Tag: Bishops

Preparing the Orthodox for the Date of Pascha
Church Life and Pastoral Care

Preparing the Orthodox for the Date of Pascha

Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox commentators continue to note the interest expressed by Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in finding a common date for the celebration of Easter/Pascha by 2025. The 1700th anniversary of the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 appears at first an auspicious opportunity to settle the vexed problem…

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Crisis in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Ecclesiology

Crisis in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Sobornost or Authoritarianism?

In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC), elections are taking place: in the coming months the metropolitan of one of the largest seaside dioceses, Sliven, and then the Bulgarian patriarch, will be elected. Of course, the election of a diocesan bishop cannot be called a unique event in the life of the BOC, but this time…

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Who Guards the Guardians?
Ecclesiology, Theology

Who Guards the Guardians? Who Speaks for the Church?

In recent days several articles have appeared on this site raising profound, difficult, and unsettling questions. Sr. Vassa bravely asked whether “heresy” is a charge that can be applied to the “Edict” of the XXV “All-World Council of the Russian People,” approved under the chairmanship of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on March 27, 2024, concluding,…

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Casting the First Stone of Heresy
Ecclesiology, Inter-Orthodox Relations

Casting the First Stone of Heresy Let's Leave God Out of This!

In previous years, weeks, and days, I have seen—and, in one instance, supported—a variegated condemnation of the Moscow Patriarch—his preaching and practice alike—as heretical. The “Russian World” ideology has been denounced as unorthodox and heretical. The “Edict” of the World Russian People’s Council has been characterized as distorted doctrine. And the commemoration of Patriarch Kirill…

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The Moscow Patriarchate and the “Struggle for War”
Religion and Conflict

The Moscow Patriarchate and the “Struggle for War”

On March 27, 2024, an extraordinary session of the World Russian People’s Council (WRPC) was held in Moscow. Patriarch Kirill personally presided over the congress. The main event of the Congress was the approval of the Edict (in Russian: Nakaz) of the XXV World Russian People’s Council, “The Present and Future of the Russian World.”…

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Engaging the Wisdom of the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwaḥǝdo Church
Church History, Inter-Orthodox Relations

Engaging the Wisdom of the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwaḥǝdo Church

For the last three years, many have seen headlines about the tragic conflicts that have befallen the nation of Ethiopia. Probably fewer have taken the time critically to read about these conflicts (which have been covered well here and here on Public Orthodoxy). Unfortunately, it seems to us that only a very small number of…

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The Orthodox Response to COVID
Liturgical Life, Religion and Science

The Orthodox Response to COVID Failures in Both Theology and Leadership?

Archdeacon John Chryssavgis has recently commented on the way in which, during the COVID pandemic, many of the leaders of the Orthodox Church have “been almost paralysed by division among themselves and by their isolation from the outside world.” He relates this paralysis to a number of important issues, but does not comment in detail…

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Bishops’ Conference – The Major Outcome: Resentment against the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Inter-Orthodox Relations

Bishops’ Conference – The Major Outcome: Resentment against the Ecumenical Patriarchate

What problems are of concern to Patriarch Kirill and the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church? This question, in particular, is answered by the documents of the Bishops’ Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church, one of the highest authorities of Church governance. However, the difficulty is that Patriarch Kirill has been unable to convene another…

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The Conspiratorial Cleric
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Orthodoxy and Modernity

The Conspiratorial Cleric

Read part one of this two-part essay In 2020, Orthodox Church in America (OCA) Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin) of Dallas and the South warned his flock in a diocesan letter about the teachings of Fr. Peter Heers, which His Grace noted were “sanctioned by no canonical jurisdiction.” While the focus on Heers’s canonical status has demanded…

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Martyrdom without Miracles
Church History, Public Life

Martyrdom without Miracles The 9th-Century Church Controversy in Córdoba and Modern Orthodoxy

Between the years 850 and 859, something unexpected happened in Córdoba. Some forty-eight Christians were martyred. Contemporary church historians usually refer to them as “voluntary martyrs” because almost all of them, by their own will, presented themselves in front of the Muslim authorities and confessed themselves to be Christians, denouncing Islam and Mohammed as a…

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Heersay: Fr. Peter Heers and Online Orthodoxy  
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Heersay: Fr. Peter Heers and Online Orthodoxy  

On Bright Thursday 2023, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States issued a statement about an Orthodox cleric without a canonical home. During the bright joy of Paschaltide, the bishops decided to tackle an issue plaguing Orthodoxy in the United States for the past several years: namely, how to publicly denounce a…

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By Silence God is Betrayed…Again
Religion and Conflict

By Silence God is Betrayed…Again

On May 11th, 2023, Moscow priest John Koval was defrocked by the ecclesiastical court after being suspended by Patriarch Kirill in February of the same year. His offense was replacing the word “victory” with “peace” in the “Prayer for Holy Rus’” mandated by the Patriarchate of Moscow to be included in all litanies. The “offensive”…

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Wizards, Prophets, and the Archbishops and Bishops of the Christian Church
Environmental Ethics, Public Life, Religion and the Environment

Wizards, Prophets, and the Archbishops and Bishops of the Christian Church

In his 2018 book The Wizard and the Prophet, Charles C. Mann describes the work and approaches of two of the most important environmentalists of the 20th century: William Vogt and Norman Borlaug. Unfortunately, their “blueprints” are contradictory approaches to the problems of climate change. Mann categorizes those who follow Borlaug’s model of “techno-optimism” (that…

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Humble Abuse and Responsibility
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Public Life

Humble Abuse and Responsibility Some Reflections on the Situation Around the UOC

First, I would like to say two things. From 2009 to 2019, I was quite involved in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC)—from singing and helping a priest-monk at a local parish near Kyiv to assisting the bishop during international trips to translating for international ecumenical guests at Lavra, the metropolia, and the…

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Drama at the Lavra: What’s at Stake?
Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics

Drama at the Lavra: What’s at Stake?

