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

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.












Friday, 30 August 2013

Week of Prayer for Syria: Day 1 | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Week of Prayer for Syria: Day 1 | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

President of Canada's Bishops on Unity Among Greek and Latin Catholics | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

President of Canada's Bishops on Unity Among Greek and Latin Catholics | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Eastern Catholic Churches join Pope, appeal for end to violence in Syria

Eastern Catholic Churches join Pope, appeal for end to violence in Syria


Pope Francis receives the King of Jordan: dialogue and negotiations "only option" to stop the conflict in Syria - Asia News

VATICAN - JORDAN Pope: dialogue and negotiations "only option" to stop the conflict in Syria - Asia News

CNS STORY: Syrian patriarch Gregorios: 'Enough with the intervention'

CNS STORY: Syrian-born patriarch: 'Enough with the intervention'

Egyptians of All Faiths were United in Expelling the Muslim Brotherhood - Aleteia

Egyptians of All Faiths were United in Expelling the Muslim Brotherhood - Aleteia

Breathing with the Two Lungs of the Church for the Assumption of Mary | TOM PERNA

Breathing with the Two Lungs of the Church for the Assumption of Mary | TOM PERNA

EGYPT Minya: schools, churches and orphanages burnt to erase all traces of a Christian presence - Asia News

EGYPT Minya: schools, churches and orphanages burnt to erase all traces of a Christian presence - Asia News

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Italian company Piacenti to restore Church of the Nativity - Vatican Insider

Italian company Piacenti to restore Church of the Nativity - Vatican Insider

THE OTHER FACE OF SYRIA | Christian valley sends SOS to govt army - InterAksyon.com

THE OTHER FACE OF SYRIA | Christian valley sends SOS to govt army - InterAksyon.com

Syrian Monastery Holds Day of Prayer and Fasting for Kidnapped Jesuit Priest | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Syrian Monastery Holds Day of Prayer and Fasting for Kidnapped Jesuit Priest | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

WCC condemns chemical weapons use and calls on UN to fulfil its responsibility to protect Syrians — World Council of Churches

WCC condemns chemical weapons use and calls on UN to fulfil its responsibility to protect Syrians — World Council of Churches

IRAQ Patriarch Sako calls on Christians not to flee Iraq - Asia News

IRAQ Patriarch Sako calls on Christians not to flee Iraq - Asia News

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri Appeals For End of Violence in Egypt | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri Appeals For End of Violence in Egypt | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

The Coptic Orthodox Church UK: List of attacks on Christians churches, institutions and individuals in Egypt

The Coptic Orthodox Church UK: List of attacks on Christians churches, institutions and individuals in Egypt

Coptic MediaEgypt - YouTube: Video Evidence of Destruction of Churches

Coptic MediaEgypt - YouTube

UN: One million Syrian children are now refugees

UN: One million Syrian children are now refugees


The Egyptian Family Home Statement — World Council of Churches

The Egyptian Family Home Statement — World Council of Churches

British Orthodox submission to the Holy Synod on Catholic baptism - The British Orthodox Church

British Orthodox submission to the Holy Synod on Catholic baptism - The British Orthodox Church

Observations on the Egypt crisis by Abba Seraphim - The British Orthodox Church

Observations on the Egypt crisis by Abba Seraphim - The British Orthodox Church

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Address From President of Canada's Bishops to Ukrainian Greek Catholic Synod | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Address From President of Canada's Bishops to Ukrainian Greek Catholic Synod | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Here is an address by the president of the bishops of Canada, Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton to the Synod of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops. The address was given August 15.


 
Dear Brother Bishops,
Glory to Jesus Christ!

I thank my brother in the Lord, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, for the kind invitation to address this eminent gathering. I am pleased and honoured to be with you, because this occasion affords me the opportunity to greet you on behalf of all the Latin-rite Bishops of Canada, and to assure you of our fraternal affection and abiding esteem. We remember with deep appreciation the visit of His Beatitude to our Plenary Assembly held near the city of Montreal, Canada just under one year ago and the message he shared with us. His words were a pledge of fraternal communion, which my visit with you in Kyiv now allows me to reciprocate.

We rejoice with you as you celebrate here the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of the people of Kyivan-Rus’. In Canada we continue to mark an anniversary of considerably fewer years but still of great significance for our land, namely, the centenary of the arrival of the first Ukrainian Catholic Bishop in our country, the Blessed Nikita Budka. The commemorations of these events unite to underscore the marvellous enrichment that our Ukrainian brothers and sisters bring to both Church and society.

Among the many gifts you offer us, I want to mention in particular your witness of fidelity and resilience. As I visit this country and read again of its history, I am both edified and humbled by the resilience of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the face of great persecution and suffering. The lesson you teach us is that authentic discipleship involves inescapably the embrace of truth revealed in Christ and its incarnation in our individual and collective lives. Resistance to this truth by others, even violent opposition, does not excuse us from our responsibility to be faithful witnesses to our Lord. From your heroic example, we in the West can draw encouragement and inspiration. While secularization there steadily fashions an environment intolerant of the Gospel, you remind us of the beauty of fidelity and its power to transform. In this way you encourage us to be steadfast, regardless of the consequences, confident that God works mysteriously through his faithful ones to turn all to the good.

It appears to me that your apprehension of the beauty of truth and faithful adherence to it arises from the central place accorded by the Ukrainian tradition to the Divine Liturgy. God who is Truth meets us in the Liturgy, where he draws us into the mystery of His love, and enables us to share even now in his Triune life. Encounter with this mystery in the Liturgy engenders fidelity to the divine love, and impels us by that same caritas toward our brothers and sisters, even if our presence and message is unwelcome. Your consistent witness over many centuries to this truth lends strength to the call now being issued to the Church and world by Pope Francis to know the Lord and to bring his love to the peripheries.

