Πέμπτη 29 Νοεμβρίου 2018

Patriarchate of Alexandria establishes 5 new dioceses in the Orthodox Church of Africa

Photo from here

Serbian Orthodox Church

Meeting in Alexandria under the chairmanship of Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa on Monday, the Holy Synod of the Church of Alexandria resolved to establish 5 new dioceses for the Church, reports the Patriarchate’s website.
The decision came on the first day of the session that is scheduled to run through Friday.
At the proposal of Patriarch Theodors, the Synod decided to establish the new Metropolis of Katanga and the Dioceses of Malawi, Gulu and East Uganda, Toliara and South Madagascar, and Goma and Kisangani.
Archimandrite Theodosius Tsitsivos was elected as the Metropolitan of Katanga, and Archimandrite Daniel Biazis, the secretary of the Holy Synod, was also elected as the new Metropolitan of Aksum.

Image result for Bishop Innokentios of Burundi and Rwanda.
Metropolitan Innocentios of Burundi and Rwanda (from here)

The new Diocese of Malawi was created by dividing the former Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi and will be led by Archimandrite Photios (Hadjantoniou), the abbot of St. Sabba’s Monastery in Alexandria, who was born in Nikaia, Attica, in 1954.
The newly-established Diocese of Gulu and East Uganda will be led by Archimandrite Sylvester (Kisitou), also from the Monastery of St. Sabba in Alexandria. He was born in Uganda and studied theology in Greece.
The Diocese of Toliara and South Madagascar will be led by Archimandrite Prodromos (Katsoulis), who was born in Sparta, Greece, in 1982.
The bishop for the new Diocese of Goma and Kisangani has not yet been chosen.
The Synod also resolved to raise the Bishop of Rwanda to the dignity of Metropolitan. The Diocese is currently headed by His Grace Bishop Innocentios of Burundi and Rwanda.

See also
Appointment of Bishop Elect Silvestros Kisitu of the Bishopric of Gulu and Eastern Uganda (photo)

"Uganda has now got two Orthodox Bishops..Glory to God!" 
Bishop Neofitos Neokong'ai (Kenya), from here.

Παρασκευή 23 Νοεμβρίου 2018

Orthodox Holy Icon of St. Nektarios Streams Myrrh on His Feast Day in Kenya

Orthodox Christianity 
The Catalog of Good Deeds 
Romfea (in Greek)

A miracle occurred at the seminary in Nairobi recently, reports His Eminence Archbishop Makarios (Tillyrides) of Nairobi and All Kenya.

On November 9 2018, the feast of the great St. Nektarios of Aegina [Bishop of Pentapolis, Libya], an icon of the saint at the Patriarchal Seminary of Archbishop Makarios III in Nairobi, where they faithfully celebrate the services every morning and evening, began to stream myrrh just before Abp. Makarios departed to serve Liturgy, as he reported to Romfea.


Great Vespers with artoklasia was celebrated in the school’s chapel dedicated to St. Macarius the Egyptian on the eve of the feast, after which Abp. Makarios gave a sermon in which he exalted St. Nektarios as a great example for Orthodox Christians, and assured the students and all those gathered that “Indeed … the saints are always with us, beside us, literally surrounding us and listening to us when we talk to them and ask them for something.” 

The Kenyan hierarch’s words would be proven true in a marvelous manner the next morning, when, as Abp. Makarios was preparing to go serve Liturgy in a nearby village, an altar server came and told him, “Something’s happening in the holy church right now that we don’t understand.”

Going to the seminary’s chapel, Abp. Makarios found that the icon of St. Nektarios was streaming a fragrant myrrh from two places—from the holy Gospel and from the hand of the saint holding the Gospel.

As His Eminence writes, he crossed himself, venerated the icon, and said aloud, “Lord have mercy!” He then left to serve the Divine Liturgy in the village as scheduled.

Returning to the seminary in the early afternoon, he was informed that the myrrh continued to flow during the Divine Liturgy at the seminary, stopping only once the Liturgy ended.

