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Source: Notes on Arab Orthodoxy Dated February 17, 2013 (also available in PDF format here). Pastoral Letter  In Grace we grow,  In service we transcend  And in love the structure is strengthened  With the Mercy of God John X  Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East  To all our beloved in the Lord  The Children of the Holy Antiochian See  Clergy and lay people  “Having been built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus  Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is strengthened, and will  grow into a holy temple in the Lord”…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America and Orthodox Church in America [YONKERS, NY] – The Assembly of Bishops convened a meeting to share ideas and discuss collaboration between the Assembly’s communications team and the internet staff of member jurisdictions. The meeting was held on the campus of St Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, NY on March 6 and brought together representatives from the Assembly’s Secretariat, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in America, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. All of the Assembly’s member jurisdictions were invited…

Pan Orthodox United was established for the purpose of Orthodox cultural exchange. By bringing people together, we hope to solidify our traditions and create opportunities to share our heritage with one another. This is done by encouraging young adults to gather and participate in social and sporting events throughout the year. The organization provides a wonderful opportunity for Orthodox Christians from throughout North America to come together to enjoy Christian fellowship, to meet friends, and to display athletic sportsmanship in an Orthodox Christian venue. This experience of Orthodoxy helps everyone understand the Church beyond their own home parishes. While we…

Another look at the Constantinople-Rome schism and a way forward for reconciliation Source: The Catholic World Report by Christopher B. Warner Following the announcement of Benedict XVI’s retirement, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the chief hierarch of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, issued a statement expressing his profound respect and friendship to Benedict. Bartholomew honored Pope Benedict as an eminent theologian and reaffirmed his desire to keep dialogue open between Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians “for the union of all.” Benedict and Bartholomew’s friendship has been marked by their common mission to restore Christian culture to Europe. The Russian Orthodox Church issued…

Source: International Business Times By Palash R. Ghosh As the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican prepares to elect a new Pope under much media scrutiny and fanfare, one of the oldest Christian churches has already chosen its own new leader with much less global attention. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has elected Abune Matthias as its new patriarch, replacing Abune Paulos, who died of an undisclosed illness last August after leading the church since 1992. (‘Abune’ means ‘Our Father’ in the Ethiopian language.) Daniel Sefermikael, a church official, said Matthias received a majority of votes — 500 out of 806 –…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] – The Lesser Synod of Bishops and the Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America met at the Chancery here February 25-28, 2013. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the sessions. Members of the Lesser Synod who participated included His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel; His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Grace, Bishop Michael, secretary of the Holy Synod of Bishops.  His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon also attended. Highlights of the meeting, according to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, included the following. In his opening remarks, Metropolitan Tikhon spoke about the first 105 days…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America The Assembly of Bishops Research Coordinator, Alexei Krindatch, has prepared a range of reports on Orthodox Christianity in America. Along with the following research summaries, the full reports are available in PDF format. Ten Facts about Geographic Patterns of the Orthodox Church Life in the United States (Report #1) In the US today, there are approximately 800,000 Orthodox “adherents”— persons who participate (either regularly or occasionally) in the life of an Orthodox parish. This report provides detailed geographic information about Orthodox Church adherents, parishes, and monasteries in the US,…

Source: ABC News By VESELIN TOSHKOV Associated Press SOFIA, Bulgaria February 24, 2013 (AP) – Metropolitan Neofit of Ruse was elected Sunday as the new spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Orthodox Christians amid social unrest threatening to throw the Balkan country in a serious political crisis. The 67-year-old Neofit was picked among three candidates shortlisted in a secret ballot by the 14 bishops that make up the Holy Synod of the church. An electoral college made up of 138 members gave 90 votes to Neofit. He is considered a compromise candidate after a power struggle within the church over who will…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America The Secretariat welcomes Chrysanthe Loizos, the newly-appointed Communications Officer for the Assembly, to its ranks. Over the past fifteen years, Chrysanthe has worked for a number of nonprofit organizations, primarily in the humanitarian and social service sectors. Most recently she worked for International Orthodox Christian Charities as International Programs Coordinator. In that capacity she provided programmatic support to IOCC’s field offices abroad. During her tenure with IOCC, she worked in a number of its offices, including Beirut, Tbilisi, and Banja Luka. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from…

Source: The Sofia Globe by CLIVE LEVIEV-SAWYER After a day and a half of voting in more than 24 rounds, the governing body of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, chose on February 16 2013 the three metropolitans who will be the candidates in the election for the next Patriarch – Galaktion of Stara Zagora, Neofit of Rousse and Gavril of Lovetch. This puts Gavril – the only metropolitan eligible for election who was not a communist-era State Security agent – back in the race after he appeared to have been eliminated early in the first rounds of voting…

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