Monday, June 24, 2019

OCA primate visits Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople

(OCA) - Orthodox Christian faithful who trace their roots to Cappadocia filled the Church of the Mother of God here on the Sunday of All Saints—June 23, 2019—as His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon concelebrated the Divine Liturgy.

Metropolitan Tikhon and a delegation representing the Orthodox Church in America that included Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor, and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak had been invited by His All-Holiness to participate in the annual pilgrimage to Cappadocia in conjunction with a three-day pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

His Eminence, Metropolitan Paisius of Lerou Kalimnou also concelebrated with His All-Holiness, His Beatitude, and the OCA delegation.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His All-Holiness warmly welcomed His Beatitude, recalling the many occasions on which Metropolitan Tikhon, representing the Orthodox Church in America, had visited the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He also spoke of the close friendship that has been built as a result of those visits.

His Beatitude responded by thanking His All-Holiness for the invitation, and especially for the opportunity to experience the martyric witness of the deserted caves and church ruins across the Cappadocian region. The complete text of Metropolitan Tikhon’s address appears below.

OCU - Filaret friendly fire continues

(Romfea) - On Monday, June 24, 2019, the Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine met under the presidency of Metropolitan Epiphanius in Kiev.

The Holy Synod discussed about the “Local Synod” that convened under the presidency of the honorable “Patriarch” on Thursday, June 20 and, by decision, removed the administration of the Metropolis of Kiev and handed it to Metropolitan Epiphanius.

“Filaret remains in the Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, however, he has lost his canonical rights and duties concerning the administration of the Metropolis of Kiev,” states inter alia the decision of the Holy Synod, which also annulled the decision of February 2019, according to which honorary “Patriarch” Filaret remained the Head of the Province of Kiev, preserving all the Churches he owned.

“Honorable ‘Patriarch’ Filaret can address the Holy Synod, by sending a letter to Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kiev, to discuss his future position in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine together,” the decision adds.

Finally, the Holy Synod asserts that the entire body of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Kiev, as well as the entire body of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, following the United Synod of December 15, 2018, merged into a single Orthodox Church of Ukraine, so, any mandate or any other document issued on behalf of the Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Kiev or under the name of its statutes, is not valid and cannot be enforced.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Romanian Church electing aux. bishop for US

The Enthronement of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

Enthronement address of Archbishop Elpidophoros

Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
New York, New York (June 22, 2019)

Secretary Azar,

Your Eminence, Metropolitan Avgoustinos of Germany, Personal Representative of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,

Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, beloved and esteemed predecessor,

Your Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Archdiocesan Vicar, and Beloved Brothers of the Holy Eparchial Synod and Bishops of the Holy Archdiocese of America,

Your Eminences and Graces, Hierarchs of our Sister Orthodox Churches and Ancient Oriental Churches,

Reverend Abbots of the of the Monasteries of the Holy Mountain and the Monasteries of our Holy Archdiocese,

Devout and Reverend Clergy and Presvyteres of this Holy Archdiocese of America,

Honored Members of Ecumenical, Interfaith, and Academic Communities,
Esteemed Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Archons, Members of the Order of St. Andrew, the Archdiocesan Council, the National Philoptochos, AHEPA, and Holy Cross Hellenic College,

Beloved brothers and sisters, my dear children in the Lord,

Today, I stand before all of you, humbled and grateful, declaring with the Holy Prophet and Psalmist David:

Ἑτοίμη ἡ καρδία μου ὁ Θεός. Ἑτοίμη ἡ καρδία μου!

