Thursday, January 13, 2022

Alexandria further reflects on Russian incursion

(Church of Alexandria) - In the name of the Triune God, we gathered in the Great City of Alexandria at the invitation of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa and with feelings of responsibility towards its flock and its centuries old historical Apostolic journey, the Hierarchs of the legendary and Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria, following its meeting, examining in multiple and in various ways the canonical parameters of the anti-canonical and anti-ecclesiastical incursion of the Russian Patriarchate to create new "ecclesiastical formations in Africa", announces the following:

Already in the past few years, due to the fact of the recognition on behalf of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we suddenly received the immoral invasion and incursion of the Russian Church by methods of denying the ecclesiastical way and tradition, which all the late predecessors of Patriarch Kirill of Russia, respected, for the acquisition of native Clergy of our Patriarchate, as a direct imposition of retaliatory measures and consequently of blackmail or revenge against us. Already, following announcement of the 29th of December 2021, by the Patriarchate of Moscow, we now have the official decisions, and from them, statements of the Church of Russia and interviews of its executives, regarding the completely illegal establishment of an "Exarchate", on the basis of its internal "statutes" and not canonical provisions, within the boundaries of our Patriarchate, consisting of clergymen who have removed themselves, or those who under penance and of other unknown origin self-described as Orthodox, but never having belonged to the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Through these actions, an attempt is made to alter Orthodox Ecclesiology in many of its individual parameters, but mainly in the issue of the limits of the administrative conformation of the structures of the Church of Christ, with motives starting far from the Orthodox Tradition. It is with regret that we understand that these always stem from reasons of ill will, and are infected by the "virus of ethnic hatred" condemned by the Synod of 1872.

Of course, the secular spirit is not absent from these decisions, still referring to the parameters of "neo-colonialism" and claiming world primacy, known from times past οn the afflicted African continent, and not in agreement with the sacrificial in spirit ministry of our sanctified Orthodox Tradition.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Alexandria responds to Russian intrusion on its sovereignty

(Church of Alexandria) - The ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria expresses its deepest sorrow at the synodal decision of the Russian Patriarchate to establish an Exarchate within the normal limits of the jurisdiction of the Ancient Church of Alexandria, a decision taken in the midst of the Nativity of Christ and the divine Epiphany, during which Christ the King of Peace is projected.

The Patriarchate of Alexandria will continue to carry out its pastoral duties towards the flock which has been entrusted to it by the Lord, which fall under the spiritual legacies of the great Greek Fathers of the Church, who, according to the modern Russian theologian the late Fr. George Florovsky, left an indelible mark on Orthodox Theology and the Church.

The decision of the Russian Patriarchate will be discussed at an upcoming session of the Synod of οθρ Patriarchate, at which time relevant decisions will be taken.

In the Patriarchate, 30th December 2021

From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy Synod

EP released from hospital following recovery from COVID

Given the increased transmissibility of the virus, I fully expect almost every man, woman, and child to have contracted it by the end of 2022. Reception of the illness, once thought by some to be a failing of vigilance or neglect, is now just a part of life. Thankfully, the advent (and acceptance) of therapeutics has made that likelihood of infection a less jarring reality. A quick recovery to His All-Holiness!

(Orthodox Times) - Today, Thursday, December 30, 2021, at noon, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was discharged from the American Hospital of Constantinople, where for the last six days he was under medical supervision, infected with the Omicron mutation of the coronavirus.

He will remain in isolation for a few more days at the Patriarchal residence in Therapia before returning to the Phanar for the Epiphany celebrations.

On Wednesday night, the Ecumenical Patriarch was contacted for the third time by the Turkish Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, who asked about the progress of his health and assured him that the services of his Ministry would always be at his disposal.

A Slavic Vicariate / ROCOR flipping in New Jersey

When dissatisfied people move from jurisdiction to jurisdiction it destabilizes things and also often emboldens people to act insufferably. At the same time, smaller communities often feel abandoned because... they have been abandoned. 

I have been a firsthand viewer of communities that have moved from bishop to bishop in the span of years or even months. Sometimes the reasons are very real (clerical abuse or theft, favoritism bordering on feudal acquiescence, etc.), but more often they are the result of professional moirologists who will never be happy in any parish setting where they don't get their way in every situation.

