Thursday, June 8, 2023

Inaugural Pan-Orthodox Conference set for September in NC

(Southern Orthodox) -  

What is the Philip Ludwell III Orthodox Fellowship?

The Philip Ludwell III Orthodox Fellowship is an association of Orthodox Christian believers from diverse jurisdictions who seek to serve the Church’s evangelistic mission in the South by promoting the enculturation of the Orthodox Faith into the South’s unique ethos and “older religiousness.”

Our First Conference!

The purpose of our inaugural conference is to bring together like-minded Orthodox Christians from across the South to discuss the Orthodox evangelization of the South and the enculturation of Orthodoxy into the distinctive Southern ethos. Are Southerners a distinct people? Do we have a distinct culture? If so, can this culture be “baptized” into Orthodoxy (or are we just irredeemably evil)? Enquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

"Man of God" film director in Houston June 11th

Yelena Popovic, the writer, director, and producer of the film “Man of God” will be at St. Joseph's Orthodox Church in Houston, TX this Sunday! Make a visit! 

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

There are two visions here. One will always say, "Progress is inevitable. You are just slowing down something that is going to happen." The other side says, "This cannot happen. Stop the insanity." The problem is, as this story highlights, offense can take a thousand shots on goal. Defense only needs to let one ball in to set a precedent. And from the inside, always pointing to the precedent you just keep kicking until there is no defense left. This is the danger of economia as a Trojan horse. If it can be done once, in that thinking, it can be done a thousand times and without regard for the special circumstances involved.

Do not give into the idea that some progressive ideas are "inevitable." It's a false proposition that leads you to believe you must always be defensive and never be proactive. Do not let the lexicon get changed to allow terminology from the secular world to hold meaning here. If the pitchforks-and-torches folks are at the gates yelling "Let us in!" you have to be on the rampart giving the full-throated response of "No!" Silently hoping "the bishops" will take care of everything has no basis in the events of our recent history.

(Orthodox Times) - A priest of the Archdiocese of Athens – who for the first time in Greece selected two girls to be in the “service” of the Church by making them altar servers, as it has been the case for centuries with boys.

According to a report published by, the “scandalous” event took place in Saint Nikolaos Ragavas in Plaka and the priest, who was suspended, is the Protopresbyter Alexandros Karyotoglou.

The decision of the clergyman caused a backlash from conservative circles and, therefore, he was called to Saint Filothei, where he was informed that he could no longer officiate during the Divine Liturgy nor had the right to perform sacraments (Weddings, Baptisms, Confessions, etc.) until the 12-member Holy Synod discusses the matter and takes a decision.

The Punishment

The Holy Synod is expected to meet next week and no one knows whether Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens raises the issue for discussion and what his suggestion will be. However, as his associates point out: “The aim of the decision is to counsel the clergyman as there was no consultation with the members of the Archdiocese.”  “The priest did not receive any letter” but “he had a conversation with the Archbishop and the protosyncellus,” they added. And they concluded: “None of us can decide on their own.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch apologizes to America


BOSTON (TNH) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has apologized for mishandling the issues pertaining to the Archdiocese of America and the Greek-American Community. The issues have arisen from the decisions of Thursday, October 8, 2020, regarding the abrogation of the Charter of the Archdiocese, the dethronement of Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, and the imposition of a suspension upon Metropolitan Methodios of Boston.

This revelation was made during the recent two-day meeting of the Holy Synod at  the Phanar, on May 29 and 30, 2023, during the reading of the minutes of the meeting of member hierarchs of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America with the Patriarch regarding the revision of the Charter of the Archdiocese of America. It must be clarified that the Patriarch’s apology was expressed during the meeting that took place on April 5, 2023 at the Phanar with hierarchs who are members of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America when he was asked why and for what reasons he made those decisions.

It is reminded here that on October 8, 2020, during the meeting of the Synod of the Phanar at the Monastery of Baloukli, without a justification or reason, and without the knowledge of and any prior consultation with the Eparchial Synod or the Archdiocesan Council, as provided by Article 25 of the Charter, the Patriarch proceeded to suspend the Charter, to expel Evangelos and to suspend Methodios. Elpidophoros confessed at the recent Synod of May 30 that he acted on his own and suggested to the Patriarch that he take the above actions.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Serbian Church comments on recent Kosovo unrest

(SOC) - On May 29, 2023, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America sent a letter to the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the United States National Security Advisor to President Joe Biden, Mr. Jacob Sullivan, regarding the violence in the north of Kosovo and Metohija.

