Once again, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are pleased to announce that they have each received $15,000.00 grants from the Prokopis Charitable Foundation to underwrite for 2007 the official Theological Consultation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in the U.S.

Twice each year, twelve Orthodox theologians and twelve Roman Catholic theologians gather for the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation that was initiated in 1965 by SCOBA and the USCCB. Having read many of the papers and statements issued over the years by this oldest ongoing official dialogue between the two Churches, Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Prokopis have decided to cover the costs of the Consultation for a third year. Similar grants covered all the costs of the Consultation in 2005 and 2006. Mr. Prokopis has expressed many times his genuine interest in the success of this dialogue. He noted that he and Mrs. Prokopis "offer this gift to aid in the rediscovery of the unity that existed during the first millennium. These efforts are of importance to me personally, as well as to all Christians."

The religious philanthropy of the Prokopis Charitable Foundation is guided by the following principles: preserving the Word of the Lord; the health, morale and welfare of parish priests; education; and embracing mixed marriages.

In expressing thanks on behalf of Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman, and the SCOBA hierarchs, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA, said "It is certainly a great inspiration to know that the significant work done by our theologians over the past forty years is beginning to bear fruit. Seeking to implement our Lord's prayer 'that all may be one,' our hierarchs and theologians, both lay and ordained, embarked on this long and difficult journey four decades ago. Your very generous support of the work being accomplished by the members of the Consultation, is received with much love and gratitude."

For his part, Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee, the Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Prokopis for the grant, and said that "your support of these multi-faceted efforts has been most appreciated and, I believe, fully corresponds to Our Lord’s desire that we be reconciled.”

Statements produced by the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation can be found on the SCOBA website at www.scoba.us.

For further information CONTACT: SCOBA General Secretariat, Tel: 212-570-3593.

Source: www.goarch.org 19-Dec-2006

Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived. All this is enough to stir the pity of men who have learnt the love of Christ; but, compared with the actual state of things, words fall very far short....

Saint Basil the Great
(Letter 90)