Every second Saturday of the month, Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ.
4pm Divine Liturgy. Next: 13th November 2021

Very sadly, the Divine Liturgy in English at 9-30 am on Sundays at the Holy Family Cathedral, Lower Church, have had to be put on hold. Until the practicalities we cannot use the Lower Church space. Hopefully this will be resolved very soon. Please keep checking in here for details.

Owing to public health guidance, masks should still be worn indoors and distance maintained. Sanitisers are available. Holy Communion is distributed in both kinds from the mixed and common chalice, by means of a separate Communion spoon for each individual communicant.

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 28 April 2012

Have the Flames of Diamper destroyed the Cultural and Historical Patrimony of the St Thomas Christians?

The Warburg Institute Istvan Perczel, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest Wednesday 25th April, 5pm - All welcome - Admission Free University of London - School of Advanced Study 

Woburn Square - London WC1H 0AB
http: //warburg.sas.ac.uk/

Thursday 26 April 2012

Christianity in Syrian and the Middle East - Mar Gregorius: Seminar at Heythrop

Centre for Eastern Christianity, Heythrop College
27 April 2012

Mar Gregorius, Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Syria is in London, for which we have had less then 24 hours notice myself. He has kindly agreed to give some reflections on Christianity in the Middle East in particular Syria to a small seminar to be held at Heythrop College, tomorrow, Friday 27 April at 2.00 in the Hopkins Room.

Mar Gregorius is a senior member of the Syrian Orthodox Church. He is long term member of the International Dialogue Commission between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. He did his doctorate at the Jesuit run Pontificial Oriental College in Rome.

 For your interest, we append below Mar Gregorius' comment on a recent bombing event in the Christian quarter in Aleppo.


Cry from Aleppo - Syria at a perilous crossroads

Beloved Friends and Peacemakers,

In our ecclesiastical calendar, Sunday 18th March 2012 is the fourth Sunday of Lent coincided this year with the advent of the spring equinox.

The solemn season of Lent is a time of penance, manifestation and fasting, which embraces us to the Passion and the joyful Resurrection of Christ. St. Ephrem the Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in the ancient centre of Aleppo was packed with worshippers.

My sermon was on the faith of the Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:21-28).
Concerned and challenged as all church leaders are with the unfolding situations, I said to the faithful that it is apparent that, in Syria, we are facing a new tribulations that will teach us lessons in how to pray fervently.

The Canaanite woman was in desperate need of an effective cure to heal her daughter. She heard of a heavenly doctor passing by the region of Tyre and Sidon and rushed towards him and knelt in conviction that healing was at hand.

However, the Canaanite woman was not among the daughters of Ibrahim, Isaac or Jacob, she was a gentile.

Jesus who came for the lost sheep of Israel told her it was not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.

She cried “Lord but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table. Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Her faith and prayers were great and expressed effectively with few words, that moved Jesus to reply, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed immediately.

I said to the faithful: it is right time that we all turn and seek God in these perilous days, exactly as the desperate Canaanite asked fervently, “God have mercy on us”.

As we endure these dark and difficult days in Syria, the Levantine oasis, that we have long indulged in with exemplary tolerance, peace, and security.

We reflect on all our friends to pray for us and ask our Lord to have mercy on Syria and all its inhabitants. We trust that our Lord will listen to our prayers.
It was around 1pm, in a tranquil atmosphere after that Sunday mass when the dismissed Alleppian worshippers filed leisurely back home in the mainly Christian quarter of their beloved City.

At about 1pm a violent explosion, 300 meters away shattered the peaceful milieu of the Archbishopric in Aleppo, shook the city of Aleppo turning the equanimity of the city into chaos, mayhem, and carnage and the hope into despair and desolation.

Thanks be to God, I had a lucky escape, and can only count my blessings. I was in my car about 100 metres from the deafening blast. I had a black out and felt the car lifted from the ground and twist out of control. Defenseless people were frantically rushing in all directions.

All what I could hear was hysterical cries for help and terrified voices repeatedly saying: “God have mercy on us, God save us.”

As if the people in the vicinity, regardless of their background were copying the Canaanite woman crying and appealing to the son of David for help and screaming: “Son of David, have mercy on us.”
It was frightfully horrific and indescribable, may God spare you such witness.

 The result was an indescribable carnage; three innocent people were immediately martyred and 30 others were hospitalized, some with serious injuries, mostly inhabitants of the Christian quarter and traumatized city.

This incident is the second of its kind in the Christian quarter of Aleppo. We are still in denial that Christians were not the intended target of those lethal blasts, it raised a spectre that neither inspires optimism nor challenges the view that terrorism which plagues Syria is geared, in part, toward the nonpartisan, defenseless and easily victimized Christian communities. The successive blasts in Damascus and Aleppo were both targeted at the Christian quarters of the cities.
We are also reminded that during the siege of the City of Homs, once a Christian stronghold and Patriarchal headquarters now is devastated, in ruins and almost deserted of its Christian inhabitants. We sustained in excess of 120 martyrs and hundreds of seriously injured people, some with permanent disabilities.

However, it is imprudent to pre-empt any conclusion.
Like the peaceful majority of Syrians, we are waiting for the results of investigations to show the true motives behind those blasts.
We, together with the peaceful majority of Syrians, abhor and reject the prevalence of sectarian language and discourse in Syria today. Compartmentalizing the fraternal co-existing communities of Syria into camps of Christian, Muslim or Sunni, Alawi, Druze and Ismailis with sectarian sentiments and religious foment that can cause serious and incalculable consequences.

Christians today in their Middle Eastern milieu are faced with two bitter and astringent dilemmas:
Firstly: Emigration that decimated well established communities, will swipe who left in their homeland. We are aware of the Iraqi case and how the annihilated community feels that their presence may no longer be tenable and it may only a matter of time.

 Secondly: The tide of radical Islamism through which the voices of fundamentalists and extremists are heard, especially in Saudi Arabia. Salafists and Wahabbis pose a potential threat to the very co-existence of Christians in the Orient.

Their prevalence will hinder the witness of Churches and the evolves of culture of tolerance, peaceful and synergic co-existence, religious freedom, citizenship, pluralism, democracy and all the overdue reforms in our contemporary society.
Finally, I am writing to you to share with you our grave concerns at this unsettling juncture. We together with all peace loving citizens of Syrian, Muslims and Christians hope and pray that these dark clouds of the Arab spring will pass and spare us of all its untold consequences.
We hope that you will hold us in your prayers, and our Lord will answer our collective supplications exactly as he responded to the Canaanite woman. Please join us in asking that God will have mercy on us, God have mercy on Syria, God have mercy on all his people in the Middle East.
I wish you a Happy Lent and may God bless you and your loved ones.

Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim

Metropolitan of Aleppo

Canadian Parliament honours the memory of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky

In the presence (left to right at the ovation) of Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyivan Patriarchate), Major-Archbishop of Kyiv and all Ukraine, Patriarch Sviatoslav of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Chief Rabbi Jacob Dov Bleich of Kyiv and Ukraine, Metropolitan Mefodiy of Kiev and all Ukraine (Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church), the Mufti of Ukraine, Sheikh Ahmed Tamim (Chairman of the Islamyat, Spiritual Board of Muslims of Ukraine) and Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv of the Latin Catholics. There was no representative of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Moscow Patriarchate), as it does not recognise the right to autonomy of other Orthodox communities in Ukraine and relations with them is strained owing to disputes over the ownership of churches, and objections to their seizure and assignment by local groups and the authorities alike. Nor was there a representation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (Patriarchate of Constantinople), which does not recognise the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine not of the Moscow Patriarchate as canonical. In hope and loving solidarity with all Christians we pray for the resolution of all disagreements, the reconciliation of the Churches and the unity of all the followers of Jesus Christ, "that the world may believe".

The event marked the presence in Canada of twenty religious leaders from Ukraine, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Evangelical, Muslim, Adventist for the Symposium, Honouring Andrey Sheptytsky: Ethical Action in Extreme Conditions at St Paul University's Sheptytsky Institute for Eastern Christian Studies.

Sunday 22 April 2012

After Shenouda: Coptic Christianity in modern Egypt - present situation and future challenges

Centre for Eastern Christianity, Heythrop College

Campion Room, 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Anthony O'Mahony, Director, Centre for Eastern Christianity

Saturday 21 April 2012

East-West Monastic Day IX at Minster Abbey

2 June, 2012 

An East-West Dialogue Day at Minster Abbey

  • Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Southwark
  • Bishop Demetrios Charbak of Safita, Syria
  • Presentation on Egyptian Monasticism by Fr. Angelos El Antony of St. Antony’s Monastery, Egypt
Minster, Nr. Ramsgate, Kent CT12 4HF
Cost by Donation On the Day
Arrivals: Coffee 10:15
Conclusion with Tea approx. 4:30 p.m

Sunday 8 April 2012

The Latin Clerk, The Life, Word and Travels of Adrian Fortescue - Book Review by Fr John Salter

The Life, Work, and Travels of Adrian Fortescue,
by Aidan Nicholls, O.P.
The Lutterworth Press, P.O.Box 60, Cambridge, CB1 2NT. £25.

