BY THE GRACE OF GOD
BISHOP OF THE METROPOLITANATE OF
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
GOD’S PEACE — CHRIST IS BORN!
Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost;
Sunday before Nativity – The Holy Fathers;
The Holy Great-martyr Anastasia;
Serbian Father’s Day
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FIVE:
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted upon the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.
The feast-day of Saint Spyridon the Miracle-worker in Trieste was solemnly celebrated this year; this is a great feast-day not only for Orthodox Christians but for all citizens of the city of Trieste as well, regardless of their ethnicity or religious affiliation.
The faithful filled the church of Saint Spyridon of Trimythous at the feast-day’s vesper service which was served by His Grace Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland. The Roman Catholic Church, which celebrates Christmas according to the new calendar, was represented by His Excellency Archbishop of Trieste Giampaolo Crepaldi.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej awarded Dr. Smilja Avramov and Mr. Radomir Naumov with the high dinstinctions of the Serbian Orthodox Church - the order of Saint Sava of the Second Degree at the solemn reception at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade on 29 December 2014.
The solemn award ceremony was attended by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops: His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Their Graces Bishops Lavrentije of Shabac, Hrizostom of Zvornik-Tuzla and Teodosije of Rasko-Prizrenski, as well as protopresbyter Dr. Savo Jovic, chief secretary of the Holy Synod.
On the basis of a Memorandum that was signed by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in Belgrade on 15 November 2014, and with the blessing of both, Russian and Serbian Patriarchs, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, paid a working visit to R. Macedonia from 19 – 20 December 2014.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion visited Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan, who for the sake of this meeting, was temporary transferred from the prison of Idrizovo to the Skopje hospital “Mother Theresa” on 20 December. After these talks, Archbishop Jovan was returned back to the prison.
On the same day Metropolitan Hilarion, accompanied by Mr. Oleg Scherbak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to R. Macedonia, met with President of the R. Macedonia Mr. Djordje Ivanov. Following this meeting, chairman of the DECR talked with President of the Government of the R. Macedonia Mr. Nikola Gruevski and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Nikola Popovski. Ultimately, Metropolitan Hilarion also met with the head of the self-proclaimed, non-canonical Macedonian Orthodox Church Kyr Stephen.
While in Skopje, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion led these talks guided by the concern for unity of the Church, its salvific mission and salvation of the baptized souls in FYR Macedonia, and with respect to the perspective of regulating the canonical status of the Church in this area as well as to the unconditional final release of His Eminence Jovan, Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, who had been sentenced to hard labor in a manipulated political process.
The Serbian Orthodox Church expresses herewith its deep gratitude to the sister Russian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk for fraternal love and cooperation, for the invested great efforts in the ministry for the canonical order and unity of the Church, as well as towards the release of His Eminence Archbishop Jovan, imprisoned without any reason, and subjected to a cruel regime in prison despite his severely impaired health.
Bishop Irinej of Bachka,
Spokesman of the Serbian Orthodox Church