Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Ukrainians reinstate mask mandate

(UOC-USA) - TO:  ALL CLERGY, PARISH BOARDS OF ADMINISTRATION AND ALL FAITHFUL OF OUR HOLY UKRAINIAN ORTHDOX CHURCH OF THE USA

RE:  Changing Metrics Associated With the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Necessity of Responsible and Measured Means to Combat Them

Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters in our Loving Lord,

CHRIST IS AMONG US!  HE IS AND ALWAYS SHALL BE!

We had not expected the necessity of writing to you once again concerning necessary responses to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC because of the seemingly positive numbers of people getting vaccinated.  Perhaps the initial success throughout the early months of this year convinced us all that the greatest danger had passed and that “normal” life could, step by step, return.  Obviously, however, the new and far more dangerous variant(s) of the virus have changed the perspective of not only the medical and scientific communities, but most of the general population of our nation that we are far from “normal” and that “normal” may now become something very different from that we knew back in December 2019 before the wide spread of this disease throughout the world.

When we study the current maps of the spread of the virus in the USA, we once again see massive concentrations of the color red, indicating that the rates of infection, hospitalization and death are rising at rates very near the worst part of the pandemic in April of this year.  The areas on these maps that show the highest concentration of these changing and rapidly rising metrics are without doubt in the states with the highest concentration of people who are NOT vaccinated.  However, the rising metrics can be seen in significant areas of even those states with high rates of vaccination.  We will not attempt here to make this message into an attempt to convince people to get vaccinated because we believe that our President, Governors and other civic leaders are making powerful arguments in this regard.  We are also convinced that there will always be a portion of our population that will never accept vaccination and it is for this reason that we write to you this day.

None of us can control the decisions of other members of our society.  We must be concerned for and about them and we must, above all, pray for them and respond to them in ways that will be protective of ourselves and our loved ones.  We can only pray that we do not have to continue viewing and reading about individuals who refuse vaccination finally regretting their decision because they themselves have suffered greatly from the virus or they have watched helplessly as they lost parents, spouses, brothers and sisters or their own children to the virus. 

THE MOST OBVIOUS RESPONSE THAT WE ARE NOW CALLING YOU ALL TO IS TO RETURN, AS PER THE INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL, TO THE WEARING OF MASKS DURING ANY LITURGICAL SERVICES OR IN ANY PARISH COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES.  TO BE CLEAR:  THIS IS A RESPONSE OF GREAT CAUTION.  THOSE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED MUST VOLUNTARILY WEAR MASKS AT LITURGY OR OTHER PARISH FAMILY EVENTS.  THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED BUT HAVE BEEN PART OF ANY GATHERING OF PEOPLE – INDOORS OR OUTDOORS – WHICH INCLUDES INDIVIDUALS WHOSE VACCINATION STATUS IS UNKNOWN TO THEM SHOULD VOLUNTARILY WEAR MASKS DURING LITURGY OR OTHER PARISH FAMILY EVENTS.

The goal of this response is to protect everyone worshipping in our parish churches and participating in our activities without the impossible task of trying to identify those who are vaccinated and those who are not.  As Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, it is not our responsibility to be the “Vaccination Police” in forcing anyone, parish members or not, to prove to us that they have been vaccinated.  Anyone who is vaccinated is protected quite well from serious consequences of the virus.  There is a small number of those vaccinated who have been infected with the new variants of the virus, but most of the time they exhibit no symptoms and require no hospitalization.  They are, however, capable of infecting others during this time.  Of course, those who are unvaccinated are very capable of infecting others whether they exhibit manifestations of the disease or not.  Let us all be concerned for one another by acting responsibly with the use of masks.