The Church is where everyone expects saints and finds the most childish infighting one can imagine as a result of diasporal shenanigans. The Assembly of Bishops, in its early years, held promise for some that we might regularize this incardination/transferal process between jurisdiction, but every year since has seen parishes split, leave unceremoniously, or lose almost all their members with bishops often standing at a safe remove while moving things about like chess pieces. And people are making their own decisions as well; how many parishes have seen drastic attendance changes due to mask requirements? It's all very sordid and, worse, avoidable.

(EP-SV) - Red Bank is a town in New Jersey in close proximity to Manhattan. The Orthodox Christian community of  St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was founded there in 1950.

In 1955, the congregation acquired the building of a former Baptist church built in 1910.  The majority of the founding members of the parish were Kuban Stanitsa,  therefore it was  nicknamed the “Cossack Church”.  In the early 2010s, a conflict occurred between the Parish Council and the Rector, who was supported by the ROCOR hierarchy (read more here), which resulted in the community being without a priest since 2014.  The iconostasis, icons, throne, altar, liturgical vessels, and furniture were illegally removed from the church by ROCOR.  From that time no services could be performed, forcing the parishioners to pray independently.  In 2020, the parish was approached by Archpriest Alexander Belya, Rector of St. John the Forerunner Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, who gave the community liturgical books and vessels to begin its revival.  On major feast days he came to read the Akathist. 

The parish eventually agreed to transfer to the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate under the omophorion of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.  On Sunday, December 12, 2021, for the first time in seven years, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Red Bank.  Archpriest Alexander led  the service assisted by Fr. Rostislav Zadorozhny and Protodeacon Vladimir Oleinik.  Before the service began, Fr. Alexander performed the rite of minor consecration of the church.  This marked a new chapter in the life of the community.

Russian Church forms "Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa"

The Russian Church has blown up canonical order in Africa. Had the EP not done what it did in Ukraine, I can't imagine this move would have happened as it did, but I lament this action. Even today I look at Alaska and think "There is no reason for non-OCA parishes to be there. They had one bishop, one land and then needlessly other jurisdictions moved in." We have moved one step closer to a real split in Orthodoxy. I am reminded of a scene from the West Wing entitled "A Proportional Response" wherein the US is attacked and the president is speaking with the joint chiefs on how they should respond.

PRESIDENT BARTLET: What is the virtue of a proportional response?


BARTLET: What’s the virtue of a proportional response? Why’s it good? They hit an airplane, so we hit a transmitter, right? That’s a proportional response.

FITZWALLACE: Sir, in the case of Pericles...

BARTLET: They hit a barracks, so we hit two transmitters?

FITZWALLACE: That’s roughly it, sir.

BARTLET: It’s what we do. I mean this is what we do.

LEO, CHIEF OF STAFF: Yes sir, it’s what we do, it’s what we’ve always done.

BARTLET: Well, if it’s what we do, if it’s what we’ve always done, don’t they know we’re going to do it?

LEO: Sir, if you would turn your attention to Pericles One.

BARTLET: I have turned my attention to Pericles One, it’s two ammo dumps, an abandoned railroad bridge and a Syrian intelligence agency.

FITZWALLACE: Those are four high rated military targets, sir.

BARTLET: But they know we’re going to do that, they know we’re going to do that. Those areas have been abandoned for four days. We know that from the satellites. We have the intelligence.

LEO: Sir.

BARTLET: They did that, so we did this, it’s the cost of doing business, it’s been factored in, right?

LEO: Mr. President...

BARTLET: Am I right or am I missing something here?

FITZWALLACE: No sir, you’re right sir.

BARTLET: Then I ask again, what is the virtue of a proportional response?

FITZWALLACE: It isn’t virtuous Mr. President. It’s all there is sir.

BARTLET: It is not all there is.

LEO: Sir, Admiral Fitzwallace...

FITZWALLACE: Excuse me Leo, but pardon me Mr. President, just what else is there?

BARTLET: A disproportional response. Let the word ring forth from this time and this place, you kill an American, any American, we don’t come back with a proportional response, we come back [bangs fist on table] with total disaster!

GENERAL: Are you suggesting we carpet-bomb Damascus?

