THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

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Source: Romfea.gr Without unanimity ended the Special Inter-Orthodox Committee session on the preparation of the Great Pan-Orthodox Synod of the Church, held these days in central Athens hotel. Information Romfea.gr said the Thursday session December 17 there were tensions and obstacles, made the occasion not solve several issues concerning the preparation of the draft Rules of organization and operation of the Holy and Great Council. According to participants, Dealers Orthodox Churches have expressed disagreements that threatened to blow up, the necessary unanimity considered sine qua non condition for the smooth functioning of the Great Council. Among the dissenters was and…

Source: Russian Orthodox Church Department for External Church Relations On 16 December 2015, the Special Inter-Orthodox Committee for the Preparation of the Pan-Orthodox Council met in Athens. The Committee is to draw up draft procedure rules of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church is represented at the meeting by a delegation led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations. The delegation also includes archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, and Rev. Anatoly Churyakov,…

Source: The National Herald By Dennis Menos The need for a Pan Orthodox Council to resolve the issues that confront the Church in the modern era and also to further promote Christian unity, has been debated in the Orthodox East for many years. It came, therefore, as no surprise when the Primates of the Church announced in March 2014 that such a Council would convene in Constantinople early in 2016. The Council will bring together the Primates and Bishops of all fourteen Autocephalous Churches in the Orthodox East. Chairing the proceedings will be Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and all decisions will be by consensus.…

Source: The Economist by Bruce Clark Imagine over 300 mostly grey-bearded men of religion, bearing sonorous  titles and varying degrees of real authority, gathering in an ancient building in Istanbul which long formed part of the Topkapi Palace, a residence of the Ottoman sultan-caliph. No, the participants in the most important gathering during the summer of 2016 won’t be sheikhs or muftis, although their chosen venue is now a landmark in a mainly Muslim city. These visitors will take their cue from earlier days in the city’s history and from the venue, the church of Hagia Eirene (which can be…

Source: Greek Orthodox Christian Clergy and Laity Last week, a movie opened in theatres that critics say will receive a “Best Picture” nomination at this year’s Academy Awards: “Spotlight” tells the true story of a 2002 Boston Globe investigative team that blew the cover off of the massive child sex abuse scandal kept secret by the Catholic church. The trailer can be seen here, and features the following text: “To break the story, they broke the silence.” In the trailer, a reporter states he has two stories he must decide between…one about degenerate priests, or the other about the church…

Source: The Greek Star BY GEORGE D. KARCAZES What does it mean when we say that the Church is “hierarchical”? Does it mean that Christ alone is acknowledged to be the “head” of the Church and that everyone else are His servants, regardless of “rank”? Does it mean that the titles of those ordained to the priesthood are in a “hierarchical” order — in the nature of the service all members of the Church are called upon to offer: where Patriarchs, Archbishops, Metropolitans,   Archimandrites, Proto-Presbyters, Presbyters, Deacons and the Laity (the “Royal Priesthood”) all offer their service to the Church in synergy with…

Source: The Church Messenger By Protopresbyter Lawrence Barriger There is a story told about a group of pilgrims who were touring the Holy Land with a guide who was a native of the region. The guide was explaining how, since time immemorial, the shepherd did not walk behind his sheep but in front. The sheep would follow him wherever he would lead, just as the Lord describes Himself as the “Good Shepherd” in the Gospel of St. John: “…the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announces with great joy and gratitude to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the elevation of the Holy Archdiocese of America to the rank of Gerontiki Eparchy (meaning an eparchy headed by a Geron/Elder hierarch) of the Ecumenical Throne in the person of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, who from now on will be called His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his letter to the Archbishop notes that…

Source: Orthodox Church in America OCA Treasurer’s report for first three quarters of 2015 released SYOSSET, NY [OCA] The financial report for the OCA’s the first three quarters of 2015, prepared by Ms. Melanie Ringa, Treasurer of the Orthodox Church in America, has been released and is now available on-line. “Year to date, through September 30, 2015, expenses were under budget by $107,054.00,” Ms. Ringa noted.  “Total revenues for the same period were under budget by only $18,856.00, representing slightly lower assessments and lower Chapel and Continuing Ed revenues.” Download Complete Report

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America by His Grace Bishop John, The Word, November 2015 Many are asking if the Antiochians have changed their minds about Orthodox unity in America. Our response to the Proposal of the Canonical Regional Planning Committee printed in The WORD deserves some clarication. After all, Patriarch Ignatius IV, Metropolitan Antony and Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory, as well as the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America have been calling for administrative unity for almost a century. We must have a detailed understanding of the terms under which this unity will be achieved, however. There are many questions which still remain unanswered, and until we have detailed answers…

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