April 20, 2014

Met. Jonah: Why I signed the Manhattan Declaration

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Met. Jonah explains why he signed the Manhattan Declaration. H/T Peter and Helen Evans Interviewer: Why did you sign the Manhattan Declaration? Met. Jonah: ...I believe in the same basic principles that are enunciated in the Manhattan Declaration. I believe also that many of them are the basic teachings of the Church regarding human life and how we are supposed to live -- first and foremost the stance on pro-life, the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, and how critically important it is to protect that every step of the way... See the complete interview and more interviews with Orthodox signers (and others) on the Peter and Helen Evans website (website under construction). … [Read more...]

Eve of the Nativity of Christ

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2AfqVNs_50[/youtube] Kontakion in the Third Tone On this day the Virgin cometh to a cave to give birth to God the Word ineffable, Who was before all the ages. Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing the gladsome tidings; with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him Who is willing to be gazed on as a young Child Who before the ages is God. … [Read more...]

Science and the Demands of Virtue

Fr. Gregory Jensen

A new commentary by Fr. Jensen (Source: Acton Institute, Dec. 15, 2009) ----- Science and the Demands of Virtue by Rev. Gregory Jensen Contrary to the popular understanding, the natural sciences are not morally neutral. Not only do the findings of science have moral implications, the actual work of scientific research presupposes that the researcher himself is a man of virtue. When scientific research is divorced from, or worse opposed to, the life of virtue it is not simply the research or the researcher that suffers but the whole human family. Take for example, the scandal surrounding the conduct of researchers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University in the UK. Whether or not the recently revealed emails and computer programs undermine the theory of anthropological global warning (AGW), it is clear that current public policy debate is based at least in part on the research of scientists of questionable virtue who sacrificed not only honesty and fair … [Read more...]

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM2qq5J5A1s[/youtube] Twenty years ago today. The following is from "The Origin of Russian Communism" by Nicholas Berdyaev (published by Geoffrey Bles, 1937): Marxism is not only a doctrine of historical and economic materialism, concerned with the complete dependence of man on economics, it is also a doctrine of deliverance, of the messianic vocation of the proletariat, of the future perfect society in which man will not be dependent on economics, of the power and victory of man over the irrational forces of nature and society. There is the soul of Marxism, not in its economic determinism. In a capitalist society man is completely determined, and that refers to the past. The complete dependence of man upon economics can be explained as a sin of the past. But the future is otherwise; man can be freed from slavery. And the active agent which frees humanity from slavery and establishes the best life, is the proletariat. To it are … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Fordham

(sigh) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was at Fordham University in New York to receive an award yesterday and give a speech. A number of things jump out. First, a recap. In his post, "The Patriarch, the Enlightenment, and the Environment," here on the Observer, Fr. Gregory Jensen reminds us that the human heart needs communion with a person, not an inanimate object. Whether in the Holy Trinity or in the human family, personal communion is radically different then the union possessed by “molecules of water” or by “particles of atmosphere.” The union of the physical creation is impersonal. There is no communion between molecules of water or particles of air. Thus the comparison of the human to the non-human world in these terms makes all conversation about what is in our best personal or national interest meaningless. When particularity is subsumed into an abstraction, the differences between people ultimately have no meaning. But, in his Fordham speech, Patriarch … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s statement on SCOBA meeting

NEW YORK – His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gave an audience yesterday Tuesday, Oct. 27, to the Orthodox Primates of the USA, most of whom were present the previous evening for the Ninth Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community. Present at the audience were Archbishop Demetrios of America (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Philip (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Christopher (Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Nicholas (Carpatho- Russian Diocese); Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Metropolitan Constantine (Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA); Bishop Ilia (Albanian Orthodox Diocese) and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA). Archbishop Demetrios welcomed His All Holiness on behalf of the Primates. The remarks of His All Holiness follow: “We bring to you the greeting, the blessing, and the love … [Read more...]

