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Source: The Daily Mail Online By PAUL DONNELLEY Patriarch Daniel, the leader of Romania’s Orthodox church, was opening the church’s Trinitas Radio and Television studios in Bucharest Spokesman said that Daniel, 62, has used the ‘sanctification rod’ before Patriarch said he has a sense of humour and was not offended It is not the usual way to go about performing a blessing and using a paint roller dipped in holy oil to sanctify a TV studio has left a Romanian priest the object of ridicule. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, the leader of Romania’s Orthodox church, used the unorthodox method to bless the…

Source: Aljazeera America by Jane Arraf Fleeing Christians find shelter in St. Matthew’s Monastery in northern Iraq, a place of refuge since the fourth century  Perched on the side of a mountain surrounded by caves, St. Matthew’s Monastery has been a place of refuge since the fourth century. Some of the earliest Christians sought safety here. With the fall of the city of Mosul, just 20 miles away, the monastery’s thick stone walls have again become a sanctuary. Along the courtyards in rooms normally used by religious pilgrims and monks, dozens of Christian families fleeing Mosul have settled in – laying…

Source: Interfax Moscow, June 16, Interfax – The Shanghai Foreign Languages University and the Patriarchal Council for Culture signed an agreement to set up a center for studying Orthodox culture at the university in Shanghai. The document was signed by the University rector professor Cao Demin and executive secretary of the Patriarchal Council for Culture Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), the Moscow Patriarchate website reports. The Center will help to get acquainted with traditional Russian culture, organize scientific work, publish books, especially the Chinese-Russian Bible vocabulary and Orthodox terms vocabulary, launch exchange programs for students and aspirants, carry out seminars and conferences,…

Source: Winnipeg Free Press Tawadros II plans September appearance in Winnipeg By: Brenda Suderman The pope is coming to Winnipeg this fall. But before you get too excited, it’s not Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s that other pope. On Sept. 19, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria visits Winnipeg for a few hours as part of his month-long cross-country tour of Canada. “He cares about everyone and this congregation and we are important to him,” says Rev. Marcos Farag, priest of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Winnipeg. “He wants to…

Source: Orthodox Church in America YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications] Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here has chosen as its theme for Orthodox Education Day 2014, “Do Books Still Matter? A Celebration of Orthodox Christian Publications.”  This year’s traditional open house will be held on Saturday, October 4, and will pay tribute to the importance of Orthodox Christian authors, illustrators, and publishing houses throughout the world. The Dean of the seminary, Archpriest Dr. John Behr, author of academic, popular, and spiritual works, will be the keynote speaker. The seminary’s own publishing house, Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press [SVS Press], will receive special…

Source: The National Herald BY THEODORE KALMOUKOS NEW YORK – Father John Vlahos, currently the pastor of the Church of the Holy Resurrection in Brookville, NY, has been assigned as the new Dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan. He will be formally installed by Archbishop Demetrios of America on Sunday, June 22 and will begin his new duties immediately thereafter. In May of 2008, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America assigned Father John Vlahos to the Church of the Holy Resurrection, where he serves as the second proistamenos in the history of the parish. The…

Source: MercatorNet In the midst of the chaos and carnage, a church elects a new patriarch.  By Patrick Sookhdeo On Ascension Day, in the midst of presidential elections in Syria, I sat amongst a great host of bishops and dignitaries in the monastery church of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Maarat Saydnaya, about 30km from Damascus. It was my privilege to attend the enthronement of their new patriarch, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II as Patriarch of Antioch and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. This traditional title refers to the city where the Lord’s followers were first called…

Source: United Press International (UPI) Pope Francis on married priests: “The door is always open.” By Matt Bradwell BETHESDA, Md., June 6 (UPI) –A group of Catholic and Orthodox theologians is calling on Pope Francis to end the Catholic church’s prohibition of married men within the priesthood for members of the faith who practice in Eastern Catholic churches. Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches recognize the divine authority of the papacy, but often have different ceremonial practices and cultural traditions. In most of the world, Eastern priests are allowed to wed, but in North America they are not. In a statement released Friday, The…

Source: The Times Tribune By Peter Cameron Standing in his empty 90-year-old church, the Rev. Father Konstantine Eleftherakis pulls a Verizon smartphone from his faded black cassock. With half the walls at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Scranton covered with fresh and colorful icons, and the other half exhibiting older, smaller and faded ones, the priest projects an apt symbol of the building, which has become a mixture of old and new. Last fall, two brothers from the city of Thessaloniki in Greece came to the church and revitalized the interior with vibrant portraits of Jesus and Mary, saints…

Source: Catholic World News Speaking in Belarus, the chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Department of External Church Relations told the European Orthodox-Catholic Forum that “the Greek Catholics have played a very destructive role” in the current Ukrainian crisis. “Unlike the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has been able during these difficult months to unite people of various political persuasions, including those who have found themselves on both sides of the barricades, the Uniates have ostentatiously associated themselves with only one of the belligerent forces,” said Metropolitan Hilarion, referring to members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the largest of…

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