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Source: The National Herald ATHENS – Greece’s major opposition party leader, Alexis Tsipras of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) is back from a two-day visit of the monastic community of Mount Athos, located in Halkidiki Peninsula, northern Greece. Tsipras and his aides left via a Coast Guard vessel at the Monastery of Xenofontos harbour, after having attended the morning mass and had a meal with the monks. The Abbot of the monastery Alexios and the monks saw Tsipras and his associates off. Tsipras was accompanied by his office director Nikos Pappas, SYRIZA MP and the party’s parliamentary group…

By Abed Alloush Source: Greek Reporter The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church addressed a call to the Greek people to preserve the cohesion of the family by following Christian principles. In a recent proclamation, the Holy Synod has made it clear that it considers modern types of family – single parents, civil weddings, cohabitation agreements and so-called same-sex couples – as “diverging” from the holy institution of marriage. In the proclamation, they underline that “with the cohabitation agreement, the institution of marriage is degraded, as the family is no longer a holy task for all Christians. Moreover, the cohabitation agreement…

Source: IOCC Athens, Greece (IOCC) — His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece recently met with the Greek Minister of Health, Adonis Georgiadis, to announce support for Greek hospitals with the shipment of five containers of medical supplies valued at nearly $4 million. The Archbishop was joined by Apostoli General Director, Constantinos Dimtsas and IOCC Program Coordinator in Greece, Despina Katsivelaki, to discuss the most effective way to distribute the aid to benefit public hospitals facing shortages of essential medical supplies. Through the support of The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. and its “Give for Greece” Challenge Gift to International…

Source: International Orthodox Christian Charities Athens, Greece (IOCC) — Nick, a 61-year-old unemployed construction worker, stands silently in line at a modest storefront in Kallithea, Greece. Doing his best not to be noticed, he and his wife Theodora wait with scores of other people to receive parcels filled with staples from the food bank established by Apostoli, the social service agency of the Archdiocese of Athens, with support from International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). Admitting that he needs help does not come easily for Nick, who lives in this densely populated working class suburb of Athens. His situation is all…

Source: Southeast European Times The Greek Orthodox Church refuses to allow the practice, but analysts said the church should be more compassionate. By Andy Dabilis for Southeast European Times in Athens The refusal of the Greek Orthodox Church to allow cremation has sparked a debate in the country. With urban cemeteries filling so fast that bodies are dug up after three years and put in ossuaries so plots can be reused, Greece gave approval for cremation in 2006. Although Athens gave licensing authority to local governments, no one has been able to get past opposition from the powerful church. “Cremation…

Source: Ekathimerini.com Signs that crisis has led to improved relations between two sides previously at odds Tectonic shifts in the political landscape caused by Greece’s economic meltdown have fomented a tacit alliance between Orthodox Church leaders and the secular left-wing SYRIZA party, analysts say. Poised to win the next parliamentary election, whenever that may take place, SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras appears keen to build bridges with the deeply conservative Church, which, controversially for some, remains one of the most influential institutions in the debt-hit country. In response to SYRIZA’s rise, analysts say, Archbishop Ieronymos wants to establish a platform for…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announced today a grant of $150,000 to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to assist in providing emergency assistance for the people of Greece who are especially vulnerable as a result of the continuing economic crisis, austerity measures and a collapsing health system. The $150,000 grant to IOCC, will be directed at efforts to assist the elderly, children and large families with basic necessities for living as the economic situation deteriorates and winter approaches. The support comes from funds already collected by the Archdiocese Relief Fund…

Source: Armenian News Network / Groong At the invitation of His All Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches met in Crete (Greece) to prepare for the next Assembly The Armenian Orthodox Church was represented by Archbishop Vicken Aykazian and Ms Paula Der Matoyan from the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, and Archbishop Nareg Aykazian and Ms Teny Pirri-Simonian from the Holy See of Cilicia. The Central Committee members focused on the 10th Assembly, which is to be held in South Korea in 2013. The members finalized the documents to be presented to the…

Source: The National Herald THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — A large forest fire that broke out at a remote monastic community where women have not been allowed for a thousand years spread Thursday to a nearby resort area, forcing the evacuation of a seaside vacation village and sending up a thick pall of smoke over the area. It was not clear how the fire started Wednesday on the Mount Athos peninsula, a World Heritage site and self-ruled community of Orthodox monks that bans women — and even female animals — from entering. There were no immediate reports of damage to the…

Source: Pravoslavie Moscow, June 14, 2012 The Greek Areopag (Supreme Court) has cancelled the decision of the appellate court of Thrace, which on March 1, 2012 sentenced Archimandrite Ephraim and monk Arseny of Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos and presiding judge of the court of first instance Maria Psalti to six months imprisonment, the sentence being commuted for three years. Each of these named persons has been acquitted of the accusation of delaying the public announcement of the court decision concerning the exchange of monastery property on Lake Vistonida. The Areopag has decided that Maria Psalti did not violate her…

Source: The National Herald | John G. Rangos, Sr. To the Editor: Current economic conditions in Greece have turned into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. I anticipated this several months before the situation hit its saturation point, which is why I urged International Orthodox Christian Charities to study and assess the problem ahead of time. I’m extremely proud of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and its executive director, Dean Triantafilou, for all their fine work over the last 20 years. IOCC is the only Orthodox Christian charity operating on a transnational level. It is a widely-recognized and highly-respected philanthropic agency, which…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America NEW YORK – National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas on January 17, 2012 issued an immediate appeal to all Philoptochos Presidents, members nationwide and their respective communities to support a drive for the welfare of the people of Greece. President Skeadas stated, “We enter 2012 mindful of the dire economic circumstances and supreme hardships faced by our brothers and sisters in economically ravaged Greece, our ancestral homeland. We cannot and will not turn our backs to the needs of our people.” Daily news reports document widespread poverty in Greece where many parents can no longer…

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