This Week in Orthodoxy, October 24, 2014

This Week in Orthodoxy, October 24, 2014

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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:

  • St. Nicholas at Ground Zero takes one step closer to realization.
  • The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Orthodox Church in America opened their Holy Synod of Bishop Meeting this past week as did the Orthodox Church in America.
  • Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus visits Thessaloniki

Segment 1: News from Around the Globe

Ground Blessing for New Saint Nicholas Church

First, to New York City, where members and leaders of the Orthodox Community met at Ground Zero for the ground blessing of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

A decade in the waiting, this signals the rebuilding of the church on a much larger site, in the shadow of the new One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower.

Archbishop Demetrios, the head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America recalled the scene shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th:

“We remember this very place filled with ruins, hiding under piles of debris, the pulverized remains of 3,000 innocent victims. Breathing a very heavy air, saturated with the dust of storm, wood, iron and with tiny particles of human bodies, we remember walking with heavy hearts to the specific place where our St. Nicholas stood as a building. … The church was not there… We stood there frozen, paralyzed and cried.”

The projects culmination is expected to take place during the Summer of 2016, which will be celebrated with not only the “Opening of the Doors” but also with the 100-year anniversary of the original Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which opened in 1916.

You too can participate by following the progress and making a contribution at www.stnicholasgroundzero.org/donate

GOA and OCA Synodical Meetings

First to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America presided at the meeting, with the participation of the Members of the Synod.

The Synod deliberated extensively on many matters including the following:

1) Liturgical Matters: The Synod received the approval of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the English translation of the text of the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom and decided to proceed with its publication for the liturgical needs of parishes of the Archdiocese as well as a special publication with rubrics to be used by priests.

2) Canonical Matters: The Synod deliberated on disciplinary matters regarding clergy, and the necessary decisions were made. In addition, the Synod deliberated on the proper preparation of candidates to the priesthood and on the criteria for their ordination.

3) Administrative Matters: The Synod discussed a variety of administrative subjects regarding parishes and Holy Monasteries of the Holy Archdiocese.

4) Pastoral Care Matters: The Synod discussed at length matters regarding the youth and ways to reach out to them. The discussion included mention of the continuous efforts made in this direction by each of the Metropolises of the Holy Archdiocese, and relevant ideas were exchanged.

The institution of family and ways to strengthen it against the attacks of the negative influences of modern society were also discussed.

5) Education: There was discussion on the efforts by parishes and Metropolises in regard to day schools, charter schools, and afternoon schools that are operating in each Holy Metropolis of the Holy Archdiocese of America as well as on ways to improve them. With respect to the Theological School of Holy Cross, Brookline, MA, and Hellenic College, the efforts that have been made for the Greek Education of the students were discussed. These efforts include: a) the evaluation of the curriculum of the Greek language, b) the increase of laboratory hours and staff for the learning of the language, c) the financial support to students with financial need, and d) assistance to students through tutoring lessons.

During the meeting, the Synod nominated three persons for the election of an Auxiliary Bishop who will serve under His Eminence the Archbishop of America and will assist with the needs of the Holy Metropolis of San Francisco. The list of three names will be submitted to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the election of the Auxiliary Bishop.

The Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops met on October 21st, for a three-day session in which they handled a plethora of issues including the election of a new See of Ottawa. The two nominees were Bishop Irénée and Archpriest Paul Gassios, who was nominated by delegates of a special Midwest Diocesan Assembly in Ohio.

Other issues discussed were the details for the 18th All American Council, which is expected to take place in July of next year, updates on the Church’s policy and guidelines regarding allegations of sexual misconduct, and an ongoing report of the Statute Revision Committee.

Serbian Patriarch Visits Thessaloniki
And next up, Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Ireneaus travelled to Thessaloniki and Thrace in Greece, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The Patriarch visited the Cathedral of Saint John at Neopolis where 7,500 Serbian victims of the “Great War” are buried.

Touching on the interwoven history of the Greek and Serbian people, the Patriarch met with local religious and political leaders.

Segment 2. News from OCN

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And that brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy” to a close. For everyone here at the OCN Studios, thank you for watching. I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s Go Forth in Peace.

Funding for news from this department is provided through the support of OCN viewers and by Leadership 100. 

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Dean Argiris

Constantine (Dean) Argiris is a lifelong Orthodox Christian from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago who has devoted his time to raising awareness of the 1915-1922 Asia Minor Genocide. His works on the Greek economic crisis have been published in international Greek diaspora news media outlets. Professionally, he works in the political scene as a Staff Assistant to a Chicago Alderman. Previously, he worked as a party-paid staffer for the Illinois Senate, a Regional Field Director for President Obama's "Organizing for America" and has run a number of federal and state level political campaigns as an independent consultant.