A Christian Understanding Of Homosexuality, Part 1

In light of the confusion stirred in some readers of recent texts on Social Media and other online portals, regarding the Church’s clear teaching on homosexuality and the pastoral need to care for those suffering in particular from the social trend to regard it as “natural” or a thing to be accepted as part of human nature, the following text is provided for contrast. Presented as a “reference text” at a clergy meeting of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the USA last year, it offers a clear response to many of the social arguments used in the attempt to diminish the Church’s pastoral teachings, which always aim for the loving care and conversion of all who fall into any sin.

Accredited seminar for catechists of the Diocese of Zicha

Accredited seminar for catechists of the Diocese of Zicha
Accredited seminar for catechists of the Diocese of Zicha
Accredited seminar for catechists of the Diocese of Zicha
Accredited seminar for catechists of the Diocese of Zicha

With the blessing of Bishop Justin of Zicha, an accredited expert seminar entitled "Integrative Approach in Religious Education" was held for catechists (religious teachers) in the Diocese of Zicha, in the Monastery of Studenica on June 17, 2017.

Authors and program implementers were Dr. Vladan Tatalovic (Chair for the New Testament - Orthodox Theological Faculty in Belgrade), Dr. Srboljub Ubiparipovic (Chair of Liturgical Theology - Orthodox Theology Faculty in Belgrade) and Snezana Pavlovic, graduate andragogue, advisor in pre-school and primary education and counselor for religious education at state schools in the Ministry of Education of Serbia. The aim of the seminar was to strengthen capacities and professional competencies of catechists.

The fast of the apostles

In one of his sermons, St. Basil the Great says, “Do not limit fasting to abstaining from food only, for real fasting lies in abstaining from evil acts, and to untie the bonds of injustice (Isaiah 58 :6 ).

During the fasting you do not eat meat, but unfortunately, you do eat the flesh of your brother. You do not drink wine, but you can’t control your tongue in order not to curse anyone. Despite the fact you spend the whole day without eating anything; yet, you spend your day judging others.

Chinese-language Orthodox catechism published in Hong Kong

Orthodox Christians in China have the opportunity to grow omto a deeper understanding of their faith with the new Chinese-language translation of Archpriest Oleg Davidenkov’s catechism, which has been published in Hong Kong. The translation, made by Fr. Anatoly Kung of the Sts. Peter and Paul Church, has been issued by the China Orthodox Press, reports The issuing of this new catechism is an important event in the life of the Chinese mission. The book will be interesting for Chinese readers desiring to systematize their understanding of Orthodoxy, and those students studying in Orthodox theological schools.

Met. Hilarion: The Church has never belittled the role of women

Talk of discrimination against women in the Church is unfounded, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of the Department for External Church Relations stated on Thursday at a meeting of the diplomatic club of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Interfax-Religion reports. “Sometimes in regards to the Orthodox Church, especially from a liberal Protestant perspective, accusations are voiced that we do not value women highly enough, that we preserve a patriarchal order, in that all of our priests and bishops are men, the patriarch is a man, while in some Protestant confessions this has all changed,” Met. Hilarion noted.

Meanwhile, according to the metropolitan, as in nature so in the Church there exists fatherhood and motherhood, and accordingly there are ministries “which are reserved for men, and those which are reserved only for women, and those which can be done by either.”

Ascension of our Lord

The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated each year on the fortieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter). Since the date of Pascha changes each year, the date of the Feast of the Ascension changes. The Feast is always celebrated on a Thursday. The Feast itself commemorates when, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives, and after blessing them and asking them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, He ascended into heaven.

The Burning of Relics of Saint Sava

Sava was the Archbishop of the Serbs. The body of St. Sava was buried in Mileshevo Monastery. During the time of the Turkish tyranny, the Serbian people gathered around the relics of their saint to seek comfort and healing.

Fearing that an insurrection might arise from that place against the Turks, Sinan Pasha of Belgrade ordered that the relics of St. Sava be translated to Belgrade and there to be burned on Vracar, April 27, 1594 A.D. With the burning of the relics of this saint, the rabid Pasha did not burn the saint who remained alive before the Throne of God in the heavens and in the hearts of his people on earth.