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Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] As widely reported in the media on Friday, December 14, 2012, twenty-six individuals—twenty of whom were elementary school children—perished at Sandy Hook School, Newtown, CT, when a lone 20-year-old gunman entered the school and opened fire on students and faculty alike. Upon learning of the tragedy, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, released the following letter to the faithful. “My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, “All of us have been shaken by the news of the tragic death of twenty young children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,…

Source: Ahram online Pope Tawadros II says Egypt’s Coptic Church will not push its congregants to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in upcoming referendum on draft constitution At a Thursday meeting with the Council of Catholic Churches in Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, said that Christians in Egypt enjoyed “complete freedom” to participate in the upcoming constitutional referendum, stressing that Copts should “go and vote.” Tawadros II also stressed at the meeting that the Orthodox Church would not push Christians to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the upcoming poll. The Orthodox Church sent a…

Source: The National Herald by Theodore Kalmoukos CONSTANTINOPLE – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is attempting to inaugurate a new path and new dynamics of rapprochement and reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church in conjunction with the Theological Dialogue working towards the Eucharistic Union of the Churches. In his speech to the Delegation of the Church of Rome headed by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, at the Thronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the feast day of St. Andrew the First Called Apostle, on the patriarch said on November 30 that “the uniqueness of…

Source: The Armenian Reporter NEW YORK – (December 11, 2012) Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), hosted an ecumenical gathering at the Diocesan Center in honor of the elevation of Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, to the rank of Cardinal. Leaders of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches came together at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on November 30 for a prayer service, followed by a reception to honor Cardinal Dolan. Also attending the afternoon gathering was Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the Founder and President of…

Source: The St. Petersburg Times MOSCOW — Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday pledged his support for the Russian Orthodox Church, promising to re-establish the close ties that bound religious and military officials before the October Revolution in 1917. “We will continue to support the Russian Orthodox Church with renewed energy and, most importantly, restore those traditions that existed under the Russian [pre-revolutionary] government,” Shoigu said at a meeting with Patriarch Kirill, the country’s top Orthodox Church official, RIA-Novosti reported. Shoigu, who was installed as defense minister in early November after his predecessor was ousted amid a corruption scandal, worked…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] Thursday, December 13, 2012, the Feast of Saint Herman of Alaska, marks the 29th anniversary of the repose of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and a leading 20th century Orthodox Christian theologian. Born in 1921 in Estonia to a family of Russian emigres, Father Alexander spent his youth in France, where he received his secondary and university education. He also completed theological studies at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Saint Sergius in Paris, which was then the center of Russian Orthodox scholarship following the turmoil of the Russian Revolution…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] His Grace, Bishop Irénée of Québec City, represented the Orthodox Church in America at the funeral of His Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and All the East, at Saint Nicholas Church, Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday, December 9, 2012. The funeral followed the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, presided at the funeral, at which all hierarchs present concelebrated. The following day, services were celebrated at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, after which Patriarch Ignatius was interred at the Patriarchal Cemetery. Bishop Irénée noted that…

Source: Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala, India Dr. Christine Mangala Frost, a venerable resource person at the Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies at Cambridge, UK gave a brief talk on her journey from being a Tamil Brahmin to Orthodox Christianity on Tuesday December 4, 2012 at the Ecumenical Hall in the Smrithi Complex. Dr. Christine Mangala was born a Brahmin Hindu. She was brought up on yoga. Her grandfather, in fact, was a personal friend of one of the expounders of modern yoga and Vedanta philosophy, the well-known Swami Sivananda, who is the founder of the Divine Life Society. She…

Source: StarTribune Article by: Associated Press JERUSALEM – Vandals have spray-painted “Death to Christianity” and “Jesus, son of a whore” on a Greek Orthodox monastery in Jerusalem. The overnight attack on the Monastery of the Cross was the latest in a series of vandalisms of Christian holy sites. Extremist Jews sympathetic to Israel’s settlement movement are suspected. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Wednesday the vandals also sprayed “price tag” on the monastery’s outer wall — a form of retribution settlers and their sympathizers use in retaliation for acts they consider to be pro-Palestinian. Extremists have carried out similar “price…

Source: Orthodox Church in America ELLWOOD CITY, PA [OCA] For the tenth consecutive year, the nuns of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration here invite college students, young adults and the young at heart to join them in celebrating the New Year. On New Year’s Eve—Monday, December 31—the Vigil for the Feasts of the Circumcision of Our Lord and Saint Basil the Great will be celebrated at 6:00 p.m., followed by prayers for the new year. Dinner will follow at 9:00 p.m., with the singing of Christmas carols. At midnight, participants will enjoy the festive ringing of the monastery’s bells.…

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