July 24, 2014

Orthodox Bishops Speak Out Against HHH Mandate

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Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops - The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which is comprised of the 65 canonical Orthodox bishops in the United States, Canada and Mexico, join their voices with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and all those who adamantly protest the recent decision by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and call upon all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience. In this ruling by HHS, religious hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations will be required to pay for the full cost of contraceptives (including some abortion-inducing drugs) and sterilizations for their employees, regardless of the religious convictions of the employers. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This … [Read more...]

Why is the Orthodox Episcopal Assembly Silent as Religious Liberty Erodes?

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Source: Fr. Peter-Michael Preble Blog (The Church Under Attack) | Fr. Peter-Michael Preble - In the Gospels Jesus warns us that the world will hate us. He is giving us a warning that being a Christian will not be easy and that it will be a fight, every day, for what we believe in. The world is becoming increasingly hostile to the truth of Jesus Christ and I do not see it getting any better. Yesterday I posted an essay on the Huffington Post Religion Page and before my finger was even off the send button the attackers came out. They hate the fact that the church would dare speak out on issues that affect people and their beliefs, one of the more shocking things was that some of those attacking my words were Orthodox! Yes, the Orthodox Church teaches and preaches traditional family values, well it is supposed to anyway, but I fear that many of my brother priests have not done their job. I know our bishops have not done their job as they have been silent these last few years as the … [Read more...]

OCL Laments “Few tangible results” at Episcopal Assembly

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Source: Orthodox Christian Laity I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:16-17, The tone of the meeting was polite. The meeting had the feeling of a classroom. The Professor directed the class, and the students sat quietly and listened. The meeting was organized and tightly controlled. Formal addresses were presented by Archbishop Demetrios (GOA), Metropolitan Philip (AOCA) and Archbishop Justinian (MP). To his credit, Archbishop Demetrios suggested that lay involvement in committees is essential and should be increased. The committees need to make use of the talents of the laity. Metropolitan Philip lamented that we are still disunited. Orthodoxy in North America cannot live with this disunity. He lamented the continued loss of youth. The students/Bishops did not receive written committee reports in advance. … [Read more...]

Letter from William Souvall, OCL President, to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Christian Bishops

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A letter from Orthodox Christian Laity president William Souvall. Highlights: ...The need for thorough committee work is understood, but it should not delay palpable unity-related activities which can be undertaken immediately: such as increased and highly visible Pan-Orthodox worship services throughout America. With few exceptions, the Orthodox presently worship together only on the Sunday of Orthodoxy when attendance is often disappointingly low. In some regions, even this minimal activity has either been neglected or discouraged. Is it not fair to ask why Pan-Orthodox activities and initiatives at almost every level rank so low in priority? This example is cited to demonstrate that such activities need not wait for the formal committee work which the Assembly is laboring to commence. [...] ...Unless the Church’s leadership vocally, visibly, and urgently insists that unity matters, this present woeful situation will persist. We suggest that the Assembly address this … [Read more...]

Fr. Mark Arey Discusses Episcopal Assembly Updates [AUDIO]

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HT: Byzantine, TX Fr. Mark Arey discusses events related to the Assembly of Canonical Bishops in North America. He also discusses the recent pan-Orthodox Chambésy meeting and what disagreements were aired there (e.g. authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, process of gaining autocephaly, order of the diptychs, etc.). Listen here: … [Read more...]

Harry Coin: Wag the Dog

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By Harry Coin How much grand significance and control is due the old world churches? Consider these few arial photography offerings by the BCC offering a unique perspective by superimposing the old world places aiming to direct the future of Orthodoxy ...onto .... well ... see for yourself (link opens new tab): Rome's boundaries laid over Duluth, Minnesota: How big really? Rome over Duluth, Minnesota Constantinople's boundaries laid over Bettendorf, Iowa: How big really? Constantinople over Bettendorf, Iowa Alexandria's boundaries laid over Dallas, Texas. Well, if putting one blanket on the beach can be called 'laid over': How big really? Alexandria over Dallas, Texas Seriously people. Foreign controlled churches or 'episcopal assemblies'? Doing that will lead to our growth, why? The mayor of Minneapolis has more people to oversee than the above ever had in a good century-- combined. Wakey Wakey, as they say in England. … [Read more...]

