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Orthodox Christian (Religion)

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  • Pope Francis Sees Putin as 'Only Man' to Defend Christians Around the World

    02/10/2016 7:48:35 AM PST · by marshmallow · 44 replies
    The upcoming meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Patriarch Kirill will not only be a historic religious event, but could also have major benefits to Christians around the world, the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche reported. In an attempt to defend Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world where they're being persecuted, Pope Francis wants to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin for help. According to Pope Francis, Putin is "the only one with whom the Catholic Church can unite to defend Christians in the East." With the help of Putin, Pope Francis hopes to reach...
  • Egypt Military Restoring Churches Destroyed Following Morsi's Ouster

    02/08/2016 9:53:19 AM PST · by NRx · 11 replies
    AINA ^ | 02-07-2016 | Sherry El Gergawi
    After Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi apologised for not finishing the reconstruction work of Christian properties damaged in the aftermath of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster in 2013, the engineering unit of the Armed Forces immediately started cooperating with Coptic authorities to wrap up the pending renovations, religious Coptic figures said. While visiting Cairo's St. Mark Cathedral on Christmas Eve, El-Sisi apologised to the country's Christians over the delay in the completion of renovations, which he says will be done by the end of 2016.The churches undergoing renovation were attacked in August 2013 on the day of the dispersals of pro-Morsi...
  • Delaying Patriarch-Pope Meeting "No Longer Possible" - Russian Orthodox Church

    02/08/2016 9:43:05 AM PST · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    Interfax ^ | 2/8/16
    Moscow, February 8, Interfax - While problems remain in the relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Churches, both see protection of persecuted Christians as a priority, the synodal Department for External Church Relations said ahead of the upcoming meeting between the patriarch and the pope. "If we are talking of the meeting between His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, this is a meeting between two brightest and most significant leaders of the Christian world, the leaders of the largest Christian communities. There were many years of thorough preparations for the meeting," Moscow Patriarchate Department for External...
  • Feast of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia (Ecumenical)

    02/07/2016 6:32:01 AM PST · by NRx · 6 replies
    Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church ^ | Russian Orthodox Church
    Today we commemorate the uncounted millions of faithful who suffered and died at the hands of the Soviet atheists. These include the Tsar-martyr Nicholas II and the rest of the Russian Royal Family (July 4); Patriarch Tikhon (March 24); Grand Duchess Elizabeth (July 5); thousands of martyrs, both clergy and laity, whose names are known; but also millions upon millions of simple believers whose names have been lost to history. The number of the New Martyrs of Russia far exceeds all those from the "Age of the Martyrs," the first three centuries of Christianity. May their memory be eternal. The...
  • The Call of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving [Catholic and Orthodox Caucus]

    02/05/2016 7:12:26 PM PST · by Salvation · 24 replies ^ | 02-05-16 | Thomas Moses
    The Call of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and AlmsgivingThomas Moses For many Eastern Christians, Lent is embraced as a time for the renewal of repentance, fervent seeking after God, and increased love and concern for our neighbor. After a few weeks of preparation for Lent (also known as the Great Fast) we begin this period of bright sorrow, a forty day period leading up to Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and finally Pascha, Easter, or the Feast of all Feasts.I say bright sorrow because joy and sorrow are kept in tension. We experience sorrow because of the suffering endured by our Lord...
  • As Ambassador Reinstated, Turkish, Armenian Governments Differ Over Vatican Statement

    02/05/2016 5:47:01 PM PST · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    Turkey reinstated its ambassador to the Holy See because of the wording of a recent Vatican statement, according to the Turkish foreign ministry. Turkey recalled its ambassador in April after Pope Francis, quoting St. John Paul II, said that the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire "is generally referred to as the first genocide of the twentieth century." At the conclusion of Pope Francis's February 3 general audience, Rinaldo Mirmara, a historian and president of Caritas Turkey, presented the Pope with a copy of his new history of the Battle of the Dardanelles (1657), which took place during...
  • Statement of Met. Hilarion on the Conversion of the "Catholic Church of the East" to Orthodoxy