Ready is my heart is O God. Ready is my heart! (Psalm 57:7)

Indeed, my heart, soul, and mind are ready and eager to embark on this great challenge and charge that our Thrice-Holy God has granted to me by His grace, with my election, at the recommendation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, by the most reverend members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, in order that I might serve you, the beloved faithful of America, as your spiritual father and pastor, the seventh Archbishop of the Holy Archdiocese of America. The fact that this sacred commission took place on May 11th—coinciding with the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodios, peers of the apostles and illuminators of the Slavs—reminds me of the principal conviction and commitment of the First Throne of Constantinople to an ecumenical worldview and mission. This sign further inspires me to stir and sustain the grace that flows from God to the Mother and Daughter Churches of Constantinople as well as to our Archdiocese here in America—and to increase this gift, in the words of the Gospel of John, “from grace to grace” (John 1:16), through the intercessions of the All-Holy Theotokos whose City, Constantinople, from 330 A.D. to this day celebrates its foundation on May 11!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Patriarchal Exarch of Armenian Catholic Church enthroned

Congregation for the Oriental Churches prefect visiting US

( - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, is in the United States this month, visiting some of the numerous Eparchies (Dioceses) and Eastern Catholic Communities spread throughout the country.

The first stage of the Cardinal Sandri’s visit began in the city of Chicago, the seat of both a Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy and a Syro-Malabar Diocese. On Friday, the Prefect met with members of the Ukrainian Eparchy of St Nicholas of Chicago, including the Bishop, Venedykt Aleksiychuk. He also visited the Cathedral, as well as the parish of Sts Volodymyr and Olha.

On Sunday, Cardinal Sandri presided at the Holy Qurbana (the “Holy Sacrifice”), the Eucharistic liturgy of the Syriac tradition, as part of his visit to the Syro-Malabar community. The St Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Chicago covers the whole of the United States, and is one of three eparchies of the Syro-Malabar Church outside of India.

The following day, Monday, Cardinal Sandri visited Mundelein Seminary, about 50 km from downtown Chicago, and the University of St Mary of the Lake. Several Eastern Catholic Churches send students to Mundelein to study for ministry. In the afternoon, the Cardinal visited with Syro-Malabar priests and religious who are in the midst of a spiritual retreat.

After his time in Chicago, Cardinal Sandri will travel to Detroit, where he will meet with Bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church in the United States and Canada. While in Detroit, the Prefect will also visit one of the Maronite parishes in the area.

The final leg of Cardinal Sandri’s visit includes the jubilee celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Eparchy of Parma of the Ruthenians, and the Metropolia of Pittsburgh of the Ruthenians. Cardinal Sandri will also visit the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Saint Josaphat, where he will be welcomed by the local Bishop, and by the new Metropolitan of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians, Archbishop Borys Gudziak.

During his time in Parma and Pittsburg, the Prefect will meet with all the Ruthenian Bishops of the United States, as well as having the opportunity to visit with young people, clergy, and religious of the community.

OCU to consider response to disastrous UOC-KP decision

(Romfea) - The “Local Synod” of the so-called “Patriarchate” of Kiev, chaired by the honourary “Patriarch” Filaret in the Cathedral of St. Vladimir in Kiev, met on Thursday, June 20.

During the meeting, the “Local Synod” annulled the decisions of the Unification council, held on December 15 in Kiev, where the cessation of the so-called “Patriarchate” of Kiev and its accession to the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine were decided.

The resolution issued by the “Local Synod” states that “the Patriarchate of Kiev continues to exist and has a state entity, while Filaret continues to be its Head.”

“The Tomos granted by Constantinople to the Autonomous Church of Ukraine does not comply with the Statute of other Autocephalous Churches and makes the Church of Ukraine dependent on the Patriarchate of Constantinople,” the resolution says at another point.

In closing, the participants thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch for trying to resolve the ecclesiastical Ukrainian issue, but, as they note, “the text of the Tomos does not fit the Patriarchate of Kiev.”

Τhe response of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine was immediate, and, in a communiqué that it published, it appealed to “Patriarch” Filaret and the participants in the meeting “to realize the devastating consequences of this meeting and to stop undermining the unity of the Church and the Ukrainian people.”

It was also decided that at the next Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine, which will meet on June 24, the appropriate decisions on this issue will be taken.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

"Patriarch emeritus" Filaret jumps off ecclesial cliff... again

(RISU) - In St Volodymyr's Cathedral of Kyiv, on the initiative of ex-Patrairch Filaret, an assembly involving several hierarchs, priests and lay people of the former UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate started, which participants call a "Local Council."