“O Lord Jesus Christ, in Your loving care, You traveled through towns and villages ‘curing every disease and illness.’  At Your command, the sick were made well.  Come to our aid now, as the global spread of the coronavirus intensifies again, that we may experience Your healing Love anew. Be with us as we continue to experience the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, whether we have survived the disease, lost loved ones or have felt helpless with no ability, because of severe but necessary medical and physical restrictions, to comfort those who continue to suffer.  Help us to respond to the devotion of doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and put themselves at risk in the process with our continued prayers for their safety.  Help us, O Lord, to comprehend that we all are vulnerable to this virus and that we must take all necessary measures to protect one another.  For You are a Merciful and Loving God and to You we give glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen”

In our Lord’s All-Encompassing Love,

 

+ ANTONY

By the Grace of God, Metropolitan   

 

+ DANIEL

By the Grace of God, Archbishop

New book out! The Euchologion Unveiled

I really loved the first book (The Typikon Decoded) and consider it an almost essential text to have at hand. The book is already in the mail to me and I hope to review it soon.


(SVS Press) - The Euchologion Unveiled describes and explains the sacramental services of the Orthodox Church. The Euchologion is the liturgical book that priests use to serve all the mysteries, or sacraments, of the Church. Archbishop Job “unveils” the history, meaning, and structure of these services, and the Orthodox understanding of the sacraments, through which believers receive grace and become partakers of the divine life.

Though most people have heard of “the seven sacraments” –baptism, chrismation, the Eucharist, confession, marriage, ordination, and unction—this is a later western schema, and the Orthodox Church performs several other sacramental rites, which are also explained here: monastic tonsure, the funeral, the sanctification of chrism, the consecration of a church, and the blessing of water.

This is a companion volume to The Typikon Decoded, and the second volume of An Explanation of Byzantine Liturgical Practice.

Episcopal liturgy at ruins of church in Ashdod, Israel

(Jerusalem Patriarchate) - Around 1921, at the beginning of work at a construction site in a neighbourhood of south Azotos (present Ashdod), the digging machine uncovered mosaics of an old Byzantine Holy Church, with the result that the Archaeological Service of Israel intervened and prohibited the continuation of the works.

Ever since the specific plot remained empty and fell under the ownership of the state. In 2009, the Archaeological Service assigned the responsibility of the excavations to the specific plot to archaeologist Dr Alexander Fantalkin, Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, who specializes in Ancient Greece in the 8th century BC. The excavations were postponed and continued this year.

A building complex with a central temple and chapels of unique spiritual and historical value were discovered during the excavations. There is a possibility that it is associated with the existence of an early form of a Hesychastic Monastery for an Order of Virgin Women with the title Deaconess.

On Thursday morning, 16/29 July 2021,  an outdoors Divine Liturgy at the ruins of the ancient Church was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa, with the participation of the Reverend Archimandrites; Eudokimos, the Spiritual Father of Saint Savvas’ Lavra, Ignatios, Hegoume of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, Constantine, Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of Hozeva, Artemios, Hegoumen of Haifa, Leontios, Hegoumen of Rafeidia of Samaria, Marcellus, Hegoumen of Saint George in Lydda, and Farther Alexander Yasevitch, from the Russian-speaking flock in Beer Sheva...

Complete article here.

For Whom Does Elpidophoros Speak?

From the blog Handwritings on the Wall, a post entitled "For Whom Does Elpidophoros Speak?" What I have seen as the primary criticism was not the overly broad acceptance of many ways to live (which was read by some as a level of plurality unacceptable to Orthodoxy), but his rather biting criticism of the Russian Church. It left the EP open to cries of hypocrisy as it has very openly aligned itself with the US State Department on many fronts. Difficult to decry church-state relations on the heels of the Ukraine kerfuffle.


Archbishop Elpidophoros has caused consternation among the Orthodox faithful by the speech that he gave at the International Religious Freedom Summit held in Washington D.C., 15 July 2021. I posted the entirety of his speech a few post back. In the speech he stated:

When you elevate one religion above all others, it is as if you decide there is only one path leading to the top of the mountain. But the truth is you simply cannot see the myriads of paths that lead to the same destination, because you are surrounded by boulders of prejudice that obscure your view.

This particular passage was excerpted and made into a widely circulated meme on the Internet.  Some saw this excerpt and took it to mean that Elpidophoros was suggesting that there are many ways to salvation.  It generated a flurry of criticism on various blog sites.  I was unaware of the offending paragraph when I was asked for my thoughts on Elpidophoros’ speech.  I read through the text of his speech twice.  I was a bit baffled by the wordiness of the text and the highfalutin language he used.  I finally found the stinking sardine in the pile of waffle (Elpidophoros’ speech) thanks to the Monomakhos article and a comment from a clerical friend.

At first I didn’t catch the remark about “myriads of paths” mostly because Elpidophoros gave the speech in what appears to have been a secular, political context—the International Religious Freedom Summit.  As an American I am very sympathetic to a secular state and to religious pluralism.  As a Christian I believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father.  As an Orthodox Christian I believe that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church.  So how does one speak as an Orthodox Christian to a diverse non-Orthodox setting like the Summit?  Answer: With care and nuance.

I gained a better understanding from a YouTube video in which former U.S. Senator, now U.S. Ambassador, Sam Brownback was interviewed on EWTN about the Summit. Brownback explained that the Summit is bringing together major leaders of the different faiths from all over the world.  He went on to explain: “We’re not talking theology.”  That gave me a different perspective on the Summit—a more positive one.  Too many of the conflicts in the world today have been exacerbated by religious ideology.  We need religious leaders to encourage their followers to peacefully coexist with their neighbors of different faith backgrounds.  In my opinion, Archbishop Elpidophoros could have done a better job of bracketing his comment about having only one path leading to the top of the mountain, i.e., that he was talking about state-religion relations, not about theology in the usual sense.  Loosely read, Elpidophoros’ mountain metaphor can be construed as an allusion to a universalist soteriology—an affront to Orthodoxy.  Read from a secular, political angle, it can be understood as advocating the protection of religious freedom, something American Orthodox Christians can affirm.  It seems to me that, unlike Ambassador Brownback, who spoke with nuance and sensitivity, Archbishop Elpidophoros stumbled in his speech and gave unnecessary offense to some Orthodox Christians.  

As I see it, Elpidophoros’ challenge is how to speak to a non-Orthodox audience while being faithful to Orthodox Tradition.  I believe that it is very desirable that Hagia Sophia be restored as an Orthodox house of worship.  However, for Elpidophoros to drag in the Ukrainian mess and to make a veiled swipe against the Moscow Patriarchate’s alliance with the Kremlin is to open a huge can of worms.  How does Elpidophoros reconcile his veiled swipe at the Moscow Patriarchate with the historic Orthodox teaching of symphonia?  From the political or governmental perspective, there is a certain confusing ambiguity in Archbishop Elpidophoros’ speech: Is he speaking as a leader of Orthodox Christians who reside in the U.S. or on behalf of Patriarch Bartholomew, who resides in Istanbul, Turkey?  And, who has a vested interest in the Ukrainian-Russian controversy?  Put another way, does Elpidophoros speak for us American Orthodox Christians?  It has been two years since he migrated to the United States in 2019.  

Archbishop Elpidophoros’ importance at the Summit lies in the fact that he represents and leads the largest Orthodox jurisdiction in the U.S. — the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. There is a certain irony in Elpidophoros’ presence at an international summit on religious freedom when he, in his capacity as Patriarch Bartholomew’s personal agent, perpetuates Greek colonialism in the U.S..  It is time for there to be an American Orthodox Church.  It is time that externally imposed hierarchs be returned to Istanbul where they were born and for an American-born hierarch to be elevated as primate for the autocephalous American Orthodox Church.  


Robert Arakaki, Ph.D.

