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  • Christos
    ... From: ecclesianews@ecclesia.gr Date: Sep 25, 2005 8:08 PM Subject: MOSAIC To: webmaster@ecclesia.gr *at the yard of the Church
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 27, 2005
      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: ecclesianews@... <ecclesianews@...>
      Date: Sep 25, 2005 8:08 PM
      Subject: MOSAIC
      To: webmaster@...

      *at the yard of the Church of Greece*

      News, comments and clips
      A weekly report published by Media Ecclesiastica, Athens, Greece
      The Editor: Pan. Drakopoulos

      26 September 2005 click for your free

      In this Issue: *Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Christodoulos on the
      Fields of Collaboration between the Two

      Javier Solana and Luzius Wildhaber reply to Archbishop Christodoulos
      Regarding the Imprisonment of the Archbishop John of

      Bishop John of Skopje Remains in Prison as Appeal

      The Foundation Stone of the School at Tormented Beslan (Russia) Is

      The Shrine of Holy Cross in

      Templeton Prize for Religion Writing Awarded to Tomas Gärtner in Dresden,


      *Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Christodoulos on the Fields of
      Collaboration between the Two Churches*

      At the formal lunch hosted by the Holy Synod in honour of the Ecumenical
      Patriarch, after expressing his joy at the Patriarch's visit, the Archbishop
      spoke of the relations between Church - State, emphasizing that these
      relations serve the Greek people, because they are close and fully
      respectful of the distinctive roles.

      The Archbishop mentioned the Patriarch's endeavours regarding the ecological
      problem, the surmounting of the problems afflicting the local Orthodox
      Churches, the preservation of the unity of the Churches and the resumption
      of the theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. He emphasized
      that "The Church of Greece stands by you "in Your God-loved aspirations"
      with all its strength and its prayers and its actions.

      In his reply, the Ecumenical Patriarch, after thanking His Beatitude for the
      honourary accompaniment during his stay in Northern Greece, noted that this
      lunch inaugurates a new period of close co-operation between the two
      Churches, as this is essential because it demands common decisions and
      mutual facing of current issues such as: State - Church relations,
      especially where the Orthodox population is the majority, the participation
      of the Orthodox Church in the World Council of Churches, in Theological
      Dialogue, which must continue in order that the Orthodox Church does not
      find itself isolated and is deprived of the possibility of promoting the
      truth which it professes, as well as the bio-ethical problems which must be
      faced with pan-Orthodox agreement, the activity of schismatics-old
      calendarists, as also the upliftment and organization of the clergy.

      Present at the lunch which was hosted by the Holy Synod (21/9/2005), were
      the Minister and Deputy Minister of Education and Religions Marietta
      Yiannakou and George Kalos, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
      Panayiotis Skandalakis, the Patriarch's entourage, members of the Holy Synod
      and Church officials.

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      *Javier Solana and Luzius Wildhaber reply to Archbishop Christodoulos
      Regarding the Imprisonment of the Archbishop John of Skopje*

      Archbishop Christodoulos has received correspondence of reply from officers
      of the European Union regarding the protest of the Holy Synod concerning the
      continued persecution and imprisonment of Archbishop of Ohrid and
      Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan (John) Ioannis of Achrid by FYROM.

      In his letter, Javier Solana, secretary-general of the Council of the
      European Union/high representative for the Common Foreign and Security
      Policy and secretary general of the Western European Union, (5/9/2005) notes
      that "freedom of expression and religious freedom are principles which are
      close to the sentiment of the Church of Greece. They are also a central
      component of our evaluation for the attainment of membership which was
      submitted last year by FYROM. We are following closely the developments in
      the case of Archbishop Ioannis".

      In a corresponding letter the President of the Supreme Court of Human Rights
      Luzius Wildhaber (14/9/2005), replying to Archbishop Christodoulos, writes:
      "I thank you for your letter regarding the condition of Archbishop Ioannis
      of Achrida and deeply appreciate your concern for the right of whomever to
      exercise his religious duties freely in FYROM. According to article 34 of
      the European Treaty on human rights, the Archbishop of Achrida has the right
      to make an official petition to the Court. In this way the concern which is
      raised will be properly taken into consideration by the Court".

