Κυριακή, 13 Οκτωβρίου 2019



With great splendor and majesty, today, October 9, 2019, the Patriarchal and Synodal Divine Liturgy was held at the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Saint Savva of the Holy See in Alexandria, with the participation of all the Hierarchs of Africa, who “with one mouth and one heart”, in complete dedication to their Venerable Primate, came to commemorate the fifteen-year anniversary of the ascension to the Throne of the Apostle Mark of the spiritual leader and father of all Africa, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa.

Also present were the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria Mr. Athanasios Kotsionis, the Chairmen of the Hellenic Communities of Cairo and Alexandria Messrs. Christos Kavalis and Edmond Kasimatis, agents and Associations of the City of Alexandria and a large number of believers. During the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude performed the ordination to the Diaconate of the Arabic-speaking Monk Parthenius Elnagar, while on the feast day His Eminence Metropolitan Nikidimos of Memphis, Patriarchal Vicar of Cairo gave the address.

In his reply, His Beatitude, once again moved and in tears, touched upon the issue of Migration, and embraced with his mind and heart those people who wished to avoid the injustice of war and all that it entailed, go as far as to sacrifice their lives, turning the waters of the Mediterranean into a “tomb for a drop of freedom”. Taking the opportunity from the presence of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women from Florina, who came to commemorate with their presence the anniversary of the Alexandrian Primate, he referred to our always Greek Macedonia, from which the Patriarch himself draws his origins, from his mother’s side.

In the afternoon of the same day the Holy and Sacred Synod continued its deliberations. At the start, His Beatitude awarded the medal of Supreme Commander of the Order of St Savvas, for those who this year had completed 10 years of hierarchical ministry, Their Eminences the Metropolitans Savvas of Nubia and Niphon of Pilousion. Thereafter the Holy Metropolis of Madagascar, following the establishment of the Holy Diocese of Toliara and South Madagascar, was renamed the “Holy Metropolis of Antananarivo and Northern Madagascar”, while the Holy Diocese of Bukoba was re-established for pastoral reasons, with His Grace Agathonikos Bishop of Arusha undertaking the responsibilities of locum tenens. Also, another new Ecclesiastical Province of the Throne was established, under the title of Holy Diocese of Eldoret in Kenya.

Thereafter, following the appointment of His Eminence Narcissus of Accra to the position of active Synodal Metropolitan of Naucratis, Most Honoured and Exarch of the Nile lands of Egypt, keeping the position of Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria, the Very Reverend Petros Parginos was appointed as Metropolitan of Accra and the Very Reverend Markos Theodosi as Provincial Bishop of Kisumu. In conclusion Archimandrite Germanos Galanis was elected as Bishop of Tamiathus beside His Beatitude.

The session was completed with the recommendation of His Grace Sylvester Bishop of Goulou on the subject: Pastoral treatment of the issue of Magic in African countries ".

Bishop of Goulou Sylvester (from here)

With the recommendation of His Grace Prodromos, Bishop of Toliara, "Proposed applications of modern technology in the practice of Ecclesiastical work in African continent today", as well as the adoption of the text of the Synodal Declaration against violence, the deliberations of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria were completed today 10th October, 2019.

The Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodoros II, concluded the deliberations of the Holy Synod, expressing his gratitude to all the Hierarchs of the Apostolic Throne of St. Mark for their sacrificial pastoral work on the African continent, but also his gratitude for the supportive love which they always show him during the undertaking of his multi-responsible duties. Shortly before the end of the Session, His Beatitude briefed the Hierarchy on the telephone communication he had with His Beatitude Ioannis, Patriarch of Antioch, to whom he expressed support, both from himself and from the Holy Synod for the new ordeal, which has broken out in the area of his jurisdiction.

His Beatitude then hosted a farewell lunch in the Great Patriarchal Refectory in honour of the Honorable Members of the Holy Synod. 


At a time which boasts of its scientific and technological achievements, the observation of the disparagement and exploitation of humans by humans, stigmatize all of humanity. It is inconceivable to boast that we have progressed so scientifically, and that we tend to be indifferent to the justice of man, to his fellow man, to his fellow man. It is inconceivable to boast that we have progressed so scientifically, and yet we tolerate or tend to be indifferent to the injustice of man, to his fellow man, to violence, to crime, to any form of exploitation.