As Abp. Makarios writes, the miracle was especially touching for the younger African brethren who had never experienced such a thing, which is unthinkable in their culture.

The Kenyan archpastor writes:

They saw that what is said orally to strengthen their faith now had a tangible opening in the direction of holiness, to see the grace of the Holy Spirit literally overwhelm them and overcome logic and the mind by the wisdom, greatness, and power of the saint.

His sanctifying power was now unfolding in them, He descended from the throne of His glory from the heavenly to the earthly, and came and dwelt in them, and with the infinite height of His holiness He manifested to us all, unworthy, His unfailing mercy.

Nairobi, Kenya,
November 14, 2018 

See also
Icon of St. Nektarios bleeding from hands in Rhodes 
The Myrrh-Streaming Icons of Theotokos in Hawaii
Nice orthodox women from Kenya
"THE WAY" - An Introduction to the Orthodox Faith
The Church as the Liberated Zone: "All we Christians are terrorists..."  
In Search of Orthodoxy (tag)

Κυριακή 18 Νοεμβρίου 2018

Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy 2018 in Cairo // الجمعية البرلمانية حول الأرثوذكسية 2018 بالقاهرة

Jesus Christ & Capitalism: The Parable of the Rich Fool (three Orthodox voives from Africa)

Image from the page of Orthodox Diocese of Mozambique about the Parable of the Rich Fool

"...If every person were to learn from it, millions of our fellow human beings would not die from hunger or poverty. In addition, many rich people would not suffer from agonizing worry and anxiety over their possessions, and maybe save their souls from being lost due to their wealth..."

THE GOSPEL (For the Ninth Sunday of Luke)

Orthodox Diocese of Mozambique
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (12:16-21)
The Lord spoke this parable: The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?
And he said, I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.
But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
As He said this, Jesus called out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.
For Children Click on the link to listen to the Holy Gospel here.

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia & Malawi

The Parable of the Rich Fool can be found in Luke 12:13–21. The key to understanding this parable is in verse 15 (and later summarized in verse 21). Luke 12:15 says, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Jesus says this to the man who asked Him to arbitrate between him and his brother. In ancient times, the firstborn was guaranteed a double portion of the family inheritance. More than likely, the brother who was addressing Jesus was not the firstborn and was asking for an equal share of the inheritance. Jesus refuses to arbitrate their dispute and gets to the heart of the matter: Covetousness! Jesus warns this person, and all within earshot, that our lives are not to be about gathering wealth. Life is so much more than the “abundance of possessions.”
Jesus proceeds to tell the man the Parable of the Rich Fool. This person was materially blessed by God; his land “produced plentifully” (verse 16). As God continued to bless the man, instead of using his increase to further the will of God, all he was interested in was managing his increase and accumulating his growing wealth. So the man builds larger barns in place of the existing ones and starts planning an early retirement. Unbeknownst to him, this was his last night on planet earth. Jesus then closes the story by saying, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
So the point of the Parable of the Rich Fool is twofold. First, we are not to devote our lives to the gathering and accumulation of wealth. There is an interesting point made in the parable. God says to the man in the story, “And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” This echoes the thought expressed in Ecclesiastes 2:18 (“I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me”). You see it all the time in people who are singularly devoted to the accumulation of wealth. What happens to all that wealth when they die? It gets left behind to others who didn’t earn it and won’t appreciate it. Furthermore, if money is your master, that means God is not (Matthew 6:24).
The second point of the Parable of the Rich Fool is the fact that we are not blessed by God to hoard our wealth to ourselves. We are blessed to be a blessing in the lives of others, and we are blessed to build the kingdom of God. The Bible says if our riches increase, we are not to set our hearts upon them (Psalm 62:10). The Bible also says there is one who gives freely and grows all the richer (Proverbs 11:24). Finally, the Bible says we are to honor God with the first fruits of our increase (Proverbs 3:9–10). The point is clear; if we honor God with what He has given us, He will bless with more so that we can honor Him with more. There is a passage in 2 Corinthians that summarizes this aptly (2 Corinthians 9:6–15). In that passage Paul says, “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” We are blessed by God, so we can in turn “abound in every good work” and be a blessing in the lives of others. So, if God has blessed you with material wealth “set not your heart on it” and “be rich toward God.” That is the message of the Parable of the Rich Fool.

