This Week in Orthodoxy: October 02, 2015

This Week in Orthodoxy: October 02, 2015


October 02, 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 some of the stories making headlines this week:

  • Archbishop Demetrios Participates in Multi-Religious Gathering with Pope Francis
  • Fr. John T. Tavlarides, longtime priest at Greek Orthodox cathedral, dies at 84
  • NY Photographer Features St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
  • The International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue took place in Buffalo NY

First up, from NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America was part of a multi-religious gathering with Pope Francis at the National September 11th Memorial and Museum on September 25th.  As a participant in the program, his Eminence read from the Gospel of Matthew Ch. 5 verses 3-10, known as the “beatitudes.”

The Beatitudes:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The event was a moving tribute to all who were affected by the September 11 attack, first responders, family members of victims, survivors, and all who remember that day. It was an occasion and an opportunity to promote Peace in the world, in which all the major faiths of the world are involved in a responsible way.  Archbishop Demetrios attended, the evening Roman Catholic Mass presided by Pope Francis, at New York’ s Madison Square Garden, as a special guest of honor.

And next up The Rev. Dr. John T. Tavlarides, passed away on Sept. 21 at the age of 84.

As the senior priest and later dean of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington DC, he built one of the country’s most prominent Orthodox Christian congregations. Arriving at St. Sophia in 1956 he was the first American-born priest to ever serve at Washington’s oldest Greek Orthodox congregation.

Considered an innovative and sometimes controversial leader,  he guided his parish through tempestuous periods of growth and cultural change.  “No single priest of the Cathedral has ever, or will ever, influence the course of Saint Sophia’s history to the extent that Father John did,” St. Sophia’s current dean, Fr. Steven Zorzos, said in a statement.

By 1961, and recognizing that many parishioners were native-born Americans who spoke English as a first language and, in some cases, knew little or no Greek, he introduced a bilingual liturgy. Although the change provoked controversy in some circles, he emphasized the church’s Hellenic heritage by instituting classes. “We want to be eternal first and contemporary second,” Fr. Tavlarides told The Washington Post in 1977.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios presided at the funeral services held Monday Sept. 28th.

In lieu of flowers the Tavlarides Family has requested donations be made to the Fr. John Tavlarides Mosaic Preservation Fund. Log on to for more information.

And next, Rev. Dr. Christos Christakis, 2015 OCN Hero, was the host for the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue held in Buffalo, New York, earlier last month. The Commission brought to completion the first section of its work on the theological understanding of the human person, with the adoption of its agreed statement, In the Image and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled Anthropology.   The report, shortly to be published, is the culmination of six years of study on what Anglicans and Orthodox can say together about the meaning of human personhood in the divine image.

And next up, Colossal, an art blog, recently highlighted New York photographer, Richard Silver.   In his stunning collection, Vertical Churches, Silver captures the perspective of a toddler, as he photographs the altar, across the ceiling to the front door, in one panoramic sweep, featuring the structure and beauty of ecclesiastical architecture.  “Finding the perfect location in the center aisle then shooting vertically from the pew to the back of the church gives the perspective that only architecture of this style can portray,” says Silver.

 The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava is the only Orthodox church in this collection, with some very interesting non-Orthodox architectural history. Formerly known as Trinity Chapel, on downtown, Wall Street, it was originally built to serve the “uptown” Episcopal community and designed in 1850 by celebrated architect Richard Upjohn in the Gothic Revival style. It was purchased from the NY Episcopal Diocese in 1943 and consecrated 1944.

It should also be noted that an extraordinary event took place at Trinity Chapel in 1865, when for the very first time an Orthodox liturgy was held in an Episcopal church in America – an event the New York Times referred to as an “un-usual historic happening,” with the “Inauguration of the Russian-Greek Church in America.”

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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.