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Source: Chicago Tribune By Manya Brachear Pashman Chicago Tribune contact the reporter The Rev. Patrick Henry Reardon is getting out of the civil marriage business. The Orthodox Christian priest on Chicago’s North Side says the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalizes same-sex matrimony reinforces his recent decision to no longer sign licenses that make marriages valid in the eyes of the state and now the nation. That doesn’t mean Reardon won’t do weddings. On the contrary, he gladly will bless the union of a Christian man and woman and perform the sacrament of marriage. But those couples must go to…

by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo We need to start looking to our own housekeeping now. What is the average lifespan of a marriage in Canada? For the past 25 or so years, we have been told that it is 5 years. I do not have concrete statistics on that figure, but it has been mentioned by government agencies. Divorce is far too easy to obtain, without any form of counselling or attempts to save marriages. I have no idea what the stats are in America, or in the Commonwealth outside of Canada. However, it seems that we need to work very hard…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA]  In a statement released the last weekend of June 2015, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, addressed the June 26 decision of the Supreme Court of the US legalizing same-sex marriages. The text of the message, together with links to numerous similar statements from recent years, appears below. Statement concerning June 26 US Supreme Court decision June 28, 2015 To the Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America: Dearly Beloved, The recent ruling by…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, attended today, Jun. 26, 2015, the funeral service for South Carolina State Sen. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was slain last Wednesday with eight others inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Archbishop Demetrios attended the service from its start, in the filled to capacity TD Arena at the College of Charleston. The service concluded with the moving eulogy of President Barack Obama. Following the conclusion of the service, His Eminence greeted and expressed his condolences to the…

Source: Pew Research Center BY DAVID MASCI Even before the Supreme Court’s decision granting same-sex couples a constitutional right to wed, legal scholars and others have been trying to determine how such a ruling might affect religious institutions. It has been a question on the minds of the justices, too. Indeed, during the April 28 oral arguments in the case, Obergefell v. Hodges, most of the justices asked about or commented on this issue. Justice Samuel Alito drew a possible parallel with Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian institution that lost its nonprofit, tax-exempt status in 1983 as a result of its policy banning interracial…

Source: Time by Christopher J. Hale Christopher Hale is executive director at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and the co-founder of Millennial. We can and must make things better Pope Francis’s groundbreaking encyclical letter on care for creation made its anticipated debut Thursday morning, and once again, the Bishop of Rome has delivered a masterpiece. The document will play a key role in United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference this November and will be a pivotal point of debate as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up here at home. So what exactly does the pope address in this letter?…

Source: Vatican Radio (Vatican Radio) From June 17-20, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, will be in Rome to meet with Pope Francis. Aphrem II was elected the 123rd Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in 2014. The Syrian Orthodox Church traces its history to the first Christian communities established in Antioch. Both St Peter and St Paul resided in Antioch. It was from Antioch that the first missionaries went forth to evangelize Asia and Europe. The Syrian Orthodox Church arose from divisions following the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The Syrian Orthodox…

Source: Asia News by Nina Achmatova Russian Orthodox Church awaits greater detail of Pope Francis’ idea to celebrate Easter on a single date. But not basing Easter on the first full moon after the spring equinox, as established by the Council of Nicea, “unacceptable” for the Orthodox Russians. Moscow (AsiaNews) – The Russian Orthodox Church has cautiously welcomed the willingness expressed by Pope Francis to establish a common date for Easter, so that Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants will celebrate the Resurrection on the same day. According archpriest Nikolai Balashov, deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations,…

Source: Tampa Bay Times by Laura C. Morel, Times Staff writer TARPON SPRINGS — The top religious leader at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral has disappeared, leaving behind only an email explaining that he is abandoning not only his job but also the priesthood. But the lengthy message from Father Anastasios Gounaris offers no answers to the questions being raised by puzzled parishioners: Why did Gounaris quit? Where is he now? Parish council president Nikitas Manias said he doesn’t know. “It just came out of the blue. We were not expecting anything,” said Manias, adding that not even Gounaris’ wife,…

Source: We Are Orthodox By A.P. Cromidas Monastics like to say that they are in this world, but not of this world.  But lo and behold, a key Orthodox Christian monk in the United States, the Elder Ephraim, has just taken a very worldly step.  He is the star in a public relations video extolling the monasteries he founded in America. The Russian-made film, with English sub-titles, was recently posted by the web-site, We Are Orthodox, a site, along with others, that has been critical toward the Ephraim movement.  The critics, over some years now, have seen the movement as…

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