It’s Official – I Am Leaving World Vision

world-vision

Note: Today, my World Vision supervisor, Conny Lenneberg, the leaders of our region, made the official announcement about my leaving the organisation. Here is what she wrote.

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Dear colleagues,

It is with great regret that we advise that, due to funding challenges in F[inancial] Y[ear] [20]16, we will not be able to maintain our Faith in Development Director Position held by Danut Manastireanu beyond February 2015.

Danut has played an instrumental part in the development of the Christian Witness and Spiritual Formation of our leadership and staff over the past 17 years. We are most appreciative of the dedication and passion he has brought to FnD throughout the entire MEER [Middle East & Eastern Europe] region.

Danut started his relationship with WV as a member of WV Romania’s advisory board in 1995, later joining as WV staff in the position of MEER Christian Commitments Director in 1999.  During his service with WV Danut has contributed in so many ways, developing FnD [Faith in Development] staff across the region, supporting the N[ational] O[ffice]s,  advocating on behalf of the region to ensure good understanding of both the unique inter-denominational sensitivities and complex inter-faith context.   Some of the highlights of his contribution include:   Continue reading “It’s Official – I Am Leaving World Vision”

Pope Francis – Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!

Message of Pope Francis to the Global Christian Forum

St Pope Francis

His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch

President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

I extend greetings to you and all those participating in the Global Christian Forum Consultation, to be held in Tirana from 2 to 4 November 2015, as you reflect on the theme “Discrimination, persecution, martyrdom: following Christ together”.

In a particular way, I wish to greet our brothers and sisters of different Christian traditions who represent communities suffering for their profession  of faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. I think with great sadness of the escalating discrimination and persecution against Christians in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and elsewhere throughout the world. Your gathering shows that, as Christians, we are not indifferent to our suffering brothers and sisters. In various parts of the world, the witness to Christ, even to the shedding of blood, has become a shared experience of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, which is deeper and stronger than the differences which still separate our Churches and Ecclesial Communities. The communio martyrum is the greatest sign of our journeying together.

At the same time, your gathering will give voice to the victims of such injustice and violence, and seek to show the path that will lead the human family out of this tragic situation. With these sentiments, I assure you of my spiritual closeness. May the martyrs of today, belonging to many Christian traditions, help us to understand that all the baptised are members of the same Body of Christ, his Church (cf. I Cor 12:12-30). Let us see this profound truth as a call to persevere on our ecumenical journey towards full and visible communion, growing more and more in love and mutual understanding.

From  the Vatican, 1 November 2015

 

The Pact of the Catacombs – 50 Years Anniversary of a Radical Document

Basilica of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, an underground altar where the Catacomb Pact was signed at a Mass on Nov. 16, 1965. Religion News Service photo by Grant Gallicho
Basilica of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, an underground altar where the Catacomb Pact was signed at a Mass on Nov. 16, 1965. Religion News Service photo by Grant Gallicho

As Vatican Council II drew to a close in 1965, 40 bishops met at night in the Domitilla Catacombs outside Rome. In that holy place of Christian dead they celebrated the Eucharist and signed a document that expressed their personal commitments as bishops to the ideals of the Council under the suggestive title of the Pact of the Catacombs. The only place we have found its complete text transcribed is in the Chronicle of Vatican II by the Franciscan bishop Boaventura Kloppenburg. He titled the document Pact of the Servant and Poor Church. It is known that the bishops were led by Archbishop Helder Camara of Recife, Brazil, one of the widely respected 20th-century champions of justice and peace. Later on, Cardinal Roger Etchagaray, who served as honorary president of the Pontifical Council, Justice and Peace, also signed it. (Source HERE)

Here is a translation of the document, obviously, written originally in Latin. Continue reading “The Pact of the Catacombs – 50 Years Anniversary of a Radical Document”

Tadeusz Mich – Pope Francis: Poor Church for the Poor

Pope Francis &  Vatican employees

For World Vision the church is an indispensable partner in the work with the poor. Pope Francis, a leader of 1.2 billion Catholic Christians, made poverty an essential part of his ministry. From the very beginning of his election, he identified himself with the poor and has had a vision of the poor church for the poor.

Poverty calls us to sow hope… Poverty is the flesh of the poor Jesus, in that child who is hungry, in the one who is sick, in those unjust social structures.” (Pope Francis, Meeting with Students, Rome, 2013)

Pope Francis has emphasised in a consistent way in his ministry a face of merciful and compassionate God. He has provoked questions for those who work with the poor.

