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.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Christians are the Arab Spring’s biggest losers, says Melkite archbishop Chacour - Vatican Insider

Christians are the Arab Spring’s biggest losers, says Melkite archbishop Chacour - Vatican Insider

Archbishop Elias Chacour concludes - with some justice - with reference to global Catholic support to Holy Land Latins, but not Byzantines:

“There are fewer of them compared to us. The community of Arab Catholics under the Latin Rite is composed of 10 thousand people; but they have a Patriarch, four bishops, hundreds of priests and numerous women religious: lucky them! We need to do more in terms of sharing not just communion. It is not just our problems we should share. You will know that every year we hold a Good Friday collection for the Holy Land’s Christians. I can assure you that although I am Catholic, I see nothing of these offerings.”

The collection Chacour was referring to, is traditionally split between the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land and the Latin Patriarchate.

CNS STORY: Ancient art form of iconography called 'Scripture in paint'

CNS STORY: Ancient art form of iconography called 'Scripture in paint'

Tuesday 28 May 2013


Vatican City, 20 April 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, accompanied by Msgr. Maurizio Malvestiti, under secretary of the same dicastery, visited the Russian Monastery of the Dormition in Rome on the occasion of the arrival of some aspirants to the monastic life these past months.

The cardinal recalled the great richness of the Eastern monastic tradition at the heart of the Church of Rome, called to preside in charity over the entire Church, and offering its prayers in a special way for the intentions of the universal Pastor, Pope Francis. These prayers, the prefect affirmed, will sustain the life of all the Oriental Catholic Churches, which are often beset by suffering and persecution, and they will represent an inestimable assistance on the path toward the reconciliation and unity of all Christians.

The community, which supported itself in the past by creating icons and liturgical vestments for bishops and priests, will resume the activity of its workshops.

The Monastery of the Dormition of Mary (Uspenskij in Slavic) was officially established on 15 December 1957, in realization of the wishes and commitment of the then-secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Cardinal Eugenio Tisserant, as well as the dedication of the Jesuit fathers. Founded during the years of persecution that the Church behind the Iron Curtain suffered, the monastery was blessed by Pope Pius XII so that it might contribute, with its prayers, to the spiritual rebirth of the Eastern European lands, especially Russia. In an audience granted to Cardinal Tisserant in 1956, he agreed to the establishment in Rome of a Russian monastery for women in order to “beg the clemency of God Almighty toward the Russian peoples”.
The monastery's liturgy, as Cardinal Tisserant desired, is in the Byzantine Rite, always carried out in communion with the Bishop of Rome, who is named seven times in the daily office of prayers. For more than 50 years this prayer has continued without interruption. The monastery has been considered an island of Russia, through which Russian students, prelates, monks, and nuns have passed, feeling themselves at home. One such visitor was the current patriarch of Moscow, Kirill I, who came to know the monastery when he was a young priest.

Leadership of UOC-Moscow Patriarchate Satisfied with Relations with Greek Catholics in Galicia

Leadership of UOC-Moscow Patriarchate Satisfied with Relations with Greek Catholics in Galicia

Beirut: Visit by Cardinal Sandri to Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III

Bringing hope of peace for Syria 

Beirut, 26 May 2013 (Apic)

Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, Gregorios III, surrounded by bishops from Lebanon and superiors general from religious orders, received on 25 May in Beirut Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

The conversations between the two men touched on the regional situation in general and the future of Eastern Christians, especially in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

The Patriarch reiterated his appeal for church leaders from the Holy See to include Syria in their trips in the hope of seeing peace reign there one day. He hoped that the forthcoming meetings between the Council of Eastern Catholic Patriarchs (CECP) and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches would allow the peace process and Muslim-Christian dialogue to be relaunched. He hopes too for a development of ecumenical spirit between all the region’s Churches, according to the directives of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation after the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI, during his trip to Lebanon, in September 2012.

Translation from French V. C.


Saturday 25 May 2013

Trinity Sunday Reflection from Fr Robin Gibbons (Melkite Church in the UK)

Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 26 May 2013 on Independent Catholic News

Fr Robin is assistant chaplain at the Melkite parish of St John Chrysostom in Pimlico, London

The Language of the Liturgy: Speaking God’s Kingdom; Fr James Siemens (UK)

The Language of the Liturgy: Speaking God’s Kingdom

Dr James Siemens is Director of the Theotokos Institute, University of Cardiff, and a priest of the Eparchy of the Holy Family of London for the Ukrainian Catholic Faithful of Great Britain

Group that follows the Byzantine Greek Rite comes to Rome to cheer on the Pope

Group that follows the Byzantine Greek Rite comes to Rome to cheer on the Pope

Thursday 23 May 2013

In Brotherhood's Egypt, blasphemy charges against Christians surge ahead - CSMonitor.com

In Brotherhood's Egypt, blasphemy charges against Christians surge ahead - CSMonitor.com

Kyr Hlib: The Ukrainian Catholic Church, Catholic-Orthodox Relations, and th eplace of Christianity in contemporary Ukraine and the new Europe


The Ukrainian Catholic Church, Catholic-Orthodox relations and the place of Christianity in contemporary Ukraine and the new Europe

Talk by HE Kyr Hlib Lonchyna, Eparch of the Eparchy of the Holy Family of London

 4.00pm on Wednesday 12th June 2013

Marie Eugenie Room, Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, London W8 5HN

All are welcome. Details from Dr John Flannery - j.flannery@heythrop.ac.uk) – RSVP appreciated
www.heythrop.ac.uk - www.orientalelumen.org.uk

Kyr Hlib Boris Sviatoslav Lonchyna was born in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1954, his parents having emigrated from present-day western Ukraine after the Second World War.

