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Source: The New York Times By Andrew Higgins CHERNYTSYA, Ukraine — Ukraine is on the verge of opening the biggest schism in Christianity in centuries, as it breaks from the authority of a Moscow-based patriarch and this week expects to formally gain recognition for its own church, taking tens of millions of followers. Intensifying a millennium-old religious struggle freighted with 21st-century geopolitical baggage, Ukraine’s security services have in recent weeks interrogated priests loyal to Moscow, searched church properties and enraged their Russian rivals. “They just want to frighten us,” said the Rev. Vasily Nachev, one of more than a dozen priests…

Source: The Pappas Post by Darden Livesay The following editorial was submitted by Mr. Nicholas Karakas, a long-time Greek Orthodox Church activist and philanthropist from St. Louis, Missouri who resides in Naples, Florida. The opinions expressed may not necessarily belong to The Pappas Post. The Archdiocesan Council met October 18-19, 2018 in New York. The Archdiocese of America in its news report stated the following: “The Council ascertained that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has achieved financial stability, has fully restored all restricted accounts, has implemented appropriate financial controls and the Finance Committee has proposed a balanced budget for 2019…

Source: The New York Times A Gospel reading for the scandal in the church. By Ross Douthat At Mass this Christmas Eve, many Catholics who have spent a year reading headlines about abusive priests, indifferent bishops, predatory cardinals and Vatican corruption will sit and hear the long roll of Jesus’s ancestors with which the Gospel of Matthew begins. “Unless you like stats / just skip the begats,” wrote Jeanne and William Steig in their “Old Testament Made Easy.” But before he gets to the angels and the wise men Matthew gives us 39 of them, from the famous names (“Abraham begat…

A Case Study: Tarpon Springs, Metropolis of Atlanta by Nicholas Bouzos On a recent vacation to Tarpon Springs, Florida, I came across some curious rumors about church politics; and the talk of the town is “The Tarpon Archons!” According to the archons.org website, “An Archon is an honoree by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his outstanding service to the Church, and a well-known distinguished, and well-respected leader of the Orthodox Christian community.” These individuals are vetted through the local Metropolis? So, what does it take to become an Archon? According to online myths, archonship involve nepotism, cronyism, or…

Source: Kyiv Post By Toma Istomina. The Unification Council in Kyiv’s Saint Sophia Cathedral elected the head of the unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Dec. 15, the latest step on the path to Ukraine gaining its own national church. Epiphanius, Metropolitan of Pereyaslav and Bila Tserkva, born Serhii Dumenko, will head the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the council announced. Ukraine’s Minister of Culture Yevhen Nyshchuk announced the name of the new church leader on the evening of Dec. 15 from the stage on Sofiivska Square, where people had gathered to celebrate the event. Epiphanius then addressed the crowd on the square, calling the day a…

Source: NBC News Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes the potential outcome of Saturday’s meeting represents an “opportunity that arises once in a millennium.” By Yuliya Talmazan One of Christianity’s biggest splits in centuries is expected to be formalized this weekend as Ukraine moves to create a new church independent from Russia’s influence. It’s estimated that more than 70 percent of Ukrainians — or nearly 32 million people — identify as religious. The overwhelming majority of them are Orthodox Christian. But they don’t all pray in the same churches. There are currently three separate branches of the Orthodox church in Ukraine, including one under…

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty The Russian Orthodox Church has called on international leaders to “protect” its followers in Ukraine in the face of what it called official pressure on Moscow-appointed clerics. In a statement issued on December 14, the Russian Orthodox Church said Patriarch Kirill has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Thomas Greminger, the secretary-general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis, and other spiritual leaders, urging them to help protect believers and their faith in Ukraine. “The interference by the leaders of…

Source: Orthodoxia ORTHODOXIA.INFO | Maria Sereti This Saturday, December 15, the final stage in the process of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s granting to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the canonical status of Autocephaly takes place in the famous St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. When this event was announced in Constantinople after a decision of the Holy Synod, our correspondent Maria Sereti M.Th. took an interview from the President of the Center of Ecumenical, Missiological and Environmental Studies “Metropolitan Panteleimon Papageorgiou (CEMES), Emeritus Professor Petros Vassiliadis, who was with members of CEMES conducting a scientific research on the Ukrainian crisis. The questions focused on…

Source: Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate The current church situation in Ukraine has a long history. Millions of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians were excommunicated from the church. In response, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has today restored them to communion and granted their church autocephaly. Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis’s life and work

Source: Orthodoxy in Dialogue By day’s end the above photo from the funeral of President George H.W. Bush was making the rounds of Facebook and—predictably enough—drawing equal amounts of praise and condemnation from Orthodox Christians. The former comes from those who find it only natural that the Orthodox Church should assume a visible presence in American public life; the latter, from those who lose no opportunity to condemn the “heresy” of ecumenism as a sell-out to the purity of the Orthodox faith, expressed especially in the canonical prohibition against “praying with heretics.” How dare Orthodox hierarchs attend a heterodox church service—even…

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