The cover of this book tells the reader that Father Adrian Fortescue is now perceived as an icon of Catholic traditionalism, facing a crisis of conscience over his affiliation with Liberal Catholicism and objections towards the intellectual conservatism of the papacy. The Latin Clerk thus reveals an interesting discord in Edwardian culture between theological doctrine and secular developments in the historical and natural sciences, and also reflects frequent tensions existing with the Roman Catholic Church of today, making the inner conflicts of Fortescue pertinent to modern society. Not only will this book be of interest to historians and theologians of English cultural developments, but
will appeal to students of the Eastern Churches. Through a presentation of Fortescue's extensive work as an Orientalist and Liturgist, the reader may explore the riches of the ancient Eastern Churches, the Greek Fathers, and the history of the liturgy.

Adrian Fortescue was of an Anglican family of the landed gentry, with many connections with Anglican clerical families such as the Wilberforces, the Taits and the Spooners, one of whom was the inventor, so to speak, of “ Spoonerisms”. Adrian's father was the Scottish Episcopalian Provost of the Episcopal Cathedral in Perth. He, in turn, was the son of a priest. Adrian's father became a Catholic, but being married he could not proceed to the Catholic priesthood. He had married a wife from a clerical family, Gertrude Robins, the daughter of the Reverend Sanderson Robins, and the great granddaughter of the eighth Earl of Thanet. She was an extreme Anglo-Catholic and had been the Prioress of a Benedictine convent founded by the ultra-eccentric Father Ignatius of Llanthony. She later joined a Scottish Episcopal order of Reparation to the Blessed Sacrament, eventually to be based in Perth, where the Reverend Edward Fortescue was the priest warden. That is how Adrian's parents came to meet.

Due to his Episcopalian Scottish ancestry, Adrian adopted a rather aggressive Jacobitism of the Non-Juror variety, to be implemented when he went to Rome to train for the Catholic priesthood at the Scots College in October 1891. In his diary for 28th June 1892, we read that Adrian had said a De Profundis in St.Peter's for the last of the Stuarts – James III, Charles III and Henry IX - at the marble monument by Canova in the north aisle of the basilica. His diary has marked White Rose Day the 10th June, the birthday in 1688 of The Old Pretender. His entry for the death of the Queen-Empress Victoria in 1901, records in Latin the passing of "an elderly lady commonly taken to be the Queen of England". Nineteen years later he still held to his Jacobitism when he wrote to a Pacifist and Socialist friend, Stanley Morrison: "I am a radical. I want the restoration of our dread Sovereign, King Robert I and V [The Wittelsbach of Bavaria line] and I am with anyone who is against the descendants of George Elector of Hannover". For that matter, too, the House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, happily still reigning in de facto, if not in Adrian's eyes, de jure, before the Great War! The little widowed Hausfrau at Windsor may have been Germanic, but the Legitimist Queen Mary II was married to a German Bavarian and quietly turning herself into a Hausfrau. In any case, since the Catholic Relief Act, at the end of the main mass on Sundays Catholics sang “God save N our King/Queen, and hear us in this day when we call upon Thee” The “Anglican Heresy” added “Governor.”

The Scottish Jacobites were not the only Jacobites for which Adrian had a passion. There were the Syrian Jacobites, the spiritual descendants of the 15th century Monophysite, Jacobos Barradaios, which he had visited in the Middle East and which were, along with the Byzantine Orthodox and the East Syrians and the Maronites, the remnants of the Great Church of Antioch, torn asunder by so many schisms and rival jurisdictions:
The Orthodox and Melkite patriarchs live at Damascus, the Maronite at Bherki in the Lebanon, the Jacobite at Diarbekhr on the Tigris, the titular Latin patriarch (a hangover from the Crusading States; later n the twentieth century the honorific ceased to be bestowed) at Rome... From the tombs across the river you see the town (Antioch now Antikaya) with its minarets… You may try to call up the old glory of the “great and God-protected City” in which John Chrysostom preached. While the distant wail of the Muezzin tells you that there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah, you will think that here we got out name of Christian.

As an Orientalist Fortescue was ahead of his time as a Catholic insofar as he seems to have regarded the Eastern Churches, both Chalcedonian, Nestorian and Monophysite as “Churches”, unlike many of his contemporaries such as Bishop Michel d'Herbigny. It would have to wait for the pontificate of Pope Paul VI before the term “Sister Churches” was coined.

Despite his time in the Eternal City, Fortescue does not seem to have been infected by Romanita or Papadulia. In fact, his attitude to the Popes was very cavalier. This is Adrian on Pius X, since his
time raised to the altars of the Catholic Church:
Centralization grows and goes madder every century. Even at Trent they hardly foresaw this sort of thing. Does it really mean that to be a member of the Church of Christ without being as we are, absolutely at the mercy of an Italian Lunatic…Give us back the Xth century John and Stephen, or a Borgia! They are less disastrous than this deplorable person…
Our Apostolick Lord is going to die this year, which is the best thing he can do. A holy nun has had a revelation, saw all the heavenly host crying : “Come along Pius Puss, Puss Pius”. So he's got to go. When I am Pope I shall canonize the nun.
Adrian Fortescue after the Scots College continued his studies at the University of Innsbruck and was ordained by the Prince Bishop of Brixen on 27th March 1898, Passion Sunday. On his return to England he was placed in the German church at Whitechapel. Various rather dead-end parish appointments followed and he eventually went to the as yet not built church of St. Hugh, Letchworth. He built it to his own design and, to some extent, out of his own pocket, paying great attention to detail, so that he could boast: “It is the only church worth seeing west of Constantinople”. He dressed his servers in long “Anglican” style surplices, avoided the use of the biretta and wore only Gothic
vestments designed by himself. It might have been the makings of an Ordinariate parish!

At its consecration a Latin High Mass was sung followed by the Byzantine Liturgy in which Adrian sang the responses. He threw himself into his parish work, but he set himself a vigorous programme of study: Modern Greek, Arabic, Italian, Hungarian, Sanscrit, Icelandic, Old English… He continued to write on the Eastern Churches – The Orthodox Church; The Lesser Eastern Churches (his half-brother E.F.K.Fortescue had already published a book on the Armenian Church); The Uniate Churches (never finished – it only contains the Italo-Greeks and the Melkites. Fortescue was never squeamish about using the description “Uniate”); together with a work on The Greek Fathers and The Early Papacy; and his magnum opus The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite.

Fortescue was wasted, like Mgr Ronald Knox. It was as though the Catholic Church in England did not know what to do with him. The story is told of his going to a clergy gathering where the bishop asked the young clergy to write an essay on what they knew of Arianism. Fortescue kept the invigilator there for hours – he knew so much!

The Martyred Church: A History of the Church of the East - Book Review by Fr John Salter

A History of the Church of the East
by David Wilmshurst

Published by East & West Publishing - £39

There have been in recent years some excellent books on this once forgotten Church of the East. In the period following the Great War when the Assyrians, as they came to be called, fought for the British, several small books were published, including some from those who had worked in the Archbishop of Canterbury's Mission to the Assyrians. Among them were Our Smallest Ally;  snd the book by Lady Surma d'bait Mar Shimun, Assyrian Church Customs and the Murder of Mar Shimun. Surma was the sister of the martyred patriarch of her book and aunt to the last Prince-Catholikos, Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXI, who was murdered by one of his own flock in California in the 1970s. His death brought to an end the hereditary patriarchate – uncle to nephew succession. Earlier, G.P.Badger published The Nestorians and their Rituals (2 volumes, 1853), which was reprinted about twenty years ago. In 1992 Dr.J.F. Coakley published The Church of the East and The Church of
. This was followed by the by a splendid coffee-table-sized book by Dr.C.Baumer (London and New York 2006), The Church of The East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity. Now there has appeared a weighty book of 522 pages - The Martyred Church by David Wilmshurst. One notices that his transliteration of the names and places is much closer than other books on the Assyrian Church of the East have been. He reminds his readers that the concept of Christendom, as the Greek East and the Latin West understand it, ignored the Syrian tradition – the West Syrian (so-called "Monophysite") and the East Syrian (so-called "Nestorian"). The interest in the war in Iraq, and its disastrous consequences for the Christian minorities, has brought before the West the fact that there are Christian communities in what we once called Mesopotamia and the Cradle of Mankind, which pre-date Islam by 600 years and existed long before the Latin West had a foothold in those

Dr Wilmshurst give a very full account of the characters who flit across the history of this ancient and isolated Church. He reminds us of their leaders' devotion to missionary activity, so that there was even a Bishop in Peking in distant China and their activities in evangelism in India is still represented in that sub-continent. But from being a Church which had expanded vastly while the Latin West was in the Dark Ages, it became reduced to a tribal community in the Hakkari mountains near Mosul and ancient Nineveh, a near Stone Age civilization, surrounded, after the arrival of Islam, by hostile neighbours. Martyred patriarchs, clergy and laity were a common occurrence. These ancient Christians were re-discovered by the Anglicans and also by the Catholics, who established the "Uniate" Chaldean Church under the Patriarch of Babylon.

