Monday, May 30, 2016

Serbian Synod meets before Great Council in Crete

This communique is long, but there is some meat here worth chewing on.

( - The regular meeting of the Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church began at the Patriarchate of Pec monastery with the joint serving of the holy hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the invocation of the Holy Spirit and continued in Prizren with the rite of consecration of the renovated Prizren Seminary. Afterward, all regular meetings, under the presidency of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, were held in Belgrade. Participating in the Assembly were all diocesan hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the exception of Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac who, out of justifiable reasons, was not able to attend.

The most important theme of this year’s Assembly was preparation of the Serbian Orthodox Church to take part in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, to meet this June in Crete. Regarding this forthcoming pan Orthodox Council, the Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, adopted a document expressing their principle position on all major issues to be discussed and decided upon at the Great Council.

Also of importance was the decision of the Assembly that in good time – meaning soon – preparation begin for the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the independence of the Serbian Orthodox Church (1219-2019), in cooperation with the authorities of Serbia and Republika Srpska and all relative and cultural institutions of the Serbian people. At the same time, the Assembly was pleased to learn from Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands, of the successful preparations already in place for the 1,000th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Jovan Vladimir, King of Serbia, which will take place in September of this year in the city of Bar and besides the Patriarch and hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church invitations will be sent to high delegations of all Orthodox Churches. The Order of King Jovan Vladimir has been established , to be awarded to confessors of faith and sufferers in the faith.

As in previous years, the Assembly took into consideration church education, as well as the mission of the Church in general, both internal and external. Protopresbyter Gojko Perovic, the current acting rector of the St. Petar of Cetinje Seminary in Cetinje, was elected Rector of the aforementioned Seminary. The Library of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate in Belgrade was given status of the main library in the entire region of the Serbian Orthodox Church. With sadness it was noted that there are still, here and there, schools where religious education is unlawfully discriminated against, even though in general the situation is favorable.

It was noted that the relations between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Sister Orthodox Churches are exceptionally good, fully in the spirit of the Church’s unity and conciliarity, with one unfortunate exception – the Romanian Patriarchate, whose bishops and clergy for years now - in a non-canonical manner and not in the spirit of brotherly love - enter in the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Eastern Serbia, particularly in the Timok region. After many past addresses and appeals, unfortunately unsuccessful thus far, the Assembly has once more called upon the Romanian Church to immediately cease this practice which is destructive for the church; otherwise, the problem will be addressed at the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, and in the event that this anti-canonical practice continue even after the Council – the Serbian Orthodox Church, with sincere pain but for the good of the Church – will be forced to cut all liturgical and canonical relations with the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Relations with other Christian churches and communities as well as the Jewish and Islamic communities of Serbia, are traditionally good, which, unfortunately, cannot be said of relations with the extreme circles in the Roman Catholic Church in Croatia and in Bosnia and Hercegovina, as well as relations with similar circles in the Islamic communities in Bosnia and Hercegovina and the Islamic communities in Serbia.

Relations between the Church and state is developing with signs of good will and cooperation in terms of the separation of Church and state. Of particular importance is the support from the Committee for cooperation between churches and religious institutions at the Ministry of Justice towards both the Serbian Orthodox Church and all other traditional churches and religious institutions. The Assembly awaits this body be returned the status of Ministry of religious affairs. It was noted that the religious service in the Serbian Army, as well as the armed forces in Bosnia and Hercegovina, is on the rise.

There are, unfortunately, problems and unresolved issues. Therefore, the Assembly expected that the process of restitution of unjustly confiscated church property in Serbia to be accelerated and fully completed. The Assembly once again calls on the competent authorities to return to the Church parish books of records confiscated in 1946, allegedly for the reason of copying them. Similarly, the Assembly, for the umpteenth time, reiterates its position that the remains of the Serbian and world giant, Nikola Tesla, you do not deserve to be a museum piece but that they be decently buried in a suitable place near the Temple of Saint Sava, as Vuk and Dositej are buried in front of the Cathedral church in Belgrade.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow consecrates Athonite church

( - On May 28, 2016, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who is on a pilgrimage to Holy Mount Athos, visited the Old Roussik hermitage, the second monastery after Xilourgu to be founded by Russian monks on Athos.

