July 23, 2014

Alaskan Diocesan Assembly passes resolution on the environment

H/T: Orrologion ANCHORAGE, AK [Diocese of Alaska/ October 21, 2009] -- The Orthodox Diocese of Alaska, meeting at its annual Assembly at Saomt Innocent Cathedral here, passed a unanimous resolution today, calling on state and federal agencies to deny permits to any "commercial or economic project" that threatens to damage or pollute the natural environment. The basis for the Church's opposition to any "development" derives from a spiritual and theological concern, rather than political considerations. The resolution first cites the traditional reverential attitude Alaska Native peoples have always had toward their environment, and then lists the Biblical sources for the belief that God blessed the world at the time of creation and that, despite human greed, waste and sin, He now is renewing it, restoring it, blessing and sanctifying it. Central to the Church's declaration is its affirmation that for over 200 years, parishes along the lakes and rivers have been performing … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch: “… absolute limits to our survival are being reached”

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His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew lost no time ringing the alarmist bell as he officially opened the symposium, “Restoring Balance: The Great Mississippi River” today. He said that, “we have reached a defining moment in our history … the point where absolute limits to our survival are being reached ... instead of living on income, or the available surplus of the earth, we are consuming environmental capital and destroying its resources as if there is no tomorrow.” (Full text below.) Really? No one disputes that we have a responsibility towards the environment and the EP has garnered justifiable praise for leadership in environmental stewardship. Yet His All Holiness increasingly approaches environmental care using the playbook of Progressive environmental activism. The alarmist tone is one example. So are the ostensible "facts" justifying the alarm: We have lost half of the great forests of the world to the demand for timber and for conversion to … [Read more...]

The Ecupatriarch on Twitter

Yes, the Ecupatriarch (ugh). The rebranding continues. Follow his tweets here. Live feed to the conference here. Here are a couple paragraphs from the patriarch's opening address yesterday. This is the sort of thing you get from a mediocre political speech: lots of significant-sounding phraseology, appeals to our higher nature, even our spiritual longings, but in the end you're left asking: Where is he going with this? We're all responsible for the "future of the planet"? What? By criticizing the wealthy West, again, and denigrating technology, we know there is an agenda here but, outside of the previous endorsement of the UN's climate change plan, it is only hinted at. Whoever is writing this stuff for the patriarch should be caned. Preferably with one of those bishop's canes with the heavy silver knob on the end of it. Having struggled for centuries to escape from the tyranny of hunger, disease, and want, the technological advances of the last half century have … [Read more...]

The Green Patriarch has landed

A Patriotic Welcome

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrives at New Orleans' Louis Armstrong Airport on October 20, 2009. He's here for the RSE Symposium on the Mississippi. (HT on the video to Byzantine, TX) [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ6D80H-HTU[/youtube] … [Read more...]

Thinking about the bulletin insert on the Green Patriarch’s visit…

Pardon my skepticism but does anyone else find the effusive praise in the handout to Greek Orthodox parishioners last Sunday overbearing? The author tries so hard to convince us of Patriarch Bartholomew’s stratospheric virtues that the entire piece has an “Our Dear Leader” feel to it. It reads, I am sad to say, like propaganda. Strong words? Yes, but only because the endless strings of ebullient praise muddles other very important points. While Pat. Bartholomew’s stand on the protection of the environment should be applauded, and while he has done much to raise awareness that environmental care is an issue to which Christians can contribute, it does not follow that all of his actions surrounding “creation care” (as some of the participants in the Mississippi River Symposium refer to it) are sound. For example, as part of Pat. Bartholomew’s environmental program in the United States later this month, he plans a visit to Georgetown University to deliver a talk co-sponsored by … [Read more...]

Green Patriach ‘continues his witness to the unity of Orthodox Christians’

From the bulletin insert provide by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for the Green Patriarch's visit to the United State later this month: His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew ascended to the Apostolic and First Throne of the Orthodox Christian World on November 2, 1991. Since becoming the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, he has engaged all Orthodox Christians and the world’s diverse religious communities, policy makers and cultural leaders, with his message of peace, reconciliation, restoration, and renewed hope. As the Ecumenical Patriarch, a purely spiritual leader, he transcends national, cultural and ethnic divisions. For the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians, he is the convener and visible sign of unity of the worldwide Orthodox Christian Church. In his role as Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew serves as a global peacemaker and bridge builder, a tireless advocate of religious freedom and tolerance, and a … [Read more...]

