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Source: National Catholic Reporter Vatican City — The most important outcome of the current Synod of Bishops on synodality is the synodal process itself and not the hot-button topics discussed, Pope Francis said. With the second synod assembly scheduled for October, the pope said the synod process is approaching its “most challenging and important” stage — the point at which it must become “prophetic.” “Now it is a matter of translating the work of the previous stages into choices that will give impetus and new life to the mission of the church in our time,” he told members of the…

Source: Religion Unplugged by Jovan Tripkovic Despite coming to a conclusion just a month ago, the Synod on Synodality of the Catholic church continues to make headlines. Recently, Bishop Robert Barron expressed his “frank disagreement” with the synod’s report, which asserts that advances in the sciences require an evolution in the church’s moral teaching on human sexuality. Although the concept of a synod is new within the Roman Catholic church, it has a long-standing tradition in Orthodox Christianity. Metropolitan Job of Pisidia was invited to participate in the synod in Rome. On Oct. 9, he delivered a reflection on the…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA On January 23, 2023, President Zelensky of Ukraine signed Decree № 26/2023 “On the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions).”  https://www.president.gov.ua/documents/262023-45613  Attached to the decree are the names of 22 individuals, all of whom are representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Six individuals are sanctioned for 30 years, while 16 are sanctioned for five years.  See also https://lb.ua/society/2023/01/24/543485_zelenskiy_zaprovadiv_sanktsii_proti.html.  The first person on the list of those sanctioned for 30 years is Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), presently Metropolitan of Budapest and Hungary.  As is well-known, he was chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department…

Source: Christianity Daily BY KATHLEEN ORENZA If Pope Francis’ most recent request is accepted, it is possible that the disagreement that has lasted for centuries between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches on how to determine the date of Easter may finally be resolved. Pope Francis, at a meeting on November 19 with Mar Awa III, the head of the Assyrian Church of the East, called for an end to misunderstandings regarding the manner in which Catholics and Eastern churches establish the date of Easter each spring. Pope Francis Calling To End Disagreements Between Catholic, Orthodox “Let us have the courage…

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…

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