Colourful characters emerged even in that section of the Church in communion with the Holy See. Prominent among them was Patriarch Joseph Audo of Babylon, who had a tough confrontation with Pio Nono as the First Vatican Council was about to open. He, and the then Melkite Patriarch, had grave misgivings about Papal Infallibility. 

One of the great characters of the last century in the Assyrian Church was the Assyrian princess known to the British as the Lady Surma d'bait Mar Shimun ( i.e. of The House of Mar Shimun). She represented her family and the Church-Nation at the Versailles Peace Conference and settled in West Ealing in exile from Cyprus. She was the power behind the Patriarchal and, to some extent, Princely throne. I was disappointed in that I could only find one reference to her in this book.

There are some interesting photographs of some of the figures of the Assyrian Church, some of whom look decidedly bellicose and, one guesses, able to hold their own against their Kurdish neighbours!

This is a most excellent and fascinating account of a never to be forgotten Nation and a Church which still uses the language of Jesus. It serves to remind us of the Lord in the days of His flesh, which is perhaps what Nestorios was really getting at!

Book: Joint Statements between the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches

Towards the end of January in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, there was a book launch at the headquarters of the Council of Bishops for England and Wales at 39, Eccleston Square, Pimlico, London.

 The small book was the JOINT STATEMENTS BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC AND ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES. There is no price and it is obtainable from both

The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre,
Shephalbury Manor,
Broadhall Way,
Herts., SG2 8NP


The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales,
39, Eccleston Square,
London, SW1V 1BX

The Common Statements include those of Pope Paul VI and of the Pope of Alexandria Shenouda III; Addresses of Pope Paul VI and Mar Ignatius Jacob III of Antioch of the Syrians; the Common Declaration of Pope John-Paul II and His Holiness Mar Ignatius Zakka I of Antioch of
the Syrians; of Pope Paul VI and His Holiness Vazgen I Supreme Catholikos-Patriarch of All Armenians; of Pope John-Paul; II and His Holiness Catholikos Karekin I of the Armenians of The Great House of Cilicia; of Pope John-Paul II and His Holiness Catholikos Aram I Keshishian of Cilicia.

The Loss to the Catholic Church of the American Carpatho-Ruthenian Greek Catholics

Fr John Salter, in Chrysostom for Pascha 2012, writes:

In that wonderfully romantic Grimms' Fairy Tale world of the mountains of Carpatho-Ruthenia which lies between Slovakia and Ukraine, and which was evangelized by SS. Cyril and Methodios from the Church of Contantinople - and blessed by Pope Hadrian before the Great Schism of 1054 - live the Carpathian Rusyns, or Carpatho-Ruthenians. After the Great Schism, the Carpatho-Ruthenians found themselves in the Orthodox camp. There was a movement towards healing the East/West schism when the Ukrainian Metropolitan Michael Rogoza of Kiev and the bishops of Vladimir, Pinsk, Kholm Lutsk and Polotsk met in the city of Brest-Litovsk in what was then Lithuania in 1595 and petitioned the Holy See (the approach, be it noted, being from the Orthodox side) to be received into communion with the Pope. Only two bishops - those of Lviv and Peremyshl declined the union, although now there is an Eastern Catholic Archbishop of Peremyshl today. The union took place in 1596.

So much for the reunion of some bishops. On 24th April 1646 it was the turn of the priests and some laity in Carpatho-Ruthenia to follow the example of the Ukrainian bishops; and the union was sealed in the Castle of St. George in Uzhorod. Thus was brought to birth the “Uniate” Church, which the Empress Maria-Theresa of Austria-Hungary would designate the "Greek Catholic Church" - Greek not in its language (that was Old Slavonic), but in its liturgy of Constantinople or Byzantium; Greek in its art – particularly the Icon - and in its theology and its discipline – married clergy; but “Catholic” in that it was in communion with the Pope of Rome.

The newly united Church led a relatively peaceful existence. The clergy were often married men and created clerical dynasties, whereby their sons would often succeed to their fathers' parishes, in much the same way that the Church of England clergy did so. Sometimes they were molested by the Cossacks; and there were a number of martyrs, but no great conflicts. But then in the 1870s there was the first emigration of Carpatho-Ruthenians to North America; and it was in the land of the free that the Eastern Catholics came up against the hostility, not of the Orthodox, but of their own  co-religionists – the Latin Catholics, who, ignorant of the Eastern Catholic tradition and discipline, were shocked by their services and even more so by their married priests.

It was not long before these Eastern Catholics fell foul of the Latin Archbishop of Minneapolis – John Ireland. Just as Cardinal Spellman had had a confrontation with the Melkite Patriarch Maxim IV Saigh shortly before the Second Vatican Council over the Melkites using the vernacular (quite what language he expected the Melkites to use was never clear!), so Ireland had his own conflict.  Archbishop Ireland was following the two encyclicals issued by the Popes – Ea Semper of 1905, followed by Pius XI's Cum Data Fuerit. Both documents forbade the services in the United States of
America of married priests – all right east of the Danube, but not west of the Atlantic! Married priests and their wives and children must return to Eastern Europe. Not surprisingly, this caused outrage among those who wanted to preserve their identity. A priest in Bridgeport, Fr. Orestes Chornock, was elected Bishop of a new Independent Greek Catholic Church and was consecrated a bishop by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Another priest who protested was Father Alexis Toth, who, as an Eastern Catholic priest and a widower, newly arrived in the United States, went to pay his respects to the local Archbishop of the Latin Rite, namely the aforementioned Archbishop John Ireland. Ireland, like many Irish-Americans before him and since, had been eager to "Americanize" incoming immigrant Catholics, and was decidedly hostile to so-called “Ethnic Parishes”, such as Father Toth's. In an interview with Toth, Ireland threw Toth's Letters of Orders on his desk, protesting his presence in his city and saying he did not regard Toth or his bishop to be truly Catholic, despite the Union of Brest and of Uzhorod and of many Papal encyclicals on the Eastern Catholic Churches. Toth had had enough.

Yet he looked not to Constantinople, but to Moscow. Pope Pius XI excommunicated six Eastern Catholic priests on 29th October 1936. Father Orestes Chornock was one of the excommunicated, but was consecrated a bishop on 18th September 1938 by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Father Alexis Toth and others created the nucleus of what is now the Orthodox Church of America. He is regarded as a saint by that Church. Seemingly, the schism no longer causes hard feelings in Rome, as some of their
bishops in the American Orthodox-Catholic dialogue were received in audience by Pope John-Paul II in the Vatican, even though his predecessors had excommunicated their forebears. One of the bishops at that audience was Bishop Nicholas Smisko. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Orestes Chornock. The group was also received at the Phanar in Constantinople by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

It is a sad tale of the complete misunderstanding of the Latin hierarchy and, in this case, the Popes, who issued those encyclicals, whereas generally the Popes had been very understanding of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Nevertheless, according to Russian Orthodox statistics, the further demands by Latin bishops for celibacy resulted in 20,000 leaving in the first wave of converts to Orthodoxy, to be followed by a
further 80,000 after the publication of the encyclical Ea Semper by Pope Pius XI in 1907. It swelled the Russian Orthodox missionary diocese by 100,000. Bishop Alexis Toth continued his work of converting the “Uniates” to Orthodoxy. The Orthodox Church of America owes its numbers to his work. He was canonized or “glorified” by the Russian Orthodox Church in North America as “Saint Alexis of Wilkes-Barre”, on 29th May 1994. Visitors to the Orthodox monastery in South Canaan,
Pennsylvania, will see his shrine there.