BARTLET: General, I am suggesting that you and Admiral Fitzwallace and Secretary Hutchinson and the rest of the national security team take the next sixty minutes and put together a U.S. response scenario that doesn’t make me think we are just docking somebody’s damn allowance! [gets up and leaves the room. Everyone stands.]

(Church of Russia) - The head of the Synodal Department for the Church’s Relations with Society and Mass Media, Vladimir Legoida, reported on the resolutions adopted by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its meeting held on December 29, 2021, in the Patriarchal and Synodal Residence at the St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow. The meeting was chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. 

Mr. Legoida reported that the Holy Synod heard a report of the vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, Archbishop Leonid of Yerevan and Armenia, on the numerous appeals coming to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia from clerics of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria to take them under the omophorion of the Moscow Patriarchate (Minutes No. 100). 

“Summing up the discussion, the Synod stated that it is impossible to give another refusal to the clerics of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria, who petitioned to take them under the omophorion of the Moscow Patriarchate”, Mr. Legoida said. 

“In this connection, the Synod resolved that 102 clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria from eight countries in Africa, in compliance with their petitions, be accepted in the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church”, he added. 

The Holy Synod resolved that the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa be formed consisting of the Diocese of North Africa and South Africa and the head of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa be given the title “of Klin”. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Would that we got speeches like this across the pond

A speech from French presidential candidate Éric Zemmour.

My dear compatriots, my friends,

This evening Christendom celebrates Christmas. But not only Christendom, because it is quite possible to be non-Christian and to celebrate Christmas. You just have to love the West in general and France especially.

Christmas eve celebrates the birth of a civilization: ours!

A civilization which has enlightened human history.

A civilization which considers that Man is completely free. Whatever his birth, his past, his environment, his journey… In the Christian world, freedom is of divine nature and must be protected as the most precious treasure.

A civilization which considers that all men are absolutely equal in dignity. All of them! From the prostitute to the king, the beggar, the rich, the widow, the orphan, the soldier, the leper…

God's children and everyone else are therefore equal before him. There is no race, there is no class. Equality is sacred.

A civilization which considers that Beauty is sacred too. The civilization of Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven… Paintings, sculptures… Works of technical perfection and stunning depth! The whole world admires Western art. It's impossible not to be astonished by Michelangelo's Pieta.

A civilization which considers that Truth is neither theoretical nor relative but concrete, embodied, and sacred. To refuse Truth is to refuse Good. Lie is the daily and eternal figure of Evil. This infinite respect for Truth has allowed the colossal development of philosophy and of hard sciences in the West.

A civilization which considers that Heaven on Earth does not exist and will never exist.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Men and women from Adam and Eve to today

Friday, December 3, 2021

On the recent ROCOR-"Russian Tradition" tensions

There is value in ROCOR existing. There is value in the Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe existing. There is value in the OCA existing. There is of course value in the Russian Church existing. Liturgical practices differ not insignificantly between these groups as do many procedural and administrative items; they aren't interchangeable. Said another way, if you have more than a passing familiarity with liturgics you know if you are in a ROCOR parish or an OCA parish. I can't even imagine how the AOCRTWE (what a keyboard test) group has progressed over the years. 

At the same time it is hard to explain "Orthodox unity" to people in a convincing way when a single Slavic origin has given rise to so much overlapping diversity. And not only diversity, but sometimes not veiled hostility or lack of trust. Once I would have said that these bodies came from historical events and would eventually fade back into a single body as those historical events no longer loomed as largely. I no long believe there is an invisible egg timer ticking down the seconds to visibly homogenized unity.

( - A conference was held last month in honor of the centenary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). In his concluding remarks, His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin spoke about relations with the Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe. He noted that in the Russian immigration after the Bolshevik revolution, there were three different Russian jurisdictions formed: ROCOR, the Orthodox Church in America, and what is now the Archdiocese under His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna based in Paris.

Each has developed its own ecclesiastical practices, which are not always in agreement. He has therefore had to forbid his clergy recently, after certain instances he did not name, from concelebrating with clergy from the Paris jurisdiction. He nevertheless stated in conclusion that ROCOR and the Archdiocese under Met. John must eventually work towards healing these differences. There was a lot of guessing on why he made this decision, as you might expect.

