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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits Poland

His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch started a visit to Poland on Monday.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Maria Magdalene Church in Warsaw

While in Poland Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will visit Warsaw, Lublin and the Holy Mountain of Grabarka to attend the Transfiguration feast celebrations in the sanctuary, PAP was told by spokesperson for the Polish Orthodox Church father Henryk Paprocki.
The Transfiguration is the biggest Orthodox feast in Poland. Pilgrimages to Grabarka, the main Orthodox cult site in Poland, date back to 1710.
On Tuesday Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will meet with Sejm Speaker Grzegorz Schetyna.
On Friday he will receive an honorary doctorate of the John Paul II Catholic Lublin University during a ceremony in Lublin.
There are from 550 to 600 thousand Orthodox faithful in Poland, mainly in the Podlasie northeastern region.
(PAP) 

Socialists’ Meetings in the Balkans

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  President of Socialist International and leader of the main opposition PASOK Party, George Papandreou will address the Socialist International Council Meeting in the Republic of Montenegro (June 29-30).  The meeting will focus on ways to deal with the economic meltdown, climate change, regional conflicts, recent developments in Iran and illegal migration.  Visiting Balkan countries ahead of the Council’s works, Papandreou first arrived in Albania where he held talks with Edi Rama, head of the Socialist Party of Albania and current Mayor of Tirana, as well as with his Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios of the Orthodox Church of Albania.  Next stop for SI president was Serbia, where he met with President Boris Tadic. Both in Albania and in Serbia, Papandreou endorsed the countries’ European perspective. Especially in the case of Serbia, Papandreou acknowledged that the country has taken important steps in terms of reforms suitable to an EU candidacy.”

Vatican Lends to Greece Parthenon Fragment

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Vatican has given a fragment of the Parthenon’s frieze to Greece on a one-year loan, fulfilling a request by late Archbishop Christodoulos to Pope Benedict XVI, and it is on display at the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. “This gesture sets an example for others to follow and finally restore the unity of the Parthenon Marbles,” Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said. The Vatican fragment follows the repatriation of the “Palermo fragment”, another piece of the Parthenon marbles which had been kept at the Museum of Palermo in Italy and which was returned to the Hellenic Republic on the occasion of the Italian president’s official visit to Greece in September. Kathimerini daily: Vatican lends museum Parthenon fragment; Greek News Agenda: Italian President in Athens International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures: www.parthenoninternational.org; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Acropolis and the Parthenon Marbles

1020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Rus

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Celebrating the 1,020th anniversary of the conversion of Russia to Christianity, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia officiated at a joint service in Kiev yesterday. Present at the ceremony were Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios and Kiev Metropolitan Vladimir. The two Patriarchs assisted a meeting marking the beginning of a new era in the relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow with the Mother Church, resolving past tensions. After the meeting, Smolensk Metropolitan Kyrill stated that it was “sincere and with God’s help all problems will be handled,” while Patriarch Alexy underlined that “dialogue is the base to handle all issues.” The Moscow Patriarch will participate in a synod of Orthodox Patriarchs organised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Fanar, Istanbul, next October.

The Jews of Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The presence of Jews in Greece traces back to ancient times. These Greek Jews, known as Romaniotes, spoke Greek (Judeo-Greek) and had developed their own culture and customs within the confines of the Byzantine Empire, living on the mainland as well as on some islands, like Rhodes, Chios and Samos. That Jewish population of Greece increased dramatically in 1492, after the Catholic monarchs of Spain – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand – at the instigation of the Inquisition, issued the decree of Granada, according to which all Jews who refused to convert to Catholicism were to be expelled within 6 months; it is estimated that more than 200.000 Jews were expelled from that “cursed land.”     Continue reading