Leading Orthodox official urges World Council of Churches to challenge secularism, radical Islam

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Source: CatholicCulture.org Addressing the World Council of Churches, the Russian Orthodox Church’s leading ecumenical official questioned the effectiveness of the ecumenical body and warned that Christians must face the challenges of secularism and radical Islam. “The World Council of Churches today remains a unique instrument of inter-Christian cooperation that has no analogy in the world,” said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. “However, the question arises as to how effective this … [Read more...]

Priest’s spending from trust fund probed

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Source: The Chicago Tribune Documents detail spending from fund entrusted to priest; Milwaukee officials investigating By Alexandra Chachkevitch and Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune reporters Even after retiring to Florida, Ervin and Margaret Franczak stayed in regular contact with their longtime priest back in Milwaukee. Especially after Ervin died in 2001, the Rev. James Dokos looked after Margaret, visiting her on occasion and sending poinsettias at Christmas, friends said. Records … [Read more...]

Orthodox Leaders Should Learn from the New Pope

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Source: The National Herald To the Editor: A report of an interview given by Pope Francis to an Italian journalist was recently published in the International Herald Tribune. Although the pope was speaking of the Roman Curia and the Catholic Church, his comments accurately described the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA). In the interview, the Pope called the church “overly clerical and insular, interested in temporal power”. He pointed out that the “heads of the church have often … [Read more...]

Eastern Orthodox Unity

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Source: First Things by Ivan Plis October was not a month of especial cooperation in the global Eastern Orthodox communion. Protesting the appointment in March of an archbishop for Qatar by the Church of Jerusalem, the Church of Antioch withdrew its participation from “all the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops abroad.” The Antiochian Patriarchate claims sole authority over the small Gulf state though at present it has no parishes of its own there. The assemblies affected by this … [Read more...]

Slaughter in Syria: 45 Christians Killed by Islamists in Sadad and Thrown into Mass Graves

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Source: Catholic Online By Deacon Keith Fournier Sadad is a small town of 15,000 people, mostly Syriac Orthodox Christians, located 160 km north of Damascus. It has 14 churches and a monastery with four priests. We have shouted to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort: We ask everyone to pray for us. (Archbishop Selwanos … [Read more...]

In midst of Syrian war, giant Jesus statue arises

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Source: Huffington Post DIAA HADID BEIRUT (AP) — In the midst of a conflict rife with sectarianism, a giant bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country's civil war. Jesus stands, arms outstretched, on the Cherubim mountain, overlooking a route pilgrims took from Constantinople to Jerusalem in ancient times. The statue is 12.3 meters (40 feet) tall and stands on a base that brings its height to 32 meters … [Read more...]

‘Honeymoon With Jesus:’ Eritrean Christian Woman Describes Torture in Prison

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Source: The Christian Post BY STOYAN ZAIMOV, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER An Eritrean Christian woman who was tortured in prison has revealed that her faith helped her get through the darkest of times, describing the experience as a "honeymoon with Jesus." "When we visited Gabriella at home, she stood up from her seat to welcome us. We immediately saw how much weight she had lost in prison. We could see that she had suffered much. But despite the weakness, Gabrielle looked to us like a … [Read more...]

Syria’s Christian Community Cries Out for Help

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Source: National Review Online By Nina Shea The Vatican news agency Fides reports today that two new mass graves containing a total of 30 bodies were found in Sadad, an ancient Christian town of some 15,000 people between Damascus and Homs, bringing to 45 the number of residents killed there by Islamist militias since October 21. Surviving relatives and friends uncovered the graves after government forces recently recaptured the town from rebels. Those killed were reported by the local … [Read more...]

Fanaticism, Politics Threat To Middle East Orthodoxy

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Source: The National Herald Amb. Patrick N. Theros Special to The National Herald The Greek Orthodox populations of the Middle East have survived where others have virtually disappeared. Leading up to the Islamic conquest in the 7th century, the Orthodox represented perhaps ten percent of the total population of the then Eastern Roman (now known as the Byzantine) Empire’s provinces of Syria and about two percent in Egypt. The rest were heterodox (i.e., heretical) Christians, including … [Read more...]

Will the Assembly of Bishops Lay a Foundation for Unity? Why is our Geographic Church in America Subject to Patriarchates Abroad Whose Actions Appear to be Obstructing Unity?

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Mandate The Assembly has been established in accordance with the Decision of the 4th Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, convoked in Chambésy, Switzerland, June 6-12, 2009, at which met representatives from all the universally-recognized autocephalous Orthodox churches. These representatives recognized substantial canonical "anomalies" in the organization and life of the Church in these regions, and realized that, though these anomalies had arisen from specific historical circumstances and … [Read more...]