Category Archives: News

Assembly of Bishops respond to Supreme Court decision on SSM

Thursday, July 02, 2015

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such “marriages.”

The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a “right” for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother.

As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation’s civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans.

St. Porphyrios

Newly Numbered among the Choir of the Saints

St. Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) of Kafsokalivia

StPorphyriosElder Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) the Kapsokalyvite (1906–1991) was an Athonite Priestmonk known for his gifts of spiritual discernment, a type of clairvoyance which he sometimes called “spiritual television.” He was born Feb. 7 in the little village of St. John Karystia, in the province of Evia. His parents, Leonidas & Eleni Bairaktaris, baptized him Evangelos. He was 4th out of 5 siblings. He was tonsured a monk at the age of 14 or 15 with the monastic name Nikitas. He served in the Athonite skete of Kafsokalyvia, in the Cell of St. George, under 2 spiritual fathers: Fr. Panteimon & Fr. Ionnakios. Forced by pleurisy to depart the Holy Mountain, he returned to his birthplace, where he was unexpectedly elevated to the priesthood at the age of 21 by Porphyrios III, Archbishop of Mount Sinai & Raithu. With the outbreak of World War II he became a hospital chaplain in Athens, in which post he continued for 3 decades (1940–1970). His later years were devoted to the construction of the Holy Convent of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. After 1984 he returned to Mount Athos, occupying the same cell which he had earlier in life been forced to abandon. Through his role as spiritual father, Elder Porphyrios became known to an ever wider circle of Orthodox followers. Several compilations of stories & sayings attributed to him have been published. His sainthood was declared by the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Nov. 27th, 2013. His feastday is Dec. 2nd.

Quotes

  • This is the way we should see Christ. He is our friend, our brother; He is whatever is good & beautiful. He is everything. Yet, He is still a friend & He shouts it out, “You’re my friends, don’t you understand that? We’re brothers. I’m not…I don’t hold hell in my hands. I am not threatening you. I love you. I want you to enjoy life together with me.”
  • Love Christ & put nothing before His Love. He is Joy, He is Life, He is Light. Christ is Everything. He is the ultimate Desire, He is Everything. Everything beautiful is in Christ.
  • Somebody who is Christ’s must love Christ, & when he loves Christ he is delivered from the Devil, from hell & from death.
  • The life of the parents is the only thing that makes good children. Parents should be very patient & ‘saintlike’ to their children. They should truly love their children. And the children will share this love! For the bad attitude of the children, says Fr. Porphyrios, the ones who are usually responsible for it are their parents themselves. The parents don’t help their children by lecturing them & repeating to them ‘advices’, or by making them obeying strict rules in order to impose discipline. If the parents do not become ‘saints’ & truly love their children, & if they don’t struggle for it, then they make a huge mistake. With their wrong &/or negative attitude the parents convey to their children their negative feelings. Then their children become reactive & insecure not only to their home, but to the society as well.

Note from Bishop Basil regarding the Maaloula Convent attack, 12/2/2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
While we have been celebrating our Thanksgiving and are preparing for Christmas, our  brethren in the Middle East continue to struggle for their very lives. Below is a short message from our own Bishop BASIL.  Please continue to remember them in your daily prayers.

Fr. Peter

maaloulaconventMAALOULA CONVENT is under attack again.  Report from H. Sabbagh of the SANA News Service dated December 2nd: ”Local sources in the town of Maaloula in the Damascus Countryside said that terrorists broke into St Thekla Convent and held Mother Superior Pelagia Sayyaf and a number of nuns hostage.  The source told SANA that the terrorists also committed acts of vandalism in the town’s neighborhoods and around the convent, attacking locals and targeting them with sniper fire.  Head of  the Higher Committee for Relief & Social Affairs, Minister Kinda al-Shammat, voiced concern over this incident, holding the terrorist groups and the countries that fund and arm them responsible for the lives of the Mother Superior and the nuns they are holding hostage.  Al-Shammat called on the international community and organizations to pressure the countries supporting terrorists to release the hostages along with all abductees held by terrorists in Syria.”