    02/05/2016 4:17:51 PM PST · by NRx · 25 replies
    Diocese of the East (ROCOR) ^ | 02-04-2016 | Met. Hilarion
    Over the past several months, the leader of an independent church movement called the "Catholic Church of the East," the former Archbishop Ramzi Mussalam, has begun a remarkable transition: to bring his entire movement, of over 60 parishes, into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). The former archbishop was received into the Orthodox Church and ordained a deacon and priest with the encouragement and blessing and by the hand of Metropolitan Hilarion, ROCOR’s First Hierarch. The former archbishop is now Hieromonk Elias. Father Elias grew up in the Scranton area of Pennsylvania as a communicant of the Polish...
  • Patriarch Kirill, Pope to Meet on Cuba on February 12

    02/05/2016 4:57:51 AM PST · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Moscow, February 5, Interfax- - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet with Pope Francis on Cuba on February 12, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, told a press conference in Moscow on Friday. "The issue of the persecution of Christians will be central in this meeting," the metropolitan said. He said the patriarch and the pope will discuss issues relating to bilateral relations and international policy. The meeting will comprise a meeting in person at the international airport in Havana and will lead to the signing of a joint...
  • Patriarch Kirill: We Do Not Call the Forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council Ecumenical

    02/04/2016 7:54:44 PM PST · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    Pravimir ^ | 2/4/16
    Presenting his report to the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, which opened on February 2 in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia spoke on the preparations for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.'We believe that the Church of Christ is One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic, as the Creed clearly states. The Church is one by her nature. The existence of many autocephalous Churches in the world is a form of the Church's existence in history most suitable for carrying out her salvific mission. We also know that the Church's decision-making important...
  • Russian Church Calms Down the Believers Who Consider Pan-Orthodox Council 'Anti-Christ'

    02/04/2016 7:47:15 PM PST · by marshmallow
    Interfax ^ | 2/4/16
    Moscow, February 4, Interfax - Head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion says there is no grounds for the concerns of some believers about the coming Pan-Orthodox Council. "Unfortunately, there have been many rumors around this Council. For example, they say it will be 'the eighth Ecumenical Council,' it will be 'anti-Christ,' the union with Catholics will be concluded, all fasts will be abolished, priests will be allowed to marry for the second time, it will be a modernist council," the metropolitan said on Wednesday at a press conference in Moscow, resuming the results of the...
  • Akathist to the Mother of God before the Pochaev Icon [Devotional]

    02/04/2016 7:57:43 AM PST · by NRx · 1 replies
    YouTube ^ | 02-04-2016 | Orthodox Channel
    The akathist hymn to the Mother of God before the miraculous Pochaev Icon. (Slavonic Russian Orthodox Chant)
  • On the Great Council of the Orthodox Church

    02/04/2016 5:48:03 AM PST · by NRx · 4 replies
    First Things ^ | 02-03-2016 | John Chryssavgis
    AAlready there is much talk about the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. Between now and June 19, 2016, when the council officially opens on the island of Crete, there will be many rumors and much spin. Some will be justified; like other patriarchal institutions, Orthodox Churches are not normally known for their transparency. However, other chatter will be less than helpful. What follow are some brief clarifications on basic questions surrounding the council.Is the Great Council an Ecumenical Council?For Orthodox Christians, there hasn't been an Ecumenical Council since 787, with the Second Council of Nicaea that resolved...
  • Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World: Draft Document Pan-Orthodox

    02/03/2016 5:19:01 PM PST · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Pravimir ^ | 2/3/16
    Draft document of the Pan-Orthodox Council, adopted by the 5th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference in Chambesy on October, 10-17, 2015.Published in compliance with the decision of the Synaxis of Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, Chambesy, January, 21-28, 2016. 1. Orthodox Church, being the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, in her profound ecclesiastical consciousness firmly believes that she occupies a central place in matters relating to the promotion of Christian unity within the contemporary world. 2. The Orthodox Church grounds her unity on the fact that she was founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as on the communion...
  • Inquiry into Royal Family Killing to Continue as Long as Necessary - Patriarch Kirill

    02/03/2016 5:08:06 PM PST · by marshmallow · 9 replies
    Interfax ^ | 2/2/16
    Moscow, Fabruary 2, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said the inquiry into the killing of the family of Nicholas II will be completed once the truth is found. "I have received highest-level reassurances that there will be no hurry and no tying down of the end of the inquiry to any particular date. The inquiry will last as long as is necessary in order establish the truth," the patriarch said at the current Bishops' Council in Moscow on Tuesday. Unlike the situation in the 1990s, the state has given representatives of the Church - archbishops,...
  • The Number of Believers Among Servicemen of Russian Armed Forces Doubles

    02/02/2016 7:46:14 PM PST · by marshmallow · 18 replies
    Pravoslavie ^ | 1/27/16
    The percentage of believers among the servicemen in the Russia's Armed Forces has increased more than twice since 2001 and now they make up 76 percent of the total number of military men, reported head of Directorate for working with religious servicemen at the Chief Directorate for educational work in the Russian army Alexander Surovtsev on Tuesday to the journalists. "In 2001 only 37 percent of servicemen, when asked if they considered themselves believers, answered yes, and in 2015 as many as 76 percent gave a positive answer," said A. Surovtsev at the annual international Nativity Educational Readings at the...
  • News From the Eastern Front. Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete, While in Athens...