From 2012 to 2016, the Old Roussik has been under complex restoration.

Patriarch Kirill consecrated a church dedicated to St. Panteleimon and celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the newly-consecrated church. He was assisted by a great assembly of bishops, abbots and priests. Present in the church was A. Beglov, Presidential Envoy in Central Russia and head of the Presidential working group for preparing the celebrations to mark the millennium of the Russian presence on Mount Athos, and Mr. B. Legoida, head of the synodal department for the Church’s relations with society and mass media.

After the Prayer of Fervent Supplication, Patriarch Kirill lifted up a prayer for peace in Ukraine.

Prayers were also said for the repose of the soul of the late Metropolitan Feodosy (Protsyuk).

Hieromonk Makary, spiritual father of the St. Panteleimon Monastery, greeted the Patriarch on behalf of the monastic community and presented him with a canvass of Old Roussik painted by renowned artist B. Nesterenko, who addressed the Patriarch on behalf of the icon-painters who made the frescos of the cathedral. He also presented Mr. Beglov with an image of Old Roussik.

His Holiness Kirill delivered a primatial homily and presented the cathedral with an icon of Our Lady of Iveron and an Easter egg.

After that the primate inspected the Old Roussik facilities and came back to the St. Panteleimon Monastery to share a meal with the brethren.

Press release on Antiochian Holy Synod

(Antiochian Patriarchate) - The Holy Antiochian Orthodox synod, was held and presided by His Beatitude John X in its seventh extraordinary session, from May 25 to 27-2016 at Balamand.

After praying and invoking the Holy Spirit, the fathers of the synod discussed the social and pastoral situation of the church in most of the archdioceses of the orthodox church of Antioch resulting from the current situation of fighting and violence, besides the migration of many people and the worsening of the social and economic situations under which many people have undermined due to war and fighting. The holy fathers decided to intensify the pastoral work for the sake of strengthening the faithful and sustaining them in their land, as much as possible. They also emphasized the necessity of activating the developmental and humanitarian work basically carried out by the orthodox patriarchate, besides the archdioceses so as to reach as many in need as possible, and to console them. They also called out for collective efforts adopted by all the faithful for helping the needy in the current situation.

The holy fathers discussed all the details and documents of the great orthodox synod which is about to be held on June 17 in Crete, under great changes that reach, as a result, all the Orthodox Churches, societies and believers.

The holy fathers emphasized the importance of the Antiochian active participation in the great synod which had been prepared ever since the sixties of the past century. They also welcomed all efforts exerted so as to give the synod the chance to express the Orthodox testimony which is one in the whole world. They agreed upon a common formulation of the Antiochian attitude concerning the topics which must be discussed on the agenda of the synod so as to reach the conscience of the whole world. They left the sessions of the Antiochian synod opened for the sake of molding the final attitude regarding the great Orthodox synod under the light of what might happen concerning the peaceful and positive Antiochian initiative which His Beatitude John X expressed before the delegation of the ecumenical patriarchate who had visited him in last April concerning the finding of a final ecclesial solution to the conflict with the patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The holy synod of Antioch formed a clerical and lay committee for the continuation of the efforts related to the great Orthodox synod, whose mission is basically foreseeing, studying, detecting all internal and external attitudes of the Orthodox Churches, to carry the recommendations in regard, to the holy Antiochian synod, and take the proper act and resolution before the beginning of the works of the synod, and for its sake. As concerning the minutes of the work of the great orthodox synod, the holy fathers of the Antiochian synod have decided to accept all the suggested moderations which the advisory committee appointed by His Beatitude has noticed and whose mission designates finding a clear formulation that takes into consideration the discussion of the synod in that regard. They also decided to form a media -Antiochian committee to cope with the works of the great Orthodox synod, and explain the Antiochian attitude towards all the discussed issues, form an Antiochian committee that reports and contributes to the formation of the synod message which will result from the great Orthodox synod.

