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Source: Blogs.goarch.org One of the cornerstones of Orthodox Christianity is its reverence for the great Fathers of the Church who were not only exemplars of holiness but were also the greatest intellectuals of their age.  The writings of men like St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. Maximos the Confessor have been and will always remain essential guides to Orthodox Christian living and Orthodox Christian faith. Thus it is alarming that so many Orthodox clerics and monks in recent years have made public statements that reflect a “fundamentalist” approach to the Church Fathers.  And unless leaders of…

Source: First Things by Timothy George It has been nearly ten years since Jaroslav Pelikan died and a full twenty-five since he completedThe Christian Tradition, his five-volume, 2,100-page history of “what the church of Jesus Christ believes, teaches, and confesses on the basis of the Word of God.” Who was Jaroslav Pelikan, and why does his work remain so important for serious Christian scholarship today? …. Read the full article here

Source: Reuters MOSCOW (Reuters) – The head of Russia’s influential Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said on Sunday cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were “childish” compared to offences it had dished out to Christians. Charlie Hebdo has regularly offended Muslims, Christians and others with its irreverent cartoons. Gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris office of the weekly this month saying they were avenging the Prophet Mohammad, whom the magazine had depicted in cartoons in defiance of a ban in Islam on representing its founder. Kirill, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir…

Source: Christian Today Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill called on Thursday for a deep cut in the “horrifyingly high” number of abortions, which he linked to a Western rejection of moral norms. “The idea of absolutely prioritising the value of free choice and of rejecting the priority of moral norms has become a slowly exploding bomb for Western civilisation,” he said in a speech to lawmakers. “If we could just cut in half the number of abortions, there would be steady and powerful demographic growth.” Russia’s population has been declining since the mid-1990s, hit by falling birth rates and life expectancy…

Source: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Halki Seminary Once the world’s leading Eastern Orthodox seminary, Halki was closed by the Turkish government 43 years ago. The US and religious freedom activists want it reopened. But Turkish officials have long said that won’t happen until Greece improves conditions for Turkish minorities living there.  Transcript of Video KIM LAWTON (@KimLawtonRandE), correspondent: The Theological School of Halki was once the world’s leading Eastern Orthodox seminary. But it was closed by the Turkish government in 1971. More than 43 years later, the US government and many faith-based activists around the world are still waging a campaign to…

Source: Eurasianet Patriarch Filaret heads the Kyiv Patriarchate, the branch of Ukrainian Orthodoxy that is loyal to President Petro Poroshenko’s administration. He recently sat down with EurasiaNet.org to discuss religious affairs in Ukraine and how the ongoing conflict between Kyiv and Moscow is extending into the spiritual sphere. In 1991, after Ukraine gained independence, then-Metropolitan Filaret Denysenko led a different kind of independence movement. At that time, he was the highest-ranking cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and he believed Orthodox bishoprics in Ukraine should secede from the Moscow Patriarchate and form an independent church entity. Though the…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA has designated February 8, 2015 as Orthodox Scout Sunday. The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting is an official agency of the Assembly of Bishops. Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ: On Sunday, February 8, 2015, Scouts all over the United States will celebrate National Scout Sunday. Scout Sunday is an annual event among all faiths which recognize the good work that is done by Scouts in our religious communities. The observance of Scout Sunday tradition was started years ago to make people…

Source: MercatorNet by Michael Cook But some of the region’s bishops urge Christians to work with Muslims for free and tolerant society.  The Middle East is losing its ancient Christian heritage. When Iraq was invaded in 2003, 1.5 million Christians were living there. Now the figure is 400,000 and falling. The savagery of the Islamic State has accelerated the Christian exodus. Mosul, about 400 kilometres to the north of Baghdad, was captured by IS in June last year. Ten years ago it had about 60,000 Christians. Now there are none. IS gave them an ultimatum: conversion or death. For the first…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops will send a delegation to the annual March for Life, Thursday, January 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. The date marks the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. Metropolitan Methodios will lead the delegation. He will be joined by Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Michael, and Bishop Demetrios Mokissos.  Metropolitan Tikhon will deliver the invocation at the annual Rose Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington DC on the evening of the 22nd. On the evening before the March, Metropolitan Methodios will attend the National…

Source: Patheos By Jennifer Nahas What is best about the Orthodox Church—holding true to early teachings and traditions—also presents its greatest challenge: making sure tradition doesn’t trump appropriate treatment of others. While many prize the richness of the Orthodox Church, our traditions can lead to exclusion of some from fully participating in the community of Christ.  It’s a fine line, preserving ancient rites without marginalizing particular groups, within a patriarchal structure, and is ripe for discussion, particularly as it pertains to women. Orthodoxy arrived in the early 20th century, at a time when the United States experienced unprecedented social, economic,…

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