In 1975 he entered the Ukrainian Studite monastery at Grottaferrata, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1977 by the late Cardinal Josyf Slipyj. In 1979 he completed a Licentiate in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome and in 2001 a doctorate in Eastern Christian Liturgical Studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

His past appointments include: St Nicholas’ Church in Passaic NJ; Prefect of Students at St. Sophia College in Rome; from 1994 Spiritual Director for the seminarians of the Greek-Catholic Major Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine; lecturer at the Theological Academy of Lviv; local assistant in the Apostolic Nunciature in Kyiv; from 2002 Auxiliary-Bishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians and titular bishop of Bareta; from 2003 Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Faithful in Italy and Procurator of the Major-Archbishop of Lviv in Rome; from 2004 also Apostolic Visitor to Spain and the Republic of Ireland; from 2006 Head of the Patriarchal Commission for Religious Life in Ukraine; from 2009, Apostolic Administrator of the Apostolic Exarchate for the Ukrainian Faithful of the Byzantine Rite in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

In 2011 he was enthroned as the fourth Ukrainian Apostolic Exarch for the Ukrainian Catholics in the UK. The apostolic exarchate for Ukrainians in Great Britain was erected in England and Wales in 1957 and was extended to Scotland and Great Britain in 1968. In January 2013 it was established as a permanent eparchy or diocese, Kyr Hlib becoming its first eparchial hierarch, incidentally the first Catholic bishop of London since Edmund Bonner in 1559.

A Sister Squabble | Prayer of Saint Ephrem

A Sister Squabble | Prayer of Saint Ephrem - More on the reactions to the February interview with Archimandrite Robert Taft on Catholic ecumenism reaching out to the Orthodox

Eastern Catholic Spiritual Renewal: The Archimandrite and Ecumenism

Eastern Catholic Spiritual Renewal: The Archimandrite and Ecumenism:      Not too long ago a brilliant interview with Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ about ecumenical relations between the Catholic and Easter...

Chaldean Patriarch: Islamist regimes ‘even worse’ than authoritarian ones : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Patriarch: Islamist regimes ‘even worse’ than authoritarian ones : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

1025 years of Christianity in Ukraine – 25 years of St Volodymyr statue in London | Ukrainian Institute, London

Saturday, 8 June 2013 at 2.00PM
St Volodymyr statue next to the Ukrainian Institute, 79, Holland Park, London, W11 3SW

2013 marks the 1025th anniversary since St Volodymyr introduced Christianity in Kyiv, capital of modern day Ukraine.

A supplicatory prayer service (Moleben) marking 1025 years of Christianity in Ukraine and 25 years since the erection of the statue in London dedicated to St Volodymyr will be celebrated jointly by clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic and Autocephalous Orthodox Churches on Saturday, 8 June 2013 at 2.00PM.
The service will take place by the St Volodymyr statue next to the Ukrainian Institute, 79, Holland Park, London, W11 3SW. 

All welcome to attend

Heads of Jordanian Churches Call for Release of Syrian Bishops | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome


Over two thousand people marched through the streets of in a candlelit procession praying for the release of two Syrian bishops who were abducted a month ago in Aleppo in Syria.

On April 22, Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek-Orthodox Bishop Boulos al-Yazigi were kidnapped by unknown abductors during a humanitarian mission. There has been no news on the whereabouts of the two prelates since their abduction.

According to Fides News Agency, the March was attended by various leaders and representatives of Churches and ecclesial communities in Jordan. The procession began at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and ended at the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Ephrem.

Read more here: Heads of Jordanian Churches Call for Release of Syrian Bishops | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Head of the UGCC: We Send a Request for Forgiveness to Our Polish Brothers!

"I believe that as Christians, as representatives of our churches, we must play a very important role in the continuation of the Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation," Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said in an interview with KAI on the occasion of the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy.

“And if we send a request for forgiveness to our Polish brothers, it means that we feel guilty,” he adds.

Thus KAI asked Patriarch Sviatoslav: A remarkable process of reconciliation and cooperation between Poland and Ukraine has been observed over the last couple of decades. Our churches—the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Catholic Church in Poland—have played an important role in dealing with the troubled past.  How does Your Beatitude see this process?

To find out more and see his answer's read here

Christians Uneasy in Morsi's Egypt - NYTimes.com

Christians Uneasy in Morsi's Egypt - NYTimes.com

Mary & The Temple - 2013 Temple Studies Group Symposium

Mary and the Temple

Symposium VII will be held on Saturday 15 June 2013 in the Temple Church, 10am-4pm. Booking in advance is essential. The cost for the day is £35, or £5 for students with proof of status. Payment is made on the day of the symposium by cash or cheque only. Registration from 9.30am.

Archbishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Church in Great Britain and Ireland - Mary in the Apocryphal Documents preserved in Armenian

Aidan Hart, ikon maker - Mary and the Temple in Ikons

Prof John Hall, Brigham Young University, Utah - The Lady in the Temple before the Hebrews: Hathor of Egypt

Dr Laurence Hemming, University of Lancaster - The Disappearance of Mary in the Temple: An Ambiguity in the Latin Liturgy

Dr Margaret Barker, Temple Studies Group - The Lady known to Isaiah

Orthodox Constructions of the West: Publication

Orthodox Constructions of the West
Edited by George E. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou

A Fordham University Press Publication
Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought (FUP)

Table of Contents
Searching for an Inter-disciplinary and Theoretically-informed Approach to the Orthodox Naming of the Other
George E. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou

Perceptions and Realities in Orthodox-Catholic Relations Today: Reflections on the Past, Prospects for the Future
Robert F. Taft, SJ

Byzantines, Armenians, and Latins: Unleavened Bread and Heresy in the Tenth Century
Tia Kolbaba

"Light from the West": Byzantine Readings of Aquinas
Marcus Plested

From the "Shield of Orthodoxy" to the "Tome of Joy": The Anti-Western Stance of Dositheos II of Jerusalem (1641-1707)
Norman Russell

The Burdens of Tradition: Orthodox Constructions of the West in Russia (late XIX-early XX cc.)
Vera Shevzov

Florovsky's Neopatristic Synthesis and the Future Ways of Orthodox Theology
Paul Gavrilyuk

Eastern "Mystical Theology" or Western "Nouvelle Théologie"?: On the Comparative Reception of Dionysius the Areopagite in Lossky and de Lubac
Sarah Coakley

The Image of the West in Contemporary Greek Theology
Pantelis Kalaitzidis

Christos Yannaras and the Idea of "Dysis"
Basilio Petra

Religion in the Greek Public Sphere: Debating Europe's Influence
Effie Fokas

Shaking the Comfortable Conceits of "Otherness": What Can Political Science Offer to the Study "Orthodox Constructions of the West"
Elizabeth Prodromou

Eastern Orthodox Constructions of "the West" in the Post-Communist Political Discourse: the Cases of the Romanian and Russian Orthodox Churches
Lucian Turcescu

The Heresy of Anti-Papism: An Orthodox Perspective
John Panteleimon Manoussakis

(In)Voluntary Ecumenism: Dumitru Staniloae's Interaction with the West as Open Sobornicity
Radu Bordeianu


Here follows an abstract of an article in La Civilta Cattolica (in Italian), by Fr Gianfranco Ghirlanda SJ (former rector of the Gregorian University and, incidentally, the architect of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus).