The main goal of the "Council", as ex-Patriarch Filaret had previously announced, is to restore the Kyiv Patriarchate, which will exist separately from the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The "Council" is being held in the former main Church of the UOC-KP — St Volodymyr's Cathedral, whose rector Archpriest Boris Tabachek is a supporter and longtime ally of Filaret.

Only two bishops out of more than 40 bishops of the former UOC-KP arrived at the "Local Council of the UOC-KP". Metropolitan Ioasaph of Belgorod and Oboyany and his vicar Bishop Petro (Moskalev) arrived from Russia. In Russia and Moldova, there are several acting Orthodox parishes that belonged to the UOC-KP, they are subordinated to these hierarchs.

According to the list of participants of the "Council", Bishop Filaret of Falesht and Eastern Moldova (Theodore Panky) was supposed to come, but has not arrived.

According to BBC News Ukraine, the event is closed to the press, but before the "Council" began, there was no more than a dozen of priests in St Volodymyr 's Cathedral.

Among those invited to the Council were the abbots of some monasteries: Archimandrite Makariy (Papish) of St Theodosius Monastery, Archimandrite Arseny (Pozarny) of St Nicholas Monastery (in Bohuslav). According to the BBC, Archimandrite Makariy refused to go to the "Council".

Archimandrite Andriy (Marutsyak), a monk of St Theodosius Monastery, archpriests Leontiy Nikitenko, Roman Zagursky (USA), Volodymyr Chayka (Germany) and deacon Vasily Didukh were also invited to St Volodymyr's Cathedral.

At the same time, the sources of BBC in the OCU suggest that some of the abbots mentioned in the guest lists may fail to appear at the Council.
And also...
(SPZH) - It is reported that the participants of the “Local Council” of the UOC KP unanimously voted for the resolution and address to the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky.

On June 20, the “Local Council” of the UOC KP took place at St. Vladimir’s Cathedral and was attended by 200 delegates and 50 guests, as it was announced to the journalists. The draft resolution of the “Council”, consisting of 10 points, was published by “Strana”.

Thus, according to the published document, the “Local Council” of the UOC KP decided the following (the UOJ cites the full text of the resolution in translation from the Ukrainian language):

1. The Local Council does not approve but annuls the decision of the Bishops’ or so-called Local Council, because it was not the Local Council but a collection of signatures of the bishops, one priest and two laymen about the conditional liquidation of the UOC of the Kiev Patriarchate at the request of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Without the conditional liquidation of the Kiev Patriarchate, there could not be the Unification Council of the Ukrainian Churches on December 15, 2019, and the bestowal of the Tomos of autocephaly.

Firecrackers not camper-friendly apparently

Is throwing firecrackers into a cabin the best idea? No. Is it something to fire someone over? My list of camp activities that should get a camp director fired has firecrackers near the bottom. Trust falls and participation trophies should be met with automatic witchducking.

(GNN) Evagoras Constantinides, a Greek Orthodox priest who served for years as the director of the Ionian Village summer camp program of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has been relieved of his duties following the use of firecrackers to awaken campers.

According to an eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution by what he called a “well-connected” Fr. Evagoras, the campers had slept beyond their wake up call and he was angry and tossed firecrackers into their sleeping quarters, startling the teen-aged boys.

According to the eyewitness, one camper who has autism and was in the cabin suffered an adverse reaction to the explosion of the firecrackers.

The eyewitness said that other boys in the cabin were also traumatized, while another suffered pain in his ears after the incident.

The autistic camper’s family, which is from New Jersey, is allegedly planning legal action, according to another source from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey who spoke to the family.

Constantinides, who has been the director of the Ionian Village summer program of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for several years, also serves as the parish priest at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York.

He is also the registrar of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Although no official announcements have come from Ionian Village or the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the official website of the Archdiocese has removed Constantinides as the Director Ionian Village and his name is no longer listed on the Ionian Village website for the 2019 season.

Constantinides was embedded with the past administrative leadership at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and had been “protected” by the now-resigned Archdiocese Chancellor Bishop Andonios, who is Constantinides’ godfather.

