July 22, 2014

‘Erdoğan saved future of Greek Orthodox Patriarchate


Source: Today's Zaman The spokesperson of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Father Dositheos Anağnostopulos, has said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saved the future of the patriarchate by offering Turkish citizenship to a number of archbishops in 2009. In an interview with the Star daily, Anağnos-topulos said there were 12 archbishops on the patriarchate's Spiritual Board at the time. “Most of [those archbishops] are very old. In order to become a member of this board, one has to be a Turkish citizen. If the patriarch dies one day, it seemed unlikely that a new patriarch would be elected from the board [due to the members' age]. This danger has now passed. The prime minister attended a luncheon on Büyükada in August 2009 … and said the problem with the Spiritual Board will be overcome if archbishops applied to become Turkish citizens. He assured us that applicants would be granted citizenship,” the spokesperson stated. Anağnostopulos defined the … [Read more...]

Nobody Expects the Protestant Reformation


Source: Real Clear Religion | Rod Dreher Why didn't the Renaissance popes see what their tolerance for corruption, in themselves and within clerical ranks, threatened to do to the Church -- both to believers, and to the institution? The late historian Barbara Tuchman analyzed their self-destructive foolishness this way: Their three outstanding attitudes -- obliviousness to the growing disaffection of constituents, primacy of self-aggrandizement, illusion of invulnerable status -- are persistent aspects of folly. While in the case of the Renaissance popes, these were bred in and exaggerated by the surrounding culture, all are independent of time and recurrent in governorship. In other words, folly of this sort is part of human nature, and it will always afflict governing elites. Wise leaders will be aware of this weakness, and will not only remain vigilant against it, but also act to remedy manifestations of it before they can metastasize into threats against the very … [Read more...]

Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse: Constantine and the Great Transformation

Emperor Constantine (Byzantine mosaic ca. 1000 from the Hagia Sophia)

Acton Institute just published my review of Peter J. Leithart's Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom. It appears on their website and in the upcoming issue of Religion and Liberty. Source: Acton Institute | Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse Defending Constantine by Peter J. Leithart (IVP Academic, 2010) Reviewed by Johannes L. Jacobse The argument that the lifting of the persecutions of early Christians and the subsequent expansion of the Christian faith led to a “fall” of the Christian Church is more widespread than we may believe. Academics have defended it for years. Popular Christianity, especially conservative Protestantism, takes it as a truth second only to the Gospel. Towering over this argument is Constantine the Great. When Constantine faced the final battle that would determine if he became Rome’s new emperor, he saw a cross shining in the sky above the sun and heard the words, “By this sign conquer.” He took it to … [Read more...]

Abp. Chaput: The American Experience and Global Religious Liberty

Roman Catholic Apb. Chaput

Read the essay below and you will understand why Orthodox Triumphalism is a dead end. The author is a Roman Catholic Archbishop and has an incisive grasp of American cultural and political history that applies as easily to American Orthodox as it does to American Catholics. We Orthodox don't really grapple with what it means to be Orthodox in America, not much anyway. Instead we substitute ideas about ethnic affiliation or Orthodox supremacy or other impoverished notions thinking that that they will be enough to sustain the Church in the end. They won't. Affirming the good where ever we find find it is a fundamental tenet of Orthodox thinking and that includes the positive good that Protestants in particular and Catholics after them have contributed to American culture. And there is much good worth considering in Abp. Chaput's analysis below. Source: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver | Archbishop Charles J. Chaput March 1, 2011 - Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. … [Read more...]

The Judges’ Atheist Inquisition


Source: The Spectator | Melanie Phillips The secular inquisition against Christians was ratcheted up another notch yesterday in a grotesque judgment in the High Court by two judges, who have actually banned a couple from fostering children simply because they hold traditional Christian views about homosexuality. The implications of this judgment are utterly appalling on many levels. The couple involved, Eunice and Owen Johns, are upstanding, traditional people whose quality of care for the twenty or so children they have fostered is not in doubt. At a time when is estimated that there is a need for another 10,000 foster carers, one might have thought the Johns would be treated as gold dust. Nor have they even prevented any homosexuals from having or doing anything. Their crime is simply to believe it is wrong to promote a homosexual lifestyle to a child in their care because they take the view that sex outside marriage is wrong. Yet for that view – which not long ago was … [Read more...]

