Russian Сhurch envoy lambastes UN conference on racism

April's UN conference on racism was "an outrageous instance of avoidance of dialogue by leading political forces," the Russian Orthodox Church envoy to the Council of Europe said. "The problem is that it happens right, left and center that international institutions that have the duty of organizing intercultural dialogues and achieving results are not capable of this," Hegumen Filaret (Bulekov) told the Dialogue of Civilizations forum in Prague.

Statement about Preparations for the 13th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches

The Orthodox on the way to Lyon
‘Called to One Hope in Christ'

STATEMENT

1. Upon the invitation of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and under the moderatorship of His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate), 27 hierarchs, priests, deacons, university professors and lay persons (male and female), representing nearly all of the Orthodox Churches members of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), gathered in Ierapetra, Crete, Greece, from 27 to 30 April 2009, within the framework of preparations for the 13th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, which will be held in Lyon, France, from 15 to 21 July 2009, under the theme, "Called to One Hope in Christ". The Consultation was honored by the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Irineos of Crete at the official opening prayer at Saint George Cathedral in Ierapetra and the inaugural session, as well as by His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronas (Chania).

His Beatitude Theodoros II in Zambia

On the morning of 5th May 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, officiated at the Services of Orthros and the Divine Liturgy at the chapel in the Episcopate of Zambia. He was then interviewed by the local newspapers and among other things expressed his joy for the progress and development of the country, as he had noticed a great difference between the Zambia of today and that of 15 years ago, when he had visited as a member of the entourage of the late Patriarch Parthenios. Answering questions of a social nature, he stressed that only through education and the application of the Gospel, the Word of God, can the social problems of the country be solved.

Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II met with the Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs

On the morning of Friday 8th May 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, met with the Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kabinga Pande. The Minister welcomed the Patriarch warmly, thanked him for the contribution made by te Orthodox Churc to the people of Zambia and for the neutral stance taken by the Orthodox Church in the political issues of the country and placed himself and the members of his ministry at the disposal of is Beatitude for whatever assistance and support the Orthodox Church in Zambia might need. The minister also emphasized the excellent relations between the Government and His Grace Ioakeim Bishop of Zambia. His Beatitude in turn thanked the Minister for the welcome and hospitality and said that the Orthodox Church in Zambia, as well as throughout Africa, apart from the Evangelization of the nations, is concerned about the people and their contemporary social problems.

Present at the meeting were the local Bishop, as well as His Eminence George, Metropolitan of Zimbabwe and the Ambassador of Egypt. Commemorative gifts were exchanged during the meeting.

Service of Consecration of the Holy Church of St Basil and St Dimitrios

On Saturday 9th May 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa conducted the Service of Consecration of the Holy Church of St Basil and St Dimitrios, in the newly built Missionary Centre in Lusaka. From early in the morning many people and many Ambassadors of Orthodox countries and others, had filled the forecourt of the church waiting for the arrival of the Patriarch. When he arrived the African Orthodox broke out into songs and dance, welcoming their guest. The government was represented at the consecration and inauguration ceremonies by the Minister of Education Mr Godfrey Lungwangwa. During the service His Beatitude explained in detail whatever was being done to the impressed congregation who were witnessing this for the first time. Following the Divine Liturgy His Beatitude gave the new church a silver decorated cross for blessing, and congratulated His Grace Bishop Ioakeim of Zambia for the enormous work he has done in a few years, saying that the entire missionary centre is one of the very best of the Patriarchate in Africa. He then distributed antidoron and commemorative gifts to all present and gave pectoral crosses and other gifts to all the African Orthodox Christians.