The holy fathers of the synod raise their voices very high for the serious endeavours of finding peace settlement in Syria, and for solving the huge human crisis which the Syrian people is suffering from, as a result of terror and sinful blowing and explosions that aim at its social composites. They also call on the international communities to intensify efforts and cooperate in order to contribute to finding common initiatives coordinated upon, that would lead to cease fire and putting an end to terror and violence which is destroying people and the infra-structure pushing the inhabitants of Syria to migration, and leaving many victims. Then, to move into the political and peaceful phase besides reconstruction of the country.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Semen est sanguis Christianorum.

Where once the government attempted to completely stomp out religion, the seeds of martyrdom have sprouted and now the Russian Church boasts membership second only to the Catholic Church.

Moscow, May 27 (Interfax) - Orthodox world unites over 300 million believers, over half of them are believers of the Russian Church, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk reports.

"As to the number of believers it (the Russian Church - IF) holds the second place in the world after the Roman Catholic Church. The Russian Orthodox Church has 193 dioceses, 354 hierarchs, about 35,000 churches, about the same number of priests, almost 5,000 deacons," the hierarch said speaking before chairs, lecturers and cadets of the Military University at the Russian Defense Ministry.

He told that since 1988, when the 1000-year anniversary of Russia's Baptism was celebrated, the Moscow Patriarchate opened a thousand churches a year, which makes three churches a year.

"There has never been such unprecedented growth of the Church in history," the metropolitan resumed.

Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin at Mt. Athos

( - His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia began his pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Athos on May 27, 2016.

Meeting the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church at Thessaloniki Macedonia international airport were Metropolitan Nikodimos of Kassandreia; Russian Consul General in Thessaloniki Mr.Alexei Popov; Greek deputy minister of foreign affairs Mr. Ioannis Amanatidis; minister for Macedonia and Thrace Ms. Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha; and the representative of the ministry of foreign affairs in Northern Greece Mr. Ioannis Vikilidis. Among those meeting His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at Daphne sea port in Athos were the Governor of Athos Mr. Aristos Kasmiroglou; representatives of the Holy Kinot, hieromonks Pavlos and Hieronimos; and Mr. Alexander Beglov, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy in the Central Federal District and head of the Presidential working group on the preparation of celebrations marking the millennium of Russian monasticism on Mt. Athos.

This is the second visit of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Holy Mountain. The first one, during which His Holiness visited many Athonite monasteries, took place in 2013. The current visit is linked with Russian monasticism on Athos. After meeting with the Protos and with the members of the Holy Kinot His Holiness will proceed to the Russian Monastery of St. Panteleimon.

During his pilgrimage His Holiness will celebrate at the Old Roussikon and at the Xilourgou scete, the original site of Russian monasticism. On Sunday, His Holiness is planning to celebrate Divine Liturgy at the Monastery of St. Panteleimon.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Master Schedule for upcoming Council in Crete

What are they doing at the Holy and Great Council and when? Here is the master schedule. I've trimmed out the journalist access comments as they are a tad repetitive. In essence, they say no press will be in the meetings themselves, some press will be at church services, and all press will be at the regular press conferences.

