Rest in Peace, Patriarch Pavle

November 17, 2009

Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle Dies At 95

Patriarch Pavle prays at Serbian Orthodox Christmas liturgy in Belgrade in January 2007.
November 15, 2009
BELGRADE — The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, 95-year-old Patriarch Pavle, has died after a lengthy battle with age-related illness, RFE/RL’s Balkan Service reports.His death ends nearly two decades of leadership that spanned one of the most painful chapters in Serbian history.

His rise to the patriarchate in 1990 — soon after Slobodan Milosevic had become president of an increasingly divided Yugoslavia — placed Pavle in the eye of a gathering storm. Pavle’s tenure as patriarch sparked fierce disputes over the actions of the Church as nationalist and ethnic conflagrations spread through the Balkans.
Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Patriarch Bartholemew pushes his Green Agenda in Washington

November 5, 2009

Patriarch Bartholemew Obama

Religious leader promotes ‘green’ causes

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 An unusual environmental lobbyist will be making the rounds this week on Capitol Hill: the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the highest spiritual figure for the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians, arrived in Washington on Sunday night for a week of lectures and meetings highlighting his interest in environmental health as a religious issue. He is scheduled to meet with President Obama on Tuesday, Vice President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »


Patriarch Kirill against Independent Ukraine Church

July 30, 2009

patriarch kirilWith regard to independent church in Ukraine, Patriarch Kirill says “I’m against it.”

By MARIA DANILOVA

The Associated Press

Monday, July 27, 2009; 1:06 PM

KIEV, Ukraine — The head of the Russian Orthodox Church rejected calls from Ukraine’s president to create a local Orthodox church that would be independent from Moscow, saying he firmly supports the status quo.

Patriarch Kirill arrived in Ukraine for a prolonged visit, which observers say is aimed at reasserting Moscow’s religious and political influence over this predominantly Orthodox nation of 46 million, which is trying to integrate with the West.

President Viktor Yushchenko has led a campaign to win recognition of a separatist church that broke away from the Moscow Patriarchate in the 1990s.

“The main aspiration of the Ukrainian people is to live in a united, self-governing Apostolic Orthodox church,” Yushchenko said in a speech, standing alongside Kirill.

Kirill was quick to stress that the dominant Orthodox church in Ukraine, which answers to Moscow, is the only legitimate church here.

“This church, Mr. President, already exists,” Kirill said. “If it didn’t exist today, Ukraine wouldn’t exist either.”

“But wounds have formed in this church and these wounds must be healed,” he said.

The two leaders made the statements after laying flowers at a memorial commemorating the victims of a 1932-33 famine that killed millions which was engineered by Soviet authorities to abolish private land ownership.

Yushchenko is also leading a campaign to win recognition of the famine as an act of genocide; Moscow counters that the campaign was not aimed specifically at Ukrainians.

Kirill said that he mourns the tragedy and prays for all those who perished, but stressed that other ethnic groups, including Russians, also suffered.

The Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the Kremlin, worry about losing dominance in Ukraine.

The mainstream, Moscow-aligned church claims about 28 million believers, while the separatist Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate claims about 14 million followers. Opinion polls show the splinter church’s popularity is growing.

Earlier Monday, Kirill led a service on St. Volodymyr Hill in central Kiev near the statue of Prince Volodymyr, who launched the Slavic world’s conversion to Christianity in 988. Kirill called for friendship, brotherhood and unity.

Yushchenko, who has sought to break free from Russia’s centuries-old political dominance and integrate with the European Union and NATO, has appealed to the spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox believers, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, to recognize the separatist church.

Bartholomew, who visited Kiev last summer, has not given a clear response.

Kirill is to visit a number of Ukrainian cities during a prolonged visit that his office says is devoted strictly to pilgrimage. But observers note that his trips to such strongholds of pro-Russian support as the eastern coal-mining city of Donetsk and the port of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula have clear political undertones.

Before Kirill led the prayers, a group of nationalist activists shouting “Moscow priest get out!” briefly scuffled with his supporters near the St. Volodymyr Hill. The scuffle was broken up by police.


World’s Oldest Christian Bible Digitized

July 9, 2009

Codex Sinaiticus

This undated picture made available by the British Library shows a reader examining a page from the earliest surviving Christian Bible. The British Library says the surviving pages of the world’s oldest Bible have been reunited digitally. The library says the early Christian work known as the Codex Sinaiticus had been housed in four separate locations across the world for more than 150 years. It became available Monday for perusal on the Web so scholars and others can get a closer look. The library says the work will allow scholars to further study the “unique treasure.” The project united organizations from Great Britain, Germany, Russia and Egypt. Each possessed parts of the 1,600-year-old manuscript. They worked together to publish new research into the history of the Codex and transcribed 650,000 words during a four-year period. (AP Photo/The British Library) (The British Library – AP) Read the rest of this entry »


Save the Matrushka!

May 31, 2009

matrushka

Russia’s nesting dolls are in distress due to the economy.

These have fascinated me from childhood. My first encounter with one, was a doll similar in style to this one, probably 3 or 4 inches tall. It was a set of three. My dad bought it for me at an art museum’s annual festival.

At the time, they were difficult to find in the USA. She was alone for many years. I have about 30 of them now, some of which were gifts from my mother who encountered them at the Ukrainian Gift Shop, others of which I bought during a school year abroad, in Slovenia.

While I don’t need an unlimited collection thereof, I’m sad that the manufacturers are in distress.


Worth Revisiting One Year Later: What Is Orthodox Theology?

April 9, 2009
http://eirenikon.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/what-is-orthodox-theology/

What is Orthodox Theology?

“What almost always passes for ‘Orthodox theology’ among English-speaking Orthodox these days is actually just a branch of the larger Orthodox picture. Indeed, it tends sometimes to be rather sectarian.

The Orthodox Church is an ancient castle, as it were, of which only two or three rooms have been much in use since about 1920. These two or three rooms were furnished by the Russian émigrés in Paris between the two Read the rest of this entry »


HOLY FATHER’S CONDOLENCES FOR DEATH OF PATRIARCH ALEXIS II

December 5, 2008

RUSSIA-EASTER-PUTIN-MEDVEDEV

VATICAN CITY, 5 DEC 2008 (VIS) – Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence to the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church for the death of His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias. Read the rest of this entry »