August 20, 2014

Obama and Moral Imagination

Newly elected President Obama, writes John Couretas, Executive Director of AOI in his essay "Obama and the Moral Imagination" frequently makes use of the phrase "common story." This phrase "may sound strange to the ears. But it is impossible to understand the new president unless his brilliant use of narrative is first grasped," Couretas says. It's a page taken from the Reagan playbook and masterfully executed. Couretas writes: Reagan biographer Lou Cannon told the Chicago Tribune last year that Obama has "a narrative reach" and a talent for story telling that reminds him of the late president. Reagan "made other people a part of his own narrative, and that's what Obama is doing," Cannon said. "By doing it, it expands his reach because he isn't necessarily just another partisan Democrat." … [Read more...]

Spiritual counsel from St. John Maximovitch

The Blessed Archbishop John Maximovitch, striving to awaken his flock to a more conscious participation in the Church, published the following appeal in his weekly diocesan bulletin (Shanghai, November 24, 1941, no. 503): Perhaps it will happen that you will die without having once in your life read in full the Psalter of David... You will die, and only then will good people read over your lifeless body this holy Psalter, which you had no time even, to open while you lived on earth! Only then, at your burial, will they sing over you the wondrously instructive, sweetly-wise-but alas, to you completely unknown-words of David: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord... Blessed are they who search His testimonies. who keep His revelations, and seek Him with their whole heart." Do you hear: "Blessed are they who search His testimonies, seek out the revelations of the Lord;" and you had no time even to think of them! What will your poor soul feel then, your … [Read more...]

Culture Wars: Fr. Jacobse on Ancient Faith Radio

Kevin Allen, host of Ancient Faith Radio's Illumined Heart program, interviews AOI President Fr. Hans Jacobse for a fascinating discussion on "The Culture War and Orthodox Christianity." Fr. Hans talks about the need for Eastern Orthodox Christians to engage in the moral and social debates -- call them Culture Wars if you will -- that are being waged in American society today. In this 35 minute program, Allen also asks Fr. Hans about the recent discussion on this blog about whether "Religious Right" leaning ex-Evangelical converts are taking over the Orthodox churches in America. Allen asked Fr. Hans if he thought the Culture Wars might be a lost cause, given what we see in society today. Fr. Hans said the battles over moral issues will be difficult, with uncertain outcomes. But he reminded Allen that our faithfulness will determine the shape of tomorrow. "If it be God's will that the world be saved -- and it is -- I think there's a chance we can turn this around," Fr. Hans … [Read more...]

Maddex to lead Conciliar Media Ministries

John Maddex

Congratulations to John Maddex, the guiding light at Ancient Faith Radio, who was named president and chief executive officer of Conciliar Media Ministries. Maddex assumes responsibility for Conciliar Press, Conciliar's publishing company, while continuing to serve as general manager of Ancient Faith Radio, Conciliar's online radio and podcast ministry. Conciliar is the publishing and online media organization of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Maddex succeeds the Rev. Thomas Zell, who will continue as vice president of Conciliar Press and editor in chief of AGAIN magazine. He also serves as parish priest at St. James Antiochian Orthodox Church, Modesto, Calif. … [Read more...]

Fr. Neuhaus’ review of ‘The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right’

The Wall Street Journal this week published the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus' review of "The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right" by Jon Shields. In the review, Fr. Neuhaus gives Shields, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College, high marks for "an excruciatingly careful study, studded with the expected graphs and statistical data—but not to the point of spoiling its readability—in the service of probing the curious permutations in contemporary political alignments." The book is scheduled for release on Feb. 19. The pro-life movement is a movement for change, indeed for what some view as the radical change of eliminating the unlimited abortion license. "Meanwhile," writes Shields, "the pro-choice movement is a conservative movement defending the status quo. Pro-choicers have little to gain from engaging their opponents and from the deliberative norms that facilitate persuasion." And, of course, they have the establishment media massively on their side. The head … [Read more...]