The decision of the Ukrainian government to terminate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s (UOC) lease at the Kyiv Pechers’ka Lavra monastery complex has dominated Orthodox news in recent weeks. The events leading up to the decision have stirred up emotions, generated debate, and given birth to rumors on the state’s objectives. Dispassionate analysis is at the…

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Save Kyiv Theological Academy
Education and Academia, Religion and Politics

Save Kyiv Theological Academy

Students of Kyiv Theological Academy In 2022, the Russian Federation began full-scale military aggression against Ukraine. There are already many thousands of victims in this terrible war, not only military, but also civilians.   The Ukrainian Orthodox Church took the side of the Ukrainian people from the very beginning of the war. Already on February 24,…

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Appeal of the participants of the interchurch dialogue in St. Sophia of Kyiv to the bishops, clergy, and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
Documents, Inter-Orthodox Relations

Appeal of the participants of the interchurch dialogue in St. Sophia of Kyiv to the bishops, clergy, and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine

No official dialogue has thus far been established between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (under the Moscow Patriarchate’s jurisdiction until May 2022) and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (which received autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 2019), yet this is not an insurmountable obstacle to the informal dialogue on the grassroots level. Active priests and lay…

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Ethnicity Tears the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Apart
Public Life, Religion and Conflict

Ethnicity Tears the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Apart Prime Minister Ahmed forced to talk to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church

ελληνικά | Русский What initially seemed an internal conflict between the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church (EtOTC) and an Oromo breakaway synod of 28 bishops, has developed into an open clash between the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the EtOTC. The current struggle is actually a scramble over who…

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Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God?
Documents, Ethics, Religion and Conflict

Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God? An open letter to the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church

  Your Eminences! My letter is addressed to the Orthodox bishops in Russia. I have intentionally not collected signatures or involved any Church structures or public organizations, because I am addressing not the episcopal body, not the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchy, but each of you personally. My letter’s addressee is an Orthodox Christian who…

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Priestly Ministry in the Person of the Theotokos and the Church
Liturgical Life, Women in the Church

Priestly Ministry in the Person of the Theotokos and the Church

ελληνικά Facebook celebrity Hyperdox Herman has offered ten satirical reasons for banning men from the priesthood, including: “The physical features of the structure of the male body indicate that the man was created for hard work, and not for serving in the temple, which does not require great physical strength.” “Men are too prone to…

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Six Months Later: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church Still at the Crossroads
Inter-Orthodox Relations

Six Months Later: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church Still at the Crossroads

In late May 2022, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) held a local council to announce independence from the Moscow Patriarchate. But six months since, it is still being determined what that independence means. Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv commemorates heads of other churches in the way only primates of autocephalous churches do. Still, it doesn’t seem…

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Ukraine: A New Legal Framework for the UOC?
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Politics

Ukraine: A New Legal Framework for the UOC?

“We will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, on December 1, 2022, stated in reference to the need to ensure the spiritual independence of the country. He signed the decree with measures to counter religious organizations and figures affiliated with the aggressor state: the Russian…

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The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the “Barbarian Lands” Theory
Ecclesiology, Inter-Orthodox Relations

The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the “Barbarian Lands” Theory

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски One of the keystone prerogatives claimed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate is its jurisdiction over the so-called “diaspora”—regions not included within the geographic boundaries of the other Autocephalous Churches. She insists that this exclusive extraterritorial jurisdiction is rooted in Canon 28 of Chalcedon which states:…

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Christian Stewardship and Wealth
Ethics

Christian Stewardship and Wealth

When discerning how to approach wealth and commerce, American Orthodox Christians have their work cut out for them. Should we embrace the “Protestant work ethic” of righteous enterprise? Or does the Apostolic witness shun “filthy lucre,” instead favoring a communitarian path? We need more than simplistic answers. The “one thing needful” is Christ Himself, Who…

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Four Months Later:  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s New Modus Vivendi
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Four Months Later:  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s New Modus Vivendi

Four months ago, a UOC (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) Council in the Feofaniya monastery in Kyiv introduced fundamental changes into the Church’s statutes. That Council has already become a historic event—with possible implications for world Orthodoxy. But properly understanding the logic of its decisions means understanding what happened in the UOC after the Russian army’s full-scale…

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Falling into the Future: The Respite of Eschatological Awareness
Theology

Falling into the Future: The Respite of Eschatological Awareness

In his 1985 Being as Communion, Metropolitan John Zizioulas described two distinct, yet complementary notions of the Church’s Apostolic identity. The first pertains to the unbroken historical succession of bishops from the time of Christ—in other words the preservation of the Church’s identity through the faithful handing over of what was received in the past,…

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University