July 27, 2014

Report: 20 Orthodox bishops apply for Turkish citizenship

Writing for AsiaNews.it, Nat da Polis in Istanbul reveals "very important" news: At the suggestion of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, there is the possibility of granting citizenship to the metropolitans of the Turkish Diaspora. This fact satisfies the ecumenical will of Bartholomew and unlocks the door to the possibility that in future a bishop who now resides outside of Turkey may be elected Ecumenical Patriarch. According to current rules, only those who have Turkish citizenship have the right to be elected to the patriarchal throne. Until now 20 metropolitans of the Diaspora have already applied for Turkish citizenship. In the eventual granting of Turkish citizenship to metropolitans of the Diaspora diplomatic circles see the first proof of the sincere will of the Erdogan government to be open to minorities. In fact, it must also be remembered that in mid-December the European Union will examine progress made by Ankara in its march towards Europe. da Polis actually filed … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict’s message to Albanian Orthodox

Abp. Anastasios

From Zenit: Christ's Saving Message Has Borne Fruit in Your Country VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2009 -- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today upon receiving in audience Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania, who is the head of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. * * * Your Beatitude, "Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess 1:2). I am pleased to extend a fraternal welcome to Your Beatitude and to the other distinguished representatives of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania accompanying you today. I recall with gratitude, in spite of the sad circumstances, our meeting at the funeral of the late Pope John Paul II. I also remember with satisfaction how my same venerable Predecessor had the occasion to greet you in Tirana during his Apostolic Visit to Albania. As is well known, Illyricum received the Gospel in Apostolic times (cf. Acts 17:1; Rom 15:19). Since then, Christ’s saving message … [Read more...]

Engelhardt on the Manhattan Declaration

H. Tristam Engelhardt

In a new column, published in the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times, Terry Mattingly talks to H. Tristram Engelhardt about the Manhattan Declaration. Englehardt is the author of "The Foundations of Bioethics" (M & M Scrivener Press, 2000). While nothing in the Manhattan Declaration is truly new, arguments about its call for civil disobedience will help draw sharper lines between traditional believers and the powers that be in an increasingly diverse and secular America, said H. Tristram Engelhardt, senior editor of the Christian Bioethics journal at Oxford University. “This document is the product of a political coalition, but it’s not political in the same sense that the tax code is political,” said Engelhardt, who is advising several Eastern Orthodox leaders who are studying the text. “This is political in the sense that these Christians are working together on certain issues that have moral and public implications.” The reality is that its authors believe there are “certain … [Read more...]

Kremlin, Vatican upgrade diplomatic ties

Kremlin

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed Thursday to upgrade Vatican-Kremlin relations to full diplomatic ties, the Vatican said. The step forward on the diplomatic front comes at the same time as a warming in previously tense relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican. A Vatican statement said Benedict and Medvedev agreed that Russia will upgrade its representation at the Vatican from a special mission to embassy level and that the Vatican will reciprocate in Moscow. The two men also discussed challenges to "security and peace" in the world and "themes of mutual interest such as the value of the family and the contribution of believers to the life of Russia," the Vatican said. More >>> … [Read more...]

Robert P. George on the Manhattan Declaration

Robert P. George

Princeton professor Robert P. George, one of the drafters of the Manhattan Declaration, is interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez on National Review Online. LOPEZ: Why just Christians? GEORGE: For too long, the historic traditions of Catholicism, Evangelical Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy have failed to speak formally with a united voice, despite their deep agreement on fundamental questions of morality, justice, and the common good. The Manhattan Declaration provided leaders of these traditions with an opportunity to rectify that. It is gratifying that they were willing — indeed eager — to seize that opportunity. Of course, as Cardinal Justin Rigali observed at the press conference at which the Declaration was released, the foundational principles it defends “are not the unique preserve of any particular Christian community or of the Christian tradition as a whole. . . . They are principles that can be known and honored by men and women of goodwill even apart from divine … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew greets Vatican delegation at the Phanar

Pat. Bartholomew and Card. Kasper

From the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle: Istanbul, Turkey 11/30/2009 His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed a Vatican delegation representing Pope Benedict XVI at the Thronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on November 30, 2009. The delegation, led by Cardinal Walter Kasper also delivered greetings to His All Holiness on behalf of Pope Benedict. The Ecumenical Patriarch's greeting on the feast of St. Andrew the First Called follows: Your Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, representative of His Holiness the Pope and Bishop of Rome, Benedict XVI, and your honorable entourage, It is with great joy that we welcome you once again to the courtyard of the Church of New Rome in order to concelebrate the sacred memory of its founder and protector Saint Andrew the First-Called of the Apostles. We express our heartfelt gratitude to our beloved brother in the Lord, His Holiness Pope Benedict of Old Rome, who deigned to delegate his representatives to the … [Read more...]

