csw.org - There are renewed questions regarding the current status of Patriarch Antonios of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, after he failed to deliver the traditional televised Geez New Year blessing on 11 September. Geez New Year is marked by the Eritrean Orthodox Church as the start of the year according to the Julian calendar.

The patriarch’s reappearance in public at a church service on 16 July sparked speculation about his imminent release from house arrest and reinstatement to office. He has been under house arrest since January 2007, after being removed from office, in violation of canon law, for repeatedly objecting to government interference in ecclesiastical affairs.

At the church service, the patriarch was not permitted to speak, despite being overheard asking for the opportunity to address the congregation. Instead, he was swiftly ushered off the premises and placed under house arrest at a new location.

CSW’s sources report that as the clamour to hear from the patriarch grew, a heavily-edited video of the patriarch speaking to "workers of the patriarchate" was released. Fresh photographs of the patriarch blessing selected visitors have also surfaced. However, scepticism surrounding the manner and terms of his release has deepened after the blessing for Geez New Year was delivered by Bishop Lukas, a pro-government cleric who is generally considered to harbour ambitions of being the next patriarch.   

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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)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.

St. John of Kronstadt