Vatican joins Interpol

Delegates of the 77th session of the Interpol General Assembly have voted for the Vatican's entry to the organization in St. Petersburg. The Gendarme Corps of Vatican and Papal Swiss Guards will cooperate with Interpol, a Vatican representative said. "Perhaps, one can view our membership as symbolic, but we would like to benefit seriously," he said.

Source: Interfax religion

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Alexy II to visit Istanbul

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia is due to visit Istanbul on Saturday and Sunday, a senior bishop said.

Alexy will take part in a meeting of heads of the Orthodox Churches of various countries that is being organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as an event to mark the current Year of the Apostle Paul, Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk told reporters.

Icon festival draws huge crowds on Orthodox Education Day 2008

Nearly 1,000 friends, alumni, and neighbors gathered on the campus of St. Vladimir's on Saturday, October 4, 2008, to celebrate the theme for Orthodox Education Day 2008, "Holy Icons and Sacred Arts." Capacity crowds attended worship services, a rare icon exhibit, lectures on the meaning and history of icons, a visually augmented choral presentation, displays by icon artisans, and workshops designed for children, teens, and adults.

Noting the tremendous interest in holy icons from people of various faiths and backgrounds who attended the event along with hundreds of Orthodox Christian faithful, the seminary Chancellor, The Very Rev. Chad Hatfield, emphasized the educational purpose of the annual campus open house. "The intention of St. Vladimir's Seminary is to educate people of all backgrounds and levels in the Orthodox Christian faith," he said. And, remarking on the enthusiasm and diversity of the campus guests, including many friends from the local neighborhood, he continued, "The wonderful atmosphere of the splendid day resembled one huge block party."

UNESCO-listed Boyana Orthodox Church reveals identity of its medieval master

The 13th-century master who painted what has been listed by UNESCO as one of the world's finest collections of medieval frescoes at the Boyana church on the outskirts of Sofia has finally been identified.

"We now know the painter with certainty," the director of the National History Museum Bozhidar Dimitrov told AFP, as the church reopened Thursday to the public after undergoing restoration work for almost a century.

Orthodox cemetery desecrated in Kosovo and Metochia

Unidentified delinquents desecrated an Orthodox cemetery located between villages of Tomance and Petrovce in the Kosovska Kamenica community (in the Southeast District), the Kosovo diocesan website has reported on Friday, October 3rd 2008.

According to the head of the village administration Ivan Petrovic, two gravestones are destroyed, several crosses are broken, metallic fence and gates are damaged, windows in the utility houses are also broken.