The European parliament condemned anti-Christian violence in India but failed to stop the christophobia of its members during the presence of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in the chamber. In today's plenary session, the European parliament adopted (392 in favour, 44 against with 29 abstentions) a wide-ranging resolution ahead of the upcoming European Union-India summit scheduled to take place on 29 September in Marseille (France).
The extension of the EU-India strategic relationship (between the world's two largest democracies) is at the core of the motion, especially in terms of the economy, international politics and India's social problems.
The Moscow Patriarchate has again said that it is not rejecting talks between Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Benedict XVI, but noted problems dividing the two Churches must be settled first.
"If we forge joint decisions that will help resolve the problems dividing the two Churches, it will not be difficult to find a time and venue for such talks. Many plans have been proposed, and all of them will be assessed, of course," Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion.
Through one of its most endearing and best-selling titles, Father Arseny: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father 1893-1973, St Vladimir's Seminary Press (SVS Press) will reach more than 15,000 inmates incarcerated in U.S. prisons and offer them much needed spiritual solace and strength.
Since 2001, the press and The Human Kindness Foundation in Durham, NC have cooperated in a venture to provide prisoners with the book, which recounts the spiritual struggle of a Russian Orthodox priest in a Soviet gulag and his victory in Christ over human depravity.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew delivered a major address to the Plenary Assembly of the European Parliament25. September 2008 - 8:12
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew delivered a major address to the Plenary Assembly of the European Parliament during the formal sitting of the assembly in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. His All Holiness was introduced by Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament. The Press Release of the European Parliament highlighting His All Holiness' address is given in full below, as well as a link to the address in its entirety.
"We are all brothers and sisters", Ecumenical Patriarch tells MEPs
Addressing a formal sitting of the House as part of European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew I, spoke of the value of the European project in promoting peace and tolerance, the importance of accepting minorities and the need for the EU to accept Turkey as a member. He also underlined his church's efforts to encourage respect for the environment.
Archbishop Demetrios of America received, on September 22, 2008, at the Archdiocese headquarters, the Holy and Sacred Relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, one of the best known Russian Orthodox Saints of the 19 th century and a popular saint in Greece.
Bishop Mercurius of Zaraisk, the head of the Representation of the Patriarchate of Moscow in the United States presented to Archbishop Demetrios the relics, sent directly from Moscow and by the express wish of Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia.