Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Canadian Episcopal Assembly meets

( - His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrofan, Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Canada, hosted an annual meeting of the Orthodox Bishops’ Conference in Canada, on June 15, 2017.

The meeting was moderated by Metropolitan Soterios of the Constantinople Patriarchate. The following hierarchs participated in the deliberations of the meeting: Bishop Job (the Moscow Patriarchate), Bishop Iovan Kasian (the Romanian Patriarchate), Bishop Daniel (the Bulgarian Patriarchate), Archbishop Ireneus (the Orthodox Church in America), Bishop Elijah from the Albanian Diocese (the Constantinople Patriarchate), Metropolitan Juriy and Bishop Andrey from the Ukrainian Diocese (the Constantinople Patriarchate), Bishop Christoph (the Constantinople Patriarchate) and Bishop of Gregory of the Carpathian Diocese (the Constantinople Patriarchate).

In the spirit of fraternal love and mutual respect, the hierarchs discussed many issues concerning the life of the Church in modern times. The secretary of the Serbian Diocese of Canada, Ptriest Jovan Marjanac, accompanied Bishop Mitrofan.

I'm just making this into leaflets for distribution

H/T: Hyperdox Herman

In line with annual tradition, OCA deposes another bishop

If anyone has any more details, please email me or place in the comments.

(OCA) - During their annual retreat held in Michigan on June 19-23, 2017, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America held a special session convening the Synodal Court which canonically deposed the Bishop Irineu [Duvlea], Auxiliary Bishop of the ROEA, from the status and all sacred functions of the episcopacy, removed him from the ranks of the clergy, and returned him to the status of a lay monk.

The letter of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America reads as follows.


June 27, 2017 (06/017)

To the Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Romanian Episcopate,

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has concluded its retreat, held during the past week at Holy Dormition Monastery, Rives Junction, Michigan. One of the most difficult tasks of that meeting was the convening of the Synodal Court at St. Demetrius Orthodox Church in Jackson, Michigan, to hear certain charges relating to canonical infractions brought against the Auxiliary Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, His Grace, Bishop Irineu. After much prayerful and intense deliberation, the Synodal Court determined that Bishop Irineu be deposed from the episcopacy, removed from the ranks of the clergy and returned to the status of a simple monk. (His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, was excused from participating in the decision of the Synodal Court due to illness and did not vote in the deliberations, placing his trust that the Holy Spirit would guide his fellow bishops. He was notified of the Synodal decision after it was rendered.)

The details of matters which led to the convening of the Synodal Court are confidential and will not be released publicly.

The Holy Synod made this decision with much sorrow, but with the conviction that it was a necessary action both for the salvation of the now Monk Irineu and for the preservation of the good order and stability of the flock of Christ. At the same time, we offer our prayers for the faithful, especially the members of the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America.

The bishops have a God-given responsibility to address the good order of the Church and the continuing leadership and oversight by brother bishops. We are bound to this primarily by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by the canonical tradition of the Church. Therefore, we must always take matters concerning bishops seriously and respond in the proper pastoral way for all concerned.

We offer our love and concern for the faithful of the Romanian Episcopate. We exhort you to pray, so as to not be overcome by divisive emotions, but rather seek to attain the peace of Christ.

May our merciful and loving God strengthen all of us to do His will in all things and preserve in our hearts the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere present and fills all things.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Tikhon
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

WaPo calls relics of St. Nicholas "alleged rib of Santa"

This is super classy Washington Post. I note that they pulled this article from their website already. This may go soon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jesuit appointed Greek Catholic apostolic admin. for Parma

Per Wikipedia: "He speaks fluently Slovak, Italian, actively communicates English and Russian and passively French. "

Parma, Ohio (Eparchy of Parma) — Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop, Milan Lach, SJ, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Prešov, Slovakia, as the new apostolic administrator of the sede vacante (vacant see) of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma.

According to the statement, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in a letter dated June 21, 2017, announced that Pope Francis is relieving Archbishop William C. Skurla of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh from the pastoral governance of the Eparchy of Parma.

Bishop Emeritus John Kudrick resigned as the bishop of Parma May 7, 2016.

