Saturday, November 17, 2018

Head of Moscow Patriarchal parishes in US visits US

(ROC-USA) - On the evening of November 16, the interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA Bishop Matthew of Sourozh arrived in the United States, to St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City. His Grace venerated the holy objects of the cathedral and was acquainted with the clergy and laborers of the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States.

During his visit to the United States, Bishop Matthew will celebrate Divine Liturgy in St. John the Baptist Church in Little Falls, NJ and St. Nicholas Cathedral, where he will meet with clergy, members of the Bishop's Council and parishioners.

Advice for childless couples

Metropolitan Athanasios (Nikolaou) of Limassol (Cyprus) talks about couples that cannot have children naturally and the purpose of Christian marriage: “The human purpose is the eternal relationship with God”

Series: Family Life (FL)
Subtitles: English, Romanian

Metropolitan Athanasios:

“The human purpose is not marriage, nor monasticism, nor anything else. Like the purpose of marriage is not procreation. The human purpose is the eternal relationship with God. This is the first thing to look for. If someone succeeds in finding it, then he or she is fulfilled!

The same happens in marriage: If you fulfill the purpose of marriage, and if for one reason or another you can not have children, then it does not mean you have to ruin your marriage or you have a failed marriage, or anything like that. Sure, I know, I understand, it’s a trauma, a deficiency, but that does not mean that if we do not give birth to children then our marriage will not work well. The purpose of marriage is different! The purpose of our life is another one! And we are patient, we wait, we try. We are patient, we do not worry. We discover the true value of our life, its true hypostats.

My children, neither one nor the other are important, these are ephemeral things. They belong to this life. Sure… Each thing has, let’s say, its beauties. Who said that there is no beautiful part in each way of life? Do not worry! I remember that once, I told you, a boy went to Father Paisios, desperate, and said, “Father, I am 37, and I am not married yet!” He was depressed, he said, “I am 37 and I have not married yet!” The elder said, “My child, I am 70 and I am not married yet! Be patient, you still have time!” What was the Father supposed to tell him? Shouldn’t he rest him somehow?

So, my children, I want to say that behind these jokes there is a meaning, these things are good, they are beautiful, each thing in the right place, but if you do not learn to discover the purpose of your life, the meaning of your existence, and you think that the meaning of your life is marriage, or a specific man, or a girl, or children, or, maybe studies, or whatever, it means that you reduce the meaning of your life, and make an idol out of something that is not absolute, but relative! So if this is going to become ruined at some point, whether it is called marriage or studies, or our health, it can happen something with us, to get sick, and we can no longer go ahead, or a failure, or anything else that can happen in our lives!

If we do not understand what our purpose is, and we do absolutise these relative things, then, my children, there is a danger that at some point we will collapse! Like the one who stands on stilts! At some point they will break and he or she will fall down! You can not make an idol out of your life, your marriage, your children, your husband, your job, your money, your knowledge! Not these things! We have to stand above them, so that we may have peace in our lives!“

Polish Church wants nothing to do with UOC-KP/UAOC

A selection from the official statement of the Polish Orthodox Church from

I. The holy Council of Bishops has received disturbing news from Church life in Ukraine, which often affects the life of Orthodoxy in Poland.

Considering the above, as well as the general Orthodox concern of the Orthodox Local Churches resulting from the instability of Church life in Ukraine, which has a devastating impact on the whole life of the Church in Orthodoxy in general, the holy Bishops’ Council, in the interest of the good of the holy Orthodox Church, upholds the position expressed in the Council’s resolution of May 9, 2018, No. 340, and reiterates its call to make a decision to gather all the primates of the Orthodox Churches together in the spirit of evangelical love, humility, and understanding, while maintaining dogmatic and canonical doctrine, with mutual respect leading to a peaceful solution to the issue of divided Orthodoxy on Ukrainian soil.

Persons deprived of episcopal ordinations and priests cannot be leaders in introducing peace in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Their actions cause even more confusion and scandal.

