Browsing: Europe

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…

Source: The Tribune BUCHAREST, Romania — More than 90 percent of those who took part in a national referendum in Romania supported defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but the vote was invalidated as too few people cast ballots, officials said Monday. The Central Electoral Commission said near-final results showed 91.61 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment to change the definition of marriage — it currently says it’s a union between “spouses.” But the ballot failed to attract the minimum 30 percent turnout for the result to stand. Election officials said just 20.41 percent…

Source: US News & World Report Leaders in the Orthodox Church say the religion may need to adapt to contemporary times to remain relevant. By Sintia Radu, Staff Writer A season of religious holidays around the world moves into higher gear on Wednesday with the observance of one of the most important saints in the Orthodox Church, a person whose gift-giving legacy is partially tied to the birth of the Santa Claus legend in the U.S.and Father Christmas in the U.K. But with the arrival of St. Nicholas Day – observed on Dec. 6 in Western Christian nations but on different December days…

Source: Catholic Herald by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith Catholics would agree with much of what Metropolitan Hilarion has said, but what can we actually do? Metropolitan Hilarion, who is the ‘foreign minister’ of the Russian Orthodox Church, has recently been in London, where he gave a speech at a conference organised by the Russian Embassy. The Russian Embassy website reproduces the speech in toto here. The Russian Orthodox Church website gives a list of participants at the symposium, which was focused on the Christian Future of Europe. The speech given by Hilarion was certainly interesting, and revelatory of the thought of the Russian Church. He…

Source: First Things by Pope Benedict XVI Originally published January 2006 What is the true definition of Europe? Where does it begin, and where does it end? Why, for example, is Siberia not considered part of Europe, even though many Europeans live there, and it has a European style of thinking and living? To the south of the community of Russian peoples, where do the borders of Europe disappear? Which Atlantic islands are European and which are not? Europe is a geographic term only in a secondary sense: Europe is rather a cultural and historical concept…. Click here to read…

Source: Acton Institute by REV. BEN JOHNSON Leaders from the world’s two largest churches say that Christians in the West are facing “unprecedented” hurdles to living out their vocation according to their conscience. A statement from Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians says that as traditional Western culture – liberally influenced by Christianity – is replaced with relativistic secularism and radicalized Islam, Christians are facing new barriers to entering whole sectors of the workplace, as well as other forms of hard and soft persecution. A misunderstanding of human dignity, they say, lies at the heart of it all. “In the…

Source: Middle East Eye (MEE) Far right groups across Europe are calling for Muslims not to be allowed in amid a huge refugee crisis Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church has called on its government not to let any more Muslim refugees into the country to prevent an “invasion”. The Balkan EU member has largely been bypassed by the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict and poverty, many of whom set off from Greece through neighbouring Macedonia and Serbia towards northern Europe. But Bulgaria has still seen Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis cross its southeastern border from Turkey. “We help refugees who have…

Source: In Serbia News MOSCOW – Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej said, at the end of his visit to St. Petersburg and Moscow, that Serbia is not running away from Europe, but that it cannot enter “in such a Europe” under the imposed conditions. “We do not have the right to deny our spirituality, culture, all those things that make us people. That is why I hope that the people will bind to its church and be thankful to God for giving them the opportunity to save their apostolic faith,” said Patriarch in an interview for Voice of…