The members of the 3rd Episcopal Assembly of the canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania welcomed once again the opportunity to meet in Sydney from October 14-15, 2012, under the chairmanship ex officio of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia. The Assembly commenced with prayer at the Central Offices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, Redfern.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate expresses profound sorrow as the world has rushed into a confusing and volatile time of religious protests turning violent, and a grievous lack of consideration for religious differences. When we act disrespectfully and violently in the name of our religious prejudices or our religious beliefs we are undermining our own lives and faith, while creating an atmosphere of anger, hatred, and distrust which unravels the very thread that has woven humanity together since our creation.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), currently on pilgrimage to the Holy Mount Athos, visited the Russian monastery of St. Panteleimon. On 11 October 2012, the commemoration day of St. Chariton the Confessor, and Ss Cyril and Maria of Radonezh, he officiated at the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. Panteleimon. Concelebrating were Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, head of the Synodal Department for Monasteries; hieromonk Makarios, father confessor of St. Panteleimon’s monastery; Rev. Kirill Tatarka, secretary of the Hungarian diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, and hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), a DECR staff member.
On Thursday, October 11, 2012, at the invitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Rome, where he addressed the crowds in St. Peter's Square and delivered a message on the occasion of the 50th anniversary since the opening of the 2nd Vatican Council.
On 9 October 2012, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, arrived in the Holy Mountain of Athos, leading a group of pilgrims. The pilgrims group also includes Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, chairman of the Synodal Department for Monasteries; Bishop Feofilakt of Dmitrov; Rev. Kirill Tatarka, secretary of the Hangarian diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church; DECR staff members hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), hierodeacon Ioann (Kopeikin) and Anatoly Churyakov; and several laymen from Russia and Great Britain.