of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church
to the Orthodox people and to all people of good will
To God, "the Father of mercies and all comfort," we address a hymn of thanksgiving and praise for having enabled us to gather during the week of Pentecost (18-26 June 2016) on Crete, where the Apostle Paul and his disciple Titus preached the Gospel in the early years of the life of the Church. We give thanks to the Triune God who was well pleased that in one accord we should bring to a conclusion the work of the Holy and Great Council that was convoked by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch. Bartholomew by the common will of their Beatitudes the Primates of the local Orthodox Autocephalous Churches.
On the morning of Saturday, the 3rd/16th of July 2016, the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, Mr Fouad Twal, accompanied by two clerics, visited the Patriarchate on the occasion of his retirement after eight years in the position of Patriarch at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, first established in 1845.
On Wednesday, the 30th of June/13th of July 2016, the Patriarchate observed the feast of the Gathering of the Twelve Apostles at the Monastery dedicated to them in Tiberias, on the west coast of the Tiberian Sea.
The 15th Russian-German Forum of Civil Societies “Petersburg Dialogue” was held on July 14-15, 2016, in St. Petersburg, under the theme “Russia and Germany in Face of Global Challenges”.
Participating in the event were representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, including Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) and cochairman of the Churches in Europe working group; Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for the far-abroad; Hieromonk Ioann Kopeikin, pro-rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies; Archpriest Constantine Golovatsky, head of the St. Petersburg diocesan youth department; Rev. Antony Borisov, pro-rector of Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary; Rev. Iliya Kosykh, head of the DECR Communication Service; V. Kipshidze, deputy head of the Department for Church-Society and Mass Media Relations; S. Ochkanov, DECR secretariat for the far-abroad; and F. Champion, DECR secretariat for inter-Christian relations.
On July 17, 2016, Bishop Nestor of Chersonese, who came to Nice in connection with the tragic events, which took place in the city on the night of July 15, celebrated the Sunday Divine Liturgy and after it a requiem service for the victims of the barbaric terrorist act committed in the city.