Prelates respond to Patriarch Sako’s appeal

July 21, 2014 1 comment

nun arabicwillmyers2In the USA, His Excellency Bishop William Myers declared “The clergy of the Old Roman Catholic Church in America request all people of goodwill to pray for the Christian population of Iraq. The situation in that country has become very volatile for Christians, especially those living in Mosul. News reports note that their homes are being marked and that they face death for their beliefs.”

me12aIn Europe, His Grace, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV like others has invited fellow Christians on Facebook to adopt the “nun” symbol as their profile photo in response to the persecution of Christians in Mosul and Iraq where the symbol is being daubed on the walls of Christian homes, businesses and churches and have been ordered to “convert or die”. His Grace wrote, “What an opportunity for witness and solidarity if EVERY Christian on Facebook swapped their personal profile photo for this one as an expression of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in/of Mosul?! We could explain the symbol, what it means, who it represents, how it’s been misused and share their story of faith? JUST IMAGINE!!! Denominational ties would be IRRELEVANT! We would simply be expressing solidarity as THE BODY OF CHRIST!”

damead2aIn the UK, Bishop Damien Mead of the Anglican Catholic Church requested his Diocese pray for the persecuted Church around the world. Stating; “Our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering on an unprecedented scale in the Middle East, Africa and around the world. Persecution of the faithful has happened before, it is happening now and it will happen in the future until the Second coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, wipes the tears from our eyes and brings an end to death and suffering. Of course we pray for all victims of violence and persecution, who ever they may be and whatever faith, or none, they may hold. But it is appropriate that we show solidarity with our fellow Christians, many of whom are in parts of the world where there has been a Christian presence since the days of the Apostles.”

ISIS in Mosul Marks Christian Homes, Patriarch Issues Urgent Appeal

July 21, 2014 1 comment

Patriairch_emblem1To all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world
To the voice of moderate brother Muslims who have a voice in Iraq and all the world
To all who have a concern that Iraq could remain a country for all His Children
To all leaders of thought and opinion
To all who announce the freedom of the human being
To all protectors of the dignity of human beings and of religion

PEACE AND MERCY FROM GOD!

The control exercised by the Islamist Jehadists upon the city of Mosul, and their proclamation of it as an Islamic State, after several days of calm and expectant watching of events, has now come to reflect negatively upon the Christian population of the city and its environs.

The initial sign was in the kidnapping of the two nuns and 3 orphans who were released after 17 days. At the time, we experienced it as a flash of hope and as a clearing of the sky after the appearance of storm clouds.

Suddenly we have been surprised by the more recent outcomes which are the proclamation of an Islamic state and the announcement calling all Christians and clearly asking them to convert to Islam or to pay the jizya (the tax all non- Muslims must pay while living in the land of Islam) — without specifying the exact amount. The only alternative is to abandon the city and their houses with only the clothes they are wearing, taking nothing else. Moreover, by Islamic law, upon their departure, their houses are no longer their properties but are instantly confiscated as property of the Islamic state.

In recent days, there has been written the letter ‘N’ in Arabic on the front wall of Christian homes, signifying ‘Nazara’ (Christian), and on the front wall of Shiite homes, the letter ‘R’ signifying ‘Rwafidh’ (Protestants or rejecters). We do not know what will happen in future days because in an Islamic state the Al — sharia or Islamic code of law is powerful and has been interpreted to require the issuance of new I.Ds for the population based on religious or sectarian affiliation.

This categorization based upon religion or sect afflicts the Muslims as well and contravenes the regulation of Islamic thought which is expressed in the Quran which says, “You have your religion and I have my religion” and yet another place in Quran states, “There is no compulsion in religion”. This is exactly the contradiction in the life and history of the Islamic world for more than 1400 years and in the co — existence with other different religions and nations in the East and in the West.

With all due respect to belief and dogmas, there has been a fraternal life between Christians and Muslims. How much the Christians have shared here in our East specifically from the beginnings of Islam. They shared every sweet and bitter circumstance of life; Christian and Muslim blood has been mixed as it was shed in the defense of their rights and lands. Together they built a civilization, cities, and a heritage. It is truly unjust now to treat Christians by rejecting them and throwing them away, considering them as nothing.

It is clear that the result of all this discrimination legally enforced will be the very dangerous elimination of the possibility of co — existence between majorities and minorities. It will be very harmful to Muslims themselves both in the near and the distant future.