The question of celibacy will not go away; but respecting the traditions of Eastern Catholic Churches can enrich the entire Church and ease the path towards union with the Orthodox Churches. His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkites has warned that the Catholic Church's lack of respect for the identity and practices of its Eastern Churches makes the Orthodox lose all respect for the goodwill of the Church of Rome.

Anglican "Uniates"?

By Fr John Salter, Chairman - in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012

Some twelve years ago I was sitting sipping coffee in the common room of the Melkite Greek Catholic seminary at Harissa, on top of a mountain near Beirut, Lebanon, having just attended a magnificent Divine Liturgy in the basilica of the Maronites. The event was the Congress of Eastern Catholic Churches (9th-29th May 1999). The liturgy was concelebrated by seven Eastern Catholic Patriarchs of the Middle East, which included Patriarch Maxim V Hakim of the Melkites, the Maronite Patriarch, the Catholikos-Patriarch of the Armenians, the Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, the Syrian Patriarch, the Coptic Catholic Patriarch and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Papal Nuncio and several archbishops and bishops and abbots and fathers superior of various orders in union and peace with the Holy See. Suddenly I heard a loud hurumphing from the sofa opposite and a voice, saying, “That was the worst sort of Uniatism”.

The hurumpher was Archbishop Elias Zoghby, formerly Archbishop of Baalbeck. The cause of his discontent, he told me, was that there were no Orthodox partaking in the celebrations, although I noticed that there were representatives of other Churches present in the sanctuary, including the Assyrian Archbishop, the Armenians, the Syrians and representatives of some of the Protestant Churches based in Lebanon and Syria. I got the impression he thought the impressive ceremony was too triumphalist and smacked of “Latinization” or “Uniatism”, something he had fought against for years, for it was he who had resigned in protest when Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh of the Melkites had accepted a Cardinalate from the Pope. Archbishop Elias thought, rightly, that Patriarchs out-ranked Cardinals. The Holy See had to alter the description of Cardinals of the Eastern Churches from Cardinals of the Roman Church to Cardinals of Holy Church. Maximos IV's successors did not receive the red hat.

But what is this “Uniatism” that so upset the Archbishop? It is not so much a doctrinal issue as an attitude. There was one Catholic Patriarch who was not present for the gathering in Beirut – the Ukrainian Greek Catholic, and it is to the latter's Church that we must look for the origin of the perjorative word “Uniate”, for it was applied to it by the Russian Orthodox, who were indignant that
Rome had seemingly proselytized a section of their Church, bringing it into communion with the Pope. But history tells a different story. This is Archimandrite Robert Taft, S.J., of the Russicum College in Rome on the subject:
Far from being the result of some preconceived Catholic strategy, “Uniatism” grew out of the difficult situation in which the Ruthenian Orthodox hierarchy of the day found itself, between Moscow and Poland, Reform and Counter-Reformation, and is wholly an invention of the Ruthenian Orthodox bishops themselves. Of course these hierarchs did not see it as, nor desire it to be, a break with Orthodoxy. On the contrary, it aimed to protect the unity of the Ruthenian Orthodox Church, at that time under stress from a multitude of factors, including the desire of the Ruthenian bishops to preserve their independence over against the powerful independent Brotherhoods supported by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Ruthenian lands, the pretensions of Moscow from the East, and the pressure of Reformation and Counter-reformation proselytism from the West. 
Rather than being “forced”, or a Polish Latin invention, initially, at least, the Union was not viewed favourably by any of the three parties – Rome, the Poles, and the Jesuits traditionally indicted in the “received view” of the matter. In the well-informed, balanced and objective view of historian Ambrose Jobert, whom Dupuy cites with approval, “The Union of Brest is not the work of Polish or Roman policies. The Ruthenian bishops, irritated by the reforms of {Constantinopolitan patriarch} Jeremias II, requested it, the Polish court decided, not without hesitation, to risk it, and Rome received the Ruthenians into union without making any precise commitments in their regard. Thus it was that on October 19 1596, in the church of St. Nicholas in the city of Brest, in what was then the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, five of the seven Orthodox bishops in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth entered into union with the Holy See.
In the contrary myth, two intrepid 16th-century Jesuits, the Pole, Peter Skarga, and the Italian, Antonio Possevino, are wrongly considered the instigators of “Uniatism”. But these Jesuits, far from inventing “Uniatism”, took a dim view of Ruthenian Orthodoxy and favoured conversion of the Ruthenians to the Roman Church plain and simple. By then it had become evident that the prospect of a return to the Union of Florence, which had been the aim of the non-Polish Jesuits and the Holy See had been impracticable, and Possevino‟s famous exchange with Ivan the Terrible confirmed it. But the idea of regional corporate reunion based on the precedents established at Florence in 1439 was not the invention of the Jesuits but the plan of the Ruthenian Orthodox hierarchy, who hoped to join the Catholic Church as a body, preserving their own hierarchy and rite. The reluctant acceptance of the plan by King Sigismund III of Poland and by the Holy See marked a radical departure in Catholic policy that has lasted until modern times. Before this, the Holy See had worked for a general reunion with the Byzantine Orthodox while striving at the same times for conversions to the Latin rite.

There is a parallel of the Ruthenians' union with the Holy See and that of the Anglican Ordinariate. There have been those in the Church of England who have tended to see the Ordinariate as proselytism on the part of Pope Benedict XVI, but this is to ignore the facts. The move for union came not from the Holy Father, but from groups of Anglicans, not only in England, but also in Australia and elsewhere, who petitioned the Pope for unity. Pope Benedict responded positively to the petition of the Anglicans in Anglicanorum Coetibus. If, in the distant future, the Church of England, or a larger section of it than has joined the Ordinariate, led, perhaps, by the Archbishop of Canterbury or a senior Diocesan Bishop, wished for reconciliation with the Apostolic See, it is the Archbishop or the senior bishop who must ask for the pallium, the symbolic lamb's wool stole worn on the shoulders of an archbishop in union with the Apostolic See of Rome, and not just as a charge on his coat-of-arms. The Holy Father can only treat with an Episcopate. It seems that the only alternative to Catholic Reunion is the disruption of the Church of England; but the prerequisite of Reunion is the conversion of the bishops, or a sufficient number of them. But the Pietas Anglicana must be preserved. Anglicans must have the courage to be themselves and remember that there are Anglicans other than the Anglo-Roman party (who see union as a total adoption of the rites and ceremonies of the Latin Church), namely the Anglican Papalist party, who are longing for an accommodation with the Roman Church. We must remember that quite a lot of the Anglican Papalists have not responded to the Ordinariate and are left in a sort of Non-Man's-Land. Many are what are called “Prayer Book Catholics”, but are open to the claims of the Papacy.

It has been said that the Ordinariate is not a Uniate Church, or the beginning of one. It is from the Western tradition, and like other rites in communion with Rome, such as those of Toledo, Milan and Braga cannot be considered as “Uniate”, any more than the section of the Old Believers, the Edinoverz (United Believers) who are allowed to keep their pre-Nikonian rites, but are only semi- “Uniates”; for their liturgy is only slightly different from that of the Russian Orthodox Church and their spirituality is that of the Russian Church. But the Anglicans, as a whole, are not part of the Pietas Romana.

There is a story doing the rounds, that may be an Anglo-Catholic myth, to the effect that a young priest applying for membership of the Ordinariate was turned down because “You are not familiar with the Roman Rite”. “But I thought the Ordinariate was to bring the Anglican Patrimony into the Catholic Church”, he replied. And there's the rub!

What is the Anglican Patrimony? What is mainstream Anglicanism? One supposes it is what is on offer in the English cathedrals liturgically; and in the writings of Richard Hooker, Lancelot Andrews, William Laud, C.S.Lewis, T.S.Eliot et al. The Anglo-Romans seem to be in the majority in the Ordinariate membership. This could lead to ultramontanism, papadulia and, worst of all, hybridization or latinization. One would hope to see a little of the Cisalpine spirit, not Gallicanism, but something which was recognizable as a patrimony over and against the Latin West - otherwise what is the point of the Ordinariate? It must act as a bridge between Canterbury and Rome. The so-called “Uniate” Churches soon began by adopting Roman customs and imitating Latin ceremonies and celebrating feasts days of the Latin West: Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and lately the Divine Mercy cult. It probably arose out of a sense of inferiority, as in the case of those in the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who imagined that Roman or Latin was superior or better, or more Catholic. Even the Orthodox in areas where there was a Latin outnumbering, such as in Austria and Hungary, would adopt Roman purple embellishments to their rasons in exactly the way Anglo-Catholic canons adopt purple piping on their cassocks and High Church bishops adopt fuschia pink soutanes and birettas, lace from paps to knee on their cottas, overlooking the fact that bad taste can lead to bad faith. What is wrong with the elegant black satin chimere? It was good enough for St John Fisher on his way to the chopping block and even the Canterbury cap adorns the corpse of St. John Southwell in the north aisle of Westminster Cathedral. The Eastern Catholics were often given honorific titles by Latin bishops and even the Pope himself, so that the title “Monsignor” crept into the Eastern hierarchy instead of Archpriest or Archimandrite. The same has happened in the Ordinariate. The title "monsignor‟ will put off non-ultramontanist Anglicans. What is wrong
with the title “Canon”? Some cathedral chapters, such as Lyons, have mitred Canons. Or to be more Anglican, what about “Prebendary”? One fears the patronage of Our Lady of Walsingham may not be acceptable to Anglicans of the older generation, who regarded the Shrine church as totally Anglo-Roman, despite the fact that the Anglican shrine now has a much wider appeal.