Political scientist and Asian-American convert to Orthodoxy

Friday, July 23, 2021

No need to understand Romanian to understand this video

Spree of church burnings in Canada continues

(National Review) - Members of the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey, British Columbia, were shocked to discover that the church burned to the ground on Monday morning, the latest in a rash of church burnings and vandalism across Canada in recent weeks. I am still surprised this isn't front page news everywhere. Also shocked a bit to see some people who should know better advocating for further destruction.

“It’s been an extremely tragic and difficult event for us to grasp and to wrap our heads around,” Steven Faltas, a board member for St. George, told National Review. “Somewhere between 300 and 400 families attended this church quite regularly, with nearly daily services and activities being offered. So for it to overnight not be there anymore has been extremely difficult for us to deal with and to absorb.”

Several churches have burned to the ground in Canada in recent weeks, with additional churches and a statue of St. John Paul vandalized. The incidents were perpetrated from British Columbia all the way to Nova Scotia.

The burnings and vandalism began after First Nation tribes discovered unmarked graves at the sites of former so-called Indian residential schools. These schools were established in the 1830s to assimilate indigenous children into Canadian society, and some continued to operate until the 1990s.

Results from Romanian Church's Synod

(Romanian Patriarchate) - The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church met for its working session under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel at “Patriarch Teoctist” Aula Magna of the Patriarchal Palace on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

The Holy Synod resolved the following:

  1. To include the name of Saint Nikephoros the Leper in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church on January 4 and to approve the Saint’s synaxarion, troparion, kontakion, service, Akathist and Supplicatory Canon.
  2. To approve the decision of the Standing National Church Council of March 4, 2021, regarding the incompatibility of the clerical service with public positions and/or dignities, in accordance with the decision of the Holy Synod no. 1676 of March 6, 2008, which states that “bishops, priests, deacons, monks and nuns of the Romanian Orthodox Church are prohibited from holding positions of an official / civil servant at the central or local level in the Romanian state or in other states.”
  3. The Holy Synod reminded that, according to the holy canons, the ordinations to the ranks of deacon and priest in the Romanian Orthodox Church can be performed by the diocesan bishop only for parishes and monasteries in the diocese he pastors according to the statutory provisions. The hierarch who will ordain a candidate belonging to another diocese than the one he pastors, without the consent of the hierarch from whom the candidate comes, will be sent to the trial of the first hierarchical Consistory, and the ordination will be declared invalid.
  4. To approve the establishment of two new parishes for the Romanian Orthodox communities in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Both parishes will be under the direct authority of the Romanian Patriarchate. Are Romanians doing this with local permission or separate from it?
  5. The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church has noted with concern the recent attempts to implement “sex education” as mandatory in the Romanian education system, as well as the European Parliament resolution of June 24, 2021, on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and related rights in the EU in the frame of women’s health (Matić Report). The Romanian Patriarchate reaffirms its position on maintaining the optional nature of classes on “education for life” and warns against the risks of a “sex education” with an ideological content contrary to the values of the Christian family and inappropriate for the age of children.

"The Rising Tide of Religious Nationalism"

(EA) - Members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America participated in the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C. from July 13-15. Archbishop Elpidophoros, Chair of the Assembly, delivered remarks entitled “The Rising Tide of Religious Nationalism,” as a featured speaker of the summit (read the full text here and below).

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros

Address for the International Religious Freedom Summit, 2021

“The Rising Tide of Religious Nationalism”

July 15, 2021

It is a great privilege to be with you today, and I want to express the appreciation of the Greek Orthodox Church of America – a province of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Mother Church of Eastern Christianity – for the exceptional work of the International Religious Freedom Summits. The partner and supporting entities bear witness to the inclusive and the comprehensive nature of the vision for human liberty and freedom of conscience we seek to enhance around the globe.

I shall commence the subject of my remarks, with the following observation. “Religious Nationalism” is only one side of the coin. There is also “Nationalistic Religion.”