At the same time the Divine Liturgy handed on in the Byzantine tradition gives great emphasis to Mercy, which is Truth's necessary companion. Here again we find a lesson vital for our times. Our day is rather harsh and unforgiving toward human frailty, an attitude that, sadly, characterizes the manner in which many Catholics relate to one another. Yet God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) and no one can survive without divine forgiveness (Psalm 130:3). From the frequent cry for mercy in the Divine Liturgy we learn the foundation of true human solidarity: since all are in need of God's tender compassion, we must be merciful toward one another.

In Canada, the relationship between Latin and Ukrainian Catholics is strong. I am pleased to share with you that this good rapport is particularly visible in our national episcopal conference and regional assemblies of Bishops, where we welcome the full participation of our Ukrainian brothers. Indeed, we ensure that the Metropolitan has a permanent ex officio presence on our Permanent Council, the body of Bishops that governs the life of our episcopal conference between plenary sessions. We benefit greatly from their participation not only in various committees of the national conference but also in shared ministry at the regional and local levels. They are our brothers, they are our friends, and we are enriched by our collaboration for the good of the Church.

Today on the Latin Church Calendar we mark a beautiful mystery in the life of our Blessed Mother. The Ukrainian tradition speaks of this as her Dormition, the Latin as her Assumption. These two terms for the same event constitute a distinction without difference. Thus does our common love for the Mother of God shine light on the nature of our unity in the Church: distinct without difference. By the intercession of Our Lady, may this communion give both hope and direction to our world that hungers for harmony and peace.

A Coptic Monument to Survival, Destroyed | By Samuel Tadros - WSJ.com

A Coptic Monument to Survival, Delga Church Destroyed | By Samuel Tadros - WSJ.com

Moscow on the Dnipro

Moscow on the Dnipro

From RISU - 21 August 2013

Andrew SOROKOWSKI

Russian President Vladimir Putin chooses his words carefully. Unlike the leaders of some countries, he does not make faux pas. One does not rise through the ranks of the KGB dropping careless remarks. Moreover, he is an unusually intelligent man. Thus, his words deserve careful scrutiny.
 
Mr. Putin was in Kyiv last July for the celebrations of the 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’. As the “Economist” noted, the event was rife with political implications, particularly with the prospect of Ukraine’s upcoming choice between an Association Agreement with the European Union and a Customs Union with Russia. And as Sophia Kishkovsky remarked in the New York Times,Mr. Putin’s trip was also “the latest sign of the deepening ties and common agenda of the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church.” The anniversary had received considerable attention in Russia, “reflecting the Kremlin’s embrace of the church and its spiritual leader, Patriarch Kirill I.”
 
Representatives of all of the world’s Orthodox churches had travelled to Kyiv, along with fragments of the cross on which the Apostle Andrew is believed to have been crucified. The cross had been exhibited on a tour across Russia sponsored by Vladimir Yakunin, the head of the Russian railway company, who is said to be close to both Mr. Putin and the Russian Church. In his remarks, Patriarch Kirill stressed the idea of Holy Rus’, which unitesRussia, Ukraine and Belarus in a single Orthodox sphere. (Sophia Kishkovsky,“Putin in Ukraine to Celebrate a Christian Anniversary,” New York Times, July 28, 2013). Thus, the spiritual and temporal authorities cooperated in promoting, respectively, the ideas of Holy Rus’ and the “Russian world.”
 
In connection with these events, Mr. Putin made three significant statements. “We are all spiritual heirs of what happened here 1,025 years ago,” he told church hierarchs at the Monastery of the Caves in Kyiv “And in this sense we are, without a doubt, one people.”Second, in a film called “The Second Baptism of Rus’,” aired on Russian state television, the president credited the choice of Christianity with “building a centralized Russian state.”Third, he described Communism as “just a simplified version of the religious principles shared by practically all the world’s traditional religions.”(Ibid.)
 
One cannot dispute the notion that the Russians and Belarusians are, along with the Ukrainians, the “spiritual heirs” of the Baptism of Rus’. But does it follow that they are “one people”? In a family – if we look at the source of the metaphor -- heirs are separate individuals, not a single person. The French, Germans, Spaniards and Italians are all “heirs” of Rome, but they remain separate nations. And just as the Italians can assert a certain priority in their claim to the Roman legacy, so the Ukrainians can make a pre-eminent claim to the legacy of Kyivan Rus’. It is significant that, as the report in the “Economist” noted, the Russian representatives to the commemoration wore badges that omitted the inconvenient word “Kyivan” from that term.It seems that in Mr. Putin’s view, it was Moscow that was baptised in the river Dnipro.
 
On the second point, did the choice of Christianity result in the creation of a “centralized Russian state”? It is true that it helped Grand Prince Volodimer (Vladimir) bring together a disparate collection of pagan peoples. But Mr. Putin appears to be conflating Kyivan Rus’ with the centralized Muscovite state formed three or four centuries later, which became the basis of the Russian empire founded by Peter I in the eighteenth century. Kyivan Rus’ never forged the kind of centralism practiced by Moscow. And Moscow’s subjugation of city-states like Novgorod in its “gathering of Rus’” had little to do with Christianity.
 