Bishop Lach was born in Kezmarok, Slovakia, Nov. 18, 1973. He was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus (commonly known as the Jesuits) July 1, 2001, and was ordained to the episcopacy to serve as auxiliary bishop of Presov 12 years later, June 1, 2013. Bishop Lach is fluent in English, among several languages.

The 43-year-old Byzantine Catholic Jesuit is the first European-born bishop to be appointed to oversee the Eparchy of Parma since its founding in 1969.

Russian Church sends greeting to new Melkite Patriarch

( - In his message to His Beatitude Yousseff I Absi, Greek-Melkite Patriarch Elect of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, congratulated him on his election as hew head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. The text of the letter is given below.

Your Beatitude,

Please accept my greetings with your election as new head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

As is willed by the Divine providence, you accept the lot of Primatial ministry at a time of great upheavals for the land of the East. A violent conflict continues in the blessed land of Syria, with thousands of Christians, including the faithful of the Melkite Church, having already fallen victim to it. Being the Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of Damascus all these past years, you were at the epicenter of the tragic events and know well what hardships the Syrian people have endured.

At a time when the very future of Christianity in the lands where it came into being is in jeopardy, we are called to active cooperation in order to re-establish the long-awaited peace and preach love, mercy and justice, commanded by God. I have warm recollections of our meetings and talks in Lebanon in November 2011 and in Moscow in October 2013, and hope for the continuation of the good relations between our Churches.

May the All-Merciful Lord grant you help in your ministry.

With love in the Lord,

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk
Department for External Church Relations
Moscow Patriarchate


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Estival exertions

It's the layering of vestments that makes my shoulders sag a bit during the summer. I always walk into the sacristy after services drenched. At the same time the parishes themselves sort of sag a bit with a noticeable reduction in altar boys and families. It's also an opportunity to try new stuff. Bringing in practices that might get more resistance in the fullness of in-school months, trying new things out in homilies, getting to small projects during the week. And yet, through it all I'm sweating, surreptitiously wiping my brow, and wondering if Krista West is going to make a set of wicking vestments some day soon.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pews? P.U.

(Christ and Pop Culture) - Is there anything more reassuring than a church pew?

Simple. Humble. Sturdy. Two rough-hewn planks, fastened with a handful of nails, permanently fixed to the floor—and open to all. Occasionally padded, often not; not comfortable, exactly, but comforting. An invitation to the weary traveler to sit and hear the Word of God proclaimed; a simple reminder that we follow a humble, crucified carpenter; the perfect symbol that all are equal at the foot of the cross. From the greatest king to the poorest pauper, from the holiest saint to the most desperate sinner, all have sat in these pews before us, pondering their failings and begging for mercy. Despite the advent of stadium-style seating and auditorium-like worship halls, the simple, ancient pew endures—and no wonder, because it is, and always has been, the perfect metaphor for the faith.

Except—nothing I just said is even remotely true...
Complete article here.

Romanians discuss glorification of saints & calendar additions

( - Metropolitan Joseph Naniescu and the Venerable lay-ascetic George Lazăr are the proposals for glorification launched Thursday by the Metropolitan Synod of Moldova and Bucovina that will be analysed by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church during its next working session.

The Synod has also proposed that the Cypriote Saint Neophyte the Recluse be added to the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church, notes a press release of the Archdiocese of Iași.

The Metropolitan Synod held its working session Thursday, 15 June 2017, at the Metropolitan residence in Iași. His Eminence Teofan, Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina, chaired the meeting.

The Synodal members included:
  • His Eminence Pimen, Archbishop of Suceava and Rădăuți,
  • His Eminence Ioachim, Archbishop of Roman and Bacău,
  • His Grace Corneliu, Bishop of Huși,
  • His Grace Calinic of Botoșani, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Iași.
According to the press release of the Archdiocese, Metropolitan Joseph Naniescu was proposed for glorification under the name of Saint Joseph the Merciful, Metropolitan of Moldova, with January 26 as feast day. As to the Venerable lay-ascetic George Lazăr, he was proposed for canonization under the name of Saint George the Pilgrim, with August 17 as feast day.

