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Active Threads | Active Posts | Unanswered Today | Since Yesterday | This Week
07/17/19 05:10 AM
Prayers for your mother's stabilization so she can be released from the hospital and continue the progress she had been making in therapies for her ongoing independent function.
16 919 Read More
07/16/19 06:02 PM
Prayers for Beverly!
3 95 Read More
Church News
07/13/19 10:17 PM
Originally Posted by griego catolico

Personally, a much more impressive gifting of relics took place when Patriarch Kirill sent a relic of Saint Seraphim of Sarov to Pope Francis:

Good thinking. Kirill was courageous and also received criticism.
The Pope in "reply" gave as a gift the relics of Saint Francis of Assisi:

Serafim and Francis were great saints of their respective traditions, but I think that the Prince of the Apostles has more "importance" in "ecumenical" relations and for history.
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Eparchial & Parish Events
07/10/19 01:26 PM
Bishop Nicholas, Melkite Eparchy of Newton, has established a Melkite Outreach in San Antonio. Bishop Nicholas' announcement and comments . Fr. John is currently serving Divine Liturgy at 10:30 on Sunday with the San Antonio Byzantine Catholic Community (St. Anastasia BCC) 2127 S. Zarzamora St. San Antonio, TX.
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The Christian East & West
07/10/19 05:41 AM
Thank you very much for your assistance!
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Church News
07/10/19 12:47 AM
Logos TV, based in Slovakia, produces weekly video programs known as "Greek Catholic Magazine" on events happening in Slovakia, Hungary and Transcarpathia. Their website also has live streaming video from cathedrals in Eastern Europe and the Cathedral in Parma, OH. They have initiated a new program in English called "Byzantine Catholic Magazine" to cover events in the Metropolia of Pittsburgh, and the inaugural program was published today here:

David Bratnick shot the videography in Parma and I shot the footage from Pittsburgh. Please share the link and get lots of people to watch. If this is successful, there might be more to come. Watch this space!

Jack Figel
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Faith & Theology
07/04/19 08:53 PM
Originally Posted by theophan
Christ is in our midst!!

The term Mother of God came out of the Christological formulations of the first seven Ecumenical Councils. In defining the answer to the question "Who is Jesus Christ?" and its next question "How does this explain His Saving Passion?" the term Mother of God comes out.

Christ is both God and man; eternal and without beginning and also born in time; He has two natures in one Hypostasis or Person. As God He is eternal and without beginning; as perfect man, He is born of a woman. There is a long theology that others may better lay out, but to deny His humanity throws doubt on whether He died as a man in His Saving Passion. One has only to look at all the old heresies about who He is and what is His nature to see how this all evolved.

The Council of Chalcedon, number 4, is where this was finally defined.

Now for Protestants who deny that anything happened in the Church prior to 1517, this all may be something hard to take. But it goes to show that Sola Scriptura has limits. Nowhere do the Christological definitions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils appear in the New or Old Testaments. The question then becomes "How do we know Who and What Jesus Christ is?" IMHO, without the Tradition that has come to us--of which the final definition of what books would constitute the new Testament has also come--there is no way to say with authority Who Jesus is or how our claim that he is God in the flesh has any more validity than the Islamic claim that He is merely another prophet.

Yes, but some Lutheran may argue that in the Lutheran church for a correct exposition of Sacred Scripture there are the Confessions of Faith and that, therefore, it is no problem for him the divine motherhood of Mary (not by chance that I said earlier that this understanding is not uniform in Protestantism):

The Augsburg Confession:

"Article III: Of the Son of God.

Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human nature in 2] the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably enjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and 3] buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men."

Epitome of the Formula of Concord:

"VIII. The Person of Christ.
7. Hence we believe, teach, and confess that Mary conceived and bore not a mere man and no more, but the true Son of God; therefore she also is rightly called and truly is the mother of God.

9. Therefore the Son of God truly suffered for us, however, according to the property of the human nature which He assumed into the unity of His divine person and made His own, so that He might be able to suffer and be our High Priest for our reconciliation with God, as it is written 1 Cor. 2:8: They have crucfied the Lord of glory. And Acts 20:28: We are purchased with God's blood.

