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Source: National Catholic Register The Russian Orthodox Church will send a delegation to the congress, but Kirill will not go. CNA Staff  Vatican  August 25, 2022 Patriarch Kirill of Moscow will not attend an interreligious summit in Kazakhstan in September, where it was hoped he would meet with Pope Francis to discuss a peaceful resolution to the six-month-long war in Ukraine. The Pope will travel to the Central Asian nation for the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in the city of Nur-Sultan on Sept. 13-15. The Russian Orthodox Church will send a delegation to the congress,…

Source: National Catholic Register COMMENTARY: That Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople would travel to Warsaw to stand alongside a Catholic bishop to call out the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill is altogether remarkable. by Father Raymond J. de Souza The aftershocks of the “ecclesial earthquake” were not long in coming. On Friday, Pope Francis consecrated Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On Sunday, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was in Warsaw. What connects the two events? Neither the Bishop of Rome nor the patriarch of the “New Rome” — Constantinople — take into account any longer possible objections from…

Source: National Catholic Reporter by Christopher White This article appears in the War in Ukraine feature series. View the full series. ROME — For four weeks, the Vatican has offered to serve as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine, and for four weeks, such overtures have been ignored by Russia. As Russia’s war against Ukraine rages on, Pope Francis has incrementally escalated his rhetoric against the invasion, condemning it as an “unacceptable armed aggression,” while refusing to directly name President Vladimir Putin or Russia as the aggressors. The diplomatic tightrope has been defended as consistent with longstanding Vatican neutrality, necessary for protecting Catholics in both Ukraine and Russia and…

Source: CNN By Delia Gallagher, CNN (CNN)Russian President Vladimir Putin has given several explanations for his country’s war on Ukraine, and some are more plausible than others. They include stopping NATO’s advance towards Russia’s borders, protecting fellow Russians from “genocide” or the baseless claim of “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. The top-ranking priest in the Russian Orthodox Church, meanwhile, has offered a very different reason for the invasion: gay pride parades. Patriarch Kirill said last week that the conflict is an extension of a fundamental culture clash between the wider Russian world and Western liberal values, exemplified by expressions of gay pride. Yet experts say that…

Source: The Moscow Times By AFP Russian President Vladimir Putin wished Pope Francis a happy 85th birthday on Friday, telling the Catholic leader they could jointly protect Christians. The comments come after the pope earlier this month said he was ready to travel to Moscow to visit Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church. “It is difficult to overestimate your personal contribution to the development of relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches and to the strengthening of Russian-Vatican ties,” Putin told Pope Francis, according to a telegram released by the Kremlin. “I am sure that through joint…

Source: Associated Press Pope, patriarch, Canterbury archbishop make climate appeal By NICOLE WINFIELD ROME (AP) — The world’s top Christian leaders — Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians — on Tuesday issued a joint appeal for delegates at the upcoming U.N. climate summit to “listen to the cry of the Earth” and make sacrifices to save the planet. In their first-ever joint statement, the three Christian clerics said the coronavirus pandemic gave political leaders an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the global economy and make it more sustainable and socially just for the poor.…

Source: The Wall Street Journal Disagreements over same-sex relationships and the role of women are heightening tensions among Catholics worldwide. By Francis X. Rocca German Catholics have been meeting since last year to consider major changes to church life, including the blessing of same-sex relationships and the ordination of women—moves that many see as essential reforms after the clerical sex-abuse crisis. But the effort has drawn fierce criticism. Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, leader of the conservative minority of German bishops, has warned that the process could lead to a schism and even “a German national church.” His warnings have been…

Source: Catholic News Agency By Hannah Brockhaus Vatican City, Feb 15, 2021 / 11:01 am MT (CNA).- Pope Francis has praised the courageous witness of the 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians killed by ISIS in 2015, calling them “saints of all Christians.” In a video message for the “Day of Contemporary Martyrs” Feb. 15, the pope said, “I hold in my heart that baptism of blood, those twenty-one men baptized as Christians with water and the Spirit.” “I thank God our Father because he gave us these courageous brothers. I thank the Holy Spirit because he gave them the strength and consistency…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA (July 10, 2020) As was expected, there was the very sad news today that Hagia Sophia will be a mosque again.  https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hagia-sophia-converted-into-mosque-as-erdogan-signs-decree-156455  Late this afternoon, the Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative court, issued its decision.  Minutes after the announcement of the decision, Turkey’s President Erdoğan signed a decree making Hagia Sophia a mosque.  The Hurriyet, Turkey’s largest newspaper, reported in the foregoing link the following: The court based its verdict on the fact that the Hagia Sophia was a property of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Han Foundation and registered to be used only as a…

Source: The New Yorker By Paul Elie In the time of the coronavirus, the symbolic motifs of religion have turned literal. Lent, the forty-day season of preparation for Easter, is usually a time of symbolic deprivation: giving up meat on Fridays, giving up chocolate, giving up unkindness, giving up carbon. This year—Lent began on February 26th—the coronavirus has demanded quite literal deprivation: no going out, no eating out, no shopping, no seeing friends. For too many people, it has brought the pain of job loss, illness, and death. Ambulance sirens ring out constantly in the otherwise empty streets of New York…

Source: Union of Orthodox Journalists Elena Konstantinova According to the Greek professor Kyriakos Kyriazopoulos, an experiment is underway to papalize Ukraine through the “autocephalous church” led by Epiphany. Kyriakos Kyriazopoulos, a professor of church law at the Law Faculty of Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, believes that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has created the OCU with the aim of ecumenically uniting Catholicism with the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches. It is reported by Pravoslavie.ru with reference to the Greek site Oukraniko. According to Kyriakos Kyriazopoulos, the goal of creating the OCU led by Epiphany is “to weaken the Moscow Patriarchate to enable the unification of Ukrainian Uniates…

Source: Orthodox Witness by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis | November 24, 2014 Papa ante portas Novae Romae Orthodoxy resisted recapitulation to the pope of Rome in the council of Ferrara-Florence (1438-45) rejecting this synod, even though, as a result, Constantinople fell under the hordes of the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Great Schism between Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman-Catholicism, dated from 1054, has remained to this day. Attempts to reunite the two Churches have intensified recently. Is reunification of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches possible almost a millennium later? Not only is it possible; it is imminent. In an interview with…

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