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Source: Get Religion by Terry Mattingly This was a very important weekend in the history of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine and Russia — for those (including journalists) who believe that religious traditions and symbols matter as much as statements by government officials and headlines in Western media. At the center of the drama, of course, was the city of Kiev, as it is known in to Russians and many Ukrainians, and Kyiv, as it is known to many Ukrainians, as well as officials in the United States and the European Union. Here’s the quotation I keep thinking about, drawn…

Source: Christianity Today Possible manufacture of holy oil a signal of declaration of independence from Moscow patriarchate, while still opposing rival breakaway church. by JAYSON CASPER After 93 days of war, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) has definitively broken with Russia—maybe. In a council decision taken May 27, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC)–affiliated body declared its “full self-sufficiency and independence,” condemning the three-month conflict as “a violation of God’s commandment: Thou shalt not kill!” Such a condemnation was not new. The day the invasion began, UOC-MP Metropolitan Onufriy called it a “repetition of the sin of Cain.” But in dry ecclesial language,…

Source: The New York Times Patriarch Kirill I has provided spiritual cover for the invasion of Ukraine, reaping vast resources for his church in return. Now, in an extraordinary step, the E.U. is threatening him with sanctions. By Jason Horowitz As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfolded, Patriarch Kirill I, the leader of the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church, had an awkward Zoom meeting with Pope Francis. The two religious leaders had previously worked together to bridge a 1,000-year-old schism between the Christian churches of the East and West. But the meeting, in March, found them on opposing sides of a chasm. Kirill…

Source: Eurasia Review By Paul Goble Despite its efforts to position itself as a Ukrainian church rather than a church of the country that is invading Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is now showing its true colors by dismissing from pastoral service priests that have denounced the invasion and cooperated with the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The number of such cases is still small and is being handled not by the Russian metropolitanate of Kyiv but by other UOC MP bishoprics, something that keeps this development out of the public eye and likely reflects the individual…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Paul L. Gavrilyuk In Mariupol, Russian rockets destroy a maternity ward, wounding dozens. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill (Gundiaev) blesses the Russian troops. In the same town of Mariupol, Russian bombs kill hundreds of children and elderly in the Drama Theater. Putin’s Patriarch has the gall to describe the war as a “metaphysical struggle” against Western values. A Russian missile destroys a building in Odessa, burying a mother with her three-month-old infant alive. Obedient to his master in the Kremlin, Gundiaev justifies the war as an act of self-defense. Many western observers are puzzled. Aren’t the troops…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis There are very few occasions in our lives—critical, pivotal events—that are truly life-shattering. We Orthodox describe them as kairos moments. World War II was one of these. In my lifetime, there was 9/11. Institutions and individuals are defined by such moments. We might recall how the Roman Catholic Church failed to stand up to Mussolini and Hitler; thankfully there was the selflessness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship. Or we might remember the hostility and conspiracy spawned by the attack on the Twin Towers; thankfully there was the selflessness of first…

Source: NPR by Odette Yousef When Sarah Riccardi-Swartz moved from New York City to a small Appalachian town in West Virginia in the fall of 2017, she was searching for an answer to a puzzling question. Why had a group of conservative American Christians converted to Russian Orthodoxy? “It’s typically an immigrant faith, so I was really interested in that experience and why it spoke to converts,” said Riccardi-Swartz, a postdoctoral fellow in the Recovering Truth project at Arizona State University. Riccardi-Swartz’s study focused on a community of mostly former evangelical Christians and Catholics who had joined the Russian Orthodox…

PRESS RELEASE WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 28, 2022 — The Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) denounces the horrific and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military under the orders of President Putin and the attempt to bestow religious legitimacy to the war by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The indiscriminate and unjustifiable bombing of innocent civilian population centers including schools and hospitals, the rapes, mass executions and war crimes committed by Russian soldiers have shocked the entire world. Millions have been forced to flee their homes as refugees from a brutal war in which Orthodox Christians have been ordered by…

Source: Christian Post Did President Putin have a legitimate, legal, or moral basis for invading Ukraine beginning on Feb. 24, 2022, and going on to date? Was Putin’s aggression against Ukraine as a nation and its people justified under the “casus belli” laid down by Hugo Grotius in his book, On the Law of War and Peace, in the 16th century? Or was Putin’s actions in killing indiscriminately Ukrainian people and razing entire cities in Ukraine morally justified under Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy of war? It is a fact that the Ukrainian government did nothing to invite the genocidal acts of Putin.…

Source: The National Herald By Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON – The Clergy Syndesmos of the Metropolis of Boston sent a protest letter to Archbishop Elpidophoros dated April 25, 2022 regarding his decisions and specifically about the old Charter, its revocation, and the questionnaire pertaining to the new one. It is emphasized here that it is the second such collective expression of disappointment towards Elpidophoros, after the one by the Clergy Syndesmos of Chicago. The Boston Clergy Syndesmos is one of the largest clergy associations of the Archdiocese. The priests of New England copied their letter to all the members of the…

Source: The National Herald By Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON – The Clergy Syndesmos of the Metropolis of Chicago sent a protest letter to Archbishop Elpidophoros dated April 8, 2022 regarding his decisions and specifically about the old Charter, its revocation and the questionnaire pertaining to the new one. It is emphasized here that it is the first collective expression of disappointment towards Elpidophoros coming from one of the largest Clergy Associations of the Archdiocese. The priests copied their letter to all the members of the Eparchial Synod as well as the members of the Archdiocesan Council. The entire letter follows: “Your…

Source: The Pillar JD Flynn First, it is not yet Easter for most Christians living in Ukraine, where the Battle of Donbas is raging in the east, and in the west, the city of Lviv saw its first missile-strike casualties on Monday. Ukraine has defended Kyiv and the fighting has shifted, but the war is far from over. Amid the humanitarian and social crisis that will envelop Ukraine from years to come, there has also occasioned a serious ecclesiastical crisis for the 70% of Ukrainians who are Orthodox Christians. Orthodoxy in Ukraine has two hierarchies, and two sets of dioceses and…

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