MEANWHILE, IN HOLY MOTHER RUSSIA….

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“Vladimir Putin Pantocrator/Almighty/Ruler of All”

The Slavonic вседержитель (vsederzhytel’) translates the Greek παντοκράτωρ (pantokrator), said of God the Father in the Nicaean Creed and of Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Church’s iconographic tradition. The word is normally rendered almighty in English versions of the Creed (probably from omnipotens in the Latin version), but literally—in both Greek and Slavonic—it means ruler of all or ruler of all things. Read More


MONKEY MAN vs. CHRIST: A RECONCILIATION OF SCIENCE AND FAITH IN ONE WOMAN’S COMING OF AGE by Irene Archos

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At 16, I went through my first spiritual crisis. My faith in Christ came face to face with Darwin’s evolving monkeys. These two points of view clashed in what they told about who I was—an icon of the divine, or a hairy primate governed by natural selection and evolutionary chance.  

I had been taking AP Bio and was on track for a medical program. I had been very faithful all along the course. The vast diversity in the natural world, unified in its life functions, made me step back from the text and do my cross in the Orthodox way. “How magnified are Thy works, O Lord!” Even memorizing the Kreb cycle, looking at the complexity and fragility of ecological webs, only reinforced my faith in God the Great Poet Creator.  Read More


CALL FOR ARTICLES: ON THE INCARNATION 2019

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Open Invitation to Hierarchs, Priests, Deacons, Monastics,

Laymen, Laywomen, and Young People

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. We have beheld His glory, glory as of the Only-Begotten Son from the Father.

During this season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in preparation for the Nativity of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, until the Feast of Theophany on January 6, we invite you to share with our readers around the world your reflections on the incarnation of God in human flesh.

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THE MUSCOVITE SCHISM LURCHES TOWARD OUTRIGHT HERESY: MOSCOW TO ENTER INTO COMMUNION WITH THE COPTIC CHURCH?

The following report appeared on November 14, 2019 at AsiaNews. Two points should be borne in mind: first, the Moscow Patriarchate’s move to assume jurisdiction over Turkey’s Russian-speaking Orthodox Christians constitutes the heresy of ethnophyletism writ large; and second, to move toward the Coptic Church instead of sister Chalcedonian Churches has nothing to do with legitimate Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox dialogue and constitutes an ecclesiological heresy of the highest magnitude. It comes as a stroke of supreme irony that the Moscow Patriarchate should resort to the false accusation that the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has entered into communion—whether openly or clandestinely—with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC).

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Will Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (L) and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (R) go down in the annals of church history as the architects of the most absurdly unjustified schism of all time?

Moscow Increasingly against Greek Orthodox
by Vladimir Rozanskij

After the Church of Athens and the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt aligned with Constantinople in recognizing the new autocephalous Church of Kyiv, a “Society of Orthodox Russian-Speaking Believers” was registered in the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Moscow Patriarchate said that the Russians from now on will intensify relations with the Coptic Church of Alexandria, given the inevitable break with the Greeks.

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JOJO RABBIT reviewed by Lydia Bringerud

Related imageI just had the privilege of seeing a film called Jojo Rabbit by Taika Waititi. Based on Christine Leunens’ novel, Caging Skies (The Overlook Press, 2004), the film looks at the absurdity of war through a child’s perspective. While broad themes in the movie include friendship, trust, and the loss of childhood innocence, Orthodox audiences may find particular resonance in other themes: the nature of obedience and obligation, white supremacy, and the oppressive consequences of mob mentality. If readers are familiar with an earlier Waititi film, Boy, there are some recognizable motifs between the two, particularly in the way that a child’s perspective is imagined and portrayed. Waititi’s style is not unlike that of Wes Anderson in his deliberate uses of color and artistic framing.

The movie follows 10-year old Jojo, a new initiate of Hitlerjugend, the Nazi version of Boy Scouts. The blurry lines of war are introduced early in the film when it becomes clear that Jojo’s enthusiasm for the group is not enough to protect him from bullying from older youth. The inconsistencies of the protagonist’s life deepen when he realizes that his own mother (played by an energetic Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. Jojo is torn between deep curiosity about her and the propaganda he has been hearing. We see his inner conflict personified by an imaginary friend—a cartoonish version of Adolf Hitler played expertly by Taika Waititi himself. It is important that this character is Jojo’s own creation more than the actual dictator (he eats a unicorn steak at one point). Read More


A BYZANTINE ANCESTOR TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE? by Mark Masterson

Editor’s Note: John Boswell’s seriously flawed scholarship on the liturgy of brother-making (addressed in Giacomo Sanfilippo’s A Bed Undefiled: A Partial Retraction) creates obstacles for subsequent treatments of the topic to receive an impartial reception from an Orthodox audience. Yet brother-making studies originated not with Boswell, but some hundred years earlier with Orthodox scholars in Russia. (See Pavel Florensky’s 1914 The Pillar and Ground of the Truth, trans. Boris Jakim, p. 571, n. 809 for a partial but extensive bibliography.) Florensky himself regarded brother-making as a sacrament and took for granted that it constituted the Orthodox Church’s rite for sanctifying modern same-sex relationships that resemble marriage in all respects but procreation. (See Sanfilippo’s Father Pavel Florensky and the Sacrament of Love in The Wheel, which introduces his doctoral research on the subject.) We offer Dr. Masterson’s brief essay for discussion and debate in our ongoing dialogue on the possible place of same-sex love in a life transfigured in Christ through the Holy Spirit in the sacramental economy of the Church.

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You might think same-sex marriage is something completely new. You would be mostly right, but history has other things to show us. History is not as familiar as we sometimes think it is.

Spiritual brotherhood in the Byzantine Empire of the Middle Ages is an ancestor to our same-sex marriage. In the Byzantine Empire men became spiritual brothers and some scholars believe that sexual intimacy did or could occur. There is some controversy about this. For some it is a bridge too far to speak of sex, for we cannot know for sure. My position is that it was a possibility at all times and the Byzantines were aware of this.

Brothers for life

First, how did men become spiritual brothers? In church two men would be blessed by a priest who would say a prayer over them. Many of these prayers survive and more are being located all the time. Spiritual brotherhood was popular. Read More


ORTHODOXY IN DIALOGUE’S 3rd ANNUAL FEED THE HOMELESS ON CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN

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“When I was hungry, you gave me to eat.”

Welcome to Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s 3rd Annual Feed the Homeless on Christmas Campaign

On Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning, two or three of us will walk the streets of downtown Toronto delivering cash into the hands of those who sleep outdoors in our frigid Canadian nights.
Last year we collected enough to give $100 each to 40 individuals. Our goal this year is to do the same for 50 individuals.
When we consider our Christmas budget—gifts, new clothes, parties, family dinners, decorations, trips, etc.—how much can we offer to our Newborn Saviour Himself, who comes to us disguised as the least of His brothers and sisters?
Please give as generously as your means permit. Encourage your friends, family members, coworkers, and fellow Christians to join in.
Don’t forget to pray for the success of this initiative and for its hungry, homeless beneficiaries.
As we journey mystically to Bethlehem, may our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, who comes to be born anew in the manger of our hearts, bless you with a holy, prayerful, and spiritual Nativity Fast. 

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR OFFERING

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