April 18, 2014

Antiochian Orthodox in Australia and New Zealand support Copts

Met. Paul encourages faithful to participate in an ecumenical protest against the persecution of the Coptic Church in Egypt. To all of our Revd. Clergy in Victoria, Greetings in the Spirit of the Nativity of our Lord & his Baptism, We would like to encourage you and your faithful to express vocally your dismay and condemnation about what has been going on in Egypt against the Orthodox Copts. On Thursday January 14th 2010: Time: 9am Place: St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral (Corner of Flinders St and Swanston St). We encourage you to do your utmost to have as many of you and your faithful to participate in the demonstration. Asking the Holy Spirit to be with all of you. In the appearing God. +Paul Letter from Victorian Council of Churches below. … [Read more...]

(Lutheran) Jerusalem bishop denounces killing of Coptic Christians in Egypt

When are we going to hear from the Orthodox? Geneva (ENI). Jerusalem Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan has denounced the killing of six Coptic Christians in Egypt and he offered support to the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. … [Read more...]

Bishop Thomas of the Coptic Orthodox Church on “The Myth of Islamic Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence”

Bishop Thomas speaking at the Hudson Institute (seven videos). See more videos: … [Read more...]

The silence of the EP to events in world Orthodoxy

Several important events of the last week involve Orthodox Christians around the world including the protest by Palestinian Christians against the alleged corruption of the Patriarch of Jerusalem (see: Palestinian Christians jeer Greek Orthodox leader; also see: Patriarch could become persona non grata in Bethlehem) and the Muslim persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt (see: 8 Coptic Christians in Egypt Shot Dead As They Left Christmas Mass). Notable is the silence of the Ecumenical Patriarch concerning these events. Not so with Rome. From the Assyrian News Agency: Pope Condemns Religious Attacks After Copt Deaths VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -- Pope Benedict called on political and religious authorities on Sunday to prevent violence against Christians, in an apparent reference to recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt. "Violence against Christians ... has caused indignation among many people, particularly because it has taken place on the most sacred days of the Christian … [Read more...]

Wave of Clergy Killings in Russia

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (center) conducts the funeral service for slain priest Daniil Sysoyev in a Moscow church, 23 November 2009

Voice of America. H/T Orthodox News Twenty-six Orthodox priests murdered since 1990, including 39-year-old Alexander Filippov on Tuesday The second murder of a Russian priest in as many months has prompted a call by the Orthodox Church for Russians to think about their country's spiritual and moral condition. The killings follow more violence this year directed against Muslim clerics in Russia's troubled Caucasus region. Tuesday's shooting death of 39-year-old priest Alexander Filippov is alleged to be the act of two intoxicated men in the village of Satino-Russkoye near Moscow. His widow is quoted as saying Filippov had reproached the suspects for relieving themselves at the entrance of their apartment building. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, called Filippov a bright and clean-living individual who leaves behind three daughters. Kirill says the priest was killed because he was not indifferent to disgusting human behavior and took a … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: ‘Patriarchate is dying’

’We cannot breathe, the Patriarchate is dying,’ says patriarch ASLI AYDINTAŞBAŞ ISTANBUL - Milliyet Thursday, December 24, 2009 Following criticism of his controversial statement to a U.S. television network describing his community’s problems, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew says his comments were emphasized, but the serious problem of opening Halki seminary needs to be addressed. Criticized for telling U.S. network CBS that he felt “crucified in Turkey,” in an interview he told daily Milliyet, “We are without oxygen, the Patriarchate is dying.” He said the interview with CBS was not planned and that the media had emphasized the crucifixion quote. He said this was a metaphor for detailing Greeks’ problems in Turkey, highlighted by the issue of the Halki seminary located on Heybeliada, one of Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands in Marmara Sea. “What will we do, if we cannot raise men of the cloth? Our metropolitan bishops in Europe are over 70 years old. The ones here are … [Read more...]

Report: Phanar backtracks on crucifixion remark

From Today's Zaman (Dec. 24). No statement yet on the Patriarchate's site. The patriarchate’s statement said: “There are similar idioms in all languages, and they are not evaluated in their narrow meanings but in their broad sense in that language. While answering questions in that regard, the patriarch obviously did not intend to imply any pressure from our government.” The statement also said that there was a need to make a public announcement about the issue because the patriarch’s words were interpreted in a way that goes beyond their meaning. Turkish government officials continue to denounce the patriarch for his crucifixion remark: In İzmir, speaking at a conference organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç called the patriarch’s criticism “unacceptable,” while reiterating that Turkey doesn’t consider the patriarchate to be ecumenical in line with the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which governs the status of the … [Read more...]

