Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Father Michael Oleksa has reposed

Few people were better evangelists for the Alaskan church than Fr. Oleksa. Also, few were as good in storytelling. His efforts will have an enduring impact on the Church in America for sure. May his memory be eternal!

Articles here.

(OCA) - Archpriest Michael Oleksa fell asleep in the Lord on November 29, 2023.

Additional information will be posted as it is received.

May Father Michael’s memory be eternal!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Greek govt. complains to EP about Abp. Elpidophoros

BOSTON (TNH) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew revealed during the session of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Thursday, November 15, according to reliable information given to The National Herald, that the Greek government conveyed its dissatisfaction with the course of ecclesiastical, educational, and other matters of the Greek-American Community under Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, expressed through Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandra Papadopoulou.

The Deputy Minister visited the Phanar on Monday, November 13, apparently to convey to the Patriarch that the margins of tolerance for Elpidophoros are running out because the unity of the Greek-American Community is at risk. The private meeting, according to Phanar sources, was lengthy, and issues concerning the course of events and the future of the Archdiocese and the Greek-American Community were discussed.

It is noted that Deputy Minister Papadopoulou served as a highly successful ambassador of Greece in Washington and, therefore, is familiar with the situation in the Archdiocese and the communities in the United States first hand.

At the beginning of the meeting, according to the official announcement of the Patriarchate, His Excellency Ambassador Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in Constantinople, Eleni Petroula, Director of the Minister’s Diplomatic Office, as well as the V. Rev. Archimandrite Aetios, Director of the Patriarchal Office, had the opportunity to discuss current issues of interest to Greece and the situation in sensitive areas.

Subsequently, there was a private meeting between the Deputy Minister and the Patriarch.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Kosovo is Serbia

(SOC-NCSA) - All Serbs in the diaspora need to become ambassadors for their country regarding the suffering of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people in Kosovo, the Serbian hierarch of Eastern America said at a recent event in Washington.

The Serbian embassy held a conference on Kosovo and Metohija on October 21, entitled, “A Prayer for Peace, Stability, and Justice.”

Both the Serbian ambassador to the U.S., Marko Djuric, and His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America gave media comments on the recent expulsion from Kosovoof Abbot Fotije of Devina Voda Monastery. The ambassador said the move signals a desire to completely eradicate the Serbian Church there, and that he would inform the U.S. government about the expulsion, reports the Serbian Diocese of Eastern America.

Bp. Irinej called the expulsion a “horrible thing,” calling on the people to be more proactive in defense of Kosovo:

Here in the USA we have to promote the position of our Church, our people. This is important, because if we do not present this truth, who will? We must not hide in a mouse hole, but go out in public, to speak about ourselves, the Church ... When people hear that, the idea of the SOC changes.

In his address to the conference, the hierarch “stressed that it was essential for all people from the diaspora to be ambassadors for their country regarding the pressing issue of Kosovo.”

“Each of us can do a lot,” he encouraged, pointing to the example of U.S. Senator George Voinovich who “managed to prevent the destruction of Gracanica and Visoki Decani Monastery during the Pogrom.”

“One person succeeded in preventing that,” Bp. Irinej emphasized.

“Everyone has their political representatives, local congressmen, speak with them,” he called. “Arm yourselves with the truth, and knowledge. Do something; you vote for them and have the right to demand what you want for your people. Others do this; they are proactive. If we do that, we will be able to move forward.”

He also mentioned Congresswoman Claudia Tenney from New York, who is working to convince her colleagues that the Serbs are good people, against the prevailing media image of them.

Several other speakers addressed the conference, including the Honorable Branko Terzic, Former Commissioner, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with similar calls for the Serbian diaspora to engage politically in defense of the Serbian people and heritage in Kosovo and Metohija.

How to know that you are called to be a priest

Righteous Matushka Olga of Alaska, pray for us!

