August 30, 2014

Message of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches

Leaders of the world's Orthodox churches released a joint statement that touched on far ranging issues of interest to the Church, including the global economic crisis, the environment and the prospects for further pan-Orthodox consultations and a Holy and Great Council. The primates were gathered for the Oct. 10-12 Synaxis of the Heads of the Orthodox Churches and Pauline Symposium at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George in Istanbul, Turkey. His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I addressed the gathering on Oct. 10, saying that "such a Synaxis is deemed necessary and beneficial, especially in times like ours, when the personal encounter and conversation among responsible leaders in all public domains of human life is rendered increasingly accessible and essential." The Message from the Primates, posted on the Europaica site, also pointedly affirmed the Church's role in the social sphere. "Efforts to distance religion from societal life constitute the common … [Read more...]

Michalopulos responds to Katopodis on ‘Orthodox Dominionists’

George C. Michalopulos has submitted the following in response to Harry Katopodis' article on Orthodox Dominionists. Michalopulos is co-author, with Herb Ham, of "The American Orthodox Church -- A History of its Beginnings" (Regina Orthodox Press). Michalopulos: It never ceases to amaze me how certain benighted and theologically inept individuals take upon themselves the task of speaking for Christ’s Church as it traverses on its voyage through history. One such individual fears that the so-called religious right has made inroads into the Orthodox Church in North America, and that it is only because of noble souls such as himself that tolerance can only be found in one remaining bastion, i.e. the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. And of what is Katapodis afraid? In no particular order: converts, “theocons,” non-GOAA bishops, and the rising tide of pro-lifers within American Orthodoxy. The ridiculousness does … [Read more...]

Mattingly on Fr. John Peck

Update (10/13/08): The complete, unedited column is now available on Terry Mattingly's site under the title, "Beyond Orthodox folk dancing." (10/11/08): Religion writer Terry Mattingly has a column in today's Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera newspaper that is a must read. He looks at the controversy surrounding the publication of Fr. John Peck's "The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow" here on the Web site of the American Orthodox Institute. Mattingly is a blogger at the GetReligion site, a syndicated columnist, and directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He recently joined AOI as an adviser. About Fr. Peck, Mattingly said that "the 46-year-old priest wrote an article about the positive Orthodox trends in America, as well as offering candid talk about the problems faced by some of his friends. He finished 'The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow' soon after arriving at the Greek Orthodox mission in Prescott, Ariz., and sent it to the American … [Read more...]

Katopodis Responds to ‘Orthodox Dominionists’

Mr. Harry Katopodis has sent AOI an article to further elaborate on the thinking behind his article in the Hellenic Voice, "Religious Right Must Not Set Agenda for Orthodox Church." Which led to my post, "Where are the Orthodox Dominionists?" The Katopodis response is published here unedited: Dominionists or Pro-Life? By Harry Katopodis Several bloggers have criticized my article because I called called pro-life Orthodox dominionists, however the difference in reality is very small. The point is that whether I call them dominionists or religious right their stands are very similar, put Christian values and doctrine in the government of the United States. I was raised in the Orthodox Church, and I left the Greek Church and went to the OCA so I could hear English services. A few years later I returned home to the Greek Church when I felt I wasn’t welcome in the OCA because I am a Democrat and a proud union member that votes for Democrats because it is in my economic interest … [Read more...]

Invocation Prayer

The following prayer was offered by Fr. John A. Peck (see his Orthodox Church of Tomorrow below) at the Prescott (Ariz.) City Council meeting on Sept. 9. Fr. John is pastor of Prescott Orthodox Church, The "Mile High" Mission. Invocation Prayer O God, the God of principalities and powers, authorities and dominions, we ask You to send Your Most Holy, Good and Life-Creating Spirit upon this noble assembly, that You may bless what we do, and that we may do what You bless. Strengthen us to labor without partiality or favor for the increase of prosperity to the benefit of all Your people, to establish Your peace and Your justice among men. Guide us by Your Holy Spirit that we may not tolerate in our midst those who would lie, cheat or steal, who would circumvent justice for the righteous, or reward the transgressor. For You are the benefactor of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and to You we ascribe glory, together with Your Father, Who is from everlasting, and Your Most … [Read more...]

The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow

A new American Orthodoxy, one more vitalized by the Gospel, is taking shape now. There will be fewer parishes, more and younger bishops, a clergy that is better educated and morally rigorous. And, finally, the ethnic "coffee club" model of Orthodox Christianity will fade away. This is the vision of Fr. John A. Peck in "The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow," just published on the AOI site. "As frightening and disconcerting as it may seem to our leaders, they will learn that emerging from a cocoon, even a Byzantine cocoon, is not a bad thing," Fr. John writes. "Orthodoxy is about to take flight on new beautiful wings. Here he is on the future of the hierarchy in America: If our current slate of bishops has been mostly a disappointment, reducing their number will only tighten this closed circle, making the hierarchy less and less accessible, and more and more immune to things like, oh, the needs and concerns of their flock. The process of selection for the episcopacy will contain a … [Read more...]

‘Requiem for the Romanovs’

Robert Moynihan, writing for Inside the Vatican, has a moving report on the world premiere of a "Requiem Concert" in Russia's largest church, Christ the Savior, in a commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family on the night of July 17, 1918. The historical texts and music were by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna, Austria, head of the Russian Church representation to the European Institutions. Alfeyev also participated in the performance, reading Scriptural passages in which the sufferings of Christ seemed to foreshadow the sufferings of Christians in communist Russia. In the article "Requiem for the Romanovs," Moynihan wrote: No one can contemplate the bloody murder of four lovely, educated, refined, innocent girls, and their young brother, without a shudder. This sense of horror is multiplied by the sense that the children in some way represented the nation itself. The czar "incarnated" the "essence" of the Russian nation, … [Read more...]

Orthodox-Catholic dialogue ‘progressing’

In Rome for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I said that the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue was showing progress despite "considerable difficulties that exist and the well-known problems." The patriarch attended the inauguration of the Pauline Jubilee Year and Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI. Zenit News said Patriarch Bartholomew voiced optimism about the prospect for closer relations: The theological dialogue between our Churches 'in faith, truth and love,' thanks to divine help, goes forward despite the considerable difficulties that exist and the well-known problems. We truly desire and fervently pray that these difficulties will be overcome and that the problems will disappear as soon as possible so that we may reach the desired final goal for the glory of God. We know well that this is your desire too, as we also are certain that Your Holiness will neglect nothing, personally working, together with your illustrious collaborators, … [Read more...]