He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Sunday, February 13, 2011

30% Of Russian Parents BelieveThat Foundations Of Orthodoxy Made Their Children Kinder

Moscow, February 11, Interfax - According to the poll held by the Russian Public Chamber, 30 percent of parents believe that after attending the course of Orthodox culture foundations their children became more tolerant and kind.

Only 1,8 percent of parents pointed out to certain difficulties in relations among children, author of the textbook on Orthodoxy, professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Protodeacon Andrey Kurayev cited the poll results in his interview published on Friday by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

'The best of the reached results is negative. It is with a negative particle: our country has NOT bogged down in complaints of offended children and parents,' Father Andrey told about results of the experiment.

According to him, 'concerns that children who go to various cabinets to learn different religious cultures will become hostile to each other, have not turned out to be true.'

'Besides, teachers of all schools-participants in the project jointly say they need more hours for the subject. It's interesting for children and for us,' he said.

I Posted This Because I Like It

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The parish to which I've belonged for a few years is experiencing financial difficulties. No surprise here, considering the tough economic environment. Unfortunately, though, the difficulties could have been avoided had the Rector heeded my warnings about embarking on an initiative that endangered future parish revenues. The chickens have come home to roost, and, frankly, I'm furious.

It's not my intention for this blog to become autobiographical, so let's just say that the Rector's initiative involved what the Poles colloquially call "pissin' in the soup." The problem that I have with guys who think that theology substitutes for a solid administrative sense is that their strategy relies on a hope that random events will be, on average, serendipitous. Sorta like the job seeker who prays to God for employment, but doesn't get off his duff. Certainly miracles have their mysterious place in this world, but they do not constitute the "ordinary means", as our Latin friends tell us.

Yes, I'm furious at the Rector, but I'm also very aware that he made the best decision of which he was capable as shepherd of the flock. His job isn't about superlative administration. His job is faithfulness.

It's my job to dig deeper into my pockets to make sure that the financial difficulties don't erode his livelihood.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Did Christ Run His Carpentry Business?

Tradition tells us that Christ wasn't insulated from earthly duties, such as running a carpentry business.

Was he a sole practitioner or was he St. Joseph's employee?
Were he and St. Joseph partners?
Did they hire employees?
What kind of wages were paid?
Did they charge nothing for their services?
Did they charge a below-market rate?
Did they make a profit?
Did they borrow money for expansion?
Did their business ever fail?
Were their estimates accurate?
Any cost overruns?

Multiculturalism Gains Meaning With Orthodox Values

Russian missionary believes arriving foreigners can become new Cyrils and Methodiuses

'I think that Angela Merkel will be happy to visit an Orthodox parish in downtown Moscow, where services are celebrated for Orthodox Christians who are ethnic Germans, and saints-protectors of Germany venerated by all Christians are specially venerated,' he said commenting German chancellor's statement on crisis of multiculturalism in Europe.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Church's Interference In Secular Issues Justified - Patriarch Kirill

Moscow, February 1, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said that the Church's interference in secular matters is justified.

Patriarch Kirill was enthroned as the 16th leader of the Russian Orthodox Church exactly two years ago.

The Patriarch conducted a liturgy at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on Tuesday morning.

The present period differs from the past by "the presence of some apocalyptic tension because the power of the force of sin over mankind is stronger today than ever," Patriarch Kirill said.

The Russian Orthodox Church could "not stay indifferent to this multiplication of evil," he said.

"Some politicians are asking us with puzzlement why the church is interfering in spheres that do not fall under its jurisdiction. This is the response to the Church's work to help reduce divorce and abortion rates, to teach people to dress decently," he said.

However, this criticism will not force the church to change its policies, Patriarch Kirill said.

"We will be scolded in the future. We are ready for it. The Church has no words other than: 'Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand,'" he said.