The “Uniates” have woken up to realizing that they are just as good Catholics with their Orthodox rites and ceremonies and spirituality as the Latins, and are well aware that latinizations cause the Orthodox to be put off union with Rome, because they see their patrimony as Easterners betrayed. This has been the tragedy of “Uniatism” – it has not been an adequate bridge. If the members of the Ordinariate do not wish to be considered “Uniates” they must stop behaving like them. The Ordinariate is only a year old and people are finding their feet and adapting to a new situation. The members need the support, particularly of the Eastern Catholics in the United Kingdom, who have had “To sing the Lord‟s song in a strange land” and know what it is like to be regarded as “Not proper Catholics” by the Latins, and “Not proper Orthodox” by the Eastern Orthodox. The Ordinariate is a unique and exciting phenomenon in the history of the Catholic Church and it is in
very urgent need of funding. Friends of the Ordinariate are raising money so we should support it as generously as we can afford.

Enthronement of Bishop Hlib Lonchyna as Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland: Many Years!

Kyr Hlib with Patriarch Sviatoslav at the Enthronement
Fr John Salter, chairman, writes in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012:

The enthronement of Bishop Hlib was a very happy occasion and also unique, ecumenically speaking, not so much that there were priests of Bishop Hlib Lochyna, and representatives of tthe Ukrainian Orthodox Church there too, but also an Elder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland – “The Wee Frees” in the person of Mr. James MacDonald.

The enthronement was performed by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Court of St. James, His Excellency Archbishop Mennini, Bishop Alan Hopes, representing the Archbishop of Westminster. Also present were the late Archimandrite Serge Keleher, representatives of the Byelorussian Catholic community and the Melkite Greek Catholics, together with members of Bishop Hlib's family and friends.

We are happy to report that Bishop Hlib has come onto the Committee of the Society of St. John Chrysostom, and we wish him Ad Multos Annos in his episcopate.

The New Ukrainian Greek Catholic Patriarch of Kyiv-Galicia: Many Years!

Fr John Salter writes, in Chrysostom for Pascha 2012:

Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk was enthroned on 27th March 2011 in the new seat of the Ukrainian Catholics – the Cathedral of The Resurrection in Kyiv. 

The new Patriarch was born on 5th May 1970 in the town of Stryi in Ukraine. He was ordained a priest on 26th June 1994. Between 2002 and 2005 he was head of the secretariat of His Beatitude Patriarch Lubomyr Husar. In 2006 he gained a Doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and became Rector of the seminary of Lviv. Three years later he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of Santa Maria del Patrocinio in Buenos Aires and was consecrated by Archbishop Ihor Vozniak. On l0th April 2010 he was named Apostolic Administrator of the same diocese.

At the Patriarch‟s enthronement there were two prelates of the three Orthodox jurisdictions in Kiev - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate and one of the other Orthodox Patriarchates of Ukraine.

On 29th March 2011 His Beatitude visited Rome with his metropolitans and bishops. On his departure he stated, "I am departing with my bishops and all my metropolitans of our Church to Rome, because it is our duty to make a courtesy visit to the Holy Father…"

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church's Synod of Bishops had prepared a number of proposals for the Pope. "We are really going to tell how our Church is developing, and each developing Church becomes a Patriarchate, because a Patriarchate is a period in the development of a Church."

It was not the first time that the leaders of the Ukrainian Catholic Church had petitioned the Apostolic See for the title of Patriarch. Cardinal Josip Slipyj had done so in the 1960s after his release from the Gulags. Instead of conferring the title, Pope Paul VI created the title and rank of Major-Archbishop, which, while granting all the prerogatives of an Eastern Patriarch in full communion with Rome, avoids causing offence to (in this case) the Patriarch of Moscow and All The Russias. But the Ukrainians are far from happy with this title, as they are by far the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches, whereas the relatively small Catholic Copts have a Patriarch. The Syro-Malabarese Catholics have a Major-Archbishop, which has caused some ill-feeling among certain sections of the faithful, who feel that as they are the oldest Christian Church in India, there long before the arrival of Latin missionaries, they should have the title for their Primate - the ancient one, "Metropolitan of All India", whereas the Major-Archbishop's authority is restricted merely to two Archdioceses, dividing the one Church of St. Thomas Christians in all of India.

His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav is hoping to meet Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow in person. "I would like very much to visit him and hold a personal meeting with him. I am convinced that in peacefully and openly communicating with each other, we can relieve any tension. I think that today, we should heal the wounds rather than irritate and deepen them. One can heal the wounds of our memory only with mutual forgiveness. Therefore, as for any of our brethren or neighbours who wounded us or were wounded by us, the best way to communicate is to be open in a brotherly dialogue, be open to the purification of our memory, to ask forgiveness and to forgive."

The Patriarch was present in the Ukrainian Catholic cathedral of The Holy Family-in-Exile, in London, for the enthronement of Bishop Hlib as Apostolic Exarch.

Eternal Memory: Mother Thekla

Father John Salter writes in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012:

Mother Thekla was born Marina Sharf into a family of Jewish descent in the Caucasian town of Kislovodsk, just as the Russian Revolution was beginning, in 1918. Her parents, fearing for the safety of the family, fled to England. She studied alongside another Russian, the Oxford historian Prince Dmitri Obolensky. After a time in the Royal Air Force Intelligence Service (1941-46) she took up a post at Kettering High School in 1952, becoming Head of the English Department . In 1965 Marina was on her way to a Retreat at the Anglican Benedictine Abbey at West Malling in Kent, when she stopped off to attend the Divine Liturgy at the Russian Cathedral of the Assumption and All Saints in Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge. There she met Mother Maria, who had been professed as a Russian nun by Bishop Anthony (Bloom) of Sergievo. Mother Maria lived in the enclosure of the Anglican nuns at West Malling, and was professed as an Orthodox nun retaining her baptismal name of Marina. She and Mother Maria moved from West Malling and set up a convent at Filgrave in Buckinghamshire. They were later joined by Dame Mary Thomas, O.S.B., the Novice Mistress at West Malling Abbey. With the death of His Holiness the very aged Patriarch Alexis I of Moscow and All the Russias, the nuns felt that their link with Russia had been severed and they petitioned the Ecumenical Patriarch to receive them under the omophorion of the Great Church of Constantinople. The nuns then changed their names to Thekla in the case of Marina, and Katherine in Dame Mary‟s case. Mother Maria died in 1977 and the nuns eventually moved to Normanby in Yorkshire. The new monastery was set up in 1975.

Sister Katherine died in 1986. In that same year the Very Reverend Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash) returned to England from Mount Athos and became chaplain to a community that was now reduced to only Mother Thekla.

Whilst in Yorkshire Mother Thekla became friendly with the young composer John Tavener and became the inspiration for his famous work The Protecting Veil (of Our Lady) . As old age and infirmity began to take their toll, Mother Thekla was taken into the care of the local Anglican nuns of the Order of the Holy Paraclete at their infirmary of St. Hilda in Whitby. She was buried in Whitby on 16th August having died on 7th August 2011. She was 93 years of age. At her funeral, several of Sir John Taverner's works were performed, including a newly composed work: They are Gone into the World of Light.

Eternal Memory: Father Gregory Winterton Cong.Orat.

Fr John Salter, chairman, writes in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012:

It was on St.Stephen's day 1954 that I last met Father Winterton. He was then Priest-in-charge of the Anglican church of St. George's, Wolverhampton. I was a young soldier at the time and serving at the High Mass. To the astonishment of the congregation Fr.Winterton announced in the sermon that he would not be observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity the following month as he had decided to make his submission to the Catholic Church. He had only been at St. George's a few months and he was received into the "Roman Communion" on Maundy Thursday 1955.

