Orthodox Christian patriarchs call for resolutions in Ukraine

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Source: Catholic Online By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) Conference will be the first in over 1,200 years Calling for a peaceful end to the crisis in Ukraine and denouncing violence which is driving Christians out of the Middle East, patriarchs of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians ended a rare summit in Istanbul this past weekend. At the summit, twelve heads of autonomous Orthodox churches also agreed to hold an ecumenical council of bishops in 2016, the first in over … [Read more...]

Patriarch of Bulgarian Orthodox Church in good health

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Source: FOCUS Information Agency Sofia. Patriarch Neophyte, head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, is in good health and complies successfully with his obligations. The press centre of the Holy Synod announced the news in connection with rumours concerning his health, which was said to have deteriorated. Yesterday Radio Darik reported he fainted away at the altar of a church in Istanbul while a divine liturgy, which closed the meeting of the heads of the local Orthodox Churches, was being … [Read more...]

Community Kitchen Addresses Malnutrition Facing Syrian Refugee Families

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Source: International Orthodox Christian Charities Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Swirls of fragrant steam billow above large steel cauldrons as five middle-aged women stir thick, bubbling yellow lentil soup over gas burners. Six mornings a week, the three Lebanese women and two Syrian refugee women gather in the Akkar community kitchen created by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to prepare a hot and hearty soup or stew that will feed 240 Syrian refugee families scattered across … [Read more...]

World churches head joyous at freeing of Syrian nuns, prays for release of other clerics

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Source: Ecumenical News World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit says the fervent prayers of Christians throughout the world were answered with the release of Greek Orthodox nuns kidnapped by rebels in the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula. News agencies reported that a group of nuns from the Convent of St Thecla, abducted in December 2013, had been freed as part of a prisoner exchange. In a letter sent to John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]