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

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Hagia Sophia to be Used For Islamic Prayers Again

[Greek City Times] As much of the world is struggling against the coronavirus pandemic, the Islamists in Turkey appear to hold on to their everlasting agenda: Forced Islamization and violation of non-Muslims.
Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) and the Koranic verses  Surat Al-Fath and Surat An Nasr were recited by two “imams” of the Hagia Sophia Church/museum, the pro-government newspaper Yeni Akit reported on March 23. The paper called the historic Cathedral the “Grand Hagia Sophia Mosque”.
“For the first time in history, acoustic test recordings of adhan and the Koran, which were recited with naked voice, were made in Hagia Sophia,” the paper said.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Islamic Invaders Ransack and Loot Orthodox Church

Images are emerging of a Greek Orthodox church in Lesvos which was vandalised by refugees.
On Monday, more than 500 refugees grouped together to head down to the port of Mytilini from Moria camp.
The group were confronted by members of MAT (Tactical Police) along the way, and resorted to stoning the Greek authorities in order to continue in their journey, only to be met with chemical and flash grenades.
Residents on Lesvos remain united and are trying to maintain a strong front against the situation unfolding on their island.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Ukrainian Ecclesiastical Conflict Impacts Antarctic

Chapel on Ukrainian research station switches from Moscow-compliant jurisdiction to the new independent Ukrainian church - churches and religions in Ukraine are calling for peaceful presidential elections.

Kiev ( Ukrainian church dispute now has an impact on the Antarctic.

 The Volodymyr Chapel, which was officially part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, was built in 2011 in the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station in Perpetual Ice. The Ukrainian National Scientific Antarctic Center in Kiev has announced that the chapel of the new autocephalous "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" is to be placed under the control of the Ukrainian media. A corresponding request to Metropolitan Epifanij, head of the church, had already been made and answered positively.

According to media reports, at the Antarctic Station's current shift change, a copy of that tomos (document) was also brought along, with which Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I released the Ukrainian Church into independence at the beginning of January 2019.

Meanwhile, there are more important decisions in Ukraine itself. The "All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religions" called on the people of the presidential election next Sunday for a "conscientious voting decision" and not to vote "against something" but "for a good and, above all, peaceful future for all". In the election of the new head of state, it should be remembered that one should choose not in their own interest, but in the interest of the good of the entire state. The elections must be peaceful, respect for those who represent other political opinions, is essential, according to the church and religious representatives.

The Council also proclaimed Saturday, 30 March, the "Day of Prayer and Fasting" for honest and peaceful elections. The "All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religions" has around 20 Christian, Muslim and Jewish churches or religious denominations.

The current incumbent President Petro Poroshenko has to fear for his re-election on Sunday. According to surveys, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, and especially the actor and newcomer Volodymyr Selenskyj in the electoral favor before Poroshenko. According to observers Poroshenko was all the more eager to found the new Ukrainian Orthodox National Church. In the surveys, he was able to gain between six and eight percentage points.

The President is not only looking for closeness to the Orthodox, but also the Catholic Church. So this week he handed over to representatives of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ternopil a small monastery complex that originally belonged to Dominicans and was expropriated during the communist era. According to a report by the church news portal "", “historical justice" has been restored. He also wanted to thank the Greek Catholic as well as the Orthodox Church of Ukraine for their constant prayer for Ukraine, Poroshenko said.

Nearly 28 percent of already determined voters said they were voting in favor of Selenskyj. Poroshenko and Tymoshenko are going head-to-head with about 16 to 17 percent to qualify for the April run-off election. The 36 other candidates remained in the polls under 10 percent of the vote. More than 20 percent of voters, however, said they were still undecided.

Trans: Tancred


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Russian Orthodoxy Sees Progress in the Dialogue with Catholics

Moscow Metropolitan Hilarion in newspaper interview: A lot has happened in the past ten years - progress also in the political relationship between Russia and the Holy See

Rome ( Russia's Orthodox Church sees a "significant step" in dialogue with the Catholic Church. In the last ten years, much has been done in relation to each other. As well as between Russia and the Holy See, said the Foreign Minister of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolit Hilarion, the Italian daily "Il sole 24 ore" (Thursday). There is consensus on current problems such as the loss of spiritual values ​​and Christian persecution. "This is a problem which disturb both the Orthodox Church and the Holy See in all of our soul, and drives us to unite our forces to find a common solution," the Metropolitan said.

Hilarion spoke on the occasion of the upcoming Moscow visit by Cardinal Secretary Pietro Parolin from Sunday to Thursday. His main themes he identified as the situation in the Middle East and Ukraine; Also a peace solution for Syria would surely be an issue. Parolin's visit could help to approach different perspectives and find common solutions to different problems, says Hilarion, who will also meet with Parolin himself. "I will discuss with him the full range of bilateral relations between the Russian Orthodox and the Catholic Church, and hope that we can set new perspectives for further development."

