April 18, 2014

A pious Patriarch

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia

Slobodan Georgijev takes the measure of the man: ... Pavle was a man with an untainted biography, devoted to the work of the church. As Patriarch, he would travel to work on public transport shunning the luxury trappings and expensive cars that formerly came with the office. “If they drive around in such expensive cars having made a pledge to modesty,” Pavle is reported to have said, “what would have they done had they not made the pledge.” He was criticized in Liberal circles for not being more resolute in holding back the Church from interference in state affairs, although in the church system he was just the first among equals, and many decisions were made passed by the bishops, without his approval. A pious man, he was nevertheless always willing to talk to anyone without feeling the need to impose his religious views. His message has been summed up in a sentence: it is better to live for just one day as men, than a whole lifetime as a monster. Many will remember him … [Read more...]

Editorial: Turkey’s ‘Mildly’ Islamist Government

From today's Washington Post. Turkish journalists say that a pall of fear has fallen across their business. Editors practice self-censorship. Many journalists are believed to be among the more than 100,000 people whose phones have been tapped by the government in recent years. Some, including the chief executive of Dogan Yayin, have been swept up in a murky investigation of alleged coup plotting. Mr. Erdogan and his party were once seen by many in Washington as a model for how pious Muslims could practice democratic politics. That image is rapidly darkening. If it is not to be extinguished, Mr. Erdogan must stop coddling Muslim dictators -- and stop following their practice of silencing domestic opposition. Here's an idea: Why not have Greek Orthodox bishops in the United States become Turkish citizens? Read Slipping in Turkey on the Web site of the Washington Post. … [Read more...]

Funeral Service for Patriarch Pavle

May his memory be eternal. (HT: Rocor United) [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-ybeT_3ocw&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] … [Read more...]

Kasper: Anglicans not Uniates

Sandro Magister offers analysis of an interview with Cardinal Kasper in "L'Osservatore Romano" on November 15 in which the cardinal discusses Anglicans heading to Rome and the reaction of the Orthodox. In Cyprus, the news that the Catholic Church is ready to incorporate groups coming from Anglicanism also put the Orthodox on alert. Their fear is that a "Uniate" Church of the Anglican rite will be established and added to the "Uniate" Churches of the various Eastern rites: these are Churches obedient to the pope of Rome but in everything else the equals and rivals of the Orthodox. [ ... ] "In Cyprus, in order to avoid misunderstandings, I immediately told our Orthodox counterparts that this is not a matter of proselytism or a new Uniatism. [...] Uniatism is an historical phenomenon involving the Eastern Churches, while the Anglicans are from the Latin tradition. The Balamand document of 1993 is still valid, according to which this is a phenomenon of the past that took place in … [Read more...]

A ‘somber’ time for Egypt’s Copts

Christ the Teacher (Coptic icon)

From the Times (UK): The first two months of the Coptic new year have been a somber time for Egypt’s ancient Christian community. The new year fell on the inauspicious date of September 11. And a spate of attacks on this large and downtrodden community by Islamist extremists or villagers giving a religious pretext to petty quarrels have provoked accusations of officially tolerated discrimination and heightened fears that Islamists will be emboldened to undercut the laws that promise religious freedom and legal equality in Egypt. Clashes broke out in Kafr al-Barbaqri, a Nile delta town, in July after a shopkeeper stabbed a teenager to death in a dispute over an empty soda bottle. The Christian grocer had refused to give the Muslim boy a partial refund, and in the ensuing argument the grocer struck the boy with a knife, leading to his death. Dozens of Muslims went on the rampage, setting fire to the grocer’s house and the one next door, leading to 30 arrests. A month earlier … [Read more...]