Bishop Irinej, motivated by deep concern and great indignation due to the violence against the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, which intensified in the past few days, and turned into an open armed conflict on Monday. In his letter, Bishop Irinej noted that in the conflict between the Kosovo Albanian Police Force and the Serbs, KFOR had sided with the aggressor - the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Kosovo and Metohija. Also, it is indicative that the violence occurred the day after Secretary Blinken tried to calm tensions by unequivocally condemning the violence committed by the Kosovo Albanian authorities against the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.

Bishop Irinej expressed satisfaction with the historical statement of Blinken since it is the first time in recent history that a Secretary of State strongly and unreservedly condemned the violence of Albanians against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. Bishop Irinej emphasized that the experience of the past years indicates the fact that the temporary institutions of Pristina do not respect international agreements or their own laws when it comes to the Serbian people. The violence that happened on Monday clearly shows that Albanians are now able to brazenly ignore the United States of America and its allies.

With such actions, the Kosovo Albanians put the United States of America and the European Union representatives in an unenviable position, given that the latest violence clearly indicates the extent of aggression and the true intentions of the Kosovo Albanian authorities to create an ethnically pure state without Serbs, said Bishop Irinej and reminded that peace and stability in Southeast Europe, among other things, depend on the ability of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija to live freely, in peace and with human dignity. The biggest threat to these basic rights of Serbs in Kosovo and Kosovo stems precisely from the irresponsibility and constant violation of human and religious rights by the temporary Pristina institutions.

Bishop Irinej called on the United States of America and NATO to immediately consider, together with the representatives of the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija, the implementation of new security measures to protect the lives of the Serbian population and enable their survival.

Orthodox Christian Laity concerns on GOA charter work

(OCL) - Why am i so concerned about the new charter for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA)?

Recent History of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Decisions Related to the GOA

The recent record of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s “governance” of the GOA:

  • The forced retirement of Archbishop Iakovos (1996);
  • Rejection of the gathering of the Orthodox Bishops in America at Ligonier, Pennsylvania (1995);
  • Election of Archbishop Spyridon (1997);
  • Imposition of the current Charter against the wishes of the Los Angeles Clergy-Laity Congress (2003);
  • Imposition of a new Archbishop from Turkey who has not served in the US, without any input or participation of the clergy or laity of the Archdiocese as required by previous Charters (2019);
  • Unilateral “suspension” (2020) followed by “reinstatement” (2022) of the 2003 Charter;
  • Creation of a Charter committee and then ignoring its attempt to provide input (2022).
These actions and their consequences display the disconnectedness of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from the reality of what the Church in America needs.

Some Necessary Provisions of the New Charter

  • Grant full autonomy to the GOA (to elect its bishops and Archbishop, subject only to the “right” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to reject him based on strong, provable moral objections).
  • Address and focus on the needs of the Orthodox Church in the United States.
  • Allow the GOA to lead the Assembly of Bishops in the United States and bring the Church in America into canonical order as mandated by the meetings at Chambesy (one Church in the territory of the United States that is united and autocephalous).
  • Separate the GOA’s responsibility of working as a religious and educational institution from its function of acting as a lobby and fundraiser for foreign governmental interests and international causes. The Archdiocese is not a cultural institution to restore the glory of Byzantium, Hellenism, or Balkan glories of the past. Special interest groups within the Archdiocese must have a separate existence and not siphon funds needed to support the Metropolises and Parishes in their work to fulfill the mission of the Church in the United States. 

Getting the Charter Right

Getting the charter right is the work of all the faithful, clergy, and laity (including active and retired clergy, theologians, teachers, parish workers, parish council officers, choir members, Philoptochos members, and young adults).

What are your thoughts? Are you communicating with your Metropolitan, the Archdiocese, the Patriarchate, or the ten-member Mixed Commission appointed to revise the existing charter of the GOA? The names of the members from the Patriarchate have been publicized [Their Eminences Metropolitan Geron Emmanuel of Chalcedon and Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, The V. Rev. Grand Ecclesiarch Archimandrite Aetios, Director of the Patriarchal Private Office, and Dr. Konstantinos Delikostantis, Archon “Didaskalos Tou Genos,” Director of the First Patriarchal Office, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Athens]. However, the GOA has not published the names of the six members from the Archdiocese. Where do we offer input? The more than two-year process has been confusing, fragmented, and disillusioning. Where are the progress reports that we can see and read? Let’s not be spectators and continue to observe the decline of the GOA until it becomes a remnant church. Now is the time to seek answers, speak up, and get involved! Will you be part of the solution?

