Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Memory Eternal to Archbishop Christodoulos!

From the AP News Report:

New York, NY – With great sorrow and deep heartfelt emotion the entire flock of the Holy Archdiocese of America learned of the passing of the late Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Christodoulos of blessed memory.

The late Archbishop Christodoulos reposed in the peace of God at 5:15 a.m. (Greek time), today, Monday, January 28, 2008, at his residence, after battling with a disease that lasted many months and which required lengthy medical treatments administered to him at home, which is where he desired to be, despite the swift deterioration of his health.

His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America, as soon as he was informed of the passing of the late Archbishop Christodoulos, issued this statement:

"The passing of the late Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Christodoulos of blessed memory, saddens us deeply, for with his departure from this world the Church has lost an exceptional and highly esteemed Hierarch, as well as a brilliant champion of Orthodoxy and of the universal values of the Hellenic cultural tradition. I had the special honor to know him from the time he attended high school, and afterwards, to appreciate his dynamism, his kindness, his intellect and his great offering to the Church in important areas such as the divine worship, pastoral and social care, as well as inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian relations. I pray fervently to the Lord for the repose of the soul of the distinguished and ever-memorable brother and concelebrant, the late Archbishop Christodoulos, in the tabernacles of the saints and of the righteous."

The illness of the late Archbishop was diagnosed on June 9, 2007, when he was admitted to the “Aretaio” Hospital of Athens. On August 18, 2007, the Archbishop traveled to Miami, Florida, with the prospect to receive a liver transplant, which in the end was not possible, and for which reason he returned to Greece on October 26.

Immediately after the announcement of the passing of the late Archbishop Christodoulos, a four day mourning period was declared. The funeral service will take place in the Cathedral of Athens on Thursday, January 31, 2008.

Archbishop Demetrios of America will depart for Athens tomorrow, Tuesday January 29th, in order to accompany His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the funeral services of the late Archbishop Christodoulos.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Art of Bell Ringing

This is a great article from the Boston Globe describing a wonderful Orthodox tradition - JMC

Bell Ringers Gain Resounding Lesson
By Peter Schworm
Globe Staff / January 21, 2008

The sacred Russian bells at Harvard University's Lowell House rang forth yesterday as they have most Sundays since Easter 1931, their deep, resonant rumble a haunting hymn to their improbable survival of the Stalinist era.

But high in the belfry on this Sunday, the Harvard students struck the 17 bronze bells with a newly forged skill and deeper understanding of the ancient art of bell-ringing. They were fresh from an 11-day training session with renowned Russian bell-ringers at the Danilovsky Monastery in Moscow, the bells' historic home and the residence of the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Newly certified by Russian masters and versed in the lore of church bells, the ringers sounded the bells by nimbly manipulating an intricate series of ropes, pulleys, and pedals. Benjamin Rapoport, a Harvard Medical School student and a resident tutor at Lowell House, gently tugged at crisscrossed ropes like a puppeteer to strike a series of smaller bells in time with the ringing reverberations of the massive mother bells. Despite a bracing wind that whipped through the bell tower, he pulled the ropes and heavy wire cables with his bare hands.

"Good Russian weather," he said.

Read it all here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Der Spiegel Interviews Metropolitan Kyrill

As you can tell from this photo that accompanied the recent interview in Der Spiegel, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan KYRILL is no pushover.

In fact, His Eminence (who oversees external church affairs for the Russian Orthodox Church) is startlingly forthright on a whole host of topics, many of which were broached in a recent free-wheeling, bare-knuckle conversation covering everything from post-Soviet Russian politics, evolution, homosexuality, and Orthodox-Catholic relations.

According to various online news sources, Metropolitan KYRILL has been discussed as a potential successor to present Moscow Patriarch ALEXEI II.

To read the interview on the Der Spiegel website, go here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Crisis in Kenya

Listen to Father Martin Ritsi of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) discuss the ongoing crisis in Kenya on "Come Receive the Light," a program of the Orthodox Christian Network:

Click here for a Real Audio link, or here for an mp3.

And pray for the people of Kenya.