Much like the terms “Caesaropapism” and “Papocaesarism,” that described the tensions between political and ecclesial autocracies of centuries past, the interests of the State and those who desire some form of “theocracy” are seldom aligned.

The shoreline where these rising tides appear is a very long one, with diverse landscapes. Here in the United States, we have witnessed – especially in recent years – how independent religious bodies with charismatic leaders are using the public, political sphere to advance their own agendas. This is a clear case of “Nationalistic Religion,” where identity politics are incorporated into a religious entity in order to advance a religious agenda. Should such a tide rise to an undue influence – either in the legislative, judicial, or executive branches of government, it would challenge the very idea of the First Amendment, and the non-establishment clause concerning religion.

On the other hand, we could look at some aspects of modern Iran, and find a distinct brand of “Religious Nationalism,” a full-blown attempt at theocracy by a seeming majority. But to see a spiritual basis for the State is to create a stratification of society along religious lines, a spiritual apartheid, if you will. The result is a monolithic society unyielding to diversity.

When you elevate one religion above all others, it is as if you decide there is only one path leading to the top of the mountain. But the truth is you simply cannot see the myriads of paths that lead to the same destination, because you are surrounded by boulders of prejudice that obscure your view. What an odd thing to say as the voice of Orthodoxy in America. What an odd thing to say given the Constantinopolitan-Byzantine origins of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Are there other paths?

Finally, there is a hybrid of the two, as in the case of the Russian Federation and the post-Soviet Russian Orthodox Church. The painful history of the Church under the communist regime came to a sudden and stunning halt with the fall of the Iron Curtain.

However, even as the Russian Federation morphed into its present form, the newly freed Russian Orthodox Church struggled to rebuild its place in society. Its cooperation and support of the State has been a way to regain its former glories. Yet, it is the state itself that has benefited from the “Religious Nationalism” created by the reborn Orthodox Church within its borders. Precisely because the Moscow Patriarchate maintains much of the contours of the old Soviet Union. The close relationship between the state Foreign Ministry and the Church Department of External Relations is well known. I mean, except for the sudden halting in killing thousands of clergy, turning churches into warehouses, and constantly claiming "there is no God." Otherwise, it's the same thing. Totally.

Through the networks of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Russian Federation is able to exert influence in the new nation-states that emerged after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Ukraine is a case in point, where a local Orthodox Church was established, legally and canonically, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, yet the Moscow Patriarchate continues to maintain its own entity. This is clearly in the interests of the Russian Federation which benefits as much, if not more, from its “Religious Nationalism” as the Church does from its “Nationalistic Religion.” Silly Russians. When the EP unilaterally sets up a new local Church 'legally and canonically," it's fine. When the Russian state funds pre-existing parishes and monasteries it's nationalism.

These few examples – painted in broad strokes – highlight the kinds of exigencies that we are facing. By promoting one religion above others, states create an oversized monolith in the public square that de facto (and sometimes de jure) excludes the citizenry who do not conform to that religious point of view.

For the religious entity, the material advantages of state-sponsorship should be far-outweighed by the cost to the ethical, moral, and spiritual core of the faith tradition – anyfaith tradition. To put it in specifically Christian terms: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Throughout history, every religious body has had to face the choice of ‘rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.’ Can this be read in any other way than to say that the Russian Church has imperiled its soul by... rebuilding the Church. The Church of Greece is financed by whom?

So how do we overcome these tides that seem to inexorably rise over time?

First, we must confess that such monoliths are not consistent with a modern, pluralistic, and emergent world. Democracy still finds a way in the imagination of peoples who yearn for liberty. That is why the cultivation of indigenous democratic forms of government – not the imposition from without – is an answer for both the state and the religious culture. Because even a homogenous religious culture is dependent on the individual’s freedom, in order for faith to be genuine and not coercive.

Second, we can accept that the historical journeys of any people possess complex and complicated markers that, if respected, create seawalls that hold back the troubling and troublesome tides. Allow me to close with a recent and very relevant example from the nation of my birth.

Last year, in this very month of July, the most iconic edifice of Orthodox Christianity – the Hagia Sophia in modern Istanbul, had its status withdrawn and was re-converted into a mosque. This Church was the largest Church in the world in the first millennium of Christianity. The end of the Roman Empire in 1453 changed its use, as has happened throughout history to many religious edifices.

But when the Turkish state emerged a century ago, it was deemed that such a unique and potent symbol should emanate an inclusive message, one that served the interests of all the citizens. Thus, the Hagia Sophia became a museum. For the Orthodox Christian world, this was not the best solution, but it was a vision for a future that included the incredible historical journey of Anatolia, not just one phase of that journey. We see in this re-conversion how the tide rose. And we see in those that called this crisis out, the effort to stem the tide.

My fellow laborers in the field of human freedom and inclusivity, I have outlined only some of the shores against which the tides of “Religious Nationalism” and “Nationalistic Religion” are crashing. Our best seawalls are going to be built out of cooperative efforts to instill democracy and freedom of conscience around the globe. This Summit is a most significant building block in that wall, and I thank you for your attention today and for your service to this mission.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Romanian Church martyrological factoids

(Basilica) - The Romanian Orthodox Church, by the decision of the Holy Synod in 1992, set aside the second Sunday after Pentecost as a special day for the commemoration of all Romanian Saints. “The known and the unknown, those who have been canonized and included in the church calendar and those who are not listed and who have suffered in communist prisons fighting for the preservation of the Orthodox faith,” Patriarch Daniel noted last year.

In the context of this holiday, we present some interesting aspects about the Romanians who are mentioned in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church...

Complete article here.

Russian church reiterates opposition to surrogacy

Moscow, July 12 (Interfax) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia appealed to the Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with a request to support the bill banning the services of surrogate mothers for foreign citizens.

The document was submitted to the State Duma deputies on June 11.

In his address to the head of the government, the patriarch notes that the practice of using Russian surrogate mothers by foreigners has caused a number of deaths of newborn children intended for foreign "customers".

"I do not think that the ban on surrogacy for foreigners, which is illegal in most developed and many developing countries, will in any way infringe on the right of foreign citizens to receive medical care on the territory of Russia. Such "assistance" is currently being provided contrary to the goal of saving the people of Russia, proclaimed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as "the highest national priority," the patriarch stressed in a letter published by the website of the Russian Orthodox Church.

According to Patriarch Kirill, the adoption of the draft law "will contribute to improving the demographic situation in Russia, will put a limit on the exploitation of the reproductive potential of Russian women by foreign states in order to reproduce their population, and will also limit crimes in this area that have signs of child trafficking."

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Saint Tikhon’s Residency in Music announced

July 1, 2021 (STOTS) - Saint Tikhon’s Monastery is pleased to announce the fall 2021 launch of a new residential Music Program. The Saint Tikhon’s Residency in Music provides comprehensive training for Orthodox church music leaders amidst the rich and demanding liturgical life of America’s oldest Orthodox monastery. Residents receive both classroom training and on-the-job experience under the expert guidance of the members of St. Tikhon’s Monastery music staff as well as nationally renown guest faculty.

The Music Program is a combination of monthly topical weekend workshop intensives and residency training. The weekend intensives are open to the public, starting Friday evenings and ending Sunday afternoons. Non-resident participants may choose to attend one, several, or all of the weekend intensives. Techniques and skills are presented and briefly coached in the weekend intensives. Residents are then given the opportunity to implement the techniques and skills presented in the intensives as leaders-in-training of services and ensembles at St. Tikhon’s Monastery. 

Weekend Intensive topics include: Conducting Technique, Music Theory & Score Analysis, Vocal & Ensemble Technique, How to Train Beginner Musicians, Choral Literature & Church Music History, Composing & Arranging, Ensemble Administration, and the Memorial Day Pilgrimage Festival Choir. 

