Patriarchate Asks for Title to U.S. Church Property

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew wants legal title to properties around the world, but how would this, as the author below argues, secure the legal position of the the Patriarchate vis-a-vis the Turkish government? Further, with the request for metropolitans worldwide to apply for Turkish citizenship, the Ecumenical Patriarch seems to be distancing the Patriarchate from the other Orthodox churches … [Read more...]

Thomistic Analysis of Pluralism and Totalitarianism

The president of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology Fr Michael Sweeney, OP makes some interesting--and I think correct--observations about pluralism and totalitarianism in relation to certain cultural trends.  The following remarks come from his talk, "Expressing the Good," that he delivered at the recent Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture Conference.  You can read the whole … [Read more...]

Report: 20 Orthodox bishops apply for Turkish citizenship

Writing for, Nat da Polis in Istanbul reveals "very important" news: At the suggestion of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, there is the possibility of granting citizenship to the metropolitans of the Turkish Diaspora. This fact satisfies the ecumenical will of Bartholomew and unlocks the door to the possibility that in future a bishop who now resides outside of Turkey may be … [Read more...]

Gay Activists Target Signers Of The Manhattan Declaration

Susan Brinkman of the Philadelphia Bulletin writes: Same-sex marriage proponents are threatening to cause disruptions in the diocese of every bishop who signed the Manhattan Declaration, a statement calling on Christians to stand up for their belief in the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty. A post appearing on GayBuzz(dot)blogspot on Nov. 28 calls upon gay … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict’s message to Albanian Orthodox

From Zenit: Christ's Saving Message Has Borne Fruit in Your Country VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2009 -- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today upon receiving in audience Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania, who is the head of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. * * * Your Beatitude, "Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus … [Read more...]

Engelhardt on the Manhattan Declaration

In a new column, published in the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times, Terry Mattingly talks to H. Tristram Engelhardt about the Manhattan Declaration. Englehardt is the author of "The Foundations of Bioethics" (M & M Scrivener Press, 2000). While nothing in the Manhattan Declaration is truly new, arguments about its call for civil disobedience will help draw sharper lines between traditional … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: ‘Dark forces’ in Turkey plotted to assassinate minority leaders

By Yasemin Budak and Elif Kaya in the Nov. 26 Today's Zaman (HT: National Herald): Plotters planned to overthrow government by using us, says Bartholomew Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew has said dark forces planned to use minorities to overthrow the government as revealed in the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine organization accused of attempting to create chaos and undermine … [Read more...]

Reynolds on the Minarets and Fr. Sysoyev

Writing on the Washington Post's On Faith blog, John Mark Reynolds wonders at the umbrage taken against the Swiss for voting a ban on new minarets -- and the silence about the murder of a Russian priest in his church. Father Sysoyev is dead in Moscow, but by all means let us condemn the Swiss voters loudly enough that we cannot hear his blood cry out for justice. If we look into it too hard, … [Read more...]

Kremlin, Vatican upgrade diplomatic ties

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed Thursday to upgrade Vatican-Kremlin relations to full diplomatic ties, the Vatican said. The step forward on the diplomatic front comes at the same time as a warming in previously tense relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican. A Vatican statement said Benedict and Medvedev agreed that … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion responds to U.S. State Dept. report on religious freedom

In late October, the State Department released the 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom, a study annually submitted to Congress. Remarks on the study by Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, are available here. (The country report for Turkey is available here.) The Russian foreign ministry said, on publication of the report, that it was … [Read more...]

Robert P. George on the Manhattan Declaration

Princeton professor Robert P. George, one of the drafters of the Manhattan Declaration, is interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez on National Review Online. LOPEZ: Why just Christians? GEORGE: For too long, the historic traditions of Catholicism, Evangelical Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy have failed to speak formally with a united voice, despite their deep agreement on fundamental … [Read more...]

Orthodox Priest launches “The Orthodox Leader” website

In a move sure to make some uncomfortable, strike fear in the hearts of others, and raise the ire of many, Fr. Basil Biberdorf, a married priest in the Orthodox Church in America, launched "The Orthodox Leader." Fr. Basil writes: We have a problem in Orthodox North America. Worse than matters of theft and malfeasance, we have sexual sin among some of the clergy – fornication, adultery, … [Read more...]