Only the observance of the dogmatic and canonical norms of the Church and the preservation of the centuries-old tradition will protect Orthodoxy from severe ecclesiastical consequences on an international scale.

The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church prays fervently for the unity of the holy Orthodox Church and for peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

II. The Holy Bishops’ Council forbids the priests of the Polish Orthodox Church from having liturgical and prayerful contact with the ‘clergy’ of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the so-called ‘Autocephalous Orthodox Church,’ who have committed much evil in the past.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Orthodox Episcopal Conference of Benelux met

Brussels ( - The Orthodox Episcopal Conference of Benelux (CEOB) met, for the sixteenth time, at the headquarters of the Orthodox Metropolis, Avenue Charbo 71 in Brussels, on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, under the chairmanship of His Eminence the Metropolitan Athénagoras of Belgium (Ecumenical Patriarchate). Also present were Bishop Marc, representative of Metropolitan Joseph (Patriarchate of Romania) and Bishop Dosithée (Patriarchate of Georgia).

This meeting of the Episcopal Conference began with a prayer for the unity of the Orthodox Church.

The dialogue of the religions recognized by the Belgian State with the federal government was a subject presented by His Eminence the Metropolitan of Belgium Athenagoras so that the other bishops will learn some important details for the life of the parishes. These include a charter for managers of "non-profit associations" in connection with recognized religions. The bishops were also informed of the developments concerning the Orthodox chaplaincies in Belgian prisons and armies.

The Institute of Orthodox Theology "Apostle Paul" and his new curriculum was also a subject of exchange and reflection. Two new years are added: the preparatory year and the year of the master program. The bishops undertake to inform the faithful.

The bishops also discussed topics related to the life of Orthodoxy in the Netherlands. They heard important news about the foundation "Orthodox Church in the Netherlands", making the decision to proceed to a sending authority (zendende instantie) specific to the Orthodox Church and in collaboration with the ancient Eastern Churches. They also discussed the protocol of the "Confidentiality Committee in the Netherlands" (Protocol voor de vertrouwenscommissie).

The bishops had the opportunity to exchange new information on the different Orthodox presences and in particular on the visit of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the three Benelux countries in November 2019, on the occasion of the Jubilee of of the Holy Metropolis of Belgium, created in 1969. This visit will give the opportunity of a meeting of the patriarch with the members of the CEOB. The next meeting of the Benelux Orthodox Episcopal Conference will take place on 4 June 2019.

The Benelux Orthodox Episcopal Conference was created by a decision of the 4th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Conference held in Chambésy (Geneva) in June 2009.

Memorial Service for dog... inside a Greek Church

I really can't support having a memorial service with the cremated remains of a dog on the solea of an Orthodox Church. It also looks like several other K-9 units were in attendance.

(WJBK) - There was a final farewell to St. Clair Shores K-9 officer Axe on Wednesday at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church.

Axe was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 4 outside the Lakeland Manor Banquet Hall on Harper Avenue. He was running after an armed suspect, Theo Gray, when police say he shot the dog and police returning fire. Both the man and Axe died from their injuries.

Family: Man who killed St. Clair Shores K9 officer had gun because of death threat

"Even though our officers responded professionally, properly, admirably, never the less, we lost a friend, we lost a companion, we lost a brother. We lost a valued member of our police department," said St. Clair Shores Police Chief Todd Woodcox.

The K-9 joined the department in 2016, full of energy and always eager to work. St . Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby called Axe an ambassador to the city at his memorial service, and his words to Axe's handler Officer Tim Price:

St. Clair Shores community lights up in blue honoring fallen k9 Axe

"We are truly sorry for your loss. There will be a void that won't soon be filled. Cherish the drug seizures that occurred, cherish the apprehension of criminals for it was a job well done," he said.

They say Aze did was he was trained to do.

