Tag: Clergy

The Orthodox Church of Finland and the War in Ukraine
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Conflict

The Orthodox Church of Finland and the War in Ukraine

Orthodox Christians in Russia are sometimes surprised to learn that Patriarch Kirill is only representing the Russian Orthodox Church and that his views can in no way be taken as the views of the entire Orthodox Church. Orthodox in the West sometimes complain that their church leadership has remained silent about the war in Ukraine….

Continue reading
Are Nuclear Weapons Moral?
Ethics, Religion and Conflict

Are Nuclear Weapons Moral? In Search of Orthodox Christian Thought on Deterrence and Disarmament

I happened to be in Sweden when the country joined NATO two months ago. On March 6, an American nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bomber overflew the capital region in a show of solidarity with the newest alliance member. On the ground below, in the Stockholm suburbs, I was beginning my field work with Orthodox Christians to…

Continue reading
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…

Continue reading
The TikTok “Bishop”
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

The TikTok “Bishop” The Stabbing of Mar Mari Emmanuel in Sydney, Australia

On April 16, “Bishop” Mar Mari Emmanuel survived a stabbing in his church by a 15-year-old in a “terrorist attack,” according to New South Wales Police. Mar Mari is a charismatic Christian apologist and social media influencer who is anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown and who has attacked Islam, LGBTQ people, and governments and churches that protect…

Continue reading
Letter to Russia: The Importance of Finding Those Who Are United in Spirit
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Religion and Conflict

Letter to Russia: The Importance of Finding Those Who Are United in Spirit

Editor’s Note: The Orthodox Church in Russia is divided, but this division is not canonical nor administrative. Moreover, it is not always visible from the outside. While the official Church has become an integral part of Putin’s political regime, on a deeper level, there is resistance on behalf of small Orthodox communities and individuals who…

Continue reading
What about “The Songs of Zion” (Ps. 137:3)?
Religion and Conflict

What about “The Songs of Zion” (Ps. 137:3)? The Orthodox Church and the Conflict in Gaza

Until 2023, before I left the Russian Orthodox Church, I was a priest of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. Thus, I have spent four years in Israel, and on the one hand, and I’m familiar with the context, but on the other I cannot be impartial, still feeling anxious about my friends there. Assessing…

Continue reading
Eastern Orthodoxy and Church Reform
Ecclesiology, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Eastern Orthodoxy and Church Reform

“Church reform” has always been a taboo in the Orthodox Church; it has a negative connotation in some traditionalistic circles. Actually, there are many elements that strengthen stagnation and promote anti-reform tendencies, such as the claim of unity, stability, identity, psychological and spiritual factors, catholicity and universality, synodality, solidarity and collegiality, sameness, traditionalism, and others….

Continue reading
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…

Continue reading
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…

Continue reading
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…

Continue reading
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”…

Continue reading
The Spirit of Christian Freedom
Public Life

The Spirit of Christian Freedom Remembering Archbishop Artemy

The spirit of Christian freedom is a gift that in post-Soviet Orthodoxy has not, alas, been embraced or appreciated by many. Soviet-educated people, deprived of their experience of inner freedom, mostly failed to discover Orthodoxy as a liberating experience. Rather the opposite, immersion in church life became a convenient substitute for Soviet ideology. The path…

Continue reading
An Act of Lighthearted Betrayal
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Religion and Conflict

An Act of Lighthearted Betrayal How Moscow's Official Church Hunts Down Her Anti-War Priests

There were relatively few people in Moscow who knew Fr. John Koval before February 2023. Native to Luhansk, Ukraine, he moved to Moscow and graduated from the famous Central Music School of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. He received theological training at St. Thikhon Orthodox University of Humanities before being ordained some twenty years ago…

Continue reading
Violence and Non-Violence: From Constantine to Ukraine
Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics

Violence and Non-Violence: From Constantine to Ukraine

It can be difficult to fathom the mindset of the followers of Jesus in the early to mid fourth century, as they gradually abandoned their commitment to the Way of total love towards all, even enemies. Before being called Christians, the disciples of Jesus were known as the people of the Way. What Way? The Way that…