With regard to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, he said that this was still "the most delicate issue in the relations of the two churches." At the same time, the foreign official of the Moscow Patriarchate in the interview appreciates the admission of full diplomatic relations between Russia and the Vatican in 2009 as well as the historic first meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kiril I in Havana, Cuba in 2016, resulting in strengthening the collaboration of both churches.

Trans: Tancred

Monday, April 24, 2017

"The Bishops Abducted in 2013 Live" -- Marian Appearances of Mousseitbé

Syrian-Orthodox Bishop Daniel Kourie: "Abducted Bishops are
still alive" - 47th Annivesary of the Apparition of  Mousseitbé
(Beirut) The two bishops who were abducted in Aleppo in 2013, "are still alive". This was from the Syrian Orthodox Bishop, Daniel Kourié, on the 47th anniversary of the Marian apparition above the cupola of the Peter and Paul Cathedral of Mousseitbé, a suburb of Beirut.
The memorial of the apparition of the Virgin Mary is always on the first Sunday after Easter. This year, the anniversary coincided with the fourth anniversary of the abduction of two bishops in Aleppo. On April 22, 2013, the Syrian Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of the city, Boulos Yazigi, were abducted.
Bishop Daniel Kourié is the representative of his church for the abduction case. The Commission, led by him, had "knocked at every possible door", in Syria and Lebanon, to find traces of the two bishops.

"Religious and ethnic cleansing in the Middle East"

Bishop Kourié called on the Lebanese state to make the abduction case a "national cause". At the same time, the bishop complained about "religious and ethnic cleansing in the Middle East, especially in Syria, Iraq and Egypt." He criticized the states, which supported these purges under various forms "with men, weapons and money".
The miracles of Mousseitbé have been recognized as genuine by the Syrian Orthodox Church. The other churches in the country took little notice of them "because they were all still fixed on themselves, even to such phenomena as a warning and an appeal to unity, in the face of the first forebodings of the Islamic danger," said Fady Noun , A leading Maronite publicist of Lebanon.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: Asianews
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Austrian Footballer Enters Russian Monastery

Sergej Mandreko, a footballer from Tajikistan, is incurably ill with ALS. The ex-kicker of the Viennese club Rapid Wien has now been residing for 2 months in a monastery and hopes for a miracle. Subsequently, he is undergoing a treatment

[] Sergej Mandreko, a soccer player from Tajikistan, played for the SK Rapid from 1992 to 1997. Mandeko was part of a legendary team of the Viennese club, which even stormed to the finals in the World's Cup. But now, Mandreko is suffering from the insidious disease ALS, which gradually leads to progressive paralysis. The 45-year-old now walks on unusual paths and hopes for heavenly assistance. According to media reports, two months ago, he went to a Russian monastery to be treated in a St. Petersburg special clinic. His former football club has not let him down in the process and collects donations to cope with the cost of expensive therapy.

Trans: Tancred

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Istanbul: Hagia Sophia to Have a Permanent Imam -- De Facto Transformation Into a Mosque

(Istanbul) Since 2003 when the Islamic Party for Justice and Development (AKP) took control of the government in Turkey under  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a re-Islamization of the country has taken place.
Since mid-19th century  the expulsion and oppression of Christians had begun. In the decade 1910-1920 the coup de grace against the Christians took place by a cruel and bloody genocide.  Armenians, Greeks and Chaldeans were killed, expelled or forced to convert to Islam. One hundred years ago  in Istanbul, then still Constantinople, it was said that it was half Christians and Muslims. About 25 percent of the residents in the  area of what is now ​​present-day Turkey were still Christians. Today there are only 0.2 percent.


The "Prestige" items of Re-Islamization is fulfilled by the conversion of famous ancient Byzantine churches. After the Turkish conquest of the country, they were made into mosques. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a representative of a national Turkish secularism, made them museums. For years,  ACP Islamic circles have again called to make them mosques.

Magnificent frescoes in the Hagi Sophia of Trebizond: the four Evangelists surrounded by angels. Mosque since 2012.

In some cases, Erdogan's government is already putting the various proposals into practice.
  • The Hagia Sophia of Nicea which was built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian I.  again became a mosque in 2011.  In 787 it had witnessed the Second Council of Nicaea. In 1337 Nicaea was conquered by the Muslims and made into a mosque. However, the Turks forfeited it and gave it up at  the end of the 19th century. Under Atatürk it became a museum in 1935.
  • 2012  Hagia Sophia of Trebizond followed.  It had been built in 1250 by Emperor Manuel I Comnenus on the site of an earlier church. In 1204 the Byzantine Empire had been conquered during the Fourth Crusade. The noble family of Comnenus established the Empire of Trebizond as a successor state. In the new capital, the Hagia Sophia was inspired by the famous model of Constantinople. Trebizond would even last a few more years than Constantinople. In 1461 the small empire on the Black Sea was conquered by the Muslims as well. Since the Basilica was a few kilometers outside the city walls, it was only desecrated in 1511 by the Turks and  converted into a mosque only in 1584. The monastery which was attached to the Basilica was inhabited until the early 18th century by Greek Orthodox monks. The use as a mosque ended in the 50s of the 20th century. In the spirit of Ataturk it was then made into a museum. At the same the church frescoes whitewashed by the Muslims were uncovered again.

Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, the magnificent Basilica of the East

The most significant and magnificent Basilica of the Byzantine Empire, Hagia Sophia of Constantinople is still a museum. The question is: for how long?

The Hagia Sophia was begun under the Emperor Constantine the Great  in 325. Under Emperor Justinian I it took its present form and was consecrated in 537. It is one of the outstanding monuments of late antiquity. The great dome which rests only on four pillars, represents an architectural masterpiece. It was the cathedral of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the coronation church of the Byzantine emperors. For 1128 years,  the Divine Liturgy was celebrated there, of which 916 years was in its form visible today.

After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by the Turks, it was desecrated and converted into a mosque in the same year.
The Hagia Sophia, the largest and most splendid Basilica of the East, the imperial church of East Rome was desecrated by the Turks and converted into a mosque after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The Christian basilica can be seen today. In the Muslim period, four minarets were built and the cross was replaced on the main dome with the crescent to mark the Islamic conquest. In 1931 it was converted into a museum and is the biggest tourist attraction of Istanbul.

Since 2010 Demand for Renewed Conversion Into a Mosque

Its conversion into a mosque was called for at the political level in 2010. In 2012 an unknown Muslim Turk named Talip Bozkurt from Kahramanmaras in Anatolia, made a proposal in the Turkish Parliament to transform the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. The suggestion was taken up and entered into parliamentary debate in January 2013.

Hagia Sophia of Nicaea, in 787 meeting  place of a council. Mosque since 2011

The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and Constantinople demand its the return to the Christians. If the Hagia Sophia is to be reopened for prayer, then it should be a church again, says Patriarch Bartholomew
Due to its  formative significance on the cityscape of Istanbul, neither Muslims nor Turkish nationalists are ready to return it to the Christians. For the AKP government, the issue of re-Islamization of the monument has a special symbolic meaning. This also applies to the  Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who was relected in  May. In order to understand the reasoning behind this, the words of the then Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bulent Arinc, on the conversion of Hagia Sophia of Nicaea (Iznik Turkish) in 2011, are useful:
"With this act we have recovered the recognition of our ancestors. The Hagia Sophia of Iznik is the booty of our conquest and as such we have a right to it. A church can be converted into a mosque. "

From a Ramadan Mosque to a Permanent Imam

Last June, the Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque during Ramadan for a month. This is only a first step, say observers. Since then, imams who entered the Basilica, were there to do two of the five Islamic daily prayers. Now the next step will take place. As the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported, a proposal was made jointly in Constantinople between the State Office for Religious Affairs and the Mufti of Fathi to nominate a permanent imam for the Hagia Sophia who will perform the five-day prayers daily.
With the appointment of Imam, conversion into a mosque is consummated fact, regardless of any  expressed decision.
For now there is still no response from the Greek Government and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Athens has criticized attempts at Islamicization in the past as an "insult to the religious sensibility of millions of Christians", which is all the more serious because these have been "undertaken by a country that wants to join the European Union."
In the European and overall in the international press it is difficult to find mention of these initiatives toward Islamicization. "Not a good sign," writes  Corrispondenza Romana.
Text: Andreas Becker
Image: Wikicommons / MiL
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bishop: Islam will take power in Europe

[] Isa Gürbüz, the Syrian Orthodox Church leader in Switzerland, is warning against Islam. The Muslims are starting to dominate in Europe and then the persecution of non-Muslims will begin.

In 20 or 30 years there will be a Muslim majority in Europe," said the Syrian Orthodox bishop in Switzerland, Dionysos Isa Gürbüz. In 1997 he was the first Syrian Orthodox bishop in Germany. Now he oversees  10,000 Syrian Orthodox faithful in Switzerland and 4,000 in Austria.

The Syrian Orthodox is the oldest of the Christian churches. In their homeland in what is now Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Orthodox Christians are persecuted. The monastery of Arth had therefore become a center "for the preservation of our endangered religion and culture", says the Swiss Tages-Anzeiger quoting the Syrian Orthodox Bishop.

"What today thousands of terrorist groups of IS, Taliban or al-Qaida are doing is the extension of the genocide of 1915," says Isa Gürbüz. At that time, nearly 2 million Syrians and Syrian and Greek Orthodox Christians perished. Millions converted to Islam.

Turkey is the enemy of Christians

"What happens to us today began 1,300 years ago," said the bishop. In the 7th century the Muslims had started the genocide of the Christians. The Agenda of Islam has remained the same until today. The Muslims want to drive Christians from the Middle East.

The 51-year-old bishop comes from the eastern part of Turkey, which formerly belonged to Syria. At the beginning of the century there were still 230,000 Syrians living there. Today, there are practically none. Turkey is an enemy of Christians, says Isa Gürbüz.

With collections of clothes, eatables and money, they to try to help their coreligionists in Syria. The bishop wishes  that Switzerland would receive more Christian refugees.

For 20 years he he has pursued the goal  to find a safe place for 2 million Christians  in the Middle East, a zone established under a UN mandate. Or do Christians like the Jews, need their own Israel in the Middle East? [Yes]

Islam wants to impose Sharia

Like many Christian bishops and patriarchs from the Middle East  Isa Gürbüz can hardly imagine a future Syria without Assad. Because a better man is not easy to find. So Syria was the only country in the Middle East before the war, where Christians could live their faith undisturbed.

"If Assad is eliminated, we could have the same thing happen as in Iraq, where, after the fall of Saddam Hussein,  democracy collapsed and Islamist groups took over," says the Bishop. The Arab Spring had only been an interlude. "Because Islam ultimately accepts no democracy, but wants to impose Sharia law."

Gulf countries want Europe to convert to Islam

The bishop calls for vigilance, especially those churches intent on political correctness. It is naive to think that the millions of migrants who are now coming through Turkey to Europe, will adapt  and all live together with Christians in Europe in peace. Also among the migrants there were terrorists.

"Why don't the Gulf states, the Emirates and Qatar take on any refugees?" Because they want to convert Europe to Islam, says Isa Gürbüz. The number of child-rich Muslims will grow rapidly in Europe. They would take power and begin the persecution of non-Muslims.

Isa Gürbüz no longer trusts the Muslims

"What is happening today in the Middle East, will happen here in Europe," said the bishop. The 1300 year long history of persecution had taught him not to trust the Muslims. The beginnings of Islamic proselytizing in Europe may be seen in the establishment of mosques by the Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and the Turkish Ministry of Religion Diyanet.

The Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church Ignatius Youssif III. Younan urged earlier this year already the use of ground troops against the Islamists in the Middle East, in other words, a renewed crusade to save the Christians in the Middle East.

(Once they are numerically strong enough, Muslims will begin the persecution of Christians in Europe, says Bishop Isa Gürbüz (Photo:. Shutterstock)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Orthodox Give Pope Francis a Tiara

(Rome) Pope Francis now has a tiara. The special gift was brought to him by the Macedonian Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski.
Veljanovski was received by Francis in audience on Whit Monday. He spoke of an invitation from his country to the Catholic Church leader to visit the Balkan country. He recalled that Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was canonized on September 4, was born in Skopje, now the capital of Macedonia.

Handmade by Orthodox St. George's Convent at Lake Ohrid

Veljanovski brought the visibly surprised Pope, a gift from the Orthodox St. George convent of Rajčica. The tiara was made by the nuns of the convent, crafted and richly embroidered with pearls from nearby Lake Ohrid. The pendilia, the two neck straps of the tiara, symbolizing the Old and New Testaments, were embroidered with the arms of Pope Francis.
The Macedonian Parliament President was aware that the popes have worn no tiara since 1963.  Pope Paul VI. was the most recent head of the church, who was crowned with the tiara. The Popes John Paul I and John Paul II did, although no longer crowned with the tiara, used it just as their predecessors before them as a crest.

Parliament Speaker Veljanovski, Pope Francis and Tiara

Pope Benedict XVI. was led at the suggestion of Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the herald of the Holy See, to also not include it on his crest. Pope Francis followed him there.
But the mitre, which is adorned with three golden horizontal rings, which forms in stylized form the three rows on the crown, representing the Magisterium, the jurisdiction and the ordained ministry of the pope as Vicar of Christ.

Bulgaria's President gave an icon of St. Clement of Ohrid

Lake Ohrid had to do with the second visit on Whit Monday. That same morning, Pope Francis had already received the President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, Accompanying Plevneliev was the Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch Neofit. The Bulgarian head of state gave the pope an icon of St. Clement of Ohrid. The monastery founder and Metropolitan of Belica and Ohrid, was a student of St. Cyril and Methodius. On Ohrid St. Clement had built the so-called Ohrid School.
Pope Francis thanked the Macedonian and the Bulgarian delegation with copies of his Encyclical Laudato si and his apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium and Amoris laetitia .

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Secretum meum mihi (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Archbishop of Brussels Proposes the Abolition of Priestly Celibacy

(Brussels) The new Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium, Msgr. Jozef De Kesel, said in an interview with the Free Sunday newspaper De Zondag on 8 May that the Church  could not require every priest celibacy.

