A Quest for Reform of the Orthodox Church- The 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress: An Analysis and Translation of its Acts and Decisions

Author: Fr. Patrick Viscuso
Publisher: Sebastian Press

It is with pleasure that we welcome the publication in an English translation of the acts and decisions of the 1923 Congress, prepared by the Reverend Dr. Patrick Viscuso, an expert in canon law. In his substantial and excellently researched introduction, Father Viscuso provides the background to that Congress, discussing the difficult international climate of the times, the uncertainties and dangers that the Church faced following World War I, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Turkish nationalism, European politics and national aspirations, all of which affected the lives of millions of Orthodox Christians in Europe and the Near East. Orthodox Christians should be grateful to Father Viscuso for giving them the opportunity not only to read important decisions of the Church, but also to reflect on the problems the Church faced in the early twentieth century, and its willingness to adopt reforms for the benefit of the Church’s pleroma. Renewing the Church is not antithetical to the experience of the Church in history. The Reverend Dr. Patrick Viscuso is a Professor of Canon Law at the Antiochian House of Studies and the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-Atlantic, an Orthodox canonist, and a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. His doctorate in historical theology from the Catholic University of America concentrated on Byzantine and Oriental canon law, patristic studies, and church history. He also holds a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and five books.

St. Justin Popović’s will fulfilled with consecration of three-altar church at Ćelije Monastery

St. Justin Popović’s will fulfilled with consecration of three-altar church at Ćelije Monastery
St. Justin Popović’s will fulfilled with consecration of three-altar church at Ćelije Monastery
St. Justin Popović’s will fulfilled with consecration of three-altar church at Ćelije Monastery
St. Justin Popović’s will fulfilled with consecration of three-altar church at Ćelije Monastery

A great event was held on Sunday at the Ćelije Monastery of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel in honor of several significant anniversaries in the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Help Bahamas!

Dear parishioners, like you know, people in the Bahamas suffered from this hurricane that we, thanks to God avoided.  Our prayers are with them. Our church St. Simeon has joined the action of collecting help for the people. We know what it’s like when your home has been destroyed and how every helping hand is welcomed. That’s why we’re asking you to bring some things from the list and join the action. When enough stuff has been gathered, we will send it to those suffering. Thank you and God bless you.

The Beheading of the Holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Why does the Church give such veneration to St. John the Baptist, even fixing a strict fast day in his honour? Here are ten reasons:

1. Our Lord Himself said that St. John was the greatest prophet “among those born of women” (Luke 7, 28). Some hearing these words are surprised. They ask: Surely, Christ Himself is the greatest man born of women? However, Christ was not born of a woman (i.e. a married female), he was born of a Virgin. Therefore, in obedience to our Lords words, that St. John is the greatest born of women, the Church duly honors him. In fact, there are no fewer than six feasts of St. John in the Church Year. The first is his Conception on September 23/October 6. Then comes his commemoration on January 7/20, the day after the Feast of the Baptism of Christ. The third is the Second Finding of his head on February 24/March 9. His next feast is the Third Finding of his head on May 25/June 7. The fifth is his Birth, or Nativity, on June 24/July 7, and finally today’s feast, the last in the Church Year, his Beheading on August 29/September 11.

Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons

The Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, was born in the year 130 in the city of Smyrna (Asia Minor). He received there the finest education, studying poetics, philosophy, rhetoric, and the rest of the classical sciences considered necessary for a young man of the world.

His guide in the truths of the Christian Faith was a disciple of the Apostle John the Theologian, Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (February 23). Saint Polycarp baptized the youth, and afterwards ordained him presbyter and sent him to a city in Gaul then named Lugdunum [the present day Lyons in France] to the dying bishop Pothinus.

A commission was soon entrusted to Saint Irenaeus. He was to deliver a letter from the confessors of Lugdunum to the holy Bishop Eleutherius of Rome (177-190). While he was away, all the known Christians were thrown into prison. After the martyric death of Bishop Pothinus, Saint Irenaeus was chosen a year later (in 178) as Bishop of Lugdunum. “During this time,” Saint Gregory of Tours (November 17) writes concerning him, “by his preaching he transformed all Lugdunum into a Christian city!”