    01/30/2016 6:51:32 AM PST · by NRx · 13 replies
    Chiesa ^ | 01-30-2016 | Sandro Magister
    News From the Eastern Front. Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete, While in Athens... Agreement and disagreement among the Churches of Orthodoxy, on the verge of their first council after more than a thousand years. And from Rome a slap in the face for the Greek Church, with the appointment of a new Catholic and Latin bishop by Sandro Magister ROME, January 30, 2016 - There are two new developments on the front of the Eastern Churches, one huge and one tiny. The tiny one is the appointment of the new apostolic exarch of Byzantine-rite Catholics living in Greece, in essence...
  • Why Orthodoxy? (parts 4-5)

    01/29/2016 7:55:20 AM PST · by NRx · 1 replies
    Pravoslavie ^ | 01-28/29-2016 | Ryan Hunter
    Part IV: A Family of Churches Part 1, Part 2, Part 3The Orthodox Church: A family of Churches united by belief in the central role of conciliarity, the pastoral role of bishops, and adherence to a common Tradition. One of the most attractive aspects of Orthodoxy to those coming from either Roman Catholic or Protestant traditions is that, while internal church politics of course exist in the different parishes, and at national or regional levels, Orthodoxy today is largely free of the kind of disagreements that frequently arise in Western churches. Of course not every Catholic or Protestant church community...
  • If I were running the Eastern Orthodox Council

    01/29/2016 7:16:13 AM PST · by NRx · 31 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | 01-26-2016 | Dr. Adam DeVille
    The Orthodox Church has, for the better part of a century, been talking about holding a global council, often labelled the 'great and holy synod.' As we are repeatedly told, this will be the first such synodal gathering in the Christian East since the last ecumenical council of Nicaea met in 787 to deal with iconoclasm. Catholics watching the lead-up to this council will be only too aware--as I have discussed here and here--of the promises and the perils of synodal gatherings in the life of the Church, whether East or West. Synods or councils, ancient or modern, are always...
  • Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

    01/27/2016 1:58:58 PM PST · by NRx · 7 replies
    OCA Diocese of the South ^ | 01-12-2016 | Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)
    Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time...
  • Why Orthdoxy?

    01/27/2016 1:49:00 PM PST · by NRx · 5 replies
    Pravoslavie ^ | 07-25/26/27-2016 | Ryan Hunter
    As we continue to commemorate the feast of the Lord's Baptism we are going to begin posting in parts the story and reflections of one of our authors' conversion to Orthodoxy, Ryan Hunter, a student at New York University. * * * "In His unbounded love, God became what we are that He might make us what He is." --St. Irenaeus (d. 202) I am in love. The object of my affection, or rather, my devotion, is not a person per se, though it is very much alive. It has been alive for 2,000 years, persisting through seemingly insurmountable...
  • Russian Orthodox Church Denies Rumors of Upcoming Patriarch-Pope Meeting in Latin America

    01/27/2016 6:27:19 AM PST · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    Interfax ^ | 1/26/16
    Moscow, January 26, Interfax - The assumptions about a possible meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis in a Latin American country this February are baseless, the Synodal Department for External Church Relations told Interfax-Religion. "The Patriarch and the Pope's Latin American visit programs do not intersect," the Russian Orthodox Church's spokesman for inter-Christian relations, Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov) told the agency on Tuesday, commenting on recent rumors in the foreign press about a possibility of such a meeting during the two church leaders' visits to that region in February. "The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and the head of...
  • Orthodox Leaders Moving Synod to Crete Citing Geopolitical Concerns in Turkey