10. Hence we believe, teach, and confess that the Son of Man is realiter, that is, in deed and truth, exalted according to His human nature to the right hand of the almighty majesty and power of God, because He [that man] was assumed into God when He was conceived of the Holy Ghost in His mother's womb, and His human nature was personally united with the Son of the Highest."

The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord:

VIII. The Person of Christ

24: On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, bore not a mere man, but, as the angel [Gabriel] testifies, such a man as is truly the Son of the most high God, who showed His divine majesty even in His mother's womb, inasmuch as He was born of a virgin, with her virginity inviolate. Therefore she is truly the mother of God, and nevertheless remained a virgin.
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Faith & Theology
07/04/19 07:43 PM
The placement of the Lutheran pastor Joshua Pfeiffer is very good: It seems that Jordan Peterson has not yet understood the gospel depth.

Note: One problem I see in the "political right" (some of these people influenced by the thinking of Jordan Peterson) is that for them Christianity has its usefulness in cultural warfare, Christianity is as if reduced to a subculture or some ethical system. It's very good to hear Jordan himself recognize that Christian faith requires a more radical response from the person (but in any case, he seems far from being called by the Gospel).

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Church News
07/04/19 05:15 PM

"If the Ecumenical Patriarchate were acting upon the basis of non-ecclesiastical criteria, it would wait for the outcome of the presidential elections in Ukraine. But the issue of Autocephaly is an ecclesiastical event and not an aspect of politics,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew pointed out, referring to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine in his address at the Patriarchal Church after the Divine Liturgy, which he celebrated today, Tuesday, June 11, for the feast of the Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas, the day he celebrates his Name Day.

“The greatest ecclesiastical event during this period was the grant by the Ecumenical Throne, due to various divisions, of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine. This was a product of the loving and pastoral care of the Mother Church to the pious Ukrainian people. We have no other motive in this initiative, and contrary reports on the Internet and elsewhere not only do not have a trace of truth, but deliberately distort reality; they are ‘fake news,’” said His All-Holiness, who welcomed His Eminence Epiphanios, the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, and his Holy Synod, congratulating him “for his loyalty to the Mother Church and for his good struggle for ecclesiastical matters in Ukraine.”

His Beatitude Epiphanios, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine and his Holy Synod, had the opportunity to express to His All-Holiness their cordial wishes and gratitude for the actions of the Ecumenical Throne in favor of their Church.

“The Holy Apostle and your Patron Saint Patriarch Bartholomew was crucified. And you are constantly crucified by human weakness and the many problems that arise, especially beyond your immediate jurisdiction. Therefore, ‘great one of the Ecumenical Throne and highest Hierarch,’ we find that the life of your patron saint is a parallel of your life, as the Metropolitan of Kydonia and Apokoronas pointed out in his address, and at another point he pointed out: ‘Your All-Holiness, you wrote on October 22, 2016, that the role of the Patriarchate is not political and will never be. And so it is that, as the Mother Church, through your consecrated predecessors, has often preached martyrdom despite the protection of the Patriarch, and death for the flock despite the Patriarch’s life.’”
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The Christian East & West
07/02/19 06:41 PM

Well, personally I am convinced of the historical and theological arguments of Roman Catholicism. It simply does not enter into my head the position of the Orthodox Church. In my opinion, the Catholic Church has the true status of catholicity and orthodoxy.

Also my country was colonized by Portuguese, and later came Italian, Polish, German, Ukrainian, Lebanese, etc. immigrants. Roman Catholicism is very familiar to me, I feel at home naturally.

In addition, in my country, the Orthodox Church does not do missionary work. In Brazil (in some states) there are more Eastern Catholics than Orthodox. The explanation I heard of an Orthodox priest is that the Orthodox Church considers Latin America to be the canonical territory of the Roman Church. The few orthodox parishes that exist are to meet some specific ethnic families, in diaspora, but there is no orthodox mission here, the Orthodox Church "abandoned " Latin America and expects Rome to do the same with Russia and other Orthodox countries. So, in practice, when someone decides to become orthodox, the person becomes a problem, a problem for ecumenical dialogue.