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      *Bishop John of Skopje Remains in Prison as Appeal Fails*

      On 16 September FYROM Supreme Court acquitted Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, the
      head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in FYROM, of two minor charges, but
      confirmed another two, thereby upholding the 18 month jail sentence which he
      began serving on 26 July.

      "Senior political and religious leaders around the world asked the
      government to reconsider jailing a bishop for his religious beliefs," his
      colleague Bishop Marko (Kimev) of Dremvica and Bitola told to Western
      reporters on 19 September, "but the government of FYROM is deaf and blind -
      to its own detriment."

      Bishop Marko complains of the isolation Archbishop Jovan has been held at
      the Idrizovo prison in Skopje. "They do not permit us to visit our shepherd
      - the police prevented us from visiting him on 28 August, the feast day of
      the Dormition of the Mother of God, when we wanted to bring him the
      sacraments. He is allowed no religious service in prison, and no visits are
      permitted except from his parents."

      Among those appealing for Jovan`s release were the heads of the Ecumenical
      and Russian Orthodox Patriarchates, the Orthodox Church of Greece and the
      Catholic European Bishop`s Conference, as well as Serbia`s prime minister
      Vojislav Kostunica.

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      *The Foundation Stone of the School at Tormented Beslan (Russia) Is Laid*

      The promise made by the Church of Greece one year ago, following the tragic
      events at the school, in Beslan of Oseta, Russia, where so many pupils and
      their teachers lost their lives in the bombs of human insanity, has become a
      reality. During the first ten days of October the "Kanideios" School
      foundation stone will be laid in the tormented town of Beslan, in memory of
      the martyred Greek teacher John Kanidis, donated by the "SOLIDARITY"
      Organization, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International
      Development and Co-operation Service.

      In statements made, the Deputy President of "Solidarity" Mr. Dimitris
      Fourlemadis emphasized: "In honouring the memory of the unjustly lost
      victims of the tragedy in Beslan, Greece continues to contribute material
      aid to the surviving pupils. Our proposal for the building of a school was
      immediately accepted by the authorities of Northern Oseta, and in this way,
      our country, through the "Solidarity" of the Church of Greece and the Greek
      Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gives evidence in the most essential way of its
      practical assistance to a suffering area with which we are united by
      historic and cultural bonds".

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      *The Shrine of Holy Cross in Moscow*

      The shrine was brought in Moscow from the Greek Sagmato Monastery near
      Thebes, in Greece, on September 19, 2005, upon the blessing of His Holiness
      Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

      The city of Thebes has been known from antiquity. In the Middle Ages, it was
      a center of Orthodox monasticism. St. Luke the Evangelist is buried there.
      Emperor Alexius Comnenus ordered a monastery to be built at the height of
      750 meters in a hill near Thebes and donated several shrines to it. The most
      important among them was a particle of the Holy Life-Giving Cross, which is
      believed to be the largest in the world.

      The shrine was taken out from Greece 3 years ago and then it was brought to
      Crimea, Ukraine, and to the Kiev Monastery of the Caves.

      The shrine was welcomed at the convent gates of Moscow by Archbishop Arseny
      of Istra, vicar of the Moscow Diocese, and has brought to the Convent of the
      Nativity of the Mother of God in Moscow. On September 25, Patriarch Alexy II
      has celebrated the Divine Liturgy before it.

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      *Templeton Prize for Religion Writing Awarded to Tomas Gärtner in Dresden,

      The John Templeton prize for the "European Religion Writer of the Year 2004"
      has been awarded to Dr Tomas Gärtner, a freelance journalist from Dresden,
      Germany. The award ceremony took place in the historical Dreikönigskirchen
      (Church of the Three Kings) of Dresden, 21 September.

      The aim of the award is to honour journalists who write about religion in
      the secular press with accuracy, impartiality and with an ecumenical spirit.
      It is administered by the Conference of European Churches (CEC) on behalf of
      the prestigious "John Templeton Foundation".