The journey of mankind without God, having set as a priority the material or narrow self-centered profit, does not only negate the Gospel, but these days tends to breakdown all moral value, setting as the antithesis of the Gospel words “God is love”, the words “the other is my hell”.

It is inconceivable, with the pretext of various beliefs, religions, genders, colors and profits, that man is capable of violence against man.

Bearing a long tradition as the oldest bearers of the word of the Gospel in Africa and having a lengthy experience in our Pastoral and sacrificial service in North Africa, from the Horn of Maghreb on the equator and the so-called Dark Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, we have walked through wars, riots, discrimination, civil wars and violations of elementary human rights, many of them, and in many ways, some not even self-explanatory in some areas.

Bearing the sacred duty of the ministry of people and knowing from within the weight, the pain and the wounds of the Cross and the Resurrection dimension, we denounce all forms of violence and injustice from wherever they emanate, and we journey together in deep sadness and, of course , hope, about the course the world has taken and the return of all the good that is promised us.

Knowing in fact that even in the worst situations there is a remnant of humanity, we address that remnant and give it space, the space in our hearts and our prayers, for it to bloom and multiply. We call every person of good will to journey with us in this effort, so that peace may prevail and justice, humanity and respect for life may reign in all mankind.

Παρασκευή, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2019

The Best Place – The Worst Place – Orthodoxy in Location

“The Orthodox are the least suited to consumer capitalist values.”
What constitutes the best place to live? Anywhere you are. God is there and never elsewhere.

From time to time, I read articles on the “10 Worst Cities in America,” or the State. There are similar articles on the “best.” The thoughts offered remind me of the article published earlier this year in which the Orthodox (worldwide) were described as the “least happy” people of any religious group. If you scratch the surface of these musings, you quickly discover that the scale of best and worst, happy and unhappy, are measurements based largely on modern, urban metrics. No small town anywhere could make the “best” list unless it offered a dozen coffee shops with exotic choices, four or five music venues, really great medical services, and a “feel” of somehow being “cool.” Similarly, the Orthodox happy measure was based largely on the values of consumer capitalism. The study would have been better worded, “The Orthodox are the least suited to consumer capitalist values.” Of course, the Eastern cultures of the former Communist bloc, where the largest concentration of Orthodox live, are relatively inexperienced in consumerist thought – either because it’s so new, or because their economies have yet to find their way to the trough.

All of this reflects a highly urban culture that is finely tuned towards the cutting-edge of global consumption. Aimed towards Millennials, it follows the decades-long trend of marketing youth and a sense of being “in-the-know” regarding various social trends and tastes. Cities are being reshaped in this image. My hometown, Greenville, SC, has become one of the “hottest” of such renaissance modern hotspots. Its mainstreet is awash in restaurants and trendy shops with a huge concentration of urban condominiums in the mix. An area that was once depressed and largely deserted in the former hub of the American textile industry, it now feels like an upscale backdrop for shooting an episode of Friends (that probably dates me). Not everybody can live in Seattle or San Francisco, but our medium cities can be made to look and feel as though they were. My present near-neighbor city, Knoxville, TN, wants to be Greenville (just like it wants a winning football team). 
Photo from here

Of course, all of this is marketed. There is not a non-commercial movement towards urbanization or metropolitan global culture. Cities (and so-called “high culture”) are sold as fashion statements. Certain locations “get hot.” There are real estate market booms. Newspapers and magazines profile the “hip” culture that is now in (pick a town). But is any of this real?

Consumer happiness is the most ephemeral thing on the planet. The “desire” for something is manufactured through various forms of advertising (including “trend setters”). And the object/experience desired is met through the magic of consumer capitalism with the result of “satisfaction,” i.e. “happy people.” The same commercial forces could initiate a campaign tomorrow in which life in the city would be vilified and disparaged. In a short time, the happiness quotient would have declined when nothing has, in fact, changed. We are (sadly) as advertised.

