August 1, 2014

Kosovo prelude to Georgia?

In yesterday's Washington Times, James George Jatras looks at the unintended irony in Washington's opposition to the expected Russian recognition of an independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the wake of the Bush Administration's support for an independent Kosovo. Jatras, an advisor to AOI, asks: If Moscow stepped over the line in its crushing military response to Mr. Saakashvili's offensive, what do we call 78 straight days of NATO's bombing throughout Serbia, destroying most of that country's civilian infrastructure? If Russia is to be faulted for imperfect implementation of the Sarkozy agreement, what can be said about Washington's violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which ended the 1999 Kosovo war and reaffirms Serbian sovereignty in the province? The standard reasons cited for making Serbia an exception to the rule we demand in Georgia is that NATO intervened to stop genocide of Kosovo's Albanians and that they will never again accept being part of … [Read more...]

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"During all the years until 1961, not only was I convinced that I should never see a single line of mine in print in my lifetime, but, also, I scarcely dared allow any of my close acquaintances to read anything I had written because I feared that this would become known. Finally, at the age of 42, this secret authorship began to wear me down. The most difficult thing of all to bear was that I could not get my works judged by people with literary training. In 1961, after the 22nd Congress of the U.S.S.R. Communist Party and Tvardovsky's speech at this, I decided to emerge and to offer One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich." Alexander Solzhenitsyn's momentous decision to publish his slim volume on Gulag life (he feared not only the destruction of his manuscript but "my own life") ended his period of "secret authorship" and put him on the path of a literary career that earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. But his work meant so much more than that. Solzhenitsyn, who died … [Read more...]

New Leader for Korean Orthodox

Metropolitan Ambrosios Aristotelis Zographos was enthroned on July 20 at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Seoul as the Church's second metropolitan, reports the Union of Catholic Asian News. Around 450 clergy and laypeople of the Orthodox Church from South Korea and abroad attended. The Orthodox Metropolis of Korea, which is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, has about 3,000 members with eight local clergymen, including two deacons, and two nuns, the news site reported. It administers seven churches and one monastery. In his enthronement speech, the new metropolitan spoke of the Orthodox Church's "unknown treasure" of patristic traditions. He called on all members of the Church in South Korea to bear faith witness through its liturgical and spiritual traditions. "Nowadays, many non-Orthodox Christians around the world recognize the uniqueness of Orthodox spirituality and seek to learn it," he said. More on the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea here. HT: The Western Confucian … [Read more...]

Clergy-Laity: ‘a changing of mentality and attitude’

Just back from Washington where I attended the 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This was my first Clergy-Laity and I am glad I went. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, in his keynote address, went beyond the theoretical to actual application when he developed the theme of the Congress: "Gather My People to My Home." Any effort for a serious application of our theme must begin with a changing of mentality and attitude. We must change from an exclusive and all absorbing focusing on our parish to an awareness of the existence of people outside of our Parishes, Metropolises and Archdiocese. People who have the right to know what we know as the truth of God, to taste the joy of participating in our ecclesial community, and to experience the blessings we experience to be with God as we are by being Greek Orthodox Christians. The area of our focused action should gradually be enlarged by including those who are outside, by … [Read more...]

Bp. Hilarion: Russian Orthodox Must Stay in WCC

Moscow, June 30, Interfax - Withdrawal of the Russian Orthodox Church from the World Council of Churches should weaken positions of Moscow Patriarchate in the inter-Orthodox dialogue, the representative of Russian Church in European international organizations believes. "This withdrawal may only weaken our positions today in defending the Church teaching which we consider traditional, which for many centuries was the basis of relations among the Orthodox Churches, and which is now challenged by the Patriarchate of Constantinople," Bishop Hilarion said Monday to Interfax-Religion. He also mentioned that the last Bishops' Council discussed "the claims of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the jurisdiction of the whole diaspora" and the Patriarch of Constantinople's seeking to receive the position "which is somewhat equal to that of Pope in the Catholic Church." "Today, the Russian Orthodox Church is the major opponent of Constantinople, therefore, the Patriarchate of … [Read more...]

Rebuilding at Ground Zero

The New York Times has a detailed story about the long-delayed rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, crushed when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001. The Times reports that the rebuilding effort is "a microcosm of the seven-year, $16 billion, problem-plagued effort to reconstruct the entire trade center site." Summary paragraph: The church wants the authority to provide roughly $55 million toward the estimated $75 million cost of rebuilding St. Nicholas. The Port Authority in turn wants the church to scale back its plans, move the location slightly and raise more money privately. … [Read more...]