Il ministero petrino - La Civilta Cattolica -  quaderno 3906, 23 March 2013, pp. 549-563

The office of the Roman Pontiff must always be considered within the Church and the episcopal college, and therefore always in strict relation with the Church and the bishops, taken as a whole as a college and as individual pastors of the Churches entrusted to them.

In fact, just as the primacy of the Roman Pontiff is of divine institution, so also are the episcopal college and the headship of the bishops in the particular Churches.

The office of the Roman Pontiff is a ministry because, being the instrument through which Christ by the action of the Spirit keeps together and undivided the college of bishops, it guarantees the unity of the whole people of God in the one apostolic faith and in the sacraments, the efficacious means of salvation.

John Paul II, in the encyclical “Ut Unum Sint," after recalling that what concerns the unity of all the Christian Communities falls within the domain of the concerns of primacy, stated that he felt called upon to “find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation," and then, reusing the words addressed to Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrius I on December 6, 1987, invoked: “I insistently pray the Holy Spirit to shine his light upon us, enlightening all the Pastors and theologians of our Churches, that we may seek—together, of course—the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned" (no. 95).

The problem of the relationship between the essential and the historical forms that every ecclesial institution takes on involves the problem of the relationship between the essence of the Church, as mystical revealed reality, and its historical form, as a contingent reality, expressed precisely in the canonical configuration of the institutions.

With this problem is connected that of the relationship between revealed divine law and positive ecclesiastical law, aimed at the regulation of the concrete relationships among subjects.

The essence of the Church is always realized in an historical form, by reason of which the essence can never be separated from the institutional form and vice versa. In spite of all that is relative in this latter, it must never be considered irrelevant with regard to the mystery of the Church, if one does not wish to risk falling into the vision of an unreal Church.

Nonetheless, essence and form cannot be identified with each other, and one must make a distinction between them, otherwise one could not have any criterion of judgment on the historical forms that the Church assumes.

Moreover, one must keep in mind the fact that there is no historical form that would reflect perfectly and exhaustively the essence of the Church, in that the contingent can never express the mystery in a perfect manner.

When we speak of the essence of the Petrine ministry and of the historical forms that it assumes, we are referring to the necessary positive juridical configuration of the relationships that spring from the exercise of this ministry.

We must however keep in mind the difficulty of tracing a clear border between that which is of revealed divine law, and therefore essential in this ministry, and that which is of human law, the fruit of historical contingencies, and to what extent that which is of human law may express divine law in a more or less immediate manner.

Thus it is not easy to determine what may be the historical forms in which must be actualized the exercise of the Petrine ministry, which otherwise would be emptied of content.

In fact, the Church cannot arbitrarily dispose of the determination of the exercise of the Petrine ministry, because this is to be considered "regulated by an objectivity of its own,” which is given “in reference, on the one hand, to the will of Jesus Christ, and on the other, to the historical conjuncture” (cf. G. Colombo, "Tesi per la revisione dell’esercizio del ministero petrino," in "Teologia" 21, 1996, p. 325).

The datum of faith is antecedent to every discussion on the form of exercise of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, and therefore it is the premise that must guide the discussion itself, and on the Catholic side predetermines it, even if it must be said that the solution to the problem is not necessarily univocal, in that "if the faith must be one, theology is instead pluralistic, that is with the faculty of proposing various solutions to the problems posed by faith” (ivi, p. 322).?

The ecumenical preoccupation of John Paul II was revisited in the apostolic letter “Novo Millennio Ineunte" of January 6, 2001, distinguishing the journey to be made with the Church of the East, on the one hand, and with the Anglican Communion and the ecclesial Communities born from the Reformation on the other (no. 48), because in these latter is required a more complex journey that would lead to a preliminary communion in the faith and in the sacraments.

The 10th plenary session of the mixed international commission for theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church (Ravenna, October 8-15, 2007), in the undersigned document entitled “Ecclesiological and canonical consequences of the sacramental nature of the Church. Ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority,” presents the reciprocal interdependence between primacy and conciliarity on the local, regional, and universal level, according to which “primacy must always be considered in the context of conciliarity, and conciliarity likewise in the context of primacy" (no. 43).

This vision of the “document of Ravenna” gives a dynamism to the manner of conceiving the pontifical ministry in a projection toward a future that every believer would like to see realized.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

OpEdNews - Article: Syriac Catholic Patriarch condemns lies and hypocrisy of the U.S. in Syria

OpEdNews - Article: Highest Ranking Catholic Patriarch condemns lies and hypocrisy of the U.S. in Syria

From The Tablet: Syriac Catholic Patriarch hits out at West


14 May 2013

The Syriac Catholic Patriarch said the ongoing violence in Syria was the result of Western nations carrying out a geopolitical strategy "to split Syria and other countries" in the Middle East.

Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan told Catholic News Service: "It's not a question of promoting democracy or pluralism as the West wants us to understand of its policies. This is a lie, this is hypocrisy."

The Beirut-based Patriarch said Western nations encouraged conflict in the Middle East "in the name of the so-called awakening of people, of democracy," adding that "so-called Western democracy" cannot be exported to countries that still look at religion as a base for ruling their regimes or political life.

He said that in Syria, as in Iraq after the US-led invasion, many Christians have fled their homeland. "Christians in the Middle East have been not only abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union," he said.

