July 22, 2014

Death Warrant of Ancient Christianity

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If American liberals and neo-cons get their way and America invades Syria, the Syrian Christians will be persecuted and forced out of their ancient homeland. Source: Real Clear Politics | Philip Jenkins Ever since the wave of popular movements started sweeping the Middle East, Western media have rarely found much good to say about the authoritarian regimes under attack. Few observers deny that the last generation or so of Arab rulers were indeed greedy despots, and it seems desirable for Western powers to intervene as forcefully as they can on behalf of what are commonly billed as pro-democracy movements. The arguments against intervention are obvious enough, most obviously that it is much easier to begin a military intervention than to end it, while we rarely have much idea about the political character of the supposed democrats we are trying to aid. But in one case above all, namely Syria, debates over intervention have missed one overwhelming argument, which is the … [Read more...]

WRR Dallas: Interview with Met. Hilarion, Meets Former President George Bush

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WRR Classical 101.1 in Dallas interviewed Met. Hilarion the afternoon before his concert. In the interview he discusses how he composes the music, his 20 year hiatus from composition, and more. It's an engaging interview that reveals some of the personal side of Met. Hilarion. Earlier that day Met. Hilarion met with former President George Bush. Source: mospat.ru. HT: Byzantine, TX. On the morning of February 11th a meeting of Metropolitan Hilarion and former U.S. President George W. Bush was held. They spoke for over an hour. The two sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues. In particular, the DECR chairman shared his vision for the inter-Christian dialogue, stressing the need to work together representatives of different Christian denominations in the preservation of traditional moral values. To commemorate the meeting the chairman of the DECR gave former President George Bush his book "Orthodox Christianity: The History and Canonical Structure" in English and a … [Read more...]

Sporadic postings this week

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I'm flying to Phoenix, Arizona in about four hours to give a retreat on culture and the Church later this week to the Arizona Orthodox clergy. Updates will be sporadic and I will check in when I can. I'll turn the presentation into a paper and post it when I get back. 11:03 am. Sitting in RSW (Fort Myers) waiting for my plane to leave in an hour. I always appreciate small favors. A couple of weeks ago it was early, had to go somewhere, turned the key in my car, nothing happened. In the south batteries fail without warning unlike the north where the cranking tells you the battery is about to go. What a hassle. Well, tried it again and (miraculously) it started. Drove right to WalMart then had the great fortune to find out my battery was still under warranty. Got a new one free. No labor charge either. … [Read more...]

George Michalopulos launches “Monomakhos”

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George Michalopulos, author and frequent contributor to AOI just launched the Monomakhos blog (it means one who fights alone) with this theme in mind: Enough of the ethic stagnation and Ruritanian triumphalism. It’s time for our bishops to get on the stick and stop playing games. This country’s too great to let us watch it continue its downward slide. Christianity conquered the Roman Empire and gave birth to Western Civilization. So why should we stop now? George is a historian, essayist (many of his essays appear on AOI and OrthodoxyToday.org), patriot, and father. He's impatient with obscurantism and moral poseurs. He won’t "tolerate treacly letters or essays that remind me of the sentimental poetry of Rod McKuen,"* and uses words I have to look up (that's why I link to them). Sounds like my kind of place. *An example of a treacly letter. Give Monomakhos a look, bookmark it, and make your contributions (leave some good wishes to get the comments going). There will … [Read more...]

“Get Religion” now on Facebook

Check it out here. … [Read more...]

Pope Shenouda calls for freedom of worship

H/T: St. Andrew House Discussion Forum "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Rev. 6:10 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Rev. 7:17 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Cleveland, Ohio, USA calls on all Coptic Orthodox Churches, sister churches, ecumenical friends and people of goodwill to designate Sunday, February 14, 2010 as a Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Coptic Martyrs of Nag Hammadi. This is the closest Sunday to the traditional 40 day memorial following the brutal and tragic murders of the six young men who were killed leaving their church on Christmas Eve. Addressing his flock at his weekly meeting at the Grand Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo this week, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark told the people of Nag Hammadi and the world that the … [Read more...]