Fr Gregory was born in Brighton in 1922 and was baptized Cecil John. He was the eldest son of Major-General Sir John and Lady Winterton ( nee Shepherd-Cross) and joined the army himself early in World War II. I heard about Sir John Winterton's army career as my mother's cousin was an Aide- de-Camp to him when he was Commander-in-Chief in Austria and Military Governor of the Anglo-American Zone of Trieste, then a disputed city between Yugoslavia and Italy. The other Aide-de-Camp was Cecil Winterton.

 After the war Cecil went up to Cambridge and took a degree at St. Catherine's College, and then went on to the College of the Resurrection, run by an Anglican Order of monks at Mirfield in West Yorkshire. Bishop William Wand of London ordained him and he served his title at the new church of St.Joseph, Northolt, in the London diocese; from St. Joseph's he went to Wolverhampton. From Wolverhampton Cecil discovered the Birmingham Oratory, but too late to meet the last survivor of Newman's foundation, Father Denis Sheil. Archbishop Grimshaw of Birmingham sent him to train at the Oscott seminary, where he ordained him a deacon in 1961. He was priested in the Birmingham Oratory. He joined the Congregation of the Oratory in 1961 and took the name of Gregory. He dedicated his life to the parish of the Oratory and also to the promotion of the cause of John Henry Newman. Gregory's work was crowned with the beatification of Newman by Pope Benedict XVI.

Father Gregory became Provost of the Oratory in Birmingham and was the longest serving Provost since Cardinal Newman himself. His eyesight failed and he died at the age of 89. He was a long-standing member of the Society of St.John Chrysostom and he corresponded with me when I became  Chairman of the Committee and invited me to Birmingham to renew our acquaintance, but - alas! - I left it too late.

Eternal Memory: Right Revd Monsignor Canon Cecil Richard Rutt

Fr John Salter, chairman, writes in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012:

It was in 1951 that I first met Richard Rutt, when he was a seminarian at the Anglican monastery of the Society of the Sacred Mission at Kelham. He was ordained that same year to the priesthood, having served for three years in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and having obtained a degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After a curacy of three years at St. George's, Cambridge, he joined the Korean Mission, a work with which the Kelham Fathers had a long tradition of service. For twenty years Richard served the Anglican Church in Korea, and being an expert linguist he soon became fluent in the language, whilst parish priest of Anjung. He later ran the theological seminary and became Archdeacon of West Kyonggi, and later Assistant Bishop of Taejon, becoming Diocesan Bishop in 1968 until 1974, when he was invited by Bishop Graham Leonard of Truro to become Suffragan Bishop of St. Germans. He then added another language to his repertoire – Cornish.

In 1979 he became Bishop of Leicester, succeeding Bishop Ronald Williams, a Liberal Evangelical, who was never seen out-of-doors without his gaiters and apron. Richard brought a different oversight from his predecessor.

Richard had a great love of the Eastern Churches and married in Hong Kong, Joan Ford, who was co-secretary with Helle Georgiadis of the Fellowship of SS. Alban & Sergius, based in those days at 52, Ladbroke Grove in West London. As a young man he had met the great Catholic "apostle of unity", the Abbe Paul Couturier on a visit to Lyons. He took to heart Couturier's priestly life and sense of mission, which lay at the heart of his spiritual ecumenism, and as an Anglican devoted his ministry to the reconciliation of Christians, especially the communion of all the Churches with the Apostolic See of Peter at Rome.

Richard was an expert knitter and even knitted his own mitres. In 1994, following the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Church of England, Richard was received into the communion of the 
Catholic Church, and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1995. He assisted at the Catholic church of St. Mary Immaculate in Falmouth. The loss of his wife, Joan, came as a blow to Richard and he seemed to age dramatically after her death. However, the conferring on him by the Holy Father in 2009 the rank of Prelate of Honour and the title of “Monsignor” gave him great pleasure. But he did not live much longer to enjoy the title – he died on 27th July 2011.

Memory Eternal: Dr Fouad Megally

Fr John Salter, Chairman, in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012, writes:

I first met Dr. Fouad in 1974 or thereabouts, some thirty-seven years ago, when I was General Secretary and later Chairman of the Committee of the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association. He was the representative on the committee of the Pre-Chalcedonian Churches, being himself a Copt. He also served in the same capacity on the committee of the Society of St. John Chrysostom. Fouad was highly regarded by the representatives of other Churches. I got to know him very well over the years and it was through the Megally family that I met Christopher Morris, in whose memory the Christopher Morris lecture was inaugurated – the Megally family lived in the same block at Dolphin Square as Christopher.

I got to know the family over the years and it was a great pleasure for me to be asked to take part in the wedding of his daughter, Janet, at the Coptic church of St. Mark in Allen Street, Kensington. Sadly Fouad's delightful wife, Nancy, the daughter of a Coptic priest, died relatively young, and this was a severe blow to Fouad and their three children.

Fouad witnessed the great spiritual revival in the Coptic Orthodox Church under the charismatic leadership of the Pope and Patriarch Shenouda III, and it was due to Fouad's influence that Pope Shenouda made his first visit to London. I remember lending a suitably throne-like chair for the Patriarch to sit on during his consecration of the church in Allen Street.

From time to time I would run into Fouad at the Athenaeum and we always promised to meet again for dinner, but we left it too late. A good man has been taken from the Coptic and indeed the whole 
Christian community in London. Our prayers are with his sons Roger and Hanna and his daughter Janet in their sad loss.

Eternal Memory: Very Reverend Archimandrite Serge Keleher Remembered

Father John Salter, chairman, writes in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012:

Father Serge was known to me for almost twenty years and was instrumental in guiding me into the Unia. I travelled abroad with him on several occasions and was astounded at his seemingly unlimited
energy and his ability to raise funds for deserving causes in Eastern Europe, including an expensive deaf-aid for a son of one of the Greek Catholic priests in Lviv.

Serge was an enthusiastic supporter of Orientale Lumen, the series of conferences organised by our sister Society of St John Chrysostom in the United States; and I got to know him at their gathering some years ago in Warwickshire, which was organized by Jack Figel. Jack and Serge produced the very informative Eastern Churches’ Journal, the organ of our American branch. He also supported Joe Farrelly's work in the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary and travelled over from New York to be present with us at the Sacred Heart Convent School in Woldingham for one of its summer conferences.

My first trip abroad with Serge was to Rome, where we stayed at the Ukrainian Catholic centre of SS.Sergius and Bacchus, near the Coliseum, and met for the first time the “secret” Bishop Lubomyr Husar, later to become Patriarch of Kyiv-Halych. Serge's energy knew no bounds and while the moon was still shining we would set out every morning before breakfast for the 6 a.m. Divine Liturgy at the Russian Catholic College, “The Russicum”. After the Liturgy we would stay on with the fathers for
breakfast and it was here I first met Archimandrite Robert Taft S.J., the Vice Rector of the Russicum and a leading liturgiologist.

Whilst in Rome we met Bishop Basil Losten of Stamford, Connecticut, who invited me to join his jurisdiction. With this in view we visited Cardinal Cassidy and made our way to the Oriental Institute and the Greek College of St. Anastasio, on the Via del Babuino. Here I met for the first time Father George Mifsud and renewed my acquaintance with Archpriest Alexander Nadson of the Byelorussian Marian House in London, whom I had encountered at Gatwick in the line-up for the flight to Rome, and the students of the college. Later we visited for lunch the Ukrainian College of St. Joshaphat on the Janiculum, and its neighbour the recently re-opened Roumanian Catholic College, in the hands of the Benedictines.

My next trip with Serge was to Lviv in the Western Ukraine. I met with Serge the night before our flight, for dinner at the Athenaeum. Serge was very excited at the prospect of the visit and was talking so excitedly that he seemed to leave out all the main verbs in his sentences. We flew to Warsaw and I had to find accommodation in the Polish capital as Serge had not included me in his over-night arrangements, so an expensive night was spent in the Grand Hotel in central Warsaw. The next day, having visited the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, I made my way to the airport for the flight to Lviv. We flew in a most primitive aircraft and were served stale Madeira cake and Andrew's liver salts by large over made-up air hostesses. We arrived safely in Lviv and stayed with a young Ukrainian Catholic family in their flat. Our visits started with a call on the newly elected Catholic Patriarch – Cardinal Lubachevsky at the splendid rococo cathedral of St. George.