There are, of course, very concrete factors that fuel the movement towards urbanization. Jobs. Not every small town offers work in every field. The movement of populations throughout history has been something of a constant. It is also accompanied by vast social changes. Among the most striking consequences of modern mobility has been the disappearance of the extended family (in any practical sense). The presence of aunts, uncles, cousins, and multiple generations requires a stability that is incompatible with modern mobile populations. Natural supporting structures afforded by the extended family, if they are replaced, yield to small affinity groups, cobbled together in new places. For many, such groups never happen. When all is well (read “young and healthy”), such groups can seem unimportant. It is in the inevitable settings of suffering and sickness that their lack leaves individuals isolated and abandoned. 
I have written repeatedly that we cannot change the world, that we will not “make the world a better place.” I do not suggest this out of hopelessness, but out of a reasonable facing of facts. Our culture of “democracy” lures us into thinking that we not only can change things, but that we must. The result is a great deal of frustration or delusion. In both cases, attending to changing things tends to ignore the importance of actually living. In the midst of a highly urbanized culture that celebrates its own imaginary virtues (diversity, fluidity, adaptability, etc.), the real question for a Christian is how to simply live (and to live simply).

The answer is quite old: be in the world but not of the world.

The Jews of ancient Israel found themselves in very foreign territory from time to time: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome. In all such circumstances, the question was how to be a faithful Jew. The same is true for us. How do we live as faithful Orthodox Christians? For one, we avoid, where possible, making ourselves hostage to settings in which the ability to live as a faithful Orthodox Christian is hindered. For example, why would an Orthodox Christian choose to relocate to somewhere in which attendance at liturgy might be near impossible? It happens, and sometimes there are good reasons (particularly in our American context). Career, it seems to me, should be near the bottom of the list.

How we spend our money and our time are important. How we do the “little things” of the day. Living with awareness and gratitude – not as an afterthought, but as a way of life – are essential. Modernity teaches us to avoid suffering and to maximize pleasure. The Cross teaches us that there is no goodness that is not somehow marked by suffering. We rightly reject the path of least resistance and the lure of an easy life. Our path should be marked by love (laying down our life for others) as we seek to unite ourselves to Christ in all things.

Catching grief for having unpopular opinions (such as on social media) does not constitute suffering or persecution. We should not confuse them. If possible, the suffering and persecution we endure should be on account of our actions and not our sentiments. A culture in which “Christianity” dominates because it is enforced by majority rule and action is not a mark of great virtue – it is the simple rule of the jungle in which the weak are ruled by the strong. Making Christianity stronger than other things (in such a venue) does not represent a triumph of the faith. No hearts need change for such a thing. 

A picture is worth a thousand words. 
Or more. From here & here.
If we follow the way of the Cross, we should be prepared to lose – a lot. Nothing could be clearer in the teachings of Christ. If there is a deep, immediate need in the life of the Church in the modern setting, it is to create the sort of community that can model and sustain a cruciform life in its members. Celebrating the rich, the famous, sports stars and such, makes the Church little different than the world. There is a reason why canonical heroes (saints) are mostly martyrs.

When I have written about and underlined the importance of Fr. Thomas Hopko’s 55 maxims, it is because of their consistency with the cruciform life. That life and its virtues are acquired through small and faithful practices. If you want virtue, memorize them and practice them.

I return to where I began. What constitutes the best place to live? Anywhere you are. God is there and never elsewhere. If the will of God takes you to another place, the best place will be there as well. What is essential in being human, particularly a human among humans, does not depend on the trends of consumption. It flows from the Cross and the Cross alone.

See also

Orthodox Church & Capitalism: Orthodox Fathers of Church on poverty, wealth and social justice
Is capitalism compatible with Orthodox Christianity?
Grace and “the Inverted Pyramid”
Weak, Sick, Poor, Tired: A Story for Losers
Why Orthodox Men Love Church

The Kingdom of Heaven, where racial discrimination has no place
"THE WAY" - An Introduction to the Orthodox Faith
St. Justin Popovic: Whither does humanistic culture lead?
The Church as the Liberated Zone: "All we Christians are terrorists..." 

Τετάρτη, 9 Οκτωβρίου 2019

Panikhida for fr Raphael of Philadelphia, the first African American Orthodox Priest

St. Simon of Cyrene Orthodox Mission (Orthodox African Americans)

Saturday, October 26
Icon from here

Panikhida (in Wikipedia): A memorial service (Greek: μνημόσυνον, mnemósynon, "memorial"; Slavonic: панихида, panikhída, from Greek παννυχίς, pannychis, "vigil"; Romanian: parastas and Serbian парастос, parastos, from Greek παράστασις, parástasis) is a liturgical solemn service for the repose of the departed in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches, which follow the Byzantine Rite (more here).

