April 23, 2014

Former Archbishop Spyridon Breaks A Long Silence

Former Abp. Spyridon

by Theodore Kalmoukos, The National Herald H/T Orthodox News BOSTON - In his first interview with The National Herald since his resignation ten years ago, former Archbishop Spyridon of America said he believes that “the creation of metropolises inevitably diminishes the Archbishop’s role and by definition undermines the necessary unity of the homogeneous body of Greek Americans.” The former prelate reveals that he did not seek on his own to become Archbishop of America but he was actually drafted. He said that, “I personally did not seek such election and that I was indeed directed to accept the appointment. The way I assess things today is that my ministry was meant to be temporary and served the ulterior design of those in charge at the Phanar.” The former Archbishop has not visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate since his departure from the Archiepiscopal throne of America and he does not intend to do so. He came to Boston and officiated at … [Read more...]

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble interviews Fr. Hans Jacobse about the Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Fr. Peter-Michael Preble, host of the Shepherd of Souls radio program on Ancient Faith radio, Pastor of St. Michael's Orthodox Christian Church, and occasional contributor to the AOI blog, recently interviewed Fr. Hans Jacobse on the subject of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Listen to the interview: Fr. Peter blogs at the Fr. Peter-Michael Preble blog. … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy and Hellenism group cites Islamic charter in defense of Patriarchate

An unsigned "call to action" in defense of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was published today on the "Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” Web site. This appeal asks readers to sign a Web-based petition which demands that the "Turkish government ... take steps to guarantee the recognition, safety, and protection of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Patriarchate, the Seminary of Halki, and the ethnic minority of Greek Christians living in Turkey." The "call to action" placed the weight of its argument for religious freedom and human rights on a "Charter of Privileges to Christians" purported to have been signed by Muhammad, the founder of Islam, in the 7th Century. The "call to action" described this charter as emblematic of the "established universal position" of human rights that also inspired the U.S. Constitution. The appeal: To those who were privileged enough to see the, CBS 60 Minutes story about His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch … [Read more...]

Christian Hellenism — The Foundation of Western Culture

From the chapter on “Liturgy and Theology and Byzantine Culture” in The Formation of Christendom by Christopher Dawson (Sheed & Ward, 1967): The essential achievement of the patristic age was the synthesis of Eastern religion and Western culture, or, to be more precise, the uniting of the spiritual traditions of Hellenism and the political and social traditions of Rome. This synthesis has remained the foundation of Western culture and has never been destroyed, in spite of the tendency of the Reformation to re-Hebraicize Christianity and that of the Renaissance to re-Hellenize culture. And this synthesis has been no less important for Christianity itself. No form of Christianity since the days of Marcion has attempted to disavow its basis in the Old Testament, and Catholic Christianity has always been fully conscious of its debt to Hellenic thought, primarily for its contribution to the theology of the Fathers and the definitions of the Ecumenical Councils, but also in a secondary … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sums up visit with Greek ‘diaspora’ in America

Turkey, Nov. 10, 2009 Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew referred to the great progress made by the Greek Diaspora in statements he made upon his return from a two-week visit to the United States. Addressing the faithful in the Church of the Taxiarchs in Bosporus, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated that the progress achieved by the Greek Community, its dedication to the Mother Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate were evident everywhere he went, adding that the Greek-Americans enjoy the respect of the US authorities. Bartholomew stated that he was received with great honors by the US leadership, the academic world and major institutions. The Ecumenical Patriarch emphasized the comments made by US Vice President Joe Biden who underlined that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been brave despite the insecurity surrounding it and the adverse conditions under which it performs its ecumenical mission and service, thus winning great respect and appreciation. In a formal dinner … [Read more...]

A Decade of Challenges & Achievements for Archbishop Demetrios

His Emminence Abp. Demetrios blessing a congregation

The headline is a misnomer. What will strike the careful reader are several important points, including: Total payments in the GOA since 2000 for sexual abuse related cases total $16 million; The GOA pays out $150,000 a month in sexual abuse settlements from one case alone; An implied relationship exists between the toleration of homosexuality and child abuse; The Greek Government is being asked to fund Hellenic College and Holy Cross Seminary; The Ecumenical Patriarch has final administrative authority over the GOA; Hellenism (as distinct from and parallel to Orthodox Christianity) remains the conceptual framework through which the evangelistic work of the GOA in America is filtered. The article, framed in laudatory tones, in fact uncovers very serious problems. It was published in The National Herald (Octobery 24, 2009); interviewer is Theodore Kalmoukos. H/T: Pokrov.org. ++++++++++++++++++++   The remarkable life of His Eminence includes distinguished work as … [Read more...]

