Showing posts with label Ecumenism Orthodoxy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ecumenism Orthodoxy. Show all posts

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Moscow Patriarchate, Vatican wage common fight against secular liberalism - Patriarch Kirill

Moscow, November 19, Interfax -Despite a difficult relationship between the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, they have been effectively cooperating along many avenues, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told students and diplomats at the Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Academy in Moscow.

"Together with the Roman Catholic Church we have been defending the traditional Christian concept of family and human values from aggressive secular liberalism. Our Churches are waging a common fight against medico-biological experiments incompatible with respect for human dignity," His Holiness said.

Cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church has become possible thanks to Pope Benedict XVI and is proceeding simultaneously along several avenues.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Seven Thousand Signatures Against Mosque Construction in Moscow

Moscow, October 27, Interfax - A group of activists from the Moscow district of Tekstilschiki, campaigning against the construction of a mosque in this part of the capital, have said that their protest was officially supported by over 6,500 local residents.

"We gathered about 450 sheets with a total of 6,536 signatures. Very soon we will send the signatures to an appeal addressed directly to President Dmitry Medvedev," group coordinator Mikhail Butrimov told a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

Signatures were collected only among resident of the areas adjacent to the Volzhsky Boulevard where the mosque was to be built, he said.

Read further Interfax...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Synod hears repeated calls for common Christian Easter date

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At a synod concerned primarily about peace and the continued presence of Christians in the Holy Land, one of the suggestions made repeatedly was that Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox finally celebrate Easter together each year.

"We truly hope for the unification of the Easter holiday with the Orthodox churches," Latin-rite Auxiliary Bishop William H. Shomali of Jerusalem told the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East Oct. 14.

Celebrating Easter on the same day also implies observing Lent together, he said, which would give Catholics of the East and West an opportunity to witness together to their disciplines of Lenten fasting and abstinence.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Patriarch Kirill compares situation with religion in Europe with period of atheism in USSR

Moscow, October 13, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said the situation with religion in some countries, including Europe, reminds him of the times of militant atheism in the Soviet Union.

"I am deeply convinced that modern civilization is making the same mistake as the Soviet Union. It doesn't matter very much why you are removing faith from pubic life. The final result, as engineers say, is the same: you get dismantling of religious consciousness," the Patriarch said while meeting with German President Christian Wulff in Moscow on Wednesday.

The Russian Church has lived for decades in a country where the official ideology was the ideology of atheism, "where churches were destroyed, crosses were removed from churches to be used for some secular purposes, where religious life was squeezed out of public life and could only be manifested in private, intimate life."

The people who made such policies "have very good intentions and acted on the basis of their convictions, and their convictions were very humanistic: to build a just prospering society, good future, where people would be happy and would have everything they wanted to have, but religion, those crosses on churches were getting in the way," the Patriarch said.

"It scares me that something illogical is now taking place in some countries, including in Western Europe. No one is saying that the Christian presence should be removed for the sake of a good future, but they are using a different philosophy: they want to remove crosses from schools and religion from public life in the name of human rights," Patriarch Kirill said.

He thanked Germany for "defending the legality of the presence of traditional Christian values in societal life on many issues."

Patriarch Kirill said philosophies come and go and Christian faith has existed for 2,000 years and it "formed the spiritual and cultural foundation of Europe."

"For this reason, we believe we now need to speak loudly about it, because we have a right to do that, we have lived for many years in a country that drove God from public life and we know the consequences of that," the Patriarch said.

Patriarch Kirill said the current "phenomenal revival of religious life in Russia and the other former Soviet republics is largely a reaction to that past."

Link to Interfax...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Turkey: Bartholomew I Sees Hope For the Ecumenical Patriachate: And Reunion

Patriarch Bartholomaios I hopes for the re-opening of the Seminary of Chalki by 2011 -- 15 Diaspora-Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including Metropolitan Staikos of Austria, have Turkish citizenship.

Constantinople ( Bartholomaios I, Greek-Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, sees signs for an improvement of the situation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey. In an interview with "Kathpress" on Monday afternoon in the Phanar in Istanbul he said, it is very certain, that the Seminary in Chalki will be reopened in 2011. Bartholomew referred to the most recent address of the Turkish Vice Prime minister Bülent Arinc, who had explained in a TV-Interview, that Chalki must be re-opened again, because Christians in Turkey had the right, to educate their own Clergy and Theologians.

Chalki was closed in 1971 by the Turkish Authorities in a train of prohibitions against private Schools. While private Universities were in the mean time, however, allowed for a long time to open, the same did not apply to Chalki. The reopening of the Seminary belongs also to the central requirements by the EU of Turkey in connection with discussions for entry to the EU.

After 40 years it has been pressing on time, to address their own priest shortage by educating them again, said Patriarch Bartholomew I. He is much more optimistic than earlier, that the Turkish Government will finally make the way for reopening free.

As another very positive signal on the side of the Turkish Government the Patriarch cited that the Turkish Government has reinstated the citizenships of 15 Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who are active abroad; among them is also the Metropolitan of Austria, Michael Staikos.

According to a Turkish proposal the Patriarchal Office may only be occupied by one of Turkish citizenship. Not least because they were in any case only 15 more Bishops for the office in question, of whom 11 are already over 70 years old.

Recognition of Ecumenical Dialogue

The Patriarch did not want to directly address the most recent full assembly of the Catholic-Orthodox Dialog commission, which was held in Vienna and took place without substantial progress. He has still not been informed over the particulars of the Dialog. He reinforced, however, the desire of the Orthodox to travel further along the way of Ecumenism, till the full unity of the Church is finally reached.

He also reinforced this assertion with the consideration that the Orthodoxy
was resolved in its own Synod in the Phanar, to take up the dialogue again, following when the 2000 Full Meeting of Baltimore was put on ice.

But not only with the Catholic Church, we also strove for dialogue with the Reformed and Oriental churches, said Bartholomew I.; The same is also valid for relations to Islam and to Judaism. What especially leads to this dialogue, is that it requires a sound education, and therefore, the re-opening of Chalki, maintains the Patriarch.

Positive Signals and Unresolved Problems

As a positive signal, observers also recently noted the willingness of the Turkish authorities that the Orthodox Church henceforth once a year -- on the 15th of August -- may celebrate a church service in the Cloister Church of Sumela south of the Black Sea City of Trabzon. There were 1,500 Christians who came to Sumela for the first Mass in 88 years. Patriarch Bartholomew I. presided. The church was despoiled since the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922 and became thereafter a cultural monument.

The Turkish Minister President Tayyip Erdogan had rejected pressure from nationalist circles critical of the service. Turkey has nothing to lose if a thousand or two thousand Christians were to come and celebrate their Service, Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Turkish media.

A great problem remains still in the unresolved question of the rights of recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. The Turkish authorities recognize neither the title of the Ecumenical Patriarch, nor the responsibility of the Patriarchate for entire Orthodox world. They officially view Bartholomew I. merely as the highest Pastor of the few thousand remaining Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey.

While in any event the already small number of Greek Orthodox faithful in Turkey is conceived as consistently sinking, around 3,5 Million believers in parts of Greece as well as in the Diaspora in North- and South America, Middle and Western Europe and Australia are directly under the authority of the Patriarchate.

Copyright 2010 Katholische Presseagentur, Österreich. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

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