More reflections on the OCL conference

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble offers more thoughts on the recent OCL conference. Fr. Peter writes: The first point, and I said this in my sermon yesterday, is that I believe the American Orthodox Church is on the cusp of greatness. I think we are standing in the door way of a new something (I can't seem to find the right word) -- generation maybe, era perhaps, explosion...not really sure. I say … [Read more...]

A Decade of Challenges & Achievements for Archbishop Demetrios

His Emminence Abp. Demetrios blessing a congregation

The headline is a misnomer. What will strike the careful reader are several important points, including: Total payments in the GOA since 2000 for sexual abuse related cases total $16 million; The GOA pays out $150,000 a month in sexual abuse settlements from one case alone; An implied relationship exists between the toleration of homosexuality and child abuse; The Greek Government is being … [Read more...]

Going global with the Cola Bear

(L to R) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, and Archbishop Demetrios

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Demetrios paid a visit to Coca-Cola world headquarters last week to meet with Muhtar Kent, president and chief executive officer of the company. It is a striking image here: Two hierarchs from the ancient see of Constantinople meeting with the mascot of a company that is the symbol par excellence of economic and cultural globalization. One of the … [Read more...]

Road to Unity: The A-word

Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette picks up Day Two of OCL's Road to Unity Conference: Orthodox bishops in America are now free to use the A-word. That's autocephaly -- meaning a self-governing church that doesn't answer to an authority overseas. America is now divided into overlapping ethnic jurisdictions, most of which answer to a church in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. … [Read more...]

Pew Forum on the ‘Zeal of the Convert’

A new study by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that "overall, people who have switched religions consistently exhibit higher levels of religious commitment than those who still belong to their childhood faith, but the differences are relatively modest." The analysis finds that people who have switched faiths (or joined a faith after being raised unaffiliated … [Read more...]

Thoughts on the OCL Unity conference

The Road to Unity; From Vision to Action was the title of the conference that just wrapped up this evening in Ligonier, PA. You can see the topics discussed here, and read some of the day to day activity on Fr. Peter-Michael Preble's website. Presentations were very good. Many of the people who spoke were first timers to an event like this although they are very active in their fields but … [Read more...]

‘little steps forward in the right direction’

From the Zenit news service story, With Orthodox: "Little Steps, the Right Direction." The Vatican's official for promoting Christian unity has characterized the most recent session of dialogue with the Orthodox as "little steps forward in the right direction." This was the estimation given by Cardinal Walter Kasper to Vatican Radio today as he evaluated the 11th plenary session of the … [Read more...]

OCL’s Road to Unity Conference

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble is blogging from the Road to Unity conference here. Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette covers day one with "Orthodox Christians in U.S. face obstacles before unifying." Sister Sara Elisabet Oftedal, co-founder of Martha and Mary House in Escondido, Calif., a small home for women who choose adoption over abortion, said her board has members from the … [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 … [Read more...]

The Patriarch, the Environment and the Enlightenment

His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew recently published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal (“Our Indivisible Environment,” 26 October 2009) in which he argues that “just as God is indivisible, so too is our global environment.”  He asserts that as the “molecules of water that comprise the great North Atlantic are neither European nor American” so too the “particles of … [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 … [Read more...]

‘No progress’ in Turkey

From Forum 18: Religious communities in Turkey have seen no significant progress in 2009 in resolving the long-standing property problems faced by communities as diverse as Alevi Muslims, Catholics, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Orthodox, Protestants, and the Syrian Orthodox Church. Several legal cases in 2009 highlight the difficulties religious minority communities face in … [Read more...]

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