July 26, 2014

Report: Greek Orthodox bishops in U.S. may take Turkish citizenship

national-herald

Theodore Kalmoukos of the National Herald is reporting that "the government of Turkey seems to be willing to grant Turkish citizenship to all those hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who serve outside of Turkey. Turkish citizenship will allow them to freely participate in all the administrative activities of the Patriarchate including the right to be candidates for the Ecumenical Throne when a vacancy arises. It was made clear by the Ecumenical Patriarch himself that 'they will have the right to elect and to be elected.'” Kalmoukos said that no American bishop has yet to "express an opinion" on the matter: The issue was brought up at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate and official letters were sent recently to hierarchs serving outside of Turkey urging them to file – if they so wish - their applications to become Turkish citizens. Patriarch Bartholomew brought the letters with him when he came to the U.S. on October 21 and gave them to Archbishop … [Read more...]

Το μνημόσυνο του Εθνικού Σταρ για τον Michael Jackson

Even if you don't understand Greek, you will still understand what is going on. … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch releases agenda for Mississippi Symposium

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese released the schedule for Ecumenical Patriarch Batholomew's visit to the United States in October. Separately, a detailed agenda for his upcoming environmental symposium has been posted online. The patriarch's "Symposium VIII -- Restoring Balance: The Great Mississippi River" offers a rare opportunity to present Orthodoxy's distinctive, sacramental understanding of the stewardship of Creation to America and the world. And this trip, which will involve about 200 participants in all, will no doubt generate a huge volume of media attention. We will be following the symposium closely here on the Observer. If the text accompanying the agenda is any indication, the work of the symposium will be heavily inflected by an environmentalist ethic that looks at humanity primarily as a source of pollution and largely ignores the benefits of balanced economic development that does not degrade or abuse Creation. There is the utopian dream of returning the Earth to … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy in America — Past, Present and FUTURE

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A Brief Roundup

peck

Odds and ends: Patriarchal meetings; accusations of Uniatism; clerical sauna baths. What's it all about? President Victor Yuschenko of Ukraine met with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Patriarchal Residence in Tarabya, as part of the President's working visit to Turkey. The Archons site reports that "a cordial and whole-hearted discussion on issues of common concern" took place on May 20. Discussions were held on a representative office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate opening in Ukraine in the format of a churchyard or a cultural and informational center. The two leaders also addressed ways to step up contacts between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. President Yuschenko said he wants this dialogue to be intensified at all levels and confirmed his country's interest in establishing a local Orthodox Church in Ukraine. His Excellency also said he is convinced that "the Ecumenical Church and the personal wisdom and efforts of the Ecumenical … [Read more...]

Eastern Christian New Media Awards nominations open!

Eastern Christian New Media Awards

Nominations are open at the Eastern Christian New Media Awards! New participants can be nominated until June 1st. The field has been expanded by two categories and this year there will be prizes! As with last year, the field is broadened and strengthened by getting the word out. Please mention this site to friends, post referrals on your blogs, and mention it in your podcasts. … [Read more...]

Obama, Stem Cell Research, and Orthodox Christianity

Earlier this week, President Obama issued an Executive Order repealing President Bush's August 2001 restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. This was no surprise, especially since, as Senator, he voted for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which was vetoed by President Bush. While, the issues surrounding the creation and use of embryonic stem cells remain substantially the same, this change in political policy affords us another opportunity to reflect on how we, as Orthodox Christians, might approach this topic in the context of the public controversy. There is no doubt that there has been a simmering resentment in the scientific community over these restrictions (spurred on in part by more general funding cuts for the National Institutes of Health). Obama gave voice to this during his campaign when he charged the Bush administration with "handcuffing" scientific progress. There is also no doubt in my mind that researchers themselves are most competent to … [Read more...]

Culture Wars: Fr. Jacobse on Ancient Faith Radio

Kevin Allen, host of Ancient Faith Radio's Illumined Heart program, interviews AOI President Fr. Hans Jacobse for a fascinating discussion on "The Culture War and Orthodox Christianity." Fr. Hans talks about the need for Eastern Orthodox Christians to engage in the moral and social debates -- call them Culture Wars if you will -- that are being waged in American society today. In this 35 minute program, Allen also asks Fr. Hans about the recent discussion on this blog about whether "Religious Right" leaning ex-Evangelical converts are taking over the Orthodox churches in America. Allen asked Fr. Hans if he thought the Culture Wars might be a lost cause, given what we see in society today. Fr. Hans said the battles over moral issues will be difficult, with uncertain outcomes. But he reminded Allen that our faithfulness will determine the shape of tomorrow. "If it be God's will that the world be saved -- and it is -- I think there's a chance we can turn this around," Fr. Hans … [Read more...]

Maddex to lead Conciliar Media Ministries

John Maddex

Congratulations to John Maddex, the guiding light at Ancient Faith Radio, who was named president and chief executive officer of Conciliar Media Ministries. Maddex assumes responsibility for Conciliar Press, Conciliar's publishing company, while continuing to serve as general manager of Ancient Faith Radio, Conciliar's online radio and podcast ministry. Conciliar is the publishing and online media organization of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Maddex succeeds the Rev. Thomas Zell, who will continue as vice president of Conciliar Press and editor in chief of AGAIN magazine. He also serves as parish priest at St. James Antiochian Orthodox Church, Modesto, Calif. … [Read more...]

AOI debuts new website for “The Clarion Review”

Clarion Review launches all-new Web site with new content Turning Cows into IdeasRoger Scruton, philosopher & farmer, tells us how to make farms profitable even if no one buys a thing: Very few farms are profitable, and ours exists more...as a rural consultancy and ideas factory. Our neighbors turn grass into milk and make a loss; we turn grass into ideas and make a profit. We keep horses of our own, which we look after, and allow our neighbors to use the pasture for their cows: cows too, viewed from the window, can easily be made into ideas. We also keep chickens, and occasionally pigs, which we turn into sausages, after their brief time as ideas. Aging, Individualism, and Our Middle-Class DreamsPeter Augustine Lawler, ethicist and critic, tells us how caring for the old competes with our work-a-day society's love of freedom and laboring: Surely there is little worse than to have Alzheimer's and be alone...Yet the currents of our time push us almost inescapably in this … [Read more...]

Egypt’s Copts the ‘New Martyrs’?

Perilous times for Egypt's Christian community. In "Egypt's Coptic Christians Are Choosing Isolation," the Washington Post reports that "the most populous Christian community in the Middle East is seeking safety by turning inward, cutting day-to-day social ties that have bound Muslim to Christian in Egypt for centuries." The story notes a dramatic decline in of the Coptic Christian population in Egypt. Violent confrontations between Muslims and Christians are on the upswing. In May, Arab Bedouins attacked monks reclaiming the 1,700-year-old monastery of Abu Fana. Monks say the attackers fired on them with AK-47 assault rifles and captured some among them to torture. Attackers broke the legs of one monk by pounding them between two rocks. One Muslim man was killed. A few days earlier, gunmen in Cairo killed four Copts at a jewelry store but left without taking anything. Strife over liaisons between Christian and Muslim men and women led to recent clashes between the … [Read more...]

The Tithe of the Year

In his latest podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, Fr. Thomas Hopko looks at Great Lent as the "tithe of the year," during which believers try to be what they ought always to be. Fr. Tom, an advisor to AOI, shares his Lenten maxims, the things a believer would do if they were really a believer and wanted to live as God wanted us to live. At the top of Fr. Tom's list: "Be always with Christ. Trust God in everything. Never forget God." Listen to "The Tithe of the Year": All of Fr. Tom's podcasts are archived here. … [Read more...]