29-year-old ID'd as man killed by police after killing St. Clair Shores police K9

"Absolutely zero doubt that Axe saved officers lives that night," Woodcox said.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

UOC-MP issues resolutions on state of affairs in Ukraine

(Pravmir) - On 13 November 2018, the Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church convened in the Holy Dormition Kiev-Caves Lavra and, having heard an address of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine on the challenges that have recently arisen before the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, adopted the following resolution:

  1. Serving God and the people of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is canonical and recognized by the Local Orthodox Churches, takes a principled stand of supporting the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is present in all regions of Ukraine and unites the territories both under and beyond the control of the Ukrainian authorities, sharing with its people all the joys and sufferings. Read: We're real Ukrainians and not shills for Russia.
  2. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is vested with all rights of independence and self-governance that are needed today for fruitfully serving God and the people of Ukraine. Read: We're real Ukrainians and not shills for Russia.
  3. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always and consistently spoken out in favour of healing the schism and restoring the ecclesiastical unity, that is, one Church. However, the restoration of the unity of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy must not mean the transformation of the Church into an element of politics or propaganda, for it is contrary to the nature of the Church. We are convinced that the ecclesiastical division must be overcome without the interference of the governmental, political or other external forces. Keep politics out of the Church.
  4. The Council of Bishops speaks out against any attempts, which have already been voiced by top public officials, to change the name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as well as against other manifestations of discrimination against the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the legislative level. In the event that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will adopt such bills, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will defend its rights by all legal means provided by the Basics of the Social Concept of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the legislation of Ukraine and the European Convention on Human Rights. The EP claims the name "Ukrainian Orthodox Church" fosters ethnophyletism and should be renamed the "Orthodox Church in Ukraine." Somewhat ironic given the problem is that they are trying to make a new Church along national/ethnic lines. Also somewhat ironic considering the refusal to acknowledge the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America.
  5. The Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church regards the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople of 11 October 2018 concerning the Ukrainian ecclesiastical issue as void and not having any canonical power. In particular, the decision on the establishment of the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the territory of Ukraine is the result of speculative interpretation of church history. And the decision to lift the anathema and other ecclesiastical bans imposed on the leaders of the schism and the recognition of validity of the pseudo-ordinations performed by them while in schism are the result of distorted interpretation of the Orthodox canons. The history of the Ukrainian Church does not know any examples of overcoming a schism by mere legalization. Having adopted such anti-canonical decisions and having recognized the schismatics in their current rank, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, according to the ecclesiastical rules, embarked on the path of schism. Therefore, the Eucharistic communion between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople is currently impossible and is broken off. Read: None of what the EP is doing is canonical either in letter or spirit.
  6. We consider inadmissible the unlawful interference of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the internal affairs of another Local Church and the attempts to resolve the Ukrainian ecclesiastical issue with the involvement of state authorities and schismatics, while ignoring the voice of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Moreover, we state with regret that hundreds of thousands of appeals sent by the faithful of our Church to Patriarch Bartholomew, calling upon him not to legalize the schism under the pretext of creating the autocephaly, have fallen on deaf ears. This is what I think is the most powerful message to the other Local Churches. If you can do this to Ukraine, why not to any other Church who calls Constantinople her Mother Church? The Serbians, for example, asked this very question.
  7. The Council of Bishops notes that the process of granting the so-called Tomos of Autocephaly is artificial and enforced, that it is not caused by the inner church necessity and will not bring about the real ecclesiastical unity, but will deepen the division and worsen the conflicts among the Ukrainian people. In such circumstances we believe that the participation of the bishops, clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in these processes is impossible. Read: We aren't going to join in your reindeer games while you try to build this plastic, lifeless and graceless new autocephalous entity.
  8. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church takes a principled stand in adhering to the canonical approach to the overcoming of ecclesiastical division. This approach is based on the necessity of repentance for those returning from the schism. The Church has never closed its doors to those who want to achieve spiritual perfection as Orthodox Christians. We plan to keep playing by the rules. When you decide to follow the rules too we'll let you play again.
  9. The Council of Bishops states that the unlawful actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople lead to a deep ecclesiastical crisis both in Ukraine and in the universal Orthodoxy. We pray that the voice of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s millions-strong flock may be heard and that the actions committed so far by the Patriarchate of Constantinople may be rectified. It's not too late to turn back, EP.
  10. The Council of Bishops calls upon the Patriarchate of Constantinople to engage in dialogue with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the fraternal participation of all the Local Orthodox Churches for the purpose of seeking the conciliar solution to this problem.
  11. The Council of Bishops asks the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, to appeal to the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches with regard to the crisis situation that has arisen in the ecclesiastical life of Ukraine as the result of the unlawful interference of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Someone turn on the batsignal.
  12. The Council of Bishops calls upon all the children of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to pray ever more zealously, to preserve the unity among them, to remain faithful to the Holy Church of Christ and to feel no fear in the face of possible ordeals, bearing in mind the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).