Master Schedule for Great and Holy Council in Crete
Wednesday, June 15
  • 14:00 - Arrival of His All Holiness The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
    Chania Airport
  • 17:00 - Vespers at Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery
    Orthodox Academy of Crete in Kolymbari, Chania

Thursday, June 16
  • 09:00-16:00 - Arrival of Primates of the 13 Autocephalous Orthodox Churches
    Schedules to be announced.
    Shania Airport

Friday, June 17
  • 9:00 - Small Synaxis of the Primates of the 14 Autocephalous Orthodox Churches
    Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery
    Orthodox Academy of Crete
  • 9:30-17:30 - Deliberations
    Orthodox Academy of Crete

Saturday, June 18 - Saturday of Souls
  • 8:00 - Orthros
    Annunciation Church, Kissamos, Crete
  • 9:30 - Divine Liturgy
    Annunciation Church, Kissamos, Crete
    His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria will celebrate. The Service of the Saturday of Souls will especially remember all of those who labored for the realization of the Holy and Great Council (Chanters: Constantinopolitans from Athens).
  • 16:30 Welcome Reception by the Mayor of Heraklion, the Honorable Vassilis Labrinos, for the 14 Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches
    Church of St. Titus, Heraklion
  • 19:00 - Doxology and Vespers of Pentecost
    Church of St. Titus, Heraklion

Sunday, June 19 - Sunday of Pentecost
  • 8:00 - Orthros of Pentecost (Chanters: Cretans)
    St. Menas Cathedral, Heraklion
  • 9:00 - Divine Liturgy of Pentecost
    St. Menas Cathedral, Heraklion
    The Divine Liturgy will be presided by His all Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and co celebrated with the 13 Primates of the Autocephalous Churches.
  • 11:30 - Pentecost Vespers
    St. Menas Cathedral, Heraklion
  • 14:00 - Official Luncheon hosted by the President of the Hellenic Republic, His Excellency Prokopis Pavlopoulos for the 14 Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches
    Venue: To be announced

Monday, June 20 - Monday of The Holy Spirit
  • 7:30 - Divine Liturgy
    Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery
  • 11:00-14:00 - Opening Session of Council
    Orthodox Academy of Crete
  • 15:30 - Press briefing
    Media Center, Orthodox Academy of Crete
  • 16:00-19:30 - Session II of Council
    Orthodox Academy of Crete
  • 20:00 - Theodorakis Tribute Concert
    Euromed Youth Center, Nopigia, Kissamos

Serbian Eastern American Diocese gets new hierarch

(SOC-WAD) - His Grace the Right Reverend Irinej (Dobrijevic) is the new diocesan bishop of the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Congratulations! Axios! He is worthy!

Remembering our fallen veterans this Memorial Day

O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of Thy departed servants in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away.

Pardon every transgression which they have committed, whether by word or deed or thought.

For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.

For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

A prayer for the upcoming Council

Whether you be a full-throated supporter or an unabashed detractor, I believe we can both pray that God's will be done in the upcoming Holy and Great Council in Crete.

Adapted from the trebnik's "Prayer for a Church Sobor" (PDF) via

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, send down upon the bishops, clergy, and all those gathered in Thy name the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, for good and profitable counsel unto the benefit of all, and unto the confirmation of the Orthodox Catholic faith and piety, the good order of the Church.

Enlighten their minds with the light of His Divine understanding and truth, and make clear their lips and tongue, that they may counsel, proclaim and order all things unto the greater glory of His holy name.

May their actions be for the edification of the faithful people, the furtherance of good morals, and the uprooting and extermination of every heresy, disorder and wickedness, and do all things perfectly by the power and action and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

To Thee are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Ecumenical Patriarchate makes her position clear

Raise your hand if you agree on both of these rubricated points as settled matters.

(GOARCH) - For the next fourteen days, we'll be profiling the autocephalous Orthodox churches that comprise the Holy and Great Council. The first profile is of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which was established by Saint Andrew the Apostle in 37 A.D. Its primate is His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who has the status of primus inter pares (“first among equals”) among Orthodox bishops. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate includes Constantinople, Asia Minor, Mount Athos, Crete, northern Greece and the Dodecanese. According to the canons of the Church, all regions beyond the official ecclesial boundaries of each local autocephalous Church come under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including, inter alia, North and South America, Western Europe, Asia, and Australia. It is one of the five ancient patriarchates, which also include Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has the responsibility of being the Church of final appeal in Orthodoxy, and it is the only Church that may establish autocephalous and autonomous Churches.