Metropolitan Joseph was born in 1820 in the family of priest Anania Mihalache, receiving at Holy Baptism the name of John. After his father died, his mother Teodosia brought him up until the age of 10, when he was entrusted to a relative, Hierodeacon Teofilact, who was a monastic at Frumoasa Monastery in Bessarabia.

In 1831 they came to Iași, and then to Focșani, where, on 23 November 1835, he was tonsured a monk by bishop Chesarie of Buzău. The next day he was ordained a hierodeacon.

He was ordained a hieromonks in 1850 and for almost 20 years, he carried out a fruitful didactic activity in Bucharest. On 23 April 1872 he was consecrated a Bishop bearing the name of Myra. He was appointed Bishop of Argeș in 1873, and then Metropolitan of Moldova in 1875. He passed to the Lord on 26 January 1902.

Because of his kindness and the care for the poor and the suffering, he was named Joseph the Saint and the Merciful.

Venerable George Lazăr was born in 1846 in Șușag town, Alba County. At the age of 24 he married and was blessed by God with five children. He lived a chosen life in piety, honest work, prayer, fast and almsgiving.

In 1884, he went to the Holy Sepulchre as a pilgrim but remained at the monasteries in the desert of Jordan and Sinai for a year. After spending another one and a half years on Mount Athos, he returned home. In 1890 he retired as a pilgrim to the monasteries of Moldova.

Venerable George Lazăr settled in the city of Piatra Neamț where he laboured as a genuine hermit in the bell tower of Saint Stephen the Great for over 26 years, until he fell asleep in the Lord. There he struggled in solitude, in fast and prayer, in poverty, living by the grace of God.

He passed away on 15 August 1916 and was buried in the city cemetery. His remains were placed in 1934 in the graveyard of Văratec Monastery.

Who is up for being a ruling bishop in the Greek Archdiocese?

The Greek Archdiocese has an episcopal seat to fill. Here are their options.

(GOARCH) - In accordance with Article 14 of the Charter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the pertinent Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (Advisory and Consultative Role in Hierarchical Elections) and in light of the vacancy in the Holy Metropolis of Chicago, the Archdiocese publishes the list of candidates eligible for election to the Office of Metropolitan or Auxiliary Bishop. The list includes the names of Auxiliary Bishops, in order of ordination to the Episcopacy; and the names of other clergy in alphabetical order. This list has recently been duly ratified by the Ecumenical Patriarchate with an official document dated March 1st, 2017 and under protocol number 37.

1) Auxiliary bishops (in order of ordination to the Episcopacy)
His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane
His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos
His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela
His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia

2) Archimandrites (in alphabetical order)
V. Rev. Archimandrite Dionysios Anagnostopoulos
V. Rev. Archimandrite Timothy Bakakos
V. Rev. Archimandrite Vasilios Bassakyros
V. Rev. Archimandrite Ambrosios Bitziadis (Bowers)
V. Rev. Archimandrite John E. Constantine
V. Rev. Archimandrite Joachim A. Cotsonis
V. Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Cottros
V . Rev. Archimandrite Damaskinos V. Ganas
V. Rev. Archimandrite Philip Koufos
V. Rev. Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris
V. Rev. Archimandrite Stavroforos Mamaies
V. Rev. Archimandrite Constantine Moralis
V. Rev. Archimandrite Makarios J. Niakaros
V. Rev. Archimandrite George Nikas
V. Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostom Panos
V. Rev. Archimandrite Christodoulos Papadeas
V. Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos
V. Rev. Archimandrite Eugene N. Pappas
V. Rev. Archimandrite Seraphim P. Poulos
V. Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
V. Rev. Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides
V. Rev. Archimandrite Agathonikos Wilson

3) Presbyters (in alphabetical order)
Rev. Fr. E. Kyprianos Bouboutsis
Rev. Fr. Athanasios DeMedeiros
Rev. Fr. Sokratis Dimitriadis
Rev. Economos Christopher Flesoras
Rev. Fr. Eudokimos-Martin Harding
V. Rev. Archimandrite Andrew Mahaleres
Rev. Fr. Christodoulos Margellos
Rev. Fr. Galenos John Pilafas
Rev. Fr. Polykarpos Steve
Rev. Fr. Michael Ziebarth

Spot the journalistic error

(Bonners Ferry Herald) — The Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church in Bonners Ferry was blessed with visiting speakers, David and Mary Ford, from South Canaan, Pa., this past week.