Video of Met. Mark’s speech was posted by Deacon Andrei Psarev in the Facebook group dedicated to the conference.

The Paris Archdiocese reunited with the Moscow Patriarchate in 2019 after it was unceremoniously dissolved by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, to which it most recently belonged. In his remarks, Met. Mark spoke about the Archdiocese as having “seemingly reunited with the Moscow Patriarchate,” and “violating the canons at every step.”

There are also tensions between the Paris Archdiocese and the ROCOR Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe under His Grace Bishop Irinei.. Last December, Met. John received Fr. James Siemens, a former Ukrainian Catholic priest, into the Orthodox Church by vesting, a rite whereby a man is received into the Church as a priest through the placing of priestly vestments upon him and the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Rejecting this means of reception into the Church, in January 2021, Bp. Irinei forbade his clergy from concelebrating with Fr. James, who lives and serves in Cardiff, Wales, or any clergy or local institutions of the Paris Archdiocese in the British Isles. He also resolved that the faithful may not receive the Sacraments in churches of the Paris Archdiocese. If you are curious, vesting is the norm in the US.

In disagreement with this directive, several clerics sought to leave the ROCOR Diocese of Great Britain and join the Paris Archdiocese. On August 24 and September 2, Bp. Irinei’s diocese published a statement emphasizing that a cleric cannot leave one diocese or jurisdiction for another without a canonical release from his hierarch, and that none of the clerics involved had been granted such releases. There's a certain irony here, as ROCOR continues to do this in receiving priests from other jurisdictions without releases all the time.

However, the next day, Met. Jean’s Archdiocese issued a statement announcing that the clerics had been received into the Archdiocese in August. In October, a statement was circulated with Met. Jean’s blessing explaining the Archdiocese’s rationale for receiving the ROCOR clerics.

Commenting on the situation and Met. Mark’s video, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun, the Russian Church’s Patriarchal Exarch in Western Europe, said that the ban on concelebration between clerics of the ROCOR Diocese of Berlin and those of the Archdiocese shouldn’t be perceived as a break in communion between these two structures of the Moscow Patriarchate. For those not familiar with these sorts of disagreements, there are levels of disagreement. A breaking of communion is the most severe of the options.

“Indeed, there is some minor roughness” in relations between ROCOR and the Archdiocese, but “certain steps are being taken” to smooth them out, including fraternal meetings between representatives of both groups, Met. Anthony told RIA-Novosti.

“We hope that wherever there are any misunderstandings, the right solutions will be found ... that it will be possible to agree on everything,” Met. Anthony said.

The Patriarchal Exarch also recalled that there were such difficulties when ROCOR first reunited with the Moscow Patriarchate in 2007, but that those difficulties had been ironed out over time.

RIA-Novosti also reached out to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations for comment.

“I don’t want to go into the details of this conflict, because it’s not part of the sphere of my competence and the sphere of official responsibility of the Department of External Church Relations. But I hope that the temporary difficulties that have arisen will be overcome through negotiations,” he said.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

So good I am obliged to share!

(otelders) - In this video recording, Metropolitan Pavlos of Sisanion and Siatista (+2019) tells us a real story of an old woman who confessed to him and preferred rather to go to hell than to forgive her neighbor. The metropolitan then used a harsh method, which ultimately proved successful.

I went to a village to confess people. An old lady came. She also had these [short of] stupid disputes.

You will probably ask “how stupid can they really be?” I will give you an example.

Fifteen years ago, the chicken of the one entered the house of the other and this is the reason why they won’t talk to each other for 15 years now. “More stupid than the chicken themselves!”

I am telling her: “Grandma, those are not nice things, go make friends with another. You are relatives, those are stupid differences.”

“No” the grandma answers. “I am older than him!”

I am telling her: “Grandma, listen! First of all, you were the one who came here to confess. Had he been the one to come, I would have said the same to him. But now, you stand before me, and I am the confessor. And since you came, I am telling it to you. And you have to do it!”

The grandma refused to listen. Hoping “to wake her up”, I say: “Grandma, have you realized something?”

“What?” she says.