On the 9th Sunday of Luke (Luke 12:16-21)

Metropolitan Sotirios of Pisidia
Orthodox Archbiscopic of Zimbabwe & Angola

The parable in today’s Gospel is a brief, but powerful story. If every person were to learn from it, millions of our fellow human beings would not die from hunger or poverty. In addition, many rich people would not suffer from agonizing worry and anxiety over their possessions, and maybe save their souls from being lost due to their wealth.
Let’s look at the rich person in the parable. God gave him fruitful land with an amazing yield of crops. Instead of rejoicing in God and glorifying him for this blessing, he was overwhelmed with worry: “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” (verse 17).
“What shall I do?” People who say this usually have no house to live in, no clothes to protect them from the weather, or bread to give to their children to keep them alive! But a rich person who suddenly becomes even richer saying these same words is outrageous. Sadly, this is our reality. There are countless examples of wealthy people who suffer serious psychological problems and anxiety over how to maintain and increase their wealth. Those who cling to material things and are constantly trying to get more will suffer a great fall. “Rich men turned poor and went hungry” (Psalm 33:11), and the Apostle Paul warns us: “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Timothy 6:9).
But the great misery of the rich in the parable would come quickly. While he wondered where he would store his crop, and dreamed of living high for many years, he heard the voice from Heaven say to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” (verse 20). By acting in this way, the rich person loses both his earthly goods and the treasure of Heaven. This treasure is denied because the rich person, due to their greed, was not able to do the good works needed to get it.
Maybe the rich would ask: “Why am I dying now? What did I do wrong? There was no stealing here, and this is what I have earned. It’s mine!”
Here we see the great mistake, both of the rich in the parable and of every person of wealth. They are under the illusion that the riches they possess are for them alone. They do not understand that God has given them this to share it. This goes back to the teaching of St. Basil the Great: You are a keeper of your fellow human beings. Do not think that all this was given to you for yourself only…For all this, you will be asked directly….Do you think that this is unfair, with so much given to you, and you give nothing to others? The extra food you keep belongs to the person who is hungry. The clothes you have filling your closet are for the naked. The money you get and hide away is for the one who needs it. So much inequality, and so many people in need who could be helped.
In God’s Wisdom, he allows rich people their wealth to benefit not just them, but all people. If everyone just kept what they needed, and gave away the rest, there would be no poor in the world.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us apply the teaching of the Apostle Paul: “Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content (1 Timothy 6:8). Let us make sure that we are rich in what will earn us our permanent riches in Heaven. Amen.

Capitalism (tag)
An african orthodox christian voice about the Parable of the Sower
Orthodox Church & Capitalism: Orthodox Fathers of Church on poverty, wealth and social justice
Is capitalism compatible with Orthodox Christianity?
Grace and “the Inverted Pyramid”