Here you can find the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on this:

Well, about the rest of the thread, I see "triumphalism" as a problem in both churches. But personally, it seems to me that nowadays this problem is greater in the Orthodox Church. In Catholicism this is more marginal, more connected to groups or traditionalists or "progressive". Also, it seems to me that there is more freedom and theological dialogue in Roman Catholicism (on condition of not contradict the dogmas) and also more dialogue with the scientific community.

Perhaps you are at the beginning of the walk and naturally attracted by the aesthetic appeal of traditional Catholic groups, but I would tell you to be more careful. Where there may be plenty of aesthetics, it may lack service and charity. I am a young man, I have much to learn, but it was not in these traditionalist marginal groups that I found spiritual maturity. It was in more central movements after the Second Vatican Council that I was able to have a more integral understanding of Catholic orthodoxy, such as Opus Dei (by St Josemaria Escriva) and Communion and Liberation (by Monsignor Luigi Giussani) - exactly where I least expected it.

Parish life is the reality, it is there where the Church is, I would say that the parish experience is important for spiritual growth, to see real problems, human difficulties, contradictions, etc. Sectarianism is a problem in some groups, and parish life is the remedy, because it shows you the reality.
23 1,722 Read More
Church News
06/28/19 05:11 PM
Recently, there was information that Pope Francis is preparing a surprise for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. The pontiff wants to meet with the UGCC leadership to discuss a number of themes in ecclesiastical and social life.

- Pope Francis is inviting the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church to meet. What questions will you discuss there?

- For me, it is particularly important that the Roman See is now working on its position regarding Ukraine and has invited us to take part in this. Because we once stated that they were talking about us without us.

Clearly, we will discuss our Church on a global scale, because all our metropolitans have been invited to the meeting, not only from Ukraine, but from Brazil, Canada, the USA, Poland… So this will be an opportunity to discuss our Church in the world.

We also want to present to the Pope what our Church looks like, our needs, and also the pastoral challenges that we now face. I do not think this type of expert meeting has happened before.

- Many now talk about the question of granting the UGCC a patriarchate, about the beatification of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, and other no less important aspects. Will questions like this be considered?

- Without question, we will talk “without taboo.” We received a surprise, that is, interaction at the highest level. This will be a sincere discussion about all important questions. Earlier I had asked the Holy Father that on his part we would receive a signal of his support of our Church, in particular institutional support.

In general, we feel absolutely confident in our relations with the Pope. However, we want not only to communicate in the usual way, but to have the opportunity so that all will be heard. There is a wider network of communication, because some of the bishops themselves will be able to speak to heads of Roman structures.

- More and more often now, people say that the UGCC should be a patriarchate, especially against the background of the OCU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine] receiving the tomos [of autocephaly]. Is a patriarchate truly so important for the Church? And is it possible to expect that this will happen soon?

- For us a patriarchate is not only some title or name, but, above all, a way of existing. Not long ago we had the enthronement of a new metropolitan for the USA. He was elected by the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, and the Pope blessed this choice. The Head of the Church traveled to place him in his position according to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches and to show that we function like a patriarchal church.

Our way of ordering pastoral life corresponds to the way patriarchal structures exist. And we ourselves are learning how to live this way. For example, many people in the USA do not understand that their episcopate and metropolia belong to a Church whose center is in Kyiv.

Even more so, the Head of our Church every year consecrates chrism for the whole Church. We don’t take chrism from the Vatican or anywhere else. The Head of the Church consecrates chrism in Kyiv, and then it is distributed throughout the world. And all the children who are baptized in any corner of the world are anointed with the chrism oil that was consecrated at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection in Kyiv.

So we say that the patriarchate will happen, because it is not given, but they will recognize it. On our part, we are doing everything to function as a patriarchal church. And the question of recognition (not creation or announcement) is a question that depends on the decision of the ecumenical hierarch [pope], and we respect the freedom of his decision.