In Lviv Serge seemed to know all the Church leaders and we paid a courtesy call on a young Archbishop, Augustine, of the Moscow Patriarchate, who greeted us with a tirade against Uniates and Anglicans, and claiming that he should be at St. George's. I pointed out to him that St. George's had been built by the “Uniate” family of Sheptytsky, and hadnever been Russian Orthodox. He calmed down and treated us to vodka, an excellent four course lunch and presented us with splendid coffee table books. Our next port of call was on a Ukrainian Orthodox bishop who plied us with Georgian pink champagne and seemed to be on the verge of joining the Unia.

We went on by car from Lviv to a remote “Uniate” village of Kosmoloty back in Poland, where we met the local Bishop John Martyniak of Premsyl and paid our respects to some “Uniate” martyrs from the village, who had been slaughtered by the Cossacks. The villagers regaled us with stories of how when the Secret Police were searching out Eastern Catholics they turned around the sign post to Kostomoloty and the police were left looking for the village in the No Man's Land of the
Byelorussian frontier!

We then crossed the frontier into Byelorussia. The endless line of large lorries seemed to indicate an all night wait, which was a daunting prospect, but Serge put on his rason, his pectoral cross and his klobuk hat and veil, and ordered our driver to bypass the lorries and to declare him a V.I.P. His cheek worked and we were whisked through the frontier in no time.

We parted at Warsaw airport and I did not see Serge again until the gathering some years later in Dublin of the Order of St. Lazarus and the Pontifical Liturgy served by Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkites. Serge had choreographed the liturgy and had put a great deal of the Irish language into its compilation. This ensured the liturgy was almost twice its normal length and the patriarch had to catch a flight to Vienna for the funeral of the Primate of Austria. His Beatitude left just before the last part of the liturgy; and as soon as he had gone Serge plonked a mitra on his head and concluded the liturgy. At the banquet in Dublin Castle attended by the President of Ireland, Serge, a fervent Irish Nationalist and a Jacobite, was very keen on drinking a toast to The King Over the Water. I intervened in time to stop him, by pointing out that the O'Conor Don, great nephew of the late O'Connor Don, the aged Jesuit priest, was at the next table, and in comparison with the descent of the High Kings of Ireland the Stuarts were very arriviste!

Serge always imagined that everything could be dropped at a moment's notice to assist him or stand in for him at the Liturgy in Dublin, and I remember when I was on my way to Bruges for a Catholic League gathering that he demanded my presence in Dublin to serve the liturgy while he was away. He wanted me to fly from Bruges to Dublin and back again. It was quite out of the question, but he was not easily convinced.

Time passed and I next saw Serge at the enthronement of Bishop Hlib as Exarch at the Ukrainian Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile, in Mayfair. It was a question of “Ichabod”. Serge had failed dramatically. He was stooping with arthritis and his kidneys were failing. He died shortly after his return to Dublin.

His memorial will be his generosity and his writings, particularly his editorship of The Eastern Churches’ Journal, and his translation of Koralevsky's life of Metropolitan Count Andrei Sheptysky and Koralevsky's essay on Uniatism, together with his account of the resurrection of the Greek Catholic Church in the Ukraine.

Father Serge's funeral was in Dublin and was conducted by The Apostolic Exarch, the Most Reverend Hlib (Lonchyna) in the presence of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. It was a sign of Serge's popularity in the Ukrainian community that priests had travelled for the service from Canada and the Ukraine. His body was laid to rest in the cemetery of Mount Jerome, Dublin.

Eternal Memory: Canon Roger Greenacre

Fr John Salter, Chairman, writes in Chrysostom, for Pascha 2012:

It was at the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham that I first met Roger Greenacre in 1959. Roger was in between jobs and shortly afterwards he went to Belgium to study at the Catholic University of Louvain. From there he went on to become the rector of the Anglican church of St. George in the Rue Auguste Vacquerie in Paris. Here he succeeded the well-known ecumenist Father Henry Brandreth of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd. Roger continued the ecumenical contacts of Brandreth, but with a lighter touch.
In Paris he made it his work to present the best of the Pietas Anglicana to the Catholic Church in France. His dress was strictly in keeping with the norms of the Anglican Alcuin Club and the fashion plates of the Reverend Dr. Percy Dearmer's guide to matters sartorial and millinery - The Parson’s Handbook. Roger never wore the Latin biretta, until I persuaded him that as a Canon of Gibraltar Cathedral he could sport a purple pompom, although I warned him that purists might take it that Elaeazar had eaten swine's flesh!

His ministry in Paris saw the re-building of St. George's physically and spiritually. He returned to England to minister at Chichester Cathedral and to work in the Order of St. Lazarus, under the protection of Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch of the Melkites.

Roger Greenacre would have made an excellent leader of the Anglican Ordinariate (despite the purple pom-pom!), as he was an exponent of all that was of the Anglican Patrimony liturgically and spiritually.

Eternal Memory: THE REVEREND HAROLD EMBLETON, R.N. (retd.)

Fr John Salter writes in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012:

Fr Harold Embleton has died in his ninetieth year. A large part of his ministry in the Church of England was spent in the Royal Navy as a chaplain. It was while serving in Athens after World War II that he met his wife Sheila, who was Nanny to the children of the King, one of whom was to become King Constantine of the Hellenes and another Queen Sophia of Spain. It was while in Greece that Harold grew to love the Orthodox Church and became a keen member of the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association, becoming for many years its chairman of committee. His outstanding contribution to the Association was his inaugurating in 1981 the Constantinople Lecture to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople. The first lecture was given by Bishop Michael Ramsey; and each year a distinguished scholar was invited to give the lecture.

Harold had known many of the great ecumenical figures of the past including Canon J.A. Douglas, the Assyrian Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXI and his aunt Lady Surma d'bait Mar Shimun, and many others who were founder members of the Nikaean Club and leaders of the Greek, Russian and Serbian Churches in London.

Eternal Memory: Joseph Farrelly KSG

Fr John Salter writes in Chrysostom, Pascha 2012

Joe Farrelly has died at the advanced age of 94. I had known Joe for well over half a century, when he was a key-pin in the Legion of Mary. He had joined the Legion in Dublin, his home city, and worked tirelessly for this lay apostolate. He left Dublin shortly after the outbreak of World War II, and came to London and, although a citizen of the neutral Irish Republic, he enrolled in the Royal and Mechanical Engineers, in which he served as an N.C.O. in India from 1943-1947. It was in India that he set up the Catholic Club for service personnel. He found his vocation in teaching when he was demobbed and became a well-loved and highly respected figure in the classroom, in which he stood for no nonsense! He became head of English at the Catholic school of St. Francis in Peckham, moving to be head of Religious Education at St. Thomas the Apostle school at Nunhead, where he remained until his retirement in 1982.

 Joe was a rarity in ecumenical circles in that he was a Catholic and an Irishman. He was keenly interested in the Society of St. John Chrysostom, but was not one of its founders – he was one of those who revived the fortunes of the society in the 1950s, eventually becoming its chairman of committee. I first got to know Joe when I was a student and took him and one of our former chairmen, Bishop Ceslaus Sipovitch, head of the Byelorussian Catholic community in the United Kingdom, and a Latin priest, to the Anglican Benedictine Convent of the Holy Cross at Haywards Heath. We attended Latin Vespers before having tea with the Mother Superior. Joe was wryly amused that although Bishop Ceslaus had joined in the Divine Office, the Latin priest had joined us but had not taken part in the Divine Office, which was sung in Latin, but proceeded to say Vespers to himself in the car on the return journey to London, having attended a beautifully sung Vespers only an hour earlier! Joe was even more wryly amused when the said priest joined the Church of England! That sort of reversed ecumenism tickled Joe.

Apart from the Legion of Mary, Joe was very involved with Martin Gillett’s new venture – the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary - and it was due to Joe that the society was truly put on the map, seeing to it that the Methodists were involved with the society. It was while on one of the society’s visits to Rome that Joe heard of the tragic and lonely death of his daughter. His faith and courage and that of his wife, Ann, carried them through this tremendous burden of grief and loss. 

In 1969 the Primate of Belgium, Cardinal Suenens, the spiritual descendant of Cardinal Mercier of the Malines Conversations fame, made Joe a Knight of St. Gregory. Joe was a man full of fun and courtesy; an eirenicist as much as an ecumenist and a truly Catholic gentleman.

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary is arranging a Memorial Mass for Joe Farrelly in  the Lady Chapel of Westminster Cathedral at 2 p.m.on 28th April 2012, to pray for the repose of his soul and to thank God for his life and work. The Mass will be followed by a reception and those wishing to attend should notify the General Secretary of the ESBVM, Father Bill McLoughlin O.S.M. gensec@esbvm.org.