Κυριακή 11 Νοεμβρίου 2018


Late on the afternoon of Thursday 8th November 2018, His Beatitude Theodoiros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Arica arrived in the country of the blood diamonds, Sierra Leone, accompanied by Archimandrite Athanasios Kayembe. At the airport His Beatitude was welcomed by the local Metropolitan His Eminence George of Guinea, the Ambassador of Egypt, the Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Guinea Fr. Themistocles Adamopoulos, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Holy Clergy of Sierra Leone.
Then, in a special boat, the Patriarch went to the capital, Freetown, where reporters from the local Media were expecting him.
In his brief statements His Beatitude referred to the importance that Sierra Leone holds in his heart, and that with great joy he returns to the country after 6 years to inaugurate the new Orthodox Church's schools.
On the morning of Friday 9th November, His Beatitude attended the service at the Holy Church of Ss Constantine and Helen for the feast of St Nektarios and then met with Mr Alie Kabba the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Minister welcomed the Patriarch to Sierra Leone, thanked him for the wonderful work done by the Orthodox Church in the country, particularly in the field of education and assured him that the state would assist the efforts of the Alexandrian Patriarchate.
His Beatitude, in turn, thanked him for the warm welcome and hospitality and expressed his joy that he has returned to such a troubled country to bless the new works done exclusively for the children The Patriarch then went on to the St Moses of Ethiopia Missionary Centre in the Waterloo area. He was welcomed there by the Minister of Education, the Clergy and hundreds of children from the Orthodox Schools.
The Doxology was sung in the Holy Church and then His Beatitude did the Sanctification for the inauguration of the first Orthodox Children’s Village for orphaned children who have lost their parents and guardians due to the deadly Ebola virus.
The Orthodox Children's Village is a model village for the Orthodox Church and there the orphaned children will find maternal love and affection from surrogate mothers, shelter, refuge, food, medical care and education.
His Beatitude, with deep emotion, inaugurated the first two houses and blessed 24 orphaned children who will be accommodated there. A festival followed in which all the children participated.
At the beginning of the celebration, His Eminence George welcomed the 117th successor of St Mark, Theodoros II, and expressed his joy that on the day of his feast St Nektarios led the Patriarch to the suffering land of Sierra Leone and the children immediately broke out into cheers and applause.
Thereafter, His Eminence briefly referred to the daily activities of the Patriarchate and to his Missionary journeys throughout Africa and to the unique love he has for all his spiritual children. In conclusion he congratulated Fr. Themistocles and his colleagues on their daily struggle to support the suffering people of Sierra Leone.
Thereafter, the Minister congratulated the Patriarch for the Orthodox schools and their high standards and promised that the Ministry of Education would always be at his side.
The wonderful celebration was brought to a close by the Patriarch with words of love, thanking the friends of the Missions throughout the world for supporting the struggle of the Patriarchate and in conclusion thanked the Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information Mr. Nikos Papas and the Deputy Minister Mr. Lefteris Kretsos, who gladly accepted his proposal and agreed on the participation of a group from ERT on his journey to Sierra Leone (you can see the video).

On the afternoon of Saturday 10th November 2018, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, laid the foundation stone for the building of an Orthodox Primary School in the most impoverished neighbourhood of the planet in the slum areas of Crew Bay in the heart of the capital of Sierra Leone, where the Patriarch is on a five-day visit. Twenty-seven thousand people live in the slums of Crew Bay, 7 thousand of which are children, who truly live under the most impoverished conditions existing on the planet and many of these children die before they reach they age of five, due to their lack of vaccinations. For the education of these children until today there was a rudimentary school of two classes, with non-existent sanitary facilities. In the torrential rains of last winter, the camp lost 300 people, and more than 3,000 were forced to leave their homes. 
The foundation stone was laid in the presence of the mayor of the city, the Municipal Council and the members of the Community of slum residents. With deep emotion His Beatitude thanked the pupils of the 1ST High School in Halandri, who will be making a decisive contribution to the building of the new school, which will improve the quality of the education of the children from the slum area. 
The representative of the residents of Crew Bay, emotionally thanked the Orthodox Church for the God-loved work which they have undertaken to bring to fruition in their slump camp, saying he is one of the children who grew up there and who was deprived basic education and that for the first time today he will sleep peacefully and joyfully. 
Earlier the Patriarch was warmly welcomed by the newly-elected Mayor Mrs. Yvonne Aki Sawyer at the Municipality in the city, which during the tough years of slavery, the slave traffickers used it as a place of keeping the slaves, before they were loaded onto the ships bound for Brazil. The capital of Sierra Leone is the city which received the first free slaves who returned to Africa and that is the reason why it was named Freetown. The Mayoress, deeply moved by the presence of the Patriarch in her city, offered him the “key to the city” and thanked him for the interest shown by the Orthodox Church in supporting the suffering citizens of Freetown, particularly the little children. In his reply the Patriarch thanked the Mayoress for the welcome and assured her that the Patriarchate will always be present in all her efforts to life the quality of life of the residents, not only of the capital but of the entire country.