Finally, the notion that Soviet Communism was “just a simplified version” of universal religious principles is both a distortion and an exaggeration. The communal sharing of worldly goods was indeed practiced by early Christians, and can be found in other religions. But to sever it from other religious principles is to distort its meaning. For Christians, such sharing was voluntary, and inseparable from the other teachings of Jesus Christ. The forcible confiscation and redistribution of property conducted by the Bolsheviks was hardly consistent with those teachings. Nor, obviously, was the atheism and philosophical materialism that was essential to Communist ideology. Christians shared their goods because they believed in love and awaited the Kingdom of Heaven; Communists forced people into collectives because they cultivated class hatred and believed only in the material world.
 
These three statements seem to suggest that President Putin is a poor logician, a shaky historian, and a dreadful theologian. But he is more intelligent than that. More likely, he expects that most people will not analyze his words. Skilled propagandist that he is, he realizes that people will believe nonsense if they want to. And there are plenty of people who want to believe that the glorious successor of the Soviet Union will be none other than Holy Rus’, reincarnated as the new Russian World.

Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East? - Aleteia

Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East? - Aleteia

Translated article by Andrea Riccardi, from the Corriere della Sera, 18 August 2013.

Faith Can End Egypt’s Politics of Persecution - Aleteia

Faith Can End Egypt’s Politics of Persecution - Aleteia

Western elites are dumbfounded that religion matters so much to people and can breed so much violence. But they need to learn quickly that it can also be used for good.

 
By Joseph Loconte, associate professor of history at the King’s College, New York City.

Coptic Catholic Bishop Reports Slight Relief in Egypt | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Coptic Catholic Bishop Reports Slight Relief in Egypt | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Islamists Step Up Attacks on Christians for Supporting Morsi’s Ouster - NYTimes.com

Islamists Step Up Attacks on Christians for Supporting Morsi’s Ouster - NYTimes.com

Note, on page 2, the following comment: "In the chaos, there was a moment of hope. Mr. Riyad said a Muslim resident stepped in and challenged the mob, saying if they burned it, they should burn him as well."

Patriarch Sviatoslav blesses the waters from which Rus' Ukraine first received Baptism 1025 years ago

Patriarch Sviatoslav blesses the waters of the Dnipro/Dnieper in Kyiv during the commemoration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus' Ukraine, following Sunday's consecration of the new Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchal Sobor of the Resurrection of Christ (in the background, below)

Egyptian bishop says terrorists tried to kill him in his home :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Egyptian bishop says terrorists tried to kill him in his home :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

EGYPT Young Muslim: We can only rebuild Egypt together with Christians - Asia News

EGYPT Young Muslim: We can only rebuild Egypt together with Christians - Asia News

From SAT-7 - The present situation in Egypt

Sat-7 is a Christian broadcaster, which is able to provide information, news and presentation of Christ and the Gospel, as one channel among many broadcasting from the satellite that relays TV programming across the Middle East. It thus broadcasts to 300 million Arabic speakers, 100 million Persian speakers and 77 million Turkish speakers. While it has a great deal of western Evangelical support and resources the small communities of Middle Eastern Protestants (including secretly bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ and hope to many Muslims, often at great risk to them), it is also scrupulous in working with, respecting and involving the ancient historic Catholic and Orthodox Churches in the region - as the picture below shows.

Here is the link to Sat-7's website - and the full version of the statement summarised below.

Special update 
Dear Prayer Partner
Understanding the present situation

Recent political events in Egypt, especially security force conflicts with the Muslim Brotherhood, have highlighted both deep divisions within Egypt and between how the situation has been viewed in Egypt and abroad. All of us will have been deeply distressed by the violence and numbers of deaths in clashes between protesters and security forces (over 800 including 70 in security forces), but Egyptian Christians and many others who called for Mohammed Morsi's departure, are perplexed at the way the situation has been reported and viewed abroad.
Coptic congregation worship in burnt-out church
Coptic Christians gather in a burnt-out church
Dr Terence Ascott, International CEO of SAT-7, has issued a statement on behalf of Christians in ministry in Egypt to explain why so many were dismayed by the foreign reporting of events.
In seeking "to give a bigger picture of what has been going on in the past year or so", he considers:
  • How committed to democracy are ex-president Morsi's supporters in reality?
  • How large was Mohammed Morsi's mandate and why did he forfeit the support of most of the population?
  • How did the peaceful occupation of Tahrir Square by demonstrators in January 2011 and at the end of June 2013 difer from the protest camps of the Muslim Brotherhood?
  • How Christians have responded with faith and forgiveness to the violent wave of attacks that have seen over 40 churches attacked and many destroyed (see photo in which a Coptic congregaton worshipped last Sunday in the building's burntout remains).  
Dr Ascott asks urgent prayer that:
  • The current violence will end soon
  • The effective rule of law and order will be re-established for the benefit of all citizens
  • There will be effective protection of church and other property against attacks by extremists
  • Egypt will be governed for the benefit of all its citizens, with people of different persuasions able to live alongside one another peaceably
  • Egyptian Christians will have opportunity to play an increasingly prominent and effective role in addressing the needs of all Egyptians and helping to bring healing and reconciliation in the country"
Please continue to pray for SAT-7's Cairo team especially at this time as they continue to broadcast hope and faith to audiences shocked by the unrest and, in many cases unable to attend church because of curfews or safety concerns. Any gift you can make to SAT-7 ARABIC will provide precious support to these viewers.
 