Turks allow Syriac Orthodox to build church - 1st in a century

(Christian Today) - The first new Syriac church for nearly a century is to be built in Turkey.

St Mary's will be the first new church for Turkey's growing Syriac Orthodox Christian community since the republic was founded in 1922, the Turkish news website Agos reported.

The church, to be built in Yesilköy suburb, Istanbul, will seat 750 worshippers and will cater to a community of around 17,000 Syriac Christians living in and near the Bakırköy area, many of them refugees from the fighting led by Islamic State and other terror groups in the Middle East.

Plans for the church were announced earlier this year. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality gave planning permission for building work to begin a few days ago and the church design will be similar to that of some of the ancient churches in Mardin province, with some contemporary features.

Sait Susin, chair of the Syriac Virgin Mary Church Foundation, said he expected it would take about six months to complete. Land has been given to the foundation but the costs of the building work will be paid for by the foundation.

Christians in Turkey are proud of the country's heritage, with the Apostles Paul and Timothy both having been born there. Many Christians were killed in the early 20th century in the Armenian genocide and Turkey is now more than 97 per cent Muslim.

Pope Francis made a significant visit to Turkey in November last year and prayed alongside a senior Islamic cleric at a Mosque in Istanbul.

Church of Greece prepares for Council in Crete

I again apologize for the machine translation.

(Amen) - Towards the People will approach the Church with special text will be read at the country's temples and distributed to the faithful after next Sunday the Church will provide the coded proposals to be convened Holy Synod of the Orthodox.

For two days the Hierarchy in extraordinary sessions brought forward a long list eisigyseon, corrections, modifications and changes in the six versions of the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Synod.

According to the decision of the Hierarchy and after study on a case of these proposals went further processed and additions. Further consolidation of these presentations will be made by the Permanent Holy Synod will meet next week to the final text to be read to the people and sent to the Inter-Orthodox Secretariat of the Holy and Great Council and supported by Archbishop Hieronymus in Agia meetings and Great Synod.

It follows the release of the Holy Synod

He met on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, the second day of the extraordinary convocation, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, under the chairmanship of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece. Jerome, in the Conference Room of the Holy Synod of Bishops.

During the morning session, after the prayer, read out the list of hierarchs participants and it was detected the absence of Eminence Metropolitans Thessaloniki Mr. Anthimos, Lemnos and Agios Efstratios Mr. Ierotheou, Mytilene, Eressos and Plomari Mr. James, Larissa and Tirnavos Mr. Ignatius and Megara and Salamis Mr. Constantine, who was absent justified.

Then they were read and confirmed the minutes of the meeting held on.

Then, according to the agenda, the debate continued on yesterday's report of the Metropolitan Ilia and exported to the conclusions of the conducted discussion.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece in today's session thoroughly studied the proposals D.I.S., one to one, and made a further elaboration and additions.

Finally, due to the great interest of this fact the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Church of Greece decided to adopt the relevant text with which the people on the matter will be updated.

Georgian Patriarchate prepares for Council in Crete

As the Council date approaches the patriarchates are continuing to meet and send out press releases. It's interesting to see what conciliar topics have sparked interest for each patriarchate. You will notice that these topical pronouncements distributed ahead of the Council are not receiving a rubber stamp treatment; with responses ranging from "more discussion needed" to "completely unacceptable." I apologize for the machine translation.

(Georgian Patriarchate) - May 25, 2016, the Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church of St. The next session of the Synod. The meeting was chaired by the Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II. Appointed secretary of Senaki and Metropolitan Shio (Mujiri). Church members greeted the Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II and congratulated the nation regained its independence.