Eastern, Oriental Orthodox hierarchs pray for Syria and Iraq

(Syrian Church) - On November 13, 2018, the Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church for the Eastern United States hosted the 11th Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community, regarding the topic of “the Continuing Humanitarian Crisis in Syria and Iraq” at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York. Their Eminences Archbishops, Bishops, Clergy, and representatives of the Orthodox Churches and faithful as well as diplomats of governments gathered for the evening prayer at St. Vartan Cathedral where some of the representatives gave speeches about the sad and difficult humanitarian situation in both countries asking the Almighty God to guide the world leaders to make peace all over the world. His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak spoke about the importance of humanitarian work in Syria and Iraq focusing on the critical need of our beloved faithful who suffered from many years of war.

Update: Son officially charged in murder of parents

( — A 44-year-old man is charged in connection in the fatal shooting of his 72-year-old father and mother.

Michael Lucak is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated burglary and felony theft, North Royalton Det. David Loeding said.

Lucak is charged in the fatal shooting of his father Dennis Lucak, a longtime deacon at Archangel Michael Church in Broadview Heights, and his wife of more than four decades, Helen, a retired school teacher.

His first court appearance has not been set.

Loeding said investigators believe Michael Lucak killed his parents because of personal issues, but could not elaborate. He said detectives are still trying to pin down an exact motive.

Michael Lucak lived with his parents for a short stint until a few weeks ago, neighbors said.

Lucak stole cash, banking items, keys, phones and other items from his parents’ apartment on Harbour Light Drive, Loeding said.

Officers tracked the stolen cellphones and found the phones and found Michael Lucak on Monday in a Super 8 Motel in Medina County.

Dennis and Helen Lucak were beloved members of the Broadview Heights church where Dennis worked as a deacon for more than two decades. He was also a retired RTA bus driver.

Relics of St John Chrysostom carried in procession

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

When do you let your child choose to go to church or not?

The below is from the OCA's Diocese of the Midwest Orthodox Family Life blog, a post entitled "Acts of Growth, Dependence, and Independence: How do you know your child is ready to choose to go to church without parental dictate?"

The answer for me is never. There won't be a single child in my family - living in my house or coming back to visit for a holiday - who is going to wear pajamas and make hot chocolate with marshmallows while everyone else gets in the car to go to church. If church is a powerful medicine against sin and the singular pathway to Heaven, I would no more let my child "choose" to not go to church than let them opt out of heart medicine. Can a 15 year-old decide to just quit going to school? How about choose not to brush his teeth?

Of course children have to make their own choice to both go to church and live a godly life at some point. Making deals with your adult child or tying church attendance to material gain just makes rice Christians of them. But as a parent (and you too all you godparents) your children going to church should be up there with all the other life goals you have for them. If St. Monica of Hippo is any guide, earnest tears shed and constant prayer for the conversion of a wayward child is a salvific endeavor. Encourage and ensure your children get to church - of which the primary method should be modeling a love for God and His Church through your own behavior, prayer, and attendance.