    01/27/2016 6:22:08 AM PST · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    Pravimir ^ | 1/25/16 | Gregory Pappas
    Considered to be the most important meeting of the world's Orthodox Christian bishops in over a thousand years, the Great and Holy Synod which was to convene at the headquarter city of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul, Turkey, is being relocated to Crete, citing geopolitical concerns. The announcement came via the Athens News Agency, covering meetings of various Orthodox Church delegations meeting this week in Switzerland to formulate the agenda item and preparations for the June 2016 event. The decision comes after "exceptional objective circumstances" (i.e. the inability of the Russian delegation to travel to Turkey because of...
  • Feast of St Sava I, First Archbishop of Serbia (Traditional Calendar)

    01/27/2016 5:51:46 AM PST · by NRx · 2 replies
    Orthodox Church in America ^ | January 14/27 | OCA
    Commemorated on January 14 Saint Sava, First Archbishop of Serbia, in the world Rostislav (Rastko), was a son of the Serbian king Stephen Nemanya and Anna, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Romanus. From his early years he fervently attended church services and had a special love for icons.At seventeen years of age, Rostislav met a monk from Mount Athos, secretly left his father's house and set off for the St Panteleimon monastery. (By divine Providence in 1169, the year of the saint's birth, the ancient monastery of the Great Martyr and healer Panteleimon was given to Russian monks.) Knowing that...
  • The Future Pan-Orthodox Council: To Be or Not to Be?

    01/26/2016 4:45:18 AM PST · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    First Things ^ | 1/22/16 | Paul L. Gavrilyuk
    Over the last two years, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has repeatedly announced that the much anticipated Great and Holy Council will take place around the Feast of Pentecost in June 2016. When it happens, this Council will be an event of considerable historical import, bringing together the leaders of all Orthodox Churches for the first time since 787. Unfortunately, not all Orthodox leaders are equally enthusiastic about the Council and some are even trying to prevent it. Why is the idea of the Council so controversial? Who are the main players in this controversy? If the Council takes place, what...
  • The (Cardinal) Stepinac Case

    01/23/2016 6:59:24 PM PST · by ebb tide · 26 replies
    Inside the Vatican ^ | January 21, 2016 | Theresa Norris
    The Stepinac Case "We are afraid that there are too many open questions and wounds which Cardinal Stepinac symbolizes. His canonization, to our great regret, would return the relations between Serbs and Croats, as well as between Catholics and Orthodox faithful, back to their tragic history... We ask you to remove the question of the canonization of Cardinal Stepinac from the agenda, and to leave it to the infallible judgment of God."--Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej, in a 2015 letter to Pope Francis "Both Catholic and Orthodox priests were persecuted under communism, and therefore the Catholic Church can consider Stepinac to...
  • Ecumenical Patriarch addresses preparations for the Great and Holy Council (Orthodox Caucus)

    01/23/2016 10:24:59 AM PST · by NRx
    BASILICA NEWS AGENCY ^ | 01-23-2016 | BNA
    From 22 to 27 January 2016, at the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, the works of the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches are being carried out.At the opening of the event, His Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, delivered a speech thanking the other Primates of the Orthodox Churches, as well as the delegations, for accepting to change the place of the Synaxis from the Ecumenical Patriarchate's residence in Istanbul, Turkey, to the Chambésy Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is "meant for serving the pan-Orthodox unity, and which for a long time...
  • A Common Statement by Orthodox and Catholic Bishops on Abortion

    01/21/2016 8:16:50 PM PST · by NRx · 1 replies
    Seeking Life, Mercy, and HealingA Common Statement by Orthodox and Catholic Bishopson the 43rd Anniversary of Roe v. WadeOn January 22, Catholic and Orthodox Christians will once again stand in solidarity on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. As our communities firmly believe in the sanctity of life, the faithful--along with many people of other traditions and good will--lament the legal circumstances that facilitate abortion and the cultural phenomena that present abortion as the only choice for expectant mothers experiencing difficult conditions.We recognize that the choice to abort an unborn child ultimately reflects the broken condition...
  • “This is war against the Church” - Greek hierarchs on decision cremation in Greece

    01/21/2016 1:22:40 PM PST · by NRx · 26 replies
    Pravoslavie ^ | 01-21-2016
    Athens, January 21, 2016 Hierarchs of the Church of Greece have commented on the decision of local authorities to open a crematorium in the city of Patras, reports AgionOros. Bishop Chrysanthos stressed that "the war against the Church is now being waged openly. Cremation and other manifestations of the new morality (for example, "free cohabitation", civil partnerships and so on) have nothing to do with the Orthodox tradition of Greece". *** Metropolitan Justin of Kalamaria, commenting on the decision to open the crematorium, said: "Many claim that the Church should care for people's souls only and leave the body alone....
  • The Severed Right Hand of St. Maximus the Confessor (Orthodox Catholic Caucus)