A Thought Experiment

Let me offer you a thought experiment. Yesterday on the Orthodox Church in America's website there was an interesting press release recounting a "discussion between members of the Holy Synod of Bishops [of the OCA] and a number of congressmen during a late-January 2010 meeting in the US capital" (OCA Holy Synod members share human rights concerns with US congressmen). The meeting addressed, again in the words of the press release, a variety of issues affecting traditionally Orthodox Christian lands — among them, the situation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey in light of His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew's widely acclaimed December 2009 interview on "60 Minutes"; the plight of Orthodox Christians in Kosovo and Coptic Christians in Egypt; human trafficking; and other human rights issues. Let me first say, I think it is a good thing for the bishops to speak with representatives of the US government; it is a very patristic thing actually.  It also speaks well of the … [Read more...]

Orphangate reopened?

Orthodox Beacon

H/T: Orthodox Beacon The Orthodox Beacon quotes the National Herald: BOSTON  — The Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew dated January 15, demanded that the Patriarch reprimand Metropolitan Theoleptos of Iconium for his letter castigating Archbishop Demetrios for his refusal to help the Sporidis brothers, the 10-year-old twin orphans from Congo. The story was broken by The National Herald based on Archbishop Demetrios’ letter dated December 21, 2009. Read the full article (requires paid subscription): www.thenationalherald.com/article/42978 We'll post the full story once it becomes available. Notice how they demand an apology from Met. Theoleptos, a call first made on the AOI blog. Will Constantinople respond? They just might have to given that the demand comes from the Archdiocesan Council of the GOA. Constantinople shouldn't bite the hand that feeds it, especially when … [Read more...]

New Year’s doesn’t do much for me but this is cool…

Fireworks over St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin

H/T Byzantine Tx (an excellent blog, BTW) I'm not much of a New Year's fan (just can't get my head around celebrating a new year) but it sure makes for some nice pictures. Oh yes, Happy New Year (that part I get)! … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: ‘Patriarchate is dying’

’We cannot breathe, the Patriarchate is dying,’ says patriarch ASLI AYDINTAŞBAŞ ISTANBUL - Milliyet Thursday, December 24, 2009 Following criticism of his controversial statement to a U.S. television network describing his community’s problems, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew says his comments were emphasized, but the serious problem of opening Halki seminary needs to be addressed. Criticized for telling U.S. network CBS that he felt “crucified in Turkey,” in an interview he told daily Milliyet, “We are without oxygen, the Patriarchate is dying.” He said the interview with CBS was not planned and that the media had emphasized the crucifixion quote. He said this was a metaphor for detailing Greeks’ problems in Turkey, highlighted by the issue of the Halki seminary located on Heybeliada, one of Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands in Marmara Sea. “What will we do, if we cannot raise men of the cloth? Our metropolitan bishops in Europe are over 70 years old. The ones here are … [Read more...]

Wave of Clergy Killings in Russia

Source: Voice of America Peter Fedynsky | Moscow 23 December 2009 The second murder of a Russian priest in as many months has prompted a call by the Orthodox Church for Russians to think about their country's spiritual and moral condition. The killings follow more violence this year directed against Muslim clerics in Russia's troubled Caucasus region. Tuesday's shooting death of 39-year-old priest Alexander Filippov is alleged to be the act of two intoxicated men in the village of Satino-Russkoye near Moscow. His widow is quoted as saying Filippov had reproached the suspects for relieving themselves at the entrance of their apartment building. … [Read more...]

Report: Phanar backtracks on crucifixion remark

From Today's Zaman (Dec. 24). No statement yet on the Patriarchate's site. The patriarchate’s statement said: “There are similar idioms in all languages, and they are not evaluated in their narrow meanings but in their broad sense in that language. While answering questions in that regard, the patriarch obviously did not intend to imply any pressure from our government.” The statement also said that there was a need to make a public announcement about the issue because the patriarch’s words were interpreted in a way that goes beyond their meaning. Turkish government officials continue to denounce the patriarch for his crucifixion remark: In İzmir, speaking at a conference organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç called the patriarch’s criticism “unacceptable,” while reiterating that Turkey doesn’t consider the patriarchate to be ecumenical in line with the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which governs the status of the … [Read more...]