On 31 December His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa welcomed to his private office, according to custom, His Eminence Gabriel, Metropolitan of Leontopolis, Patriarchl Vicar of Alexandria, His Grace Meletios Bishop of Naukratis, Hegumen of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria, and the Clergy of the Patriarchate and the Holy Archdiocese of Alexandria, who sang festive songs and offered their festal wishes. He then listened to carols and received wishes for the new year of Salvation 2015 from the African Students of the “St Athanasios” Patriarchal Academy, as well as the staff of the Patriarchate. His Beatitude gave gifts and blessings to them all.
THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE GOD-MAN IN CAIRO
On the day of the Nativity of the God Man, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa conducted the Divine Liturgy of the Nativity of Christ at the Holy Patriarchal Church of St Nicholas in Cairo, together with His Eminence Metropolitan Nikodimos of Memphis, Patriarchal Vicar of Cairo, His Grace Chrysostomos Bishop of Berenice, the Exarch of the Church of Russia Fr. Viktor Kulanga and the clergy of the Throne.
On the occasion of the 37th anniversary of his patriarchal enthronment, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia together with the Holy Synod members celebrated a festal Liturgy at the Patriarchal Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in the city of Mtskheta, which earlier this year the Georgian Orthodox Church declared as the “Holy City”.
During his sermon Ilia II said the following: “God is with us. These words are written in the Bible. During my enthronement (as Patriarch of Georgia) on December 25, 1977, I had a feeling that God was with us. I sensed and saw how impoverished Georgia and our Church then were. At the same time I felt that the Lord was very close to us and He really was near us. So, over a stretch of 37 years I never was in despair. I always had only hope. Because I saw the mercy of God, saw the grace that has been poured out on Georgia.
On December 23, 2014, the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church met for its last session in 2014, at the Synodal Hall of the Kiev Laura of the Dormition. The session was chaired by His Beatitude Onufry, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.
The Synod adopted an appeal to President Petro Poroshenko concerning the critical situation in the Ukrainian society. The appeal cites glaring facts of the damage inflicted on churches in the armed conflict zone in south-east Ukraine: 9 churches are fully destroyed, 77 are damaged; the residence of the Metropolitan of Donetsk at the Peski village near Donetsk is plundered. The Holy Synod appealed to the Ukrainian President to ensure due and impartial investigation of these facts.
Clergy and faithful from parishes across the Midwest gathered at historic Holy Trinity Cathedral here on the morning of Saturday, December 27, 2014 for the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, during which Bishop-Elect Paul [Gassios] was consecrated to the Episcopacy as Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest.