On Tuesday, 21st January/3rd February 2009, His Beatitude received some students of the German Seminary of Benedictine monks of the Church of Dormition of the Theotokos on Mount Zion and answered questions on the pastoral role of the Patriarchate at the Holy Land and the Orthodox prerequisites for participation in the Ecumenical dialogue.

On Thursday, 23rd January/3rd February 2009, His Beatitude received a ten-member inter-religious Norwegian ecclesiastic delegation, headed by the Lutheran bishop of Oslo, Mr. Ole Christian M. Kvarme to updated them on the ecclesiastic and political situation in the Holy Land and on the aid of its residents.

On Friday 24th January/6th February 2009, His Beatitude received a five- member team who were released from concentration camps of the Republic of Serbska and talked to them about the unifying and the conciliatory power of the Orthodox Church in Orthodox Christian States. Then, His Beatitude received Mr. John Nduna, Director of ACT (International Action by Churches Together), a Department of the World Council of Churches, in charge of the moral and humanitarian aid and relief to Gaza, along with Mr.Dirk Lackovic-Van Gorp, Director of the IOCC (INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES).(Photo 1)

On Saturday, 25th of January/7th of February 2009, His Beatitude received a delegation from the World Council of Churches within the framework of the program “Palestine and Israel Ecumenical Forum” with Rev. Dr. Olav Fuske Tveit in charge (Photo 2)

Afterwards, His Beatitude received a group of representatives of Christianity, Judaism and Islam of the “Department for Peace, Reconciliation and Interfaith Dialogue-Clergy for Peace” along with Doctor Chalil Andraous from Koufr-Giasif. Finally, His Beatitude received representatives of the GreekOrthodox community of Remli regarding the assistance for the development of the Community School.In the evening of the same day, His Beatitude officiated in the ceremony of the cutting of the New Year’s cake in the Greek Club of the New City of Jerusalem, near the monastery of Saint Symeon the Receiver of the Lord at Katamonas.

This club was founded in 1902 by expatriate Greeks who lived in Jerusalem, for the strengthening of the ties with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the boosting of the Christian and national conscience.Today, the club numbers about 40 members who voluntarily offer their services for the organisation of cultural activities with Greek Christian character, in cooperation with the Patriarchate.

The ceremony was attended by Agiotafites and members of the Greek Community of the Old and New City of Jerusalem. The ceremony was honoured with his presence, the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem, Mr. Sotirios Athanasiou.

His Beatitude was addressed by the President of the Greek Community, Mr. Vasilios Tzaferis. In response, His Beatitude wished the President and the members of the community, a happy, blessed and prosperous in the Lord New Year, and thanked Mr. Vasilios Tzaferis for his support to the Greek community and the Patriarchate.

From the Chief-Secretariat