Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 10th June, 4pm
SSJC Committee Open Meeting: Monday 19th June, Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 Liturgy, Talk at 7-15, followed by meeting.
To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.
To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.
The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Saturday, 25 August 2012
"Radical Islam revives an ancient hatred - Damian Thompson in Saturday's Daily Telegraph
Is a new and shocking wave of anti-Semitism engulfing the Middle East and the developing world? Consider the following: More than half the Jews in Iraq have been driven out of the country; those that remain are forced to pay a fine or leave their homes. Some are forced to marry Muslims.
In Syria, towns and villages where Jews have lived for centuries are now almost entirely Muslim; these communities have fled to safer parts of the country, where they hope to escape an anti-Semitic massacre.
In Egypt, the new regime is surreptitiously encouraging attacks on synagogues; the Jews, despised for their supposed wealth, fear that the “Arab spring” is about to release centuries of pent-up anti-Semitic hatred.
In Nigeria, Jews have been attacked and killed while studying scripture. In Bangladesh, Jewish children are being forced into madrassas. In Pakistan, the body of an 11-year-old Jewish boy was discovered this week; he’d been tortured to death and his lips sliced off.
You won’t have heard about this atrocious persecution. That’s because – forgive me – I’ve played one of the oldest tricks in the journalist’s book. For Jews, read Christians. For anti-Semitic, read anti-Christian. For synagogues read churches.
I hope Jewish readers won’t take offence: I’m not denying that actual anti-Semitism is spreading like a virus throughout Arab societies. It’s just that, if these attacks against Christians were being directed against Jews, the precedent of the Holocaust would shock the world into action.
This new persecution is the result of the simultaneous revival of militant Islam in many countries. We can say that with confidence. What we can’t say, however, is that there is a co-ordinated Islamic plot to exterminate Christianity as a stepping stone to a universal caliphate.
Conspiracy theorists may derive emotional satisfaction from this idea, but it doesn’t correspond to the messy politics of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Also, it lets the “Christian” West off the hook.
We have to confront the awkward fact that, for decades, some of the world’s most despicable dictators have protected indigenous Christians from Islamic mobs. When the West withdraws its support from these rulers, Christian minorities are exposed as never before.
The removal of Saddam has eviscerated Iraqi Christian churches so ancient that they still worship in Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The fall of Mubarak means that it’s open season on Copts. Those who can afford to do so may follow the example of Palestinian and Lebanese Christians and emigrate. A key statistic: 100 years ago, the Levant was 20 per cent Christian; now the figure is 5 per cent.
The British government, despite prodding by the heroic Lord Alton, is doing a good imitation of not giving a stuff about any of this. Maybe it’s guilt: Anglo-American policies helped liberate Islamism.
As for Western Christianity, some evangelical and Catholic campaigners are drawing attention to the persecution – but they’re undermined by colleagues. For many evangelicals, Iraqi or Syrian worshippers are not “real” Christians because they venerate icons. Lefty Catholics are too obsessed with climate change and benefit cuts to spare a thought for their martyred co-religionists.
Keep an eye on Syria after Assad goes. First they’ll come for the Alawites, then the Christians. There’s a real chance that all traces of Christianity will disappear from the very place where St Paul was knocked off his horse and blinded by a vision of the risen Christ. What a horrible piece of symmetry
Saturday, 4 August 2012
We warmly congratulate him on his new appointment as Professor of Early Christian History and Iconography at King's College, London.
Fr Brent will deliver the Society's 2012 Christopher Morris Lecture, on Wednesday 14th November, at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Duke Street, London W1 at 7 pm:
Culture and Mission in Eastern and Western Catholicism – Can Bishops Represent Cultures rather than Territories?
Please email us if you would like to receive an invitation.
We have just received this email from His Grace Samir Nassar, Archbishop of Damascus of the Maronites, circulated by Bishop Nicholas Samra of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton in the USA.
Provided that the Resurrection will not be late after so much suffering ....
Damascus July 20, 2012.
Maronite archbishop of Damascus
Thursday, 2 August 2012
To our brother bishops, members of our Holy Synod in the Middle East and throughout the whole world! To our sons and daughters: priests, monks, nuns, and Greek Catholic faithful! May “the Peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 4: 7)
Dear brothers and sisters!
Once again Christians and Muslims are fasting and praying at the same time. That is one of the most beautiful marks and signs of their living together in solidarity.
So Muslims have begun the fast of the honourable month of Ramadan (that lasts this year from 20 July to 18 August.)
In a few days, Christians will begin the fast or abstinence of the Dormition of the Mother of God, from 1 until 15 August. This fast is a summer fast. There is first the autumn fast that precedes the Nativity (40 days). Then follows Great Lent or the winter fast (40 to 50 days), before the Feast of the Resurrection or Great Feast, and the spring or Apostles’ fast (20 to 25 days), in June.
The fast or abstinence of Our Lady is very popular and loved by Christian families. During these 15 days we celebrate the consolation or invocation service called Paraklesis in Greek. It is a very popular service that fills our hearts with hope, consolation and joy. It is celebrated for various intentions, especially for the sick, injured, travellers, mourners, orphans, refugees, exiled, departed…
We call upon our faithful, especially in our patriarchal eparchy in Damascus, to participate in these services, with fasting, prayer and repentance.
So the sounds of services in churches and mosques will be simultaneously united, as will be the prayers, fasting and devotions of Muslims and Christians both in places of worship and homes! What beautiful harmony of faith!
Together we shall be praying especially for the safety of all Syrians and for the cessation of the violence that sows fear in quiet districts and has caused the displacement and flight of thousands who have left their homes and properties! We pray too during this period for the return of charity, friendship, fellowship and compassion among all citizens. Syrians are still capable of loving and forgiving each other, being reconciled and showing tolerance to one another. Together they can rebuild a renewed, free, secure, conciliatory Syria, in which citizens regardless of group, party, religion or affiliation can enjoy freedom, dignity, employment and education … United together, they can rebuild what has been destroyed and work for development and prosperity, for a better future for all citizens.
Together we pray: “O Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance. Grant peace to thy world! Grant peace to Syria! By thy Cross, preserve thy people!”
We ask everyone to add special litanies for peace and reconciliation to services.
To everyone, a holy fast! With my affection! United in prayer!
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem
Damascus, 27 July 2012
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
The meeting, which had been scheduled some time ago, was arranged in order to give impetus to interreligious dialogue and push for the re opening of the Orthodox Halki seminary, which the military closed in 1971. For centuries, this seminary was the training place for the upper echelons of the Orthodox Church. The Grand Mufti addressed this issue in today’s meeting with Bartholomew: "A country as big as this should not have to send its clergy abroad to be educated." In other words, if the Halki seminary is not reopened, Bartholomew I’s successors will inevitably come from abroad. The Patriarch said he "fully agreed" with Görmez, adding that Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conservative Islamic government "is dealing with the problem in a constructive manner."
In this morning’s issue of Turkish daily newspaper Radikal, Huseiyn Celik, former Education minister and Vice Secretary of Akp, stated: "It was a mistake to close Halki; not to reopen it would be another mistake. There is no criticism preventing it from being opened; it is a right." The first discussion between the two religious leaders, which was then followed by a second closed-door meeting, was broadcast live on television.
The two clerics exchanged gifts. A beautiful silver item engraved with the name of Allah engraved on it, for Mehmet Görmez and a papyrus with verses from the Koran, the Gospel and the Torah, on God’s existence, for Bartholomew. "Let us not make this meeting an isolated case," Görmez said. "Let us meet more often."