Jerusalem discusses Pascha and deposing clerics

(Jerusalem Patriarchate) - On Monday the 16th/29th of May 2023 the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem met under the Presidency of H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and considered various issues of the Patriarchate, among which the following:

  • The feasts of Holy Easter and the ceremony of the Holy Light of Holy Saturday. 

  • The departure to the Lord of the blessed memory Metropolitan Cornelius of Petra. 

  • His Beatitude’s recent trip to Brussels and His participation as a guest in the coronation of the King of the United Kingdom Charles III. 

  • The report of the deeds of the exarchate of Cyprus under the exarch Metropolitan Timotheos of Bostra. 

  • The presentation of the Managing Director of the Patriarchal School of Zion Archimandrite Mattheos on the operation of the School. 

  • Decided to depose from the Priesthood the currently banned from officiating the sacraments Archimandrite Damianos, former Exarch of Athens, and to excommunicate him from the Holy Sepulchre Brotherhood due to his canonical offenses.

I wonder what "urgent matters" they are handling?

(Antiochian) - The provisional committee related to clerical affairs

We, Saba (Esber), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, hereby decide:

To establish a Provisional Committee to address urgent matters related to the clergy of the Archdiocese.

• This committee will operate under the supervision of the Metropolitan and will be composed of the following members:

V. Rev. Fr. George H. Shalhoub, Spiritual Advisor

​V. Rev. Fr. John Salem, member ​V. Rev. Fr. Gabriel Karam, alternate member

​V. Rev. Fr. George M. Ajalat, member ​V. Rev. Fr. David Hovik, alternate member

​V. Rev. Fr. Joshua Makoul, member ​V. Rev. Fr. James Shadid, alternate member

​V. Rev. Fr. Maximos Saikali, member ​V. Rev. Fr. Kamal Alrahil, alternate member

​V. Rev. Fr. Mark A. Wyatt, member ​V. Rev. Fr. Don Hock, alternate member

​Rev. Fr. Nektarios Najjar, member ​Rev. Fr. Justin Havens, alternate member

• The Metropolitan will assign specific tasks to the committee and may appoint subcommittees from among its members to consider files referred to it as needed.

• All discussions held by this Provisional Committee and its subcommittees shall be kept confidential.

• The committee and its subcommittees shall prepare written reports on their activities and the topics they are tasked to consider, which will be submitted to the Metropolitan for final consideration.

• The committee's role is advisory. Therefore, its recommendations are not binding on the Metropolitan.

• The work of the subcommittee will conclude with the issuance of the Metropolitan's final decision on the subject for which it was formed.

• The provisional committee's mandate will conclude two years after its establishment.

• The Metropolitan may terminate the committee's role at any time before the two-year term expires and may also modify its membership for reasons within his discretion.

Yours in Christ,


Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Wisdom! Talk set for August in Milwaukee

Marcus Plested (D.Phil., University of Oxford, 1999) is Professor of Greek Patristic and Byzantine Theology at Marquette University. Schooled in London, he studied modern history followed by theology at Merton College, Oxford, completing his doctorate under the supervision of Metropolitan Kallistos Ware.

He taught for many years at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies and the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge (UK). He has been a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and has taught, lectured, and published widely in patristic, Byzantine, and modern Orthodox theology.

He is the author or editor of four books to date:

  • The Macarian Legacy: The Place of Macarius-Symeon in the Eastern Christian Tradition (Oxford: OUP 2004)
  • Orthodox Readings of Aquinas (Oxford: OUP 2012)
  • The Oxford Handbook to the Reception of Aquinas (Oxford: OUP 2021) (with Matthew Levering)
  • Wisdom in Christian Tradition: The Patristic Roots of Modern Russian Sophiology (Oxford: OUP 2022).


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Prayers for Met. Jonah!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Old Believers leave Old Ritualists for ROCOR

The Old Believers were not pleased with this event. You can see more on this here and here.

