Further thoughts of an Orthodox Brit

General collective thoughts and shares of a 28 year old British Orthodox Christian Full Deacon, under the Coptic Patriarchate. Expect to find: Orthodox News, Church Fathers Quotes, Book Reviews and the odd personal thought/post. Don't expect to find: Polemics, support for Theological divergence, support for Phyletism.

Every virtue with lack of love is not counted as a virtue
H.H. Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch of Alexandria
Poor human reason, when it trusts in itself, substitutes the strangest absurdities for the highest divine concepts.
Saint john Chrysostom

Today our friend and former Tumblrite Andrei (Theologiaviva) was ordained a priest of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate. May God Grant him many years!

Axios! Axios! Axios!

It is folly to abstain all day long from food, but fail to abstain from sin and selfishness.
Saint John Chrysostom
Liberty is not the mere freedom of choice or license, but the freedom to act with great love—the love of Christ. There is no freedom outside of the sphere of the Cross, which is the summit of Love.
Fr Pishoy Kamel

Metropolitan Severious Mathews – Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church stated that his church will welcome any sort of peace process initiated by Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and All East.

The Metropolitan said that honor and reverence given to the Patriarch Antioch by the Indian Orthodox Church will always continue to be the same. The constitution (1934) of the Malankara Orthodox church has never denied the position of Patriarch.

He also urged that the patriarch should take steps to communicate his initiatives with Indian Orthodox Church. The conditions for the peace talks are not yet clear added the Prelate.

Read: Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II : Peace in Malankara Inevitable

His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and All East stated that peace between the Syriac Orthodox Church in India and the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church is an inevitable element as well most important need in the present scenario.

Both Churches are integral part of the ancient Oriental Orthodox Communion which make us part of the global Orthodox family. Clashes between churches in the same faith and tradition are not at all healthy. The Patriarch also said that both Churches should end conflicts, rather find areas where they can work together in peace, with mutual respect and understanding.

The Primate of the Syriac Church also spoke about his recent encounter with the President of United States, Leaders of the European Union & United Nations with whom he expressed his concern about the sad plight of Christians and other minority groups in Iraq and Syria. The mission was also aimed at checking solution to end the bloody conflict.

Patriarch made the statements at the reception hosted by the Malankara Archdioceses of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America. It was the first apostolic visit of Patriarch to the faithful of Malankara Archdiocese in USA. The Patriarch also spoke in Malayalam Language. Archbishop & Patriarchal Vicar Mor Titus Yeldho – Primate of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America presided over the meeting.

It is only through dialogues and talks that the ecumenical relations between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches can be fostered, says Christine Challiot.

Ms.Christine Chaillot, a Swiss researcher, writer, and promoter of Orthodox Unity was addressing the students of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. She opined that one should work for the unification of the churches in one’s own capacity and should encourage ecumenical dialogues between the Orthodox churches. Christine’s writings on the contemporary context and life of the Oriental Orthodox Churches of India (Malankara), Egypt (Coptic), Syria, Ethiopia, Armenia and Lebanon have attracted the attention of the ecumenical world. She has also written on the current life of Orthodox communities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Ms. Challiot lives in Geneva and is a member of the Orthodox Church (Patriarchate of Constantinople).She has successfully traversed the length and breadth of the Orthodox Churches in the world, trying to learn about the life and faith practices existing there. She was recently conferred the Sopana Orthodox Award by H.H Baselios Poulose II, Catholiocos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan.

The seminar was presided over by Fr. Dr. V.P. Varghese.

Staff members of the John Rylands Library of the University of Manchester have announced the discover of a Greek papyrus text written in the 6th century, which gives an account of the Last Supper and first Christians, reports Calam1 news portal with the reference to theAleteia Catholic agency.

At a press conference held on Thursday, September 4, the prominent historian and textual critic Dr. Roberta Mazza (a research fellow of the recently founded John Rylands Research Institute) reported her latest discovery. While working at the John Rylands Library, containing thousands of unpublished early Christian manuscripts, the researcher discovered a scrap of papyrus on which she managed to make out the words “manna” and “Gospel bread”. The document, received into the library’s stock in as early as 1901, dates back to the 6th century.

The researcher also discerned the text of a prayer, engraved on the ancient papyrus, which is a compilation of the Gospel text that describes the Last Supper and fragments of several psalms: “Fear you all who rule over the earth. Know you nations and peoples that Christ is our God. For He spoke and they came to being, He commanded and they were created; He put everything under our feet and delivered us from the wish of our enemies. Our God prepared a sacred table in the desert for the people and gave manna of the new covenant to eat, the Lord’s immortal Body and the Blood of Christ poured for us in remission of sins.”

Dr Mazza has also disclosed details of the analysis of the discovered manuscript to the audience. “The spectral and other methods of the papyrus exploration enabled us to define it as a palimpsest (a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain). On the back of the text there is a scraped receipt for a payment of the grain tax in the Egyptian city of el-Ashmunein,” relates Dr. Mazza. “The author may have been Egyptian and knew both the Greek language and the Gospel’s text pretty well; however, numerous minor errors and inversions enable us to suppose that he did not copy ones of its “canonical”, established versions, but either compiled it himself or reproduced it roughly, from memory.”

In the historian’s view, this find throws light on the early history of Christianity; and, in particular, the Christian mission.

Christian missionaries struggled against the legacy of ancient religions, replacing idols of the past by the Holy Scripture’s text and prayers, methodically eradicating the essence of pagan beliefs and leaving only faint echoes of their outward forms. Moreover, the find proves that the Bible for common people at that time was not just another book, “collecting dust on the shelf”, but it was alive. The simple folk spoke about it and narrated it to each other,” concluded Mazza.

King Abdullah II of Jordan has reportedly promised to defend Christians from ISIS.

King Abdullah believes that presence of Christians in the Middle East is necessary, which is why he has taken this responsibility upon himself, reports Romfea.

The Latin Patriarch (Roman Catholic Archbishop) of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, commenting on the king’s statement, noted: “We felt a sense of great relief, hearing such words from the head of the state. He made up his mind about this, in spite of the difficult problems that Jordan must necessarily resolve”.

“From time immemorial Jordan has been a home and shelter for all those in need of protection,” the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem added. Jordan is his native land: the patriarch was born in the city of Madaba of central Jordan.