Archons, Mount Athos, the UN and Great Lent

Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy”,  the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church. I’m Emmy Louvaris. These are some of the stories making headlines this week of March 18th, 2016.

50th Anniversary of Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Holy Community of Mt. Athos: “the Holy Mountain has become a thoroughfare!”

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is co-sponsoring two events at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women Orthodox Christians

Orthodox Christians world wide enter the period of Great Lent

50th Anniversary of Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle

First up, from New York. The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, of the Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Organized in 1966, on behalf of His All Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras, hi Eminance Archbishop Iakovos bestowed the various “Offikia” or Offices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to 30 outstanding laymen of the Church selected because of their love, loyalty and support of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.The Offikia for the Order of St. Andrew derive from some of the most prestigious offices of the ancient world. Originating in the Ancient Greek City-States, the ancient order of Archons is, in fact, the oldest and most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon a layman in the entire Christian world.

The Offikia for the Order of St. Andrew derive from some of the most prestigious offices of the ancient world. Originating in the Ancient Greek City-States, the ancient order of Archons is, in fact, the oldest and most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon a layman in the entire Christian world.
On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary, Archons take the opportunity to recommit themselves as Defenders of the Faith to the Spiritual Center of world Orthodoxy, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and recommit to fighting for religious freedom and the vitality of Saint Andrew’s See, notwithstanding the oppressive environment where it is located and where religious freedom does not exist in that entire part of the world.
The Order, under the supervision of its historian will be publishing an official, scholarly academic reference book on the Archon Offikia, including their derivation and historical development due to be released during Archon Weekend, in October of this year.

Holy Community of Mt. Athos: “the Holy Mountain has become a thoroughfare!”

And next up, “Today Holy Mount Athos has become a thoroughfare which anyone can enter and leave at any moment,” reads a complaint written by representatives of the twenty Athonite monasteries.

According to the Romfea Greek news agency, the representatives of the twenty monasteries are sounding an alarm because of the lack of security on Mt. Athos.  The monks’ letter is addressed to the Civil Governor of Mt. Athos Aristos Kasmiroglu and the Greek Ministry for National Defense.  The cause of the complaint was the shooting of a documentary by the BBC2 British TV channel.  In fact, the BBC2 film crew with their cameras and equipment sailed up to Esphigmenou – one of the Athonite monasteries – in a boat at night.
“They could have asked for the proper permission, and they would surely have been given this permission,” the Holy Community notes.
“But a journalist, with the support of local smugglers illegally entered the territory of Holy Mount Athos with the aim of creating a sensation which openly insults Mt. Athos’ inhabitants,” the Holy Community’s letter continues.  “However, the problem is not only the unpunished intrusion onto the territory of Esphigmenou Monastery,” the letter’s authors stress.
As the BBC documentary shows, anyone can secretly enter Holy Mount Athos and secretly leave it. Therefore, the relics and holy objects kept at Athonite monasteries could be exposed at any moment to danger due to the inaction of the authorities. “Not only are the authorities refusing to restore order and to implement the resolution of the Holy Community of

Mt. Athos concerning Esphigmenou Monastery, they are even not concerned with applying the necessary sanctions following the notification of the BBC film,” the letter reads.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is co-sponsoring two events at this year’s UN Commission on the
Status of Women

And next up, The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is co-sponsoring two events at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women.

On March 15th, the first event took place at the Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations in NY, addressing how ISIL’s exploitation of the current political and humanitarian instability in the Middle East has had a negative impact on sustainable development in the region.

The panel’s primary focus was the effects of ISIL’s actions on the local populations, specifically in terms of forced migration, human trafficking, and child soldiers.

And on March 22 the topic will be –Women, Water, and Wellbeing: The Human Right to Water and Sanitation addressing the intersection of the human right to water and sanitation, as well as water justice for women.

 

The multifaceted nature of this vital resource and common good essential for life, will be the focus for speakers of this event, in addition to perspectives from government, research, ethics, and practical humanitarian responses, along with the experiences and wisdom of women. The event will take place at the United Nations Headquarters. For more information on registration log onto goarch.org

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has been actively working at the United Nations for 30 years, has General Consultative Status under the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC). and is accredited through the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI).

To learn more about the work of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at the United Nations you can contact Fr. Nathanael Symeonides, FrNathanael@goarch.org

Orthodox Christians worldwide enter the Great Days of Lent.

And Lastly, Orthodox Christians worldwide enter the Great 40 Days of Lent.
For some, this period of time simply means a time to fast from certain foods, for others it elicits many emotions and brings forth many questions.
As OCN’s, Fr. John Parker writes in his “Sounding Blog” entry this month – “The Interior and Exterior Evangelism of Great Lent”, for many it is a time of introspection and repentance. He discusses the very first words of the Great Canon of St Andrew that indicate, “Where shall I begin to lament the deeds of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, for my present lamentation?”

And so it is with many of us who have a hard time focusing on what to do first. To help in your walk through this great time of self-reflection, visit the Sounding Blog on myocn.net daily to read entries on the meaning of Great Lent and how to make it truly meaningful to you this Paschal Season.


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That brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy,” to a close. Wishing you a Blessed Lenten Season, for everyone here in our OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s go forth in peace.


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Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy,…
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