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Source: Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Church Relations On 29 March 2016, the first meeting of the Pan-Orthodox Secretariat of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church began at the Orthodox Centre of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Chambésy, near Geneva, under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Jeremiah of Switzerland (Patriarchate of Constantinople). The Pan-Orthodox Secretariat was established in compliance with a decision of the Synaxis of Primates of the Local Churches held in Chambésy on January 21-28. Each generally recognized autocephalous Church delegated one representative to make up the Secretariat. According to the decision of the Synaxis,…

Source: Orthodox Church in America As reported earlier, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon had accepted the invitation of His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to concelebrate at the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George in the Phanar district here on the Sunday of Orthodoxy—March 19-20, 2016. Earlier, Metropolitan Tikhon had accepted similar invitations from Patriarch Bartholomew.  In December 2014, he visited the Holy Theological School of Halki and the Patriarchate with Archpriests John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, and Archpriests John Behr and Alexander Rentel of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY.  In June 2015, Metropolitan Tikhon and Father Alexander…

Source: Orthodox Church His holiness, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Cyril I, at the Feast of Victory of Orthodoxy (20th March 2016) held a speech in which he strongly criticized union with Latins that former Orthodox Christians, now known as “Eastern Catholics” signed with Rome, during Florence Robber Synod crises in 15th century, before the fall of the great and holy city of Constantinople (1453)

Source: And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church Letter of Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece on the texts proposed for approval by the upcoming Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church  SACRED METROPOLIS OF NAFPAKTOS AND SAINT VLASIOS Nafpaktos, 18th of January 2016 To the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece Ioannou Gennadiou 14 115 21 Athens Your Beatitude, President of the Synod, Following the Session of the Sacred Synod in the month of January, we were given the texts which were prepared and prepare for the future convening of the Holy…

Source: Huffington Post by Evagelos Sotiropoulos The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church to be held in Crete during Pentecost has prompted a great deal of discussion. The affirmation at the January Synaxis of Primates in Chambésy to proceed with the Council was historic and almost one hundred years in the making. With the stage set, this essay will examine three points: an historical framework with which to view the June 2016 Council; the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; and, the politics behind the Council with a focus on the Russian Orthodox Church. 1. From St. Constantine to Crete Constantine…

Source: The National Herald BY THEODORE KALMOUKOS Analysis I had written about the so-called “Spiritual” Courts some years ago. The reason that I decided to write about the issue once again is the recent case of Rev. James Dokos, who pled guilty to embezzling funds. And entered into a differed agreement with the authorities in order to avoid imprisonment. There are two types of “Spiritual” Courts. The First Degree, which is convened on the local level at the Metropolis and the Second Degree on Archdiocesan level. Specifically, the Eparchial Synod itself becomes a “Spiritual” Court. The First Degree Court submits…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus has sent a letter to the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church concerning the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Council. The main propositions of the document were published on the site Agionoros.ru. Vladyka styled the decision that every Local Church shall be represented by twenty-four hierarchs at the council “a never-before-seen innovation,” without precedent in two thousand years of Church history. He noted that at every Ecumenical Council “as many bishops as possible” took part. In practice, Churches did sometimes send representatives, but only in the event that the bishop could not arrive to the Council…

Source: The Economist BY ERASMUS  AS ORTHODOX Christian leaders prepare for what has been billed as their most important gathering for centuries, they have many problems to wrestle with. One, as widely reported already, is the chronically uneasy relationship between the two best-known of those leaders, the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. It is Patriarch Bartholomew, in his capacity as “first among equals” in the Orthodox hierarchy who is organising and hosting the Synod; but many eyes, both wary and admiring, will be on his Russian guest, who along with his huge entourage has just toured South America, and…

Friends, As promised, I am sending you a copy of the Motion filed by Dokos’s attorneys to file “under seal” a letter from Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. The contents of that letter remain secret and should be released to the public, now that there has been a disposition of the case.  Whatever the contents of that letter may be, it is obvious from the response of the State, and from the subsequent ruling of the Court denying the defense motion to dismiss the criminal charge on 1st Amendment “Separation of Church and States” grounds and because “this should be handled…

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