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Source: The National Herald TNH Staff (ANA) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke about reconciliation and the need to promote Christian unity during his visit to the ecumenical monastic order of Taizé in central France on Tuesday, in a first ever visit by an Ecumenical Patriarch. “To reconcile is above all to heal the evils of history, the scars of time, mutual misunderstandings, conflicts of memory, fratricidal hatreds. In this sense, the division between Christians to which we intend to respond by praying for the unity of the Churches is a spiritual wound, with shared responsibilities—whether accepted or not,” he said…

Source: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary On June 13, 2016, the Very Reverend Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, together with the Reverend Mardiros Chevian, dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, departed for Armenia at the invitation of His Holiness Karekin II, supreme patriarch and catholicos of All Armenians. Fathers John and Mardiros will be visiting the seat of the worldwide Armenian Apostolic Church, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, to discuss the possibilities of inter-seminary collaboration between Gevorgyan Theological, St. Nersess, and St. Vladimir’s seminaries. “I am very excited to visit Armenia, Holy Etchmiadzin, and…

Source: CJAD 800AM by Andrew Brennan As the world tries to figure out how to respond to the millions of Syrian refugees fleeing war and strife, the leader of the Syrian Orthodox Church gave his take while in Laval on Sunday. “The world should unite in order to defeat terrorism and to restore peace to Syria, to Iraq and to the entire region,” said Morignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church. “I’m saddened by the fact that it took the photo of a young boy floating on the shore to draw the attention of the world to the…

Source: San Francisco Chronicle By ALBERT AJI, Associated Press DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up near the headquarters of Syria’s Greek Orthodox Church in Damascus’ Old City, killing at least four people Thursday, minutes after the patriarch had entered the cathedral, state-run TV and a church official said. The blast in the ancient quarter of narrow streets and historic buildings was the first reported suicide attack of the Syrian civil war inside the Old City, although other such bombs have struck the capital of Damascus during the conflict. The blast struck in the vicinity of the Virgin Mary Cathedral in the…

Source: The Daily Star – Lebanon JERUSALEM: Archbishop Nurhan Manougian has been elected the 97th Armenian Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, one of the five custodians of Christian religious sites in the Holy Land, sources told AFP on Thursday. Manougian, 65, replaces Torkom Manougian, who died aged 93 in October 2012, after falling into a coma following a stroke. The new patriarch will lead the small Armenian Orthodox communities in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, as well as take responsibility for parts of holy sites including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. He was elected with 17 votes in…

Source: The Daily Star – Lebanon By Wassim Mroueh BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora expressed the willingness of the Future Movement to discuss a draft electoral law that combines proportional representation with a winner-takes-all system during a meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri Friday, said a source close to Berri. “Former Prime Minister Siniora expressed his party’s openness to discuss the draft law which the parliamentary subcommittee is currently studying,” said the source, describing the meeting between the two as positive. Siniora, who heads the Future parliamentary bloc, had lunch at Berri’s residence after the meeting. Future Movement MP Nuhad…

Source: Sofia News Agency The Sofia Bishopric has labeled the Friday refusal of the Diocesan Council of prelates and vicars to sign the list of representatives from the Sofia Diocese to elect a new patriarch a “sabotage.” The list was prepared by interim Patriarch and Sofia Metropolitan Kiril. The Bishopric admits that there have been disagreements in the process of preparing the list, but their escalation, they say, was a clear sign that the story aims at sabotaging the election. The statement, issued Saturday, further stresses that such act is unacceptable in the light of clerical discipline and canonical spirit.…

Source: Sofia News Agency Nearly 900 residents of the Bulgarian historical town of Batak have signed a petition asking interim Patriarch Kiril to stop services at the Sveta Nedeliya Church where the relics of the Batak martyrs are kept. They want the Church to return to its museum status and State ownership. The initiators further say they found in archives documents showing that as early as 1915 locals wanted the Church with the ossuary to be a museum. In a recent declaration, the Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolay stated that services at the Saint Nedeliya Church “will go on forever, every day,…

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