April 20, 2014

A Patriarch who ‘Generally Speaking, Respects Human Life’

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By John Couretas Reading Andrew Estocin's fine essay, "Constantinople's Moral Oversight," I was reminded once again of the long running institutional silence -- a scandal really -- from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese on sanctity of life issues. But that attitude of indifference comes down from the top -- the Phanar. Here is a direct quotation from a July 20, 1990, article, "SF Shows Off Its Ecumenical Spirit," in the San Francisco Chronicle. Metropolitan Bartholomais of Chalcedon is the current Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Asked the Orthodox church's position on abortion, Bartholomais described a stand more liberal than that of the Roman Catholic Church, which condemns abortion in all cases and whose clergy have, in some cities, excommunicated leading pro-choice Catholics. Although the Orthodox church believes the soul enters the body at conception and, ''generally speaking, respects human life and the continuation of pregnancy,'' Bartholomais said, the church also … [Read more...]

Church of Greece Seeks State Help for Charitable Work

From Kathimerini: The Church of Greece is hoping that the government will take seriously the request it made this week for help in making best use of some of the thousands of properties it owns so it can fund a number of charity projects. Sources told Kathimerini yesterday that the Church is hopeful that Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias, who met with Archbishop Ieronymos on Wednesday, will respond favorably to the request. The Church wants the government to help it develop some of the properties in Athens, including one in the upmarket neighborhood of Kolonaki, as part of a plan to build rehabilitation centers for drug addicts, old people’s homes and care centers for cancer sufferers and autistic children. After Wednesday’s meeting, Souflias acknowledged the archbishop’s “burning desire to make a contribution to society but which requires work and funds for which he has requested our support.” … [Read more...]

FOCUS North America bolsters ministry to poor

August 6, 2009: FOCUS North America Extends Domestic Aid with Hundreds of Orthodox Youth Outreach Volunteers FOCUS North America is excited to announce the extension of its domestic outreach to the poor by receiving the highly acclaimed “Orthodox Youth Outreach” (OYO) program from the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry and Teen SOYO. Added to FOCUS North America’s diverse ongoing operations and partner ministries, the addition of the OYO program strengthens its domestic ministry to the homeless and hopeless by involving youth in urban service learning opportunities and social action leadership training. … [Read more...]

Fr. Hopko: A Spiritual Springtime for American Orthodoxy

Fr. Thomas Hopko, an advisor to AOI, delivered an address in late September for the 40th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Chapel at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, a monastery for women in Ellwood City, Pa. Fr. Tom observes that while a "sprinkling" of Orthodox Christians in academic circles have been known to the wider American public, "hardly any other practicing Orthodox Christian has been publicly recognizable in American society in the past forty years." Among the clergy, the late Archbishop Iakovos is singled out for social witness in the civil rights movement. "Things are not much different today," Fr. Tom says. "But there are some notable exceptions." He opens with a sobering assessment and then explores the accomplishments of the Church in recent decades: A Spiritual Springtime for American Orthodoxy -- Reflections on the last 40 Years Membership in the Orthodox churches in North America in the past forty years has radically decreased. There … [Read more...]