- But will you ask him to do this? Or are you waiting?

- We ask him to do this at every meeting, particularly when we talk about how we live today.

In May, Sviatoslav had said:

"I ask myself and God: what does it mean to us to fulfill our mission? When Patriarch Josyf Slipyj was released from Stalin concentration camps, he set three goals," said the Primate. "The first task - creation of an intellectual center, in particular the Ukrainian Catholic University of St. Clement Pope in Rome, the re-establishment of the Studite monasticism and the struggle for the patriarchiate. I think if we look at that Divine wisdom, then we will see that this is a peculiar spiritual testament of Patriarch Josyf for us, his descendants."

"His Beatitude, Lyubomyr Husar, said that the patriarchate is not an end in itself, but primarily a tool for us to gather all those scattered all over the world."

"In order for us to successfully build a patriarchate, we need to raise our Church to a new level of its life and existence, - the level of communication, mutual respect and understanding, a shared responsibility for the fate of the Church and the people."
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Town Hall
06/27/19 08:11 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
[quote=Mockingbird]This Julian approach that has lost all factual correspondence with nature and thus the Scriptural events of Passover and Passion, and the rule accepted as evolving from the first council of Nicaea, is the one being considered by Pope Francis since at least 2015. This Julian paschalion is to be used, I presume, with a fixed civil (i.e. Gregorian) calendar thus also ensuring the debacle encountered with the same approach using the Orthodox Revised Julian Calendar.

This " brilliant solution" when realized permits the Orthodox "Historian Pavel Kuznekov" to conclude that "Catholics of the Holy Land changed directly over to our Orthodox Paschalia, returning to the tradition they had departed from in the sixteenth century—admitting by this that the main task in creating the Gregorian calendar is recognized as not having been satisfactorily completed." (link).

"The Sacred Council would not object if the feast of Easter were assigned to a particular Sunday of the Gregorian Calendar, provided that those whom it may concern, especially the brethren who are not in communion with the Apostolic See, give their assent."

Francis' concern to adopt a common date is not "new", at least since the Second Vatican Council. Now, I think that does not mean we have to adopt the Julian calendar date.

I posted above a news, everything indicates that the Coptic Church retreated in the dialogue, because the Copts were going towards the Gregorian calendar and this generated internal resistance to defend the "orthodoxy".
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Scripture and Patristic Writings
06/27/19 05:52 PM
Benedict XVI in 2010 gave a catechesis on the traditional Christian sense of authority:


"The cultural, political and historical experiences of the recent past, above all the dictatorships in Eastern and Western Europe in the 20th century, have made contemporary man suspicious of this concept. A suspicion which is often expressed in a conviction that it is necessary to eliminate every kind of authority does not come exclusively from man, and is not regulated and controlled by him. But it is precisely in reviewing those regimes which in the last century disseminated terror and death, that we are forcibly reminded that authority, in every circumstance, when it is exercised without reference to the Transcendent, if it neglects the Supreme Authority, which is God, inevitably finishes by turning against man. It is important, therefore, to recognize that human authority is never an end in itself but always and only a means and that, necessarily and in every age, the end is the person, created by God with his own inviolable dignity and called to relate to his Creator, both along the path of his earthly journey and in eternal life; it is an authority exercised in responsibility before God, before the Creator. An authority whose sole purpose is understood to be to serve the true good of the person and to be a glass through which we can see the one and supreme Good, which is God. Not only is it not foreign to man, but on the contrary, it is a precious help on our journey towards a total fulfilment in Christ, towards salvation."

"Every Pastor, therefore, is a means through whom Christ himself loves men: it is through our ministry, dear priests, it is through us that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: "let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord" (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1)."

"In order to be a priest according to the heart of God (cf. Jer 3: 15) it is necessary that not only the mind, but also the freedom and the will be deeply rooted in living friendship with Christ, a clear awareness of the identity received in Priestly Ordination, an unconditional readiness to lead the flock entrusted to him where the Lord desires and not in the direction which might, apparently, seem easier or more convenient....In fact, no one is really able to feed Christ's flock, unless he lives in profound and true obedience to Christ and the Church, and the docility of the people towards their priests depends on the docility of the priests towards Christ; for this reason the personal and constant encounter with the Lord, profound knowledge of him and the conformation of the individual will to Christ's will is always at the root of the pastoral ministry."