On their tour of the West, they came to the local parish to visit former student, Father Gregory Horton, and his congregation. Their tour is titled “When the Foundations are Shaken.”

Dr. Mary Ford taught about the book of Revelations of St. John. She touched on how the book of Revelations ties into the Old Testament, the description of the apocalyptic times, and several other key points in the scripture.

She gave historic details of the origin of the Bible, detailing how the scripture developed from one long run-on word, to punctuation, and eventually to chapters. She explained how the development of the printing press affected the availability of the Bible, also touching on the history of numbers, and how they evolved.

Speaking about how the book talks about revealing God’s purpose, Mary Ford said, “Not everything He does and not everything He allows or that happens is his ‘will.’ It is all necessary to bring people to the faith.”

Dr. David Ford taught on the subject of St. John Chrysostom, the author of the book of Revelations. St. John lived in the fourth to fifth century and suffered persecution from both within, and outside of the church. He wrote 17 letters to his confidant, the Deacon of Olympia. David Ford went on to reveal how he has recently had the privilege to translate those documents.

“I will be quoting from those letters as an example of how St. John handled the exile and how the Emperor and Empress of Constantinople welcomed his teaching and leadership of the church. The royalty then rebuked him after his teaching against luxury and material possessions,” David Ford said. “He really had a heart for the poor and was trying to encourage the rich to share their wealth and help the poor.”

To learn more about the Fords, visit: for Dr. Mary Ford, and for Dr. David Ford.

Missteps in the Church's response to the LGBT movement

Here's the money quote from Fr. John Whiteford's post: "The problem in the Orthodox Church in the United States today is not that we are ignoring homosexuality. It is that so many in our Church are failing to take a clear stand on what we actually teach on the subject, and instead, like Fr. John Chryssavgis, choose to focus on how compassionate we ought to be to homosexuals, to the exclusion of clarifying whether or not the Church considers homosexual sex to be incompatible with the Christian life."

It's a long post, but it begins thus. Do give a read to the full article here.

In 2011, Archdeacon John Chryssavgis wrote a review of Homosexuality in the Orthodox Church, by the openly homosexual Episcopalian priest Justin R. Cannon. This review was published in the Saint Vladimir's Theological Quarterly (Vol. 55, no. 3), and is now featured prominently on Justin Cannon's pro-homosexual website "Inclusive Orthodoxy."

Archdeacon John Chryssavgis is not just any deacon. He is the most prominent spokesman for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and a professor of Theology at Holy Cross Seminary in Boston, and so the semi-endorsement of a piece of pro-homosexual propaganda is profoundly disturbing.

You can read the portion of this book that repeats the usual bogus arguments of homosexual apologists which attempt to argue that the clear condemnations of homosexuality in Scripture don't really say what they actually do say, here:

You can find these arguments refuted in the book, "The Bible and Homosexual Practice," by Robert Gagnon (an actual Biblical Scholar, and a book endorsed by some of the most prominent Biblical scholars of the past half century) or by watching his lectures on the subject...
Complete article here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bishop Joseph (Absi) elected to head Melkites

(Narharnet) - Bishop Joseph Absi was elected on Wednesday the new Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the National News Agency reported.

Absi was elected one month after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Melkite Greek Patriarch of Antioch Gregory III Lahham, 82 years.

The Melkite Greek Catholic Synod has been convening since Monday at the Patriarchate's summer seat in Aley.

Absi was born on June 20, 1946 in Damascus, Syria. He obtained the Lebanese nationality.

In 1973, he was ordained priest and became Chaplain of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul.

On 22 June 2001, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Tarsus of Greek Melkites and Curial Bishop and Auxiliary Bishop in the Melkite Patriarchate.

Melkite Patriarchate of Antioch Gregory III Laham, BS, was his consecrator and the co-consecrators were Archbishop Jean Mansour, SMSP, titular archbishop of Apamea in Syria dei Greco-Melkiti and Archbishop Joseph Kallas, SMSP, Archeparch of Beirut and Jbeil, on September 2, 2001.

Since 2007, he has served as Patriarchal Vicar in the Archdiocese of Damascus.