But with Andonios gone, no one is left to protect the priest who has often been seen violating priestly protocol.

Although he was relieved of his duties as director of the Ionian Village summer program that attracts hundreds of Greek Orthodox youth from throughout the United States, Constantinides remains the parish priest at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, as well as Registrar of the Archdiocese.

Legal fallout begins for GOA financial scandal

This is not the end of the legal fallout from the Greek Archdiocean financial scandal. It is the beginning.

NEW YORK (GOARCH) — As previously communicated to the Faithful by the Archdiocese, after becoming aware of financial irregularities in late 2017, the Archdiocese self-reported its discoveries to governmental authorities in the State of New York. In the Spring of 2018, the Archdiocese was contacted by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Since that time, the Archdiocese has worked cooperatively with their offices.

The US Attorney’s Office announced today that George Papadakos, the Archdiocese’s former Director of Finance, has pled guilty to embezzling more than $60,000 of Archdiocesan funds for personal expenses. According to the government’s publicly posted report, Mr. Papadakos, of Westfield, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. Mr. Papadakos left the Archdiocese in the Fall of 2017.

“The Archdiocese is committed to full transparency with governmental authorities and continues to cooperate fully with the United States Attorney and U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” said Bishop Andonios, Chancellor of the Archdiocese.
And also...
(DOJ) - Former Finance Director Of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of America Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Philip R. Bartlett, the Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced that GEORGE PAPADAKOS, the former Director of Finance of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (“GOAA”), pled guilty today to embezzling more than $60,000 of GOAA funds for personal expenses. PAPADAKOS surrendered this morning and pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. PAPADAKOS’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated: “As Director of Finance of the Greek Orthodox Church, George Papadakos was supposed to serve his Church, not himself. As he admitted today, he embezzled from the Church for nearly six years. For this sin, he faces the possibility of time in a federal prison.”

USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett said: “Mr. Papadakos used his position at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to steal from the hand who employed him. Today’s plea is a reflection that Karma always comes from a higher authority and justice escapes no one.”

According to the allegations in the Information to which PAPADAKOS pled guilty, as well as statements made in court during the plea proceeding:

Between 2012 and September 2017, PAPADAKOS, the Director of Finance for GOAA, repeatedly embezzled from GOAA. He charged approximately $66,499 to a corporate credit card for personal expenses without GOAA’s authorization. These personal expenditures included charges for home improvements, clothing, a gym membership, iTunes, and medical bills. During the period of PAPADAKOS’s embezzlement, GOAA was enduring financial difficulties.

* * *

PAPADAKOS, 52, of Westfield, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Under the terms of his plea agreement, PAPADAKOS has agreed to both forfeiture and restitution of $66,499.

The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

PAPADAKOS is scheduled to appear before Judge Berman on June 24, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., in part to set a schedule for PAPADAKOS’s sentencing proceeding.

Mr. Berman praised USPIS for its outstanding work on this case and noted that the investigation is ongoing.

This matter is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Neff and Michael C. McGinnis are in charge of the prosecution.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I went to the Ancient Faith Writing & Podcasting Conference

For a couple of reasons I made the trek over to Western Pennsylvania and spent some time with the people of Ancient Faith. The first is that my wife wanted me to go and no man with any sense stays home when his spouse opens the gilded cage of the rectory and lets this little birdie fly free for a weekend. The second is that this blog is going to have a lot more interviews and original content developed than it has to date. Keeping abreast of Orthodox events is important, but people are doing interesting things and their activities aren't getting enough attention.

Here are a few words on my experience at the event.

Here's the boilerplate on the conference:

The Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference is a professional development and fellowship opportunity for Orthodox Christians who want to enrich their creative work or break into a new media field. The Conference is open to published and unpublished attendees. If you want to be here, we want you to be here!

The Conference will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network and collaborate with well-known Orthodox authors, podcasters, editors, and publishers, and to gain inside perspective on the Orthodox media world. Guests will enjoy time for fellowship in a beautiful and peaceful environment. Community building and spiritual refreshment are important goals of this gathering.