Who is Fr. Father Raphael Morgan?

St. Simon of Cyrene Orthodox Mission

The Early Life of Father Raphael Morgan

Robert Josias Morgan was born in Chapelton, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, either in the late 1860s or early 1870s to Robert Josias and Mary Ann (née Johnson) Morgan. He was born six months after his father's death and named in his honor. He was raised in the Anglican tradition and received elementary schooling locally.

In his teenage years Morgan travelled to Colón, Panama, then to British Honduras, back to Jamaica, and then to the United States. There he became a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the United States. He traveled to Germany as a missionary. 

Church of England 
Morgan went to England, where he joined the established Church of England. He was sent to the colony of Sierra Leone to serve at the Church Missionary Society Grammar School at Freetown. There he studied Greek, Latin, and other higher-level subjects. Morgan also worked in a paid position as second master at a public school at Freetown. He took courses in the Church Missionary Society College at Fourah Bay in Freetown.

The colony was established in the late eighteenth century as a place for resettlement of the "Black Poor of London" (many of them Black Loyalists of the British colonies, African-American slaves who had been freed by the British during the American Revolutionary War). They were joined by Black Loyalists who voluntarily resettled in Freetown after having first been taken to Nova Scotia, as well as by Jamaican Maroons, and Africans liberated from slave ships by the British navy in the years after the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade.

Morgan was next appointed as a missionary teacher and lay-reader by Samuel David Ferguson, the Episcopal Bishop of Liberia, a country adjacent to Sierra Leone. Morgan later said, during a trip to Jamaica in 1901, that he had served five years in West Africa, three years of this time in missionary work. Liberia had been set up as a colony for the resettlement of free blacks from the United States, and was supported by the American Colonization Society before the American Civil War.

After Morgan returned to England for private study, he travelled to the United States to work as a lay reader in the African-American community. He was accepted as a Postulant and as candidate for the Episcopal deaconate in the Episcopal Church USA. During the canonical waiting period before ordination, Morgan again returned to England. He was said to have studied at Saint Aidan's Theological College in Birkenhead, and completed his studies at King's College at the University of London, although the colleges do not have records of his attendance. 

Episcopal Church USA 

After Morgan returned to the United States, he was ordained as deacon on June 20, 1895, by the Rt. Rev. Leighton Coleman, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, and a well-known opponent of racism. Morgan was appointed honorary curator at St Matthews' Church in Wilmington, Delaware, serving there from 1896 to 1897. He also taught in public schools in Delaware. From 1897 he served the Episcopal Church in Charleston, West Virginia.

In 1898, Morgan was transferred to the Missionary Jurisdiction of Asheville, North Carolina (now in the Diocese of Western North Carolina). By 1899 he was listed as being assistant minister at St. Stephen's Chapel in Morganton, North Carolina and St. Cyprian's Church in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

In 1901-1902 Morgan visited his homeland, Jamaica. In October 1901 he gave an address to the Jamaica Church Missionary Union on West Africa and mission work. He also gave a lecture in Port Maria in October 1902, entitled "Africa - Its People, Tribes, Idolatry, Customs".

Between 1900 and 1906, Morgan moved around much of the Eastern seaboard in the US. From 1902 to 1905 he served at Richmond, Virginia, in 1905 at Nashville, Tennessee, and by 1906 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His address was in care of the Church of the Crucifixion.

At some point during this period, Morgan joined the American Catholic Church (ACC), a sect of the Episcopal Church founded by Joseph René Vilatte, a former Roman Catholic. Morgan was listed in the records of the Episcopal Church USA as late as 1908, when he was suspended from ministry the result of allegations of abandoning his post. 

Trip to Russia

By the turn of the 20th century, Morgan began to question his faith, and he began intensive study of Anglicanism, Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy over a three-year period. He was in search of what he called the true religion. He concluded that the Orthodox Church was "the pillar and ground of truth", resigned from the Episcopal Church, and embarked on an extensive trip abroad beginning in 1904 in the Russian Empire.

