Patriarch Kirill calls to speed up preparations for All-Orthodox Council

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Source: Interfax Moscow, March 11, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has called to speed up the preparations for the All-Orthodox Council. "If really want to convene the All-Orthodox Council, we should learn to work in this regime," the patriarch said while meeting with the heads and representatives of local Orthodox Churches in the residence of the patriarch of Constantinople in Istanbul. Patriarch Kirill said a lot of work remains to be done on the issues addressed … [Read more...]

Communiqué of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches

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Source:  Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople By the grace of God, the proceedings of the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches concluded today, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The Synaxis took place at the Phanar from 6-9 March, 2014, at the invitation and under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and was attended by all the most venerable Primates in person, with the exception of His Beatitude Patriarch John of Antioch, who, due to … [Read more...]

What It Means to Be Catholic [Orthodox?] Now

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Source: The New York Times By PETER MANSEAU ANNAPOLIS, Md. — ONE year into his astonishingly popular papacy, Pope Francis has become the perfect divining rod for uncovering assumptions about the future of the Catholic Church. After an interview last week, during which he responded to a question about civil unions with a discussion of how “secular states” used them “to regulate different situations of cohabitation,” some mainstream media outlets reported that he had signaled a new … [Read more...]

Synaxis of the First-Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches – March 6-9, 2014

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Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople At the invitation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the First-Hierarchs of all the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will gather from March 6-9, 2014, for a Sacred Synaxis at the Phanar in order to deliberate on matters pertaining to the entire Orthodox Church throughout the world and procedural issues for the convocation of the Holy and Great Council, whose preparation is coming to an end. Prior to this, from March 4-5, … [Read more...]

Shut down Orthodox seminary in Turkey kept in pristine condition in the hope of a reopening

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Source: The Gazette (Montreal) ISTANBUL March 5, 2014 (AP) By AYSE WIETING Associated Press ISTANBUL - Although shut down for more than four decades, one of the Orthodox Church's most pre-eminent seminaries is kept in pristine condition in the hope that it may reopen one day to educate future patriarchs and clergy. The Theological School of Halki, perched atop a hill on Heybeli Island off Istanbul's coast, closed its doors in 1971 under a Turkish law that required private higher … [Read more...]

Islamists Force Syria Christians to Pay ‘Tribute Tax’ for Their Protection

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Source: The Christian Post BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER Out of fear of losing their lives or religion, a tiny group of Christians who still remain in the northern Syrian city of Rakka have agreed to pay off Islamists with a "Tribute Tax" so they won't be killed. Earlier this year, Rakka's Christian leaders and representatives from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an Islamist branch of Al-Qaeda, signed a dhimma or protection agreement, under which members of the … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Tikhon calls for ongoing prayers

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Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] - His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, has asked that prayers for peace and justice in Ukraine continue. Parishes, monasteries, and seminaries are requested to include the following petition in the Litany of Fervent Supplication:  “Again we pray that the people of Ukraine and Russia be granted the wisdom, mutual respect and love which will protect them from violence and preserve them in peace.” By way of background, recent events in … [Read more...]

Parish-wide Lenten humanitarian ministries offer hope to others

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Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [CSHA] - During our common journey through the Lenten season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, many parishes undertake charitable ministries and projects in Christ-like outreach to others. The Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid suggests two well-established programs for parish consideration. The first is the Gift of the Heart Kit program initiated by Church World Service (CWS) and strongly … [Read more...]

The Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Romania Restore Ecclesiastical Communion

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Source: Jerusalem Patriarchate On Monday, the 21st of January/3rd of February 2014, the “Patriarchal decision on the agreement and restoration of the ecclesiastical communion” between the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Patriarchate of Romania was completed and sealed. The decision had been interrupted because of the construction, on behalf of the Patriarchate of Romania, of a Church in Jericho without the approval of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The aforementioned agreement was … [Read more...]