Stephanopoulos, Pelecanos & Argyros To Highlight Conference

Highlight: The three Greek Americans will be honored for their public service and creative and business contributions. “Our theme is 'The Torchbearers of Our Faith and Hellenic Heritage: The New Generation of Leaders,' which recognizes these extraordinary leaders who exemplify our Hellenic ideals from such diverse fields,” said Stephen G. Yeonas, Leadership 100 Chairman. Torchbearers of our faith? ++++++++ George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC's “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and ABC News's Chief Washington Correspondent, who was President Clinton's senior political advisor and Communications Director; George Pelecanos, the award-winning author, film and television producer whose newest book, The Way Home, was on President Obama's reading list this summer; and George Argyros, former United States Ambassador to Spain and one of America's foremost real estate investors, will highlight the 19th Annual Leadership 100 Conference at Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California, from … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Faithful Meet at Unity Conference

Get info on the OCL Conference here: www.ocl.org/roadtounity Contact: George Matsoukas, Executive Director, Orthodox Christian Laity, 877-585-0245, ocladmin@ocl.org LIGONIER, Penn., Sept. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- Orthodox Christianity in America stands at the threshold of a new era of renewal. As the ancient faith lays down new and dynamic roots in America, new and indigenous leadership is emerging as the Church engages American culture. Meeting in Ligonier, Pennsylvania on October 20-31, 2009 for "The Road to Unity: From Vision to Action" conference, leaders and participants will develop ideas on how the American Orthodox Church can achieve unity in America. The meeting takes on greater significance as world church leaders challenge the American Orthodox jurisdictions to work together to present a nuts and bolts plan for a unified North American Church. The process toward unity was established at the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference of Orthodox … [Read more...]

Review: How the Byzantines Saved Europe

The Surprising Life of  Medieval Empire

The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. Edited by Elizabeth Jeffreys, John Haldon, Robin Cormack. Oxford University Press (2008) Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin. Princeton University Press (2008) Ask the average college student to identify the 1,100 year old empire that was, at various points in its history, the political, commercial, artistic and ecclesiastical center of Europe and, indeed, was responsible for the very survival and flourishing of what we know today as Europe and you’re not likely to get the correct answer: Byzantium. The reasons for this are manifold but not least is that as Western Europe came into its own in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, Byzantium gradually succumbed piecemeal to the constant conquering pressure of Ottomans and Arabs. When Constantinople finally fell in 1453 (two years after the birth of the Genoese Christopher Columbus), Europe, now cut off from many land routes to Asian trade, was already … [Read more...]

What is the first responsibility of a Bishop? To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Apostolic Mission of Bishops: A Short Reflection By Bradley Nassif, Ph.D. The purpose of this brief, and incomplete, reflection is to focus on the centrality of the gospel in the ministry of a bishop. It is not intended to promote a partisan perspective on any issue facing the contemporary Orthodox Church – Antiochian, Greek or O.C.A. It simply spotlights what the calling of a bishop is to be. I want to be clear that this article is not a response to the recent discussions of the Antiochian bishops or the Holy Synod. It is a timeless reflection -- a positive statement -- of what the primary work of a bishop should be, regardless of his geographical location or the time of history in which he lives. It is vitally important that we understand the bishop’s calling because the gospel of Jesus Christ lies at the very center of his ministry among us. The Bishop’s Apostolic Mission The apostolic mission of a bishop in the Eastern Orthodox Church can be summarized in five … [Read more...]

Pope: the Christian idea of the person a model for a cohesive society

Ed. It is indisputable that some of the best thinking on man and society is coming from the Roman Catholic Church. The Russian Orthodox Church is making important headway in this area as well. Unless there is thinking not making it into English, it appears the Church of Greece doesn't address the secularism of culture with any great deliberation. Here Pope Benedict draws from the Orthodox tradition -- a move we have seen before in his Regensburg Address (brilliant in my estimation) -- to speak to modern society. An unintended irony is emerging: the Roman Catholic Pontiff recognizes the hidden wealth of the Orthodox moral tradition and draws from it, while Orthodox leaders (Russia seems to be the exception) drift toward sanctifying the religious veneer of secularist movements. Pope Benedict affirms the sanctity of the individual in this piece, posting the individual in relation to the "polis" -- the people, or the city and community. He implicitly warns against subsuming the … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy and Obama’s conscience clause

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A friend sent me an email earlier today. Search Google, he said, with the terms conscience rule obama catholic bishops and conscience rule obama orthodox bishops and then compare the two. Not very impressive. (Actually, the AOI blog article on Abp. Demetrios' awkward praise of Pres. Obama ranks first in Google, but that's beside the point.) It got me to thinking. If there is ever a need for Orthodox unity, the time is now. The authority of the Orthodox moral tradition far exceeds our numbers, but that authority has to be exercised. As long as we remain disunited our voice is muted and the culture does not receive the direction it needs. The Catholic Bishops understand this, just as they understand that the life issues are a matter of not only personal life and death, but cultural life and death. That is why they are ready to use their authority to clarify these issues and, if necessary, offer moral resistance. It is time for us to step up too. Apart from the GOA, the … [Read more...]