  • Where do you see hope?
  • Where do you see unjust structures?
  • Where do you see Jesus?

The Pope also defined poverty as “a scandal of the world”. In his own words, “There are so many hungry children, there are so many children without education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.” (Meeting with students in 2013) Continue reading “Tadeusz Mich – Pope Francis: Poor Church for the Poor”

Raspuns lui Marius Corduneanu, un anti-catolic patentat

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Arta murala, Maupal. Pic: AFP

In ianuaria 2015, domnul Marius Corduneanu, un evanghelic roman emigrat in Canada, a publicat pe blogul sau, intitulat Alone with Others, un atac perfid la adresa papei Francisc.

Desigur, fiecare om, inclusiv domnul Corduneanu, are dreptul la propriile simpatii si antipatii. Orice om cit de cit informat cunoaste anticatolicismul si antiortodoxismul visceral al celei mai mari parti a evanghelicilor romani, sau de aiurea, pentru care membrii confesiunilor crestine istorice nu sunt decit niste ‘necrestiti’. Desigur, aceasta atitudine este la fel de penibila ca si antievanghelismul multor catolici si ortodocsi, pentru care evanghelicii sunt doar niste ‘sectanti’ si ‘eretici’. Toate acestea sunt adesea o reactie naturala (de razbunare?) a firii omenesti neregenerate conform principiilor Imparatiei Fiului Iubirii. Asemenea reactii, si de o parte si de alta, nu sunt surprinzatoare in comunitatile in care, fie unii, fie altii sunt minoritari, sau cind avem de-a face cu oameni ignoranti, cu un nivel de educatie redus, si care nu prea ies din propria ‘gogoasa’ socio-culturala. Este insa de neinteles pentru mine cum pot persista asemenea apucaturi primitive la un om care are pregatire filosofica (domnul Corduneanu este, in definitiv, la baza, profesor de filosofie), care pretinde a fi informat sub raport teologic (desi nu am avut inca posibilitatea de a verifica legitimitatea acestei pretentii) si a umblat putintel prin lume.

Voi incerca, deci, sa raspund mai jos, [inserat in text], acuzatiilor jalnice pe care domnul Corduneanu le aduce papei Francisc. Stiu bine ca papa nu are nevoie de apararea mea. Dar o fac pentru cei ‘nevinovati’, care se pot lasa amagiti de asemenea abordari aberante, inradacinate in ura ancestrala fata de ‘diferenta’.

Cititi mai jos textul publicat AICI, cu comentariile mele intre paranteze [].

*  *  * Continue reading “Raspuns lui Marius Corduneanu, un anti-catolic patentat”

God’s Architect: Antoni Gaudi’s Glorious Vision

Architect Antoni Gaudi’s vision for the Sagrada Familia, a church under construction for over 130 years.

Incredibly, this is a project ENTIRELY funded by private donations.

Lara Logan reports. Continue reading “God’s Architect: Antoni Gaudi’s Glorious Vision”

An Evangelical’s Guide to ‘Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the Environment – The Gospel Coalition

An Evangelical’s Guide to ‘Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the Environment – The Gospel Coalition.

In case you do not have time, or you do not care, to read the entire ‘Laudato Si’ encyclica, but you are still interested to know what it is about, here is a summary by Joe Carter, from The Gospel Coalition (a neo-reformed/neo-fundamentalist entity,  in the US). The author says about this text:
‘Because the document was written by a global religious leader and addressed not only for the billion Catholics on Earth but for “every person living on the planet,” the evangelical community has a duty to consider his words and respond appropriately. Much of it we will agree with and much will cause us to cringe. But because of its importance, both as a current object of debate and as future historical document, we should be aware of what is in this encyclical.’

I would be curios to see what makes Joe Carter ‘cringe’ about this document. I bet I will ‘cringe’ at the things that make him, and his Gospel Coalition colleagues, ‘cringe. But we will hear from them soon, on this matter. I am sure of that.

So, here is the summary (a subjective account, as any such thing), for your information.

10 Most Important Messages From Laudato Si | Rev. James Martin, S.J.

10 Most Important Messages From Laudato Si | Rev. James Martin, S.J..

A summary of the important encyclical letter of Pope Francis in climate change.