    01/21/2016 11:58:34 AM PST · by NRx · 1 replies
    Mystagogy ^ | 01-21-2016 | John Sanidopoulos
    During the reign of the monothelite Emperor Constans II (630-668), Saint Maximus the Confessor was exiled three times, but before the third time an incident took place that earned him the title of "Confessor". To put an end to his teaching and writing about the Orthodox faith against Monothelitism, the Emperor ordered that his tongue be cut out and his right hand severed. Then as he was carried off to his third exile from Constantinople to the Caucasus, it was ordered that his severed members be hung around his neck as he was paraded through Constantinople. Saint Maximus reposed...
  • 659 babies become new godchildren of Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II (Orthodox Catholic Caucus)

    01/21/2016 11:41:48 AM PST · by NRx · 7 replies
    Pravoslavie ^ | 01-21-2016 | Constantine Tsertsvadze, Koba Chikadze
    Tbilisi, January 21, 2016 On January 19, 2016, the feast of Holy Theophany, the 42nd mass baptism of infants took place at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi. 659 infants became new godchildren of His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia. In 2008 Ilia II announced that he would become godfather of every third and subsequent baby born into a family whose parents were married in the Church. This decision was caused by the demographic crisis in Georgia at that time. In connection with this, many Georgian residents recall the story once related by the saint of our...
  • The Morality of Gehenna

    01/21/2016 10:46:04 AM PST · by NRx · 17 replies
    No Other Foundation ^ | 01-20-2016 | Fr. Lawrence Farley
    In a previous article I attempted to examine the Scriptural, patristic, and canonical evidence for a belief in Universalism, the belief that eventually all will be saved (including, according to many universalists, Satan and the demons). I concluded that the evidence all went the other way, and I reaffirmed the traditional teaching that the punishments of Gehenna will be eternal. I acknowledged in passing the legitimacy and even the necessity of trying to explain how a belief in the eternity of Gehenna can be combined with a belief in the love of God. I will attempt to do that now....
  • In Russia, Epiphany Comes With A Shockingly Cold Swim

    01/21/2016 10:41:43 AM PST · by NRx · 2 replies
    NPR ^ | 01-20-2016 | Corey Flintoff
    i Russian Orthodox believers swim in frigid water at a pond outside St. Petersburg in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Warmly dressed emergency medical technicians stand by in case anyone is overcome by the cold. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP hide captiontoggle caption Dmitry Lovetsky/AP Russian Orthodox believers swim in frigid water at a pond outside St. Petersburg in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Warmly dressed emergency medical technicians stand by in case anyone is overcome by the cold. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP Tuesday was an important holiday in the Russian Orthodox Church: Epiphany, which celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the...
  • Scenes from the First Patriarchal Liturgy for Children (Russian Orthodox) [Ecumenical]

    01/20/2016 2:05:28 PM PST · by NRx
    YouTube ^ | 01-17-2016 | ROC
    Scenes from the Hierarchical liturgy held for children in Christ the Savior Cathedral.
  • Ecumenical Patriarch Convenes Synaxis at Chambésy, Geneva (Orthodox Caucus)

    01/20/2016 12:56:02 PM PST · by NRx
    GOA ^ | 01-19-2016 | Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
    NEW YORK - His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will convene under his chairmanship, Jan. 21-28, 2016, a Synaxis of the Primates of the local Orthodox Churches at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Geneva.The Synaxis will deal with matters related to preparation for the Holy and Great Council, which has been decided to convene this year. His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America will be a member of the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.The official announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, issued yesterday January 18, 2016, follows:ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE COMMUNIQUEThe Ecumenical Patriarchate announces that, following an invitation by...
  • Russian Servicemen at Hmeimim Airbase in Syria's Latakia Marked Feast of Baptism of Christ

    01/20/2016 6:34:46 AM PST · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    Interfax ^ | 1/19/16
    Latakia, January 19, Interfax - Russian servicemen deployed at the Hmeimim airbase in Syria's Latakia celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, one of the oldest Orthodox holidays, overnight into Tuesday. "Today, the entire group will take part in the Epiphany blessing of the waters because for a person wearing army shoulder boards, especially not on Russian soil, faith is not an idle word. The Feast of the Baptism of Christ has always been celebrated very warmly," Armed Forces Priest Ilya has said. An ordinary army tent is housing the Russian airbase's field church, where the blessing of the...
  • Oldest Christian Monastery in Iraq Razed

