Tag Archives: Gayle Woloschak

Science, Truth, and the Current Political Climate

by Gayle E. Woloschak, Tatjana Paunesku, and Katarina Trajkovic

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Orthodox involvement in world affairs is increasingly becoming necessary; a faith that cares about “true worship” must be ready to defend not only spiritual Truth but the truths that underlie it as well. Orthodox Christians, and indeed most religious traditions, value truth and truthfulness. For Orthodox, there should be no division between the truths we discover in nature and the larger Truth that is revealed in a life of spiritual struggle. Maximus had identified three different laws that are all linked—the law of nature, the law of scripture, and the law of grace. He wrote (Questiones ad Thalasium 19) “In Christ…the natural law, the law of Scripture and the law of grace all come together as one.”  Later in the same text, Maximus writes “For the Logos of God is the Creator of all nature, every law, every bond, all order.” They are all linked together, the scientific truths of nature with the larger Truth, and there is no room for deception and falseness in science nor for “alternate facts” in public relations between citizens and their government. Continue Reading…

The Paradox of Unanimity: The Holy and Great Council

by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, with Gayle Woloschak

We are on the eve of the Holy and Great Council, a topic that has weighed heavily in discussions on this blog in recent months.  One major issue that has continually come up for discussion is the fact that the decisions of the Council are to be made by unanimous consent. In effect each Primate (First Hierarch) has the opportunity to veto a decision.  The agreement (at the persistent urging and perpetual reminder of the Moscow Patriarchate, who will not be attending the Council) was that the Council should carry out its decisions by consensus, which in this case is interpreted as unanimity. This is unusual because the canons of the Church do not specify that decisions should be made by unanimity nor has this been the past practice of the Church at Councils.  In fact, most local Councils of the Orthodox Church (including councils of the Moscow Patriarchate) are ruled by a simple majority or in some cases two-thirds majority vote. Continue Reading…

Fasting Reaffirmed

by Philip Mamalakis, Very Rev. Dr. Nathanael Symeonides, and Gayle E. Woloschak

The draft of the Holy and Great Council’s document, The Importance of Fasting and its Observance Today, affirms the importance of fasting for the spiritual development of the person.  The documents provides a Scriptural and Patristic foundation for the spiritual benefits of fasting, noting that there are times when pastoral discernment is needed particularly with regard to physical infirmity, extreme necessity and difficult times.  Despite these affirming statements, the document provides little concrete information beyond what the Church has prescribed for centuries; it is a short commentary on fasting and not an in-depth discussion about the value and method of fasting in the modern world, a message that is desperately needed for the world and the Church today.  Continue Reading…

The Mission of the Church in an Age of Modern Science and Pluralism

by Very Rev. Dr. Nathanael Symeonides and Gayle E. Woloschak

The document, “Mission of the Church in the World,” was released in preparation for the upcoming Holy and Great Council to be held in June (during the Feast of Pentecost) on Crete. This document relates to areas of great significance for problems in the world today—technology, war, discrimination and human dignity, globalization, the influence of the media, and others.  Each of these topics is far-reaching with little readily available literature directly related to these issues in the Church Tradition and in Patristic texts; as such, this document could provide much needed guidance. In its present form, however, it does not adequately do so. Continue Reading…