Richard Rohr – A Spirituality of Subtraction

Meister Eckhart rightly pointed out that spirituality has much more to do with subtraction than it does with addition. I am sad to say that most spirituality in the West has largely become a matter of addition. This “spiritual consumerism” focuses on learning more spiritual ideas, earning merit badges from God, trying to attain enlightenment, and the will power of heroic moral behavior. Yet the counter-intuitive nature of the Jesus-journey shows it is not at all about getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding (all of which tend to pander to the ego). Jesus’ spirituality is much more about letting go of what we do not need anyway. It more often involves unlearning than learning. Jesus taught us the way of descent, which we later called “the way of the cross.” Like few other Christians, Francis profoundly understood such a major turn-around. He wanted God, not his ego, to steer his life; so he practiced letting go of his own will, his own needs, and his own preferences until he was free of their domination and able to find happiness at a much deeper and more truthful level. Continue reading “Richard Rohr – A Spirituality of Subtraction”

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Evangelicalism | Matthew Milliner | First Things

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Evangelicalism | Matthew Milliner | First Things.

Although, as a high-church Anglican, I still consider myself an evangelical, well, to be fair, in fact more a (post)evangelical, I cannot say, like Milliner, in this article, that ‘all I really need to know I learned from evangelicalism’. In fact, it was my deep encounter with Eastern Orthodoxy that helped me discover the historical roots of Christianity and its liturgical and sacramental dimensions, to list just the most important reasons that led me to mainline Protestantism.

I surely never became an Orthodox, and probably never will, as I am, structurally and fundamentally, a Protestant. Yet, as an ecumenical Christian, my catholic and orthodox (small ‘c’ and small ‘o’) identity is stronger that my particular denominational identity, as important as that may be for me.

Anyway, wherever you find yourself on the denominational puzzle, you may benefit from reading Milliner’s article.

Richard Rohr – The Early Eastern Church

In addition to the Desert Fathers and Mothers, I particularly value the wisdom of the Greek-speaking theologians in early Christianity, the “Fathers” of the Eastern Church. These names would be known in a Western seminary and some church calendars, but they would not be familiar names for most lay Catholics or Protestants: Origen, Athanasius, Basil, the two Gregorys (of Nazianzen and Nyssa), Evagrius Ponticus, John Chrysostom, Pseudo-Dionysius, the two Cyrils (of Alexandria and Jerusalem), and others. Their writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology–some of which we’ve retained, and unfortunately, much of which we’ve forgotten or labeled heretical. (Following next week’s meditations on the Desert Fathers and Mothers, we’ll learn from a few of these Eastern Christian teachers.)

Continue reading “Richard Rohr – The Early Eastern Church”

Mykhailo Cherenkov – ‘Orthodox Terrorism’

Donetsk-Christian-University
Building of Donetsk Christian University,
occupied now by pro-Russian terrorists

Long before Russia’s annexation of Crimea and unproclaimed war in the Donbass, Ukraine had become a religious battleground. Despite the warning of Yurii Chernomorets, Cyril Hovorun, and other observers, none of the leading Ukrainian and Western politicians foresaw the threat posed by an increasingly aggressive form of Orthodox Christianity being promoted by Moscow. As events in Ukraine have now shown, Orthodox fundamentalism is no less aggressive than Islamic fundamentalism, and the “Russian Spring” is no less bloody than its Arab counterpart.

The facts speak for themselves: Greek Catholics and Kiev-patriarchate Ukrainian Orthodox churches have become de facto ­il­legal entities in the annexed Crimea; in the Donbass region, an “Orthodox army” is active; dozens of Protestant ­churches have been seized; there have been cases of kidnapping, torture, and killing of pastors; ­Moscow-patriarchate priests openly bless terrorists and refuse to pray over deceased Ukrainian soldiers; Patriarch Kirill of Moscow predicts the downfall of Ukraine as a “kingdom divided against itself.”

Russia’s war against Ukraine has exacerbated a series of international, interethnic, and interconfessional conflicts. It is the religious aspect of the conflict that may prove to be the most significant, because Moscow Orthodoxy has been presented as the thing holding the “Russian world” together, and thereby as the main actor in the bloody Russian Spring.

Putin has justified the annexation of Crimea by saying that it has “sacred meaning for Russia, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for Jews and Muslims.” He calls it “the ­spiritual source of the formation of the ­multifaced but monolithic Russian nation. . . . It was on this spiritual soil that our ancestors first and forever recognized their nationhood.”