Conference Dedicated to Christos Yannaras: Philosophy, Theology, Culture

2-5 September 2013 - St Edmund Hall, Oxford University

Speakers will include
  • Archbishop Anastasios of Albania (in absentia)
  • Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia
  • Metropolitan Kyrillos of Abydos
  • Revd Dr Andreas Andreopoulos
  • Dr Evaggelos Bartzis
  • Prof Konstantinos Delikostantis
  • Prof Natalie Depraz
  • Dr Elena Draghici-Vasilescu
  • Dr Evaggelia Grigoropoulou
  • Dr Niki Tsironi
  • Prof John Hadjinicolaou
  • Revd Dr Jack Khalil
  • Revd Prof Nikolaos Loudovikos
  • Revd Emeritus Prof Andrew Louth
  • Prof Neil Messer
  • Revd Dr Daniel Payne, and
  • Dr Stoyan Tanev
A musical offertory, written and performed by the Greek composer Dionysios Savvopoulos in honour of Christos Yannaras, will also feature at the conference
For further information, please contact the Administrator at: MBCunningham.Corran@btinternet.com

Conference to explore situation of Christians living in the Middle East — World Council of Churches

15 May 2013

Power, social injustice, the threat of extremism and Christian-Muslim relations will be among the main themes of a conference on the situation of Christians in the Middle East. The conference is set to take place next week in Lebanon.

The international conference will bring together some 150 participants from the Middle East and beyond, representing churches as well as regional and international ecumenical organizations. The event will be held at the Notre-Dame du Mont monastery in Beirut, 21 to 25 May.

Organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) the conference was initiated on a proposal from the MECC’s last general assembly in 2011 and asked to explore issues related to the “Christian presence and witness in the Middle East”.

Read more here: Conference to explore situation of Christians living in the Middle East — World Council of Churches

Sunday 19 May 2013

Patriarch's Visit to China: Beijing government winks at the Orthodox Church - Vatican Insider

Chinese government winks at the Orthodox Church - Vatican Insider

Istanbul: Halki seminary's doors remain shut - Vatican Insider

Istanbul: Halki seminary's doors remain shut - Vatican Insider

Il grido di Bartolomeo: "Libertà per la fede" - Vatican Insider

We are not afraid of those who commit violence against Christians, because The Lord's Resurrection has also conquered death. Yet, we do not cease to protest before the international community, that 1700 years after the concession of religious liberty, with the Edict of Milan, persecutions continue throughout the world under various forms.

Il grido di Bartolomeo: "Libertà per la fede" - Vatican Insider

Syrian oppositionists plunder and destroy an ancient Orthodox monastery / OrthoChristian.Com

Syrian oppositionists plunder and destroy an ancient Orthodox monastery / OrthoChristian.Com

Friday 17 May 2013

Feel the Spirit - Indian Catholic Christians and England's Renewal of the Renewal: The Tablet

The number of Catholics drawn to Charismatic Renewal is being given a huge boost by thousands of migrants. They are now taking their worship into parishes.

Around 3,000 Catholics are meeting every month for catechesis and prayer at a vast Pentecostal ­convention centre at West Bromwich, near Birmingham. The gatherings were started by migrants from southern India, and initially the services were in Malayalam, the local language of Kerala.

Read more here on the Indian Roman Catholics and Syro-Malabar Catholics in England, and their spiritual influence on their fellow Catholics ...

The Precarious Position of Christians in the Holy Land » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

The Precarious Position of Christians in the Holy Land » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Greek Catholic Head ‘Our church is a thorn in the side for those who do not seek true unity’

“Reconciliation between our churches will help the Russian and Ukrainian people understand one another. As often happens between neighbors, we have many mutual historical problems, but we cannot build a future without Christian communication. The process of reconciliation will also help overcome Ukrainophobia in Russia and stop the Russification of Ukraine,” Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), said in an interview with KAI (Catholic Information Agency).
Talking about the relationship of the UGCC with the UOC-MP, the head of the church said that until now there has only been informal discussion. “Furthermore, we believe that we are the heirs of the same tradition of the Kyivan Church, that we originate from the same Baptism of Rus’, the 1025th anniversary of which we are celebrating this year,” he said.

Read more ...
Greek Catholic Head ‘Our church is a thorn in the side for those who do not seek true unity’

Pope raises hope among Eastern Catholics - Catholic Sund (Diocese of Pheonix)

Many Catholics are unaware of the various Eastern rite communities within the Church. Pope Francis would not be one of them.

Bishop Gerald N. Dino of the Byzantine Holy Protection Eparchy of Phoenix said the election of Pope Francis bodes well for Eastern rite Catholics. "He’s very familiar with the Byzantine rite,” Bishop Dino said. “It means that we have a leader who understands a minority group within the Church and respects those minorities.” As a teenager growing up in Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio, the future pontiff, attended a high school run by the Salesian Fathers. It was there that he came under the influence of a Ukrainian Catholic priest, Fr. Stefan Czmil.

Read more here:


Chinese government winks at the Orthodox Church - Vatican Insider

Chinese government winks at the Orthodox Church - Vatican Insider

Delegation of Kyivan Patriarchate Visits London

Delegation of Kyivan Patriarchate Visits London

True to Tradition | Symposium

The Eastern Churches have a special vocation in the contemporary world, which is both distinct from, and complementary to, that of the Western Church. Pope John Paul saw it thus, but he was not the only one. The language of the ‘two lungs’ of the Church suggests that the Church’s activity in the world is much diminished when one of the lungs is operating at a reduced capacity – which it certainly is if it is not fully being what it is meant to be.....

Rear more at: True to Tradition | Symposium

Saturday 11 May 2013

Israel apologizes for mistreatment of Egyptian diplomats and Coptic Bishop

Israel apologizes to Egypt for diplomats' mistreatment | The Times of Israel

The police ejected the Egyptian party, including the acting ambassador and a Coptic Orthodox Bishop from the Church of The Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) where they were attending Pascha celebrations on Saturday evening last. For those with Facebook - here is the astonishing sight of the Coptic bishop being "kettled" and forced to the ground and beaten.


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

"My brother Mark": Vatican Radio Interview with Pope Tawadros

(Vatican Radio, 10 May 2013)
Pope Tawadros of Alexandria, Patriarch of the Coptic Church at the Vatican with Pope Francis of Rome. Britain's Coptic Bishop, HG Angaelos, is third to the right of Pope Francis

Pope Francis met on Friday with the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, telling him the future of Egypt and the role of its Christian communities finds a deep echo in the heart of the entire Catholic world.  Pope Tawadros of Alexandria, who heads the largest Christian Church in the Middle East, is currently making a five day visit to Rome, his first outside Egypt since his enthronement last November. He’s due to hold talks with Vatican and Italian officials, as well as celebrating together with the various Coptic communities here in Italy.

