April 24, 2014

Undue interference in the choice of religious leaders

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Source: Asia News Ankara (AsiaNews/F18) – The Turkish government continues to interfere in who leads the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Jewish communities. It also determines who leads the Diyanet, the Presidency of Religious Affairs, the highest Islamic religious authority in the country, Forum 18 News Service reports. This violates the rights of each religious group. The Turkish state recognises only four religions: Sunni Islam, Greek Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church and Judaism. Other religions are neither recognised nor formally allowed; however, they are de facto tolerated. Moreover, no religious community in Turkey at present has independent legal status in its own right—which means for example that no religious community can own property. … [Read more...]

CNN’s “World’s Untold Stories” to examine Greek Orthodox Community in Turkey

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Source: Hellenic News of America New York, NY - CNN International will air a program entitled "Turkey's Dwindling Greek Christians" as part of its series "World's Untold Stories." The program will air on the CNN International Channel (look for it in your local cable, satellite listings) as follows: * Saturday, Aug. 28: (GMT) 13:30, 20:00 - (EDT, New York) 9:30 a.m., 4:00 p.m. * Sunday, Aug. 29: (GMT) 12:00, 20:30 - (EDT, New York) 8:00 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m. * Monday, Aug. 30: (GMT) 03:00 * Tuesday, Aug. 31: (GMT) 12:30, 17:30 - (EDT, New York) 8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. The following excerpt is taken from the CNN website: … [Read more...]

Why no support for Ground Zero church from Giannoulias?

Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias made waves earlier this week when he announced his support for the Ground Zero Mosque. Giannoulias’s support for the mosque isn’t particularly surprising; he’s far behind his Republican opponent, Mark Kirk, in the money race and can’t afford to alienate the White House, or risk no more presidential fundraising trips.  The people who should be surprised are Giannoulias’s Greek supporters, particularly those who call New York City home. You see, as Fox News reported today, the only house of worship that was actually destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks was a Greek Orthodox church, Saint Nicholas. And while the mosque cleared city red tape earlier this month, Port Authority officials have been dragging their feet for years on rebuilding Saint Nicholas. “We have people that are saying, why isn’t our church being rebuilt and why is there ... such concern for people of the mosque?” Father Alex Karloutsos, … [Read more...]

In search of God particle, atoms smashed at record speed

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Most of this is above my pay grade but it sure is fascinating. I like watching things like this with one eye cast on Darwin, by which I mean the (preposterous) notion that order rises out of matter rather than order preexisting the rise of matter (the latter functions as the philosophical presupposition in the Darwinian creation narrative). I don't really understand how this new research fits in so if anyone can enlighten us, I would appreciate it. Source: ZEENEWS Geneva: Replicating conditions preceding the Big Bang that formed the universe, scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher here today collided two proton beams into each other at record speeds that could herald a new era of discoveries. "We are on the threshold of a new era of science and if we are lucky, within a few months we would be able to make a string of new discoveries," Guido Tonelli, a spokesman at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), told reporters. Scientists gathered across … [Read more...]

Pimp your mosque!

Gold dome of Imam Reza's shrine, Mash'had

This sounds a lot like the old temple prostitution in the early centuries of Christianity. Source: Pajamas Media Pious pilgrimage just got more exciting at Imam Reza’s shrine in Iran, where for a reasonable fee (see price list below) a mullah can join any eager pilgrim in holy matrimony of “temporary marriage” with his choice of a lovely, fully hijabed, and properly veiled prostitute for a period between 5 hours to 10 days. Pedophiles welcome: girls as young as 12 years of age are standing by. Not to worry, the mullahs got them covered: all “temps” under 14 must show a written consent from their fathers or male guardians (no doubt on advice from the recently fired, now freelancing ACORN specialists). We are not making this up. According to a document obtained by Planet-Iran.com, the mullahs are doing it not for the money (what’s a 5% pimp cut for a holy shrine?), but out of the noble desire “to elevate the spiritual atmosphere, create proper psychological conditions and … [Read more...]

Patriarch: Pope Is Like-Minded on Morals, Values

We are witnessing the emergence of a new kind of ecumenical work, one that respects theological differences, but recognizes that if the de-Christianization of culture continues, it would lead to cultural catastrophe (most likely a capitulation to Islam). This recognition also sharpens both the beliefs and values the Christian Churches share in common so that ecumenical activity in the future would be formed around cooperation in strengthening them. ZE10071905 - 2010-07-19Source Says Both Churches Can Work Together on Many IssuesMOSCOW, JULY 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russias says he and Benedict XVI often see eye-to-eye on many issues, especially with regard to those of a moral nature. The Patriarch said this in statements on the occasion of his trip to Ukraine, reported today by the Russian agency Interfax. "I must say that the position of the present Pope, Benedict XVI, leaves room for optimism," he said in an … [Read more...]

