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Source: Business Review – Romania The Metropolitan Church of Moldova and Bucovina funded a Credit Union for Clerics and Laity (CARCM) where priests and Christian followers can take out loans with an interest rate of 6 percent, writes Mediafax. Priest Grigore Timoftescu, president of CARCM, believes that the institution will receive many loan solicitations, given the low interest rates. 14 people have already signed up to CARCM to receive their credits of a maximum of RON 5,000, which will be handed out starting next week. In order to be eligible, the applicant must fulfill two conditions: to have a steady source…

Source: World Council of Churches Dr Tamara Grdzelidze, an Orthodox theologian and former staff member of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has been received as the nation of Georgia’s new ambassador to the Holy See, presenting her credentials to Pope Francis at the Vatican this September. From January 2001 through December 2013, Grdzelidze served in Geneva, Switzerland, as a programme executive for the WCC Commission on Faith and Order, which coordinates dialogue among Christian leaders on matters related to theology, doctrine and the nature of the church. Among the gifts she presented to Pope Francis was a copy of…

Source: Orthodox Church in America DURRES, ALBANIA [OCA] – At the invitation of the Lausanne Orthodox Initiative, Archpriest Eric G Tosi, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, offered a presentation at the organization’s gathering at the Saint Vlash Monastery here on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. The gathering, which concludes on September 19, is being hosted by His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios, Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church.  Representatives of Orthodox and Evangelical churches from around the world are in attendance. Father Eric, a Doctor of Ministry candidate at the University of Toronto, Trinity College and the Toronto School of Theology,…

Source: First Things by George Weigel On the evening of Sept. 12, 2006, my wife and I were dining in Cracow with Polish friends when an agitated Italian Vaticanista (pardon the redundancy in adjectives) called, demanding to know what I thought of “Zees crazee speech of zee pope about zee Muslims.” That was my first hint that the herd of independent minds in the world press was about to go ballistic on the subject of Benedict XVI’s Regensburg Lecture: a “gaffe”-bone on which the media continued to gnaw until the end of Benedict’s pontificate. Eight years later, the Regensburg Lecture…

Source: The New York Times by Ross Douthat WHEN the long, grim history of Christianity’s disappearance from the Middle East is written, Ted Cruz’s performance last week at a conference organized to highlight the persecution of his co-religionists will merit at most a footnote. But sometimes a footnote can help illuminate a tragedy’s unhappy whole. For decades, the Middle East’s increasingly beleaguered Christian communities have suffered from a fatal invisibility in the Western world. And their plight has been particularly invisible in the United States, which as a majority-Christian superpower might have been expected to provide particular support. There are…

Source: Today’s Zaman The youth of Turkey’s Greek minority are facing critical demographic and educational problems which are complicating their ability to maintain their historical tradition in Turkey. Aug. 22 was the last day of the second biannual Greek reunion on the island of Burgazada. Turks and Greeks were reunited accompanied by the tune of Greek and Turkish songs in a celebration of their friendship that dates back many years. “In Burgazada, we’re all one family,” said Vasilis, a Rum (Greek Orthodox Turkish citizen) who moved to Athens many years ago. Although the Greek Orthodox presence is still evident on…

Source: Ecumenical News by Peter Kenny Ukrainian Greek-Catholic bishops from around the world, meeting in Lviv for their annual Holy Synod, have appealed to the international community to help restore peace in Ukraine. “Ukraine is flowing with blood!” the bishops began, noting the “direct military intervention” in Ukraine by Russia, Vatican Radio reported Friday. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused Russia of wanting to “eliminate” his country and restore the Soviet Union, the BBC reported Saturday. It said there were reports of heavy fighting near the airport in Donetsk, one of the main rebel-held cities despite there being an official ceasefire between…

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty By Robert Coalson A Moldovan newspaper says it was threatened after publishing two scandalous investigative reports on the assets and personal life of the head of Moldova’s Orthodox Church. The Chisinau weekly “Ziarul de Garda” says it received the telephone threats on September 11 after publishing photos of Vladimir, metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova, vacationing in Turkey with a woman named Nelli Tcaciuc. According to an investigation by the newspaper, Vladimir does not live in his official residence or in the apartment that he owns in Chisinau, but rather in a luxurious villa in…

Source: Syriac International News Agency (SINA) by Hirutho WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For the first time in history, five Christian Patriarchs representing Christian communities in the Middle East visited the White House to discuss the protection of Christians in theMiddle East with President Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice. In Defense of Christians President Toufic Baaklinisaid, “We want to thank President Obama at this critical moment in history for meeting with the representatives of these Christian communities from the Middle East who face suffering and hardship for professing their religious beliefs.” Attending the meeting with the President…

Source: Yle The Russian Orthodox Church has cancelled an official doctrinal dialogue with the Finnish Lutheran Church over the Lutheran stance on homosexuality. The Orthodox side wanted to pre-approve a communique before the meeting, but talks broke down over the Finns’ refusal to condemn homosexuality. Finnish and Russian attitudes to gay rights are poles apart, and that’s helping to derail doctrinal dialogues between the two countries’ largest religions. Archbishop Kari Mäkinen says that he was forced to cancel planned ecumenical dialogues when he met the Russia Patriarch Kiril in Moscow. The Russian Orthodox Church wanted to agree a statement in…

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