Orthodox Worried Over ‘No Crucifixes’ Ruling

Update (Nov. 17): Italian Mayors Order Crucifixes Put in Classrooms in Revolt against European Court Ruling. Polish president and Greek Orthodox Church also hit out at decision against crucifixes in classrooms (Source: LifeSiteNews.com) ------- From the Zenit news service: ATHENS, Greece, NOV. 16, 2009 -- The leader of the Greek Orthodox Church is ready to convoke an extraordinary synod to strategize how to combat a European Court of Human Rights decision that ruled crucifixes in schools are a violation of rights. "Majorities also have rights," Ieronymos II said in a statement that L'Osservatore Romano reported today. … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sums up visit with Greek ‘diaspora’ in America

Turkey, Nov. 10, 2009 Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew referred to the great progress made by the Greek Diaspora in statements he made upon his return from a two-week visit to the United States. Addressing the faithful in the Church of the Taxiarchs in Bosporus, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated that the progress achieved by the Greek Community, its dedication to the Mother Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate were evident everywhere he went, adding that the Greek-Americans enjoy the respect of the US authorities. Bartholomew stated that he was received with great honors by the US leadership, the academic world and major institutions. The Ecumenical Patriarch emphasized the comments made by US Vice President Joe Biden who underlined that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been brave despite the insecurity surrounding it and the adverse conditions under which it performs its ecumenical mission and service, thus winning great respect and appreciation. In a formal dinner … [Read more...]

Serbia’s Patriarch Pavle (1914-2009)

Serbs lining up to venerate the late Patriarch Pavle in the cathedral church in Belgrade

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Patriarch Pavle, who headed the Serbian Orthodox Church during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s as Serbs warred with neighbors of other faiths, died on Sunday, a top church official said. Pavle, 95, died at a special apartment in Belgrade's Military Hospital where he had been treated since 2007 for various ailments, Bishop Amfilohije, the acting head of the church's Holy Synod, said in a statement. "The death of Patriarch Pavle is a huge loss for Serbia," President Boris Tadic said in a statement. "There are people who bond entire nations and Pavle was such a person." Thousands of mourners flocked to churches throughout the country after Pavle's death was announced. The government ordered three days of national mourning until Wednesday. Critics say Pavle failed to contain hardline bishops and priests who stoked Serb nationalism against Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians and publicly blessed paramilitaries who committed war crimes in Croatia and … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox launch the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation

inside-the-vatican-mag

Robert Moynihan, editor of the Inside the Vatican newsletter, is in Moscow visiting with Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk and other church people. He reports that "the Russian Orthodox have now decided to engage with Catholics, and others, in a collaboration which can be compared to an actual alliance against the great social evils of our day, not only in Russia, but also throughout Europe and the world." Moynihan says that this effort will be directed by a new think tank, the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation, which has the blessing of Patriarch Kirill. Archbishop Hilarion, working with a team of young Orthodox clergy and laymen, decided to found the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation in order to work together with Catholics and others in the West, to support traditional spiritual values in Russia, but also throughout the world, St. Greory was a theologian in the 300s, well before the division of the Church into East and West, and so is venerated both by the Catholics and by the … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion on Orthodox-Catholic relations

From the Moscow Patriarchate, Nov. 12, 2009: During his meeting with foreign media people on 11 November 2009, Archbishop Hilarion spoke on burning issues of inter-Christian relations. He said in particular that considerable improvements took shape in relations with the Roman Catholic Church in recent years. ‘There is a regular mechanism of mutual consultations and high-level visits… We can state that we are moving towards the moment when the preparation of a meeting between the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Moscow will become possible. I would like to underline that we have no concrete plans concerning the venue and date of this meetings but the both sides show a desire to prepare it’, he said. According to His Eminence Hilarion, this meeting should serve to find ‘a common platform’ for issues of bilateral relations, which are still disputable or divisive. ‘As soon as it is found and appropriate agreements are prepared to be signed by the two Churches, this meeting will … [Read more...]

Church of Greece rallies opposition to crucifix ban

crucifix

From Malcolm Brabant reporting for the BBC in Athens: The Greek Orthodox Church is urging Christians across Europe to unite in an appeal against a ban on crucifixes in classrooms in Italy. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled last week that the presence of crucifixes violated a child's right to freedom of religion. Greece's Orthodox Church fears the Italian case will set a precedent. It has called an emergency Holy Synod meeting for next week to devise an action plan. Although the Greek Orthodox Church has been at odds with Roman Catholicism for 1,000 years, the judicial threat to Christian symbols has acted as a unifying force. The European Court of Human Rights found that the compulsory display of crucifixes violated parents' rights to educate their children as they saw fit and restricted the right of children to believe or not to believe. … [Read more...]

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...]