July 24, 2014

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the Hill

At the Joint House and Senate Luncheon in his Honor Hosted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Remarks and Toast of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew The Rayburn Room The Capitol Direct Archdiocesan District Washington, DC November 4, 2009 --------- Madame Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and brother Hierarchs, Honored guests and friends, beloved spiritual children in the Lord, Standing again in this Capitol – this people’s house of democracy and freedom – whose dome rises above every other building in this capital city of the American Nation, our mind travels back in time to twelve years ago, when both we and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople were honored by this august body with the Congressional Gold Medal. At that time, we made a commitment and a pledge to you, the elected representatives of the great American people. We promised you that "in the spirit of … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the White House

From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (Nov. 4, 2009): President Obama receives Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the Oval Office WASHINGTON – His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was received today at the White House in the Oval Office by President Barack Obama. This reciprocal visit to the one paid by President Obama earlier this year (April 7, when he made his first overseas visit to a Muslim country, Turkey) followed up on their conversations at that time on the subjects of the recently concluded environmental symposium on the Mississippi River and the re-opening of the Theological School of Halki. “The President with his kindness and openness received me and my delegation with love and honor,” said His All Holiness to the Press as he was exiting the White House. … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Georgetown

Address of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “A Changeless Faith for a Changing World” Center for American Progress and Georgetown University Gaston Hall of Georgetown University Washington, DC (November 3, 2009) Remarks as Prepared for Delivery ------------ Thank you very much, Professor James J. O'Donnell, Provost of Georgetown University, and John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress. We are also especially grateful for the students who are present with us today, and for their interest. Progress is often equated with change. So let us acknowledge this: it may appear strange for a progressive think tank to sponsor a lecture by the leader of a faith that takes pride in how little it has changed in 2,000 years. The fact is that our first instinct in Orthodoxy is to conserve the precious faith that has been handed down to us in an unbroken line from Jesus Christ through the Apostles. In the case of our Ecumenical Patriarchate, the First … [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...]

Silent Bishops

In his post "The Teaching Office of the Bishop," Fr. Peter-Michael Preble wonders why Orthodox bishops have said so little about the current health care debate. Recently Dr. Bradley Nassif wrote an article entitled "The Calling of a Bishop is to Preach the Gospel" and this is a good start and a jump off point for this discussion. Dr. Nassif states that "All bishops are to proclaim and interpret the gospel of Christ to the church and to the world." and what is the Gospel? "The gospel is the “good news” that God became human in Jesus Christ, took upon himself our fallen humanity in order to restore it into communion with God, conquer sin and vanquish death. This he did pre-eminently through Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. This “good news” must be at the very core of every life-giving action in the church – the sacraments and throughout every liturgical season of fasting and prayer." My personal belief is that the Gospel also includes the … [Read more...]