Communiqué of the Holy Eparchial Synod

New York, February 19, 2009

On February 18, 2009, the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America convened in a Special Session, in its capacity as Spiritual Court of Second Instance in order to review the case of the Very Reverend Archimandrite Gabriel Karambis.

Georgian patriarch prompts population boom

Georgia has stemmed a long-term population decline thanks to an unpredecented offer by the head of its Orthodox Church to be godfather to thousands of children, the civil registry agency said Friday. The agency linked a sharp increase in births and marriages to improved living standards and the offer by the patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church to become godfather to every third child born to aGeorgia family.

Pope asks Catholics to fast during Lent

Pope Benedict XVI is calling for Catholics to fast during Lent as a way of opening their hearts to God and seeing how the poor live. Lent is observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and many Protestant denominations as a period of penitence and fasting.

Secularization Among Challenges of Orthodox Christianity in America, says Scholar

Orthodox Christians in America must affirm their identity if they are to have a strong future amid a secularizing reality in the United States, a Greek Orthodox scholar said. Orthodox Christians have "a message and a way of life" that they must present as "an alternative to the morally and spiritually down-spiraling contemporary American lifestyle," said Rev. Stanley Harakas, Archbishop Iakovos Professor of Orthodox Theology Emeritus at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Strasbourgers become acquainted with basics of Orthodoxy

The Moscow Patriarchate Representation at the European Council will conduct cultural events to represent traditions of the Orthodox Church to the western audience. The first of them - seminar on Basics of Orthodoxy - was conducted in the Moscow Patriarchate All Saints Church in Strasbourg. About sixty people attended it, Russian Church representative at the European Council and the church rector Hegumen Filaret (Bulekov) told Interfax-Religion on Friday.