This Week in Orthodoxy: December 18, 2015

This Week in Orthodoxy: December 18, 2015



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 headlines making the news this week.

  • Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Fellowships to Work at United Nations
  • 50th Anniversary of common Declaration between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches
  • Japanese-American Actor baptized into Orthodox Church
  • Remembering Harry Radliffe, producer of the 60 minutes, “Mt Athos: The Holy Mountain” episode.

First up from NEW YORK – The Faith-based Diplomacy & Advocacy Initiative will be continuing this year. Established by the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; a total of four, year-long fellowships at the United Nations are available to all Orthodox Christian graduate and post-graduate students and are invited to apply for this stipend fellowship which is meant to help develop future professionals, diplomats, policy-makers, and advocates by providing them the framework upon which to exercise their academic training. Application deadline is April 30, 2016. For more information and to apply for the fellowship, click here.

And next up, fifty years ago, on December 7, 1965, after their historic meeting the previous year in Jerusalem, Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI declared their commitment to steer the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches onto a path of mutual understanding, reconciliation, and love.

Together they agreed to “remove from memory and from the midst of the Church the sentences of excommunication” leveled against each other in 1054 which divided the two Churches for centuries.

As a result, a theological dialogue between Orthodox and Roman Catholic theologians started and continue to this day.

On the occasion of this 50th Commemoration, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America said: “This anniversary reminds us of the need to work diligently towards the fulfillment of the Lord’s fervent prayer before His passion that His disciples be one (John 17, 11).”

And next up, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Star of the Russian film, Priest-San: Samurai’s Confession has been baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church taking on the name of “Panteleimon”.

Mostly known for playing villains in action movies shot in the 80’s and 90’s; he’s also appeared in several TV series including Star Trek: The Next Generation and starred in movies like Mortal Kombat, Pearl Harbor, and Memoirs of a Geisha.  His latest, the Russian film; ‘Priest-San’ premiered in theaters on November 26th.

The Japanese-American actor felt a connection with Russia as his father learned to speak Russian while living in the US, and his uncle, a famous singer, use to perform in Moscow.  Mr Tagawa shared his feeling toward the Russian people when he stated, “I was impressed with the depth of the Russian people’s hearts.”

The nomadic nature of his childhood years lead him to see a variety of faces and cultures, but Russia truly adhered to his soul, or not Russia, but the Christ in the Heart of Russian Orthodoxy.  Metropolitan Hilarion performed the sacrament.

And lastly, Harry Radliffe of CBS News, died on December 1 at the age of 66.  Described as as inquisitive, passionate and utterly relentless, The 60 minutes Producer contributed nearly 100 stories over 26 years and got the chance of a lifetime, when he visited and produced the episode on Mt. Athos: A Visit to the Holy Mountain.

Taking years of correspondence to gain access and conduct the interview, in May of 2011, Harry Radliffe was able to visit the Holy Mountain. Since CBS’s story,  Mount Athos seemed to be at the center of his heart and in a subsequent interview entitled “Harry’s Emotional Return to Mount Athos,” he said, “I have done lots of stories for 60 Minutes, I have never earned the nickname ‘beloved’ before.”

In the next words of the interview, Mr. Radliffe began to tear up, so incredibly touched by the monastics in a very intangible way.  It was not just the words “beloved” that pricked Mr. Radliffe’s heart, but the compunction and love of Christ derived from their presence.   While Harry refused to name “favorite” stories, he did consider his segment on Mount Athos, one of the most extraordinary.

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


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About author

Emmy Louvaris

Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.