There was also marked by two sad case, which occurred in recent days. This is an IDP from Gali district resident George Otkhozoria horrific killing of the village. Khurcha. Holy Synod expressed condolences to his family and pray for his soul. Also expressed grief over the village. Kortskheli incident. The Holy Synod moutsudebs all political and societal forces for mutual respect and prudence.

After the Georgian Orthodox Church, spoke of the future, and about the importance of a meeting and thanked the clergy and laity, who participated in the meeting of the preparatory works. His words to the light. Synod of bishops to express their opinions on the documents to be discussed at the meeting.

The Secretariat of the Holy Church of Georgia, Gori and Athens Metropolitan Andria (term expires), a brief summary of the documents to be discussed at the meeting today.

Documents, - "a secret marriage and the reasons for his disturbing" and "Mission of the Orthodox Church in the modern world" , - spoke of Tao-Klarjeti Metropolitan Theodore (Arch).

Sec. Synod decided: the "secret marriage and her disturbing causes" in two places in the text needs to be amended. In particular, the section "Orthodox marriage" and Article 10 of the chapter "The causes of marriage impediments" Article 5 "A" point.

"Orthodox marriage" Article 10 states: "The Church does not assume any of the members of one sex union, as well as any other form of co-existence with the exception of marriage. The church appeals to the pastoral efforts that its members, who are in such a union, the real regret and love, blessed by the church. "

It should be changed as follows:

"The church can not accept same-sex sexual relations between individuals, as well as co-existence of other, different from marriage, and condemns any form of sin. The Church is concerned about such a sin in the eternal destiny of the immortal soul and the whole pastoral adamienebis effort to recognize the extreme gravity of this sin and true repentance through departed from him. "

"Marriage is disturbing causes" of Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the "A" section reads: "Marriage Orthodox aramartlmadidebleb of prohibited canonical precision and is not blessed (Trulli assembly 72 of the law), but can be crowned tolerance and philanthropy, but provided that the marriage of the children born and baptized in the Orthodox Church will be brought up. "

The article should be left to the text of the first netsili, which states: "Marriage Orthodox aramartlmadidebleb of prohibited canonical precision and do not be blessed (Trulli assembly 72 of the law)", while the second part, where we read that "although there may be crowned tolerance and katstnmoqvareobit, but the provided that the marriage of the children born and baptized in the Orthodox Church will be brought up "- should be removed, because it confronts the VI Ecumenical Council 72 of the law. It is well known that no one can challenge the Council did not, cancel, or change the Ecumenical Council established by any law.

The document, "The mission of the Orthodox Church in the Modern World" should be included in the three changes:

The subheading, which reads: "The Orthodox Church's contribution to the nations of peace, justice, freedom, brotherhood and love to achieve, racial discrimination, as well as other kinds of discrimination", should be removed from the phrase - "as well as other forms of discrimination" - because it allows a variety of comprehension.

At the "A" section ( "human dignity") Article 3 states: "In the field of high dignity of the human person can be considered as a precondition for cooperation in a wider international recognition. Local Orthodox churches are called upon to contribute to inter-religious dialogue and cooperation, thereby - in overcoming any form of fanaticism, friendship among peoples, freedom and the promotion of peace throughout the whole world, for the good of every human being, regardless of race and religion. It is understood that this co-operation as a rule sinkretizms, as well as a religion of violence any attempt of other religions. "

The text of the decree of the Synod must be formulated as follows: "in this field can be considered as a precondition for broader cooperation with the dignity of the human person of high international recognition. Orthodox churches are called upon to contribute to inter-religious dialogue and cooperation, thereby - in the fanaticism of any expression of overcoming, friendship among peoples, freedom and the promotion of peace throughout the whole world, every human benefit of its purification, deification and eternal life in the establishment of the determination, race and religion Yet. It is understood that this co-operation as a rule sinkretizms, as well as any other attempt of one religion, the religion of violence, which, of course, does not imply a rejection of the Church's missionary activity ".

