The following communiqué appeared on April 20, 2023 on the website of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops  of the United States of America. For context see Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin) Issues Warning against Father Peter Heers’ “Orthodox Ethos” Website and Father Peter Heers: Priest of Nowhere? 


“Archpriest” Peter Heers
Unaffiliated with any canonical Orthodox jurisdiction

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America is made up of all the active, canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States of America, from every universally-recognized canonical Orthodox jurisdiction, including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (“ROCOR”), despite the decision of its Bishops to suspend their participation in the Assembly. On November 18, 2022, the Orthodox Bishops of the Assembly received a communication from the ROCOR Eastern American Diocese regarding Archpriest Peter Heers. This communication stated “that the Very Reverend Archpriest Peter Heers is not a clergyman of the Eastern American Diocese or of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, nor is there any pending consideration of his reception.” [Scroll to the bottom here to see ROCOR’s letter.]
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With the present article we wish Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers around the world a most blessed and joyous Feast of the Annunciation.

Annunciation Icon

In her sermon on the Incarnation, the 16th-century Franciscan mystic, Mother Juana de la Cruz (1481-1534), describes the archangel Gabriel as the “matchmaker” of a wedding between God and the Virgin Mary. Greeting her, the archangel announces: “Almighty God told me that he wanted me to be the ambassador and the matchmaker [casamentero] in such an excellent and marvelous wedding.”[1]

In the late 12th-century icon of the Annunciation, housed at St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai, the archangel Gabriel assumes a similar stance in the foreground of the icon. Hand upraised and greeting the Virgin, he is clearly the royal messenger of a momentous event. Maximus the Confessor similarly describes Gabriel as “her herald and messenger” having him explain to Mary that “the Holy Spirit will come upon you to prepare and adorn you as a bride…”[2] One commentator on the icon detects a wedding veil drawn back in the window depicted just over the Virgin’s shoulder. This same commentator understands the rooftop garden above the window as the “garden enclosed” of the Song of Songs (4:12) and symbol of her virginity.[3] Maximus will ask us to “consider and examine the glory of the unwedded bride and the dowry of her virginity.”[4] Saturated in gold, the icon evokes a royal wedding already underway. Gabriel successfully negotiates the royal matchmaking.

Maximus’s description of the setting for the Annunciation vividly paints the scene: Read More


Masters, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, and Sisters in Christ, Readers, Followers, Patrons, Guest Authors, those who love us and those who hate us,
As we enter the season of the Fast with joy, striving with ever greater focus to complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, I ask you to forgive me, a sinner, for any ways in which I have offended or sinned against you, knowingly and unknowingly, intentionally and unintentionally, whether in person, through my work on Orthodoxy in Dialogue, or through my social media interactions. Read More