July 28, 2014

Patriarch Kirill shakes up Russian Orthodox hierarchy; Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev to head External Relations

A report in Georgian Daily by Paul A. Goble details a number of new appointments and transfers put in motion by Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Goble says that "Russian commentators agree" that the patriarch intends to use his position to promote a more public and more active approach at home and abroad. But, citing a report by Aleksandr Soldatov on the Russian language Portal-Credo site, Goble says there are also signs of preparations for a major council. At the direction of Kirill, the Holy Synod created a “still mysterious” commission for the preparation of materials in anticipation of an as yet undefined and unscheduled church council or “sobor" and named Archmonk Saava, who is particularly close to the new patriarch as its secretary. This group, which Kirill apparently will chair could prove to be only a place holder for housekeeping functions or it could – and Soldatov suggests that Kirill’s own personality makes this more likely – a staging … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah calls for ‘internal reformation’

Ecumenical News Service interviewed Metropolitan Jonah, who called for better administration and more accountability in Church governance in light of the recent financial scandals in the Orthodox Church in America. The interview was republished by UK church news service Ekklesia. ... Jonah said, "There is a lot of 'internal reformation' that has to take place in the church." He noted that the church needs to put into place systems of administration and accountability that will put it on par with "a 21st century, U.S. non-profit" organization. Other goals include making the OCA a far more visible presence within the United States, though more vigorous missionary work. Jonah notes that already 60 percent of some one million OCA laity, 70 percent of its clergy and 90 percent of its bishops are, like Jonah, converts from other denominational traditions. Jonah also wants to promote Orthodoxy unity within the United States and for U.S. Orthodox churches to explore the creation … [Read more...]