This Week in Orthodoxy, June 19, 2015

This Week in Orthodoxy, June 19, 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 the stories making headlines this week:
• Kodiak’s Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Alaska is vandalized.
• Metropolitan Kallistos Ware to Speak on Divine Compassion and Restoring the Human Icon.
• Archbishop of Athens, Ieronimos, suggests migrants arriving to European borders should be hosted by all • • EU member nations, not only Greece.

Segment 1: News from Around the Globe

Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Alaska Vandalized
First up, from Kodiak, Alaska: the Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral was desecrated during a vandalism spree. On Wednesday, June 10th, 21-year-old Arkimedes Garcia was arrested as he exited the building, on four counts of burglary and criminal mischief, for allegedly vandalizing one of Kodiak’s most historic buildings, and many of its contents, according to the Kodiak Police Department in a press release earlier last week.

Thursday morning, Father Innocent Dresdow, Dean of the Holy Resurrection Church, said many holy items were damaged. He continued, “It’s clear from the pattern of destruction that this dear soul is deeply troubled, and his anger and his rage appeared to be directed at, frankly, God. And from the perspective of the Church, he knew exactly which things were holiest. And those were the things that were in absolute disarray.”

He said the most holy items have been removed from the church to an undisclosed location and are being re-blessed. Father Innocent said Garcia broke several windows and made his way into the church’s Sanctuary behind the Nave, where he not only damaged items, but desecrated them as well. Father Innocent continued by describing how hand crosses were bent upward, and all crosses damaged were bent in the same pattern, including St. Herman’s Monastic Cross. The greatest damage occurred in the cathedral’s altar. The Reserved Mysteries had been strewn on the floor as well as all Holy items.

Although the church sustained physical damage in the attack, nothing was lost and services will go on as planned. “By midnight, all the windows were boarded up and as much glass as possible had been picked up, swept and vacuumed by not only cathedral faithful, but also others from the community at large,” said Father Innocent.

Prayers for Father Innocent and the cathedral family, the investigators, and the perpetrator are requested.

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware to Speak on Divine Compassion
Next up, The Divine Compassion Distinguished Lectureship will be hosted at Hellenic College Holy Cross on Saturday, June 20, and His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia will offer the keynote address, “Divine Compassion and Restoring the Human Icon.” The event is presented by Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV), an international Pan-Orthodox organization of women theologians and other lay servant-leaders addressing contemporary concerns of the Orthodox Church.

Audience members will have the opportunity to discuss the topic in an open forum at the conclusion of the program. Event proceeds will support SCV’s newest initiative: engaging in the issue of Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking. To purchase tickets, or for more information on the event, or on becoming an SCV sponsor, visit or

Archbishop Speaks on Hosting Migrants
And lastly, from Greece, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos spoke during a meeting with a delegation of German members from local Parliaments, the General Secretary of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), and other officials, hosted by the Greek Orthodox Church’s Refugee and Migrant Center.

“The future of migrants arriving in the country must concern not only Greece but all the European countries,” said the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, as he firmly suggested that the refugees arriving at the European borders should be hosted not only by Greece, but by all the other EU countries as well, proportionally to the population of each.
He also expressed his opinion about the illegal immigrants, noting that they suffer because of the western world’s actions. “We ourselves, with our actions, forced these people to abandon their homelands, and now they are treated like sheep for slaughter,” he said. Archbishop Ieronimos concluded by stating, “If the visionaries and creators of the European Union, who vigorously defended human rights based on the Declaration of the Treaty of Rome that called for a deeper union of the peoples of Europe, saw its current standing, it is certain that they would break it themselves!”

Segment 2. News from OCN

OCN Hero Update
The nominations window for the 2015 OCN Hero closed on May 31st, and we have received some truly great submissions on behalf of individuals who have given selflessly. Stay tuned for who will be the 2015 OCN Hero!

Celebrating 20 Years
It’s hard to believe OCN is celebrating 20 years of media ministry! We’ve been busy breaking down communication barriers and building up avenues to connect Orthodox Christians worldwide. We want you to be a part of our growth! Visit to and consider making a contribution. For just 10 cents a day, you can comfort, inspire, and inform people all over the world. Be a part of the OCN 10 Cent Movement!

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.

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

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.