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Source: And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church Letter of Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece on the texts proposed for approval by the upcoming Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church  SACRED METROPOLIS OF NAFPAKTOS AND SAINT VLASIOS Nafpaktos, 18th of January 2016 To the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece Ioannou Gennadiou 14 115 21 Athens Your Beatitude, President of the Synod, Following the Session of the Sacred Synod in the month of January, we were given the texts which were prepared and prepare for the future convening of the Holy…

Source: Huffington Post by Evagelos Sotiropoulos The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church to be held in Crete during Pentecost has prompted a great deal of discussion. The affirmation at the January Synaxis of Primates in Chambésy to proceed with the Council was historic and almost one hundred years in the making. With the stage set, this essay will examine three points: an historical framework with which to view the June 2016 Council; the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; and, the politics behind the Council with a focus on the Russian Orthodox Church. 1. From St. Constantine to Crete Constantine…

Source: The National Herald BY THEODORE KALMOUKOS Analysis I had written about the so-called “Spiritual” Courts some years ago. The reason that I decided to write about the issue once again is the recent case of Rev. James Dokos, who pled guilty to embezzling funds. And entered into a differed agreement with the authorities in order to avoid imprisonment. There are two types of “Spiritual” Courts. The First Degree, which is convened on the local level at the Metropolis and the Second Degree on Archdiocesan level. Specifically, the Eparchial Synod itself becomes a “Spiritual” Court. The First Degree Court submits…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus has sent a letter to the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church concerning the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Council. The main propositions of the document were published on the site Agionoros.ru. Vladyka styled the decision that every Local Church shall be represented by twenty-four hierarchs at the council “a never-before-seen innovation,” without precedent in two thousand years of Church history. He noted that at every Ecumenical Council “as many bishops as possible” took part. In practice, Churches did sometimes send representatives, but only in the event that the bishop could not arrive to the Council…

Source: The Economist BY ERASMUS  AS ORTHODOX Christian leaders prepare for what has been billed as their most important gathering for centuries, they have many problems to wrestle with. One, as widely reported already, is the chronically uneasy relationship between the two best-known of those leaders, the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. It is Patriarch Bartholomew, in his capacity as “first among equals” in the Orthodox hierarchy who is organising and hosting the Synod; but many eyes, both wary and admiring, will be on his Russian guest, who along with his huge entourage has just toured South America, and…

Friends, As promised, I am sending you a copy of the Motion filed by Dokos’s attorneys to file “under seal” a letter from Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. The contents of that letter remain secret and should be released to the public, now that there has been a disposition of the case.  Whatever the contents of that letter may be, it is obvious from the response of the State, and from the subsequent ruling of the Court denying the defense motion to dismiss the criminal charge on 1st Amendment “Separation of Church and States” grounds and because “this should be handled…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity The year 2016 is a momentous, historic time for Orthodox Christianity throughout the world.  After 1,200 years, Orthodox Christianity is on the verge of a seminal event, a meeting of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, to be held in Crete, Greece, during the week of Pentecost this June. This event will provide a pivotal opportunity for hierarchs to officially recognize a unified American Orthodox Church which selects its own hierarchs. It is an idea whose time has come.  Moreover, it is properly based on the canonical precedents of the Church. Indeed, it…

Source: The National Herald By Dennis Menos No amount of sugar coating can conceal the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is facing hard times. Its endeavor to resolve the major issues confronting the Church in the modern era by hosting a Holy and Great Council, is beginning to stall; and an old rival, the Patriarchate of Moscow, with designs of its own is challenging the existing order in the Orthodox East. The recent Synaxis of the 14 Primates of the Orthodox Church, held at Chambesy in Switzerland, provides ample proof of the difficulties that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is experiencing. Convened…

Source: Orthodox Church in America HUNTINGTON, NY [OCA]  The Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America concluded its spring session at Immaculate Conception Seminary here on Thursday, February 18, 2016. The meeting was chaired by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.  In attendance were the members of the Standing Synod of Bishops—His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Eminence, Archbishop Michael; and His Grace, Bishop Paul.  Also participating were the OCA’s Officers—Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary; and Melanie Ringa, Treasurer. After an opening Service of Intercession on Tuesday, February 16, Metropolitan Tikhon welcomed Council members, especially those attending for…

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