This Week in Orthodoxy, June 26, 2015

This Week in Orthodoxy, June 26, 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:
• An ancient mosaic floor is discovered by a University of Hartford Team in a Greek Orthodox Church in Israel.
• Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Responds to Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical.
• The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Condemns Shooting at the Historic Charleston, S.C., Church.

Segment 1: News from Around the Globe

Ancient Mosaic Floor Discovered in Greek Orthodox Church in Israel
First up, a team of archaeologists from The University of Hartford recently uncovered an ancient mosaic floor at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel. The university says the mosaic floor appears to be from one of the earliest periods in the history of Christianity.

According to tradition, the angel Gabriel announced the forthcoming birth of Jesus at a spring or well that Mary was visiting to get water. It’s where the Greek Orthodox put their church in the Byzantine period. Believed to date to the fourth century, the mosaic floor was uncovered using technologically advanced equipment including radar.

Ecumenical Patriarch Responds to Pope’s Encyclical
And next up, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew responded to a climate encyclical letter presented at the Vatican earlier this week by Pope Francis. The TIME magazine website published an exclusive article outlining the response which starts with the words of His All-Holiness as follows:

In a series of seminars organized between 1994 and 1998 on the island of Halki off the coast of Istanbul in Turkey, we drew attention to the close connection between ecology and economy. Both terms share the Greek root oikos, which signifies “home.” It therefore came as no surprise to us that our beloved brother Francis of Rome opens his encyclical, which is being released today in the New Synod Hall of the Vatican, with a reference to God’s creation as “our common home.”

His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon represented the Ecumenical Patriarch at the Vatican for the Pope’s Encyclical and stated that this is an occasion of great joy and satisfaction for the Orthodox. “On behalf of Orthodox Christians I should like to express our deep gratitude to His Holiness for raising his authoritative voice to draw the attention of the world to the urgent need to protect God’s creation from the damage we humans inflict on it with our behavior towards nature.” He continued that the Encyclical comes at a “critical moment in human history” and will “undoubtedly have a worldwide effect on people’s consciousness.” To access the Time Magazine article in its entirety, go to:

Archbishop Demetrios Mourns Shooting in Charleston Church
And lastly, from New York, Archbishop Demetrios released a statement about the senseless shooting that took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17th that took the lives of 9 innocent people, expressing “Deep sorrow, sympathy and prayers for the victims, their families and their community.” On behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Archbishop Demetrios stated, “I am deeply saddened and distraught by the news of this heinous crime which took place in a church, in a sacred place of worship, during a time of Bible study. We, the Greek Orthodox Church in America, mourn the loss of innocent lives and stand in solidarity with the people of the community in Charleston. We pray fervently to God for the repose of the souls of the victims and for strength, comfort, and consolation to their loved ones and everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy. Furthermore, we firmly reiterate the unyielding commitment of the Orthodox Church to all efforts for the elimination of the causes of similar inhuman actions.”

Segment 2: News from OCN

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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.