The Russian Orthodox Church believes that the European community should take urgent measures to combat Christian phobia in today's Europe. "We should become aware that Christian phobia was generated by Christian civilization, or whatever we call European civilization now. Christian phobia is nothing else but malignant cancer which threatens European civilization with fatal effects," Russian Church representative at the European Council Hegumen Filaret (Bulekov) said at the Dialogue of Civilizations World Public Forum in Prague.
April's UN conference on racism was "an outrageous instance of avoidance of dialogue by leading political forces," the Russian Orthodox Church envoy to the Council of Europe said. "The problem is that it happens right, left and center that international institutions that have the duty of organizing intercultural dialogues and achieving results are not capable of this," Hegumen Filaret (Bulekov) told the Dialogue of Civilizations forum in Prague.
After the Holy Liturgy, at 9 in the morning at the Patriarchate Chapel of St Simeon the Myrrh-gusher His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, in the presence of all Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, has served a rite of the invocation of the Holy Spirit, which has been an opening of the formal session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Formal session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the SOC has began with the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy14. May 2009 - 11:03
His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral has served today the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at the Cathedral church in Belgrade with the concelebration of brothers Bishops: Irinej of Nish, Lukijan of Osijek and Baranja, Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, Teodosije of Lipljan, twenty two protopresbyters and presbyters, five deacons, and in presence of great number of hierarchs gathered at the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The Moscow Patriarchate reminded EU leadership of spiritual roots of the current downfall. "With any crisis, we need primarily to look for spiritual reasons. This is also true for the current economic recession," head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk said at a meeting of the President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso and the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering with representatives of European traditional religions held in Brussels.
The EU leadership stated its intention to establish a strong cooperation with the continent's religious leaders. "Together we will have to meet the challenges faced by our society. This is our common responsibility," the President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso said at a meeting with representatives of Europe's traditional religions held in Brussels, the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate reports Wednesday.