Friday’s meeting between the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox popes comes 40 years to the day after the first historic encounter between Pope Paul VI and Tawadros’ predecessor, Shenouda III, who signed a joint statement pledging the two Churches to the search for reconciliation and unity.
In his speech to Pope Francis, Tawadros proposed that May 10th each year should be marked as a day of celebration between the two communities. He also invited the successor of St Peter to visit his Church, founded by St Mark the Evangelist around the middle of the 1st century.

Following the papal audience, Philippa Hitchen spoke to the Coptic leader and asked for his impressions of the meeting…


Please find below the full text of Pope Francis' address to Pope Tawadros and his delegation:

Your Holiness,
Dear Brothers in Christ,
For me it is a great joy and a truly graced moment to be able to receive all of you here, at the tomb of Saint Peter, as we recall that historic meeting forty years ago between our predecessors, Pope Paul VI and the late Pope Shenouda III, in an embrace of peace and fraternity, after centuries of mutual distrust. So it is with deep affection that I welcome Your Holiness and the distinguished members of your delegation, and I thank you for your words. Through you, I extend my cordial greetings in the Lord to the bishops, the clergy, the monks and the whole Coptic Orthodox Church.

Today’s visit strengthens the bonds of friendship and brotherhood that already exist between the See of Peter and the See of Mark, heir to an inestimable heritage of martyrs, theologians, holy monks and faithful disciples of Christ, who have borne witness to the Gospel from generation to generation, often in situations of great adversity.

Forty years ago the Common Declaration of our predecessors represented a milestone on the ecumenical journey, and from it emerged a Commission for Theological Dialogue between our Churches, which has yielded good results and has prepared the ground for a broader dialogue between the Catholic Church and the entire family of Oriental Orthodox Churches, a dialogue that continues to bear fruit to this day. In that solemn Declaration, our Churches acknowledged that, in line with the apostolic traditions, they profess “one faith in the One Triune God” and “the divinity of the Only-begotten Son of God ... perfect God with respect to his divinity, perfect man with respect to his humanity”. They acknowledged that divine life is given to us and nourished through the seven sacraments and they recognized a mutual bond in their common devotion to the Mother of God.
We are glad to be able to confirm today what our illustrious predecessors solemnly declared, we are glad to recognize that we are united by one Baptism, of which our common prayer is a special expression, and we long for the day when, in fulfilment of the Lord’s desire, we will be able to communicate from the one chalice.

Of course we are well aware that the path ahead may still prove to be long, but we do not want to forget the considerable distance already travelled, which has taken tangible form in radiant moments of communion, among which I am pleased to recall the meeting in February 2000 in Cairo between Pope Shenouda III and Blessed John Paul II, who went as a pilgrim, during the Great Jubilee, to the places of origin of our faith. I am convinced that – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – our persevering prayer, our dialogue and the will to build communion day by day in mutual love will allow us to take important further steps towards full unity.

Your Holiness, I am aware of the many marks of attention and fraternal charity that you have shown, since the early days of your ministry, to the Catholic Coptic Church, to its Pastor, Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak and to his predecessor, Cardinal Antonios Naguib. The institution of a “National Council of Christian Churches”, which you strongly desired, represents an important sign of the will of all believers in Christ to develop relations in daily life that are increasingly fraternal and to put themselves at the service of the whole of Egyptian society, of which they form an integral part. Let me assure you that your efforts to build communion among believers in Christ, and your lively interest in the future of your country and the role of the Christian communities within Egyptian society find a deep echo in the heart of the Successor of Peter and of the entire Catholic community.

“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together” (1 Cor 12:26). This is a law of the Christian life, and in this sense we can say that there is also an ecumenism of suffering: just as the blood of the martyrs was a seed of strength and fertility for the Church, so too the sharing of daily sufferings can become an effective instrument of unity. And this also applies, in a certain sense, to the broader context of society and relations between Christians and non-Christians: from shared suffering can blossom forth forgiveness and reconciliation, with God’s help.

Your Holiness, in assuring you of my prayers that the whole flock entrusted to your pastoral care may be ever faithful to the Lord’s call, I invoke the protection of both Saint Peter and Saint Mark: may they who during their lifetime worked together in practical ways for the spread of the Gospel, intercede for us and accompany the journey of our Churches.

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/05/10/pope_francis_welcomes_egypts_coptic_orthodox_pope_tawadros/en1-690886 of the Vatican Radio website

Bishop Hlib: Vatican Radio Interview for Bright Week

This week is “Bright Week” – the week of the Easter Octave – for millions of Eastern Christians who celebrate the Paschal Mysteries according to the Julian Calendar.

At the Regina Coeli on Sunday, Pope Francis greeted those who are celebrating Easter this week. “I wish to send to these brothers and sisters a special greeting,” he said, “uniting myself to them with all my heart in proclaiming the joyful news: Christ is risen!” He prayed especially for those celebrating Easter amid “trials and sufferings,” praying that the Holy Spirit would give them “counsel and consolations” and guide them “in the ways of peace and reconciliation.”

Among those celebrating Easter this week are Ukrainian Catholics around the world. Bishop Hlib Lonchyna is the first Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Holy Family of London. He spoke with us about the celebration of Easter in the Eastern Churches. “The Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine celebrates Easter – and all of the liturgical feasts – according to the Julian calendar,” he said. “And here in the west, in Great Britain, France, in Italy, in Germany, and other countries, we continue with this tradition to be in spiritual communion with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.”

Bishop Lonchyna explained the difference between the two dates for celebrating Easter: “It’s a known fact that the Julian calendar is late by thirteen days in relation to the Gregorian calendar. But with the date of Easter, there can be even greater differences. Sometimes Easter falls on the same Sunday, sometimes it falls a week apart, sometimes it can fall, like this year, even five weeks apart.”

There are many Eastern Christians around the world, he said, including Ukrainians, Russians, Serbians, Greeks, Mekites, Slovaks, Croats, and many others. “We ourselves are Eastern Christians. We are of the Byzantine Rite. . . . Together with the Orthodox, we share the same rite, the same traditions. But together with the Catholics we share the same Faith in the sense that we recognise the Holy Father as the head of the Church.”

