Via a post on Instagram, Patriarch Porfirije said that from the sufferings and temptations you go through at Christmas, only a pale shadow will remain tomorrow.  -- God is great and you know who you are, great with the sound of the Nemanjic bell. Millions of Orthodox Serbs pray for you, as we do.  --  May the warmth and love of the cave of Bethlehem warm and strengthen your heart and soul”.  read more
 
MOSCOW (AP) — Orthodox Christians in Russia, Serbia and other countries observed Christmas on Friday amid restrictions aimed at dampening the spread of the coronavirus, but few worshipers appeared concerned as they streamed into churches on Christmas Eve.
 
Do Catholics have a moral reason to object to receiving any of the currently available F.D.A.-authorized Covid-19 vaccines? The short answer is no.
 

Anti-vaxxer bishop dies of Covid-1

Metropolitan Kosmas of Aetolia and Acarnania, western Greece, a staunch anti-vaxxer, has died of Covid-19 after a month-long with the virus. He was 76.
 
The Russian Orthodox Church seems to be determined to create tension that will reach even the rift by directly challenging and challenging the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
 
Selon le site d’information arabi21, dans un message adressé au Pape François, au pape Tawadros II, chef des chrétiens coptes de l’Egypte, à l'archevêque de Cantorbéry, Justin Welby, et aux chefs des églises et aux chrétiens de l’Orient et de l’Occident, le cheikh d’Al-Azhar les a félicité à l’occasion de l’arrivée du nouvel an chrétien.

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Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria sent a message to any church that plots the area of missionary work, apparently commenting on the latest developments with the decision of the Moscow Patriarchate to accept under its jurisdiction 102 clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and to establish an “Exarchate of Africa.”
 
 
Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Sviatoslav said this during the live program "Actors" on Channel 5.
 
BOSTON – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was discharged from the Central Hospital of Constantinople on Thursday afternoon, December 30. The Patriarch is expected to stay at his home until next Monday or Tuesday and then will return to his office at the Phanar. His All-Holiness worked intensively throughout his treatment during the hospital stay.  --  As was previously reported, Patriarch Bartholomew tested positive for COVID-19 during a routine test at the Phanar for Patriarchal employees two days before Christmas. The Patriarch, who experienced mild symptoms, was admitted to the hospital for preventive purposes and also to be under the constant care of the physicians.
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(Associated Press Television News) A ban on nearly all incoming air traffic by Israel -- the main entry point for foreign visitors heading to the occupied West Bank -- kept international tourists away for a second consecutive year. -- The top Roman Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, hoped Friday for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic as he addressed Christian faithful in the seat of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem. Pizzaballa said the Christian community was working to find a balance between precautions to maintain health but also get pilgrims back into the Holy Land. "It's very sad to see the Old City almost empty," Pizzaballa said. A ban on nearly all incoming air traffic by Israel -- the main entry point for foreign visitors heading to the occupied West Bank -- kept international tourists away for a second consecutive year. The ban is meant to slow the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, which has shaken Christmas celebrations around the world. Pizzaballa was scheduled to celebrate Midnight Mass at the nearby Church of the Nativity — which houses the grotto where Christians believe Jesus was born. The Holy Land is home to over 200,000 Christians, a small but tight-knit community that makes up an estimated one to two percent of the population in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

©  https://ilsismografo.blogspot.com/2021/12/gerusalemme-latin-patriarch-of.html

 
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has tested positive for Covid-19, the Patriarchate at Constantinople announced on Friday.
 

DECR Chairman meets with Pope Francis of Rome

On December 22, 2021, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk met with Pope Francis of Rome at the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican. -- 
In the beginning of the conversation, Metropolitan Hilarion, speaking on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, congratulated the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church on his 85th birthday.
Pope Francis greeted His Eminence and expressed cordial gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill for the congratulation and for the invariably high level of cooperation.

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À Moscou, un des ténors de l’Église orthodoxe russe est un jeune évêque du nom d’Hilarion Alfeyev, 55 ans, figure de premier plan du Patriarcat dont il est en quelque sorte le ministre des Affaires étrangères. Politique et théologien, diplômé de l’université d’Oxford et de l’institut Saint Serge à Paris, diplomate et spécialiste de patristique, polyglotte, il a été appelé par le patriarche Kirill après son élection pour prendre sa relève au poste de chargé des relations extérieures du patriarcat.

segue + audio e video
 
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 16, ARMENPRESS. President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian visited on December 16 the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Armenia.
 
LONDON, Dec 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - British Olympic boxer Nicola Adams has always faced two fights: one in the ring and another against those who argue women have no place in one of the most male-dominated of sports.  --  Adams, who is Black and a lesbian, said sexism had been the biggest barrier she had to overcome in her 25-year career, as a new documentary traces her journey as a trailblazer in the battle by female boxers to be treated as equals.  --  "We've just been put in a box for so long that whenever a woman does anything that's outside the box it always seems really extreme, but it shouldn't be," Adams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a video call from her London home.

