Within the program of the periodic meetings of the Orthodox Archbishops in Germany, on Friday the 11th November the members of the assembly conducted, for the first time, an official visit to His Excellency Mr. Christian Wulff the President of Germany. His Grace Bishop Hanna Haikal represented His Eminence Metropolitan John Yazigi at this event.
His Excellency the president welcomed the archbishops and expressed his happiness for the visit and for their integration within German society. Afterwards, the president of the Assembly, His Eminence, Augustine, Metropolitan of the Ecumenical Throne, delivered a speech in which he thanked His Excellency, the President of the Republic and the German State for help offered to the Orthodox Churches. There followed an opportunity for dialogue with His Excellency during which His Grace Bishop Hanna talked about the situation of the Christians in the Middle East and about our faithful in Germany.
On Saturday the 12th November the Assembly continued its sessions, one of which was in the Antiochian parish of St. George, Berlin. The members were welcomed by His Grace Bishop Hanna who began the session in prayer and relayed to the members the best regards of His Eminence Metropolitan John.
During the meeting, the General Secretary presented the general situation of the Assembly in Germany. There followed an opportunity for all the members to explain the situation in their dioceses. Afterwards, they discussed a paper on Christian unity in Germany prepared by the Theological Committee. This official paper is intended to be published by the Orthodox Council of Communication. Metropolitan Mark (The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) recounted the efforts of the committee of translation which is preparing a common translation of the Divine Liturgy in German. The members also discussed problems related to the Orthodox Catechism in the public schools; problems which the professors, delegated by the Assembly, face in these schools. It should be mentioned that this is a new idea the application of which is to be analysed and discussed by the Assembly in order to be applied in all the German provinces. The prelates also discussed the so called "burning of the bodies of dead" or cremation; a subject who faces our Orthodox Church in the diaspora generally and in Europe particularly. The subject was devolved to a Theological Committee to be studied and presented to the Assembly at the next meeting.
Then, his Eminence Augustine, the President of the Assembly, thanked bishop Hanna and wished, in the name of all, the recovery to health of Metropolitan John.
The Assembly concluded its periodic meeting on Sunday the 13th November celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the Russian Church of Resurrection in Berlin.