Bishop Lonchyna emphasised the what is most important about the celebration of Easter: “I hope that, whenever anybody celebrates Easter, what is the most important is that we do not celebrate this as a historical event only, that happened two thousand years ago, but rather as an event that includes us today. Because not only will we also resurrect thanks to the Resurrection of Christ; but also, the power of the resurrection works in our lives even today, as Christ always raises us up from our sins, from our problems – and we need to be more aware of that. And so that is what I hope and what I hope for all people of good will.”

Listen to the full interview of Bishop Hlib Lonchyna of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Holy Family of London with Christopher Wells: RealAudioMP3

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/05/09/eastern_christians_celebrate_bright_week/en1-690456 of the Vatican Radio website

“Religious freedom, ecumenism and protection of human values” are priorities, Francis says - Vatican Insider

“Religious freedom, ecumenism and protection of human values” are priorities, Francis says - Vatican Insider

Capella Romana in London, May 14-15 2013

Cappella Romana, the world’s leading early music vocal ensemble for the broad exploration of music of the Eastern Orthodox traditions, returns to London for the first time since 2009 when it was engaged by the Royal Academy of Arts for its mega-exhibition 'Byzantium: 323-1453'. Its founder and artistic director Dr Alexander Lingas (City University London) will lead an international ensemble of Byzantine cantors from Greece, the UK, and the US, featuring especially Mr Stelios Kontakiotis, principal cantor (protopsaltis) of the Shrine to the Mother of God on Tinos.

Tuesday 14 May 2013 - Byzantine Chant Mini-Symposium & Recital at the Hellenic Centre
8:00 pm
The Great Hall at the Hellenic Centre
16-18 Paddington St. Marylebone, London W1U 5AS
020 7487 5060
Free admission, reservation recommended by email.

Cappella Romana, in collaboration with the School of Byzantine Music and the Archdiocese of Thyateira, presents a mini-symposium and recital of Byzantine chant. Leading liturgical scholars and musicologists from the UK and US discuss ‘The Musical Form of the Divine Liturgy’ in a short series of papers and a panel discussion aimed to reach a broad spectrum of the public, from early music enthusiasts, to liturgy scholars and enthusiasts, to students and practitioners of Byzantine chant. Topics covered will include the poetic and musical forms of Byzantine hymnography and music, the hermeneutics of Byzantine chant, and the adaptation of Byzantine chant into English. Following a short interval, the choir of the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music, led by Fr. Joseph Paliouras, will participate in a short recital with Cappella Romana. The day will conclude with an informal reception.

5:00 pm: Introductory Greetings
5:30 pm: Papers and panel discussion
7:00 pm: Interval - tea
7:30 pm: Recital of Byzantine chant by Cappella Romana and the Choir of the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Chant

Wednesday 15 May - Desert and City: Mediaeval Byzantine Chant from the Holy Land
8 pm, Full Evening Concert
St Bartholomew-the-Great, Cloth Fair, EC1

Tickets £25 £18; Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
TICKETS through St Bartholomew-the-Great

The full programme at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew-the-Great features Medieval Byzantine chant, the fraternal repertoire to Latin chant in the West. It opens with music for the celebrations of Holy Week composed in and around Jerusalem from the seventh to the ninth centuries by the city’s great church fathers: Patriarch Sophronios, Kosmas the Melodist, and Saint John Damascene. This music receives its UK premiere with this tour performance. The programme continues with excerpts of the hauntingly beautiful Great Vespers for the Feast of St Catherine of Alexandria as it might have been celebrated at her monastery on Mount Sinai in Egypt during the fifteenth century. This portion of the programme is featured on Cappella Romana’s recent CD release ‘Voices of Byzantium’ published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Great and Holy Friday in Jerusalem
Medieval Byzantine Chant from the Typikon of the Anastasis (the Church of the Holy Sepulchre), including works by Kosmas the Melodist (8th c), Romanos the Melodist (6th c), Theophanes Protothronos (9th c), and Leo VI the Wise (866–912).


The Vespers of St Catherine
Medieval Byzantine Chant for a festal Vespers from ancient Sinaïte manuscripts, including the works by St John Koukouzeles (late 13th-early 14th c) and Manuel Chrysaphes the Lampadarios (mid-15th c), cantor to the last Emperor of the Byzantines (the Eastern Roman Empire).

All performing editions by Ioannis Arvanitis


Cappella Romana - Alexander Lingas, artistic director and conductor
Its performances ‘like jeweled light flooding the space’ (Los Angeles Times), Cappella Romana is a vocal chamber ensemble dedicated to combining passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, with emphasis on early and contemporary music. Founded in 1991, Cappella Romana’s name (lit. ‘Roman chapel’) refers to the medieval Greek concept of the Roman oikoumene (inhabited world), which embraced Rome and Western Europe, as well as the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople (‘New Rome’) and its Slavic commonwealth. Each program in some way reflects the musical, cultural and spiritual heritage of this ecumenical vision.

Flexible in size according to the demands of the repertory, Cappella Romana is based in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, where it presents annual concert series in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. It regularly tours in Europe and North America, having appeared at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the J Paul Getty Center, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Pontificio Istituto Orientale in Rome, the Sacred Music Festival of Patmos, the University of Oxford, Princeton University, and Yale University.

Cappella Romana has released over a dozen compact discs, including Byzantium 330–1453 (the official companion CD to the Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition), Byzantium in Rome: Medieval Byzantine Chant from Grottaferrata, The Fall of Constantinople, Richard Toensing: Kontakion on the Nativity of Christ, Peter Michaelides: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, The Divine Liturgy in English: The Complete Service in Byzantine Chant, Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium, and its recent release made in Greece of medieval Byzantine and contemporary Greek-American choral works called Live in Greece: From Constantinople to California. Forthcoming releases include a choral setting of the Divine Liturgy in Greek by Tikey Zes, a disc of choral works of the Finnish Orthodox Church directed by the Rev Dr Ivan Moody, the environmental oratorio A Time for Life by Robert Kyr and a disc of 15th-century Greek and Latin music from the island of Cyprus.

In 2010 it became a participant in the research project ‘Icons of Sound: Aesthetics and Acoustics of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’, a collaboration between Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) and Department of Art & Art History. Cappella Romana completed a residency at Stanford again in 2013, which included further experiments with CCRMA, lecture demonstrations, and a live performance in Stanford’s new Bing Hall, featuring a medieval Byzantine chant sung in the virtual acoustic of Hagia Sophia before a sold-out audience. The ensemble also performed ‘Holy Friday in Medieval Jerusalem’ in Stanford’s Byzantine-inspired Memorial Church, where it also completed recording sessions of the same programme, excerpts of which are heard for a future release.