Once there, Morgan visited various monasteries and churches, including sites in Odessa, St. Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev. As a black American, he attracted attention. Sundry periodicals began publishing pictures and articles on him, and soon Morgan became a special guest of the Tsar. He was allowed to be present for the anniversary celebrations of Nicholas II's coronation, and the memorial service said for the repose of the soul of the late Emperor Alexander III.

Leaving Russia, Morgan traveled the Ottoman Empire, Cyprus, and the Holy Land. After he returned to the US, he published an open letter in the Russian-American Orthodox Messenger (Vestnik) in 1904 about his experiences in Russia. He expressed hope that the Episcopal Church could unite with the Orthodox Churches. Morgan continued his spiritual quest. 

Study and trip to Ecumenical Patriarchate

For another three years, Morgan studied under Greek priests in the United States for his baptism, eventually deciding to seek entry and ordination in the Greek Orthodox Church. In January 1906, he is documented as "assisting" in the Christmas liturgy. In 1907 the Greek community in Philadelphia referred Morgan to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, along with two letters of support. Fr. Demetrios Petrides, the Greek priest serving the Philadelphia community, described Morgan as a man sincerely coming to Orthodoxy after long and diligent study, and recommended his baptism and ordination into the priesthood. The second letter was from the Ecclesiastical Committee of the Philadelphia Greek Orthodox Church, saying that Morgan could serve as an assistant priest if he failed to form a separate Orthodox parish among Black Americans.

In Constantinople, Morgan was interviewed by Metropolitan Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia, one of the few bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who could speak English. Metropolitan Joachim examined Morgan noting that he had a "deep knowledge of the teachings of the Orthodox Church" and that he also had a certificate from the president of the Methodist Community, duly notarized, stating that he was a man "of high calling and of a religious life". He agreed to his baptism. 

Baptism and ordination

Metr. Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia, 

Fr. Raphael's consecrator

On August 2, 1907, the Holy Synod approved that the baptism take place the following Sunday in the Church of the Life-giving Source at the Patriarchal Monastery at Balıklı, in Constantinople. Metropolitan Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia was to officiate at the sacrament, and the sponsor was to be Bishop Leontios (Liverios) of Theodoroupolis, Abbot of the Monastery at Balıklı. On Sunday August 4, 1907, Robert was baptised "Raphael" before 3000 people; subsequently he was ordained a deacon on August 12, 1907, by Metropolitan Joachim; and finally ordained a priest on the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, August 15, 1907.

According to the contemporary Uniateperiodical L'Echo d' Orient, which sarcastically described Morgan's baptism as triple immersion, the Metropolitan conducted the sacraments of Baptism and Ordination in English, following which Fr. Raphael chanted the Divine Liturgy in English. With Fr. Raphael Morgan's ordination in the Greek Orthodox Church he became the first African-American Orthodox priest.

Fr. Raphael was sent back to the US with vestments, a cross, and 20 pounds sterling for his traveling expenses. He was allowed to hear confessions, but denied Holy Chrism and an antimension, presumably to attach his missionary ministry to the Philadelphia church. The minutes of the Holy Synod from October 2, 1907, made it clear that Fr. Raphael was to be under the jurisdiction of Rev. Petrides of Philadelphia. After he was thoroughly trained in liturgics and was able to establish a separate Orthodox parish, he could gain independence. 

Return to America 

Recorded as Raffaele Morgan at Ellis Island, he landed in New York in December 1907. Fr. Raphael baptized his wife and children in the Orthodox Church.

The last mention of Fr. Raphael in Patriarchal records is in the minutes of the Holy Synod of November 4, 1908, which cite a letter from him recommending an Anglican priest of Philadelphia, named "A.C.V. Cartier", as a candidate for conversion to Orthodoxy and ordination as a priest. Cartier was rector of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, in Philadelphia, from 1906 to 1912. The church served the African-American elite of Philadelphia and was one of the most prestigious congregations in African-American Christianity. It was started in 1794 by Absalom Jones, who had been an early leader with Richard Allen of the Free African Union. This preceded Allen's founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1909, Charlotte Morgan filed for divorce alleging cruelty and failure to support their children. Fr. Raphael retained custody of their 13-year-old daughter, Roberta Viola Morgan. Their 9-year-old son Cyril Ignatius lived with his mother in Delaware County, where she remarried. 