"During the last decades, we have heard the adjective "pastoral" used almost as if it were in opposition to the concept of "hierarchical", and in the same way the idea of "communion" has also been set against it....However, this is a misunderstanding of the meaning of hierarchy, which arose in historical times from abuses of authority and careerism. But these are, in fact, abuses, and have nothing to do with the essential meaning of "hierarchy" itself. Common opinion holds that "hierarchy" is something connected with dominion and therefore cannot correspond to the real sense of the Church, that is unity in the love of Christ. But, as I have said, this is a mistaken interpretation, which has its origins in the abuses of the past, but does not correspond to the real meaning of hierarchy. Let us begin with the word. The word hierarchy is generally said to mean "sacred dominion", yet the real meaning is not this, but rather "sacred origin", that is to say: this authority does not come from man himself, but it has its origins in the sacred, in the Sacrament; so it subjects the person in second place to the vocation, to the mystery of Christ; it makes of the individual a servant of Christ, and only as a servant of Christ can he govern and guide for Christ and with Christ. Therefore he who enters into the Sacred Order of the Sacrament, the "hierarchy", is not an autocrat but he enters into a new bond of obedience to Christ: he is tied to Christ in communion with the other members of the Sacred Order, the Priesthood. Nor can the Pope, reference point for all the Pastors and for the communion of the Church, do what he likes; on the contrary, the Pope is the custodian of obedience to Christ, to his word summed up in the "regula fidei", in the Creed of the Church, and must lead the way in obedience to Christ and to his Church. Thus hierarchy implies a triple bond: in the first place the bond with Christ and with the order given by Our Lord to his Church; then the bond with the other Pastors in the one communion of the Church; and lastly, the bond with the faithful who are entrusted to the individual, in the order of the Church. Therefore it is clear that communion and hierarchy are not contrary to each other, but they influence each other. Together they form one thing (hierarchical communion)."

"Jesus' way of governing was not through dominion, but in the humble and loving service of the Washing of the feet, and the kingship of Christ over the Universe is not an earthly triumph, but reaches its highest point on the wood of the Cross, which becomes a judgement for the world and a point of reference for the exercising of that authority which is the true expression of pastoral charity."
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Town Hall
06/25/19 01:21 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

The videos are a set of six or seven that detail life in Valaam in Russia.

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06/25/19 12:05 PM
Episcopus Teemu, 72, has retaired as The Bishop of Helsinki and All Finland in May.
Fr Marco Pasinato acts as The administrator.
Many years, episcopus emeritus Teemu! Monia armorikkaita vuosia! Multos annos!
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Church News
06/24/19 06:52 PM
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Yes, that is what I look like. I've been trying to pretend I'm a dashing young man and now the Administrator has exposed me!

Please let me know what you think of this. Don't hold back your critical comments.


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Church News
06/18/19 11:57 AM
Dear Cantor:

It is now almost summer and preparations are well underway for the 85th Annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Mount Saint Macrina in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The Pilgrimage will take place beginning Friday, August 30, 2019 through and including Monday, September 2, 2019.

You are once again cordially invited to be a part of this special event in the life of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church in the United States.

How can you participate?

To streamline the process for the 2019 Annual Pilgrimage, we are asking Cantors interested in singing to complete the Online Cantor Participation Form located on the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh’s website.

The form is located at:

Please complete the Online Form and submit your response by Friday, July 19, 2019.

May God bless you with continued health, happiness, and good voice, and may the Most Holy Theotokos continue to protect you as you serve in this valuable ministry of our Church.


Joseph K. Ferenchick, MBA
Member, Inter-Eparchial Commission for Sacred Music

Head Cantor, Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of our Lady of Perpetual Help – Uniontown, PA

Cantor, Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church – Philadelphia, PA
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