August 28, 2014

Met. Jonah addresses the future of Orthodoxy in America

Address given at the SVS conference on Orthodoxy unity in America, June 20, 2009. Highlight: Met. Jonah introduces into official discourse the need to de-imperialize Orthodox ecclesiology. 1917 Council and Tomos: St Tikhon’s Vision Then and Now The Great Council of 1917, and the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church that it began, are aspects of the de-imperialization of the Orthodox Church and its canonical structures. This began a process of the transcendence of the imperial domination of Orthodox ecclesiology, which reigned from Constantine and Theodosius to Nicholas II, and the beginning of the adaptation to a new era in which the Church is independent of the state. This was the beginning of a new conciliar vision, which has developed significantly over the past century. What it did is to set up a new set of structural and canonical interpretations, demanding a worldwide rethinking of Orthodox ecclesiology. The fruit of this vision, partially, is the … [Read more...]

Man as Meat

In part five of the "On the Road" series, Steve the Builder stopped in front of whore house in the middle of the Nevada desert. Sex and death are inextricably intertwined in the human being. That is why the Playmate Ranch is the perfect icon of our fallen humanity. Listen here: … [Read more...]

To Frank Schaeffer: ‘I’m sorry’ doesn’t cut it

(HT: Orthodoxy Today) The State of Kansas vs Frank Schaeffer in the Murder of Dr. George Tiller By George C. Michalopulos Recently, the notorious abortionist Dr George Tiller was gunned down in his church in Wichita, Kansas. The killer was a man who appears to be a dysfunctional loner with grave psychological problems. Nobody in the pro-life movement has stepped forward to applaud him or his actions; routine condemnation has been the order of the day. One man however, has bravely stepped forward to take responsibility for this act. Frank Schaeffer, a self-described former member of the “Republican Party hate machine,” a group that included his father Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, and Ronald Reagan among many others, recently offered a mea-culpa in the left-wing journal The Huffington Post. Schaeffer believes that his life’s work as a young man in the Evangelical movement directly led to this incident because he helped create a "climate of fear" with his documentary … [Read more...]

The Schism and the Skoptsy

RIA Novosti is running a series on Russia's religious sects. The news service takes a look at the history of some of these groups and their leaders, and also asks "why Russia has proved such fertile ground for the growth of new and bizarre beliefs." Part one: MOSCOW, (RIA Novosti's Marc Bennetts) - Russia has seen a colossal number of sects and fringe religions throughout its long history, from the 18th-century self-castrating Skoptsy to the modern-day doomsday cult whose members threatened to burn themselves alive in the Volga Region last year. Up until the mid 17th century, the Russian Orthodox Church enjoyed complete spiritual authority. However, in 1666, Patriarch Nikon decided to bring the Russian Church in line with Greek Orthodoxy, and ordered the rewriting of ecclesiastical tomes. His move, in a country where dogma and tradition had always played a large role in religious life, caused an uproar. Nikon's assertion that Orthodox believers should use three fingers … [Read more...]

In Due Course

The "Companion to the Greek Orthodox Church," edited by Fotios K. Litsas, was published by Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in 1984 as a guidebook to various topics in Church life. The book included the article "Orthodoxy in the United States" by Rev. Thomas FitzGerald, now dean of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and an expert on American Orthodoxy. Fr. FitzGerald closed his 1984 article with a bold prediction: Orthodoxy in the United States may no longer be viewed simply as a diaspora composed primarily of immigrants intent upon returning to their homeland. Rather, Orthodoxy in the United States can only be viewed properly as an emerging local Church comprised primarily of American citizens of a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. In due course, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States will be united into an autocephalous Church which will be officially recognized as such by the Ecumenical … [Read more...]

A Common Date for Pascha?

The Associated Press has a story out of the World Council of Churches about deliberations toward a common date for Pascha/Easter. The story was based, in part, on this release from the WCC. From the AP: Under the plan the unified Easter usually falls as it would under the Gregorian calendar used by Catholics and Protestants, said Dagmar Heller, an ecumenical professor in Switzerland heading the council's faith and order commission. In the next 15 years, the only time Western churches would have to change Easter is in 2019 from April 21 to March 24. The bigger adjustment would be for the Orthodox Church, which has experienced several schisms in its history over the question of dates. "There are of course some fundamentalist Orthodox who say 'The Julian calendar is our tradition and it was used in Jesus' lifetime so we cannot change,'" Heller said, adding that some Eastern theologians might fear more breaks in their church as a result of a date change. "And, of course, … [Read more...]

Servants of Each Other

orrologion says it's time to open the windows of our Orthodox house and let in some fresh air: I for one am glad that these sorts of conversations are being had. They reveal us. Our creation myths can be challenged. Our skewed views of ourselves can be corrected. Greeks can hear how they are perceived; Russians and Americans and Arabs likewise. We're all used to the smell of our own stink; we forgive our own pet sins, but not others'. We can see how our actions (and lack of actions) hurt others, and we can change (hopefully). We can compare and contrast our strengths and weaknesses, our love, our piety, our good works, patience, kindness. We can learn from each other and grow. We can live rather than simply preserve and grasp. We can see how Orthodoxy is not only what I grew up with, what 'my' spiritual father told, what Prof./Fr../Geronda/Vladyka said it was - we can see Orthodoxy is bigger than my family, my clan, my tribe, my culture, my opinions, my theological clique. Our … [Read more...]

Holy Cross Faculty Weighs in on ‘Distinctive Prerogatives’ of Ecumenical Patriarch

The Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., released a "Faculty Statement on the Ecumenical Patriarchate" on April 30 and posted it on the school's Web site on May 8. HT: Andrew. Text follows: The Leadership of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Significance of Canon 28 of Chalcedon The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the preeminent Church in the communion of the fourteen Autocephalous Orthodox Churches. Reflecting the witness of St. Andrew, the First Called Apostle, the enduring mission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is to proclaim the salutary Gospel of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Apostolic and Orthodox Faith. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has a particular responsibility to strengthen the unity of the Orthodox Churches and to coordinate their common witness. At the same time, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has a specific responsibility to care for the faithful in lands beyond the borders of the other Autocephalous … [Read more...]

Canon 28 and Constantinople’s Jurisdictional Claims

byantineeagle

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It Is Time To Be Direct

An interview published in the Russian language Blagovest-Info on April 28, 2009. Highlight: Blagovest-Info: During the six months you have occupied the chair of the Archbishop of Washington, you had to prove yourself a leader unafraid of expressing your stance, even if, to some, it may seem not to be politically correct. Suffice it to recall your recent speech in Dallas. To what extent, in your opinion, should directness and diplomacy be combined among hierarchs? +Jonah: I think it is time to be direct. We can be politically correct, but we will be buried. Can we afford to play Byzantine political games, in which they simply do not take us into account? And I want my voice to be heard in the upcoming discussions concerning the problem of the Orthodox Diaspora. I do not want to offend anyone - especially the Ecumenical Patriarch, - but I want my Church’s position to be heard and acknowledged. It is essential that we participate in decisions regarding our fate." HT: Orthodox … [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...]

Patriarch Pavle: Paschal Encyclical 2009

Patriarchal Paschal Encyclical 2009 The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2009 P A V L E By the grace of God, Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with the all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church – to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting: CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN! “Let us call ‘Brothers’ even those who hate us’ and forgive all by the resurrection.” (Paschal hymn) … [Read more...]