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 9th June - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

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 johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

THE FATE OF HAGIA SOPHIA - Fr John Salter writes

Fr John, Chairman of the Society, writes in Chrysostom for Apostles-Dormition, 2013:

Following the First World War there was an attempt to regain the Church of the Holy Wisdom for Christian worship, as related in the last edition of Chrysostom. This failed, but the new ruler of Turkey following the collapse of the Ottoman Sultanate, Kemal Ataturk attempted to turn Turkey into a secular state and part of his reforms was to transform Hagia Sophia into a neutral secular museum in 1934, together with the abolition of the veiling of women and the fez for men; and the forbidding of religious dress for Christians apart from the Œcumenical patriarch and the Patriarch of the Armenians of Constantinople. Visitors to Istanbul will have noticed the return of the veil and the fez. Now there are many Turks who wish to see Hagia Sophia returned again for Moslem worship. In centres outside Istanbul there have been transformations of historic churches into mosques, such as the 13th century Byzantine church building, also named Hagia Sophia, in Trebizond (Turkish Trabazon). During Turkey’s secular period the church’s frescoes were restored. Yet local authorities have recently decreed that the Christian frescoes should again be covered and the church/museum turned into a worshipping mosque. The 5th century Studios monastery of St John Prodromou (The Foreunner) is set to become an active mosque. Also at risk is the oldest continuously functioning monastery in the world the 5th century Mar Gabriel, now inhabited by a handful of Christians dedicated to learning the ancient Aramaic and Syrian Orthodox tradition. Neighbouring Moslems have filed a law suit accusing the monks of anti-Turkish activities. The highest appeal court in Ankara ruled in favour of the Moslem villagers. It was said that the monastic lands had been part of the Christian community for 1,600 years and is not the monastery’s property as it had been built on the site of a mosque, overlooking the fact that the monastery had been built 170 years before the birth of the Prophet Mohammed!

560 years ago this year, Constantinople fell to the Turks and the Christians lost the greatest cathedral in Christendom, which had been a symbol of defiance against jihad. Today jihad is again on the agenda, whilst in the West, Europeans are busy erasing their Christian heritage.
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