      Dr Gärtner`s entry for the Templeton prize included three articles published
      by the daily newspaper "Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten" (DNN). "The articles
      he has submitted", said the judges, "tells his stories with objectivity,
      permitting readers to draw their own conclusions rather than imposing
      judgements upon them."

      Thanking the Templeton Foundation and CEC, Dr Gärtner stated he tries "to
      tell people about the church, not only Christians, but especially those who
      are strangers to the church".

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    • Christos
      *at the yard of the Church of Greece* News, comments and clips A weekly report published by Media Ecclesiastica, Athens, Greece The Editor: Pan. Drakopoulos 4
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 4, 2005
        *at the yard of the Church of Greece*

        News, comments and clips
        A weekly report published by Media Ecclesiastica, Athens, Greece
        The Editor: Pan. Drakopoulos

        4 October 2005 click for your free

        NEWS: Continuity of the Dialogue with Catholic Church Is

        The Serbian Patriarch Expresses His Gratitude for the Support of the
        Imprisoned Archbishop of

        Serb president wants Pope Benedict XVI to visit

        OPINION Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev (Patriarchate of Moscow): Can Europe Breathe
        with One Lung? Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue

        *Continuity of the Dialogue with Catholic Church Is Necessary*

        A meeting of the representatives of the Orthodox Church in the Theological
        Dialogue Committee with the Roman Catholic Church took place at the Phanar
        from 11th to 13th September 2005.

        The representatives of the Orthodox Churches agreed that the necessity for
        continuation of the Theological Dialogue stems from the obligation of all to
        obey the Lord's command for the promotion of the unity of the Church and
        that the fruits of the Dialogue are not always visible, given that the
        results of the efforts are always up to God.

        In greeting the representatives of the Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarch
        Bartholomew emphasized that "The Ecumenical Patriarchate always prays for
        the realization of the approaching of the most ancient Churches and
        traditions and that all obstacles to the unity of Christians will be
        lifted". "On issues regarding faith, however", he continued, "unity is
        essential and must be pursued to the framework of the pre-schismatic
        undivided Church."

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        *The Serbian Patriarch Expresses His Gratitude for the Support of the
        Imprisoned Archbishop of Ohrid*

        A letter of gratitude to Archbishop Christodoulos (4/9/2005) was sent by
        Patriarch Paul of Serbia for the support of the Church of Greece to the
        suffering and imprisoned Archbishop John of Ohrid in the prisons of Skopje.

        "These days", he said, "clergy and people are praying for the liberation of
        our brother the Archbishop of Ohrid who was unjustly condemned simply for
        his intention, together with the faithful people of FYROM, to remain in
        liturgical unity with Ecumenical Orthodoxy. We rejoice for it was you our
        dear brother in Christ who made the appeal for the autonomy of the
        Archdiocese of Ochrid..."

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        *Serb president wants Pope Benedict XVI to visit country*

        Serbian President Boris Tadic invited Benedict XVI to visit his country, but
        added that "it is important also that the Orthodox Church invite him."

        The two met on September 29, and afterward Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro
        Valls issued a statement. "In the course of the cordial meeting, which
        lasted 25 minutes, President Tadic illustrated to the Pope the current
        situation in the Republic of Serbia," reported Navarro Valls. In thanking
        him for his invitation, Benedict XVI expressed the hope that such a visit
        may take place in the future," said the director of the Vatican press

        The president Tadic revealed that during the meeting with the Pope there
        were discussions about Kosovo and its Christian roots.

        "Without people, without believers, there is no Christian community and
        tradition disappears," Tadic said. "It is a great problem and we also spoke
        about it."

        Tadic said that he also spoke with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal
        Angelo Sodano on Kosovo`s status, "which must be something less that
        independence and something more than simple autonomy, protecting all the
        communities and religions."

        The Serbian president gave the Pope a book on the history of religion in
        Serbia, signed by Patriarch Pavle, and the Holy Father gave Tadic
        commemorative medals of the Vacant Apostolic See.