( - There is now one more Old Ritualist parish in America in the bosom of the Russian Church. The Old Believer community of Nikolaevsk, Alaska, consisting of Fr. Nikola Yakunin, his son Deacon Vasily Yakunin and about 20 Old Believer families have decided to join ROCOR MP preserving their liturgical rite. Services in the new congregation will henceforth be conducted in English. Let us recall that a similar situation occurred at one time in the Pomorian community of Erie, Pennsylvania. The congregation had become largely Americanized, and praying in the now nearly forgotten and little-understood Church Slavonic language was problematic. In the Old Ritualist Congregation of the Nativity of Christ in Erie, Old Orthodox worship is now completely translated into English, including the Znamenny hymns.

Father Nichola and his son, Vasily, will be with the Erie congregation on Ascension Day. They will be received through chrismation and ordained by Bishop John of Caracas and South America. Currently there is an intention to build a new church for the community near Nikolaevsk, in the town of Homer, since the old church building will remain under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualist Church according to the American laws.

We wish the Orthodox Old Believer community of Alaska to continue to stand firmly on the Holy Fathers' positions and to preserve the Old Orthodox faith on their difficult path to unity with world Orthodoxy.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Relocating St. Vladimir's Seminary

Orthodox-Catholic talks take place in Toronto

TORONTO (Episcopal Assembly) – The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation met from May 16-18, 2023 at St. Augustine’s Seminary of Toronto. The 101st meeting was hosted by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The twelve members present prayed together daily and enjoyed meals and fellowship, including vespers followed by a special dinner hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada.

In addition to those who came together in person, six members joined virtually. In the course of the meeting, the Consultation completed a joint statement on the theology and practice of marriage in both of our Churches, including its nature as a sacrament of Christian faith, its permanent, indissoluble character, and its form in the present canon law of both our Churches. The Consultation resolved its discussions on the topic of “Orthodox-Catholic Marriages” and completed the document for ultimate publication.

His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Tobin, NJ, Catholic co-chair of the Consultation stated, “this meeting was important in many ways and marks a turning point in the Consultation’s future. I am convinced that this new document on marriage offers a compassionate and specific pastoral recommendations for the care and spiritual growth of Catholic-Orthodox families.”

Additionally, the Consultation, building on the success of the past fifty-eight years, finalized a restructuring proposal that allows for more effective study on timely issues as well as greater engagement with the Orthodox and Catholic communities. The structure will provide new opportunities for Consultation to build on its successful work well into the future.

About the restructuring of the Consultation, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, Orthodox co-chair commented that “the new form envisioned for the future work of the Consultation will offer more flexibility and a renewed commitment to reconciliation between Orthodox and Catholics.” He continued, “it is our hope that the upcoming work of the Consultation will bring more visibility to this unique and historic endeavor between our two Churches.”

Both the document, entitled “The Pastoral Care of Mixed Marriages: Neither Yours nor Mine-but Ours,” and the Restructuring Proposal were approved and sent to the USCCB/CCCB and the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America for review and publication.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

WSJ on Orthodoxy in America

A mainstream news article about Orthodoxy that isn't just a vehicle for propaganda against Southerners, challenging Christian morality, or entertaining a casual or dismissive ad hominem.

(WSJ) - Michelle Jimenez was captaining an oil tanker in the Gulf of Mexico in early 2020 when she heard about a Bible-study group organized by a crew member. Though she had been baptized a Catholic in infancy, she was never raised in that or any other faith. She had experimented with New Age beliefs and Zen Buddhist meditation, but hadn’t found a spiritual home. Her new encounter with Christianity eventually led her to an East-ern Orthodox liturgy.

“I just felt this overwhelming presence of God…that everything is always going to be OK no matter what,” recalled Jimenez, 36 years old, of her first experience with Orthodox worship. She was baptized in the church the day before Easter in 2022, becoming part of a small but fast-growing group of Americans from diverse backgrounds who have embraced Orthodoxy in the past few years.

Eastern Orthodoxy is one of the two parts of the Christian world that emerged from the Great Schism of the 11th century, a split with the Roman Catholic Church caused principally by disagreement over the authority of the pope. Its members belong to a family of churches with historic roots in Eastern Europe, Russia and the region of the eastern Mediterranean, which traditionally look to the patriarch of Constantinople as their spiritual leader.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

"Sacred Arts East & West" hosted at St. Vlad's