April 20, 2014

An Eastern Orthodox Case for Property Rights

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Fr. Jensen: ...[P]roperty rights are not a panacea – protecting and enhancing private ownership will not cure all that ails us personally or socially. Nor can we separate the exercise of our right to property from the moral law or, for Christians, the Gospel. But Orthodox social thought does I think allow us to make a convincing case that property rights are a key element of human flourishing, a necessary ingredient of a just society, and an aid to Christian ministry. Rooted as it is in human nature, it is also a right that can help us see the dignity of all members of the human family and of the ability that all of us – rich or poor, male or female, young or old – have to serve the flourishing of those around us, our society and the Church. Source: Action Institute | Fr. Gregory Jensen As a pastor, I’ve been struck by the hostility, or at least suspicion, that some Orthodox Christians reveal in their discussions of private property. While there are no doubt … [Read more...]

Christos Anesti! — Greek chant

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZSyTUsdpu0[/youtube] Christ, the central figure of the icon, is robed in white to show His divinity. The aureole (elongated halo) around Him also symbolizes this brilliant Light. At His feet are the demolished gates of Hades (in some icons these gates are the coffin lids of Adam and Eve and are depicted as a Cross on which Christ stands), with their broken keys and locks. Christ holds the hands of Adam (Heb: man) and Eve (Heb. Life), depicted to his right and left, as he pulls them from their tombs. Adam is in old man, recalled to his primordial innocence; Eve is also depicted as elderly, and is set free from her sin in Eden by the Incarnation. Behind Christ are aligned the Righteous of the Old Testament (to the left, including Solomon and David) and the New Testament (to the right, including John the Baptist and Joseph the Guardian). … [Read more...]

The Chain of Catastrophe

Fr. Aris Metrakos

Fr. Aris Metrakos, priest at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco, California, delivered this address at a memorial service for the victims of abortion held at the St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral on the eve of the West Coast Walk for Life on January 23, 2009. In his talk, Fr. Aris offers reasons why abortion on demand became accepted in the culture, and what Christians must do to restore a culture of life. Listen now:    widget here … [Read more...]

Greece: No Faith in Ourselves

Writing for the Foreign Policy Research Institute on Dec. 19, Cornelia A. Tsakiridou rightly points to the breakdown of the rule of law as one of the most deplorable outcomes of these riots. Tsakiridou is Associate Professor and Director of the Diplomat-in-Residence Program at La Salle University. The spectacle of young people (and assorted criminals, leftwing extremists, and self-proclaimed anarchists) on a smash-and-burn spree wrapping themselves in the mantle of justice, martyrdom, and victimhood is only rivaled by that of a government incapable of making a clear and effective distinction between political grievance and thuggery, lawlessness and the rule of law. Despite attempts in the national and international press (among them Le Monde and The Guardian) to give a deeper dimension to the Greek riots and to offer a mix of elaborate psychological and sociological explanations, the truth may actually be rather plain. The riots happened because the legal … [Read more...]

Alexy II: A ‘Transitional’ Patriarch

Vladimir Berezansky, Jr., a U.S. lawyer with experience in Russia and former Soviet republics, recalls an interview with Patriarch Alexy II in 1991. Like many Russians at the time, the Patriarch was coping with a "disorienting change" following the fall of the Soviet Empire, Berezansky writes. At the time, he seemed overcome by the changes taking place around him, and he did not know where to begin. "For our entire lives, we [clerics] were pariahs, and now we are being called on to do everything: chaplains for the military, ministries to hospitals, orphanages, prisons," he said. He even voiced regret about taking the time to travel to the United States. But he had gambled -- correctly, as it turned out -- that he could do more for his flock by seeking foreign assistance than by staying home to manage the Russian Orthodox Church's destitution. His plate was full and overflowing, and he seemed keenly aware of the ironies of his situation. The Russian state was returning … [Read more...]