On the occasion of the tragic events in Istanbul, during which dozens of innocent victims suffered, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, sent sincere condolences to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey.
Telegram of condolences to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew:
On the occasion of the tragedy at the airport in Istanbul, that took many lives, please accept Our sincere condolences.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej
To all Diocesan Clergy, Church-School Congregation Boards and Faithful
Dear Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy and our dear Serbian Orthodox faithful,
Christ is Risen!
As you certainly all know, our entire Diocese, and indeed our entire Serbian Orthodox Church, suffered a terrible and tragic loss on the very day of the Holy Pascha of our Lord with the destruction of our cathedral church of St. Sava in New York City. While the church building is a total loss, we rejoice and thank God that there were no serious injuries or loss of life. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the New York Fire Department, and we await their findings.
Nonetheless, our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in the New York area have lost their spiritual home, the heart of their religious and national life. Their loss is personal for them, deeply emotional and truly tragic. Yet, even as the embers of the temple still smoldered, the community expressed its determination to continue its church life there. The building is gone, but the living church remains, and its members need our prayers and our support, both spiritual and financial.
The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in New York City, an architectural treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a New York City landmark, was tragically destroyed by a fire on Sunday, May 1, 2016, on Easter, the holiest day for Eastern Orthodox Christians.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn and begun in 1842, the church was consecrated in 1855 as Trinity Chapel until it was sold to the Serbian community in 1943. Celebrated author Edith Wharton was married in this church, and Nikola Tesla, world-renowned scientist and inventor, was memorialized with a bronze bust, which miraculously sustained no damage. To date, the Orthodox community has spent over $4.5 million dollars to restore and improve the complex, which had continued to serve the needs of its parishioners and community through war and peace, tragedy and joy.