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.
Segment 1: News from around the Globe
Headline: Deadly Shooting in Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Our top story this week. A gunman opened fire in the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ on Sakhalin, a large Russian island in the North Pacific.
Six worshipers were wounded and two were killed, including a nun. Police detained the gunman on the scene. Early reports indicate that he shouted about his hatred of Christianity and God while firing at the church’s icons.
A nun at the cathedral, Mother Liudmilla, was able to divert the attacker’s attention, allowing several children and adults to escape unharmed. She was shot and killed.
Most coverage in the Western media has placed the story in the context of Russian security during the Olympics. We’ll be bringing you more about the heroic sacrifice of Mother Liudmilla as information becomes available.
Headline: Video Released of Kidnapped Orthodox Nuns
And now another story about nuns in danger. The Middle Eastern TV network Al-Jazeera aired a new hostage video of a group of kidnapped Greek Orthodox nuns on Sunday.
According to the Patriarchate of Antioch, 12 nuns and 3 maids have been missing from the Greek Orthodox convent of Mar Tekla since early December. Rebel forces had seized control of the surrounding town of Maaloula, a Christian-majority village in Syria that still speaks Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
The new video of the nuns has no sound but they appear to be uninjured. Still no word on where they are being held hostage.
Headline: Communion Restored
Our next story. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem announced in early February that an official agreement had been reached between it and the Patriarchate of Romania, ending a schism that had separated the two churches since 2011.
Tensions over practical matters, often involving church governance, sometimes lead to temporary breaks in communion between the various Orthodox churches.
Segment 2: Coming Up
ByzanFest 2014, the World’s first Orthodox web short film festival will be airing online from February 15th through the 22nd. Watch the films online for free by visiting this show’s webpage.
News reports have now confirmed that Pope Francis and Eccumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be meeting at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in May to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Eccumenical Patriarch Athenogoras in 1964. More on that story soon.
Segment 3: News from OCN
Come Receive The Light, OCN’s nationally-syndicated weekly radio show, has confirmed a 4-part Lenten series with His Excellency Metropolitan Kallistos Ware that will run in March. Topics covered will include prayer, fasting, alms giving, and Scripture memorization.
OCN Executive Director, Fr. Chris Metropulos, is leading a 10 day/8 night trip to the Holy Land March 5th-14th. OCN will be featuring 4 weeks of related programming throughout February, as well as day-by-day coverage from the pilgrimage itself through videos, pictures, and blogs. Get connected to OCN’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to stay up-to-date on this exciting trip!
That’s it for our very first edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy.” Let us know if you enjoyed it. See you next week!