Yours in Christ
Rachel Fadipe
Rachel Fadipe
Executive Director
SAT-7 Trust 

Egyptian patriarch calls recent violence a 'war' on terrorism :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Egyptian patriarch calls recent violence a 'war' on terrorism :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

El increíble milagro del Padre Pío que llevó a la conversión a toda una parroquia ortodoxa - ReL

El increíble milagro del Padre Pío que llevó a la conversión a toda una parroquia ortodoxa - ReL

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

True Relations between Egypt's Christians and Muslims


Egyptian Catholic Bishops: This Is Not Christians vs Muslims Violence | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Egyptian Bishops: This Is Not Christians vs Muslims Violence | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Vatican reform will decentralize Church decision-making, predicts Indian cardinal : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Vatican reform will decentralize Church decision-making, predicts Indian cardinal : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

This is not only of interest with respect to the internal workings of the Catholic Church (and the proper autocephaly of the Eastern Catholic Churches within the framework of communion with the Bishop of Rome), but also the dialogue with the Orthodox Church. The Ravenna Statement identified the Roman position that authority exists strongly at the level of the universal-papal, and at the level of the bishop of the local church, but weakly at the intermediate, regional or patriarchal level. It identified in the varied Orthodox patterns of authority functioning strongly at the patriarchal or regional level and at the level of the bishop locally, but hardly at all in a universal or even pan-Orthodox way. If Pope Francis' reforms in the governance of the Latin Catholic Church are to amount to a development in its ecclesiology, or at least the implementation of its ecclesiology (even if for practical purposes, though the emphasis on accountability and collaboration with the successor of Peter), some Orthodox will recognise a move that takes into account their understanding of how the Church is to be well constituted.

Will that be matched with an Orthodox move towards desire for a ministry of some kind of authority and leadership at the universal level? It is well known that, for reasons internal to the Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church withdrew from the meetings that led to the Ravenna Statement and were not therefore signatory to it, nor did they subsequently subscribe to it. It is clear that they do not regard the Ecumenical Patriarch, despite his canonical precedence, as an Orthodox counterpart to the Roman pope, not least since his see has not led the Orthodox Churches of an entire empire for nearly a century and his duty to Orthodox Christians in diaspora (the bounds of the ancient patriarchal territories never having been conclusively defined, let alone more recently established ones). On one account, Constantinople was New Rome, but now Moscow is Third Rome. Would the long awaited Pan-Orthodox Synod recognise this in some way?

Meanwhile, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has developed its own Statement on primacy in the universal Church. It is likely to take a different view from Ravenna's, partly because some in the Russian Church criticise the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church for looking at the problems and the history in terms of abstract, theological and philosophical principles (the resort to theological philosophy is hardly surprising, given the chairmanship of Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon), while Moscow wishes the dialogue to face present and historic realities (which arguably favour its position). Yet the present exercise at the Joint Commission is to look at the practical reality (as well as the theory) of primatial authority as it was in the first millennium. This of course is something to which the Russian Church was not party and it has little direct consciousness or memory of functioning in a time when what are now the Catholic and Orthodox Churches were in complete communion (although patterns of continued communion existed between East and West as far as to the Tridentine era - see the work of Anthony O'Mahony on the Ohrid patriarchate and the Greeks and Albanians of southern Italy). The Moscow patriarchate, indeed, post-dates the restored communion between Latin and Byzantine churches in middle Europe finding themselves within the boundaries of Catholic rather than Byzantine Orthodox rulers. The Russian Orthodox view on primacy in the universal Church will doubtless express its views on territory, diaspora and the reality of Moscow leading now by far the largest and most influential of the Orthodox Churches, and that this leadership is a force for good  in the whole of the Orthodox Church. Possibly it may seek recognition of Moscow as the de facto if not de jure Orthodox opposite number to Rome and an enhanced role for its patriarch.

We are told the Statement has been approved and await its release.

In Cairo the Lecture of Regensburg Is Relevant Again

Time to revisit Pope Benedict's famous (and misrepresented) reflections? The view from Sandro Magister:

In Cairo the Lecture of Regensburg Is Relevant Again

The West has behaved terribly over Egypt | CatholicHerald.co.uk

From Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith:

The West has behaved terribly over Egypt | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Egypt: Coptic church cancels Sunday mass for 1st time in 1,600 years | The Times of Israel

Egypt: Coptic church cancels Sunday mass for 1st time in 1,600 years | The Times of Israel

Monday, 19 August 2013

More Egypt vandalism: the museum in Minya attacked and looted by Muslim Brotherhood at Roger Pearse

More Egypt vandalism: the museum in Minya attacked and looted by Muslim Brotherhood - at Roger Pearse

Coptic monastery set alight; fate of Coptic manuscripts unknown at Roger Pearse

Coptic monastery of Virgin Mary at Asyut set alight; fate of Coptic manuscripts unknown at Roger Pearse

Romania implored to return Communist-seized churches :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Romania implored to return Communist-seized churches to the Romanian Catholic Church :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

For Egypt's Christian Churches, Western media with their lies help Islamists - Asia News


EGYPT For Egypt's Christian Churches, Western media with their lies help Islamists - Asia News
 
