Tag Archives: Orthodox Church

Metropolitan Jonah takes time off to re-orient self

Jonah.JPGThe Orthodox Church in America (OCA), according to reports, has placed Metropolitan Jonah on a leave of absence. The Synod of the OCA acted swiftly to seeming abuse of power. The Metropolitan Jonah, it seems, is facing mounting questions not only over issues of style of management but anger issues.

The news is found here. This is distressing given all the problems the OCA has faced in recent years.
In his words, His Beatitude speaks about the requested lenten quies.
The OCA news of changes
Being a bishop –and for that matter, a priest– in this era is tough. One can’t lead if the sheep don’t want to follow. Some see clearly what is needed for clear testimony and action so that the lex orandi tradition is not trampled. Deeper conversion to Christ and living a coherent life of faith is not easy when sin is rampant. Disconnected from reality is not a virtue for the Christian Church, Catholic or Orthodox. When His Beatitude was elected as head of the OCA just over two years ago there was much hope for good leadership in the OCA after the sexual and financial scandals of clergy and laity alike. His very addresses were received with enthusiasm because he spoke with authority. I, for one, said “Finally, someone who gets it.” Could the troubles faced by Metropolitan Jonah be the result of the negative aspects of American culture to engrained in attitudes of members of the Synod coupled with a exaggerated sense in the capacity to change human frailties?
We pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace of prudence for the OCA. May the all-holy Virgin Mary intercede.

Jerusalem Patriarch: Being bearers of peace means sharing the cross of Christ

Fouad Twal.jpgThe address of January 11th delivered by the Latin
Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude, Fouad Twal at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to bishops from around the world wasn’t
that new and substantive but he talked about the tragic spilling of blood of many Christians in recent months, then he made a plea for a common and more deeper communion in the Lord with the hope of sharing the Eucharistic Table on earth. For
several years there’s been annual meeting of bishops from the various ecclesial
communions called the
Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the
Church of the Holy Land and another, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in the
Holy Land. Basically, these bishops are meeting this week to discuss their philanthropic work in Jerusalem
Some of the address is excerpted here:


Now, more than ever, we see the
truth of what the Synod Fathers wrote in their propositions to the Holy Father,
that our calling to be bearers of peace, “means sharing the cross of Christ.”
We also wrote: “Amidst a world marked by division and extreme positions, we are
called to live communion in the Church staying open to everyone
.” Clearly this
is a calling beyond our human strength at times. It is only the grace of God
present in our communion with Him and between us that can help us embrace this
mission as a precious gift.

Read more ...

Orthodox Christians in the USA grow 16% in a decade

Whitney Jones for ENI, wrote that “America’s Eastern
Orthodox Parishes have grown 16% in the past decade, in part because of a
settled immigrant community according to new research.” Her article follows:


Alexei
Krindatch, research consultant for the Standing Conference of the Canonical
Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, said the 16 percent growth in the number of  Orthodox parishes is “a fairly high
ratio for religious groups in the United States,” Religion News Service
reports. 

The number of Orthodox parishes has reached 2,370, and the Orthodox
community in America consists of more than 1 million adherents across 20
different church bodies, according to the 2010 U.S. Orthodox Census.


orthodox clergy.jpg

The top
five largest Orthodox churches in the United States are Greek Orthodox
(476,900), Orthodox Church in America (84,900), Antiochian Orthodox (74,600),
Serbian Orthodox (68,800) and Russian Orthodox (27,700).

Two of these church
bodies – the Bulgarian Orthodox Eastern Diocese and the Romanian Orthodox
Archdiocese – experienced a growth rate of more than 100 percent. Both churches
began with a small number of parishes in 2000 and are supported by a community
of established eastern European immigrants.

Read more ...

Saint Andrew: the Ecumenical agenda

Constantinople & Rome.JPGSaint Andrew is the first of the 12 Apostles called by Jesus to follow Him. Today is his feast day, the day traditionally remembered as the day of his death.

Official delegations of prayer and fraternal exchange happen for the June feast of Saints Peter and Paul (in Rome) and for today’s feast of Saint Andrew (in Constantinople). The protocol followed is that Patriarch Bartholomew I sends a message and a group to Rome in June and the Pope does the same on November 30 for today’s feast. Often there’s a series of meetings, discussions, academic exchanges, and a festive meal. Kurt Cardinal Koch and Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, (president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity) represented the Holy Father today.

The meeting was covered by Vatican Radio. Visit here.
 
The Catholic News Agency reports that the Pope is urging greater efforts to realize unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
The Pope’s message to the Patriarch: Benedict XVI to Bartholomew I Nov 30 2010.pdf

Dolan in Syria and Lebanon: the deep sacred roots of the churches, places and people in the story of our redemption

CNEWA Syria 2010.jpegAs bishop, I am told, you are asked to sit on boards and be a voice for causes that you may not have too much interest in or knowledge of. While to the new Archbishop Dolan’s portfolio as the archbishop of New York, he is the chairman of the board of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and is learning lots of new and beautiful things about the Church in other parts of the world. He made a recent trip to the Middle East with members of the governing board which opened his eyes to a new reality of what it is like to be an Eastern Christian. John Cardinal Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem accompanied the CNEWA board. The archbishop learned the beautiful horizons of the East and the limits thereof.

Read Archbishop Dolan’s reflections on his visit to the Middle East last week. I found it interesting and insightful and I hope it does the same for you.
I am going to be shameless here. When I was at the Catholic Information Service at the Knights of Columbus I commissioned my friend, Father Steven Hawkes-Teeples, SJ, professor Theology at the Oriental Institute in Rome to write a booklet on basics of Eastern Christianity. The old booklet just didn’t serve the needs of our readers and something more up-to-date was needed, especially since Catholic Church has more than one expression of herself. The booklet, The Eastern Christians and Their Churches, is worth a thorough read.

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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