- Monday, 12 November 2012 12:00
Today, with the feast of Saint Josaphat (c. 1580-1623), we ought to mourn the sad division of the Church that exists between East and West.
The Church prays,
Stir up in your Church, we pray, O Lord, the Spirit that filled Saint Josaphat as he laid down his life for the sheep, so that through his intercession we, too, may be strengthened by the same Spirit and not be afraid to lay down our life for others.
Notice that the prayer calls to our attention that we too, are called to be witnesses to the work of unity, even to the point of laying down our lives for others. Here the use of the word ‘witness’ is used in two ways: giving testimony by word and deed and dying, if need be, with our own lives. Here’s the dual meaning of the martyr (witness).
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- Sunday, 04 November 2012 14:28
The electors, nearly 2,406 people, in the Coptic Orthodox Church selected the 118th successor to Saint Mark, Tawadros II. The new pope is the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa. Until now, Tawadros has been an auxiliary bishop to the Archbishop Pachomius who’s been serving as the acting pope. Tawadros studied pharmaceutical sciences and was ordained a bishop in 1997.
Bishop Tawadros received 1623 votes, or about 25% of the votes.
Each of the electors, asking God to provide for them a good shepherd, were blindfold in casting their ballot for three of five previously vetted candidates. The three names were placed in a ceremonial box, then the Divine Liturgy was celebrated before a blindfolded child selected one of the three names to be the next pope. The new pope succeeds Pope Shenounda III who died at the age of 88 in March, after serving since 1971.
Pope Tawadros II, 60, will be installed on November 18.
Christians in Egypt number about 10% of the 83 million population. The Coptic Orthodox Church is the largest Christian Church in Egypt.
So far, the key Muslim groups have offered their hands in friendship upon Pope Tawadros announcement.
- Monday, 27 August 2012 20:08
Archbishops Youssef Anis Abi-Aad, 72, and Jean-Clément Jeanbart, 69, have taken refuge in other places since their residences were ransacked in the past few days. Clashes between Assad’s forces and other groups are to blame. It is said that “unidentified groups, who want to foster a sectarian war and involve the Syrian people in a sectarian strife.” Not a much more is known at this point.
Archbishop Youssef Anis Abi-Aad (left) said his residence and a local Christian museum were ransacked destroying personal and professional affects including icons.
Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart (right) and some of his priests went to Lebanon in the face of violence.
It is reported that Christians make up about 7.5 to 10% of the Syrian 20 million population.
Both Maronite and Melkite Churches
are in full communion with the Bishop of Rome.
O God, author and lover of peace, to know you is to live, to serve you is reign; defend against every attack those who cry to you, so that we, who trust in your protection, may not fear the weapons of any foe.
- Friday, 17 August 2012 13:56
Salvation comes from the East! You’ve heard that before, no? If not, then it is news you ought to welcome, not just because an Eastern Catholic priest, Father Mark Morozowich is the new Dean of the School of Theology at the Catholic University of America.
Father Mark is a longtime friend, and I rejoice in his selection. A brilliant choice! CUA could use a deeper appreciation for the Christian East and with Mark, perhaps they’ll get it.
Perhaps Father Mark’s appointment will be an opportunity for all the Eastern Churches in the USA to send their seminarians to CUA for their theological education. The Maronites and Ukrainian Byzantines already do so; can the Melkites and Reuthenians do likewise? No sense in being too provincial, is there?
May the Holy Theotokos guide Father Mark’s work for Christ and the Church.
- Monday, 23 July 2012 06:11
O God, who called the Priest Saint Sharbel Makhūf to the solitary combat of the desert and imbued him with all manner of devotion, grant us, we pray, that, being made imitators of the Lord’s Passion, we may merit to be co-heirs of his Kingdom.
The saint proposed by the Church is a relatively unknown hermit. Saint Sharbel (1828-1898) was a man who fought with the devil in the desert and lived according to tradition given by the Maronite Church. He’s known as the wonder-worker of the Middle East. When Church officials opened the grave of Sharbel they found an intact body with sweet aroma.
A hermit may not be a recognized value for the laity but if you look at the Mass prayer above it notes what we all are after: to be imitators of the Lord’s Passion. The Christian always orients his or her life to the Paschal Mystery (the Life, Death, Resurrection & Ascension of the Lord).