The Archbishop  De Kesel was asked by De Zondag whether celibacy has not "discouraged" him:

"No, not when I was 18 years old. As you opt for the seminary, it then takes many years to become a priest. But then, when the moment has come, that ... is a difficult decision. "

"I am for the Eastern Catholic model"

De Zondag: Did you have to decide between a bride and the church?

De Kesel: No. I had good friendships,  but they never brought me in conflict with my choice of life. This is true for others, and I can understand that it is very difficult to let someone go. Maybe I, therefore, consciously or unconsciously avoided a relationship.

De Zondag: Should the Church adhere to this celibacy?

De Kesel: I'm not for its abolition. A celibate life is not a life without meaning. I chose it deliberately: It was a part of the life of Jesus. On the other hand I do not think that you can charge it of any priest, especially not in a moment in which sexuality plays such an important role. I am for the Eastern Catholic model, where married men can be ordained priests.

No "Catholic model"

With the "Eastern Catholic model" said De Kesel, is in reality the Orthodox model. The Orthodox Churches understand celibacy like the Catholic Church but this is not employed like the Catholic Church, for historical reasons. Bishops and monks are still  called to it today, which is why only. In the diocesan clergy in contrast, there was softening. Once the ordination has been received, a wedding is no longer possible with the Orthodox. The seminarian marries before ordination, he can stay married. The result is that seminarians marry very young in order to forestall the celibacy requirement. If the wife of a priest dies, he is not allowed to marry. The somewhat complicated scheme proves, however, that the ministerial priesthood is also linked to the Orthodox inseparably with celibacy. However, you can - as in the sacrament of marriage - also recognize the Orthodox discrepancy between requirement and reality, because it is the Orthodox Church in those points which concern two sacraments, and more pertinently, failed to maintain the original apostolic teaching.

When smaller parts of the Orthodox churches returned from the 16th century to union with Rome, they were allowed during the course of the ecumenism of return  to maintain certain traditions. These include the Byzantine Rite in the liturgy and the Orthodox practice of celibacy. What De Kesel falsely, but probably deliberately, sees as the "Catholic model" is called not really a "Catholic model," but a foreign practice to the Roman tradition, which was granted only for historical reasons, clearly to formerly Orthodox communities.

The true and faithful retaining of priestly celibacy in the Latin Church since apostolic times, as well as the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, are ultimately special evidence that the Roman Catholic Church is actually the one true Church of Jesus Christ. However, this evidence itself is currently not held in very high esteem  by Catholic dignitaries and sometimes, as De Kesels remarks show,  recklessly called into question.

De Kesel uses a dialectic in his claim, which suggests a retention in theory, but at the same time seeks a fundamental change in practice. A dialectic as it has been frequently heard in the past two years in connection with the recognition of divorce and remarriage. Its spokesman, Cardinal Walter Kasper made his speech to the Cardinal Consistory in February, 2014.

Pope Francis has sent mixed signals on this issue, according to his nature. According to the Vaticanist Sandro Magister, these contradictory signals would nevertheless demonstrate the desire for a weakening of priestly celibacy. The request made by De Kesel would probably come closest to the papal intention.

Cardinal Danneels' preferred candidate: Thanks to Pope Francis still Archbishop

Msgr. De Kesel was appointed by Pope Francis as the new archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, 6 November, 2015. The archbishop of Brussels is automatically Primate of Belgium and President of the Belgian Bishops' Conference. The Archdiocese has been a liberal stronghold since 1961. An epoch which was defined by Cardinal Leo Suenens (Archbishop of 1961-1979) and by Cardinal Godfried Danneels (Archbishop of 1979-2010) and was accompanied by an unprecedented decline of the Catholic Church. In the Belgian capital today,  only 12 percent of its residents profess as Catholics. Of these, only one in ten makes his Sunday duty and visits the Holy Mass.

In 2010 Benedict XVI. tried to bring about a reversal. He did not appoint  Danneels' chosen successor the leftist De Kesel, but the Bishop of Namur, André-Joseph Leonard, instead. Leonard was then equally relentlessly opposed and boycotted just like Pope Benedict XVI. Above all this was directed at Benedict XVI's personnel decision of 2010 which drew the the hostility which Danneels and his allies drew upon. Danneels was, since the 90s, a conspirator with  the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Martini, in the clandestine Sankt Gallen circle,  which had already opposed the election in 2005 of Benedict XVI.

In 2013 Daneels belonged to the so-called Team Bergoglio. Together with the German cardinals Lehmann and Kasper and the English Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, he organized, this time successfully, the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Archbishop Leonard was denied the dignity of cardinal and retired with the completion of his 75th birthday. After only five years of intermezzo,  Pope Francis appointed  Danneels' still preferred candidate De Kesel as archbishop of Brussels. The Belgian Church thus remains firmly on progressive course, as stressed by the remarks of the new archbishop to abolish the celibacy priest.

