Three Hierarchs – the Great Ecumenical Teachers of our Church
On Thursday afternoon, January 29th, the Cultural Center in the Complex of the “Resurrection of Christ” Cathedral in Tirana exhibited a special liveliness. Hundreds of the capital’s Orthodox intellectuals gathered in an activity of Fellowship, that aims at a deeper recognition of the Orthodox Faith. This time, the meeting was dedicated to the Three Great Hierarchs, the excellent Orthodox teachers, St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory the Theologian, whom are celebrated together on the 30th of January. This feast is always filled with activities that have been inspired by their extraordinary acts.
The Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania, sponsored the Annual Opening of the Legal Year for 2015 with a Pan-Orthodox Prayer Service held at the St Eustathios Greek Orthodox Church in South Melbourne on Tuesday morning, 3 February 2015. Many notable participants, including clergy and lay, legal professionals from the Inter-Orthodox community, were present to receive and pray with and for the dignitaries from the judiciary, including distinguished Supreme Court justices.
The Bishops’ Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church took place on February 2-3, 2015, at the Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. It was chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
The bishops heard Patriarch Kirill’s report about the work carried out by the Russian Orthodox Church to develop its life and service in all the countries of the canonical presence of the Moscow Patriarchate and in the diaspora. In its resolution, the Conference thanked Patriarch Kirill for his work carried out since the 2013 Sacred Bishops’ Council and for his support of bishops’ initiatives.
On Thursday, the 16th/29th January 2015, the Patriarchate celebrated the veneration of the chains of the glorious Saint and Apostle Peter.
The incarceration of the Apostle Peter by Herod Agrippa, aimed at his execution in order to please the Jews, and his miraculous liberation by an angel is reported in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts, 12) and believed to have taken place in the prison within the Holy Monastery of St Nicodemus, Christ’s secret disciple. The prison is also known as the Convent of Lentils because of St Helen having distributed lentils amongst the hungry crowd during a period of starvation in Jerusalem.
On February 2, 2015, addressing the Bishops’ Conference, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, spoke about the process of preparations for a Pan-Orthodox Council to take place in 2016 in Constantinople. He reminded the bishops of the stance expressed by the Russian Orthodox Church at the 2013 Bishops’ Council that all the Pan-Orthodox Council should make all its decisions ‘exclusively by consensus of all the Local Churches, not by a majority of votes’ (Par. 60, Decisions).
From January 29 - February 1, 2015, His All-Holiness visited the Holy Metropolis of Belgium in response to an invitation to deliver the keynote address at the Catholic University of Leuven's conference on "Christian Doctrines of Divinization East and West." The other addresses were delivered by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Bishop Johan Bonny of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antwerp, Professor Martin Laird OSA of Villanova University, Professor Ivana Noble of Charles University in Prague and Professor George Pattison of the University of Glasgow.