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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…

Source: International Orthodox Christian Charities Nineteen New “Frontliners” Trained with Support from Leadership 100 June 4, 2014 Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas (front, center) hosted Bishop Peter of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou, IOCC U.S. Program Representative Daniel Christopulos and members of the IOCC Emergency Response Network gathered for training in Chicago, IL. With support from Leadership 100, there are now more than 100 Orthodox Christians trained to respond to disasters in the United States. photo: IOCC His Grace Bishop Demetrios, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] Over three dozen individuals were honored at commencement ceremonies at the Orthodox Church in America’s three seminaries during the month of May 2014. On the second weeked of May, Saint Herman’s Seminary, Kodiak, AK, honored and celebrated the ordinations of three graduates—Priests Simeon Askoak and Jason Isaac and Deacon Michael Trefon. Three additional students—Luke Levi, Mary Madsen and Alexander Larson—were awarded Reader Certificates. His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska, delivered the commencement address, while Archimandrite Juvenaly [Repass], the seminary’s Chaplain, offered a special reflection on his six years of ministry…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity At its recently adjourned board meeting in Akron, Ohio (May 30, 2014), four OCL members were elected to the Board of Directors.  Each member is passionately committed to Orthodox Christian Unity.  The variety of ages and interests of the new members will strengthen the vision and mission of OCL.   The new board members are:  Ellen Pantazis, Ocala, FL (GOA);  Michael Pacurar, Long Beach CA and Akron, OH (OCA); John Regule, The Villages, FL (OCA); and Roy Snyder, St Louis,  MO (Antiochian Archdiocese). Ellen Pantazis has had professional experiences as an educator and technology coordinator.  She also…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] Intensified prayers for Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, the 27-year-old mother who had received a death sentence from a Sudanese court in mid-May 2014, and her family are being requested in light of a BBC report issued Saturday afternoon, May 31, indicating that a government official had announced her impending release from prison. [See related stories here and here .] Meriam, who gave birth to her second child in prison on Tuesday, May 27, also had been sentenced to 100 lashes on the grounds that she had married a Christian. When pressured to renounce her faith—Meriam is an Ethiopian…

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America On Thursday, May 22nd, Metropolitan Silouan led the delegation of the Hierarchs of the Archdiocese to the meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch at his patriarchal residence in Balamand (Lebanon). The delegation was formed of the following hierarchs: Archbishop Joseph, Bishop Basil, Bishop Thomas, Bishop Alexander, Bishop John, Bishop Anthony and Bishop Nicholas. After the meetings that lasted for almost two and a half hours, the delegation visited new installations at the residence, mainly the new conference room where the Synod will be hosted from now on, and the…

Akron, Ohio Meeting Hilton Hotel May 29 to May 31, 2014  Thursday, May 29  Board members arrive and check in at Hilton Hotel, 3180 West Market Street, Akron, OH 44333   Telephone:  (330) 867-5000 6:30pm.   Dinner at BRAVO Restaurant (Italian cuisine) followed by informal Executive meeting.  The restaurant is walking distance from the hotel, directly across the street in the shopping center.  Don’t worry if you are arriving late.  Just straggle over after you check in.  We will be there in a private room for quite a while. Friday, May 30  8:30am.  Continental Breakfast in Hilton meeting room, lower level. 9:00am. …

Source: The National Herald BY CONSTANTINE S. SIRIGOS NEW YORK – Although the blessing of the site at Ground Zero has been postponed until the Fall and the start of construction has been pushed back to September after earlier hopes for a July or August beginning, the new Church of St. Nicholas may still be completed in time for Pascha 2016. His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, informed The National Herald that due diligence and the desire to “negotiate the best price for materials to keep the cost down,” has delayed the finalization of some agreements.…

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