Residency training includes: the 8 Tones, Order of Service, Ear Training, Keyboard Skills,  Spirituality, Finale! software, Composition class, Vocal Performance class, Conducting class, Service & Rehearsal Prep coaching, Sacred Music Seminar, and Spirituality.

Residents will also have the opportunity to contribute to the many exciting musical projects happening at St. Tikhon’s including the Grammy-nominated Saint Tikhon Choir, the St. Tikhon’s Music Resource online music catalogue, the arrangement of new settings of hymnography, and the publication of new music collections.

The program begins in October 2021 with the first weekend intensive. Entrance exam, auditions, and admissions interviews will occur during weekend intensives. To be put on the mailing list and be kept up to date on program news and registration information email the directors at sttikhonsmusic@gmail.com.

Synod makes clear who is going to be Bishop of Alaska

(OCA-AK) - July 2, 2021 Protocol 07/004

The HOLY SYNOD

of the

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

The Very Reverend Innocent Dresdow, Chancellor Diocese of Alaska

7031 Howard Avenue

Anchorage, AK 99504-1899

Dear Father Innocent,

May the Lord God bless!

At its regular Spring 2021 Session, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America directed His Grace Bishop Alexis to call a Special Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of Alaska for the sole purpose of nominating a candidate as Diocesan Bishop. As you know, this Special Diocesan Assembly is scheduled for Saturday, August 7, 2021.

With this letter, I communicate to you the following, and I ask that you please make it known to every parish in the Diocese of Alaska: The only candidate who is fully vetted by the Holy Synod is His Grace Bishop Alexis, who has served the Diocese of Alaska first as Administrator while Archbishop David of blessed memory was alive, and now as Locum Tenens since the repose of His Eminence.

If you or other members of the Diocese have questions relating to this matter, please contact me. Devotedly yours in His service,

+Michael

Archbishop of New York and New Jersey Secretary of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Ordination of Bishop Gerasim of Fort Worth

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Orthodox Patriarchal Military Divine Liturgy

Monday, June 28, 2021

ROCOR Studies: The Relationship of the OCA and ROCOR

I'd say the number one question I've been asked over the years is "When will there be Orthodox unity in America?" And my answer is always the same: "If ROCOR and MP and OCA can't be unified, how do you imagine the Antiochians, Greeks, and Russians could achieve unity?" I look forward to reading this paper.


(ROCOR Studies) - The Relationship of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and ROCOR from 1950 to the Present According to Documents in the OCA Archives by Alexis Liberovsky, (Archivist, Orthodox Church in America, Director – Office of History & Archives)

This paper will provide an overview of the main historical events in the relations of the North American Metropolia, which, after receiving autocephaly in 1970, became the Orthodox Church in America, with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) from 1950 to the present day, mainly on the basis of materials preserved in the Archives of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).  The OCA Archives is the official repository for inactive records transferred from the chancery of its Primate for permanent preservation and provides access to historians for scholarly research.  Through these official church administrative files, the evolution of relations between the Metropolia/OCA and ROCOR can be traced over this period, from conflicts and disagreements surrounding the granting of autocephaly to the OCA to the joyous and unifying restoration of Communion within the Russian Church in 2007 and the resulting renewal of fraternal ties between the OCA and ROCOR.  Among the historical documents concerning ROCOR in the OCA Archives there are well-known public statements, bilateral correspondence between the first hierarchs and their staffs on various issues, as well as internal documentation on various aspects of the relationship of the OCA with ROCOR.  The files on ROCOR in the OCA Archives also include numerous articles clipped from both ecclesiastical and secular periodicals and even whole journals and booklets that document ROCOR activity, its statements and inter-Church relations. In summation, this paper will endeavor to draw conclusions from the bilateral relations of the last 70 years and to contemplate their potential to contribute to the growth of the Holy Orthodox Church on the North American continent to the greater Glory of God.