In two separate statements, the Coptic Orthodox and the Catholic Churches condemn the recent violence and offer their support to the government. They call on Western media to show the true picture of Egypt without fomenting sectarian clashes. Only unity between Christians and Muslims can save the country.
From Cairo (AsiaNews) - The Coptic Orthodox and Catholic Churches offer their full support to the police and to the government. 
Both condemn media falsifications spread by Western countries, which give space to terrorist and bloodthirsty organisations responsible for attacks against 58 churches and 160 Christian buildings (pictured).
"We request that the international and western media provide a comprehensive account of all events with truth, accuracy, and honesty," said the statement made on behalf of Tawadros II.
In representation of the Catholic Church, Bishop Isaac Ibrahim, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts, slammed the "those media that promote lies and falsify the truth in order to mislead world public opinion."
Both communities would like to thank everyone, especially Muslims, who defended Christian churches, homes and shops, even at the cost of their life, from attacks from Islamic extremists.
The Statement of the Catholic Church in Egypt was given in an earlier post. Here is the Statement from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt about the situation in Egypt:
The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt is following closely the unfortunate incidences occurring in our nation and confirms its strong stance with the Egyptian law enforcement, the armed forces, and all civil Egyptian institutions in confronting violent armed organizations and dark malicious forces, both internal and external. The attacks on our government entities and peaceful churches are terrorizing our citizens both Coptic and Muslim. These actions stand against all religions, morality, and humanity.
We value the stance of the friendly and loyal countries who understand the nature of these events. We strongly denounce the fallacies broadcasted by the western media and invite them to review the facts objectively regarding these bloody radical organizations and their affiliates instead of legitimizing them with global support and political protection while they attempt to spread devastation and destruction in our dear land. We request that the international and western media adhere to providing a comprehensive account of all events with truth, accuracy, and honesty. 
Our sincere condolences are extended to all the victims and martyrs of duty that gave their lives, and we pray for the recovery of all those injured and afflicted. We persevere in our strong national unity and repulse any attempts to polarize our great nation into a secular conflict. We absolutely reject even partial foreign interference in our internal affairs. As the hand of evil extends to burn, kill and destroy; the Hands of God are nearer to protect, strengthen, and build. We have full faith and confidence in the Divine intervention that will navigate the Egyptian people in this delicate time of our history to a better tomorrow and a brighter future filled with justice, peace, and democracy that the people of the Nile Valley so rightly deserve
Long live Egypt, free and proud.


 

More than 50 churches in Egypt attacked in past few days: Rome Reports & Aid to the Church in Need

More than 50 churches in Egypt attacked in past few days


Statement of the Catholic Church in Egypt | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Statement of the Catholic Church in Egypt | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

 With pain, but also with hope, the Catholic Church in Egypt is following what our country is experiencing: terrorist attacks, killings and the burning of churches, schools and state institutions. Therefore, out of love for our country and in solidarity with all lovers of Egypt, Christians and Muslims, we are trying to do our best to communicate with friendly organizations around the world to clarify for them the reality of events taking place in our country. We would like to express the following:
  • Our free, strong and conscious support for all state institutions, particularly the Armed Forces and the police for all their efforts in protecting our homeland.
  • Our appreciation of sincere nations to understand the nature of events while flatly rejecting any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt or to influence its sovereign decisions whatever the direction might be.
  • Our thanks to all Egyptian and international media that report the news and events objectively and impartially while condemning those media that promote lies and falsify the truth in order to mislead world public opinion.
  • Our thanks to our honourable Muslim compatriots who have stood by our side, as far as they could, in defending our churches and our institutions.
Lastly, we address the international conscious and all national leaders that they understand and believe that what is happening in Egypt now is not a political struggle between different factions, but a war against terrorism.
In conclusion, we express our condolences to all families and relatives of the victims. We ask the Lord to heal all the injured.
+ Ibrahim Isaac
Patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts
President of the Assembly
of the Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Egypt

"Many Moslems have been strong defenders of Christians against attacks from the Muslim Brothers"

An eye witness view from a Western religious serving in Egypt, dated 15 August :
 
  •  This part of the story especially what regards attacks on churches and Christian properties is often not communicated in Western media. The readiness on the part of the Moslem Brothers to use violence is known to everyone here but the picture given to the West is that the sit-ins were peaceful demonstrations. This is not the truth. Not only were many in the sit-ins armed but also those who wished to leave were not allowed to. The only way to leave the sit-in was as a corpse - yesterday at Rabaa Al Adawiya an underground room was found with many dead bodies. A story is going around here in Berba that a young man from here went in the early days of the sit-in to help for a day by making tea etc. When he asked at the end of the day for his ID (which he had to hand in when he entered) he was shot and his body was taken back to Berba. Who knows if it's true..
  • Funding: it is claimed and seems to be a well-accepted fact that everyone at the sit-in received a handsome daily "wage". Most Egyptians are poor, so this would have been an important drawing card to gather those who would be ready to leave their work and remain camping out, even if they were not convinced Brotherhood members.
  • My interpretation of Baradai's resignation: he was severely criticized in Egypt for his efforts to negotiate with foreign diplomats and the MBs, was accused of delaying the decision to clear the sit-ins and no longer had any credibility in the country. His reason for resigning is that force was used to disperse the sit-ins. Also I think his international reputation would have been damaged if he had not resigned but here in the country he is seen as abandoning his country in the moment of need.
  • Today I asked several Christians here whether they regret the ouster of Morsi now that “all hell broke loose” yesterday. Their answer was very clear: absolutely not. Now that the sit-ins have been dispersed and in spite of the price Christians had to pay yesterday, the country can now move forward. They feel that the true picture of the MBs must now be clear to the West: they have no interest in Egypt, only in turning the country into an Islamist state and using any means to reach that goal. The sit-ins had to be dispersed and everyone knew that negotiations with the MBs would never succeed. Therefore the only way to do it was by force and a price had to be paid. People do not believe that what happened yesterday will continue on a large scale. Yes, there will be sporadic attacks, but yesterday was their chance because all eyes were focussed on Cairo, the police presence was weak in the governorates and so they were “free” in a sense to carry out their attacks without being stopped.
  • People find it very difficult to accept that Europe and America do not understand or refuse to understand the reality of the Moslem Brothers and their aims.
  • Another very positive result of June 30 and July 26 was that there is now an “Egyptian” pride in their country regardless of whether Moslem or Christian. Moslems and Christians were side by side in the streets and squares calling for Morsi’s ouster and for the military to deal with violence and terrorism. Many Moslems have been strong defenders of Christians against attacks from the MBs. This morning on a talk show we heard a commentator say that it was Christians yesterday who paid the highest price, but were those who most showed self-control in face of the attacks.
  • We are all well, here. We count on your prayers for this country and for all its citizens of good will. Happy feast of the Assumption – the reading of Revelations 12 is most appropriate for what we are living here at the moment: our God is a God of life!
The English-speaking journalist in Cairo who conveyed the above remarks:

The assessment of the MB in this piece is right and the western media's insistence that the pro-Morsi, 'anti-coup' demonstrators were peaceful is well known to be a lie. The violence and intimidation they have used and continue to use are being recorded on numerous amateur videos that are now on social media and on Youtube. Unfortunately the foreign press approach has done much to harm the reputation of once respected news organisations and of foreigners from those countries living here. It is still very tense and there is definitely more trouble ahead. We are safe at home. The office is closed because there are marches by very aggressive pro-Morsi MB groups and although it is well secured in the area where the office is located, getting to and from is not so easy. 
 
 

Saudi King Abdullah declares support for Egypt against terrorism - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page

Jordan, UAE and Saudi Arabia decry Western support on the ground of democracy for Islamist Muslim Brotherhood as harmful and ignorant interference

Saudi King Abdullah declares support for Egypt against terrorism - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page

The following refers: 


 

Between a rock and a hard place: Media and the current Egyptian crisis - Analyses - Aswat Masriya

Between a rock and a hard place: Media and the current Egyptian crisis - Analyses - Aswat Masriya

Syrian rebels kill 11, mainly Christians, in checkpoint attack - World News

Syrian rebels kill 11, mainly Christians, in checkpoint attack - World News

Relics for the consecration of the Patriarchal Cathedral have been sealed with the blessing of UGCC Head

Relics for the consecration of the Patriarchal Cathedral have been sealed with the blessing of UGCC Head

Relics for the consecration of the Patriarchal Cathedral have been sealed with the blessing of UGCC Head

Friday, 16 August 2013, 18:13


With the blessing of His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), UGCC Head, the director of the Centre for the Beatification and Canonization of Saints of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Rev. Polikarp Nartseliuk, and the Secretary of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Rev. Oleh Oleksa, sealed the relics of the saints for the altar of the Patriarchal Cathedral. The Rite of the Sealing of the Relics took place on August 15, 2013.

 

According to church regulations, the relics were placed in the four corners and the centre of the main altar during the consecration.  Into the altar of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ were placed the relics of Apostles Peter, Paul and Andrew the First-Called, Popes Clement of Rome and Martin, who perished on Ukrainian lands, the bishop-martyr Saint Josaphat, and Blessed priest martyrs of the 20th century Mykola Charnetsky and Josaphat Kotsylovsky.

 Fr Polikarp relates that the relics for the Cathedral were found in the box of relics for sealing onto icons under a sealed wax stamp, as proof of authenticity. The reliquaries were opened and the relics  divided into parchment envelops, prepared especially for this purpose by the Centre for the Postulation of Causes for the Beatification and Canonization of Saints of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.

These parchment envelopes were then sealed and validated under the seal of His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
Patriarch +Sviatoslav processes with the relics into the Sobor.
Patriarch Sviatoslav processes with the relics into the Sobor on the eve of its consecration.


UGCC Department of Information

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Patriarch Sviatoslav to Cardinal Legate Backis: We thank Catholics in Lithuania for your support during times of Soviet persecution

Head of Ukrainian Catholics thanks Catholics in Lithuania for support during times of Soviet persecution

Pope Francis to Patriarch Sviatoslav: The 1025th anniversary of the Baptism will be a time of grace for the whole Ukrainian nation

The 1025th anniversary of the Baptism will be a time of grace for the whole Ukrainian nation, Pope Francis

EGYPT - The list of Christian churches, schools, institutions, shops torched by the Muslim Brotherhood in the last three days - Asia News

EGYPT - ISLAM The list of Christian churches, schools, institutions, shops torched by the Muslim Brotherhood in the last three days - Asia News

And this from Egypt as of 7 pm Saturday evening, reporting 44 churches harmed:


 

