Tag Archives: Eastern Christianity

Nicholas James Samra: New eparch of Newton for the Melkites

Nicholas J. Samra.jpegThe Holy Father, upon the recommendation of the Melkite Synod, has given his assent to election of the Most Reverend Nicholas James Samra as the new Eparch of Newton for the Melkites. Bishop Nicholas, 67, has been the auxiliary of the same. Bishop Nicholas replaces Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros who has been elected the Metropolitan of Beruit and Jbeil.

The Eparchy of Newton covers the entire country; it was founded in 1966 and erected as an eparchy in 1976. According to 2009 stats the Eparchy has 26,700 faithful.
I have known Sayedna Nicholas for years and this is a terrific choice for the Eparchy!!!
Bishop Nicholas is the first native born to be the Father of the Eparchy!
God grant him many years!!!!!

Archbishop Shevchuk interviewed by Vatican Radio

Abp Shevchuk.jpgArchbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk was recently interviewed by Philippa Hitchens of Vatican Radio.

The newly elected Major Archbishop talks about his election, the grace of the Holy Spirit for the Church today, ecclesial unity, the Russian Orthodox Church, Pope John Paul and some other things. He’s clear and polished.
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Sviatsolav wants fraternal realtions with Patriarch Kyril


His Beatitude Sviatsolav is making headlines these days with all kinds of hott button issues. The news is reporting, predictably, that His Beatitude wants to work on relations with the Russian Orthodox Church. No doubt his own predictions for dialogue leading to deeper full, visible unity would indicate his desire to be fraternal with the ROC and one may also say that he’s taking note of Pope Benedict’s desire to meet with Patriarch Kyril.

Sviatsolav said: “Our church has voiced its readiness and openness for a dialogue ever since it emerged from the underground.” And he’s also reported to have said, “I think that today, we should heal the wounds rather than irritate and deepen them. One can heal the wounds of our memory only with mutual forgiveness. Therefore, as for any our brethren or neighbors who wounded us or were wounded by us, the best way to communicate is to be open in a brotherly dialogue, be open to the purification of our memory, to ask for forgiveness and to forgive.”

Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, C.SS.R., RIP

Varkey Vithayathil.jpgVarkey Vithayathil, 84, a Redemptorist, bishop, cardinal and Major Archbishop for the Syro-Malabar Church (in India) died suddenly today of a heart attack at 2pm Ernakulam time.

Cardinal Vithayathil was ordained a priest in 1954 and ordained a bishop in 1996. In 1999, he appointed the Major Archbishop by Pope John Paul II. The same pope created Vithayathil a cardinal in 2001 giving him the title of San Bernardo alle Terme.
Trained in Canon Law at the Angelicum, Vithayathil taught the subject in the Redemptorist seminary. For a term he served as the Father Provincial of the Redemptorists of India and Sri Lanka and later serving as the Apostolic Administrator of a Benedictine abbey of monks.
Cardinal Vithayathil was a supporter of the 5th Marian doctrine, that of Mary’s role in salvation history as the co-redemptrix.
This will mean the Church will have a third election of a Major Archbishop in 2011. The Maronite and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churches have just recently elected new heads.

Shevchuk talks about his election, chosen to lead a Church

Shevchuk & Pope Benedict Mar 31 2011.jpg

Cindy Wooden’s CNS article, “Ukrainian archbishop says he was chosen ‘despite age to promote unity” on Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk gives a clearer sense of the man and some of priorities. Wooden and Shevchuk met in Rome this week on the latter’s visit to Pope Benedict.

Archbishop Sviatoslav described the nature of his church in this way: “We are an Eastern Church with its tradition and inheritance, … a synodal Church is governed by the synod of bishops together with the major archbishop. But, we are also a Catholic Church that lives its identity in a full, visible and real communion with the Holy Father.”

What are Archbishop Sviatoslav’s priorities?
  • to strengthen the proclamation of the Gospel (kērgma) and the teaching of the faith (didachē)
  • to work on the Church’s liturgical theology and praxis; to make the liturgical patrimony intelligible in all the countries where the Ukrainian Catholic Church exists
  • to develop programs that attack secularism and engages the positive secularity
  • to strengthen the service of justice (diakonia)
  • to promote unity in the Church and among the other churches
  • to develop better social communications strategies for the Church
  • to identify ways in which to inculturate the Gospel and Byzantine tradition
  • to work with the Ukrainian people to heal from past injuries viz. the Russian Orthodox Church; to work on the fears that are paralyzing some members of the Church
  • to dialogue and work with the Orthodox Churches in the Ukraine (and where the Church is present) on matters of theology and mutual human interest
  • to promote healthy celibate and married vocations to religious life and priesthood.
Read the CNA story on the archbishop.
The Archeparchy of Philadelphia’s newsletter The Way also gives another sense of the recent events in the Church: The Way March 2011.pdf

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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