April 24, 2014

65 Orthodox Church Bishops Call on Obama to ‘Rescind’ the ‘Unjust’ Contraception Mandate

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Source: LifeSite News NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church have asked President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to repeal the mandate that religious institutions provide birth control, sterilization, and Plan B abortion drugs in their health care coverage. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America – which represents 12 Orthodox jurisdictions and three million Orthodox Christians in the United States – issued a press release last Thursday calling the HHS ruling a violation of religious conscience. “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion,” the statement says. “This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for ‘contraceptive services’ including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their … [Read more...]

Orthodox Bishops Assembly Silent on Moral Issues

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By John Couretas - At an October 1970 meeting of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the Americas (SCOBA), which was called to discuss the burning question of an independent American Church, the presiding conference chair Archbishop Iakovos got fed up and quit. Official letters raising the subject of independence had been sent to the “mother Churches” in Constantinople, Bucharest, Belgrade, Athens and other Orthodox “centers” pointing for the need to do something about the chaotic “situation of Orthodoxy in America.” Only three replies came back. To the Greek Orthodox Iakovos, this was proof that no one took SCOBA seriously and, for that matter, the American Orthodox. The archbishop resigned from SCOBA in disgust, saying that he had no desire to be the head of a “dead body.” According to a contemporary account, the official minutes of the meeting were forged to cover up what would turn out to be a temporary … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Church delegation led by Metropolitan Hilarion takes part in the session of Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission

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One thing that caught my eye was the last sentence which reads, "The Commission...is to consider the contents of the Tomos on Autocephaly and the manner of its signing..." Which Tomos? The OCA? If so, what does this mean? Source: Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church On 22 February 2011, the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission, convened to consider the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council, began its work at the Orthodox Centre of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Chambesy, Switzerland. The last session took place in December 2009. The results of the Commission’s work should be submitted to the 5th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference. The time of its convening will be fixed after the preparatory work is completed. The Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conferences were held in 1976, 1982, 1986 and 2009. The session is chaired by Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Patriarchate of Constantinople. The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Led … [Read more...]

Secretariat of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops Convenes First Meeting

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We Orthodox, given our penchant for talking, might take heart at this statement in the report below: "The question of communications was also discussed. Those present acknowledged the fact that the Orthodox faith is not well-known to the media and public, and that heretofore has been largely unable to speak with a unified voice. It was asked, if Orthodox Christians neglect to address important issues in society, how can they be upset when their political leaders do the same." On the other hand, here is another opportunity squandered. The March for Life is in a few days, and the Episcopal Assembly could have (and should have) released a statement affirming the sanctity of human life. Gaining recognition isn't all that difficult. Just do your job. It's that simple. Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops | HT: Byzantine TX On Jan 12-13, 2011, the members of the Secretariat of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America met in … [Read more...]

The Episcopal Assembly, the OCA, and the future Orthodox Church of the USA

By Fr. Thomas Hopko It’s not clear what is now happening for the establishment of an autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States made up of the member churches of the former SCOBA. These are my questions: What concrete steps are now being taken to establish an autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States that would be recognized as a “sister church” by all the autocephalous Orthodox churches in the world? What can Orthodox Christians in North America and around the world expect the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria to do with their North American “jurisdictions” to establish this self-governing Orthodox Church of the USA? How will the future Orthodox Church of the USA relate to the dioceses and parishes in Canada and south of the US border that are now in North American “jurisdictions”? And why should there be any problems regarding the OCA and its place in the US Episcopal Assembly and in the future Orthodox … [Read more...]