Orthodox Church of America at March for Life

March for Life, 2008

SYOSSET, NY (OCA Communications) - On Thursday, January 22, 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah will join Orthodox Christian clergy and faithful from across America for the 36th annual March for Life in Washington, DC. On the evening of Wednesday, January 21, 2008, Metropolitan Jonah will celebrate Vespers at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC, at 7:00 PM. The following day, he will take part in the March and will be one of the first religious leaders to give a message at the rally on Capitol Hill. That evening, Metropolitan Jonah will give the invocation at the March for Life's annual Rose Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Washington. … [Read more...]

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus — May his memory be eternal

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

Roman Catholic priest Fr. Richard John Neuhas died yesterday after a protracted battle with cancer. Anyone familiar with Christianity in the public square will recognize Fr. Neuhaus as one of the first to sound the alarm that a public square stripped of religious values would lead to a culture stripped of benevolent morality. In his seminal work "The Naked Public Square," Fr. Neuhaus argued that "moral neutrality" was anything but neutral and would lead to a society in which moral universals would be overthrown in favor or utilitarian interests. What did he mean by this? He meant that once religion has been relegated to a private interest (you believe what you want to believe, I will believe what I want to believe, it really doesn't matter), the universals by which men govern themselves would erode, and society would becomes susceptible to, and finally shape itself around, an ethic drawn from the decisions of elites. The pressure on Christians to privatize their faith Neuhaus … [Read more...]

Reception of 30 converts from the Episcopalian Church into the Orthodox Church

30 former Charismatic Episcopal Church members and others are received into the Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday (2008). [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4_yEagBxGw[/youtube] In addition you can see the new building and renovations that took place during Lent to accommodate the new members.  St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church, San Juan Capistrano, California. … [Read more...]

Disarray, Disunity and the Metropolitans

AOI has published an article by George C Michalopulos titled "The Role of Metropolitan and Its Relationship within the Episcopate: A Reappraisal." This original work looks at the historical antecedents of the office of the Metropolitan from early Christianity to today. Along the way, we discover that although the office arose out of the episkopos (overseer) in the first centuries and lasted a millennium, the fall of Constantinople and the Ottoman oppression changed that early practice. The Patriarch and his bishops, while still holding some authority over the Orthodox Christians under the Ottomans, lost their episcopal sees and the office took on bureaucratic functions along with the petty intrigues, corruptions, and loss of prestige that followed the historic catastrophe. We've inherited that model today, Michalopulos argues, and it explains in some measure why the American Orthodox are afflicted with jurisdictional confusion. He also suggests how the episcopal hierarchy might … [Read more...]

Theophany of Our Lord

The Theophany

From the OCA site: Troparion - Tone 1 When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan The worship of the Trinity was made manifest For the voice of the Father bore witness to You And called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, Confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself And have enlightened the world, glory to You! Kontakion - Tone 4 Today You have shown forth to the world, O Lord, and the light of Your countenance has been marked on us. Knowing You, we sing Your praises. You have come and revealed Yourself, O unapproachable Light. Christmas Message of the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad to the Archpastors, Pastors, Monastics and All Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church: Beloved in the Lord my brethren archpastors, honourable presbyters, pious deacons, God-loving monks and nuns and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church. … [Read more...]

A clear exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

... and a view into anchorite monasticism from a Romanian hermit.   HT: Visibilium. … [Read more...]

The Nativity of Our Lord — 2008

The Nativity of Our Lord

Now then I pray you accept His Conception, and leap before Him; if not like John from the womb, yet like David, because of the resting of the Ark. Revere the enrolment on account of which thou wast written in heaven, and adore the Birth by which thou wast loosed from the chains of thy birth, and honour little Bethlehem, which hath led thee back to Paradise; and worship the manger through which thou, being without sense, wast fed by the Word. Know as Isaiah bids thee, thine Owner, like the ox, and like the ass thy Master’s crib; if thou be one of those who are pure and lawful food, and who chew the cud of the word and are fit for sacrifice. Or if thou art one of those who are as yet unclean and uneatable and unfit for sacrifice, and of the gentile portion, run with the Star, and bear thy Gifts with the Magi, gold and frankincense and myrrh as to a King, and to God, and to One Who is dead for thee. With Shepherds glorify Him with Angels join in chorus; with Archangels sing hymns. Let … [Read more...]