Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bishop Hilarion: "Patriarch of Constantinople is not Pope of the East"

Everybody's favourite Russian bishop on the primacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the Eastern Church (emphasis mine):

"...the Orthodox Church has a structure different was that of the Catholic Church, as we have no single universal primate, since each local Church is headed by its own primate. In other words, in universal Orthodoxy there is no hierarch whose role would be similar to that of the Pope of Rome in the Western Church. There must be no illusion that there is such a hierarch. We respect the Patriarch of Constantinople as the first in honour among the primates of local Orthodox Churches, but we are against regarding him as 'Pope of the East'."

... and how far the Russian Church is ready to discuss the primacy of the Pope of Rome at the next round of Orthodox-Catholic theological dialogue in October at Ravenna:

"There can be no compromises whatsoever in this matter. The aim of the theological dialogue is not at all to reach a compromise. Its aim for us is rather to identify the Church’s original view of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. It is the starting point from which to proceed, namely, what place the Bishop of Rome occupied in the early undivided Church.

Historically, the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in the Christian Church, from our point of view, was that of honour, not jurisdiction. That is to say, the jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome was never applied to all the Churches. In the second millennium, the Pope of Rome has become de facto 'the Patriarch of the West', with this title reserved for him also de jure until recent times, whereas in the East the Church was headed by four patriarchs of local Orthodox Churches - those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.

After the breakup with Rome, primacy in the family of the Orthodox Churches shifted automatically as it were to Constantinople, though all the early canons ascribe to the Bishop of Constantinople the second place after the Bishop of Rome; no canon speaks of the primacy of Constantinople. Nevertheless, this primacy became an accomplished fact, only we consider it exclusively as primacy of honour, while the See of Constantinople itself tends occasionally to give a broad interpretation to this primacy. These are the questions I believe around which principal problems will emerge."


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Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Fiftieth Day

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
John 8:12

Today, fifty days after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ, we celebrate the Feast of Holy Pentecost, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

We also celebrate the establishment of the Church on this day, which saw the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of thousands who believed in the message of salvation through Our Lord Jesus Christ. This Feast is the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity.

For the Christian East, the descent of the Holy Spirit is also understood as a reversal of the events at the Tower of Babel. There, mankind was divided by the confusion of tongues; but here, mankind is united by the gift of tongues.

When the most High came down and confused the tongues,
He divided the nations;
But when he distributed the tongues of fire
He called all to unity.
Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the Most Holy Spirit!

Kontakion, Tone 8

Speaking of the Holy Spirit, I remember a Greek-Australian friend, Kosma, a theologian who has since been tonsured a monk, mention that the Anna Vissi song, "Eisai" was a favourite of the secretary to the Greek Archbishop of Sydney. Something about the lyrics being about the Holy Spirit.

Take a look at this performance from the Closing Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics and see if you agree!


Ise, sto ema, stis fleves, sta kitara mou,
Ise, ston aera, pou anapneo, sti monaksia mou

You are in my blood , in my veins, in my cells,
You are in the air that I breathe, in my loneliness.

Ise i mera mou, ise i nihta mou,
Ise to lioma mou, ke ta ksenihtia mou,
Ise o paradisos stis paresthisis mou,
Ise to karma mou, ki oles i esthisis mou.

You are my day, you are my night,
You are my intoxication, and my late nights,
You are paradise in my hallucinations,
You are my karma, and all my sensations.

Ise, sto ema, stis fleves, sta kitara mou,
Ise, ston aera, pou anapneo, sti monaksia mou.

You are in my blood , in my veins, in my cells,
You are in the air that I breathe, in my loneliness.

Esi, ti zoi mou orizis,
Esi, to mialo mou trelenis,
Esi, se ola iparhis,
Esi, ki as min ise edo.

You determine my life,
You confuse my mind,
You exist in everything,
You, even if you're not here.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Urban Planning

The rate at which some cities undergo change is incredible. This little oasis of tranquility changed drastically in the span of one day. The first photograph was shot in the morning, and the latter sometime later in the early evening.

The huge, emerald trees have all been felled; their branches crushed and trunks carted away. Fragrant lilac bushes have been completely eradicated.

Photographs were taken by Maria Melnikova (aka Masha Blade), who remarks:

Я в шоке.
I am in shock.

Что же будет дальше?
What's next?

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Feminism is Bad for Your Health

Well, the facts are finally in:

"...researchers have discovered that gender equality may make people unwell.

Researchers in Sweden, arguably one of the most egalitarian countries in the world, have found that equality could be associated with poorer health for both men and women.

In the study, published in Social Science and Medicine, the researchers compared data from all of Sweden's 290 municipalities. They used nine indicators of equality in both the private and public sectors, ranging from the proportion of men and women in management jobs to average income. These were related to local life expectancy, disability and absence from work through illness.

The results showed a strong link between gender equality and levels of sickness and disability for both men and women. One of the findings was that equal financial resources between the sexes was associated with higher levels of sickness and disability."

- The Independent, 25 March 2007

Who would've thought - equality actually harms you.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007


Слава Богу!

Our God is truly a God who works wonders.

This is an event most momentous - the reconciliation of the Russian Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate; a crowning of the glorious journey the Russian Church emerging from the yoke of communism.

It is most apt that this take place in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, which the Soviets destroyed and then attempted to build a colossal monument to communism*. Now, rebuilt, it stands as yet another testimony of atheistic communism to destroy the Church.

This event is fruit born of much sorrow.

Glory to God.

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Why stand ye gazing into Heaven?

This same Jesus, Who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven
Acts 1:11

O Christ our God, upon fulfilling Your dispensation for our sake, You ascended in Glory, uniting the earthly with the heavenly. You were never separate but remained inseparable, and cried out to those who love You, "I am with you and no one is against you."

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Humans... are... a disease, Mr Anderson

John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said: "The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights.

"The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child."

- The Australian, May 07, 2007 12:00am

These guys never follow their own advice and commit suicide. It's always some kid that has to die for their theories.

via Mark Shea

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Why I Am Not Charismatic Protestant

This video, from City Harvest Church's Easter 2007 celebration, shows one of many reasons why I have not joined the megachurch despite numerous requests by friends and classmates:

"Bad taste"

Give me the Trisagion Hymn any day.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Victory Day

Полюшко-поле, полюшко, широко поле,
Eдут по полю герои,
Эх, да красной армии герои.

Field, field, my wide field,
The heroes ride over the field,
Hey, the heroes of the Red Army.

Today is Victory Day, marking the end of the Second World War in Europe with the surrender of Nazi Germany. Here are some memorable photographs from the deadliest conflict the world has ever seen, costing the lives of some 60 million people.

Soviet soldiers charge across Ukrainian soil.

Destruction wrought by Nazi troops in Krasnograd, Ukraine.

One of 2000 female snipers, Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko was credited with over 309 kills.

The Soviet flag is raised over the Reichstag.

The first Victory Day parade in Moscow, June 24, 1945.

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