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Source: The Moscow Times Originally published on April 24, 2024 The Russian Orthodox Church has suspended a priest who led a memorial service for the late opposition figure Alexei Navalny last month, according to a ruling on the Moscow diocese website. Priest Dmitry Safronov performed a memorial service at Navalny’s gravesite in Moscow on March 26, 40 days after the Kremlin critic died in an Arctic prison. According to Orthodox tradition, memorial services for the dead are traditionally held on the 40th day after their death. An order signed by Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill bans Safronov from giving blessings, wearing the frock and…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA What a surprise!!!  Something few expected.  Today, June 30, Metropolitan Daniil of Vidin was elected the new patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC).  It was an extremely close election.  According to the charter of the BOC, Daniil was elected by the Patriarchal Electoral Church Council.  Aside from the Bulgarian bishops, this council consists of three clergy, two laypersons, one monk, and one nun from each of the dioceses of the BOC, except for Sofia.  The Sofia diocese has six clerics, four laypersons, one monk, and one nun.  In addition there is one representative from…

Source: Orthodox Studies Institute Originally published March 2024 by Dr. Mary Ford in collaboration with Dr. David C. Ford “While we recognize that some Orthodox Christians believe that a female diaconate with a liturgical role similar to a male deacon’s is needed in our Church today, we strongly disagree that there is such a need, or that it would be advisable, for the reasons outlined below. There are already a multitude of opportunities for lay ministry, and sometimes Orthodox laity, both women and men, need to hear the message: ‘You don’t need to be ordained to serve Christ and His…

Source: Orthodox Studies Institute Originally published November 2023 by Matthew Namee “For at least the past quarter-century, Orthodox jurisdictions in America have been discussing the ‘priest shortage’ problem. The OCA addressed this at its All-American Council in 1999 and again in 2005, when it observed that 400 priests would soon retire and 100 new missions were expected to open over the next decade, with only 20-25 priests per year being ordained. The same year, 2005, the Greek Archdiocese also addressed the priest shortage problem. Then in 2020, the OCA website reported that 30% of active OCA were aged 65 or…

Source: Orthodox Times On the afternoon of May 30, 2024, the Third Meeting of the XVIII Plenary Session of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran World Federation concluded successfully at the centuries-old Patriarchal Monastery of Saint George in Old Cairo. The session ended with messages from the Co-Presidents of the Commission, Metropolitan Kyrillos of Krini, a Professor at the University of Athens, and Lutheran Bishop John Schneider. They read statements from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Dr. Anne Burghardt, Secretary General of the World Lutheran Federation, addressing the Orthodox and Lutheran participants, including…

Source: Orthodox Times The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has decided to sever communion with specific hierarchs of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. This decision follows the recent co-liturgy of Bulgarian hierarchs with Ukrainian Metropolitans in Constantinople. Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk presented a detailed report on this matter, highlighting the participation of Bulgarian hierarchs in a co-liturgy with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Metropolitans of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine at the Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Valoukli. The event was initially reported in an exclusive article by orthodoxtimes.com, emphasizing the arrival and significance of the Bulgarian and Ukrainian hierarchs’ co-liturgy. During…

Source: Orthodox Times On the eve of Mid-Pentecost, May 29, the Agia Sophia Cathedral in Warsaw hosted a solemn Divine Liturgy. Presiding over the service was Archbishop Sawa of Warsaw and Metropolitan of All Poland, with Archbishop Gregory of Bielsk delivering the homily. In his address, Metropolitan Sawa emphasized the divine purpose of humanity, created by God to partake in the Kingdom of Heaven and to perpetually glorify the Lord. He acknowledged the presence of evil in today’s world and underscored the responsibility of every Christian to spread the Easter joy of the Resurrection to those around them. Metropolitan Sawa…

Source: The National Herald By Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON – At the recent session of the Synod of the Phanar, which convened on May 17 and 18, the issue of the Semi-Autonomous Church of Crete was briefly addressed. According to a letter dated April 23, 2024, revealed by The National Herald, the Church of Crete communicated to Patriarch Bartholomew that he should refrain from intervening in the affairs of the monasteries on the island. Specifically, the matter was brought up during the reading of correspondence amid other letters on different subjects. Today, we reveal that when the letter from the Church…

Source: St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess Harare, Zimbabwe On May 2, 2024, Holy Thursday, Angelic Molen of Harare, Zimbabwe, was ordained Deaconess Angelic in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa (the Orthodox Church in the continent of Africa) by His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim of Zimbabwe (Kykotis) in St. Nektarios Mission Parish at WaterFall. This historic event would not be possible without the approval and support of the Alexandrian Synod and His Beatitude Theodorus. The ordination of Deaconess Angelis was the culmination of efforts around the world to renew the ancient order of deaconesses in the Orthodox…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle  USA As previously reported, Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and All Moldova wrote a surpisingly strong letter to Patriarch Kirill on September 5, 2023. (https://cubreacovblog.wordpress.com/2023/10/20/mitropolitul-vladimir-cantarean-ne-aflam-intr-o-situatie-de-faliment-institutional-mitropolia-basarabei-a-demonstrat-ca-este-o-forta-care-nu-mai-poate-fi-oprita/ )  The letter contained many grievances including the failure of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate to elect Archimandrite Filaret (Kuzmin) as a bishop as requested by the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Moldova (OCM).  Some people speculated that such a strong letter might be the first step in the OCM leaving the Moscow Patriarchate.  The Moscow Patriarchate acted quickly.  At its Synod meeting on October 11, 2023, Archimandrite Filaret…

Source: St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess St. Phoebe Center Zoom Event – Sunday, May 19, 7 pm Eastern (Sunday of the Myrrhbearers) Does the Church really need a female diaconate? Couldn’t lay people just do this type of work? These are questions that have been posed to us.  While the St. Phoebe Center wholeheartedly supports lay ministry in the Church, we also acknowledge a place for ordained ministry as well. This seminar will focus on the question of the diaconate more broadly as well as the female diaconate specifically. We will first contextualize the issue—examining the order and its…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Gayle Woloschak The Orthodox Church has generally taken a pro-life stand with regard to life in the womb, but the Church has not officially commented on embryos that remain in the test-tube or in freezers as “leftovers” following the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure. For the Church, the personhood and the ensoulment of the embryo have been issues of theological debate over the years, with room for continued dialogue and discussion. When giving a blessing for IVF, many Orthodox bishops have asked couples to implant only one embryo into a woman’s womb at a time in…

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