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Source: Public Orthodoxy by George Demacopoulos In 1095, Pope Urban II told a large gathering of knights in Southern France that it was their responsibility to avenge the Islamic conquest of the Holy Land (he did not mention that the conquest had occurred nearly 500 years earlier). Urban’s sermon led to the First Crusade, and it forever changed the dynamics between Western Europe, Eastern Christianity, and the Islamic world. From a Christian theological perspective, Urban introduced an entirely novel—some might say heretical—way of thinking about the relationship between Christian piety and violence. Near the end of his sermon, Urban declared, “Set out on…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Emil Saggau This spring, the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) sealed significant and important deals, which has solidified and strengthened the SOC’s position. The first “deal” in May turned the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), formally the Ohrid Archbishopric, into a canonical church, which ended around 50 years of estrangement between the SOC and MOC. The second one in July was between the SOC and the Montenegrin government, which granted the SOC privileges in Montenegro and closed almost twenty years of uncertainty between the two parties. These deals are not just a sign of the new diplomatic strength of…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Andrew Louth The Christian world as a whole—and the Orthodox world, in particular—has been horrified by the invasion of Ukraine by the armed forces of Russia. It seems to be a distressingly indiscriminate campaign, in which thousands have been killed—young soldiers, men, women, and children—as well as hospitals, schools, homes, monasteries, churches destroyed, with millions of refugees fleeing from their homes and livelihoods. From the beginning, his Holiness, Patriarch Kirill, has spoken out in support of the military operation in Ukraine, using the same mealy-mouthed expression as President Putin to obscure the truth that a sovereign…

Source: Religion News Service While the Orthodox Church of Ukraine’s letter is addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch, the letter speaks to concerns for the entire global Orthodox Christian community. By Marika Proctor (RNS) — Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine, has issued a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “first among equals” of Orthodox Christian leaders, asking Bartholomew to call Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, a teacher of heresy for his theological backing of the Ukraine war and deprive Kirill of his right to lead the Russian church. The letter was approved at a meeting of…

Source: Christian Network Europe (CNE) News The Orthodox Church of Ukraine has called on patriarch Bartholomew to condemn Moscow patriarch Kirill for supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. With the approval of the synod of his bishops, Metropolitan Epiphanius wrote a letter to the head of world orthodoxy, the patriarch of Constantinople, to condemn Kirill for heresy and schism. The letter, available to the Catholic German daily Die Tagespost, reads that the patriarch should “review and condemn at a pan-Orthodox level the activities of the Moscow Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev and the ethnophyletic and racist doctrine of the Russian world”. Epiphanius accuses…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis There are very few occasions in our lives—critical, pivotal events—that are truly life-shattering. We Orthodox describe them as kairos moments. World War II was one of these. In my lifetime, there was 9/11. Institutions and individuals are defined by such moments. We might recall how the Roman Catholic Church failed to stand up to Mussolini and Hitler; thankfully there was the selflessness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship. Or we might remember the hostility and conspiracy spawned by the attack on the Twin Towers; thankfully there was the selflessness of first…

PRESS RELEASE WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 28, 2022 — The Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) denounces the horrific and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military under the orders of President Putin and the attempt to bestow religious legitimacy to the war by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The indiscriminate and unjustifiable bombing of innocent civilian population centers including schools and hospitals, the rapes, mass executions and war crimes committed by Russian soldiers have shocked the entire world. Millions have been forced to flee their homes as refugees from a brutal war in which Orthodox Christians have been ordered by…

Source: Christian Post Did President Putin have a legitimate, legal, or moral basis for invading Ukraine beginning on Feb. 24, 2022, and going on to date? Was Putin’s aggression against Ukraine as a nation and its people justified under the “casus belli” laid down by Hugo Grotius in his book, On the Law of War and Peace, in the 16th century? Or was Putin’s actions in killing indiscriminately Ukrainian people and razing entire cities in Ukraine morally justified under Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy of war? It is a fact that the Ukrainian government did nothing to invite the genocidal acts of Putin.…

Source: The Pillar JD Flynn First, it is not yet Easter for most Christians living in Ukraine, where the Battle of Donbas is raging in the east, and in the west, the city of Lviv saw its first missile-strike casualties on Monday. Ukraine has defended Kyiv and the fighting has shifted, but the war is far from over. Amid the humanitarian and social crisis that will envelop Ukraine from years to come, there has also occasioned a serious ecclesiastical crisis for the 70% of Ukrainians who are Orthodox Christians. Orthodoxy in Ukraine has two hierarchies, and two sets of dioceses and…

Source: Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke again about the war in Ukraine as he welcomed, today, Thursday, April 7, 2022, a large group of students from the 1st and 4th Lyceum of Lamia, who were accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan Symeon of Fthiotida, and the principals and teachers of their classes. “No problem is solved by war. War does not solve problems, I always say that; war adds new problems,” said His All-Holiness, who expressed the view that if the path of dialogue had been chosen, “they would definitely have found a solution.” Elsewhere…

Source: Neos Cosmos by Nick Trakakis As the war in Ukraine rages on, a parallel war is underway within the Orthodox Church. Not much has been said about this religious conflict in the mainstream media, even though it is playing a crucial role in the military conflict. And it’s a problem affecting not merely Eastern Europe, but Australia too. I have borrowed the title of this article, “Orthodox c’est fini” (French for “Orthodoxy is finished”), not from some militant atheist, but from a leading Greek Orthodox theologian, Professor Petros Vassiliadis [Prof. Vassiliadis made this remark in a March 11 post…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by George Persh | Русский For centuries, the Orthodox Church has taken the side of its state leadership in times of war, and the further it departed from the pacifism of the first centuries of Christianity, the more militant the rhetoric of the Church became. But the tragic events of the twentieth century posed questions for the Church to answer. The first question concerned the reaction to the end of the First World War and the Bolshevik coup in Russia. It was in the 1920s that the first timid pronouncements about the unacceptability of war and the traitorous position…

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