Continue reading “Mykhailo Cherenkov – ‘Orthodox Terrorism’”

Sister Arousiag Sajonian – Armenia’s “Carrier of Light”

During my first trip to Armenia, as I visited the city of Gumry, I had the privilege to meet Sister Arousiag, a true Mother Theresa of Armenia and we have met many times since then. She is the Mother Superior of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, and order of the Armenian Catholic Church. Please watch below a little clip about her work in Armenia.

Continue reading “Sister Arousiag Sajonian – Armenia’s “Carrier of Light””

Meet the Newest Doctor of the Church: Saint Gregory of Narek

Meet the Newest Doctor of the Church: Saint Gregory of Narek.

Carl McColman about the mystical work of the newest Doctor of the Church, St. Gregory of Narek.

Armenian St. Gregory of Narek declared Doctor of the Universal Church

St Gregory of Narek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is a great day for Armenian Christian believers. Their beloved mystical poet St. Gregory of Narek (Grigor Narekatsi – 951-1003) was declared by Pope Francis Doctor of the Universal Church, in the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, in the presence of all heads of Armenian Orthodox and Catholic Churches, following a decision made on 21 February during an audience of Pope Francis with Cardinal Georgio Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.The important church event was reflected HERE in the official Armenian press.

The cult of St. Gregory of Narek will be marked on 27 February in the Roman Martyrology. He will be defined as “monk, doctor of the Armenians, distinguished for his writings and mystic science”.

St. Gregory, a priest and monk, was born circa 950 AD in Andzevatsik (formerly Armenia, present-day Turkey) to a family of writers. He died circa 1005 in Narek (formerly Armenia, present-day Turkey). His father, Khosrov, was an archbishop. Having lost his mother at a young age, Gregory was brought up by his cousin, Anania of Narek, founder of the local school and village. The saint lived most of his life in the monasteries of Narek (in what was once called Great Armenia), where he taught at the monastic school. He is considered one of Armenian literature’s greatest poets. (Source, HERE.)
Continue reading “Armenian St. Gregory of Narek declared Doctor of the Universal Church”

Charles Twombly – Last Supper or First Supper: The Mystical Supper in the Christian East

Tintoretto - Last Supper First Eucharist
Tintoretto – The Last Supper                     The First Eucharist – Greek ikon

What Protestants and Catholics alike refer to as the Last Supper is frequently called something else by our friends in the Eastern Christian world. Orthodox Christians often refer to Jesus’ meal with his disciples right before his trial and execution as the Mystical Supper. What’s the difference?

Well, let’s look at the image I’ve brought with me. It’s a reproduction of a Byzantine icon in which the disciples of Jesus are arrayed much like they’d be in Western portrayals. We see them here facing outward, as if they were about to have a group photo. In this panorama, there is no Mary Magdalene, no da Vinci code. What we do have is a big Jesus in the center with twelve men (six on each side) spread around the table with a big open space in the foreground.

One doesn’t need to be an expert in Western art to notice this isn’t the kind of picture one would expect from a Renaissance painter or from the art that has flowed more or less continuously from the Renaissance ever since. The figures look somewhat primitive, almost cartoonish. They have individual features, but the individuality is marked more by stereotypical traits (beards or the absence of beards, and so forth). The growing sophistication of Renaissance paintings and sculpture which moves more and more toward photographic likeness is not only missing; it is avoided, quite intentionally. Continue reading “Charles Twombly – Last Supper or First Supper: The Mystical Supper in the Christian East”

Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim Leaders Affirm Christianity’s ‘Essential Role’ in Middle East

Inter-faith Summit in Bkerke
Inter-faith Summit in Bkerke

Lebanon’s Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim religious leaders affirmed the “essential role” of the Christian presence in the Middle East and called for terrorism in the region to be confronted “culturally, educationally and politically.”

In a joint statement issued March 30 at the conclusion of an inter-faith summit in Bkerke, the seat of the Maronite Catholic Church north of Beirut, the religious leaders emphasised that the Christian presence “plays an essential role” in the identity of the region “and predates Islam by several centuries”.

Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic patriarch, presided at the summit and the leaders agreed to continue meeting quarterly to continue their discussions.