Until 7pm this afternoon, the following churches and Coptic-owned institutions in Egypt had been burned at the hands of Islamists. Chronologically:
Three churches and six buildings at the monastery of the Holy Virgin and Anba Abra’am in Dalga, Minya, Upper Egypt
The church of Mar-Mina in the district of Abu-Hilal in the town of Minya
The bishopric church of Mar-Girgis (St George) in Sohag, Upper Egypt
The church of the Holy Virgin in Nazla, Fayoum, Lower Egypt
The Baptist church in Beni-Mazar, Minya
Coptic-owned shops in Gumhouriya Street in Assiut, Upper Egypt
The Good Shepherd School in Suez
The Fransiscan School in Suez
The Holy Bible Society in Fayoum
The church of al-Amir Tawadros (St Theodore) in Fayoum
The church of the Holy Virgin in the district of Abu-Hilal in the town of Minya
The Catholic church of St Mark, Minya
The Jesuit church in Abu-Hilal, Minya
The church of Mar-Morqos (St Mark) and its community centre, Sohag
18 houses of Coptic families in Dalga, Minya, including the home of Father Angaelus Melek of the Holy Virgin and Anba Abra’am’s
The Evangelical church on Nassara Street in Abu-Hilal, Minya
The church of Anba Moussa al-Aswad in Minya
Coptic-owned shops, pharmacies, and a doctor’s clinic in Minya
The Jesuit church in Minya (attacked, not burned)
The St Fatima Basilica in Cairo (attacked, not burned)
St Joseph’s School in Minya (attacked, not burned)
The Nile boat al-Dahabiya, owned by the Evangelical Church in Minya
Coptic-owned shops, pharmacy, and hotels on Karnak Street and Cleopatra Street in Luxor (attacked and looted)
The church of Mar-Girgis (St George) in Wasta (attacked)
The church of St Michael on Nemeis Street in Assiut, Upper Egypt
The Adventist church in Assiut; the pastor and his wife were both kidnapped
The Greek church in Suez
The church of Mar-Girgis in Assiut
Coptic houses on Qulta Street in Assiut attacked
The church of Mar-Girgis (St George) in Arish, North Sinai
The church of St Dimiana and the Evangelical church in the village of Zerbi in Fayoum
The offices of the Evangelical foundation in Minya, and those of Umm al-Nour in Beni-Mazar, Minya
The church of Anba Antonius in Kerdassa, Giza
The bishopric church in Etfeeh, Giza
In addition to the attacks against the Copts, their churches, businesses, and property; Egyptians were aghast at attempts by the Islamists to break into the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) in Alexandria and set it on fire. The BA security and staff confronted the assailants in the courtyard, and there was an exchange of gunfire. According to Khaled Azab, the BA’s media manager, the conference hall was plundered, and a number of acquisitions went missing. The glass façade was shattered.
In Deir Muwass, Minya, the locals called Watani in horror to report that 30 armed Islamists broke into the local water treatment station and cut off the water supply to the nearby villages and towns, meaning that should a fire erupt there would be no water to put it off.
Coptic youth organisations—including the Maspero Youth Union, Copts Without Chains, The Coptic Consultant Council, and the Coptic Coalition—have all condemned the attacks against the Copts and the inadequate protection they were offered. The demanded security protection, and called upon Egypt’s Muslims to join in their defence.
Father Rafiq Greiche, a Melkite Greek Catholic priest and spokesman of the Catholic Church in Egypt, strongly condemned the attacks against churches and Christians, saying that the Copts were made to pay the price for their participation in the revolution against the Islamist regime on 30 June. He demanded that the State should take a firm stance against the assailants.
Fr Rafiq announced that the Catholic Church has called off the celebrations of the feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin tomorrow.

The Coptic Orthodox Church issued a statement in which it said it was closely following on the “lamentable situation” in Egypt today. The statement strongly condemned the “successive attacks against Egypt’s Christians, their churches, property and livelihoods,” and also the attacks against the Egyptian police and civilians. It called upon the Egyptian government and armed forces to defend Egyptians and maintain the unity of Egypt. It also called upon “our Muslim fellow Egyptians to stand against the vicious attack of places of worship which should never be part of any struggle.

Patriarch Sviatoslav blesses the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv

Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) blessed the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv

Consecration of the Holy Table and the Patriarchal Cathedral Sobor was performed by the ​​head of the UGCC Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), together with members of the Synod of Bishops, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine Thomas Edward Gullickson and Roman Catholic bishops from around the world.

The pilgrims from different parts of Ukraine and from Canada, USA, Poland, Argentina, Australia and Kazakhstan took part in celebration. 130818_2.jpg
“Pilgrims came from all over the world: North and South America, Australia and various countries in Western, Northern and Southern Europe, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and from all the corners of our dear Ukraine. I welcome you in your new home as children of God! As this Cathedral will not be only house of prayer for the Father and the Head of the UGCC. First of all, it is God's home, house for all of His children”, said the Patriarch in his address. 


1025th Anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus'




Celebrations of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church led by Patriarch Sviatoslav, with a Moleben on St Volodomyr's Hill before going on to the new Patriarchal Sobor of the Resurrection of Christ.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Coptic Orthodox Church UK: Comment on the on-going situation in Egypt by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom - 16 August 2013

The Coptic Orthodox Church UK: Comment on the on-going situation in Egypt by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom - 16 August 2013

Consecration of the new Patriarchal Sobor of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Kyiv Tomorrow - Sunday

After the opening Hiearchal Divine Liturgy of the Synod. Многая і благая Вам літа!!!
Patriarch Sviatoslav, the Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, with the Papal Nuncio to the Republic of Ukraine after the Opening Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of this week's Holy Synod

As His Beatitude Sviastoslav prepares to consecrate the new Patriarchal Sobor in Kyiv tomorrow morning, Sunday, the Society of St John Chrysostom in the United Kingdom sends warmest greetings and the assurance of prayers and loving communion. We are very much there in spirit, not least through Kyr Hlib, the bishop of the Eparchy of the Holy Family of London here in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

It is most moving to watch online the acts of prayer and pilgrimage to the new cathedral, as His Beatitude prepares the Church with his people for the great day, and to remember that not many decades ago this was a forbidden Church, its holy places and churches confiscated, its bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful oppressed and forced underground or to live in separation from the Catholic Church, and even to suffer greatly, to be starved, and to die for Christ. But Christ is risen - and the Sobor's dedication is to Christ in His Resurrection.

Furthermore, in a time of ecumenical seeking for reconciliation and the unity of the whole Church, it is good to see, as well as Latin Catholics, Orthodox presence in fraternity as fellow heirs of the historic ancient Church of Kyiv, foundational to all of the Byzantine churches of the Slavs. For this weekend also marks the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus'.