    01/20/2016 6:22:34 AM PST · by marshmallow · 10 replies
    AP ^ | 1/20/16 | Martha Mendoza, Maya Alleruzzo, Bram Janssen
    IRBIL, Iraq (AP) - Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of the Islamic State group's relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical. St. Elijah's Monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for U.S. troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel, worshipped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of...
  • Russians Celebrate Baptism of Jesus

    01/19/2016 1:19:33 PM PST · by NRx · 8 replies
    YouTube ^ | 01-21-2013 | Marine1063
    Russians and Ukrainians celebrating the Baptism of Jesus Christ (Theophany in the Orthodox Church). A popular custom includes a triple immersion in ice cold water. They cut giant cross shaped holes in the ice over lakes and rivers allowing those so desiring to take the plunge. Video at the link.
  • Feast of the Theophany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Traditional Calendar)

    01/19/2016 11:01:49 AM PST · by NRx · 1 replies
    OCA ^ | OCA
    Theophany is the Feast which reveals the Most Holy Trinity to the world through the Baptism of the Lord (Mt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). God the Father spoke from Heaven about the Son, the Son was baptized by the St John the Forerunner, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son in the form of a dove. From ancient times this Feast was called the Day of Illumination and the Feast of Lights, since God is Light and has appeared to illumine "those who sat in darkness," and "in the region of the shadow of death" (Mt.4:16), and to save...
  • The Dangers of Parisian Theology (Orthodox Caucus)

    01/19/2016 10:47:21 AM PST · by NRx · 1 replies
    Mystagogy ^ | 01-15-2016 | Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou
    The Dangers of Parisian Theology Orthodox Ecclesiastical Theology By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou When we speak of Parisian theology, we mean that theology which was formed from various Russian theologians that had opposed the reforms of Peter the Great, and which was expressed in the West by Russian slavophile immigrants. The Theological Institute of St. Sergius in Paris cultivated the basic concepts of this theology, because many Russian theologians fled there. It is, of course, known that these Russian theologians had a sense of the Orthodox hesychastic tradition and, observing the humanistic principles of western civilization,...
  • The head of the Russian Orthodox Church claims gay rights partly responsible Daesh (ISIS)

    01/19/2016 10:35:47 AM PST · by NRx · 8 replies
    The Loop ^ | 01-18-2016
    Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has caused controversy by blaming the rise of Daesh--in part--on homosexuality. In an interview published on the church's official website, he claimed that people were flocking to join the group because of the "godless civilization" of the West which celebrates gay pride.He lamented what he apparently considered to be persecution of so-called religious values in the West, before going on to offer that as an explanation as to why one may join a group like Daesh."We can have parades for the sexual minorities - that is supported - but a million...
  • Christian Universalism: Will Everyone Finally Be Saved?

    01/17/2016 5:29:57 PM PST · by NRx · 50 replies
    No Other Foundation ^ | 01-13-2016 | Fr. Lawrence Farley
    When they are in fashion, fads are never recognized as fads. Those under their influence and promoting them feel that they have come across An Important New Truth, or (if Orthodox) An Important But Neglected Part of Our Tradition. Recognizing them as fads or, (worse yet for Orthodox) as deviations from genuine Tradition, would only serve to dismiss them from serious consideration. Thus fads never ’fess up. I suggest that the latest interest in Universalism, the belief that everyone will eventually be saved, is the latest fad (or, if preferred, that it is currently fashionable). Evidence of this may be...
  • Orthodox Priest Complains to German Authorities About Harassment on Christians at Refugee Camps

    01/15/2016 6:59:54 AM PST · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    Pravimir ^ | 1/12/15
    Moscow, January 12, Interfax - Christian refugees are exposed to harassment at the refugee camps in Germany, says Hegumen Daniil (Irbits) superior of the St. George the Victorious Monastery in Gotschendorf, member of the Integration Committee at the German Federal Chancellery."Christian refugees from Syria, Eritrea and other countries are exposed to humiliation, manhunt and brutal harassment at the camps for refugees by Muslim neighbors. This also relates to the Yazidi religious minority. The cases when humiliation comes to injuries and threats of death are frequent," the priest said in a letter to Federal Minister for Special Affairs and Head of...
  • Vatican Newspaper Sees 'Uphill Road' to Pan-Orthodox Council