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In the beginning of December, Pope Francis of Rome, during his meeting with Archbishop Jeronymos II of Athens and All Greece, uttered the words, which many perceived as apologies to the Orthodox for mistakes made in history by the Catholics. In particular, it was said, “Worldly concerns poisoned us, weeds of suspicion increased our distance, and I say shamefully, I acknowledge that decisions of the Catholic Church had nothing to do with Jesus and the Gospel”.
 
Le patriarche maronite Béchara Boutros Rahi a salué dans son homélie dominicale les décisions prises par la cour de cassation dans le cadre de l’affaire du port de Beyrouth. Il faisait ainsi allusion au rejet des plaintes et recours présentés par les anciens ministres des finances Ali Hassan Khalil, des travaux publics Ghazi Zoaiter, de l’intérieur Nouhad Machnouk et des transport Youssef Fenianos, ainsi que de l’ancien premier ministre Hassan Diab permettant peut-être une reprise prochaine des investigations menées par le juge Tarek Bitar.

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ATHENS – Visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was the honoree at an event held at the Athens Concert Hall on Wednesday that included addresses by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
 
Years ago I wrote about my first encounter with Syria as a young twenty-something year old fresh out of active duty service in the Marines: “My first visit to the region while desiring to study Arabic in 2004, just after completion of active duty service, and while still on the inactive reserve list, began a process of undoing every assumption I’d ever imbibed concerning Middle East culture, politics, and conflict.” I introduced in that fairly widely-read essay with the provocative title, A Marine in Syria, “An initial visit to Syria from Lebanon was the start of something that my Marine buddies could hardly conceive of: Damascus became my second home through frequent travel and lengthy stays from 2004 to 2010, and was my place of true education on the real life and people of the region.”

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Patriarch dismisses resignation rumors

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians, Friday dismissed refuted rumours that he planned to resign due to health reasons.

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Following the results of a check-up at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, as well as consultations with doctors, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be admitted to the hospital later this afternoon for an angiogram that will evaluate the need for stent placement.
 

COVID-19 spirals out of control on Mount Athos

According to Mount Athos, the real cases are at least 50 with some raising the number to 70! In just one day last Saturday, 8 cases were recorded but, as officials of the Athonite state told makthes.gr, the real number is much higher and the situation is much more tragic than what it seems.
 
Esteemed President, Fr. John Jenkins,
Venerable hierarchs and clergy,
Distinguished faculty and guests,
Beloved students,
 
(Peter Anderson) During this last week, there were three important inter-religious events in Rome with significant Orthodox participation in all of them.  On Monday, October 4, there was the meeting Faith and Science: Towards COP26.  This meeting was described in my last report.  On Tuesday, October 5, there was the meeting of 19 representatives of the world’s religions in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on the subject Religions and Education: Towards a Global Compact on Education.  On the next two days, there was the program, organized by the Sant’Egidio Community on the subject Religions and Cultures in Dialogue:  Peoples as Brothers, Future Earth.  The latter program culminated on October 7 with a prayer for peace at the Colosseum.  Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had important roles in all three meetings.  Metropolitan Hilarion (Moscow Patriarchate) has significant parts in the first two meetings. Metropolitan Antony of Korsun and Western Europe represented the Moscow Patriarchate at the third event.  Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury spoke at the first and third events, and Patriarch Catholicos Karekine II (primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church) spoke at the third event.  Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the German Federal Republic, was one of two major speakers at the closing ceremony at the Colosseum on October 7.

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Next weekend, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Porfirije will visit the Metropolitanate of Dabro-Bosnia on the occasion of 50 years of monastic and 30 years of episcopal service of Metropolitan Chrysostom.
 
JERUSALEM, Monday, October 11, 2021 (WAFA) – The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem today condemned the city’s Israeli Magistrate Court’s decision to allow Jews to pray "silently" in Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site in Islam, considering the decision as an offense on the sole rights of Muslims in the entire compound.

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Citing the words of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church, the Primate of the African Orthodox Church pointed out that “the division of churches and people is a luxury.
 
VATICAN CITY, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The Vatican hopes a meeting where world religious leaders will take a common stand on the environment can "raise ambitions" on what can be achieved at next month's U.N. Climate Change Conference, its foreign minister says.

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Le patriarche maronite dénonce les ingérences politiques dans l'enquête sur l'explosion au port de Beyrouth.  --  Le patriarche maronite Béchara Raï a appelé dimanche le gouvernement de Nagib Mikati à "faire face aux forces qui tentent de le contrôler", alors que cette équipe a été désignée le 10 septembre suite à un accord entre les partis traditionnels au pouvoir dans un Liban en plein effondrement économique.

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Addressing the large audience in French, he described the current state of international concern and called for solidarity, openness, responsibility and joint action.