Should this direction continue to be pursued, Iraq will come face to face with human, civil, and historic catastrophe.

We call with all the force available to us; we call to you fraternally, in a spirit of human brotherhood; we call to you urgently; we call to you impelled by risk and in spite of the risk. We implore in particular our Iraqi brothers asking them to reconsider and reflect upon the strategy they have adopted and demanding that they must respect innocent and weaponless people of all nationalities, religions, and sects.

The Holy Quran has ordered believers to respect the innocent and has never called them to seize the belongings, the possessions, the properties of others by force. The Quran commands refuge for the widow, the orphaned, the poor, and the weaponless and respect “to the seventh neighbor.”

We call Christians in the region to act with reason and prudence and to consider and to plan everything in the best way possible. Let them understand what is planned for this region, to practice solidarity in love, to examine the realities together and so be able together to find the paths to build trust in themselves and in their neighbors. Let them stay close to their own Church and surround it; endure the time of trial and pray until the storm will be over.

patriarchsakoLouis Raphael Sako
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad
July 17, 2014

© 2014 Assyrian International News Agency.

Joint holy Synod

June 2, 2014 Leave a comment
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The Metropolitans in Walsingham, 2012

Their Graces, the Metropolitan Archbishops of Great Britain and Europe have issued a joint invitation to the clergy of both Provinces of the canonical Old Roman Catholic Church to a unique and historic holy Synod to be held in Brighton on July 5th 2014, the feast of St. Willibald. Also in attendance will be His Excellency, Bishop William Myers of the Old Roman Catholic Church in America and the bishops of the Provinces.

Holy Mass will be offered by Metropolitan Jerome OSJV at the commencement of the holy Synod at the Brighton Oratory, followed by lunch. Metropolitan Douglas will chair the holy Synod in session, during which significant proposals will be presented, discussed and voted upon to consolidate the witness of canonical Old Roman Catholicism and the legacy of Msgr Mathew for the 21st Century. The holy Synod will be the culmination of two years of discussions between the Metropolitans in consultation with their clergy respectively about the unity and effective witness of canonical Old Roman Catholicism formally begun by the signing of the “Walsingham Declaration” on a joint pilgrimage to “England’s Nazareth” in 2012. A similar pilgrimage ‘of thanksgiving’ to Walsingham is anticipated later in the year following the outcome of the holy Synod.

The Metropolitans thank all those clergy, faithful and friends of the church for their prayers and Masses these past two years, and beg ever more fervent prayers for the success of the holy Synod and the continued guidance and intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Metropolitan to visit France

May 23, 2014 Leave a comment
orccgallia

ORCC Gallia

Metropolitan Jerome OSJV of Europe will make a pastoral visit to France this weekend (23-29 May) initially to preside at a family wedding in Colombières sur Orb in the Languedoc-Rousillon region and after various requests, to meet some of the faithful hopeful of establishing a mission in the region. His Grace will make a visit to the Dordogne area in July from the 9th-15th, in response to other similar requests. Anybody near to or in either region interested in meeting His Grace and/or to hear Mass during his visit should make contact through the Provincial website for details.

Metropolitan of Europe’s Easter Message

April 20, 2014 1 comment

 AbpLloydSelseysmall

Carissimi

With great joy we greet all the clergy and faithful of our Province this Paschaltide! Having commemorated the salvific events of the Sacrum Triduum, once again we rejoice in the remembrance of ourselves as an “Easter people and ‘alleluia’ is our song!”  (St Augustine of Hippo)

Our Lenten and Passiontide fast being over, let us heed the sage advice of the Apostle (1 Corinthians 5. 7, 8) and temper our feasting moderately that we do not lose the benefit of all that we had achieved in spiritual discipline! Though it was important for us to interiorly reflect upon our spiritual condition, now we should focus on the hope that Our Lord’s resurrection affords us, remembering to live as those qualified to “share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12). Let us strive to remember that though we sojourn here “in this vale of tears” (Salve Regina) and there are many events affecting our faithful across the Province, economically and politically, yet our citizenship, by virtue of our baptism, is in heaven (cf Phillipians 3:20).