Monastic tonsure 
In 1911 Morgan sailed to Cyprus, presumably to be tonsured a hieromonk. (But, Fr. Oliver Herbel (OCA) has suggested that in 1911 Morgan was tonsured in Athens.)

Possibly at this time, he claimed to have founded what he called the Order of the Cross of Golgotha (O.C.G.). As noted above, the Archives of the Church of Greece contain no information about Morgan. 

Lecture tour in Jamaica 

According to an April 1913 article in the Jamaica Times, Fr. Raphael was headquartered at Philadelphia where he wanted to build a chapel for his missionary efforts. It reported that he had recently visited Europe to collect funds to this end, and had the intention of extending his work to the West Indies.

Near the end of 1913, Fr. Raphael visited his homeland of Jamaica, staying for several months. While there, he met a group of Syrians, who were complaining of a lack of Orthodox churches on the island. Fr. Raphael did his best to contact the Syrian-American diocese of the Russian church, writing to St. Raphael of Brooklyn. As most descendants of the Syrians in Jamaica are now communicants in the Episcopal Church, the Russian Orthodox Church may have established a mission here; this presumably came to no avail. In December, a Russian warship came to port, and he co-celebrated the Divine Liturgy with the sailors, their chaplain, and his new-found Syrians.

Morgan chiefly conducted a lecture circuit that he ran throughout Jamaica. Given the lack of Orthodox churches, Fr. Raphael gave his talks at churches of other denomination. He discussed his travels, the Holy Land, and Holy Orthodoxy. At some point, he returned to Chapelton, where he told attendees regarding his name change, "I will always be Robert to you".

According to the Daily Gleaner edition of November 2, 1914, Fr. Raphael had just set sail for America to start mission work under his Faith.

Last known records 


Fr Raphael Morgan died July 29, 1922 and buried August 1, 1922

According to a 1915 short biography, Morgan had resided all over the world, including: "in Palestine, Syria, Joppa, Greece, Cyprus, Mytilene, Chios, Sicily, Crete, Egypt, Russia, Ottoman Turkey, Austria, Germany, England, France, Scandinavia, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Bermuda, and the United States."

In 1916 Fr. Raphael was still in Philadelphia, having made the Philadelphia Greek parish his base of operations. The last documentation of Fr. Raphael comes from a letter to the Daily Gleaner on October 4, 1916. Representing a group of about a dozen Jamaican-Americans, he wrote to protest the lectures of Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey. They felt Garvey's views damaged the reputation of their homeland and its people. They objected to Garvey saying he preferred the prejudice of American whites to that of English whites. Garvey said that the letter was a conspiratorial fabrication meant to undermine the success and favour he had gained while in Jamaica and in the United States. Little is known of Fr. Raphael's later life. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has records neither of Fr. Raphael Morgan, nor of Fr. Demetrios Petrides. Records in the archives for this Philadelphia community do not begin until 1918.

As noted, Morgan's daughter said on her passport that her father had died between 1916 and 1924. In the 1970s Greek-American historian Paul G. Manolis interviewed surviving members of the Greek Community of the Annunciation in Philadelphia, who recalled the black priest who had been part of their community. Grammatike Kritikos Sherwin said that Fr. Raphael's daughter left to attend Oxford University. Kyriacos Biniaris said that Morgan spoke broken Greek and served with Fr. Petrides, reciting the liturgy mostly in English. George Liacouras recalled that after serving in Philadelphia for some years, Fr. Raphael left for Jerusalem, never to return.

Fr. Raphael Morgan died August 1, 1922 in Philadelphia and is buried in the Historic Eden Cemetery 1434 Springfield Road Collingdale, Pennsylvania 1902. Note: Fr. Raphael Morgan was given a pauper's funeral, buried in obscurity, and laid to rest by Pro-Royalist Fr. Thomas Daniels.

Rev. Father Thomas J. Daniels

Fr. Raphael Morgan laid to rest by Fr. Thomas Daniels. 
The Rev. Father Thomas J. Daniels was born in Greece, the youngest of three brothers. He was ordained in 1910 in Thrace. He became a church administrator and from 1913 to 1916 he was a regimental chaplain in the Greek Army. In 1916, he came to the United States and served in New England before he came to Saints Constantine and Helen Church which was then located at Sixth and C Streets Southwest. A new church located at Sixteenth and Upshur Streets was built in 1954.