    01/15/2016 6:54:44 AM PST · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    The heads of the Orthodox churches face several obstacles to consensus before the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church, scheduled to begin on June 19 in Istanbul, according to a report in L'Osservatore Romano. Giovanni Zavata, the article's author, cites the "slowness with which the preparatory works are progressing," "doubts expressed by high Orthodox representatives," "difficulties existing in relations between some churches," and "rising political tension between Russia and Turkey." In the two years since the council was announced, the Orthodox churches have reached consensus on only three of the eight agenda items, Zavada said, and the participation...
  • Books Blog: The Russians Who Found Faith in a Materialist World

    01/09/2016 8:52:57 PM PST · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 12/22/15 | Francis Phillips
    Everyday Saints and Other Stories recounts how a student and his friends turned to religionIn my Catholic Books of the Year blog last week I forgot to mention Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea's long interview in the form of a book: God or Nothing, published by Ignatius. If any reader feels the Church has wandered off course in recent decades, this is the book to read: wise, authoritative, confidently Catholic. As we are now in the Year of Mercy, it is worth pointing out that, for Cardinal Sarah, the mercy of God cannot be separated from conversion; to receive divine...
  • Orthodox priests gather signatures for Constitution amendment against gay marriages

    01/09/2016 8:05:17 AM PST · by NRx · 2 replies
    Romanian Insider ^ | 01-06-2016 | Romanian Insider
    Romania's Orthodox Church wants to change the country's Constitution so as not to allow same-sex marriages. The initiative was first launched by the Metropolitan of Banat Ioan Selejan, at the end of his Christmass mass in Timisoara. Tens of people who went to the Epiphany Day service at the Metropolitan cathedral in Timisoara on January 6 queued to sign for this initiative, according to local media. Several priests from Romania's Iasi county have rallied to this initiative, starting to gather signatures from their parishioners to support the Constitution's amendment. After blessing the houses for the Epiphany Day (a very common...
  • Orthodox Christmas Service From Christ the Savior Cathedral [Ecumenical]

    01/08/2016 7:38:18 AM PST · by NRx · 1 replies
    YouTube ^ | 01-07-2016 | RT
    The full Orthodox Christmas liturgy from Christ the Savior Cathedral with English explanations. The original cathedral was destroyed by Stalin and rebuilt in the 1990's.
  • President al-Sisi Attends Christmas Eve in the Coptic Cathedral [Egypt]

    01/08/2016 6:11:55 AM PST · by marshmallow · 14 replies
    Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took attended the Coptic Christmas Eve mass celebrated by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II at the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral on Wednesday, January 6. At the end of the celebration, the Head of State, also addressed the Patriarch, the clergy and the faithful who were present at the celebration. During his greetings - report local sources - al-Sisi also made reference to the attacks on the churches and Christian communities in Egypt carried out by extremist groups, and apologized for the delay in the repair of churches destroyed during...
  • Merry Christmas! (Traditional Church Calendar)

    01/07/2016 4:38:09 AM PST · by NRx · 9 replies
    Vanity | 01-07-2016 | NRx
    Merry Christmas to everyone! Christ is born! Glorify Him!
  • Charity at Christmas

    01/06/2016 6:24:36 AM PST · by NRx
    As I've mentioned in previous blogs, some of the church fathers saw the giving of charity as a financial transaction which put God in debt to us (see for example my blog: Christmas: Give a Coat, Receive Immortality). No doubt the imagery was used as an incentive to get people to give to charity. The idea was based on interpreting particular passages of the Gospel. Below is a quote from St. John Chrysostom in which he portrays giving your goods to charity as a way to transfer them to heaven. When you arrive in heaven, you will be able...
  • First Greek Orthodox Epiphany Celebration in Izmir [Turkey] Since 1922

    01/06/2016 6:21:38 AM PST · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    Greek Europe Reporter ^ | 1/5/16 | Ioanna Zikakou
    For the first time since the Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922, a Greek Orthodox Epiphany celebration is set to take place in Izmir on January 6, 2016. The Greek Orthodox community has received permission from the Turkish authorities to perform the Diving for the Holy Cross ceremony on the local pier. "For the first year we will be performing the Blessing of the Waters at the port of Izmir. Officially, this is the first year. We had also done it around 10 years ago, but not officially. This time we have received a license from the Turkish government, the Ministry...