Met. Hilarion Alfeyev: Music and Faith in My Life and Vision

Metropolitan Hilarion

Source: Catholic University of America Talk given February 9, 2011 at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Mr. President, esteemed members of the Academic Senate, professors, teachers, students, dear friends! First of all, permit me to express my profound gratitude for this invitation. It is a great honour for me to be within the walls of the Catholic University of America once again and to be addressing you. I was last here five years ago and at that time I spoke on Orthodox-Catholic relations. But today you have invited me in my dual capacity of churchman and a representative of culture. Acknowledging that I am not only a hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church but also a composer, you have asked me to address you on the connection between music and faith as experienced by past and contemporary composers as well as by myself. Music and Faith I would like to begin with a thought on the relationship between music and creativity. I am convinced that culture … [Read more...]

The Hidden Anti-Semitism of Christopher Hitchens and the New Atheists

Roman soldiers carrying the Golden Menorah as plunder.

Source: OrthodoxyToday.org | George C. Michalopulos   Christopher Hitchens, perhaps the most famous of the New Atheists, has spent the better part of the past year engaging in a series of well-publicized debates, inveighing with his typical eloquence against theism in all its forms. Most of his correspondents have been Christians. Men such as Dinesh D’Souza, Bill Dembski, Tony Blair, and even his brother, Peter have debated him in public forums. (Interestingly enough, another atheist, David Berlinski, has debated him as well, taking him to task for his inability to see the carnage that atheism inevitably leads to.) Although Hitchens is suffering from esophageal cancer, he continues to speak with his customary eloquence and wit. Unfortunately, as of late much of his argumentation is devoid of rigorous logic. Instead he has taken an emotional tone, one based on resentment of the concept of a Deity and what He stands for rather than the cold and precise voice that is … [Read more...]

Agenda — Grinding America Down [VIDEO]


Source: Agendadocumentary.com I usually don't pay much attention to things like this but a friend send the link along and I took a look. I agree with almost everything the speakers said in it. I don't know if the movie is any good, but the promo sure is. Source: Agendadocumentary.com … [Read more...]

D’Souza: Debunking the Galileo Myth


Source: Townhall.com | Dinesh D'Souza Many people have uncritically accepted the idea that there is a longstanding war between science and religion. We find this war advertised in many of the leading atheist tracts such as those by Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Every few months one of the leading newsweeklies does a story on this subject. Little do the peddlers of this paradigm realize that they are victims of nineteenth-century atheist propaganda. About a hundred years ago, two anti-religious bigots named John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White wrote books promoting the idea of an irreconcilable conflict between science and God. The books were full of facts that have now been totally discredited by scholars. But the myths produced by Draper and Dickson continue to be recycled. They are believed by many who consider themselves educated, and they even find their way into the textbooks. In this article I expose several of these myths, … [Read more...]

Everything You Think You Know About the Dark Ages is Wrong

The Abacus and the Cross

By Nancy Marie Brown | Source: Religion Dispatches The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages Nancy Marie Brown Basic Books (2010) What inspired you to write The Abacus and the Cross? I was introduced to The Scientist Pope through an act of grace. Writing my previous book, The Far Traveler, about an adventurous Viking woman, I found myself making an imaginary pilgrimage to Rome just after the year 1000. Wondering which pope (if any) Gudrid the Far-Traveler had met, I discovered Gerbert of Aurillac, Pope Sylvester II. I was astonished. Nothing in my many years of reading about the Middle Ages had led me to suspect that the pope in the year 1000 was the leading mathematician and astronomer of his day. Nor was his science just a sidelight. According to a chronicler who knew him, he rose from humble beginnings to the highest office in the Christian Church “on account of his scientific knowledge.” To my … [Read more...]

Popes, Atheists and Freedom

Pope Benedict

Daniel Henninger | Wall Street Journal Secularists should recognize that the pope's fight is their fight. This being the season of hope, Islamic extremists of course have been engaged in their annual tradition of blowing up Christian churches. [...] Hours before this, from a window above St. Peter's Square, Benedict also took a pass on the holiday pabulum handed out by other world leaders this time of year by explicitly criticizing China. He said the "faithful of the church in mainland China [should not] lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience." … [Read more...]

The Soviet Story [VIDEO]


"The Soviet Story” is a story of an Allied power, which helped the Nazis to fight Jews and which slaughtered its own people on an industrial scale. Assisted by the West, this power triumphed on May 9th, 1945. Its crimes were made taboo, and the complete story of Europe’s most murderous regime has never been told. Until now… WARNING: The video contains disturbing images of human suffering. Viewer discretion advised. … [Read more...]