The Episcopal Assembly: Hopes and Realities

HT: St. Andrews Orthodox Forum By Fr. John Erickson Orthodox Christian Laity Annual Meeting Salt Lake City, Utah October 15-16, 2010 In June 2009 representatives of the fourteen universally recognized Orthodox churches gathered at the Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, near Geneva, Switzerland. This Fourth Preconciliar Commission meeting issued an official decision concerning the so-called diaspora, which - among other things - affirmed the churches’ desire “to resolve the problem of the diaspora as quickly as possible... in accordance with Orthodox ecclesiology and the canonical tradition and practice of the Orthodox Church.” The decision deemed “an immediate transition to the strictly canonical order” impossible “for historical and pastoral reasons.” Instead, to “prepare the ground for a strictly canonical solution of the problem,” it mandated the creation of Episcopal Assemblies in various regions of the diaspora. As a supplement to this decision, the … [Read more...]

The Episcopal Assembly has a website…

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...and a new logo too. See Episcopal Assembly. But more interesting is this news from the Orthodox Christian Fellowship of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. On the occasion of the Episcopal Assembly of all canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania and Asia, which will take place in Sydney from 16th-18th October 2010, there will be on Sunday 17th october 2010, from 7:30 am in the Cathedral of the Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, Redfern, a concelebration of the Divine Liturgy, presided by His Eminences Hierarchs Paul of the Antiochian Church, Agapit of the Russian, Irinej of the Serbian, Michael of the Romanian, Their Eminences Metropolitans Amphilochios of New Zealand, Ambrosios of Korea, Nectarios of Hong Kong, and Their Graces Assistant Bishops Ezekiel of Dervis, Seraphim of Apollonias and Nikandros of Dorylaion, assisted by Priests of all jurisdictions. … [Read more...]

Maybe I’m Just Too American For This Orthodox Church

By Protodeacon Eric Wheeler | HT: OCANews I firmly believe that America offers the potential for the Orthodox Faith to flourish and grow like in no other land or culture. Unfortunately, at times, we cannot free ourselves from the “old world” mentality which mires us in our “ancient” faith. Consequently, it makes it difficult for Americans to even attempt to understand the fundamentals of our Faith. As the first historic Episcopal Assembly ends, and I read the message delivered at its conclusion, I cannot help but feel that we are attempting to fix our American jurisdictional problem with an “old world” mentality solution. Consequently, it makes it difficult for this American to understand why we are being so Byzantine in seeking a plan for Orthodox unity in America. … [Read more...]

Mattingly: The Orthodox question for 2010

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By TERRY MATTINGLY - Scripps Howard News Service | tmatt.net The first Orthodox missionaries to reach Alaska traveled with the early Russian explorers and, in 1794, a party of monks established the Orthodox Christian Mission to America. [...] "Before the 1920s, there was only one jurisdiction in North America -- that of the Russian Orthodox Church, which, as we know, was open to ... the widest variety of ethnic communities," said Archbishop Justinian of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, during last week's Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs in North and Central America. "Much has changed since that time. The tumultuous events of the 20th century forced many citizens of traditionally Orthodox countries to leave their native homes and seek refuge in other countries, which led to the rise of large ethnic Orthodox communities beyond the boundaries of corresponding local churches." But the key to conditions today, he stressed, is the fact that an … [Read more...]

It is time to finish what began at Ligonier!

By St. Andrew House, Center for Orthodox Christian Studies www.standrewhouse.com Board of Directors: Steve Lionas, Dean Calvert, Myke Jacobs, Warren David Visit the St. Andrew House "Orthodox Episcopal Assembly" on Facebook Sixteen years ago the bishops of the various jurisdictions of the Orthodox Churches in America met in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, to map out the road to a unified American Orthodox Church. Call it the “Ligonier Council” -- the First Council of Orthodox Bishops in America. The air was electric. Called by the two towering leaders of Orthodoxy in America -- Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Church (GOA) and Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Church (AOCA) and courageously supported by representatives of Romanian, Serbian and Bulgarian jurisdictions, the bishops resolved to tackle head-on the vexing problems of Orthodox jurisdictional disunity in America. The Church in America had turned a corner. It was not to last. The news upset many of the Old … [Read more...]

EP: We haven’t omitted Polish hierarchs on purpose

H/T: Orthodox Beacon In a response to the information about the omission of the hierarchy of the Brazilian diocese of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church to the Episcopal Assembly of the Orthodox Bishops of South America, chancery of metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico stated that it was not intentional. Father Peter DiLeo-Vulic explained that this was caused by a lack of accurate information about the Polish Orthodox diocese in Brazil. Father DiLeo-Vulic stressed that metropolitan Athenagoras, who was responsible for organizing the meeting, made every effort to ensure that all the bishops from South America learned about the meeting. He added that this situation highlights the need for these meetings, because the coexistence in the same territory of a dozen noncanonical and canonical Orthodox jurisdiction causes such a confusion. Source: cerkiew.pl … [Read more...]