On the afternoon of Sunday, the 22nd of June/5th of July 2015, the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr Nikolaos Kotzias, visited the Patriarchate. He was accompanied by associates of his: Ambassador Demetrios Paraskevopoulos, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Tasia Athanasiou, Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Konstantinos Koutras, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Georgios Mitrakos, Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister; Apostolos Theodorides, Security Officer of the Minister.
His Eminence, Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the West, led the annual pilgrimage of clergy and faithful from the Diocese of the West to Fort Ross State Historic Park on Saturday, July 4, 2015. Faithful have been gathering at Fort Ross every year since July 4, 1925 for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and fellowship at the first Orthodox chapel of prayer in the lower forty-eight.
On July 5, 2015, the Day of the Family, Love and Fidelity was celebrated for the first time at the Belgrade representation of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is the feast established on the commemoration day of the Most Orthodox Prince Petr and his five Fevronia, patrons of the family and marriage. The celebrations were organized by the Russian House and the ROC Belgrade representation.
On Saturday, the 14th/27th of June 2015, the Patriarchate observed the memory of the prophet Elisha in Jericho, at the Monastery dedicated to his name, on the site of the sycamore fig-tree where Zacchaeus had climbed to see Christ (Luke 19, 1-10).
On 25 June 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), met with the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.
Taking part in the lengthy talk, which was held at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, were H.E. Sergei Razov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Italian Republic, and archimandrite Antony (Sevryuk), secretary of the Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in Italy. Discussed was a wide range of issues of mutual interest.
Dioceses, monasteries, convents, and parish churches of the Russian Orthodox Church have taken part in the most large-scale Church internet-project, “The universal map of churches and monasteries”, whose beta version recently became available for internet users on the Moscow Patriarchate’s official website.
The pilot version of the project includes more than 15,000 Orthodox sites and embraces not only the territory of the Russian Federation, but also the Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. Other countries are to be included in the project as well. The data of “The universal map of churches” will be shared with the largest secular web services as part of their joint partnership programs.