Benedict to Bartholomew: Unity through truth and charity, not power

Pope Benedict and Pat. Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received a message today from Pope Benedict XVI at the Phanar on the occasion of the Feastday of St. Andrew the Apostle. The pope's message was delivered by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. From AsiaNews.it: Following an old tradition dating back to Pope Paul VI, the two Churches send delegations to celebrate their respective patron saints, an Orthodox delegation coming to Rome on the Feast Day of SS Peter and Paul (29 June), and a Vatican delegation travelling to the Phanar for the Feast Day of Saint Andrew (30 November). Led by Card Walter Kasper, the Vatican delegation took part in the Divine Liturgy celebrated this morning in the Phanar by Bartholomew. At the end Cardinal Kasper, who chairs the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, handed the patriarch the papal message. The theological dialogue … [Read more...]

Bishop Thomas on the Manhattan Declaration

Bishop Thomas of Charleston (AOA)

Thomas, Bishop of Charleston/Oakland and Assistant to Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, posted an informational item on the Manhattan Declaration and included links to educational resources on the sanctity of life and marriage. Bishop Thomas encouraged his flock to share his message with parishioners in the diocese. Key paragraphs: 1. With regard to abortion, the Orthodox Church forbids it. We do everything we can to align ourselves with the mind and teachings of the Church. 2. With regard to marriage, we obviously only bless marriages between one man and one woman. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Having said this, it is also important for us to understand that the union between a man and a woman should exist within the Mystery of Holy Matrimony. 3. The Scripture clearly forbids homosexuality. It is not necessary for me to direct you … [Read more...]

Fr. Symeon on the Manhattan Declaration

(HT: ONet) On the one hand there are those who find it [the Manhattan Declaration] “shocking” and part of the culture war, etc. These are frightened that the document will be perceived as harsh and unloving, etc.. God forbid that anyone Christian ever stand in public for Truth. And on the other hand those that are relieved to see an Orthodox Pastor with backbone to stand with others and speak truth to error, truth to power, and truth to the politically correct stricture in our society that is choking free speech and seeking to criminalize Truth. – If this much sets you off, don’t bother to read further. My Bishop, fifth generation Orthodox priest, survived the Holodomor, the systematic starvation of between 10 and 20 million people mostly Christians in Ukraine by the communist in 1932 and 33. His father was forbidden to celebrate divine liturgy – all Christian worship was forbidden. He celebrated liturgy anyway and at the end of the service the local commissar showed up and … [Read more...]

Why he signed the Manhattan Declaration

albert-mohler

R. Albert Mohler Jr, the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes on his blog that he is not usually "inclined to sign manifestos or petitions." Because he is not reluctant to speak out on matters of faith and on public square issues, he is not usually "impressed" with public statements such as the Manhattan Declaration. Nor did he, as one with a deep antipathy to Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, sign because the declaration was an attempt "to establish common ground on vast theological terrain." Yet Mohler made an exception for the Manhattan Declaration. Here's why: There are several reasons, but they all come down to this -- I believe we are facing an inevitable and culture-determining decision on the three issues centrally identified in this statement. I also believe that we will experience a significant loss of Christian churches, denominations, and institutions in this process. There is every good reason to believe that the freedom to … [Read more...]

The question of European identity

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow

From Pat. Kirill's message to the Conference on the Identity of Values for Europe held on November 19-10, 2009, in Venice. The further existence and fruitful development of the European project depends on a clear answer to the question of the European identity. It is necessary to understand what exactly constitutes the backbone and uniting principle for the numerous peoples living in the continent. Only in this way it is possible to overcome their cultural differences and to inspire them for building a common space of mutual trust and aid. Christianity has formed Europe’s values basis and idea. Outside the Christian tradition it is impossible to become aware of the inner contents and driving mechanism of the development of this region and the cultural code of the ethnoses inhabiting it. Therefore, in future, too, every stage in the building of our common home cannot be reached without reliance on the Christian witness. Europe’s Christian identity is an immutable given which … [Read more...]

Kasper: Anglicans not Uniates

Sandro Magister offers analysis of an interview with Cardinal Kasper in "L'Osservatore Romano" on November 15 in which the cardinal discusses Anglicans heading to Rome and the reaction of the Orthodox. In Cyprus, the news that the Catholic Church is ready to incorporate groups coming from Anglicanism also put the Orthodox on alert. Their fear is that a "Uniate" Church of the Anglican rite will be established and added to the "Uniate" Churches of the various Eastern rites: these are Churches obedient to the pope of Rome but in everything else the equals and rivals of the Orthodox. [ ... ] "In Cyprus, in order to avoid misunderstandings, I immediately told our Orthodox counterparts that this is not a matter of proselytism or a new Uniatism. [...] Uniatism is an historical phenomenon involving the Eastern Churches, while the Anglicans are from the Latin tradition. The Balamand document of 1993 is still valid, according to which this is a phenomenon of the past that took place in … [Read more...]