The Conference is committed to mentoring the upcoming generation of Orthodox writers and podcasters! College students are warmly welcomed.

I arrived early because I had things to do that had to be finished before "close of business" hours. As such, it was me sitting in the library on a laptop while people arrived in small batches (most often deposited by the airport van). The ruckus in the lobby grew to the point where I was drawn to see who had arrived, but I realized I had not gotten lunch and made a Sheetz run. I returned with two red plastic Sheetz bags to a rather full lobby. From then on it was people not only in the lobby, but all over the Antiochian Village chatting in clutches at all hours.

Your question is probably going to be "Who goes to this sort of thing?" The answer is that it's a mix of people. Lots of authors and podcasters and bloggers under the Ancient Faith brand who are Orthodox-household names. Their books are in your parish libraries and their podcasts and blog posts dot your social media feeds. Then there were people who do things for non-AFM publishers who got equal placement in the AV bookstore and on the stage. There were lots of what you might call "mommy bloggers" - I'm not using it as a pejorative, but as a pretty fair descriptive of the content and the audience for it. Many people were content creators of all stripes who had not yet published anything, but wanted to soak in the literary milieu, get inspired, and find some kindred spirits to draw motivation from. I can't forget clergy; we were sprinkled around as well.

The schedule followed the normal conference flow. There were meals between talks between breaks. Just add in religious services as bookends and you have the idea. Sometimes there were multiple speakers at once in different rooms and at other times there was just one speaker scheduled. Q&A time usually followed, but was often shorter than the queue of people hoping to ask questions. That stopped no one though, because they just made another line to ask questions off-mic after the speaker walked off the podium. A good speaker often missed most of his next mealtime like that - smiling, shaking hands, and politely nodding understanding.

The next question people ask is "Didn't they just record this event? Why do I need to spend the money to go?" Yes, the talks will be posted on the website. Most of the value of this conference was in the things that happened around the talks themselves. I spoke with authors and asked questions about their books. I talked with podcasters and to their producers to learn how the sausage was made. I chatted with a Coptic bishop, an Orthodox rapper, a webmaster for a jurisdictional website, friends and friends of my wife, and people who I knew not at all. If you've ever wanted to ask person X a question, he was there to talk to. That, I think, is the value of the conference.

"Would you go back next time?" seems a good final question. Sure. I think I might plan my experience a bit better though. If I had spent more time learning who was coming, I might have gotten more out of it. I also avoided some talks because they didn't interest me and went to talks on things I already knew a lot about. Next conference I'm going to flip that and spend time in the uncharted territory of topics I know nothing about and use lunch to chat with speakers on the topics I'm familiar with.

The lasting value of this conference will be in the connections made. Several of the upcoming interviews to be posted here are with people I talked to there. So, my wife willing, I'll go to the next Ancient Faith Writing & Podcasting Conference planned for 2021.

Finally, a few things I'd do for the next conference...

  • Places to talk - Open a secondary or larger place for people to congregate in the evening. The lobby space is comfortable, but quickly fills up.
  • Lightning talks - I'd add in an hour or so at the end of the day for people who have smaller topics to bring up. Sign up to speak for 15 minutes and speak on a topic that wouldn't normally be given podium space. Much less official and intimidating for people and a good feeder for future conference topics.
  • Rejigger the talks - Sometimes there were three talks going on simultaneously and sometimes there was just one speaker. The libertarian streak in me wants options at all times.
  • Kotar's coterie - Bring Fr. Dn. Nicholas Kotar back. His social commentary and macro-level thinking are very important. There are other speakers who are similarly well placed to speak on the topic of the confluence of Christianity and the modern world. Understanding this interplay is, I believe, the foundation for good Orthodox writing that speaks most piercingly to that which the pilgrim-hearted is searching: Who am I, what is this place, why am I here, and how can I glorify God?

"Patriarch Emeritus" Filaret faces return to excommunication

(RISU) - The Orthodox Church of Ukraine representatives emphasize that Filaret has no right to convoke such an assembly on his own behalf and call it a 'Council'. This is reported by ZN.

