On 24-26 October 2018 Bishops of the European Union gathered in Brussels for the Autumn Assembly focusing on the 2019 European elections. Participants reflected on future EU challenges in dialogue with high-level officials of the Union, in particular with
 
Statement by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza
Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
 
On Oct. 11, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople — the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide  — started a process to grant independence to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church seated in Kiev, freeing it from
 
On October 28, 2018, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, presided over the Divine Liturgy at the church of Our Lady the Joy to All the Afflicted (the Transfiguration of the Lord) in Bolshaya Ordynka, Moscow.
 
Moscow, October 29, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, has said that during his recent trip to Vatican, he did not discuss with Pope Francis his possible visit to Russia despite what has been written in a few media reports.   read more
 
Moscow, October 29, Interfax - Pope Francis has a balanced position on the events involving the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said.
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(Peter Anderson) The Holy Synod of the Romanian Patriarchate met on Thursday and Friday.  The Romanian-language website of the Patriarchate’s news service, www.basilica.ro, has posted several articles about the meeting such as the canonization of Bishop Dionisie Erhan (“a fighter for the good of the Romanians in Bessarabia” in the early 1900s) and ...  read more
 
KIEV (AFP) -  Ukraine's Patriarch Filaret was one of the top leaders in the Soviet era Russian Orthodox Church.  But after the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991 and he began a campaign to give his native Ukraine an independent church he was defrocked and excommunicated by Moscow.
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t appears that European Christians, notably the Churches, have not yet fully seized the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel in the face of Europe’s moral chagrin, in ways that meet the concrete needs and are close to the life of our communities. The Gospel must be understood not as a departure from reality but as the sign of a deeper spiritual realm that overcomes all forms of controversy and demystifies bombastic declarations.  leggi tutto
 
The Annual Plenary of the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue took place on Cyprus on 13–20 October 2018. On this occasion, it issued the following official Communiqué:
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With the former Balkan route closed, large numbers of refugees are arriving via Sarajevo. Estimates vary because law enforcement authorities fail to register all arrivals. Temporary accommodation is being organized in view of the harsh Balkan winter.
leggi tutto - read more
 
At the invitation of Pope Francis, the Bishops of the United States will gather for a spiritual retreat set to take place at Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  The bishops will gather in prayer and unity for
 
Following complaints by two French Muslim women, fined for wearing a full-body veil or niqab, a UN Committee of independent human rights experts ruled in their favour on Tuesday, stating that their freedom to practice their religion had been infringed.
 
The Russian Orthodox Church has called on the Constantinople Patriarchate to apologize for dividing the Orthodox world by supporting Ukraine’s bid for an independent church, a church spokesman said Monday.
read more - leggi tutto
 
Moscow, October 22, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has denied the alleged discussion of preparations for a visit of Pope Francis to Moscow. 
"As for the new armchair pseudo-insiders and other quasi-experts:
 
ORTHODOXIA.INFO | Andreas Loudaros Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew yesterday sent a clear message to Russia vis-à-vis the Ukraine issue, stating that Constantinople has no intention whatsoever of giving in to pressure.
 
[Editors note: This is part two of a Crux interview with Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Ukraine. Part one can be found here.]    ---     ROME - So far there really haven’t been any great political battles during this month’s
 
By Yuras Karmanau | AP  -  KIEV, Ukraine — The rough-looking young men brought clubs and brass knuckles to the Pechersk Monastery in Kiev , one of Orthodox Christianity’s most important pilgrimage sites, apparently seeking to
 
BRISBANE priest Fr Gerry Hefferan has visited some of the towns devastated by ISIS in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq and been struck by the “incredible resilience” of families rebuilding their lives there.
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The Russian Orthodox Church has cut ties with the Church leadership in Istanbul, the Constantinople Patriarchate traditionally regarded as the Orthodox faith's headquarters.
 
ASTANA – World religious leaders gathered to identify global security threats and solutions at a panel session on Oct. 11, the second day of the sixth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana. Their recommendations are to be promoted at a
 
With profound pain the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has taken the report of the Patriarchate of Constantinople published on October 11, 2018, about the following decisions of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of
 
Warsaw, Poland — As the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch goes ahead with plans to recognize an independent church in Ukraine, despite harsh Russian reactions, Catholic Church leaders across Europe have been keeping their distance from the inter-Orthodox row. 
 
The Russian Orthodox Church on Monday moved to sever all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate, the Orthodox mother church, to protest its moves toward creating an independent church in Ukraine.
 
The Russian Orthodox Church has announced it will break off relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople in a religious schism driven by political friction between Russia and Ukraine.   The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church elected on
 
The Ecumenical Patriarchate agrees to the granting of autocephaly (independence) to the Church of Ukraine. The decision was announced in a release issued at the end of the Holy Synod. Harsh reactions from Moscow condemned the “catastrophic decision for the entire Orthodox world”, while Ukrainian President   ...  read more
 
Moscow, October 12, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, has described the decision adopted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Synod on Thursday to continue the procedure of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian church as an "illegal act.".
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Iraq diary: Drinking sweet tea in West Mosul

Around us the rubble of West Mosul throws a fine white dust into the air that coats your clothing and grits your hair, covers your shoes and camera lens, and gets into just about everything else. I find myself briefly wondering what percentage of
 

Announcement (11/10/2018).

Presided by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018, in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda.
 
(Peter Anderson) Earlier today the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued its communique relating to the decisions reached during the meeting of its Holy Synod, October 9-11.  The consequences of these decisions are huge.  First, although