Therefore, “let us keep the feast” (1 Cor.5:8) and recalling our baptism, let us seek to fulfill the great commission of Our Lord, to preach the gospel and bring others to baptism in the Name of the most holy and Blessed Trinity (Matthew 28:16-20) by the witness in our own lives to the love of God made manifest in Christ whom we saw “lifted up” on Good Friday, that we, being vessels through whom He “may draw all men to Himself” (John 12:32) remembering ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), may ourselves bring about in the hearts of others a true awakening to the origin and purpose of our existence; to love God and each other (Matthew 22:36-40).

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

‡Jerome OSJV
Metropolitan of Europe

zipposbaptism

His Grace baptizes Alessia Ottilia Rastelli of the internationally renowned Rastelli clown dynasty in the Big Top of Zippo’s Circus, Easter Monday 2014

Statement of Philaret, Patriarch of Ukraine, on Russian annexation of Crimea

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

STATEMENT

of Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine Philaret,

Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate,

on the Russian annexation of the Crimea

Dear brothers and sisters!
Dear compatriots!

The calling of the Church is to testify about the truth. Therefore it is necessary to give moral evaluation of the annexation, or I should say Anschluss of the Crimea carried out by the Russian Federation not long ago.

On March 18, 2014 Russia’s leaders publicly committed three violations of the commandments of God: Do not kill; Do not Tell false witness against your neighbor; Do not wish your neighbor’s house … (and) anything that is thy neighbor (Exodus 20:15-17). The consequence of armed aggression of Russian government against Ukraine has become bloodshed – the murder of the Ukrainian activist by the separatists in Donetsk, killing of the Crimean Tatar and of the Ukrainian serviceman in the Crimea.

Provocateurs, instigated and supported from Russia, sow the confusion and call for separatism, incite civil conflict in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. In the Crimea, Ukrainian troops loyal to the oath, and their families are subjected to continuous pressure, are intimidated, including using weapons.

In the occupatied Crimea community activists disappear without a trace. Those who were occupants’ hostages and were released, witness about the cruel, inhuman treatment, constant humiliation, death threats, simulation of execution. The Russian leadership is personally responsible for all this.

In the speech on March 18 in the Kremlin, the Russian President Vladimir Putin used the tool of the devil – he mixed the truth with falsehood. I am sure that half-truth from the mouth of the Russian leader that the whole world heard is worse than outright lies – as hidden poison in food is more dangerous than obvious poison.

Considering the disintegration of the totalitarian USSR a “tragic event”, he didn’t say that in Ukraine, including the Crimea and Sevastopol, most people on December 1, 1991 at a public referendum without any coercion supported the independence of Ukraine. He did not mention a single word about the obligation not only to respect but also to guarantee the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of borders of Ukraine, taken over by the Russian Federation according to Budapest Memorandum of 1994 and the Treaty of Friendship of 1997.

Occupying and annexing the Crimea, the Russian leadership in fact challenged the entire system of international law. Now, according to Russian authorities, any dispute in the “zone of interests” of the Kremlin can be solved by military force and other means of pressure – ignoring the very principles of law and justice, the interstate and international agreements, the opinion of the world community.

Mr Putin himself implicitly acknowledges this, pointing out that in the past Russia allegedly was forced, because of its economic and political weakness, to sign the relevant agreements and make commitments. Based on logics and seeing the action, now that the Kremlin felt strong, it can afford to reject all the obligations and act at its discretion.

Justifying the aggression against Ukraine, the Russian President appeals to the common historical past of our countries and peoples. But at various times under the Russian authorities, in addition to Ukraine, there was a number of countries – Belarus, the Baltic States, Poland, Finland, Moldova, the Caucasus and Central Asia countries. To all appearances, from the Russian leadership now we can expect not only the invasion to south-eastern Ukraine, but also to any of these countries. For, as in Ukraine there are ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people, the Kremlin is prepared to justify their seizure by the “protection of their interests”.

Putin officially started using such definitions as “Russian world”, “historical Russia”, “Russians is a divided nation”, “Ukrainians and we are one people”. All this, along with nostalgia for past greatness of the state and the desire to revenge for the collapse of the Soviet Union, is a replica of the ideology and rhetoric of the fascist regimes of the twentieth century, particularly in Germany and Italy.

A good proof of this ideological connection is also anti-Ukrainian hysteria deployed in the Russian media. For months, pouring the Russian people with half-truths and outright lies about the events in Ukraine, while blocking access to any alternative point of view, the Russian authorities as before the authorities of the fascist states, deceived its own people that mostly welcomes and approves
its criminal acts.