Alexander Lingas
Cappella Romana’s founder and artistic director Alexander Lingas, is a Senior Lecturer in Music at City University London and a Fellow of the University of Oxford’s European Humanities Research Centre. Formerly Assistant Professor of Music History at Arizona State University’s School of Music, he received his PhD in Historical Musicology from the University of British Columbia. His awards include Fulbright and Onassis grants for musical studies with cantor Lycourgos Angelopoulos, the British Academy’s Thank-Offering to Britain Fellowship, and the St Romanos the Melodist medallion of the National Forum for Greek Orthodox Church Musicians (USA). Having contributed articles to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, Dr Lingas is now completing two monographs: a study of Sunday Matins in the Rite of Hagia Sophia for Ashgate and a historical introduction to Byzantine Chant for Yale University Press.

Cappella Romana partners
These events are made possible in part by grants, contributions, and assistance from the Higher Education Innovation Fund through City University London, BBC Radio 3, the Hellenic Centre, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira in Great Britain.

This engagement is also supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Friday 10 May 2013

One arrested as plot to assasinate Patriarch Bartholomew uncovered

10 May 2013 /BAYRAM KAYA, ANKARA - From Today's Zaman, Turkey
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into an alleged plot to assassinate Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I on the 560th anniversary of the conquest of İstanbul by the Ottomans, with police arresting one suspect and still seeking two others.

Pope Tawadros visits Pope Francis

From the Coptic Orthodox Church UK, Media and Communications Office, 10 May 2013
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark visited His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church on the 9th and 10th of May 2013. 
This historic visit marks 40 years since His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda III, and His Holiness the late Pope Paul VI signed the Christological agreement between their respective Churches in the Vatican in 1973. 
Accompanying Pope Tawadros are His Eminence Metropolitan Pakhomious of Boheira and Pentapolis, His Eminence Metropolitan Hedra of Aswan, His Grace Bishop Serapion of Los Angeles, HG Bishop Kyrellos of Milan, HG Bishop Raphaeil, General secretary of the Holy Synod, HG Bishop Barnaba of Turin, HG Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, HG Bishop Epiphanious, Abbot of the monastery of St Macarious, and Papal secretaries Father Angelos Ishak and Father Seraphim el Souriani.
In his official address Pope Tawadros said: 
‘We appreciate all we have in common and need to work together to improve the relationships between our ancient Churches and prepare our people for our greater unity.’
In response to Pope Tawadros, Pope Francis said:
‘I am convinced that – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – our persevering prayer, our dialogue and the will to build communion day by day in mutual love will allow us to take important further steps towards full unity.’
Speaking from Rome as part of the official delegation accompanying His Holiness Pope Tawadros, HG Bishop Angaelos, also Co-Chair of the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum in the United Kingdom said:
‘This has been a historic meeting, as it is the first international visit by Pope Tawadros II, who is also the first head of Church to be received by Pope Francis after his installation. During this visit we have seen, in the two fathers of these ancient Apostolic Churches, a real commitment to working together for realised unity.  
While centuries have kept us apart for a variety of reasons, it is clear that continued ecumenical dialogue and relations over the past decades have continued to bring us closer.’
The formal meeting was followed by a private prayer service in Pope Francis’ private chapel, led by Pope Tawadros and Pope Francis.

Our Eastern Brothers: An interview with Archbishop Stefan Soroka about Eastern Catholicism, Orthodoxy and traditions

An interview with Archbishop Stefan Soroka about Eastern Catholicism, Orthodoxy and traditions

by Alton J. Pelowski, Columbia Magazine
Since Roman Catholics comprise the vast majority of the world’s more than 1 billion Catholics, most people today think the Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church are synonymous terms. However, there are some 22 Eastern Catholic Churches, which have their own ancient traditions and customs. In the early centuries of Christianity, disagreements and controversies regarding authority, traditions and theological nuances began to grow between the Greek-speaking East, centered in Constantinople, and the Latin-speaking West, centered in Rome. This eventually resulted in the East-West Schism, also called the Great Schism, of 1054. Because the Eastern Catholic Churches were once associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church, they share common elements with Orthodoxy in things like language, liturgy and artistic traditions. Nonetheless, they remain in full communion with Rome.

In recent decades, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have encouraged a greater appreciation of Eastern traditions among Latin-rite Catholics and have also sought to improve dialogue with Eastern Orthodox leaders. With this in mind Columbia’s managing editor, Alton Pelowski, interviewed Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Philadelphia. Archbishop Soroka is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and a member of Bishop Stephen Soter Ortynsky Council 14088 in Philadelphia.

Our Eastern Brothers: Read the full interview here

Pope Tawadros II to Meet with Pope Francis | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Pope Tawadros II to Meet with Pope Francis | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Wednesday 8 May 2013

The 19th Century Encounter of Two Priests: Russian Alaska and Franciscan California

Byzantine Catholic Culture - The Tale of Two Priests

Bishop Hlib: The Ukrainian Church in the British Capital - Radio Interview

The Ukrainian Church in London is a Ukrainian World in the British Capital

7 May 2013, 21:55
London – Maybe it sounds unexpected, but the Ukrainian church can be considered a symbol of globalization. In fact, in every country of the world where there is at least a small Ukrainian community, one of the centers of Ukrainian life is the church. The United Kingdom is no exception. At Easter and on other major holidays Ukrainian churches gather many people, and not only those who are very religious or speak Ukrainian fluently.

On Easter the Ukrainian cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the British capital barely housed everyone who wanted to take part in the religious service. On major holidays, thousands of people gather here, and the building in the historic center of London becomes a piece of Ukraine.

The pastor of the cathedral, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, is the eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Great Britain and apostolic visitor for Ukrainian Catholics in Ireland.

He was born and raised in the United States, and studied in Rome. The bishop says that the Ukrainian church in every country has its own particularity.

“Every country has its own ethos. In America, even the people of Ukrainian descent who have assimilated still come to the Ukrainian church. They see themselves as members of the Ukrainian community. London’s particularity is that about 90% of the parishioners here have come from Ukraine in the latest wave of immigration. They are looking for God, but also for a Ukrainian environment,” Hlib Lonchyna said when asked why Ukrainians choose this church out of London’s many churches.