Russian Church: Martyrdom and Resurrection

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From an article by Nadezhda Kevorkova of Russia Now, published as a supplement to the Telegraph: The Russian faith, like the Russian revolution and like life in Russia itself, never condescends to the individual. In the 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet system, the Russian Church has been rebuilt from ruins inhabited by shuffling old women and somewhat eccentric zealots into the most powerful body on the post-Soviet stage. No other Russian social institution has experienced such a rising from the ashes. And no other country has seen such an obvious revival of faith as has occurred in Russia. … [Read more...]

Archbishop Puhalo: ‘No angry God’

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

"Archbishop Lazar Puhalo believes in compassion," begins the article in the Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine. Reporter Lindsay Tice caught up with the archbishop at a talk he gave yesterday to students at University of Southern Maine's Lewiston-Auburn College. (HT: OBL News) Dressed in black robes and sporting a long white and gray beard, Puhalo spoke to students over a potluck lunch held in the college's second-floor lounge. Encouraged by questions, he jumped from topic to topic, covering in two-and-a-half hours: same-sex marriage, universal health care, women's rights, religious fundamentalism, politics, an individual's impact on society, ecology, suffering, compassion, fear, hatred, faith, hope and love. "There is no hand of an angry God. There is no angry God," he said, adding, "If God's so full of hate, what's he got to teach us?" Puhalo lambasted what he sees as Christian hypocrisy and bigotry, saying too many religious people moralize and judge while too few help … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Methodios: Fear of swine flu should not keep faithful from Holy Communion

Metropolitan Methodios of Boston (GOA)

A statement from Metropolitan Methodios, issued by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston: The Center of Disease Control (CDC), fearing an H1N1 Pandemic, strongly discourages participation in group activities, recommending individuals, (especially children) with colds or the flu remain at home and follow the instructions of their medical doctors. Many faithful have approached our Parish Priests expressing concern about their participation in worship services, especially in the sacramental life of the Church. While the warnings of the medical community should be heeded by persons with colds and flue-like symptoms, people, in general, should not panic but carry on with their usual activities, including going to church and receiving Holy Communion. It should be noted, that the Church has always been clear in its belief that diseases are not transmitted from the Holy Chalice which we believe contains the very body and blood of our Savior. Hence, the distribution of Holy … [Read more...]

Chambesy: Ready for the New World?

Fr. Ted Bobosh

Fr. Ted Bobosh, an OCA priest and author, offers an analysis of the Rules of Operation for the forthcoming episcopal assembly scheduled for May 2010 in the United States. The chairmanship of the Episcopal Assemblies is key because it is the chairman who basically set the agenda for the work of the Assemblies. In other words the Ecumenical Patriarchate will be deciding what can and cannot be discussed and what direction discussions may take. The bishops of Chambesy while allowing the bishops in a region to discuss Orthodox unity, are not leaving it solely to the discretion of the local bishops how to inact or implement that unity. Here the Ecumenical Patriarch has reserved the right of final say for himself and apparently he will have veto power over the decisions of the Episcopal Assemblies. In his analysis, Fr. Ted also points out that there is a fundamental understanding about church and state relations in the United States that may not be fully comprehended by Old … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion: Be like Christ

From an interview in the Russian publication Argumenty I Fakty, republished on the site of the Moscow Patriarchate. Worth reading in its entirety. Excerpts: Should the Church do something to attract young people? Should it seek a special approach to them? I believe that the search for real freedom is a worthy thing not only for young people but also for all those who are seeking the true life. The Church appreciates the aspiration of the young to freedom and independence, as Christians have never been the adherents of the submissiveness to the reality in which they live and which bears the apparent traces of sin. At the same time, the search for freedom, unfortunately, do not always bring people to their cherished goals. Young people often take permissiveness and nihilism for freedom. As a result, after a natural dependence of their parents up to a certain age they become slaves of consumers’ worldview and brute instincts that the slavery exploits. Therefore the Church … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch on YouTube

Clips from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's various environmental symposia are now on YouTube. This first video is from the patriarch's address in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1997 which, the accompanying text says, "was the first time any religious leader had ever called harming the environment a sin." The second video is from former Vice President Al Gore's welcome in Washington during the same 1997 visit. See more videos here. … [Read more...]