(OCA) - The Proclamation of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on the Glorification of the Righteous Servant of God Matushka Olga 
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

To the beloved Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America

God is wondrous in His Saints

November 8, 2023
Chicago, IL

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has heard the petition of The Right Reverend ALEXEI, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, expressed in his November 2, 2023 letter to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, concerning the glorification of the Servant of God, the Righteous Matushka Olga.

In this letter, His Grace Bishop ALEXEI states: “I am writing to Your Beatitude with respect to the departed handmaiden of God and faithful Orthodox Christian, Matushka Olga Nicholai of Kwethluk, known by the pious peoples of the Kuskokwim as Arrsamquq.  Her humility, her generosity, her piety, her patience, and her selfless love for God and neighbor were well-known in the Kuskokwim villages during her earthly life.  Her care for comforting the suffering and the grieving has also been revealed after her life by grace-filled manifestations to the faithful throughout not only Alaska, but all of North America.  The first peoples of Alaska are convinced of her sanctity and the great efficacy of her prayers.  For this reason, after prayerful consideration, I, Alexei, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, am hereby making the formal request to Your Beatitude as the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America to begin the process that, if it be in accord with God’s will, would lead to her glorification.”

Friday, November 3, 2023

St. Tikhon's, OCPM partner to offer certificate

(OCPM) - The Certificate Program in Prison Ministry provides clergy and lay volunteers that are interested in prison ministry with the necessary knowledge and experience to effectively lead and support people in prison. Join OCPM and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS) to be trained by the most experienced leaders in Orthodox prison ministry in the United States.

The program covers all essential aspects of prison ministry and combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills to ensure participants develop an Orthodox approach to the unique challenges faced in correctional settings. Through this program students will also learn how to assist families in coping with the challenges of having a loved one in prison, as well as how to assist clergy by offering guidance to deal with the unique needs that their parish may face because of incarceration. Through the integration of Orthodox principles and practical skills, certificate participants will be prepared to engage in meaningful prison ministry.

Besides gaining experience, graduates will obtain a unique certificate, allowing them to more easily find volunteer or career opportunities  in correctional facilities.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Polish Church speaks on efforts to "de-legalize" UOC

(UOC) - On 24 October 2023, a statement concerning ‘the de-legalisation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on the part of the state authorities’ was made at the meeting of the Council of Bishops of the Polish Church. The website informs about it, the Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports.

The hierarchs of the Polish Church stressed in their statement ‘the need for the unity of the Church, which has been violated by the non-canonical church situation in Ukraine’.

‘The Holy Council of Bishops of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church received with great incomprehension the information about the de-legalisation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on the part of the state authorities. The Council of Bishops draws special attention to the fact that the Church of Christ has an ontological dimension and is not subject to human legal regulations. It is led by Jesus Christ Himself, our Saviour’, the bishops of the Polish Orthodox Church said in the statement.

The hierarchs encouraged to ‘pray fervently for peace in Ukraine and the Holy Land, where hostilities have begun, during which innocent people are dying’.

On the Ukrainian government and canonical Orthodoxy

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

1st Bioethics Conference of the Ecumenical Patriarchate held

(GOA-AU) - On Saturday, 21 October 2023, the work of the 1st Bioethics Conference of the Ecumenical Patriarchate continued, which began with a short prayer, by the President of the Synodal Committee, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, along with the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Evgenios of Crete, the local Shepherd, His Eminence Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymno and Avlopotamos, The Grand Preacher Archimandrite Panaretos,  the Honorable Mr. Emmanuel Chnari, Member of Parliament of Rethymnon, the Honourable Archon Exarhos Mr. Stavros Arnaoutakis, Regional Governor of Crete, a multitude of academics, clergy, members of monastic brotherhoods and interested parties from the local community and beyond.

During the first session, entitled “Bioethical challenges in the applications of modern medicine” and chaired by the His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Ierapytni and Sitia, the following speakers presented their addresses: His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, President of the Special Synodal Committee on Bioethics of the Church of Greece, The Very Rev. Protopresbyter Father. Vasilios Kalliakmanis, Professor of the Theological School of Thessaloniki, and Mr. Petros Panagiotopoulos, Professor at the same institution. Then, in the second thematic section entitled “Bioethical Discourse” and under the chairmanship of His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronesos, the following contributors spoke: His Eminence Metropolitan Myron of New Zealand together with Mr. George Olofson, The Honourable Archon Didaskalos of the Nation Mr. Konstantinos Delikostanis, Professor Emeritus of the Theological School of Athens, and Mr. Konstantinos Kornarakis, Professor of the same institution.

After the meal at the welcoming Holy Monastery of the Holy Forerunner of Atali-Bali, the third thematic session followed, entitled “Bioethical dilemmas of the pandemic” and under the chairmanship of Honourable Professor Mr. Konstantinos Spanoudakis, Vice Chancellor of the University of Crete, during which the following contributors spoke: The Honourable Archon Protoasekretis Mr. Sotirios Tsiodras (via online link), Professor of the Medical School of Athens, the Honourable Mr. Evangelos Protopapadakis, Professor of the Faculty of Philosophy at the same University, and Archimandrite Philotheos Maroudas, Doctor of Theology.

Finally, during the fourth session, entitled “The dimensions of palliative care in Bioethics” and under the chairmanship of the Honourable Archon Hieromnimon Dr. Konstantinos Zorbas, Director General of the Orthodox Academy of Crete, the following addresses were made by: Father Vassilios Raduca, Professor of the Theological School of Bucharest, the Honourable Ms. Fereniki Panagopoulou-Koutnatzi, Professor of Panteion University – Social and Political Sciences, and the Honourable Mr. Miltiadis Vantsos, Professor of the Theological School of Thessaloniki.

The comprehensive addresses, which approached current and very topical issues of Bioethics, always with reference to the positions of Orthodox Anthropology and the central theology of absolute respect for the sanctity of the human person, kept the interest of all present undiminished.

Finally, it should be noted that following the proposal of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the body of delegates unanimously decided to send a letter of respect and congratulations to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on the occasion of the 32nd Anniversary of the day of his election as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.

Finally. Rational voices on the topic of gender

There is a lot of poppycock coming out of American Orthodox "scholarship" on the topic of the sexes. You could join quite a few Zoom conferences populated with the same 20 people decrying the supposed gross inequities in the area of how men and women are treated in the Church. Oddly, the same group speaking about this imbalance also often sees men and women as interchangeable. So, it is with no little delight that I will be attending the below conference. Please do join me both because it will be good and to support scriptural reason.

(SVOTS) - Join us for the second webinar in The Light of the World Webinar Series. This monthly webinar series will feature speakers from among St Vladimir’s Seminary faculty, alumni, and friends, speaking on a variety of topics while answering a core question:

How are we Christians to be the light of the world?

Drawing inspiration from feedback received through a recent survey we conducted, these webinars aim to address a diverse range of themes that address real and pressing issues facing Orthodox faithful in modern society. 

The second webinar in the Light of the World Webinar Series will be co-hosted by Dr Edith Humphrey, SVS Press Author and Professor Emerita of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and Dr David Bradshaw, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky, on the topic, Gender: Enlightening Our Minds with the Words of Scripture. This webinar will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Eastern, via Zoom livestream.

The online webinar is open to the public and free of cost. It will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel afterward for easy access. Click the button below to register and to receive the Zoom webinar link.


Saturday, October 21, 2023

Communion restored between Antioch and Jerusalem

(AOCANA) - The Fathers of the Holy Synod of Antioch raise fervent prayers to the King of Peace and Lord of Mercies to wipe away every tear from the eyes of the Palestinian people, and to remove all injustice, oppression, homelessness and displacement. They call on all their children to consecrate next Sunday in all the parishes of the Antiochian See for raising prayers that God may grant justice and peace in the land of peace, and to collect aid donations to relieve this afflicted people.