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine has officially warned Patriarch Emeritus Filaret that holding the “Local Council” of the dissolved Kyiv Patriarchate would mean a split. The official statement also warns that the participants of such a 'Council' will be excommunicated.

“Patriarch Emeritus” Filaret has no right to convoke on his own behalf the “Local Council of the UOC-KP” either under the Charter of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, or under the Charter of the dissolved UOC-KP. The voluntary and non-statutory conduct of an assembly of a group of unauthorized persons -- such assembly being referred to as the Council -- will constitute the church split and the secession of organizers and participants of such meetings from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine with all canonical and legal consequences,” the statement warns.

The OCU has reminded that last year the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate ceased its activities as a separate religious association. After the decision of the Local Council of the UOC-KP, which took place on December 18, 2018, the Kyiv Patriarchate joined the newly-established OCU.

Filaret announced that he had decided to convoke the Local Council of the Kyiv Patriarchate -- which was no longer in existence on June 20 -- to prove that it “has existed, still exists and will exist”. At the same time, he noted that he did not recognize the Tomos of autocephaly of the OCU, since he had not been familiarized with his text [before signing it].

In May, Filaret stated in his appeal that his rejection of the status of the patriarchate at the Local Council in December 2018 does not mean anything, and that, allegedly, no one dissolved the Kyiv Patriarchate.

Analysts say that since the OCU was set up, a confrontation for influence in the Church has evolved between Epifaniy and Filaret. In particular, Patriarch Emeritus Filaret is not satisfied with his symbolic status and is trying to get a decisive influence on the life of the Church. In an invitation to honor the memory of the Hieromartyr Macarius printed on the letterheads of the UOC-KP, he tried to verify the number of hierarchs who could support his idea of ​​restoration of the UOC-KP. At the same time, after the scandal broke out, a number of eparchies of the OCU made open statements in support of Epifaniy.

On May 10, the Primate of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy said that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kyiv Patriarchate legally ceased to exist in the course of the Unification Council of December 15, 2018 and its restoration is tantamount to loss of the Tomos.

Monday, June 17, 2019

African primate works to mediate EP-Moscow relations

(Romfea News) - The Primate of the Alexandrian Church, Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, in his interview to the newspaper “Ethnos”, for the first time takes a stand on the issue of granting Autocephaly to Ukraine.

Speaking about the attitude of the Archdiocese of Alexandria on the issue of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, the Patriarch of Alexandria has clearly pointed out that he has lived the pain and schism of the Ukrainian Church, but he knows very well “the Russian Church as well, because I was nurtured there for ten years and the Patriarchate of Alexandria has emotional bonds with it”.

He acknowledges, however, that there is a huge problem, that of the Autocephaly, which “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had the right to grant” but he clarifies that what has divided the Churches is the people who took the status of Autocephaly.

He revealed the initiative of Archbishop of Cyprus to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch so as to ask for a meeting between Bartholomew, himself and the Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow. “Every problem has its solution. Our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the Patriarch of Romiosyne, who we all respect and love. Do not forget that this issue is not a dogmatic one. There is a solution to the issue of Autocephaly”.

He also added that there will soon be a new meeting in Nicosia with the participation of the Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria and the Church of Cyprus.

“I think a solution can be found, if we let aside our personal issues and consider the interest of the Church” he characteristically said.

For the new Archbishop of Australia, Makarios, he stresses that “I know him since a kid, I love and appreciate him. I am glad that Elpidophoros is going to America, and that in France there is another Archpriest from Crete, Emmanuel”.

With regard to his work on the African continent, Theodoros stresses that the biggest challenge he faces in performing his duties is poverty: “Man is no longer happy; there are no smiles and joy anymore. Today affluence is an end in itself, so I see sad faces. However, in my own field of action, which is mainly Black Continent, I do meet happy people”.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Consecration of St. Alexis Church in Battle Ground, IN

“The parents must see to it that their children become rich, not in silver and gold and the likes of them, but in piety, understanding and virtue.”

-- St. John Chrysostom