Archbishop Puhalo: ‘No angry God’

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

"Archbishop Lazar Puhalo believes in compassion," begins the article in the Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine. Reporter Lindsay Tice caught up with the archbishop at a talk he gave yesterday to students at University of Southern Maine's Lewiston-Auburn College. (HT: OBL News) Dressed in black robes and sporting a long white and gray beard, Puhalo spoke to students over a potluck lunch held in the college's second-floor lounge. Encouraged by questions, he jumped from topic to topic, covering in two-and-a-half hours: same-sex marriage, universal health care, women's rights, religious fundamentalism, politics, an individual's impact on society, ecology, suffering, compassion, fear, hatred, faith, hope and love. "There is no hand of an angry God. There is no angry God," he said, adding, "If God's so full of hate, what's he got to teach us?" Puhalo lambasted what he sees as Christian hypocrisy and bigotry, saying too many religious people moralize and judge while too few help … [Read more...]

Table for one?

Over at Ad Orientem, John wonders about the Green Patriarch's pending trip (HT: George M.) By my count H.A.H.'s itinerary includes... 6 liturgical functions + 1 prayer service at the UN 8 functions at which he will be honored or given some form of award 3 excursions that appear to be mainly sight seeing 2 functions where he will be speaking but do not appear to be aimed at honoring the EP and... 24 dinners, or private receptions in his honor with VIPs (excluding private meetings with Orthodox clergy). Many of these dinners and receptions will be taking place in 5 star establishments such as the Waldorf Astoria where H.A.H will be staying for much of his visit. I am very glad to see that His All Holiness will be fed decently during his visit. Still I wonder... … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Unity in God’s Time

From "Unity as Calling, Conversion and Mission," the opening address of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Plenary of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order event, "Called to be One Church" (Crete, Greece, October 7, 2009): We should not be frustrated by our human limitations, which unfortunately determine our disagreements and divisions. Our ongoing and persistent pursuit of unity is a testimony to the fact that what we seek will occur in God’s time and not our own; it is, by the same token, the fruit of heavenly grace and divine kairos. [ ... ] ... genuine humility demands from all of us a sense of openness to the past and the future; in other words, much like the ancient god Janus, we are called to manifest respect for the time-tested ways of the past and regard for the heavenly city that we seek (cf. Heb. 13.14). This “turning” toward the past and the future is surely part and parcel of conversion. [ ... ] ... it is … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch on YouTube

Clips from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's various environmental symposia are now on YouTube. This first video is from the patriarch's address in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1997 which, the accompanying text says, "was the first time any religious leader had ever called harming the environment a sin." The second video is from former Vice President Al Gore's welcome in Washington during the same 1997 visit. See more videos here. … [Read more...]

WWF: ‘Green Patriarch’ backs strong Copenhagen agreement

Bartholomew I

From the WWF (formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund): Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, nicknamed the ‘Green Patriarch’ for his longtime support of environmental issues, is calling on political leaders participating in climate change talks this week in Bangkok to agree on strong and fair measures to mitigate climate change in advance of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December. Bartholomew is among a growing number of religious leaders from various denominations weaving environmental awareness into their teachings and activities. Last year, more than 400 mosques in Malaysia held sermons focused on turtle conservation issues to discuss the need for better wildlife protection in that country ... Demetres Karavellas, CEO of WWF-Greece welcomed the Patriarch's statement, saying: “The call for strong political commitment against climate change by the leading Primate of the Orthodox Church is a very clear message. It is time for world leaders to … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch backs UN climate change framework

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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I weighs in on the Bangkok Climate Change conference where delegates were greeted with “stern pep talks": Istanbul, Turkey, 9/28/2009 In view of the international negotiations on climate change commencing in Bangkok, Thailand, and only two months before the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, we urge the international community to undertake courageous commitments for the prevention of the most severe consequences of global warming. The accomplishment of a good agreement within the framework of the international negotiations in Copenhagen does not solely constitute a moral imperative for the conservation of God's creation. It is also a route for economic and social sustainability. Taking action against climate change should not be understood as a financial burden, but as an important opportunity for a healthier planet, to the benefit of all humanity and particularly of those states whose economic development is … [Read more...]