This Week in Orthodoxy, May 23, 2014

Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy,” the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church.

Segment 1: News from around the Globe

Humanitarian Response to Flooding in Serbia and Bosnia
Our top story this week: International Orthodox Christian Charities, the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Serbian Red Cross are working together to save lives and bring urgent humanitarian aid to victims of the epic floods that have killed at least 37 people and left thousands homeless in Serbia and Bosnia.

As flood waters continue to rise, the Nikola Tesla power plant, which provides roughly half of Serbia’s electricity, is in the deadly path of a flood wave created by the heaviest rains to hit the region in 120 years.

“IOCC has had a presence in the Balkans since 1992 when it opened its Belgrade office at the invitation of the Serbian Orthodox Church to respond to the humanitarian crises created by the break-up of the former Yugoslavia,” said IOCC Executive Director, Constantine Triantafilou. “That spirit of cooperation continues two decades later…to ease the suffering and hardship of the families impacted by the recent floods.”

World-Renowned Chanter Lycourgos Angelopoulos Reposed in the Lord
Lycourgos Angelopoulos, a world-renowned chanter and expert in the Byzantine liturgical music so integral to the worship of the Orthodox Christian Church, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, May 18.

He was the protopsalti (head chanter) of the beautiful church of St Irene Aiolou in Athens, and the founder and director of the famous “Hellenic Byzantine Choir,” which has recorded several albums in Greece and France and has performed over 1,000 concerts in major venues in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa.

In addition to his efforts to teach traditional chanting, composing, and conducting, Angelopoulos also worked together with many modern composers of various styles, including the late Sir John Tavener.

German Chancellor Says No to Hagia Sophia as a Mosque
According to reports in Greek and German media, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have condemned Turkish intentions to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

Merkel expressed her disapproval during her meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who was recently in Germany paying a 10-day official visit marking the 50th anniversary since the establishment of the Holy Metropolis of Germany.

During his meeting with the German Chancellor, the Ecumenical Patriarch thanked Merkel for her support in the Holy Metropolis of Germany, as well as for her two visits to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which were “highly supportive of the Patriarchate and its ecumenical mission.”

Segment 2: Coming Up

Pope and Patriarch to Meet in Jerusalem
His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will be meeting with Pope Francis of Rome on Sunday, May 25th in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

The meeting is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 encounter in the Holy Land between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.

According to a recent video statement from the Ecumenical Patriarch, Orthodox Christians should see this event as a symbolic confirmation of the ongoing commitment to the path of reconciliation between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church.

Be sure to check the OCN website for ongoing coverage and commentary on this historic event.

Orthodox Documentary Film Being Produced

Reports indicates that Shawnee Smith, a very recent convert to Orthodox Christianity who currently stars with Charlie Sheen in the TV series “Anger Management” and has previously appeared in a number of other TV series and feature films, is presently filming a documentary tentatively titled “Orthodoxy, A Love Story.”

Rod Dreher, a journalist, Orthodox writer, and former contributor to OCN, reports on his website, “When I met her in Malibu this spring, [Shawnee] told me what a profound difference Orthodoxy made in her life, and how she wanted to show the world what it meant to live and to love as an Orthodox Christian.”

Shawnee and a crew are traveling the country, visiting parishes and filming interviews. Watch for more on this documentary film project as news breaks.

That’s it for “This Week in Orthodoxy.” Until next time, let’s go forth in peace.

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network.  You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.

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Seraphim Danckaert is Director of Development at OCN. He holds…
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