Andriy Hunder is the head of the Ukrainian Institute in London, a representative of the generation that was born and raised in Britain.

“I first came here when I was a few months old. I was baptized here. Then mom and dad brought me here on Sundays and on holidays. These places are native to me. On holidays thousands of Ukrainians gather here,” said Andriy Hunder.

One of the older female parishioners told Radio Liberty that she has attended the Ukrainian church in London for 50 years. The Ukrainian community acquired the building of the present cathedral in 1967.

"Once everyone here was young… And then they grayed, and passed away. That crowd is no more, but we have many guests from Ukraine. I am very happy about this because without them we – the old – would not be able to support the cathedral. The church is a treasure for me,” says the grandmother. For many Ukrainians who came to London to work, the church is an important place where they can feel closer to home. “I come here whenever I can take time off from work,” says one woman. “I first came here in 2005, when I arrived just before Easter,” she notes. “I feel very comfortable here, but I miss home, my children.”

Ukrainian original text from Radio Liberty translated by Areta Kovalsky

Saturday 4 May 2013

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the Huffington Post: Orthodox Easter Resurrection: The Gift of Liberation and Call to Compassion

Huffinton Post - 5 May 2013 - Holy Pascha

Patriarch Bartholomew writes:

While many Christians celebrated Easter over a month ago as a result of differing calendar calculations, Orthodox Easter takes place much later this year, falling on May 5. Thus, at midnight on Saturday, May 4, the night that our fourth-century predecessor on the Throne of Constantinople, St. Gregory Nazianzus, described as "brighter than any sunlit day," some 300 million Orthodox Christians will swarm churches to hear the words: "Come, receive the light!"

On that night, throughout the world, entire congregations previously waiting in darkness and filled with anticipation will light up, their faces shining with joy and hope. Together they will all chant in numerous languages, depending on geography and culture, the triumphant hymn familiar to young and old: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and granting life to those in the tombs."
"Life to those in the tombs" refers to a refreshing perspective on Easter: we see an open tomb, not an empty grave. The miracle of the Resurrection then is an open invitation to a new way of living that prevails over the darkness within us and around us. The Orthodox icon of the Resurrection depicts Christ pulling Adam and Eve, our earliest prototypes of sinners, out of a tomb and into a new life. It is an image of liberation, often depicting broken chains and shattered padlocks. The light of Christ enters and brightens the furthest depths of human experience. No longer does the grip of hell, imprisonment and defeat cause us to become rigid, numb and indifferent. Resurrection is all about a new reality, a fresh perspective, a renewed life, where resentment, hardness and hostility are overcome.

Read more

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Orthodox Easter Resurrection: The Gift of Liberation and Call to Compassion

Christ is risen - "Let us embrace one another"! - A blessed, joyful and glorious Pascha to all our Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Friends

Doxastikon of Lauds (Plagal of the First Tone) It is the day of Resurrection; let us be radiant for the festival, and let us embrace one another. Let us say, O brethren, even to those that hate us: Let us forgive all things on the Resurrection; and thus let us cry: Christ is risen from the dead, by death He has trampled down death, and on those in the tombs He has bestowed life.

SYRIA Melkite bishop: Christians pained and worried by the fate of kidnapped prelates - Asia News

SYRIA Melkite bishop: Christians pained and worried by the fate of kidnapped prelates - Asia News

11 May – Special Day of Prayer for Syria | Persona

11 May – Special Day of Prayer for Syria | Persona

The Evangelical group, Open Doors, is organising a rally praying for the release of the hostages and an end to the persecution of the Christians of Syria on the same day in London, in response to the ecumenical call for prayers internationally.

Call to protect Syria’s dwindling Christian minority, for international day of prayer | Release International | Serving persecuted Christians around the world

Call to protect Syria’s dwindling Christian minority, for international day of prayer | Release International | Serving persecuted Christians around the world

Armenian Catholic Fr Michel Kayal - Abducted by Bandits and Forgotten by the World - Aleteia

Abducted by Bandits and Forgotten by the World - Aleteia

While Fr Michel (see the short film at the end of the above post) happened to be travelling on the same bus as Fr Ishaak Mahfoud, a Greek Orthodox priest, in February 2013 they were both abducted at a checkpoint. Fr Hassan Tabara, a Melkite Greek-Catholic, went missing while visiting his mother in Damascus.

Christians face double crisis in Syria - Aid to the Church in Need UK

We pray for their safe return.

Friday 3 May 2013

A Blessed and Peaceful Holy Friday to all !

Blessed peaceful Holy Friday to everyone.

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Cross. He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who in Jordan set Adam free receives blows upon His face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear. We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ. Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection.

NCRegister from back in 1997 | No Place Produces Vocations Like Syro Malabar Church

NCRegister | No Place Produces Vocations Like Syro Malabar Church

Thursday 2 May 2013

Monitoring Religious Repression - A list of violators | The Economist


Eastern Catholic Spiritual Renewal: Reflections on Reunion

Eastern Catholic Spiritual Renewal: Reflections on Reunion:           When it comes to overcoming divisions I am reminded of a passage from the Philokalia. It says that through the sacrament of bapti...

Marynovych’s talk in London brings to light major risks for Ukraine’s future development

Marynovych’s talk in London brings to light major risks for Ukraine’s future development

Historic meeting between Pope and first Russian ambassador to Vatican

Historic meeting between Pope and first Russian ambassador to Vatican

Pope Francis: Great powers “washed their hands” during Armenian Genocide | ARMENPRESS Armenian News Agency

Pope Francis: Great powers “washed their hands” during Armenian Genocide | ARMENPRESS Armenian News Agency

Egypt’s Salafyo Costa bring Christians, Muslims together : EgyptMonocle

Egypt’s Salafyo Costa bring Christians, Muslims together : EgyptMonocle

Robert Taft on "Building Bridges Between Orthodox and Catholic Christians" | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

Catholic World Report had the recent privilege of asking Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ for his perspective on current Orthodox-Catholic relations. Father Taft has been the leading scholar in Byzantine liturgical studies for decades. Taft has devoted his life to preserving the liturgical treasury of the East and building bridges between Orthodox and Catholic Christians.

Building Bridges Between Orthodox and Catholic Christians | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views