(OCA-DMW) - In the past few weeks, I have attempted to demonstrate that decision-making, skill mastery, and the freedom to act is a process that begins early in life and continues throughout childhood and into adolescence. So at what point should one allow one’s child to decide whether or not to go to church on his or her own? I think it boils down to one single word: “responsibility.”

Does your child demonstrate the ability to take responsibility for his or her behavior? Does he or she behave in a manner that demonstrates a readiness for such independence? For example,

  • does your child attend school and perform in a responsible manner (i.e., does he or she complete assignments, maintain average grades or better, and demonstrate cooperative interpersonal skills with teachers and other students)?
  • does he or she have a job for which he or she shows up on time and has established a good reputation with his or her employer?
  • has he or she learned how to drive, obeying the traffic laws and accepting and following the parameters set by his or her parent[s] with regard to using the car?
  • is your child invested in Church by attending the services and participating in the spiritual life?

While this is basic, common sense “stuff,” attaining this level of maturity and responsibility depends on how the acquisition of skill mastery and autonomy had been handled throughout a child’s development and growth. If a parent is overbearing and dictatorial, the fruit of that approach will yield a child who is rebellious and oppositional. This does not mean that a child is acting in an independent manner. If a parent is over protective and reluctant to set limits, the result is likely to be that the child will be afraid of taking risks, depending primarily on others to “tell him or her what to do.”

So there is no magic age in this regard. In some families, parent[s] may allow their child to choose to go to church as early as 14 or 15 or as late as 17. It all depends on what kind of relationship has been established. In my upbringing, when I finished Sunday School at around the age of 15, my parents left it up to me as to whether I went to church or not. So, while I didn’t “have to go” to church any longer, I still chose to go. But in choosing to go, I realized that it was not the end of some type of accomplishment; rather, it was the beginning of a journey to learn what it meant to follow Christ and become His disciple — a learner of the Faith. Make no mistake about it, whether one is a bishop, priest, deacon, monastic or layperson, this road to being a learner never ceases. If you happen to have a copy of the Cat Stevens album, “Tea for the Tillerman,” listen to the songs, “On the Road to Find Out,” and “Father and Son.”

The Lord’s blessing be upon you,

The unworthy +Paul

For context, an August letter to the EP from Belgrade

(Serbian-EAD) - Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church - Prot. No. 1163

Belgrade, August 13, 2018

To His All-Holiness
Archbishop of Constantinople
New Rome and
Ecumenical Patriarch
Kyrios Kyrios Bartholomew
In Constantinople

Subject: the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church regarding the methodology of overcoming of schisms in Ukraine and elsewhere.

Your All-Holiness,

During the annual meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of our Church, which took place from April 29 to May 10 of the present year, discussed in the synod, among other matters, was the problem of schisms in the Orthodox East, namely, in Ukraine, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and elsewhere, as well as the problem of the “sect” in Montenegro, which is led by a certain Miraš Dedeić, a former clergyman of Your Most Holy Church, who was defrocked by Your decision.

From the brotherly discussion in the Synod, it became apparent that the heresy of ethnophyletism constitutes one of the principal malaises of contemporary Orthodoxy. In this connection, it is very important that the Holy and Great Synod that took place in Crete, among its other decrees, validated the ecumenical significance of the Council in Constantinople (1872), which branded the ethnophylite heresy as also a “snake venom” dissolving the body of the Church.