“Your one foot is already in the grave. Soon, your second will be there and your whole body too… If we put you in the grave and you have not forgiven the man, you are going to hell Do you get it now?”

What did the grandma answer me?

“Even if I am headed to hell, he is not even getting a single “good morning” from me!”

Do you know what I did? I send the grandma away in a really bad way… I almost kicked her out of the church… she had it coming… I am telling her: “Get out of here now!” The grandma lost it… “Did you hear what I said? Get out of here right now!”

Grandma did not expect such a behavior but I have to confess that my indignation was real! You see a man who prefers hell to forgiveness? He is a demon!

While leaving she told me: “But I am coming here, every single day, to light the candles [of the church]…”

“Worthless whatever it is!” I tell her

“I am doing every single day repentances …”

“Worthless, all of them!”

I send the grandma away. I did not regret it for one moment and you will see why this was the right way.

Three months later, I was back in the village to perform Liturgy, to give a homily and since there was a memorial service, as it is common in the villages, we went to the [so called] ‘table of forgiveness’. Opposite me a grandma is sitting and she tells me: “Father, do you remember me?”

I did not remember her, so I am saying: “To be honest, no.”

As soon as she started telling who she was… the one from before… honestly, it made my blood boil. Thankfully, she explained herself right away and told me:

“Father, I went and talked to him”.

“Well done! Did anything happen to you [because of it]?

“No, my father, be well!”

“Is it not better now, grandma?”

“Yes, my father, be well!”

And then I thought “sometimes I might have to get angry when I find a wall in front of me, built by the egoism and unrepentance of people.”

Who are the ones who deny forgiveness? Us, the Christians. An atheist does not go to confession. A man of faith does. And since the devil fights us hardly… Let me tell you something, an atheist might forgive. But it is horrifying that a Christian will not forgive.

As he has failed to realize that the devil has “grabbed him from the neck” and won’t let him. Thus, the question is “which is our spiritual life?” What is our relationship with God? What are we doing? We won’t examine ourselves. The grandma and the other guy, they would not see their mess, they were only examining the other. The Gospel says, Christ said, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” [Matthew 7:4].

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Clergy Formation & Development in the Midwest

BURBANK, IL (OCA-DMW) – From October 25-27, six Diocesan priests participated in a pilot retreat for Clergy Formation and Development organized by Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Paul Jannakos. This is a new initiative of the Diocese developed as part of the strategic plan adopted by the Diocesan Council in 2020.

The retreat took place at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction, MI and included representatives of the Chicago, Michigan, and Cleveland Deaneries. The goal of the retreat (and those which, God willing, will follow in its wake), was to rejuvenate the clergy through participating in extended communal prayer, forging deeper relationships with their fellow priests, and reflecting thoughtfully together on the task and meaning of the priesthood. This aligns broadly with the Formation and Development goals of encouraging clergy to form mentoring relationships, to grow in their mastery of pastoral skills, and to satisfy the OCA’s requirement for continuing education in a way that they find meaningful and worthwhile.

Participants in the retreat attended the daily services of the monastery, including Vigil and Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Holy Greatmartyr Demetrius. They shared fellowship over meals and free-time discussions, worked together in the monastery garden, and enjoyed an evening excursion to a local winery. They also read and held a seminar discussion on selections from St. John Chrysostom’s book On the Priesthood, which touched on many practical aspects of ministry.

On the final day, His Eminence Archbishop Paul, along with members of the Diocesan Council assigned to the Clergy Formation and Development task force, joined participants via Zoom for a discussion of the merits of the retreat as a model for continuing formation and development of Diocesan clergy. The participants were unanimous in their enthusiasm and gratitude for the retreat and shared ideas both for improving upon the experience and for replicating it in other locations throughout the Diocese.

It was decided that the next step will be to identify two or three other suitable retreat locations in other parts of the Diocese and organize pilots at each with different groups of clergy sometime after Pascha 2022.

Friday, November 19, 2021

St. Vlad's is pulling up tent stakes

My vote is the Republic of Texas.

 Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever! 

We wanted to share with you a major announcement regarding the future of St Vladimir's Seminary, included below. The Seminary's Board of Trustees came to this decision after many, many months of prayer, deliberation, and work with multiple professional consulting groups. This will be anything but easy, as much history, many blessings, and many fond memories are tied to the Yonkers campus St Vladimir's has called home since the 1960s. But the Board feels strongly this is the right course of action in order for St Vladimir's to carry out her mission for future generations.    