        Tadic informed the pope of Serbia's main political goals, including European
        and Euro Atlantic integration, but will also discuss the difficult situation
        which the Serbian people in Kosovo are faced with.

        Later, Tadic informed the press: "There is the will that the visit be made
        as soon as possible." But he clarified that it is important that the
        Orthodox Church also invite the Pope. Serbia is a predominantly Orthodox
        republic. Tadic said that he would speak with the Orthodox Patriarch Pavle
        of Belgrade about extending this invitation. "I, unfortunately, am only the
        president of Serbia," Tadic said.

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        OPINION *Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev (Patriarchate of Moscow):
        Can Europe Breathe with One Lung? Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Today*

        Extract from his paper at the VI Gniezno Convention "The Europe of Dialogue.
        Being a Christian in a pluralistic Europe", 17 September 2005

        The work of the Mixed Commission will not be an easy one and is likely to
        continue for many years to come. My fear, however, is that by concentrating
        exclusively on the dividing issues we are likely to lose precious time that
        could be used for a common witness to the secularized world. *Europe, in
        particular, has so rapidly dechristianized that urgent action is needed in
        order to save it from losing its centuries-old Christian identity.* I
        strongly believe that the time has come for Catholics and Orthodox to unite
        their efforts and to defend traditional Christianity, which is being
        attacked from all sides.

        The proposed alliance may enable European Catholics and Orthodox to fight
        together against secularism, liberalism and relativism prevailing in modern
        Europe, may help them to speak with one voice in addressing secular society,
        may provide for them an ample space where they will discuss modern issues
        and come to common positions. The social and ethical teachings of the
        Catholic and Orthodox Churches are extremely close, in many cases
        practically identical. Why, then, should we not be able to reveal our unity
        on all these major issues urbi et orbi?

        The rationale behind this proposal is the following: *our churches are on
        their way to unity, but one has to be realistic and understand that it will
        probably take decades, if not centuries, before this unity is realized. In
        the meantime we desperately need to address the world with a united voice.
        Without being one Church, can we act as one Church? Can we present ourselves
        to the outside world as a unified structure, as an alliance? I am convinced
        that we can, and that by doing so we may become much stronger.*

        The Catholic-Orthodox Alliance is meant to be something completely different
        from the Mixed Catholic-Orthodox Theological Commission. The commission must
        be concentrated on what divides us, while the alliance should explore,
        clarify and then publicly announce the things on which we are united. The
        commission will be concentrated on the matters of doctrine and ecclesiology,
        while the alliance should be centred on social and moral issues. The
        commission will continue the internal Catholic-Orthodox debate, which has
        already lasted for many centuries, while the alliance should enable us,
        without necessarily overcoming our internal problems, to form a common front
        to defend Christianity as such against everything that may challenge it now
        or in the future.

        Why, then, a European alliance and not a world alliance? Firstly, because I
        believe that it is *in Europe that the most deadly battles between
        Christianity and relativism are going to take place in the nearest future.
        It is in Europe that the onslaught of militant secularism against religion
        takes the most aggressive forms. It is Europe that most obsessively denies
        its Christian heritage. It is in Europe that crucifixes are taken away from
        schools, religious symbols are banned from public places, and Christianity
        becomes an object of constant criticism, outrage and mockery.* It is in
        Europe that a profound demographic crisis affected Christian population,
        threatening its very survival. Not that these processes do not take place in
        other parts of the world, but it is in Europe that they become so stunningly

        *Today, as never before, we need a united Christian voice in Europe which is
        rapidly secularized and dechristianized. It is not a Unia that we need, nor
        a second Council of Ferrara-Florence. We need a strategic alliance, and we
        need it hic et nunc. In twenty, thirty or forty years it may simply be too
        late. *The ultimate goal of visible unity must not disappear from our
        horizon, but we should not hope for its speedy achievement. On the other
        hand, nothing should prevent us from uniting our efforts in order to defend
        Christian tradition, without waiting for the restoration of full unity
        between the two lungs of European Christianity.

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