August 21, 2014

How Do We Comprehend Natural Disasters Like Earthquakes and Tsunamis?

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This essay below that Fr. David Hudson sent along is timely. I have a small parish now which means that after the Divine Liturgy we always have a discussion about any topic that people want to talk about. Today we had the question: How do we make sense of the tsunami in Japan? It wasn't the sermon and after the necessary caveats ("I am a priest, not a theologian," "this is my opinion" and so forth) I laid out how I saw it. I began with St. Paul in Romans, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth … [Read more...]

Bartholomew I to Japan and the World: Enough Nuclear Energy

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Source: Asia News | NAT da Polis Istanbul (AsiaNews) - A vibrant and heartfelt appeal to States to abandon the use of nuclear energy: this is the message sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Japanese people to express the solidarity of the Orthodox world. The message was sent on the first Sunday of Lent, also called the Sunday of Orthodoxy, on the anniversary of the restoration of the veneration of icons, which occurred in 843, as an expression of respect towards the people they represent. "With a heart heavy with pain - Bartholomew starts - all humanity is witnessing the tragedy that has struck the land of Japan, causing the death of many of our brothers and sisters. Prayers are being lifted from all corners of the earth as a sign of solidarity with our Japanese brethren". The disaster caused by the terrible earthquake and tsunami – the message continues - has been worsened by the nightmare of radioactive contamination due to the explosion of the nuclear power … [Read more...]

IOCC Stands Ready to Offer Aid Following Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

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Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has assembled its emergency response personnel to assess the humanitarian needs and possible response to a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan on March 11. Initial reports indicate that hundreds of people perished in a powerful tsunami and that the quake caused damage with blackouts and fire. The large earthquake triggered a tsunami warning for countries all around the Pacific Ocean ranging from Russia to Hawaii to South America. IOCC, in consultation with local Orthodox and ecumenical partners in Japan and other countries affected in the Pacific, is assessing the current situation and the need for a potential response. "We mourn the loss of life and pray for those who were taken so suddenly by this disaster," said Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC executive director. “We are all keenly aware of the devastation that can be caused by powerful tsunamis and … [Read more...]