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.

I rescued a nice English language Eastern Orthodox liturgy book from a used book shop today. It includes the full diagramed rubric for 2 liturgies and the prayers before and after also.

Considering that I only went into town for some sandpaper and paint, I’d say it was a good find.

The idea that the saints are perfect is intuitive and seductive and really rather silly. Photius’ ability to acknowledge that theologians can make mistakes, even serious mistakes, and still be venerable, is commendable.
Augustine Cassiday, ‘Remember the days of old: Orthodox thinking on the Patristic Heritage.’ P101

The Moscow Patriarchate official urges Greek Catholics to abstain from participating in Ukrainian politics and supporting schismatics in the country.

“On behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, I would like to address the representatives of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church present in this hall with an appeal to renounce any statements on political topics and any visible forms of support of the schism as well as calls to create “one Local Church of Ukraine,” head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations said speaking on Thursday in Vatican at the General Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops, the DECR press service reports.

He noted that they “wish to tear away the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine from their Mother Church, the Moscow Patriarchate, with which Ukraine has been bound by age-old blood ties.”

“Regrettably, the conflict in that country, which has already taken the lives of thousands, from the very beginning has acquired a religious dimension. A significant role in its conception and development has been played by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. From the very first days of the conflict, the Greek Catholics identified with one of the sides of the confrontation. Contrary to the respect for canonical norms prevailing in relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholics have entered into active cooperation with the Orthodox schismatic groups,” the hierarch said.

He reminded that the Joint Commission for Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue, as far back as 1993 in Balamand, recognized that Uniatism is not the way to unity.

“We are grateful to our Catholic brothers for their open recognition of the mistakenness of Uniatism,” the Russian church official said.

On Wednesday afternoon, upon his arrival at Tehran airport Catholicos Aram I was met by the Prelates of Tehran Isfahan & Tavriz , the Armenian members of the Iranian Parliament, the Ambassador of Armenia to Iran and the representatives of Diocesan Councils.

The Catholicos was then taken to the Cathedral where he took part in canonical prayers and met the members of the community. Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, the Prelate of Tehran, welcomed His Holiness and transmitted the people’s gratitude for his service to the Armenian Church and the community. In response, the Catholicos spoke of the unity manifested through the cooperative work of the three Dioceses of Iran on the eve of the 100th anniversary commemorations of the Armenian Genocide in 2015, and he commended it as an example for the whole Church.

After receiving the greetings of the people and giving them his blessings, His Holiness Aram I joined the General Assembly of the Diocese of Tehran.

It is with regret that we announce the death of Father Michael Robson at Morden College, Blackheath, on 17 October 2014. Father Michael had been suffering from bronchitis for a few days and had been unable to attend the celebration of the Orthodox Liturgy in Morden College Chapel on 7 October, although Abba Seraphim and Subdeacon Michael Kennedy took Holy Communion to him and he also received the anointing for the sick. His health deteriorated suddenly the morning of his death and he died peacefully in the afternoon.

Father Michael was born in Manchester in 1933 and was ordained a celibate priest in 1978. His secular work had been as working for a number of charities, concluding with running a Christian Retreat Centre in Kent, which he did for twenty-five years until his retirement in 1998. For a number of years he served as a General Priest, assisting with services in London, but he began to host occasional services of the North Kent Mission, which eventually grew into the Chatham Parish. He served faithfully as its first priest until poor health forced him to retire in 2009. When he became too frail to travel to church services, arrangements were made to hold services at Morden College, since when they have been celebrated there regularly.

May the Lord make his memory to be eternal.

Very interesting itroduction to the Syriac Saint Severus of Antioch

We grow in our understanding of the riches of the past when we are open to the challenges posed by the witness of the past, not when we amass a huge fund of ancient trivia in support of our own perspective.
Augustine Cassiday, ‘Remember the days of old: Orthodox thinking on the Patristic Heritage.’ P116

Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and All East – primate of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church will be visiting India in 2015. The invitation by His Beatitude Abune Thomas I- Catholicos and Metropolitan Trustee of the Church in India was accepted by the Patriarch. This will be his first apostolic visit to the east after ascending to the throne of St Peter in Antioch. The plan is to make the visit during the feast days of late lamented Patriarch St. Ignatius Elias III who is buried at Manjanikkara Dayro in Kerala.

During the meeting with Abune Thomas I and the Delegation from India, the Patriarch discussed in detail the situation in Malankara and the recent developments for peace and reconciliation between two ancient churches in the Oriental Orthodox family.

The Patriarch in his message urged the Syriac Orthodox faithful in India to pray and work hard for reconciliation with Indian Orthodox Malankara Church. The primate stated that he will use all possible means to implement peace between two churches.The Primate also added that amalgamation is not the possible way for unity, rather there should be peaceful existence with mutual respect.

The visit details to India will be published later by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate. During the Patriarchal visit, the regional Synod in India will discuss details regarding the reconciliation process.

Militiamen from the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic Caliphate’ have removed the crosses and burned ancient manuscripts in the historic Monastery of Mar Behnam, ten minutes from the city of Qaraqosh, that they have occupied since last July.

Confirmation of the desecration came from a former village chief who lives near the monastery. He told Syriac Catholic priest Fr Charbel Issa, who was in charge of the Monastery until three years ago.

“Anything can happen with the terrorists of the Islamic State. They will destroy everything, if not stopped”, said Syriac Catholic priest Fr Nizar Semaan in a conversation with Fides. As reported by the website lankawa.com, the walls of the monastery now carry the inscription: ‘property of the Islamic State’.

ISIS threatened to kill, and then threw out the monks last July 20. Families living at the Monastery were also expelled.

The ancient Monastery, dating from the fourth century is dedicated to Assyrian Martyr Prince Behnam and his sister Sarah. Many ancient books and artefacts were kept there. It is one of the oldest and most venerated places of worship of the Syriac Christianity.T he monastery was renovated in 1986, and until the war, was visited by thousands of Christian and Muslim pilgrims each year.

On Saturday, Bishop Shahé Panossian, the Prelate of Lebanon, represented His Holiness Aram I at a conference organized by Adyan, the Lebanese foundation for Interreligious Studies and Spiritual Solidarity, at the Notre Dame Du Puits-Bqennaya. After thanking the organizers for their timely initiative, he read the message of the Catholicos Aram I.

The Catholicos stated that the religions of the Middle East find themselves at a critical juncture in the region and have the ability at this moment to either enrich or destroy communities. He said that they must take their God-given responsibility and use their influence in their respective communities to face the present grave situation face on by acting together to promote a culture of ‘living together.’

Deacon Hagop Kardanakian, Dr. Jean Salmanian and Ms. Nayiri Topalian represented the Catholicosate of Cilicia at a training seminar, which preceded the conference, on citizenship and living together.