Introduced Greek Orthodox church to civil rights landscape
May 03, 2005
Archbishop Iakovos, the spiritual leader of Greek Orthodox Christians in the Americas who introduced the immigrant church to the ecumenical, interfaith and civil rights landscape of the late 20th century, died April 10 of a pulmonary ailment in a Stamford, Connecticut, hospital. He was 93.
Viktor Yushchenko’s 52-to-42 percent victory over Viktor Yanukovych in the December 26 election in Ukraine reflected not only the centuries-old schism between western and eastern Ukraine, but also the split between the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church–Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP).
Think of the standard theological debates in Western Christianity: Is conversion a matter of divine grace or human free will? Are theological disputes to be arbitrated by appeals to the Bible or to church tradition? Do the church’s authority and unity cohere in the pope, in a set of bishops, or in assemblies of the faithful?
On the third day of Easter, I stood in front of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine. With me was a prominent scholar of American religion who was visiting Eastern Europe for the first time. We were watching a priest and his flock process around the cathedral with icons, incense and crosses. “Have you heard that more Americans are becoming Orthodox?” she asked me, smirking slightly.
It’s commonly observed that converts to a faith are the most ardent defenders of it. That seems to be the case with American converts to Orthodoxy. The large number of converts attending Orthodox seminaries prompted Alexey D. Krindatch, a sociologist of religion, to wonder whether an “Americanization” of Eastern Orthodoxy might lie ahead. His conclusion: “Probably not.”
The conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy, a Washington-based critic of mainline denominations, has elected author and philosopher J. Budziszewski as the chairman of its board of directors, succeeding theologian ThomasOden of Drew Theological School.
Representation of Mary and Child handed over in Moscow
Sep 21, 2004
Russian Orthodox church leaders have welcomed Pope John Paul II’s decision to return a precious icon to Russia, a representation of Mary and Child that was handed over in Moscow in late August by a Catholic delegation.
A New York judge has sided with the Greek Orthodox Church in a fight with lay activists over its constitution, ruling that the court has no authority to interfere in an internal church dispute. State Supreme Court Justice Ira Gammerman dismissed a suit claiming that the church’s charter, or constitution, had been improperly adopted in a violation of state corporate law.