Episcopal Assembly Executive Board at Holy Patriarchate of Constantinople

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Source: St. Andrew House Forum "Meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had Tuesday afternoon members of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of America Hierarchs led by Archbishop Demetrios of America, chairman of Synelefeseos. The meeting was attended by Vice President of the Assembly, Russian Archbishop Narofominsk Justinian, Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis of Ukrainian Diaspora (treasurer), Bishop Basil of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of America, based in Wichita, Kansas. The Assembly of the Orthodox Hierarchs of America was constituted and met for the first time last May in New York. The first meeting attended fifty-five bishops who minister to Orthodox Christians of various nationalities in the New World." … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah: Remembering the Least of These and Q & A on Orthodox Unity

Source: Ancient Faith Radio Metropolitan Jonah - Remembering The Least of These Met. Jonah: In Batumi - at the end of the Soviet period about 15 years ago, there were only two or three churches that were operative in the province…those that were operating were basically mostly empty and 80% of the population was Muslim. After 15 years and one zealous bishop they baptized 80% of the population into the Orthodox Church…they built 60 churches…they built a dozen monasteries…and how did they do this? First they built hospitals, first they built schools, first they built orphanages and nursing homes…and they showed the Church cares….and it’s palpable. The love of Christ..Christian charity…can turn back the tide of Islam. Listen here: Source: Ancient Faith Radio Q and A Following Met. Jonah’s Talk Met. Jonah: There are certainly two very distinct models.* And I believe one of the reasons it is so important for us to have a full voice in this whole process is so that … [Read more...]

Bishop Basil on the Episcopal Assembly

In a largely unscripted, friendly, and very optimistic account of the Episcopal Assembly, Bp. Basil of Wichita (AOCA) recalls his experience at the First Episcopal Assembly in New York. Orthodox unity Bp. Basil says, may be coming sooner than we think. Video takes a minute to load. … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah Keynote Address – The Episcopal Assembly

From Ancient Faith Radio Metropolitan Jonah addresses the assembly with his perspective on the Episcopal Assembly process currently underway in North America. Listen here: … [Read more...]

Transcript of Bp. Basil interview about the Episcopal Assembly

Matthew Namee talks with His Grace Bishop Basil, the newly elected Secretary of the Episcopal Assemblies. We learn of his impressions of the historic May 26-28 gathering in New York as well as the assignment he has been given to coordinate the work of the committees that will be formed leading up eventually to a Great and Holy Council. Listen here: Transcript: (HT: Orthodox History) Matthew Namee: I’m privileged today to be sitting here with His Grace, Bishop Basil of Wichita, the new Secretary of the Episcopal Assembly. His Grace has graciously agreed to sit down and chat with me a little bit about the Episcopal Assembly, the process, and his own impressions of it. Thank you very much for your time, Sayedna. First of all, could you tell us a little bit about what your impressions were of the meetings? What was it like to be one of the hierarchs there? … [Read more...]

GOA Deacon responds to Dn. Eric Wheeler

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Hierarchal Assembly - Dn. Panagiotis Hanley - Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey | June 27, 2010 | HT: Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) Protodeacon Eric Wheeler’s editorial was mind-boggling and quite surprising. His conclusions and arguments were all over the map and quite inaccurate. That old world mentality, which he spoke of, is what has kept the Orthodox Church throughout the world from becoming a protestant church. Fast food spiritually is what I call it. Get in, get out, and get Jesus! That old world mentality has kept Orthodox Christians throughout the world away from that pit fall; with some exceptions of course, that I am sure my critics shall point out. That old world mentality is what we call Tradition in the Orthodox Church with a capital ‘T’. This is a mindset that has served Orthodoxy well since the Church was founded. It is found in the Gospels and in the Book of Acts, as well as throughout the Holy Scriptures, and is so ancient in fact; it has its roots in … [Read more...]

A Reflection on the Episcopal Assembly

by An Anonymous Priest | HT: OCANews As of today, the final day of the Episcopal Assembly (EA) held in New York, we have only received a few official reports.* These reports have been in the form of addresses from bishops of the assembly. While it is nice to read the speeches and some of their poignant words, I am convinced that nothing dramatic will change. I am not one who is ‘connected’ and I have no sources and am not given over to conspiracy theories. I do not give thought to a take-over from Constantinople or Moscow. If this is attempted or happens, then I will give thought to such a scenario. I was impressed by Archbishop Demetrios’ calm and reserved tone when discussing the situation we find ourselves in and some of the many abnormalities and difficulties that he laid on the table. I likewise was impressed with the fiery zeal and courage in Metropolitan Philip’s attempt to address some fundamental stumbling blocks the EA has to deal with. The other hierarch’s addresses … [Read more...]