Terrorism, the religious leaders said, “must be fought through unifying the ranks of moderation” and “modernising the religious rhetoric” with an emphasis on “reconciliation, tolerance and co-existence.” Continue reading “Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim Leaders Affirm Christianity’s ‘Essential Role’ in Middle East”

Pope Francis – Homily at Easter Vigil

Pope Francis at Easter

Tonight is a night of vigil. The Lord is not sleeping; the Watchman is watching over his people (cf Ps 121:4), to bring them out of slavery and to open before them the way to freedom.

The Lord is keeping watch and, by the power of his love, he is bringing his people through the Red Sea.
He is also bringing Jesus through the abyss of death and the netherworld.

This was a night of vigil for the disciples of Jesus, a night of sadness and fear. The men remained locked in the Upper Room. Yet, the women went to the tomb at dawn on Sunday to anoint Jesus’s body. Their hearts were overwhelmed and they were asking themselves: “How will we enter? Who will roll back the stone of the tomb?…” Continue reading “Pope Francis – Homily at Easter Vigil”

Sarut mina, Parinte – o confesiune

sarut-mana_parinte

Personal, nu sunt mare fan al obiceiului (de sorginte medievala si monarhica al) sarutatului miinii clericilor, chiar daca inteleg ca gestul se adreseaza cinului clerical, in virtutea clemarii lui speciale, pe linia continuitatii apostolice.

Mitr. Daniel
IPS Mitr. Daniel al Moldovei

In acest sens, as vrea sa impartasesc doua experiente personale, care sunt semnificative pentru mine. Cea dintii, de acom aproape 15 ani, este legata de prima mea intilnire cu cel care era pe atunci IPS Mitropolit Daniel al Moldovei (acum Patriarhul Romaniei), cel care ii povestea citiva ani mai tirziu lui Andrew Louth, aflat in vizita la Iasi, ca sunt ‘un ortodox de rit baptist’ (acum ar zice ‘de rit anglican’) . Deci, la prima intilnire cu dinsul, in semn de respect, si cam jenat, fiindca, asa cum spuneam, nu ma dau in vint dupa acest gest, am incercat sa-i sarut mina, gindindu-ma ca asa este protocolul. El insa a refuzat discret si ne-am imbratisat (in barbi). Evident, am apreciat asta si m-am simtit usurat. Si n-am mai recidivat, nici cu dinsul, nici cu vreun alt ierarh. Si m-am intilnit cu destui intii-statatori de atunci in calatoriile mele profesionale prin lume, ultimul dintre ei fiind PF Ilia II, Patriarhul ortodox al Georgiei. Continue reading “Sarut mina, Parinte – o confesiune”

Jean Vanier – What Does It Mean to Be Human? – Templeton Prize 2015

A superb message of true authenticity and Christian love.

The 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate, Jean Vanier, speaks on the Big Question: “What does it mean to be fully human?”

Again on Al Mohler’s Comments – History, Evangelicals, and Protestantism | Carl R. Trueman | First Things

History, Evangelicals, and Protestantism | Carl R. Trueman | First Things.

Here is another comment on Mohler’s pathetic discussion about the two Baptists who ‘left the fold’ to be one a Catholic priest and the other an Anglican bishop.

This time the comment comes from Carl Trueman, from Westminster Theological Seminary, a Reformed school.

Trueman argues that Mohler’s position on the Bible, which is implicit in his comments is unfaithful to Reformation teaching. he writes:

‘A Protestantism which fails to acknowledge those historical roots and indeed to teach them to its young people leaves itself vulnerable to Canterbury and Rome. There is an historical dimension to Christianity which is important and which needs to be an integral part of pedagogy and discipleship. McKnight is correct to point to the weakness of strands of evangelical Protestantism in this area and we do well to take his criticism to heart.’

Bob Allen – Al Mohler: Baptists, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Catholics (or Anglicans)

Brad & Chad Jones
Brad & Chad Jones in their family garden (WSJ)

A Southern Baptist seminary president says churches are to blame when young people leave the fold to follow another faith tradition.

A recent Wall Street Journal story profiling twin brothers who followed separate spiritual paths — one to become an Anglican bishop, the other a Catholic priest — represents failure by the Southern Baptist church in which they were raised, according to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler.

Mohler, who posts a daily podcast commenting on current events on his personal website, said March 6 he has no firsthand knowledge of First Baptist Church in Elkin, N.C., home church of the men now in their 40s featured in a March 3 article headlined “When We Leave One Religion for Another: How two brothers, raised Baptist, found their way to two different faiths.” But the story of young seeking answers outside their evangelical upbringing is all too common.

