Seraphim Danckaert is Director of Mission Advancement at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds an M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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.
Segment 1: In News from around the Globe
Our top story this week brings an update from the embattled city of Homs in Syria, where more than 400 refugees are receiving help from the International Orthodox Christian Charities and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.
IOCC is one of the few US-based international humanitarian organizations on the ground in Syria assisting evacuated families and the elderly with transportation, shelter, food, blankets, and medical attention. An estimated 3,000 civilians have been trapped in the Old City of Homs for nearly two years, in constant danger and unable to access basic resources.
Our next story highlights the consecration of two Orthodox churches in two very unexpected places.
On February 6th, His Eminence Metropolitan Konstantinos of Singapore and South Asia performed the “Tyranoixia,” a door-opening service, at the Annunciation Orthodox Church in Wazirabad. It is the very first Orthodox Church in Pakistan.
And on February 14, a Russian Orthodox Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was consecrated near a research station on King George Island in Antarctica, built of solid cedar and larch wood to withstand the extreme weather. It is the southernmost Orthodox Church in the world.
**News reports have now confirmed that Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis will be meeting in Jerusalem this May to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul the 6th and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenogoras. In a statement released earlier this week, Patriarch Bartholomew wrote, “We express our desire to further the relations between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches. Two thousand years ago, it was in Jerusalem where the Light dawned from the Tomb. May it be in Jerusalem again where the light of peace, mutual trust, and brotherly love shines brightly, for the sake of our two Churches and the sake of the whole world.”
In other Headline news:
We have more information on the kidnapped nuns. Press reports have confirmed that a group of twelve Orthodox nuns from the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula are being held by Jabhat al-Nursa, an Al Qaida branch in Syria and Lebanon.
According to the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen satellite channel, the terrorist group is demanding that 500 of its militants be released from prison in exchange for the 12 nuns. We’ll keep you up to date on this situation as information becomes available.
Segment 2: And Coming Up
Applications are due by March 1 for the CrossRoad Institute, a ten-day summer academic camp for high school juniors and seniors taking place on the beautiful campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross in Boston. Students from around the US attend to learn more about Orthodox Christianity, participate in daily worship, experience the importance of service, and build life-long friendships.
Find out more at CrossRoadInstitute.org.
Segment 3: News from OCN
The Moving Icon, OCN’s newest podcast launched last week. Host Chris Vlahonasios explores the world of film, interviews Orthodox artists, reflects on trends, and offers reviews of both Orthodox and secular films.
That’s it for “This Week in Orthodoxy”. Until next time, Let us go forth in peace. For everyone in here at the OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris.