Category: Orthodox Church

Many black Christians join move to Orthodox traditions

After a lifetime in traditional black churches, Robert Aaron Mitchell discovered the sights, smells, sounds and ancient traditions of the Orthodox church. “I discovered Orthodoxy while I was on the Internet one day back in 2001, and I was so drawn to it that I had to go attend a liturgy,” Mitchell says. “I had no frame of reference for these traditions, but suddenly, I felt like this void was filling in my life. I felt like I was finally coming home.” Mitchell, 48, a project manager for AT&T in Detroit, is among a small but growing number of black

Accusations of Misused Money Roil Orthodox Church

Allegations of financial misconduct are rocking the Orthodox Church in America, whose former treasurer says top officials misappropriated millions of dollars in donations from agribusiness titan Dwayne Andreas, U.S. military chaplains and ordinary parishioners across the country. The highest officers of the 400,000-member denomination, an offshoot of the Russian Orthodox Church, are accused of using the money to cover personal credit card bills, pay sexual blackmail, support family members and make up shortfalls in various church accounts. The former treasurer, Deacon Eric A. Wheeler, said the greatest fear of the church’s leaders in the late 1990s was that Andreas, the

Greek church rocked by scandals

The Greek Orthodox Church has suspended a senior bishop over a scandal that has engulfed the clergy and the judiciary. He is one of several clergymen alleged to have tried to influence or bribe judges to fix the outcome of trials – some involving drug dealers. Another priest was arrested on Friday accused of involvement in a series of allegedly fixed trials, as well as the illegal trade of antiquities. Four judges have been charged with serious disciplinary offences. More than a dozen other members of the judiciary are now under investigation. The Metropolitan Bishop Panteleimon of Attica region was

Row over ‘Red Patriarch’ splits Bulgarian Orthodox church

On a central square in the Bulgarian capital, where Sofia’s homeless fill up battered plastic water bottles from a public fountain, icons and a large wooden cross form a crude altar. Nearby, members of a rag-tag congregation sit on peeling park benches serving as makeshift pews. Moving among them are dozens of long-bearded figures wearing the traditional robes of the Orthodox Church. But they have added a most unorthodox touch to their uniforms: around his neck each man wears a rope tied into a hangman’s noose. These are the ministers of dissent in Bulgaria, the clerics of one of Europe’s

Greek Orthodox Church leader dies in helicopter crash

The Patriarch of Alexandria, Peter VII, one of the most senior figures in the Greek Orthodox Church, was killed along with 16 others in a helicopter crash in the Aegean Sea, church and government officials said. The patriarch, the spiritual leader of Greek Orthodox Christians in Africa, was heading to the Mount Athos monastery in northern Greece, one of the holiest sites in Orthodox Christianity, in an army helicopter when the aircraft disappeared from radar screens. Military ships and planes launched a rescue operation and found wreckage and bodies in the water 5.5 nautical miles off the Halkidiki peninsula where

Kremlin sued for return of churches

More than 80 years after its churches were seized by “godless Bolsheviks” and turned into anything from grain stores to shoe factories the Russian Orthodox Church is launching an unprecedented legal battle to win back its property. Furious that the Russian state still owns most of the country’s churches 13 years after the collapse of Communism, and has had the gall to start charging it land tax, the church has launched the first property restitution lawsuit since the Russian Revolution in 1917. The lawsuit, which is regarded as a test case that could open the flood gates for thousands of

Service helps heal Russian Orthodox rift

Christians have attended an open-air service outside Moscow marking another step forward in improved relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Around 10,000 people gathered at the site of a former secret police base where thousands of people were executed under Soviet dictator Stalin for the service, conducted by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II. The liturgy at Butovo was also attended by the head of the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Metropolitan Laurus, who is on the first such visit since his church split from the Russian Orthodox

Orthodox Church leader calls US embargo of Cuba a “historical mistake,”

(HAVANA)- The leader of the Orthodox Church branded the US embargo of Cuba a “historic mistake” in a sermon Sunday during the full pomp inauguration of a new cathedral in Havana with President Fidel Castro in attendance. Bartholomew I, the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, made the statement during a sermon that formed part of the five-hour ceremony to consecrate the tiny San Nicolas Cathedral in the Cuban capital. Satire… Q: Didn’t you once tell me Communists were bad?A: No, just Cuban Communists are bad.Q: How are the Cuban Communists bad?A: Well, for one thing, people who criticize the government