He was pastor of the church for over 36 years. He was decorated by both the Greek and Yugoslav governments and in 1956 received the highest honor for a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church when the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople elevated him to Economos of the Holy See. He had received the Golden Cross of St. George from King Paul of Greece and the Yugoslav Golden Cross from King Peter of Yugoslavia. He was given the Cross of the Holy Sepulcher by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. He died at the age of 66 at Georgetown Hospital on Friday, June 15, 1956 of a liver condition.

He had been ill since the end of March. Survivors included his widow, Panagiota of 5435 Connecticut Avenue Northwest; one son, Vaisilos I. Daniels of New York City and two daughters, Mrs. Evanthia George and Mrs. Aphrodite Nanopulos, both living in Greece; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Arrangements were by Chambers’ Funeral Home at 1400 Chapin Street Northwest. Services were at the Greek Orthodox Church Saints Constantine and Helen at 4115 16th Street Northwest. The divine liturgy of St. John Chrysostom was celebrated before the burial ritual. Interment was in Glenwood Cemetery. The family requested contributions to the building fund of Saints Constantine and Helen Church in lieu of flowers.

Sources: The Evening Star, Saturday, June 16, 1956 and Monday, June 18, 1956.

See also

St. Simon of Cyrene Orthodox Mission
Fr Raphael Morgan, the First Black Orthodox Priest in America 
St. Simon of Cyrene & Black History Month (February 27th: St. Simon’s Day) [icon] 
African-American Orthodoxy — Eight principal areas of convergence between African spirituality and Ancient Christianity   
Fr. Moses Berry, a descendant of African slaves, Orthodox priest and teacher in USA
Ancient Christian faith (Orthodox Church) in Africa

Παρασκευή, 4 Οκτωβρίου 2019

Uganda, 1920: Afrikanerne søkte historien og fant ut at det er én Kirke som kommer ned til oss direkte fra Kristus – Fader Serafim Rose, USA (+1982)

Africa of my Heart

Spørsmål og Svar 
av Fader Serafim Rose

Spørsmål: Kunne du ha sagt litt om Helligånden i den ortodokse lære og, i den sammenheng, synet på ikke-ortodokse sakramenter – om Helligånden er til stede i dem?
Svar: Vår Herre Jesus Kristus sendte ned Helligånden på pinsedagen, 50 dager etter Hans oppstandelse, 10 dager etter Han selv fór opp til himmelen, for å bli hos Kirken helt til tidens ende. Historisk sett, var det én Kirke Han grunnla.

Det har hendt i disse tider at folk har henvendt seg til historie for å finne denne Kirken. Ta, for eksempel, historien om Kirken i Uganda. På 1920 tallet, studerte to unge seminarister fra Uganda ved en anglikansk presteskole og begynte å se at den lære de ble gitt der ikke var den samme lære de fant i kirkefedrene. De begynte derfor å tenke at romersk-katolisismen måtte være svaret – at dette måtte være den oldtidlige Kirke. I ”jakten på den sanne, oldtidskirken” (som de kalte den), dro de for å studere ved en romersk-katolsk presteskole og igjen så at den lære de mottok der var noe annet en de gamle kirkefedrenes. De begynte å si, ”Hvis sannheten kan endres slik, hvor er da Kristi sannhet?” Og da hørte de om den ortodokse tro og gikk gjennom all slags strev for å finne ut hvor den var. Først fant de noen som kalte seg selv ortodoks men som var en sjarlatan, og delte ut det han kalte sakramenter. Når en gresk lekmann fortalte dem at det var noe ”rart” ved ham, så de dette, omvendte seg, og startet søket på nytt. Den første ortodokse biskopen de traff var ikke en spesielt god biskop, og sa, ”Å, det er ikke noe å bry seg om. Alle religioner er like, dra tilbake til anglikanerne.” Men de lot ikke dette fraråde dem. Til slutt fant de en ortodoks biskop som lærte det han skulle, og de ble ortodokse. I dag sprer Kirken seg gjennom Afrika: gjennom Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, osv. Vi har til og med opptak av gudstjenestene deres, som er veldig imponerende. De har tatt bysantinsk, gresk, sang og, uten å prøve å endre den (de synger bare på deres egen måte, på deres eget språk), høres den veldig ærverdig ut, med en lokal afrikansk variant. De gjorde med bysantinsk sang det samme grekerne gjorde når de fikk den hebraiske.