Aide: (Catholic) Church Plays Key Role in Dialogue in Cuba

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The announcement of the upcoming release of political dissidents in Cuba, an event in which the Church played a vital role, is a significant step for the Caribbean nation, says a Vatican spokesman. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said this in the most recent edition of the weekly Vatican Television program "Octava Dies." On Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Havana announced the forthcoming release of 52 political prisoners -- five immediately and 47 more in the coming three or four months. Their release is another fruit of mediation by the Church, which already brought the freedom of a paraplegic prisoner and the relocation of 12 others. The Vatican spokesman said the release of the prisoners, and the end of the hunger strike of journalist Guillermo Fariñas, "is good news from the Caribbean island, which we were expecting for several weeks." … [Read more...]

OCA’s Moscow representative at May 24 celebration of Patriarch Kirill’s namesday

Although it is history now, the Divine Liturgy held in Moscow on May 24 f by Pat. Kirill and Pat. Bartholomew included a representative of the OCA as a co-celebrant. This is clearly an affirmation of the canonical legitimacy of the OCA and Abp. Demetrios was entirely correct in inviting the OCA to the Episcopal Assembly. The autocephaly of the OCA is the real issue, not canonical legitimacy. +++++++++++++++ HT: Orthodox News MOSCOW, RUSSIA [OCA/St. Catherine Church] -- On Monday, May 24, 2010, the Feast of the Holy Spirit, which coincided this year with the Feast of the Holy Equal to the Apostles Saints Cyril and Methodius, was marked with the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy at Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral by His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, and His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who was celebrating his namesday. Concelebrating with the Primates of the Churches of … [Read more...]

Fr. Damick: Further impressions from the Episcopal Assembly

By Fr. Andrew Damick Source: Orthodox History Some more impressions, not terribly well sorted: One thing that struck me about the event was its lack of staff. Normally, these kind of big church events are swarming with photographers, porters, subdeacons swirling about, etc., but this one was rather decidedly subdued. I was there to help one of the bishops, along with one other cleric, but most of the bishops had absolutely no staff with them at all. There was also very little support staff for the event in general. Most things were taken care of by the hotel staff in their usual capacities (wait staff, food service, maintenance, etc.). I didn’t see anyone else with a camera besides myself and the few taking shots with cellphones here and there. This event did not really present the appearance of much of an “event.” It was all so routine, orderly and low-key that I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had to remind himself that history was … [Read more...]

Bishop Mark responds to EA

Bishop Mark -- Antiochian Orthodox Church of America

Note the request to move Central America into the South American conference, and separate Canada as its own entity (both good moves I think). Note too that these requests will be "...forwarded to the Ecumenical Patriarch per the procedures outlined in the Chambesy Documents." The latter point needs deliberation given that the EP's insistence that the autocephaly of the OCA should not be recognized is a point not universally recognized in the larger Orthodox Church. (The claim that the OCA is not-canonical was settled in Moscow two days ago when the EP served with an OCA representative at the Patriarchal Liturgy.) Put another way, we cannot accede the future of the American Orthodox Church to Constantinople alone. It appears the Bishops attending the assembly understand this given the importance they placed on their previous work done through SCOBA (an intellectually honest approach in my opinion). HT: St. Andrew House +++++++++++++++++ 2656 PEMBERTON DRIVE OFFICE TOLEDO, OH 43606 … [Read more...]

Keep your eye on the prize

By George E. Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity To all constant bloggers, ecclesiastical colonialists, ecclesiastical bureaucrats, enablers of foreign domination -- i.e. journalists, lobbyists, and other special interest groups dedicated to keeping the church in disunity, disorder and dependent -- I say: KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE that Christ’s Orthodox Christian Church would be free to become the Church in the Americas.  The real heroes bringing integrity to the Chambesy process and meaning to the Episcopal Assembly are Archbishop Demetrios and His Beatitude Jonah.  Archbishop Demetrios is a man of prayer, who personifies the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.  He is wise and worthy to convene the Assembly of Bishops.   So too is His Beatitude Jonah, who was born and nurtured in America and not a prisoner of Old World History and the Roman Empire, and free of foreign domination.  He is an example of the servant Bishop and through humility brought the … [Read more...]

Appeal from the Patriarch of Romania and a response

Seal of he Patriarchate of Romania

The Romanian Patriarch issued an appeal on February 11, 2010 "...to all Romanian Orthodox clerics and faithful abroad, who are, without blessing, in other sister Orthodox Churches or in non-canonical church structures, to restore their direct communion with their Mother Church, under the canonical jurisdiction of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church." Taking what appears to be a page from the Ecumenical Patriarchate's book, the Romanian Patriarchate asserts the universality of the Church (the "Catholic -- or katholikos in the Nicene Creed's "...only Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church) is derived not from the trans-cultural, trans-tribal, and trans-national character of the Gospel, but from ethnic identity and affiliation albeit without the accouterments such as the universality of Hellenism to buttress the argument. Not everyone agrees. I've posted the response to the appeal first, and the original appeal second. Postings on this page are truncated (signers names … [Read more...]