October 20, 2014

Greece Supreme Court annuls verdict against Abbot Ephraim

voice-of-russia

Source: The Voice of Russia The Greek Supreme Court has annulled a verdict against Archimandrite Ephraim, the Abbot of the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, local media reported on Thursday. Earlier this week, Ephraim and two more people were convicted to ten months in prison for embezzlement and money laundering in Greece. In a statement on Thursday, the Supreme Court said that the … [Read more...]

Benjamin Peck: Speak My Name

Benjamin Peck

I am always encouraged whenever I read or hear young people who are serious about Christ. Below is a sermon written by Benjamin Peck, a freshman at Holy Cross College that he gave at the Festival of Young Preachers conference sponsored by the Academy of Preachers in January, 2012. (Learn more about the festival here.) Ben is 21 years old but you can see by his sermon he thinks deeply and … [Read more...]

Greek Church Protests Pre-Trial Detention of Abbot Ephraim

Abbott Ephraim

Will the (autocephalous) Orthodox Church of Greece receive a scolding as well? (See: Εcumenical Patriarchate Denounces Russian Interference in the Ephraim Case.) Source: RIA Novosti The autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece has called for the release of Abbot Efraim, the head of the Vatopedi Monastery in Mount Athos, who is currently under arrest on real estate fraud charges, the … [Read more...]

Engaged Monasticism

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble

Source: Fr. Peter-Michael Preble blog | Fr. Peter-Michael Preble In 369 AD St. Basil the great was a newly ordained priest ministering in and around the area of Constantinople. That year a drought hit followed by famine as the crops had all dried up. He delivered four homilies that have been complied in the book “On Social Justice” that spoke to the heart of how people act in these times of … [Read more...]

Εcumenical Patriarchate Denounces Russian Interference in the Ephraim Case

Abbott Ephraim

The Vatopedi land deal (see: Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds) has resulted in the arrest and detainment of the Abbot of the Monastery of Vatopaidi Ephraim. It has also exacerbated tensions between Constantinople and Moscow. Constantinople was silent on the matter while Moscow was unequivocal in its condemnation of the arrest which they view as unnecessary and unjust. Constantinople broke it silence … [Read more...]

Patriarch Urges Russia’s Government To ‘Listen’ And ‘Correct The Course’

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (left) with President Dmitry Medvedev at the Church of Our Lady's Nativity in the Kremlin

Much political and social analysis in America about the Russian Orthodox Church tends to view Russia through the lens of the Cold War. Russia remains an enemy to American interests and the Russian Orthodox Church is merely a vassal to the Russian State that sanctifies, as it were, state policies that are inimical to American ideals, including freedom of religion. It's a peculiar analysis that is … [Read more...]

Revival of Orthodoxy in Russia

st-basil-cathedral-sketch

Back in October, 2011 Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill said: In 1991, the Russian Orthodox Church had 12,000 parishes, 117 monasteries and convents, two theologian academies, seven theologian seminaries, 16 theologian colleges and four schools. In 2011, we have 30,675 parishes, 29,324 priests, 3,850 deacons and 805 monasteries and convents. The number of theologian educational establishments … [Read more...]

Christmas Too Commercialized? Bah! Humbug!

fr-gregory-jensen-150x150

Source: Koinonia A sermon by Fr. Gregory Jenson. From both the left and the right then, we hear attacks of the contemporary American celebration of Christmas. Every year about this time you can be certain that someone—and not necessarily a Christian—will write an essay lamenting the secularization or the commercialization of Christmas. And for the last several years I have … [Read more...]

OCA Holy Synod of Bishops Expresses Solidarity with Coptic Church in Egypt

oca-logo-dec-11

Source: Orthodox Church in America The witness and mission of the Coptic Church in Egypt have their origin in apostolic times. Today, the Coptic Church of Egypt is the largest Christian Church in the Middle East. Under the leadership of His Holiness, Pope Shenouda, the Coptic Church is a dynamic and active Church, with significant and effective work in education, youth work, and social … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Church Asserts Role in Civil Society

The Church of the Fedorovskaya Icon of the Virgin Mary, at the central Moscow campus of the Russian State Social University, was consecrated in 2006 after debate about religion’s place.

Source: New York Times (HT: The Orthodox Church) | Sophia Kishkovsky MOSCOW — Just over 20 years ago, any religious education outside church walls was still banned in the Soviet Union. Today, churches are being built on state university campuses, theology departments have opened around Russia, and the Russian Orthodox Church has built its own educational network with international contacts and … [Read more...]

Cultural Legacy of Communism: Armenian Women Still Have Average of 8 and as High as 20 Abortions in Lifetime

baby-foot

When the Berlin Wall fell everyone pondered the ramifications as East Germany rejoined their Western brothers and presumably in a few short years catapult Germany to even higher economic prominence. It didn't happen. As it turned out, all it takes to weaken a culture is one generation. Sixty years can wipe values and habits that took generations to accrue. Russia proves the same point. Cultural … [Read more...]

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Surrender of the principle of consensus in the pre-Council process can bring about disorders in world Orthodoxy

Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow

Reading between the lines it seems two questions are in play: 1) How to treat the autocephalous Churches and 2) whether consensus or majority vote will be used to determine how decisions are made. My question is if consensus is chosen, how will it be determined when consensus is reached? Source: Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Church Relations A process of preparation … [Read more...]