Så disse afrikanerne søkte historien og fant ut at det er én Kirke som kommer ned til oss direkte fra Kristus og lærer det som ble holdt i oldtiden: den ortodokse Kirke. Fra et historisk perspektiv, kan du også se at de andre kirkene har gått bort fra dette: romersk-katolisismen først i det 11. århundre, når spørsmålet om pavens plass i Kirken endelig kom opp for alvor, og paven ikke godtok det ortodokse svaret, og tok hele vestkirken med seg.
Til denne dag, handler Helligånden i den ortodokse Kirke. I de fleste vestlige, protestantiske grupper, kalles det de har sjeldent for sakramenter, så du hadde kanskje ikke sett etter Helligåndens nåde i noe de heller ikke selv anser som sakramenter. Romersk-katolikker, så klart, og noen få andre grupper ser på seg selv som å ha sakramenter. Selv hadde jeg sagt at de sanne sakramenter, i den forstand at Kristus innstiftet dem, finnes kun i den ortodokse kirke: og de som bruker navnet på sakramenter, prøver å gjøre det beste de kan med dem – det er noe mellom sjelen og Gud, og det Gud ønsker å gjøre med den sjelen – det er Hans affære. Kanskje det er mer enn noe psykologisk; jeg vet ikke – det må Gud bestemme. Men hjelpemidlene Han innstiftet i Kirken har kommet ned til oss i dag i den ortodokse Kirke. Man kan faktisk se ved historisk undersøkelse at vi gjør det som ble gjort i oldtidskirken. Filip, for eksempel, tok den etiopiske hoffmannen ned til elven og døpte ham på akkurat samme måte som det vi gjør: tre neddykkelser i Treenighetens navn, Fader, Sønn og Hellig Ånd. Det er derfor ortodoksien er kjent for å være så ”gammeldags”: vi beholder de gammeldagse måtene som kom ned til oss fra Kristus, apostlene og Kirkens tidlige fedre.
Spørsmål: Kan du si noe om det ortodokse synet på ikke-kristne religioner?
Svar: Kristus kom for å opplyse menneskeligheten. Det er mange religioner utenfor Hans åpenbaring der tilhengerne er alvorlige – ikke bare djeveldyrkere -  og der sjelen virkelig prøver å finne Gud. Jeg vil si at, før disse menneskene hører om Kristus, er disse religionene greie så langt de rekker, men de kan aldri føre deg til målet. Målet er det evige liv og himmelens rike, og Gud kom i kjødet for å åpne dette for oss. Derfor er kristendommen sann; du kan peke på de forskjellige sammenlignbare deler av sannheten i andre religioner, og de er ofte veldig dype, men de åpner ikke himmelen. Bare når Kristus kom til jorden og sa til røveren, ”Du vil være med Meg i Paradis,” ble himmelen åpnet for mennesker.
Spørsmål: Så har de som ikke har hørt om Kristus ingen tilgang til sannheten?
Svar: De som aldri har hørt om Kristus? – det må Gud bestemme. I det Gamle Testament hadde ingen hørt om Kristus heller, og så kom Kristus, og forkynte for dem i dødsriket. Også Hl. Johannes Døperen, som vi tror kom til dødsriket først, før Kristus, og forkynte at Kristus skulle komme dit for å frigjøre alle som ønsket å bli frigjort, som ønsket å tro på Ham. Så Gud kan åpne sannheten for dem som ikke hadde en sjanse til å høre: dvs. som ikke fornektet Evangeliet men ikke hørte det. Men så snart du mottar åpenbaringen, da har du mye større ansvar enn alle andre. Noen som mottar åpenbaringen om at Gud har kommet i kjød og deretter ikke lever i samsvar med den – det er mye verre for ham enn for noen hedensk prest eller slikt. 

Oversatt fra Fr. Seraphim Rose, God's Revelation to the Human Heart, Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1997, s.39-42
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