"The REAL Sex Week" combats libertine festival

You'll note that the response to the hedonistic "My body. My choices." people was to deface the advertisements and defame the people trying to provide a holistic and consequences-observant approach the marital act. Do you think our youth get more from hanging out with porn stars and learning about sex toys or from crisis pregnancy resources and rape prevention experts? Who is really helping them?

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, May 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Disgusted by the growing trend on university campuses of holding an annual “Sex Week” one student at the University of New Mexico decided to respond proactively this year.

UNM Students For Life president Sade Patterson was outraged after two years of watching UNM’s “SexUality Week” glorify self-destructive promiscuity and other perversions.

"The pattern of objectification and a lack of responsibility became evident," Patterson wrote in The College Fix. "It was clear organizers had an agenda: teach my peers that anything goes, and there are no consequences."

She wasn’t the only one outraged. There were many, decent students upset by it. The difference with Patterson is, she took matters into her own hands. This March, she ran "The REAL Sex Week," with positivity and honesty about sex from a moral perspective.

Sexual biology was discussed. How sex affects our minds and relationships. The chemical links that sex literally creates in the brain of the participant. Abstinence. The various means of Natural Family Planning, the facts of artificial contraception failure rates, and how hormonal contraception negatively affects a woman's body. CareNet gave free pregnancy and STD tests, and counseled confused, driven-by-the-world weary women, too young for their own tragic experiences.

Additionally, sessions were held for pregnant women and parenting students, offering hope and help and information on where to find support. Nearly 4.8 million undergraduate students are parents. Sade herself gave birth as a junior to her son Daniel. Other women who gave birth while going to college shared their stories.

Other topics included healing from rape and sexual assault, and sessions where post-abortive women shared their stories of regret, and of forgiveness and healing, and a women's self-defense class. More than twenty organizations set up tables offering information on health clinics, pregnancy centers, parenting programs, childcare assistance, counselors, sexual assault awareness, and more.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Orthodox and Catholic children across Syria to pray for peace

(Gospel Herald) - For the children of Syria, divine intervention is their only hope for peace to their homeland. Concrete actions, not words of support from the international community is the other cry of aid workers and doctors to protect them from deadly attacks.

Hundreds of Orthodox and Catholic children across Syria will be joining the prayer gatherings and processions to take place in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Tartus and Marmarita on June 1 to mark the International Children's Day.

"Look upon the tears of the children; dry the tears of the mothers; let the cries of grief at last fall silent!" Syrian Catholic and Orthodox Patriarchs said in a joint statement.

In Istanbul, the head of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organization told delegates at the second day of the World Humanitarian Summit that aid workers and doctors need protection from the deadly attacks, and aid should reach those most in need.

"Being a doctor inside Syria means waiting for death," Zedoun Al Zoubi said.

This two facets of desperations wrap Syria as the civil war enters its sixth year. From 2011 when it broke out 11 million people, or half of its population fled their homes. Around 4.8 million have taken refuge in neighbouring countries or even farther afield. The rests are left with the risk of being caught in the cross fire, harass or abuse.

The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said for over five years these children have been dragged through a cruel war, wounded, traumatized or even killed, and many have lost their parents.

"The tears of these children are their sufferings cry out of heaven," the joint statement said.

Maronite Bishop Antoine Chbeir of Lattakia is hoping the initiative will draw attention and encourages people around the world to pray for Syria.

"We are hoping that this campaign will continue, so that the light of peace can shine forth brightly," he said.

At least 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria itself, and 320,000 people have been killed since the conflict began, including nearly 12,000 children.

In Istanbul, on the second day of the summit, Al Zoubi said Syria is left with a handful of 1,000 doctors as over 9,000 of them has rushed out the country as the conflict drags on.

He said hospitals are supposed to be the safest place in the world, but in Syria they are the riskiest because they are now targets by ground or air assaults.

He said people are building hospitals underground, and in caves but are still being attack and bombed.