On Friday evening, September 11, 2015, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and President of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, welcomed His Holiness, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia to the seminary campus, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate during an academic convocation and delivered a well-received lecture.
Patriarch Irinej’s visit came just days after he presided at the canonization of Saints Sebastian [Dabovich] of San Francisco and Jackson, the first American-born Orthodox priest, and Mardarije [Uskokovic] of Libertyville, the first bishop of the Serbian Diocese in America, which took place in Alhambra, CA on Saturday, September 5.
The festivities of the Nineteenth Diocesan Days gathering of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America continued on Saturday following the Divine Liturgy in which the proclamation of glorification of St. Sebastian Dabovich was read with a symposium luncheon. The symposium was emceed by Fr. Josiah Trenham, pastor of St. Andrew Orthodox Church (Antiochian) in Riverside, CA and featured several instructive and interesting discussions concerning the life, canonization and icons of St. Sebastian from various special guests.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology has a rare honour to inform the public that, from 10 till 13 September of this year, it will host a major international conference on the relevant topic of contemporary biblical theology, entitled:
The primary importance of this scholarly assembly is reflected through interactive considerations of Christ’s images in the sacred stories of biblical writers and ecclesial traditions, which in a rare manner suits the encountering of Eastern and Western exegetes in the city of everlasting encounter and under the vaults of the school of theology, which in itself comprehends both East and West.
The Lord Jesus said: “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
In the Orthodox Church liturgies, prayers for peace abound in the litanies. Additional the celebrant and congregants wish each other peace throughout the services. When the Gospel is proclaimed, peace is wished upon all those listening.
Yet, we know that peace in the world is elusive, even though Christ our Lord commands us to love even our enemies. We pray for and hope for and pursue peace with all, and yet we cannot determine how others will act towards us or towards each other. St. Gregory the Great, (d. 604AD) reflects on the difficulty of wishing to pursue peace in a world in which many are not interested in peace at all, nor are they influenced by or concerned about God. Are Christians only to be Good Samaritans and come in and help those who are suffering, or do Christians have any mandate to resist or prevent evil from occurring, even by the use of force?
The theological seminary at the monastery Krka dates from the time of the Patriarch of Pec Pajsije Janjevac (1614-1647). Metropolitan Teodor of Dabar-Bosnia, as the exarch of all of Dalmatia, in 1615, ordered that a theological school be founded in the monastery Krka.
This historical role was given to the superior of Krka, Joakim, who “was very skilful and well educated… He energetically strived to have the younger Dalmatian priests” become better and more skilled in performing their pastoral duties. Yet, this wish to establish a theological seminary in the monastery Krka, was not accidental. Throughout its long history, this monastery was a transcribing center, a spiritual center and a place of gathering for the Serbs in Dalmatia. An Akathist was transcribed in the monastery Krka in 1557, and in 1597 as many as three liturgical-theological books were written: Akathist, Prayer-book and Prologue. In 1601, twelve Menaions were transcribed.
(Additional Note: In 2010 Metropolitan Gregorious Gabriel of Trivandrum of the Indian Orthodox Malanakra Church attended the Enthronement of the Serbian Patriarch His Holiness Irinej at the Patriarchate of Pec in the Serbian Province Kosovo. The Above displayed picture of the visit of His Holiness Geevarghse II to Serbia was presented a special gift to Patriarch Irinej. The gift was prepared by Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE. Apart from that Fr Dr K M George of India visited Patriarch Irinej a few years back. OCP Secretary George Alexander met with with His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana of the Serbian Orthodox Church at Thessaloniki in 2014. Hence three personalities of Indian Orthodox origin were able to renew the historic connection between two churches).
Ecumenism was something novel in the Christian world a century ago. While every denomination was nesting in their doctrinal shell, Inter-Church relations was absurd. Politics, lack of communication and transport kept the Orthodox Churches away from interaction amid them. Perhaps except in the Holy city of Jerusalem, it was almost zilch till the middle of the twentieth century, where also the relation remained hostile most of the time.