Continue reading
Of Camels and Gnats
Religion and Politics

Of Camels and Gnats

As I write this, the drama surrounding the expulsion of the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry from the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is being played out, a drama simultaneously sad, understandable, and scandalous. I first visited the Lavra in November of 1988. A portion of the monastery had just been re-opened, and it…

Continue reading
Let’s Make History: Ordain Deaconesses in the Orthodox Church Today
Women in the Church

Let’s Make History: Ordain Deaconesses in the Orthodox Church Today

March is Women’s History Month, when we particularly witness women’s vital roles in our past, including in the Orthodox Church. These stories deserve our attention and appreciation, but let’s not just look to the past, let’s also look to the future. Let’s make history.  Let’s make history by ordaining women as deaconesses in the Orthodox…

Continue reading
The Church Meets in Volos
Education and Academia

The Church Meets in Volos A Non-Academic’s Impressions of the Second IOTA Mega-Conference

I arrived in Volos a day early so my family could get settled into our Airbnb and immediately felt a certain hesitation about the days ahead. As a priest of the Orthodox Church in America pastoring and preaching in a parochial, domesticated way for 30+ years, I am used to depending on easily accessible basic…

Continue reading
On the Way to a Unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine
Inter-Orthodox Relations

On the Way to a Unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine Challenges and Perspectives

On February 16, the second face-to-face meeting of initiative groups of clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was held in Sophia National Sanctuary Complex in Kyiv. Its final appeal we published on Public Orthodox earlier. Now we follow up with the impressions and comments of…

Continue reading
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…

Continue reading
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…

Continue reading
Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the Largest?
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the Largest?

From the moment the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was granted autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarch early in 2019, it has competed with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) not only over canonicity but also about the number of parishes and the number of faithful. Each claims to be the only canonical church in the country,…

Continue reading
Checkmate: Serbian Orthodox Diplomacy in the Shades of the Ukrainian War
Inter-Orthodox Relations

Checkmate: Serbian Orthodox Diplomacy in the Shades of the Ukrainian War

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски This spring, the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) sealed significant and important deals, which has solidified and strengthened the SOC’s position. The first “deal” in May turned the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), formally the Ohrid Archbishopric, into a canonical church, which ended around 50 years…

Continue reading
True Man: Kallistos of Oxford as Orthodoxy’s First Universal Teacher of the Global Age
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and the Academy, Theology

True Man: Kallistos of Oxford as Orthodoxy’s First Universal Teacher of the Global Age

български | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски “Meeting him I sensed immediately a quality of authenticity,of integrity, of completeness; here I felt was a true man.He was marked by a serenity, by a transparent and luminous joy”(Kallistos Ware, “Mount Athos Today” [1976]) A Moment of Pan-Orthodox Unity In a time when the Orthodox…

Continue reading
Bishops and Pentecost
Ecclesiology, Theology

Bishops and Pentecost

Bishops are regularly in the news for exercising their authority and then either coming under fire or being praised for doing so. Over the last couple months we’ve seen volcanic reactions for and against Archbishop Elpidophoros presiding at the baptism of a gay couple’s children in Greece. When the bishops of the Orthodox Church in…

Continue reading
Freedom from Fear
Documents, Gender and Sexuality, Religion and the Academy

Freedom from Fear Response to the Statement of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) In our inaugural editorial in 2015, we stated: “The Wheel is a journal for the intelligent and constructive articulation of the Christian Gospel…

Continue reading
Fullness of Faith or Fullness of Fear?
Gender and Sexuality, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Theology

Fullness of Faith or Fullness of Fear? On Prohibiting Open Theological Discussion

At the conclusion of the “Bridging Voices” conference in Oxford in 2019, I thanked the distinguished group of participants for restoring my confidence in the church as a discursive society bound by love of and in Christ. Our meeting was demanding, at times very tense, and inconclusive, but commitment to working through some of the…

Continue reading
The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: War and “Another Autocephaly”
Inter-Orthodox Relations

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: War and “Another Autocephaly”

War changes many things, primarily people’s minds, but also the usual flow of time. What takes years or even decades in peacetime takes a few months, or sometimes even days, during war.  On May 27, the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), the highest governing body of the church, after much debate, expressed its…

Continue reading
1 2 3 4
Disclaimer

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