Battle looming over icons and prayers in Greek schools

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MbEL-C7ypU[/youtube] The head of the Greek Orthodox Church has warned the country's new socialist government that it faces a major battle over removing religious symbols from schools. The European Court in Strasbourg has ordered Italy to take down crucifixes from its classrooms, and Greece's Justice Minister has acknowledged that it may have to follow suit. From Lamia in Central Greece, Malcolm Brabant reports. "This is a major battle of faith, which is just beginning," he says. From Moscow, December 21 (RIA Novosti): Europe's future unthinkable without Christianity - Patriarch Kirill The future of the European continent is impossible without taking into account its Christian heritage, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said Monday. "People who attached great significance to European cultural and religious identity as an important element of pan-European wellbeing were among the EU originators," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow … [Read more...]

To the anonymous priest-critic of the Manhattan Declaration

George Michalopulos answers the "Orthodox Priest" (name withheld) whose critical comments about the Manhattan Declaration were posted on The Observer (here) by Harry Katopodis: A Response to an Orthodox Priest Regarding the Manhattan Declaration Dec 21, 2009 Reverend Father, bless! Christ is in our midst! As you can tell by my name, I am a layman, not a clergyman. Neither am I a theologian, therefore what follows must be viewed with that in mind. Be that as it may, I am at a loss to understand how the Manhattan Declaration is a document whose “…theology is not Orthodox” (as you state). This is a bold assertion. Therefore I am forced to ask which heretical and/or heterodox teachings were promulgated within the Declaration. As two Orthodox bishops and several Orthodox priests were involved in its creation, I need to know if they were wrong in any way. You then go on to state that the Declarations “approach to pastoral ministry…is not Orthodox.” Unless I am mistaken, … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy and Hellenism group cites Islamic charter in defense of Patriarchate

An unsigned "call to action" in defense of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was published today on the "Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” Web site. This appeal asks readers to sign a Web-based petition which demands that the "Turkish government ... take steps to guarantee the recognition, safety, and protection of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Patriarchate, the Seminary of Halki, and the ethnic minority of Greek Christians living in Turkey." The "call to action" placed the weight of its argument for religious freedom and human rights on a "Charter of Privileges to Christians" purported to have been signed by Muhammad, the founder of Islam, in the 7th Century. The "call to action" described this charter as emblematic of the "established universal position" of human rights that also inspired the U.S. Constitution. The appeal: To those who were privileged enough to see the, CBS 60 Minutes story about His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch … [Read more...]

Turkish journalist: ‘We are crucifying the patriarch’

By Mehmet Ali Birand in Hurriyet (Monday, December 21, 2009): It might be true, we are crucifying the patriarch I don’t agree with Foreign Minister Davutoğlu. The patriarch is right. The state, with its ignorance of a Turkish institution for 38 years, has not been able to keep its word and has crucified the patriarch. No offense, but the culture and custom of crucifying exists in our state. It did not only apply it to the Patriarchate but also to its citizens and institutions, and it continues to do so. For those who don’t know, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew is a leader who is followed by millions of Orthodox people from all over the world and one who holds the international status of a patriarch in the heart of a Muslim country. And we, who are supposed to be proud of this, underestimate it by calling him a patriarch based in Istanbul’s Fener neighborhood. As if we are asked or allowed to make a decision. Even if we don’t accept his ecumenical presence, … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on CBS 60 Minutes: Text and video

Watch CBS News Videos Online Also see video "extras" on CBS site. Transcript from CBS via National Herald: Text of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's interview on CBS's '60 Minutes' (CBS) Would it surprise you to learn that one of the world's most important Christian leaders, second only to the pope, lives in a country where 99 percent of the population is Muslim? His name is Bartholomew, and he is the patriarch of 300 million Orthodox Christians. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey, the latest in a line of patriarchs who have resided there since before there was a Turkey, since the centuries following the death of Jesus Christ. That's when Istanbul was called Constantinople and was the most important city in the Christian world. But times change, and in modern Muslim Turkey the patriarch doesn't feel very welcome. Turkish authorities have seized Christian properties and closed Christian churches, monasteries and schools. His parishioners are afraid that the authorities want to … [Read more...]