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.
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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 »


Celebrate Advent, Question Christmas

November 29, 2008

santa-jesus

This year may be the best one in a long time for all Christians to re-examine Christmas and take Advent to heart.  A bad economy and a Walmart stampede which gave new meaning to “Black Friday,” offer us good occassion to reflect on the inanity of the American “Christmas” Season.

For years I have been deeply disturbed by the grand materialistic orgy that is the gringo Xmas.  The Lord who came to us in humble human vesture, in utter simplicity and taught us to find our serenity in the goods of heaven rather than the goods of this world has become hopelessly lost in a sea of Santa’s hocking gadgets which rob us of time and mental energy to reflect upon and deepen our spiritual lives. Read the rest of this entry »


Orthodox EP Soft Like Anglicans on Abortion

July 25, 2008

It’s not just about the filioque or the Immaculate Conception, folks. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have encouraged Catholics to reach out to Orthodox Christians, to respect them and learn their traditions. Catholics by and large have accepted that the Orthodox really are very close to Catholicism in many areas. But many would be surprised to learn that some Orthodox hierarchs (and Oriental Orthodox hierarchs) are soft, even permissive on the issue of abortion–soft like Anglicans.

His Holiness, Patriarch Karekin I of Etchmiadzin of Armenia (Oriental Orthodox) who came on a pastoral visit to the US had this to say about the Oriental Orthodox Church’s position on abortion- Read the rest of this entry »


John 6 in Our Day

May 16, 2008

I have been carrying around this thought for over a decade:

As a result of this hard teaching [just pick one], many of the Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans and Evangelicals returned to their former pagan way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Read the rest of this entry »


Must Read: Prager on “Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality”

May 15, 2008

Dennis Prager has written the best explanation of the essential theological-sociological nature of Catholic-Jewish teachings on human sexuality. Starting with a description of male sexuality and implicitly the necessity of social mores/boundaries on the male, he demonstrates the connections between the dignity of the human person, particularly women and children, and the sublimation of male sexuality into exclusively heterosexual outlets. In Catholic terms there is a continuum between the consistent ethic of life and heterosexual family building. It’s an absolute must read!

To a world which divided human sexuality between penetrator and penetrated, Judaism said, “You are wrong — sexuality is to be divided between male and female.” To a world which saw women as baby producers unworthy of romantic and sexual attention, Judaism said “You are wrong — women must be the sole focus of men’s erotic love.” To a world which said that sensual feelings and physical beauty were life’s supreme goods, Judaism said, “You are wrong — ethics and holiness are the supreme goods.” A thousand years before Roman emperors kept naked boys, Jewish kings were commanded to write and keep a sefer torah, a book of the Torah.

Read the rest of this entry »


Who’s The Boss?

April 20, 2008

Russia and Constantinople battle over China

The numbers here are small but it points to a larger battle for the most powerful voice in Orthodoxy.

Moscow – April 16, (Interfax) – The Holy Synod of the Russian Church roundly condemned the decision taken by the Constantinople Patriarch to include the People’s Republic of China in his Hong Kong Metropolia.

The Synod session held on Tuesday in Moscow said the Constantinople decision of January 9 “encroach upon the rights of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church.”

“This decision was taken unilaterally, unknown to the Orthodox believers in China,” the participants stressed.

They also stated that “decision of the Constantinople See is unjust and canonically unjustified as damaging peace and well-being of the holy Churches of God.”

Hierarchs pointed out to the centuries-old spiritual links between the Russian Church and China “where it has worked to build dozens of Orthodox churches, to translate holy and liturgical books in Chinese, to bring up in Orthodox piety witnesses to our Lord Jesus Christ who were faithful even unto death.”

5 bob to: Byzantine, TX

So who is the boss?  How can this be resolved?  The first among equals (whose see was once the Big Dog in the East of the Roman Empire but is now decimated) versus the patriarch of Russian national Church which now holds the distinction of being the largest?

The $64,000 question, eh?


Being Catholic III

April 12, 2008

My complete submission took a full six years, a little at a time, always a little more to go to fully embrace the traditional

teachings.  I ended up taking the advice of my sponsor and jumped in with both feet on learning Church history.  The more I learned, the more I loved it and the more I was able to give myself to the Church.  I quickly began to attend Mass at 6:00 PM every Tuesday at St. Joe’s.  I was on fire!  As soon as I could I became a lector and a Eucharistic minister.  For the next three years I helped in RCIA and I helped start a Bible study at St. Francis.  For a while I was at church every day of the week, I just couldn’t get enough of it.  My primary purpose for becoming a Eucharistic minister was to bring the Eucharist to shut-ins.  I wanted to bring it to hospitals, but there were none in my parish bounds, so I took Holy Communion to a couple total care and partial care centers.  Eventually I began to bring Holy Communion to the county pokey too, which I found to be my favorite form of service. Read the rest of this entry »