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Source: National Catholic Reporter Vatican City — The most important outcome of the current Synod of Bishops on synodality is the synodal process itself and not the hot-button topics discussed, Pope Francis said. With the second synod assembly scheduled for October, the pope said the synod process is approaching its “most challenging and important” stage — the point at which it must become “prophetic.” “Now it is a matter of translating the work of the previous stages into choices that will give impetus and new life to the mission of the church in our time,” he told members of the…

Source: The National Herald LOMBARD, IL – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago announced the expansion of its Higher Calling initiative to focus on developing and nurturing leadership skills critical to the priesthood. Fr. Richard ‘Rick’ Andrews, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul of Glenview, Illinois, volunteered to be the first priest to participate in the program. His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael began and completed the program in August of 2022 as the inaugural participant. An evaluation tool developed and facilitated by the outside consultancy Ruotolo Associates called the Multi-Source Feedback Process (MSFP), will be used to assess, measure, and encourage…

Source: St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess The St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess expresses its appreciation for the work that went into the preparation and production of the recent AFR presentation aired on January 30, 2024, “The Orthodox Deaconess: Examining the Call for Restoration,” with special thanks to John Maddex. Securing a number of scholars and other faithful Orthodox Christians from across the spectrum of perspectives about the female diaconate, gathering hours of primary interviews, and offering a serious look at a controversial topic was a monumental task, and we appreciate being asked to participate. While the presentation had…

By Steven P. Stamatis, M.A. The mid-December edition of the National Herald featured an analysis by Theodore Kalmoukos regarding the “Drama at the School of Theology.” The author is correct. The continuous theater at Holy Cross School of Theology has reached the level of a Greek tragedy. Sophocles would be proud to witness the maneuverings of hierarchy and administrators and observe the resetting, decline and disarray of the only Greek Orthodox institute of higher learning in America. Kalmoukos calls to our attention the dismissal of key professors who have added prestige to the school throughout the early years. He refers…

Source: Public Orthodoxy Very Rev. Dr. Andrei Kordochkin Priest at St. Mary Magdalene Russian Orthodox Church (Madrid, Spain) Editor’s Note: The Orthodox Church in Russia is divided, but this division is not canonical nor administrative. Moreover, it is not always visible from the outside. While the official Church has become an integral part of Putin’s political regime, on a deeper level, there is resistance on behalf of small Orthodox communities and individuals who deny accepting the proclamation of violence and the justification of war. These “propaganda sermons” are constantly pronounced from the ambos of the churches nationwide, causing abruption and…

Source: Religion Unplugged by Jovan Tripkovic Despite coming to a conclusion just a month ago, the Synod on Synodality of the Catholic church continues to make headlines. Recently, Bishop Robert Barron expressed his “frank disagreement” with the synod’s report, which asserts that advances in the sciences require an evolution in the church’s moral teaching on human sexuality. Although the concept of a synod is new within the Roman Catholic church, it has a long-standing tradition in Orthodox Christianity. Metropolitan Job of Pisidia was invited to participate in the synod in Rome. On Oct. 9, he delivered a reflection on the…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA The first session of the XVI Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops will be held at the Vatican during the period October 4-28, 2023.  The Synod will be devoted to the subject: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.   On September 19, the Vatican provided the final list of the Synod participants.   https://www.synod.va/en/news/the-participants-of-the-16th-general-assembly-of-the-synod-of-bishops.html  Of the twelve “fraternal delegates” listed, three are from the Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine tradition, and three are from the Oriental Orthodox Churches.  With respect to the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch is listed as a participant, and Father Hyacinthe…

Source: Orthodox Youth and Young Adult Ministries PDF of OYM Ministries Flyer for Parishes With approximately 60% of youth leaving the church once they become adults, it’s vital for everyone – clergy, lay leaders, parents, and other caring adults – to work together in helping our young people find joy in Christ and become full participants in the life of the Church. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops has designated September 24, 2023, as Orthodox Youth & Young Adult Ministries (OYM) Sunday. See the Assembly’s OYM Sunday Encyclical by Bishop Thomas, OYM’s episcopal liaison. (PDF of Encyclical available here) OYM comes alongside parishes, priests, parents,…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity View the PDF of the Letter here Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) launched several important initiatives in 2023. “Orthodoxy In Action” Presentations OCL sponsored four Orthodoxy In Action presentations via Zoom which may be viewed on OCL’s YouTube Channel (https://bit.ly/OCL-Youtube). (1) At the first presentation on January 29, George Matsoukas (OCL Executive Director Emeritus and Board Member) represented OCL and related his experiences at the International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA) Mega Conference held in Volos, Greece, from January 12-14, 2023. (2) On February 26, Ken Liu, Executive Director of Orthodox Youth and Young Adult Ministries (OYM)(https://theoym.org/), focused…

Source: CathNews Ukraine has moved its official Christmas holiday to December 25, breaking with the Russian Orthodox Church, which celebrates it on January 7 in line with the Julian calendar. Source: SBS News. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy submitted a bill pushing for the change in June, with the aim of moving away from “the Russian heritage of imposing Christmas celebrations” in January. Ukraine’s Parliament voted in favour of changing the date of the Orthodox Christmas holiday earlier this month, with Mr Zelenskyy signing the bill on Friday. The bill highlights the deepening rift between churches in Kyiv and Moscow since Russia’s invasion…

Source: Trisagion Films On July 12th, we commemorate one of the most beloved Orthodox elders of modern times, St. Paisios. His life spanned much of the tumultuous twentieth century wherein he sought only Christ while living in silence even as many people were being drawn to him. It was through this life of prayer and humble service to others from which he became a vessel of grace. Watch our video “Vessel of Grace: The Life of St. Paisios the Athonite” to learn more about his remarkable life and the many miracles and healings which occurred through his intercessions. We hope you enjoy and share this video with…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA On March 30, the commission of the Reserve, whose responsibilities include the inventory of the property to determine what belongs to the Reserve and what belongs to private persons or organizations such as the UOC, attempted to enter the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, located in the area of the Far Caves.  See the map at https://dayting.com.ua/en/excursion-to-kiev-pechersk-lavra.  This is the church used by the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary (UOC).  The commission was not able to enter the church due to a large crowd with Archbishop Sylvester, the rector of the…

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