Now the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church recovers its place in the city that is central to the consciousness of the Ukrainian nation and Church, but also that of each of the peoples who look to historic Rus' as their heartland. Patriarch Sviatoslav says, "A cathedral unites all", and thus he places his Church, as he has constantly said, at the service of unity and reconciliation for all Christians. There is much work and prayer to be done to this end and so we wish him many years on this pilgrimage - Eis polla, Despota.

At this time of intense concern for the Christians of the Middle East - Eastern Catholics, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Assyrians of the East alike - thank God for this ray of joy, hope and light.

Bethlehem Icon School - Blessing of Icons by HE the Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem ot the Melkites - Sayedna Youssef-Jules Jerey



Congratulations to the class of autumn 2012!

EGYPT - ISLAM Cairo, hundreds of Islamists barricaded in mosque. More attacks on churches and Christian buildings - Asia News

EGYPT - ISLAM Cairo, hundreds of Islamists barricaded in mosque. More attacks on churches and Christian buildings - Asia News

Monday, 12 August 2013

Syrian Christians hide as Islamist rebels target them - International - Catholic Online


Syrian Christians hide as Islamist rebels target them - International - Catholic Online

BBC News - Syria refugees swell Christian community in Turkey

BBC News - Syria refugees swell Christian community in Turkey

Christians & Christianity in the Middle East - Conference, Saturday 21 September 2013

At the University of Notre Dame London Centre, 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG 
  • Anthony O'Mahony, Centre for Eastern Christianity, Heythrop College, University of London
  • Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom
  • Scott Thomas, University of Bath
  • Leonard Marsh, Church of England Diocese of Southwark
Flyer here for more details and contacts.

£20. A collaboration between British Trust for Tantur, Centre for Eastern Christianity (Heythrop), Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Britain & Ireland, and the University of Notre Dame.

Download Booking Form here.

Ecumenism & Interreligious Dialogue

Churches Together in Britain & Ireland & the Centre for Eastern Christianity, Heythrop College


“In Our Time”

An Exploration of the Dynamic Relationship between Christian Ecumenism and Inter Religious Dialogue, its opportunities and challenges in the 21st Century

12 September 2013, 11.00-16.00

Venue: Heythrop College, 23 Kensington Square, London W8 5HN

Speakers:

Revd Dr Keith Clements

Dr Anthony O’Mahony

Professor Peter Riddell

The Ecumenical Movement “Oikumene” refers both to the unity of all Christians and also of the reconciliation of the whole created order.  Christians are called to pray for unity, and work so that the prayer of Jesus might be fulfilled “that they may be one”.  However, with some of the enthusiasm for Christian unity dimmed and with some theologians speaking of “an ecumenical winter”, there has been some suggestion that the ecumenical endeavour has moved on and inter religious dialogue has become the fresh urgency.  This thinking, however, may be misplaced.  Inter religious dialogue, far from replacing ecumenism, is in fact a dynamic expression of the ecumenical movement that seeks not only the unity of all Christians but the reconciliation of all creation to God.
In this day conference we shall be exploring this theme in greater depth.  In particular we will consider the following questions:
  • What is distinctive about Christian ecumenism and why does it matter?
  • What does inter religious dialogue tell us about Christian (ecumenical) self-identity?
  • How does current Christian thinking develop and resource itself in a context that is both religiously plural and ecumenical?
  • How ecumenical approaches relate to bi-lateral dialogues between denominations and faiths.
For further information or to register your attendance, please contact Revd Peter Colwell peter.colwell@ctbi.org.uk

Sunday, 11 August 2013

"U.S. Backed – FSA Rebels Massacre an Entire Christian Village in Syria" | From Veterans News Now

"U.S. Backed – FSA Rebels Massacre an Entire Christian Village in Syria" | Veterans News Now

Chrysostom for The Apostles Peter & Paul - Dormition

The Summer 2013 Edition of Chrysostom is available for download here.

MONKS AND MERMAIDS (A Benedictine Blog): SIGNS OF HOPE IN ORTHODOX - CATHOLIC DIALOGUE

MONKS AND MERMAIDS (A Benedictine Blog): SIGNS OF HOPE IN ORTHODOX - CATHOLIC DIALOGUE

The Assyrian Genocide Monument in Belgium

The Assyrian Genocide Monument in Belgium

Syrian Rebels Destroy Orthodox Church in Al-Thawrah

Syrian Rebels Destroy Orthodox Church in Al-Thawrah

Eastern Christians, the great forgotten at Rio's World Youth Day - Asia News

Eastern Christians, the great forgotten at Rio's World Youth Day - Asia News

The Greek Orthodox Church and the economic crisis since 2009

Research Paper by Professors Gerasimos Makris & Dimitris Bekridakis

Published online: 23 May 2013 in The International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church

Abstract:  In the midst of the raging socio-economic crisis that has hit Greece since 2009 the Greek Orthodox Church, under Archbishop Ieronymos II, has admirably developed its network of philanthropic work and charity meals. Open to both Greeks and immigrants, this project seems to realise Eastern Orthodox Christianity’s sense of caritas and civic duty. Low key and efficient, the Orthodox Church’s response to the crisis has left behind the nationalistic cries and pietistic/didactic excesses of the recent past. This article asserts, however, that, by failing to grapple with the structural causes of the crisis in a politically relevant manner and by refusing to castigate specific policies and politicians at the national and European Union level, the Greek Orthodox Church has offered a much needed palliative, but in the end has remained discursively distant from theological and political criticism of a rapacious neoliberal system and from effective engagement with Greek modernity.


Read more here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1474225X.2013.793055