Understanding that the current circumstances require intensification of prayer and cooperation, the Holy Synod decided to restore the severed ecclesiastical relations with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Synod assigned the committee in charge at the Patriarchate to communicate with the brethren from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and solve the dispute over ecclesiastical jurisdiction of "Qatar," thus preserving the right of eccelsiastical jurisdiction of the Antiochian See.

The Synod also decided to send a Church delegation to visit Amman, expressing love from the people of the Antiochian See to the people of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and standing by them in these difficult and crucial circumstances.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Appalachian Orthodoxy

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Big calendar events in the Antiochian Patriarchate

(AOCANA) - "Wondrous is God in His saints!" Psalm 67:36

On the first day of its fall session, Oct. 19, the Holy Synod of Antioch canonized two new saints, a father and son, and also added St. Raphael of Brooklyn to its calendar.

After years of deliberation and research, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, along with the metropolitans of the Holy Synod, canonized two priests, Fr. Nicholas Khasha and Fr. Habib Khasha, who were martyred for the sake of the Orthodox Faith in 1917 and 1948, respectively.

"Our Church of Antioch is this glorious, great Apostolic Church," His Beatitude said a week before today's session. "It is this Church that has been bearing witness and has been martyred at the same time throughout history, from the early days, with all the great fathers and holy ones, the Apostle Peter who founded this church with the Apostle Paul.

"This Church did not stop having saints among its people, whether monks or married, as evidenced by the Synod's decision to canonize these fathers. Therefore, the holiness of the Church of Antioch has never been interrupted and the Khasha Fathers were married priests. They had a family, and the Church will declare their holiness."

Patriarch Meletios (al-Doumani) II of Antioch delegated Fr. Nicholas as his vicar for the Diocese of Mersin (now Turkey), which was highly impoverished. Fr. Nicholas succeeded in reuniting its dispersed flock and caring for and strengthening the faithful, who were subjected to various forms of persecution and ethnic cleansing. Authorities arrested him, then tortured him to his martyric death.

Fr. Habib, the eldest son of Fr. Nicholas, despite his success in business, entered the priesthood, serving in Damascus and Cairo. His service was distinguished by a life of prayer, devotion to shepherding the faithful with love and self-sacrifice, and his closeness to the poor, for whom he cared like he cared for his own family, feeding them with their food and the money that his brothers sent to help them because of his poverty. His life was crowned with a martyric death on Mount Hermon, where smugglers beat him because he was a Christian priest.

In September and October, His Beatitude met with the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these hieromartyrs. On Saturday, Oct. 21, His Beatitude will lead the service of glorification for these two new saints who will be commemorated on July 16.

Also in today's session, at the request of His Eminence Metropolitan Saba, the Holy Synod added St. Raphael of Brooklyn to its calendar, ensuring his commemoration by all the archdioceses of the Patriarchate of Antioch. St. Raphael, a son of Antioch and boast of America, was canonized by the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in 2000. St. Raphael reposed on Feb. 27, 1915.

Finally, the Holy Synod announced the creation of All Saints of Antioch Sunday which will be celebrated on the Second Sunday after Pentecost (one week after All Saints Sunday). Some Orthodox Churches use this Second Sunday to commemorate their local holy ones. I had no idea Antioch had not already done this. It's almost ubiquitous in the jurisdictions to do so. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Where Antioch stands on the Melkites

From the blog Notes on Arab Orthodoxy, a post entitled "Patriarch John X on the History of the Melkite Schism." If you have no idea what a Melkite is:

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church, or Melkite Byzantine Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Its chief pastor is Patriarch Youssef Absi, headquartered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition in Damascus, Syria.

Opening Speech of Patriarch John X in the International Scientific Conference entitled:

“The Orthodox Church of Antioch from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century:

Towards a Proper Understanding of History”

Balamand 16/10/2023 

On this blessed evening, I am pleased to be among you and to inaugurate with you, from this blessed Hill of Balamand, the International Scientific Conference entitled, "The Orthodox Church of Antioch from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century: Towards a Proper Understanding of History."