De Kesels' proposal on celibacy was also supported by the Internet platform of the German Bishops' Conference.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Mil (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cardinal Parolin Meets Bulgarian Patriarch in Sofia

(Sofia) Cardinal Secretary Pietro Parolin is currently on a visit to Bulgaria. Yesterday morning a meeting with Patriarch Neofit of the Bulgarian Orthodox  Church in Sofia, was followed by a meeting with the Bulgarian Prime Minister  Bojko Borissov, with President Rossen Plevnielev and with the Grand Mufti of Bulgaria.

In the evening the Cardinal Secretary will give a speech for the occasion of the third anniversary of the election of Pope Francis and the 25th anniversary of the reestablishment  of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Holy See. It was a step that followed immediately after the overthrow of the Communist dictatorship.

Patriarch Neofit thanked   Cardinal Parolin for the "hearty reception" of Orthodox representatives in the Vatican. During the talks, the good relations between the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Holy See were stressed. Every year, a Bulgarian-Orthodox delegation comes to the Vatican for the Feast of Saint Cyril and Methodius.

Cardinal Parolin spoke of the possibility to build upon the frequency of the mutual contacts, the relations and collaboration between Bulgarian Catholic and the Orthodox. Describing concrete situations, he identified the work with youth and care for the poor.

The meeting between Pope Francis and the Moscow Patriarch Kyrill as well as the Pan Orthodox Council, which is planned for June on Crete. Cardinal Parolin assured  Patriarch Neofit, he would pray for the success of the Council.

He also spoke gratefully for the opportunity of young seminarians and theologians of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to be able to study at the Pontifical Oriental Institute  and other Catholic study centers. 

President Plevneliev awarded the Cardinal Secretary the Stara Plana, the highest order of the land. Plevneliev asserted that Bulgaria shares Pope Francis' concern for those suffering in the conflict in Syria and in the Ukraine. 

About 85 percent of the Bulgarian population are Orthodox Christians, which includes almost all Bulgarians. About nine percent belong to Turkish ethnicity, four percent are Roma. The majority of the Turks and the Roma are Muslims.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Radio Vatikan (Screenshot)

Trans: Tancred


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Voice of America: "Meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kyril Part of the Message of Fatima"

(Rome) The Spanish-language newscast "El Mundo al Dia" Voice of America (VOA) reported on Wednesday yesterday on the of 5 PM (Washington time) broadcast of the general audience of Pope Francis in the late morning. "El Mundo al Dia" reported at time stamp 20'28'' of a prayer request by the Pope for good progress in the first meeting in Cuba with the Moscow Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Voice of America is the official state foreign broadcast of the US government. It broadcasts daily world news in English and 43 other languages from radio and television stations.
On the the Pope's greeting  to the German pilgrims Voice of America reported:
"A few hours before the start of his historic pilgrimage to Mexico, Pope Francis made reference to a meeting  which after 1,000 years is almost unknown today. With a gesture of reconciliation, the Catholic Church will meet  with the Russian Orthodox Church, separated because of the Eastern schism since 1054 [Actually, Moscow didn't break with Rome till much later as a result of the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople], between

both their highest representatives in Havana on Cuba under the auspices and through the agency of  President Raul Castro. According to some historians, the approach is part of the conversion process of the Russian people, which began under the pontificate of John Paul II., and is part of the message that was revealed by the Virgin of Fatima when she appeared in the beginning of the 20th century to three shepherd children."
What did the German spokesman say at the general audience on behalf of Pope Francis?
"Dear friends, in the coming days I will visit Mexico. I ask you to accompany my Apostolic Journey and the meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Cuba with your prayers. Thank you so much! I wish you a good start of Lent. "
Voice of America reported that Havana was chosen as a meeting place, because, among other things Cuban President Raul Castro mediated the meeting.[How heartwarming.]

The US Government station sees connection between meetings in Cuba and apparition of Fatima

In addition, the official foreign transmitter of the US government provided a link between the meetings and the Message of Fatima on the conversion of the Russian people. At the time when Mary appeared to the shepherd children in Fatima,  Russia was in the midst of the revolution. With the February Revolution, the [legitimate] czarist regime had been overthrown. With the October Revolution, shortly after the apparition, the Bolsheviks violently seized domination and established the totalitarian Soviet Union, which officially existed until 1991. Our Lady had requested the consecration of Russia  to her Immaculate Heart at Fatima, then Russia will be converted, otherwise it would "spread her errors throughout the world, which will give rise to wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated, but at the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph."  "The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me which will be converted, and in the world is a time of peace to be given."  From  the so-called Second Secret of Fatima.
It is astonishing that the official foreign transmitter of the US government establishes a link between the meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill and the Fatima message of 1917.  It is a relationship which has not been picked up on by any official Catholic media, certainly not the media of the Vatican.

