Catholic, Orthodox leaders urge ‘unity against aggression’ in Ukraine
February 6, 20156 février 2015Add a commentÉcrire un commentaire

Ukrainians walk past symbolic crosses set up by protesters in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, Feb. 1. CNS photo/Sergey Dolzhenko, EPA
Ukrainians walk past symbolic crosses set up by protesters in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, Feb. 1. CNS photo/Sergey Dolzhenko, EPA

by Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service

Catholic and Orthodox archbishops in Ukraine appealed for national unity against pro-Russia separatists as calls mounted for the United States to help arm Ukrainian forces.

Citing constant danger to Ukraine, the church leaders called the war “a crime against life” that brings “suffering and death, grief and injustice” in a Feb. 4 statement.

Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv, president of Ukraine’s Catholic bishops’ conference, and Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Filaret Kucherov of Lviv within the Moscow Patriarchate were among those making the appeal.

“But Ukraine, tired and tested, remains unbowed in its faith and dedicated effort of will,” the religious leaders said. “Before our eyes, a new state is being born, a new generation of heroes willing to sacrifice life, forget comfort and tranquility and be the first to respond to the homeland’s cry for help.”

The appeal was published as fighting intensified after a new separatist offensive in the self-proclaimed rebel republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

It said Ukrainians had been unprepared for war and should avoid becoming accustomed “to the mundane sight of deaths and injuries” and “the grief of widows and orphans.”

“We urge mutual support, help in finding the truth and establishing unity in doubt and freedom in everything, since peace is a gift from God, the work of justice and the fruit of love,” said the signatories, who included leaders of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church and two smaller Orthodox churches.

“By uniting our efforts, we will overcome this aggression and evil in the name of dignity and the moral values, which will be the foundation of our invincible common future. We will safeguard the freedom granted us by God and not allow our country to be divided.”

NATO unveiled plans Feb. 5 to bolster its military presence in Eastern Europe, after Western officials accused Russia of sending troops and heavy weaponry into Ukraine, where fighting since April 2014 has left about 5,400 dead and 1.2 million people uprooted.

On Feb. 5, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande visited Kiev and were to travel Moscow Feb. 6 to present a new peace initiative. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Kiev Feb. 5 that the U.S. wanted a diplomatic solution but was currently “reviewing all options,” including the supply of “defensive weapons” to Ukraine.

In their declaration, the Catholic and Orthodox archbishops said Ukraine still needed “titanic, sacrificial work” to overcome the “disease of corruption,” which affected all of society “from senior officials to ordinary citizens.”

“But we are proud of our new heroes for their fortitude, patience and bravery, and for giving Ukraine so many examples of love of homeland,” added the church leaders, who have previously been divided over competing jurisdictions and property claims.

“We will continue to encourage unity through prayer, spiritual feats and physical accomplishments, since peace also means a struggle for life.”

Pope Francis, who will receive Ukraine’s Greek and Latin Catholic bishops Feb. 16-21 in “ad limina” visits, appealed for a “resumption of dialogue” in the country’s “tormented land” during his Feb. 4 general audience.

Posted: February 6, 2015 • Permanent URL: a comment
Categories: CNSTags: Orthodox, peace, Ukraine, Ukrainian Catholic
Transmis : 6 février 2015 • URL permanente :Écrire un commentaire
Catégorie : CNSMots clés : Orthodox, peace, Ukraine, Ukrainian Catholic

Archbishop Oscar Romero, blessed and defender of the poor and justice
February 4, 20154 février 2015Add a commentÉcrire un commentaire

Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917 to March 24, 1980)This morning in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and postulator of the cause for the beatification of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, presented the figure of the Salvadoran archbishop assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass and whose martyrdom was acknowledged yesterday with the signing of the necessary decree by Pope Francis. Historian Roberto Morozzo della Rocca, professor of modern history at the University of Rome III and author of a biography of Oscar Romero, also participated in the conference. Extensive extracts of Archbishop Paglia’s presentation are published below.

“It is an extraordinary gift for all of the Church at the beginning of this millennium to see rise to the altar a pastor who gave his life for his people; and this is true for all Christians. This can be seen in the attention of the Anglican Church, which has placed a statue of Romero in the facade of Westminster Abbey alongside those of Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and for all of society that regards him as a defender of the poor and of peace. Gratitude is also due to Benedict XVI, who followed the cause from the very beginning and on 20 December 2012 – just over a month before his resignation – decided to unblock the process to enable it to follow the regular itinerary”.