As I welcome each and every one of you, beloved brothers and siters, I pray for God's blessings to shower you, and I entreat Our Lady, the Ever-Virgin Mary, patron saint of this place, to embrace you with her tenderness and intercede to her Son for all of us, so that we may live faithfully according to her commandment: "Whatever He says to you, do it."

A proper understanding of history, as mentioned in the conference title, requires adherence to scientific principles. The account of history is not a personal point of view, but a set of facts and events that we ought to study in order to understand what actually happened, and to draw conclusions. Since our topic deals specifically with ecclesiastical history, it is our quest to redeem it, to correct the course anew, to heal wounds, and to reconcile every rift. 

However, what is evil is the changing of the reading of history according to immediate self-interests, so that things are turned upside down, and facts are taken as personal views! Yes, we deeply regret that some are comfortable with the "post-truth era" and consider this as a basis. For some, truth has become synonymous with what the masses believe, i.e., the product of sophistry and populism, while historical facts are left to oblivion. In this post-truth era and the blurriness associated with it, we need, now more than ever, for scientific research to reveal facts. Therefore, we want this scientific conference today to deal with a difficult period in the history of the Church of Antioch, the first church founded by the Apostle Peter, in which "the disciples were first called Christians" (Acts 11: 26). From this Church came Ignatius, the God-bearer (+107 AD), who, on his way to be grinded by the teeth of the lions in Rome, addressed the whole Church with his letters, which are still a universal ecclesiastical reference. Saint John Chrysostom, the teacher of the universe, who was led as a lamb and taken to exile. He yielded up his spirit on the way, as a result of the decisions of the Synod according to the emperor's policies at that time, that is, outside the nave of the church, in which Chrysostom refused to yield up his spirit to his Lord. Saint John of Damascus was the defender of the faith, and whose hand was restored by the Virgin after being cut off for speaking the truth of faith. Let us not forget Patriarch Peter III who sought with all wisdom and strength to prevent the schism between Constantinople and Rome and to keep the dispute between them within the confines of the Church. He wanted differences, especially small ones, not to turn into a reason for distance, division, fragmentation, hostility, and for an absence of love.

Strong words from Patriarch John X of Antiochian on Gaza

(OCL) - On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, arrived at the Beirut Archbishopric. His Eminence Elias Audi, the Metropolitan of Beirut and its Dependencies, received him with the priests of the Archdiocese. After the prayer, a closed meeting took place between His Beatitude the Patriarch and His Eminence Metropolitan Elias, followed by lunch. His Beatitude answered journalists’ questions as follows:

“I address you, my beloved ones, from this honorable residence in Beirut, as we are on a fraternal visit, as usual, to our dear and beloved brother in the Lord, His Eminence Bishop Elias, the Pastor of this archdiocese guarded by the grace of the Lord. What can one say in these difficult circumstances? Of course, the visit was an occasion and opportunity to overview with His Eminence Elias all that is happening at different levels in the country and the whole region in general. We also tackled on the church level and discussed some issues since the Holy Synod, God willing, is called to convene next week and debate many topics to be studied and discussed.

“In these circumstances, what can one say when we see bloodshed here and there surrounding us? What is happening in Gaza first, this painful catastrophe, and what we are witnessing, is ultimately the cause of this displaced and expatriated Palestinian people. For many years now, they have been suffering from racial discrimination policies. I hope this catastrophic incident will awaken the conscience of the world officials, the concerned authorities, and the UN organization to intervene quickly and stop what is happening. Perhaps the world would realize that a solution must be found for this cause, the cause of the Palestinian people.