Please continue to keep the Seminary and all our seminarians in your prayers.

Yours Faithfully in Christ,

The Very Rev. Dr Chad Hatfield

President & Professor of Pastoral Theology

(SVS) To address the growing need for priests and other vocations in the Orthodox Church, the Board of Trustees of St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) has voted to relocate SVOTS from its current location in Yonkers, NY. The new location and the timing of the move have yet to be determined, but the Board recognizes that the Seminary will not be able to expand and adapt to the needs of the twenty-first century Church if the campus remains in Yonkers.

Following eighteen months of extensive research and deliberation at five Board meetings, the Board reached the relocation decision on Friday, November 5, 2021. Board members and Seminary administration worked with three professional consulting groups during this process and concluded that SVOTS’ current location is untenable for numerous reasons, including the following:

  • The New York City area’s high and rising cost of living impacts seminarians, their families, and employees and makes it difficult for SVOTS to recruit faculty, staff, and students. 

  • The Yonkers campus is landlocked, leaving no room for expansion. Expansion is needed due to rising enrollment, increasing operational and staffing needs, ongoing and future initiatives (such as adding online educational programs to current residential offerings), and other infrastructure needs. 

  • The legal and regulatory environment in the New York area makes significant alterations to campus infrastructure or growth extremely difficult, even if expansion of the current campus were possible. 

  • Preliminary estimates from contractors have revealed it would take tens of millions of dollars to make necessary improvements to SVOTS’ aging and deteriorating campus in order to be a viable institution in the twenty-first century. Simply bringing the Yonkers campus to an adequate standard could easily cost as much or more than relocating and building a brand new campus to fit the Seminary’s needs for decades to come. 

“Much prayer and a long process of due diligence and discussion led to the Board’s unanimous decision to relocate the campus of St Vladimir’s Seminary,” said Dn Michael Hyatt, trustee and executive chair of SVOTS. “We considered doing nothing; we explored investing into the campus in Yonkers; but we believe without doubt the legacy and long-term future of SVOTS lies with relocation in order to expand and meet the demands of the twenty-first century.” 

“Over its more than eighty-year history, St Vladimir’s Seminary has relocated multiple times in order to fulfill its mission and purpose, including the move to Yonkers in the 1960s,” said Fr Chad Hatfield, president of SVOTS. “Now we find ourselves again at a critical juncture in the Seminary’s history, and we simply cannot afford to do nothing or to try staying in New York—there is risk no matter which avenue we decide to take.” 

“We have a duty to serve the Orthodox Church in the face of the current reality confronting theological seminaries in North America. Over the past decade, more than fifty seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) have either merged or closed their doors entirely,” added Fr Chad. “The time has come to make a bold move, not just to survive but to thrive and expand for the sake of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 

Because of the Board’s decision, a relocation task force will evaluate various cities throughout the country, and Seminary administration will complete a comprehensive project plan, a detailed fundraising plan, and a five-year financial model. The Board will consider the location and timeline for relocation at its May 2022 meeting.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Important for this masked up period

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Thyranoixia at the Ground Zero church

Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center celebrated its Opening of the Doors Ceremony (Thyranoixia), presided over by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Orthodoxy meets the law on November 6th

(Antiochian) - This year, the fifth annual Orthodox Christian Attorney Network (OCAN) conference is a three-hour, virtual and free event. Even non-attorneys can register for the conference on Saturday, November 6 from noon to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Conference co-chair Matthew Namee writes: "Two exceptional speakers will share their insights on our roles as Orthodox Christian attorneys in today's society." Judge Gregory Katsas of the Washington, D.C. Circuit will talk about religious freedom, and offer a presentation on the Assembly of Bishops Committee for Legal Matters. Alida Kass, Vice President and Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Federalist Society, follows him.

For questions, contact the 2021 conference co-chairs: Matthew Namee at or Joan Berg at 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Learn more about the Armenian Church

 This video is part of a series available here. The below is on the topic "Church as Being: Church as Being: St. Gregory of Narek’s Vision of the Church."