Voice of America was founded in 1940 under the leadership of Nelson Rockefeller as an instrument of propaganda during World War II. Its present name was given to the transmitter in 1942. The Spanish-speaking section of Voice of America is the oldest non-English department that aired programs to counteract Nazi influence on Latin America.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild VOA (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Moscow Patriarchate Denies Reports of Francis-Kirill Meeting

The Russian Orthodox Church rules out any get-together when the two leaders travel to Cuba and Mexico in February. A report about a possible meeting in a third country recently appeared in Italian media.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – The Moscow Patriarchate has denied recent reports in Italian media of a possible meeting next month in Latin America between the pope and the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"The Patriarch and the Pope's Latin American visit programs do not intersect," said Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), Russian Orthodox Church's spokesman for inter-Christian relations.

"The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and the head of the Roman Catholic one will be visiting completely different countries, albeit on the same continent," he added.

Friday, October 23, 2015

When the Most Catholic Voice in Rome is the Moscow Patriarchate, That Should Be a Problem

(Rome) When one of the most Catholic voices in Rome   is that  of the Moscow Patriarchate, this is a problem. Last Tuesday  Hilarion of Volokolamsk Metropolitan addressed the Pope and the Synod of Bishops, a  message of greeting from the Moscow Patriarchate.  Archbishop Hilarion is head of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Orthodox Church. Here is the full speech of Metropolitan. The highlights come from the editorial:

Beatitudes, Eminences and Excellencies,

On behalf of His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and the whole Russian Orthodox Church, I address our fraternal greetings to you all on the occasion of the XIV. General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church, which is dedicated to the theme of the family.
In our turbulent and unsettling world, man needs solid and unshakable foundations on which he can rely in order to fully trust to be able to build  their  lives on them. The secular society that is geared primarily to the satisfaction of individual desires can give man no clear moral orientations. The crisis of traditional values ​​that we experience in the consumer society leads to a contradiction between the different preferences, even in family relationships. When on the one side,  extreme feminism  sees in  motherhood an obstacle to  the self-realization of women who have children, on the other hand, more and more regard children as a right that can be realized by any means. Increasingly, the family is seen as a connection between two people, regardless of their gender, and it is believed that the individual can choose the affiliation to one or the other sex according to his personal taste.
On the other hand, new problems occur that directly affect the foundations of the traditional family. The armed conflicts of the modern world causing a mass exodus from the war-affected regions towards the richer countries. Emigration often leads to breaking of family ties while creating a new social environment, creating  connections that often have an interethnic and inter-religious character.
These challenges and threats are, for all Christian churches alike, the need to look for the answers, by relying on the order entrusted to them by Christ,  to lead the people to salvation. Unfortunately, we often hear in Christian circles, voices demanding that there be a "Modernization" of the Church's conscience, thus the rejection of the apparently Christian apparently obsolete doctrine on the family. Nevertheless, we must not forget  the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome: "conform  not on this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God: what He desires, is what is good and perfect."
The Church is called to be a light and a beacon in the darkness of this world, and Christians are called to be the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world". We all need to remember the harrowing admonition of the Savior: "If the salt loses its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is good for nothing; it is thrown out and trampled by men."  (cf.. Mt. 5:13 to 14). Such a salt that has lost the power of its own taste, are in our time what some Protestant communities who call themselves Christian but preach moral ideals  that are incompatible with Christianity. When a community of this kind, introduces the rite of blessing  homosexual unions, and a lesbian woman who describes herself as a "bishop", who prompts her churches to remove the crosses from the steeples and replace them with Islamic crescents, can such a community may be called "church"? Before our eyes is Christianity is  betrayed by those who are willing to play the game of secularized, anti-clerical and Godless society.
The leadership of various countries of Europe and America, despite numerous protests, even by the Catholic faithful, continue a policy aimed deliberately at destroying the understanding of family. Not only are homosexual connections made legally equivalent to marriage. One goes so far as  to prosecute those who because of their Christian faith, refuse to register these connections. Immediately after the end of the visit of Pope Francis, the American president Barack Obama has openly declared that the rights of homosexuals are more important than religious freedom. This clearly shows the intention of the secular authority to continue the attack against the healthy forces of society who defend  traditional family values. The Catholics are in the front line in this fight, and just against the Catholic Church, there is a veritable campaign of discredit and lies under way. Therefore, the force in defending the Christian conviction and fidelity to the tradition of the Church today are particularly necessary.
Society today comes to resemble more and more  the foolish man, "who built his house on sand" (Mt see. 7.26). It is the duty of the Church, to remind   society of its established foundation - the family as a union between man and woman, who has the birth and education of children as its goal. Only such a family, established by the Lord at the time of the creation of the world itself, is able to prevent the release of modern society into the abyss of moral relativism, or at least slow it down.
The Orthodox Church, like the Catholic, has always followed the Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition in their teaching about the family and established the principle of the sanctity of marriage affirming that  based on the words of the Savior Himself (cf.. Matt 19:6 ;. Mk 10:9) In our time, this position must be united and unanimous. We must work together to defend dialogue with the legislative and executive powers of each country and at the level of international institutions such as the UN and the European Union. We can not only limit ourselves to exhortations. We need to ensure the legal protection of the family completely.
The solidarity of the Church and all people of good will is essential for the purpose, to protect the family from the threats of the secular world, and thus to safeguard our future. I hope that the fruit of this Synodal Assembly will be a development of Catholic-Orthodox collaboration in this direction.
I wish you peace, God's blessing and success in your work!
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Il Timone
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Southernmost Church in the World: Where Father Kirilov Celebrates Mass at 25 Degrees Below Zero