“The work of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., has been careful and attentive. The unanimity of both the commission of cardinals and the commission of theologians confirmed his martyrdom in odium fidei. … The martyrdom of Romero has given meaning and strength to many Salvadoran families who lost relatives and friends during the civil war. His memory immediately became the memory of other victims, perhaps less illustrious, of the violence”. … Read more » … À suivre »

Woman bishop challenges future of Anglican-Catholic dialogue
January 30, 201530 janvier 2015Add a commentÉcrire un commentaire

Bishop Libby Lane was consecrated in York Minster on January 26 as the first female bishop in the Church of EnglandWhile the consecration of the Church of England‘s first woman bishop presents significant challenges in bringing Catholics and Anglicans into “closer communion,” ecumenical leaders say the door to dialogue remains open.

The consecration of Libby Lane as an Anglican bishop earlier this month creates a “further challenge to a hope of organic reunion”, said David Moxon, another Anglican bishop, in a Jan. 29 interview with CNA, reiterating concerns expressed by Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham.

Moxon and Archbishop Longley are co-chairs of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), which aims to advance ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

In a Jan. 27 interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Longley, acknowledging the challenges presented by Lane’s Anglican episcopal consecration, stressed that it “shouldn’t affect the way in which the dialogue is continued.” … Read more » … À suivre »

Pope welcomes a spirit of fraternity with Oriental Orthodox
January 30, 201530 janvier 2015Add a commentÉcrire un commentaire

Members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches visited Pope Francis on Friday, January 30Pope Francis on Friday received the participants in a meeting – this week – of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

The Oriental Orthodox Churches those Orthodox Eastern Christian churches which recognize only the first three ecumenical councils, and rejected the formulae of the Council of Chalcedon, at which certain central Christological doctrines were dogmatically defined, most especially the dual nature – fully divine and fully human, perfectly united though without mixing, blending or alteration – of Christ.

In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered during the noon audience in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, Pope Francis praised the progress of the Commission in its dozen years of work, and called on all participants to continue their journey in a spirit of brotherhood. “I express my hope that this work will bear rich fruit for our common theological research and help us to experience ever more fully our fraternal friendship,” the Holy Father said. … Read more » … À suivre »

Ecumenism means theological dialogue, joint work for peace, Pope says
January 30, 201530 janvier 2015Add a commentÉcrire un commentaire

Pope Francis answering questions from the press corpsEven as their theological dialogues continue in the search for full agreement on doctrinal issues, divided Christians are called to work together for justice and peace, especially in the Middle East, Pope Francis said.

“May the intercession and example of the many martyrs and saints who have borne courageous witness to Christ in all our churches sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities,” the Pope told church leaders from the region.

Pope Francis met Jan. 30 with members of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include churches with large communities in Syria, Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

The Oriental Orthodox churches participating in the dialogue include the Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopian, Eritrean and Malankara Orthodox Syrian churches.

“At this time,” the Pope said, “we especially feel dismay and deep sadness at what is happening in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria,” where Islamic State militants continue their campaign of terror.

“I think of all those living in the region, including our Christian brothers and sisters, and many minorities, who are experiencing the effects of a prolonged and painful conflict,” he said. … Read more » … À suivre »

Presbyterian Statement on Aboriginal Spiritual Practices
January 29, 201529 janvier 2015Add a commentÉcrire un commentaire

An aboriginal dancerAs part of the churches’ commitment to a journey of truth and reconciliation, The Presbyterian Church in Canada has learned that many facets of Aboriginal traditional spiritualties bring life and oneness with creation. Accepting this has sometimes been a challenge for The Presbyterian Church in Canada. We are now aware that there is a wide variety of aboriginal spiritual practices and we acknowledge that it is for our church to continue in humility to learn the deep significance of these practices and to respect them and the Aboriginal elders who are the keepers of their traditional sacred truths….

These practices are received as gifts and serve to enrich our congregations. Ceremonies and traditions such as smudging, the circle/medicine wheel, drum songs and drumming, and indigenous wisdom teachings have been some of the practices our church has experienced as gifts from Aboriginal brothers and sisters. We acknowledge and respect both Aboriginal members of The Presbyterian Church in Canada who wish to bring traditional practices into their congregations and those Aboriginal members who are not comfortable or willing to do so. The church must be a community where all are valued and respected. It is not for The Presbyterian Church in Canada to validate or invalidate Aboriginal spiritualties and practices. Our church, however, is deeply respectful of these traditions. We acknowledge them as important spiritual practices through which Aboriginal peoples experience the presence of the creator God. In this spirit The Presbyterian Church in Canada is committed to walking with Aboriginal people in seeking shared truth that will lead to restoring right relations. … Read more » … À suivre »