Firstly, this took place in the Soviet Union through the creation of “reforms” and the “Living Church”, as well as through the attempt to replace the canonical Church having the holy patriarch Tikhon at its head, with the “Renovated Church” or the “Living Church,” which was the only legitimate one from the perspective of the Soviet authorities, but moreover was reformed, but rather had been deformed, according to the standards of liberal Protestantism. Within the territories of the Kievan Rus, Ukraine was established at the same time as one of the federated states of the Soviet Union, a “Ukrainian nation” was especially proclaimed, and the linguistic peculiarities of the Western regions of Russia at that time were combined into one whole and this linguistic amalgamation received the official status of a special Ukrainian language. Ukraine was not an exception: in the same manner also, Belarus was “elevated” to be a constituent part of the federation, again with a particular “national identity” and language. Indeed, also furthermore, the former “Russian Turkestan” was divided, according to national divisions, into Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and other “-stan’s.” The Ukrainian separatist mindset has, nevertheless, even deeper historical roots, paramount of which is the Unia of Brest-Litovsk at the end of the 16th century, which was spread by force during later years. In the soil of this separatist path, the flowers of evil blossomed under the form of Ukrainian Nazism (“banderovtsi”) and of the holocaust of the Jewish community (Babi Yar and other places of death).

Alongside the separatist tendency, ecclesiastical ethnophylitism and the ecclesiastical separatist movement are at the same time emphasized, of which the “Church of the Self-Ordained” (αὐτοχειροτονούμενοι) constitutes the pathological apex, which was wholeheartedly supported by the Nazis of Ukraine. We certainly do not refer to all these things for proof of our historical knowledge or, much less, to insinuate imperfect historical knowledge among certain others, but for a reliable highlighting of the background for the spiritual origins both of the ecclesiastical schisms as well as the fratricidal conflicts in contemporary Ukraine. The very name of the state and nation, and then even of the Church, makes this evident. As matter of fact, “Ukraine” means frontier or border region, a part of a greater whole, namely, a part of the Kievan Rus, which before 1030, Prince Vladimir, equal-to-the-apostles, baptized. Other border regions were also entitled “Ukraines”.

A similar thing also took place in the Southern Slavic lands. Communist Yugoslavia was organized in a manner consistent with the Soviet model and example: the state was converted into a federation, subdivided into a supposed “republic” (in 1974, it was indeed transformed into a confederation, i.e., it was broken up into coexisting states, and finally, in 1991, was divided, both externally and internally, into “separately existing” states and provinces). Concurrently, newly-minted nationalities (“Montenegrins,” “Macedonians” namely the nascent “Northern Macedonians,” “Muslims” who were renamed into “Bosnians”) and newly-created languages (Montenegrin, Macedonian, Bosnian) were proclaimed. The process of further development of “nations” and “languages” was interrupted because of the intervening death of the state. As formerly in the Soviet Union, this development was accompanied by the creation of new churches, to speak more accurately, of schisms, which served the Communist party and its ideology.

How to read and pronounce Coptic vowels

Monday, November 12, 2018

Serbians refuse to recognize changes to Ukrainian Church

Machine translated. Will replace with English translation when available.

( The two-day session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church (6th - 7th November of the current year) was devoted to three main themes - the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, the improvement of education and education in the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Church crisis in Ukraine after the latest decisions of the Constantinople Patriarchate . The Sobor presented our public with a special statement , as well as the perspective of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the perspective of the struggle for the preservation of this martyred Serbian province within Serbia in the conditions of constant provocations of the fake state and the constant pressure of the great Western powers.

She is more or less familiar with the Sobor's work in the field of church education and education, but the parliamentary position on the issue of the Church in Ukraine is only partial. The reason for this is the fact that all the Orthodox churches should first officially announce the commemoration of the Orthodox Church, starting with the Constantinople and the Moscow Patriarchate, in the appropriate languages ​​(Greek, Russian and English), and this work took some time. Since this has been done, now is the moment for the attitude of the Serbian Orthodox Church to be presented in its entirety to our public.