“We are losing far too many evangelical young people as they reach older ages because they are simply not adequately grounded theologically in the Christian faith,” Mohler said. “They may go to vacation Bible school, and they may go to Sunday school, but the question is, are they really grounded in the Christian faith? Are they well-grounded in the beauty of Scripture? Are they well-grounded in a knowledge of the deep theological convictions that define us as Christians?”

Continue reading “Bob Allen – Al Mohler: Baptists, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Catholics (or Anglicans)”

Church of England Calls for ‘Fresh Moral Vision’ in British Politics Ahead of May Elections

Justin Welby

In a 52-page pastoral letter, issued ahead of May elections, Church of England calls for ‘fresh moral vision’ in British politics (see HERE a commentary about it the conservative journal The Guardian.).

You may find HERE a summary and the key points of this important document.

The Conservative government called it ‘hard-left propaganda’. No surprise there. As I have written in a tween tonight, ‘too much talk about the poor’ in it. and that is something conservativs and the rich they defent can hardly stomach. As Zoe Williams said in an article in The Guardian,

I can see why. Continue reading “Church of England Calls for ‘Fresh Moral Vision’ in British Politics Ahead of May Elections”

Pope Francis – Miracle of Unity

This was recorded during a ‘meeting on Oct. 10 and the lunch at the pope’s Vatican residence, Casa Santa Marta, was in honor of Francis’s friend Bishop Tony Palmer, an Anglican evangelical who was killed in a motorcycle accident in August’ (see more about this HERE).

You may download HERE the transcript of this discussion.

 

Martin Marty – Pope Francis

Pope Francis greeting pilgrims
Pope Francis greeting pilgrims

Depressed, weary, or frightened by stories of USIS and ISIS and other horrors, plus by debates over “religious extremism” and the role of Islam, we focus instead on the not-unimportant figure of Pope Francis, who makes news and inspires reflection. We recommend as a jumping off point Eamon Duffy’s review of three major books: “Who Is This Pope?” which is easy to access online (see “Sources” at the end of this column.)

For a change, we also word-searched “Protestants and Pope Francis” and were astonished to observe how many and how varied were the answers to Duffy’s question, “Who Is This Pope?”

Note first how acceptable this pope is among what many consider “standard-brand ecumenical Protestants,” who historically were on the front lines of engaging, interpreting, plus—until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and some aftermath operations—critiquing and opposing the Roman Catholic Church.

Their spokespersons in the aftermath had much to criticize in Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. They cheer Pope Francis for many of his ways. Continue reading “Martin Marty – Pope Francis”

Christian de Chergé – The Testament of A Beheaded Christian

Christian de Chergé
Christian de Chergé

If it should happen one day — and it could be today — that I become a victim of the terrorism which now seems ready to encompass all the foreigners living in Algeria, I would like my community, my Church, my family, to remember that my life was given to God and to this country. I ask them to accept that the One Master of all life was not a stranger to this brutal departure. I ask them to pray for me: for how could I be found worthy of such an offering? I ask them to be able to associate such a death with the many other deaths that were just as violent, but forgotten through indifference and anonymity.

My life has no more value than any other. Nor any less value. In any case, it has not the innocence of childhood. I have lived long enough to know that I share in the evil which seems, alas, to prevail in the world, even in that which would strike me blindly. I should like, when the time comes, to have a clear space which would allow me to beg forgiveness of God and of all my fellow human beings, and at the same time to forgive with all my heart the one who would strike me down. Continue reading “Christian de Chergé – The Testament of A Beheaded Christian”

SEIA Newsletter on the Eastern Churches and Ecumenism, n. 231, December, 2014

Here is the latest issue of the SEIA Newsletter on the Eastern Churches and Ecumenism, edited by Fr. Ronald Roberson.

Find it attached here below.

SEIA Dec 14 2014

SEIA Newsletter on the Eastern Churches and Ecumenism, n. 230, November 30, 2014

A new issue of the SEIA Newsletter on the Eastern Churches and Ecumenism, edited by Fr. Ronald Roberson, is now available.

It is attached here below.

SEIA Newsletter Nov14

Thomas Merton – A Prayer

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so. Continue reading “Thomas Merton – A Prayer”