Mary in Pilgrimage

The fourth volume in the "Prospects of Mary" series is now published. It contains most of the talks given at the Ecumenical Pilgrimage at Walsingham in March 2011, organised by the Ecumenical Marian Pilgrimage Trust. Contents include:
  • Dr Margaret Barker [Mary and the Temple]
  • The Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry [Evangelical Mary]
  • The Rt Revd Robert Ladds [Walsingham: the Holy House]
  • Sister Camilla Oberding COLW [Our Lady of Walsingham and her significance for our times]
  • Fr Michael Rear [The Image of Our Lady of Walsingham]
  • Abba Shenouda, Coptic Orthodox [The Coptic Church and People in History]
  • The Rt Revd Lindsay Urwin, formerly Bishop of Horsham and present Administrator of the Anglican Shrine [Incarnation and Atonement]
  • Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia [The Blessed Virgin as Mother of God: the meaning of the title Theotokos]
  • Fr Mark Woodruff [Early Irish Devotion to Christ in His Passion]
100 pages, A4 Format, price £8.50 including p &p. Further copies £7.50 each
Please make cheques payable to The Ecumenical Marian Pilgrimage Trust and send to The Ecumenical Marian Pilgrimage Trust, 31 Kingsley Road, Plymouth, Devon PL4 6QP

Chrysostom, Pascha 2012

The News Letter of the Society of St. John Chrysostom for Pascha 2012, New Series Volume Thirteen, is now available.

Fr John Salter, Chairman, writes this foreword:

Dear Members and Friends,
There have been some changes on the committee of the Society of St John Chrysostom: Father Gary Gill has had to reduce his work load on his doctor's orders. This means we have lost him, for the time being, as General Secretary, but we thank him for his work and hope that he will stay on the committee, and wish him a speedy recovery.

As reported earlier, Father Dr Athanasius McVay remains on the committee, but is now working in the Vatican archives on his book on the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Budka. Father George Ntagkas has returned to Greece to be nearer his parents and will be based at one of the Latin churches in Athens.

Joe Farrelly, a former chairman, has died at an advanced age and remained a great ecumenist with special regard for the Eastern Churches. It is unusual for an Irish Catholic layman to take such an interest in the Eastern Churches, as it has been difficult to engage the Catholics of the Latin Church in the work of our society. Most of the members of the committee are ex-Anglicans and we must remember that one of our former chairmen, Canon Ronald Pilkington, was an Anglican until he was nineteen; and even Dr. Adrian Fortescue, the great authority on the Orthodox and the Uniates (as he insisted on calling them) was the son of an Anglican priest of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, who
converted to Catholicism when Adrian was young. Anglican interest in the Eastern Churches has always been much keener than in the Roman Catholic Church in this country, so much so that the
Anglican and Eastern Churches Association membership outnumbers that of the Society of St John Chrysostom by about seven to one. It is not for want of trying to recruit new members among the Latins, but our recent new Latin members are outnumbered by members of the Ordinariate.

You are asked to remember in your prayers one of our priest members, Father David White of the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate resident in Sidmouth, Devon. We wish him a full recovery from his recent illness and every good wish for the New Year 2012. Please also remember His Beatitude Mesrop II Moutafian Patriarch of Constantinople of the Armenians, who is seriously ill.

Our sympathy goes to the family of Fr William and Beatrice Gulliford, who have lost their little son Theodore, at the age of six years. Fr William is Guild Vicar of St Dunst an-in-the-West, Fleet Street, London, and formerly General Secret ary of the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association.

There was a good attendance at the Christopher Morris Lecture given at the Ukrainian Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile in Mayfair, London, by His Excellency Archbishop Mennini, the Papal Nuncio to the Court of St James, on the Subject “The Russian Federation and the Holy See”.  We are grateful to Bishop Ken, visiting from Canada, for hosting the event in the absence of the Exarch Bishop Hlib on a pastoral visit to the Continent.  Our President, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, was represent ed by Bishop Alan Hopes. Amongst the disti nguished guests we welcomed Her Royal Highness Princess Katerina of Yugoslavia, Lady Silva of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Excellency Mr Anthony Bailey and his wife Her Serene Highness Prince Marie-Therese of Austria-Hungary. It i s hoped to publish the Nuncio's address in the next Chrysostom.

With all good wishes and prayers for 2012.

John Salter

Christos anesti! Alethos anesti!


A Happy and Blessed Easter!

Arabic: Alamsih qam! Haqqan qam!

Syriac: Mshiho qom men beth mithe!

Greek: Christos anesti! Alethos anesti! XPICTOC ANECTH!

Hebrew: Ha mashiah qam! Hu beemet qam!

Latin: Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

Flemish: Christus is verrezen! Hij is waarlijk verrezen!

French: Christ est ressuscité! Il est vraiment ressuscité!

Slavonic: Christos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!

Russian: Christos voskres! Vo istinu voskres!

Ukrainian: Chrystos voskres! Voistynu voskres!

Romanian: Cristos a inviat! Adevarat a inviat!

Armenian: Christos hariavi merelots!

Coptic: Pikhristos Aftonf! Khen oumethmi aftonf

Monday 2 April 2012

100 thousand dollars for the Syrian people, from Pope Benedict

From Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, of Antioch and all the East, Damascus, 31 March 2012:

Patriarch Gregorios III, as President of the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria, together with Syrian Catholic and Maronite and Armenian Catholic bishops and Latin Catholic priests, today (31 March) received at the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Damascus Mgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, Secretary of the Papal Council Cor Unum accompanied by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Mario Zenari. Mgr. Dal Toso was delivering one hundred thousand dollars for urgent humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

The sum had been earmarked by the Pope for immediate assistance to the Syrian “population exhausted from violence.”

Benedict XVI has also decided to devolve the collections gathered during Holy Thursday Mass that he will celebrate on the 5th of April in the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano to the humanitarian assistance of Syrian refugees.

The Catholic Churches of Syria are currently engaged, especially through Caritas Syria, and working in the name of the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchy in Syria, in projects of assistance to the Syrian population without distinction on grounds of politics or religion through their charitable branches, in particular in the areas of Damascus, Homs and Aleppo. Cor Unum highlights that "we know the Holy Father's repeated calls for the cessation of violence in Syria and that a way be found for dialogue and reconciliation between the warring parties, with a view to peace and the common good… The Pope,” concludes the Cor Unum text, “exhorts us to pray for those who are suffering in this country."

On Good Friday, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, whose President is Cardinal Robert Sarah, will send the money raised during the evening Mass celebrated by the Pope on Holy Thursday to Caritas Syria, which will use it to assist Syrian refugees and victims of war.

Patriarch Gregorios III, speaking during the Divine Liturgy held on Palm Sunday, thanked the Holy Father for his love to Syria and all its people. Syrian television also broadcast thanks from the Syrian Government to Pope Benedict XVI.

Sunday 1 April 2012

Christianity in Iraq IX: Martyrdom in the Iraqi Church: Historic and Modern Perspectives; Conference

Centre of Eastern and Orthodox Christianity

Saturday 5th May 2012, 10-30 am to 4-30 pm

Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London. All welcome

  • Opening Addresses - Dr. Erica C D Hunter (Study of Religions, SOAS), Sir Harold Walker (JMECA), Mrs. Joan Porter McIver (BISI)
  • Child martyrs in Syriac literature - Prof. Cornelia Horn (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Sogdian versions of the ‘Acts of the Persian Martyrs’ - Prof. Desmond Durkin Meisterernst (Berlin)
  • Elias of Nisibis on the martyrs of the Church of the East - Prof. Francois de Blois (Cambridge)
  • Did the Sassanids persecute Christians? - Prof. Richard Payne (Mt. Holyoke, Massachusetts)
  • The trajectory of martyrdom in the Syriac Orthodox Church - Dr. Mikael Oez (Oxford)
  • The Assyrians of Iraq and literary manifestations of post-Saddam Persecution - Mr. Nineb Lamassu (Cambridge)
  • The impact of martyrdom on Iraqi Christians post-2003 - Dr. Suha Rassam (ICIN)
  • Statements by representatives of Iraqi Christian and Mandaean communities in London.
Supported by:
  • The British Institute for the Study of Iraq (BISI)
  • Jerusalem and the Middle East Church Association (JMECA)
  • Department for the Study of Religions, SOAS
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities, SOAS
For further information please contact:
Dr. Erica C D Hunter
Centre of Eastern and Orthodox Christianity,
Department of the Study of Religions,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG
Email: eh9@soas.ac.uk