Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Orthodox Colloquium for Anglicans

DETROIT – In response to numerous enquiries, St. Andrew House Center for Orthodox Christian Studies will host “Faith of Our Fathers: A Colloquium on Orthodoxy for Anglicans” Jan. 29-30 for clergy of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Anglican Church of Canada, and other churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

While the colloquium is designed for Anglican clergy, it is also open to Anglican laity, and to clergy and laity from other Christian faiths. Seating is limited, however, and priority will be given to Anglicans on a first-come, first-served basis.

The purpose of the colloquium is educational, according to the Most Rev. Nathaniel, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America, and founder and president of St. Andrew House.

“’Faith of Our Fathers’ will be an opportunity to explain who we Orthodox are to our Anglican brethren, and to show our love and concern for them in their time of trial,” Archbishop Nathaniel said, referring to doctrinal divisions within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, and among the member churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion. “We hope Orthodoxy might be a salve that can help begin a process of healing,” he said.

Read the Religion News Service report here.

See the official website here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Father Stephen Freeman on Salvation...

I've mentioned Fr Stephen Freeman's blog, Glory to God for All Things, several times in the past months. He has an especially helpful series of posts on the Orthodox Christian understanding of salvation, which has engendered quite a bit of discussion in the comments.

The series begins with "Are You Saved?"

and continues with

"Inside and Out"

"Whose Fault is it Anyway?"

"The Atonement: It's Still About God"

Highly recommended!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pope and Patriarch to join in talks?

Catholic/Orthodox theological discussions have frequently been derailed by various issues embedded in the complex history of eastern/western relations. Part of the problem is that both Catholic and Orthodox interlocutors are divided within their own communions regarding all that is at stake in the dialogues. For example, Orthodox Bishop HILARION of Vienna was decidedly opposed to language pertaining to the proper understanding of hierarchy in the Church proposed by Orthodox Metropolitan JOHN of Pergamum in a most recent gathering.

Nonetheless, this recent news indicates that the profile of these talks may rise considerably -- even if the substance remains controversial.

Constantinople, Dec. 4, 2006 ( and AsiaNews Service) - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has disclosed that he made an important, concrete proposal for Orthodox-Catholic cooperation during his November 30 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.

Speaking to the Italian daily Avvenire after the conclusion of the Pope’s trip to Turkey, the Orthodox leader said that he could not disclose the nature of the suggestion he had made, but reported that the Pope seemed quite interested. He said that he is now “waiting for an official response.”

Read it all on Directions to Orthodoxy.

Monday, December 04, 2006

December 4: Saint John of Damascus

Saint John of Damascus was born about the year 680 at Damascus, Syria into a Christian family. His father, Sergius Mansur, was a treasurer at the court of the caliph. John had also a foster brother, the orphaned child Cosmas (October 14), whom Sergius had taken into his own home. When the children were growing up, Sergius saw that they received a good education. At the Damascus slave market he ransomed the learned monk Cosmas of Calabria from captivity and entrusted to him the teaching of his children. The boys displayed uncommon ability and readily mastered their courses of the secular and spiritual sciences. After the death of his father, John occupied ministerial posts at court and became the city prefect.

In Constantinople at that time, the heresy of Iconoclasm had arisen and quickly spread, supported by the emperor Leo III the Isaurian (717-741). Rising up in defense of the Orthodox veneration of icons [Iconodoulia], St John wrote three treatises entitled, "Against Those who Revile the Holy Icons." The wise and God-inspired writings of St John enraged the emperor. But since the author was not a Byzantine subject, the emperor was unable to lock him up in prison, or to execute him. The emperor then resorted to slander. A forged letter to the emperor was produced, supposedly from John, in which the Damascus official was supposed to have offered his help to Leo in conquering the Syrian capital...

Read it all at the OCA website.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Common Declaration by Patriarch Bartholomew I and Pope Benedict XVI

The website of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople (Istanbul) has posted the declaration issued yesterday, November 30, the Feast of Saint Andrew the First-Called.

Read it here.

The photos from the event are really quite breath-taking. Some of them are available in the photo galleries available here.