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Source: Religion News Service Why those removed from the world should refrain from declarations on marriage and family. By John Chryssavgis (RNS) — In the Orthodox Christian world, few places are better known or more lovingly venerated than Mount Athos, the 10th-century Greek monastery legendarily dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Composed of 20 citadels scattered over a peninsula of exceptional beauty in northern Greece, boasting magnificent manuscripts and icons, Athos is home to some 2,000 monks. Among them, as in every society, there are saints and sinners, sane and strange. I have visited countless times and have been blessed to engage…

Source: Religion News Service While the Orthodox Church of Ukraine’s letter is addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch, the letter speaks to concerns for the entire global Orthodox Christian community. By Marika Proctor (RNS) — Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine, has issued a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “first among equals” of Orthodox Christian leaders, asking Bartholomew to call Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, a teacher of heresy for his theological backing of the Ukraine war and deprive Kirill of his right to lead the Russian church. The letter was approved at a meeting of…

Source: Religion News Service His baptizing of a gay couple’s children is only the most recent case in point. By Mark Silk (RNS) — A couple of weeks ago, Elpidophoros, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of America, showed up in a seaside resort near Athens and baptized the son and daughter of a prominent gay couple, actor Evangelo Bousis and fashion designer Peter Dundas. The baptism, which was followed by a meal and “wild party,” was widely publicized. And it created a bit of a furor in the Church of Greece. As Orthodox protocol requires, Elpidophoros had informed the local metropolitan bishop that he…

Source: The Jerusalem Post Patriarch Theophilos III warned of “extremist Jewish forces who have targeted the Christian quarter to alter” the history of the site. The tension between Christians and Jews in the Old City This is not the first time the Greek Orthodox patriarch has made such claims. In January, he accused radical Israeli groups of threatening the presence of Christians in the Old City. Israeli officials at the time rejected those claims as baseless. “Our presence in Jerusalem is under threat,” Theophilos III wrote shortly after Christmas in a Times of London column, explaining his belief that there was an…

Source: Religion News Service The letter to the Russian patriarch comes amid calls to expel him and the Russian Orthodox Church from the WCC. By Jack Jenkins (RNS) — The head of the World Council of Churches is urging Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, to call for a cease-fire in Ukraine as Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter this weekend. “People lost their trust and hope in politicians and in a possible peaceful negotiation and a ceasefire,” the Rev. Ioan Sauca, a Romanian Orthodox priest and acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches, wrote in a letter…

Source: Religion News Service The Orthodox theologian who once taught at an evangelical school warns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should worry Americans who care about religious freedom. By Bob Smietana (RNS) — The news that Russian troops had invaded Ukraine was of deep concern for Bradley Nassif, a theologian and expert on Orthodox-evangelical dialogue who spent years as a tenured professor of religion at an evangelical university. The status of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine has long been a source of tension. While Ukraine is home to millions of Orthodox Christians, they are divided in loyalties, with ties to rival leaders in…

Source: Oinos Educational Consulting By Frank Marangos, D.Min., Ed.D., FCEP “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” ~ Proverbs 1:8-9 The custom of salutation varies throughout the globe. While New Zealanders greet one another by touching noses, Tibetans stick out their tongues. Ethiopians touch shoulders, Asians bow, and Europeans embrace and kiss the cheek. The most common gesture of welcome around the world, however, is the handshake. As a symbol of peace, verifying that neither party is carrying a weapon, the handshake, referred…

Source: Oinos Educational Consulting CORONA-QUEST: A QUESTION FOR THE 21st CENTURY CASTAWAY By Frank Marangos, D.Min., Ed.D., FCEP “In the 21st century, knowing all the answers won’t distinguish someone’s intelligence, rather the ability to ask all the right questions will be the mark of true genius.” ~ John E. Kelly, IBM Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be marooned on a remote tropical island? While the image of palm trees gently swaying in a warm ocean breeze might appear romantically quixotic, the globe’s current experience of social distancing has shown that such a respite would swiftly become monotonous,…

Recently, some friends, have expressed some concerns about my posts on Facebook in response to the issue of same-sex marriage and transgenderism. They feel that my comments come across as harsh or judgmental. I want to state VERY clearly how I feel about these issues and welcome any kind of dialogue about them. From the outset, I must declare that I believe that there is objective truth, and that, that Truth is primarily revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ, who claims to be “the Way, the Truth and the Life;” and secondarily the holy Scriptures, that reveal Him and…

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation by James George Jatras “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” So Karl Marx wrote in 1843. For three generations over the course of the 20th century his atheist disciples violently sought to break their subjects of this “opium” addiction. They failed. In many though not all parts of the former communist bloc Christianity not only survived but provided the impetus for national and social revival. In some countries, like Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania, this meant Roman Catholicism.…

Source: The New York Times We are spiritual beings. That’s why I joined the millions of people who make some form of religious pilgrimage. By Timothy Egan Not long ago, I found myself inside a place that claims to be the oldest church in the English-speaking world — St. Martin’s in Canterbury, England, a few steps from the start of the ancient pilgrimage trail of the Via Francigena. It was my first stop on a pathway of more than a thousand miles, a trail from that modest clump of sixth-century stone and brick to the Vatican home of a pope struggling…

by John A. Monaco In May 2018, I graduated with my Master of Divinity, and immediately following the graduation ceremony, I boarded a plane to Rome, where I intended to undergo the 30-day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Although I had attended a renowned Jesuit university with one of the largest Jesuit communities in the United States, I chose to go to Rome to do the Exercises because the retreat director was an “orthodox” Jesuit, one who was not afraid to speak “the truth” and one who despised the way “liberals” had destroyed the Society of Jesus. As…

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