Father Sophrony Kirilov at the Southernmost Church
in the World
"The Russian workers at the South Pole expect, like every other believer, spiritual support and a Church very devoted to God." With these words  Russian Orthodox priest Sophrony Kirilov describes his task. He's a "special envoy" of the Moscow Patriarch on King George Island, as the British call them, or Isla 25 de Mayo, as the Argentines say. The island belongs to the sub-Antarctic archipelago of the South Shetlands. Here Father Kirilov cares for the southernmost church in the world.
The Russian priest is one of a hundred people who spend even the winter in this latitude, although the temperatures can reach minus 25 degrees centigrade. In the summer the average temperature rises only slightly above the zero-degree mark. The island is 95 kilometers long and at its widest point 25 kilometers wide. Overall, it accounts for an area of ​​1150 square kilometers, in which, after all, 500 people stay there in the summer. The majority lives in the Incorporated in a Chilean settlement Villa Las Estrellas (Star Village). In winter  there are all of  the 50 people. They have the Catholic Chapel of Mary Queen of Peace in the settlement.
The archipelago was discovered in 1819 by British navigator William Smith. He took possession of  it for Britain  and gave the largest island the name of the then reigning British King George III. from the House of Hanover.

"In the world there is no peace and quiet. Here, however, it is still "

Trinity Church Iconostasis
Father Kirilov is 38 years old and belongs to a group of Russian priests, they are rotate in Antarctic chaplaincy. It is for the fourth  assignment to the Southern Shetlands. A "special place", he says. "In the world there is no peace and quiet. Here, however, it is silent. God loves the silence. It is a privileged moment in the relationship between man and God."
In 2003 at the request of the Patriarch of Moscow,  the southernmost church in the world, Holy Trinity Church,  was built in  the Russian Antarctic.  The research station, for a time was also a depot of the Russian Antarctic fleet,   founded in 1968 during the Soviet era.  It is named after the seafaring Baltic German  Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (1778-1852), who served the Russia as an Admiral. Two years later William Smith also discovered islands in the Antarctic.
The church is entirely built of wood, which was specially brought from Russia. In 2004 it was consecrated. Since then, Russian priests also perform their services in Antarctica. In summer, station staff and visitors have to withstand the gale force winds of up to 200 kilometers per hour in order to reach the church. In winter it's  cold. Here, especially at the end of the earth, when  people enter  the church, they are really moved by the beauty and grandeur of icons, reported Father Kirilov.
At night the church is illuminated from below, to be a kind of beacon for ships.

The exhibition: "Thanks be to God. It is always a precious gift for me "

Southernmost Church in the World
Father Kirilov celebrates Holy Mass in the church: "Thanks be to God. It is always a precious gift for me ". Of course he would wish for more believers. In winter there are but usually only 15 Russians living on the station.
On weekdays Father Kirilov also works as a mason and carpenter. The painted carvings at the entrance to the church come from him. The flower ornaments recall in the long winters, the beauty and diversity of nature. With a pair of skis or a snowmobile he also likes to  explore the island.
In addition to the Orthodox Church and the Chilean chapel in the King George Island in Antarctica, there is since 1976 a Catholic chapel, which is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. It is located at the Argentine research station Esperanza (Hope) on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In 2013 a group of scientists of the French / Italian  Concordia Research Station Dome, also on the Antarctic mainland, the shrine "Mother of the Eternal Glaciers". It stands at an altitude of 3233 meters.
Life in Antarctica is not easy, says Father Kirilov. Moscow  is 16.000 kilometers away. That makes itself felt. "Nevertheless, I know that I have the day I leave when another priest replaces me, I will have nostalgia for this terribly inhospitable land." Why it is so?  "Here you can pray to God in peace."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Timone
Trans: Tancred