From this honorable residence, I say: enough oppression against the Palestinian people! Enough scorn against all Arabs, I would say. Anyone who thinks or believes that by starving the Palestinian people, the Syrian people, or even the Lebanese people, they can conquer, anyone who thinks that this is the way to achieve their objectives, is mistaken. I would even say that they are committing a crime against these peoples. Peace does not come from the bodies of children, killed people, innocent people, and women. Peace comes when the decision-makers in this world realize that our people have dignity, as all the peoples of the world. We are not advocates of war; we reject violence and killing, and we are seekers of peace, but at the same time, we seek justice and have a right that we will not give up. This is what happened a few days ago in Syria, during the incident in Homs, where many were killed and many others were injured. His Eminence Elias and I have pondered together: in the event of all this anxious, difficult, sad, painful, delicate, and sensitive situation, where is Lebanon, and where are the officials in this country so dear to us? Isn’t it time, facing all that is happening, for everyone to return to themselves, to join hands, to rise above selfishness and personal interests, and to work all together for the benefit of Lebanon and the Lebanese people? Where is the dignity of the Lebanese person who is undergoing all this suffering and has lost a life’s income after they stole their money from banks and made them go through all the tragedies? We call out aloud for all concerned authorities to meet and carry out presidential elections. We hope this to be the basis for a whole reform process and fighting corruption somehow, for the Lebanese people to enjoy their dignity and for the good functioning of the constitutional bodies and the normal functioning of the entire country.

Next week, by God’s mercy, we shall cross the threshold of the Holy Antiochian Synod. Many issues are scheduled on the Synod’s agenda. There is a long list. Let me focus on three points: The first point, which is fundamental, is the family. It will be on our agenda; we shall study and emphasize the importance of the family and the difficulties that the family is facing today in our societies and the whole world, and everything related to the issue of father, mother, family, children, upbringing, and so on.

Another very important topic is humanitarian aid. The Church’s diligent, strong, and effective work is to stand by her children and the country without exception, to support her children for survival and living in dignity, especially in these difficult economic and living conditions. I shall not cite the details of what we are all suffering from.

Third is also an important matter to study the file of two reverend priests, Father Nicolas Khashe and his physical son Father Habib Khashe. They were martyred for the sake of the Orthodox faith: Father Nicolas in 1917 and Father Habib in 1948. This file has been under study for years in the Holy Synod of Antioch, and a complete document was prepared regarding the Reverend Fathers Khashe. We hope and pray that this file will be studied in the coming Synod to canonize the Fathers Khashe. Our Church of Antioch is this glorious, great Apostolic Church. It is this Church that has been bearing witness and has been martyred at the same time throughout history, from the early days, with all the great fathers and holy men, the Apostle Peter, who founded this church with the Apostle Paul. By the way, Antioch was the first church to be founded by the Apostle Peter, and after Antioch, the other churches historically followed. Ignatius of Antioch, John Chrysostom, John of Damascus, all these holy fathers are from our Church. This Church did not stop having saints among its people, whether monks or married, as evidenced by the Council’s decision to canonize these fathers. Therefore, the holiness of the Church of Antioch has never been interrupted, and the Khashe Fathers were married priests. They had a family, and despite this, the Church will declare their holiness.

In our conscience, in our inner being, we see what is happening in our country, what is happening in Lebanon, what is happening in Syria, what is happening in the entire region, in the Middle East; this wounded and tortured East for many, many years. Perhaps it will be a cry out, a call to all decision-makers in this world not to apply double standards. What is permissible here is not permissible there, and vice versa. Therefore, before the Holy Synod, we shall hold an international conference next Monday, October 16, about the history of the Church of Antioch, specifically the period between the fifteenth century and the eighteenth century. This period in the history of Antioch was delicate and sensitive. Unfortunately, history, even church history, is often not recorded by saints; white becomes black, and black becomes white. History becomes as if it were a point of view. Therefore, in order to be fair to the truth, to correct history, and to have a correct and real view of this sensitive period in the history of Antioch, this conference will be held on an international level to clarify the history of this period in our history in this homeland and country.

We pray together with His Eminence, our beloved ones, and all the members of our Church and people for peace in the entire world, for stability, and for the repose of the souls of those who have passed away. We prayed that the wounds of the sick be soothed, and they might recover, for the wounds of every hurting person, every bereaved mother, every brother, and every sister, for everyone’s wounds. We ask the Lord to protect us and grant us peace, asking that we all join hands in our country for the good of our homeland, the good of our people, and all humanity.