First of all with regret, the Parliament concludes that the Constantinople Patriarchate passed a canonically unfounded decision to rehabilitate and for the bishops recognize the two leaders of the splinter groups in Ukraine, Filaret Denisenko and Makarije Maletich, together with their episcopate and clergy, the first to be a canonically deprived rank, and then excluded from the church community and subjected to anathema, and the other is already deprived of the apostolic receipt as a spiritual branch of the sect of the so-called self-councils, which is why the Holy Assembly of Bishops decided the decision of the Synod of the Synod is non-binding for the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The Assembly does not recognize the mentioned figures and their followers for Orthodox bishops and clergy and, consequently, does not accept the liturgical and canonical publications with them and their supporters.

Lastly, the Parliament proposes to the Constantinople Patriarchate and all other prefigured autocomplete Orthodox Churches that the issue of autocephaly and the issue of the Orthodox Diaspora should be considered as soon as possible at the All-Orthodox Parliament in order to confirm and strengthen the unity and unity of the Orthodox Church and in the future avoid temptations such as this through which is now under the holy Orthodoxy.

Bishop Irina Bishop,
Spokesperson of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Texas "Blue Dot" Strikes Again

(CAN) - City Ordinance: Austin Churches Must Hire Homosexual, Transexual Pastors

After Houston rejected similar measures three years ago, churches in Austin may be forced to hire homosexual and transgender pastors and ministers due to a city ordinance.

Ground zero in the turmoil because of non-discrimination reforms that fail to protect religious and moral objections to sinful lifestyles has shifted to Austin.

The city’s leaders passed an employment discrimination ordinance much like 2015’s “HERO” measure in Houston, prohibiting decisions against hiring based on sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to other reasons.

The ordinance provides no limit to enforcement against churches that decide against hiring of homosexuals and transsexuals on moral and religious grounds.

Not even pastoral and other leadership positions at churches are excluded from possible city oversight and regulatory management in the capital of Texas.

Dozens of Texas churches that are members of the U.S. Pastor Council (USPC) are represented by a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month, following the Houston pattern of possibly a long battle in the courts.

“Every church in Austin that refuses to hire practicing homosexuals as clergy or church employees is violating city law and subject to civil penalties and liability,” the filing, U.S. Pastor Council v. Austin, reads.

“The City of Austin’s failure to exempt church hiring decisions . . . violates the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

In Houston, a tough legal struggle ended in the ordinance being placed on a ballot for a referendum vote noted as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance or HERO.

“Houston is ground zero on this,” Steven Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas said in the weeks leading up to the vote.

“If Houston falls and Texas falls to the homosexual political movement on this issue, the country is gone.”

Houston pastor Dr. Ed Young said, “This is a moral issue, and if the body of Christ does not vote and speak out, we are gone in the 21st Century.”

Update on murder of Deacon, wife in Ohio

NORTH ROYALTON (Fox 8) - North Royalton police are investigating a double homicide that left a husband and wife dead.

Police told FOX 8 Monday afternoon, the couple's 44-year-old son is in custody as a person of interest in their deaths. No charges have yet been filed.

Police said Dennis and Helen Lucak, each 72-years-old, died of multiple gunshot wounds inside their Harbour Light Drive home Saturday evening.

Dennis Lucak was a deacon at Archangel Michael Orthodox Church in Broadview Heights.

The Rev. Father John Memorich issued the following statement on behalf of the church Monday:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Protodeacon Dennis and Helen Lucak. They were both longtime members of our parish community and active in our clubs and organizations.

Obviously, this is shocking, and most distressing news. We ask all of you to pray for their souls and for the peace of their family.

May the Kingdom of God be theirs and may their Memory Be Eternal!

Out of respect to their family wishes, we will have no further comment at this time.”

Loeding said a relative went to the couple's home to check on the Sunday afternoon after they did not show up for a church function.

When there was no answer, investigators said the relative reported it to the North Royalton police station around 6:45 p.m. and police officers responded and entered the home.

Officers found the couple dead in an upstairs bedroom, Loeding said.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting in the investigation.

In an email to church members late Sunday, Father John Memorich wrote of the homicides, "obviously this is shocking, and most distressing news, and we ask all of you to pray for their souls and for the peace of their family."