History recalls that the Anschluss of Austria and the annexation of Sudetenland were also held under the slogans “unity of the people”, “protection of national interests”, “justice”. There the “referendums” that gave necessary results for invaders also were conducted under the muzzles of weapons. But after the “peaceful” conquest began the bloodiest World War II, because the policy of appeasement does not always lead to peace and to a sense of impunity to aggression and desire to move on.

That is why I first of all address to the entire Ukrainian people: our country is treacherously attacked by the enemy, who occupied the part of Ukraine and seeks to destroy all our statehood and independence, and return us to the Kremlin imperial yoke. So, sacred duty of each of us is to help protect our common Ukrainian House from the attacker.

We must unite, because only in unity is the power of the people. Actions of the Ukrainian state can cause criticism, but remember: the occupation authorities will not allow any criticism.

Example of many nations suggests that solidarity and selfless struggle in defense of their home provided the victory over even much more numerous and stronger aggressor. After all, God is not in force – God is in the truth.

I express my solidarity with all those who fearlessly resist the aggressor. Much respect and honor to the brave Crimean Tatar people, which under occupation maintains loyalty to the unity of Ukraine. I am grateful for the courage to Archbishop Clement, clergy and faithful of the Crimean Diocese of Kyiv Patriarchate – our church will do everything possible in order to support them and protect their rights.

Once again I’ll repeat the words spoken many times on behalf of our Church in these days: the Ukrainian people does not have and should not have any hatred or hostility to the Russian people, even in the face of military aggression against our country. We want and I am sure – in the future will have friendly and equal relations between independent Ukraine and democratic Russia based on mutual respect to sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other.

I appeal again to the international community: the time for declarations of deep concern expired long ago, it’s time to act. So I welcome early signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, giving Ukraine the prospect of EU membership – as a guarantee of peace not only in our country but also in the whole Europe.

Now not only the fate of Ukraine is decided, but also the fate of the world. Humanity stands at the crossroads: either to turn back to the era when relations between the nations are not based on the law and justice, but by force of arms and cost of millions of victims, or together to stop this cynical aggression and save the world from the worst.

Therefore, all international security institutions: the UN, OSCE, NATO and the guarantor countries for Budapest Memorandum must take all measures to stop the aggression of Russia against Ukraine. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God!

Dear brothers and sisters!

In these difficult days I would like to testify – Kyiv Patriarchate is with the Ukrainian people. We pray and ask God to protect our country and people from the invasion of strangers, we ask the Lord to strengthen Ukraine with invisible force in the struggle for justice, freedom and peace.

I call all the faithful to this prayer and firmly believe that the Ukrainian people will win in this fight.

May God bless our country, our brave armed forces and the entire Ukrainian people!

 

PHILARET,
Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine,
Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate

Healing Conference

March 26, 2014 Leave a comment

7582_10152725823880584_1586424365_nMetropolitan Jerome OSJV on Saturday, March 29th will give the third in a series of conferences on Christian Healing at the Brighton Oratory from 2pm. The subject of this third conference is “Suffering” and will look at appropriate Christian attitudes towards “suffering” and especially for practitioners exercising a healing ministry.

Mgr Lloyd has over twenty years experience practising a healing ministry in a pastoral context and in a liturgical (worship) setting. Aside from studying pastoralia academically at university and in seminary, he gained invaluable insight in his youth assisting as a Brancardier with pilgrimages to Lourdes and Fatima and as an observer of Mgr Michael Buckley’s “El Shaddai” healing movement and the wider Catholic and wider Christian Charismatic Renewal movement. Later, experiencing Catholic Tradition through seminary and later ministry, Mgr Lloyd recognises the “gifts of the Spirit” and the possibilities of vocational realisation within a structural concept in sympathy with the praxis of the Early Church described in Scripture and the organic development of Tradition in the Church, applicable in a contemporary context of Christian witness.

The conference will begin at 2pm and after an initial presentation will be followed by Q&A and then an informal discussion over tea/coffee. ALL are welcome to attend from any Christian background. The conference will be broadcast live over the internet at www.dailymass.co.uk followed at 6pm by the First Mass of Sunday celebrated by His Grace (Lent IIII).

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