Russian Orthodox declare “holy war” against terrorism

The Orthodox church has once against assumed its traditional role in Russia, giving moral support to the reigning regime.  Now in support of the Russian military intervention in Syria, the church has declared a “holy war” against terrorism.

Could any of you Orthodox readers explain the relationship between the various branches of your church?  I know that there is supposed to be a doctrinal unity between them all, and they all uphold the authority of the bishops.  Do the actions of these Russian bishops carry weight with you?  (I know, for example, that the murdered Czar and his family members have been or are being canonized by the Russian church.  So, if you are Antiochan Orthodox, are you obliged also to recognize them as saints?)

But can there really be a Christian jihad?

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Banning the Lord’s Prayer video

This video was made by the Church of England to help publicize a new prayer website. A cinema advertising firm was paid to show it as one of those advertisements that run before the previews. But then the advertising company banned the video on the grounds that it might offend some people.

Interestingly, though, the British public is now up in arms over the decision. Not just church leaders, but the Prime Minister, politicians of all parties, and representatives of those expected to be offended, including Muslims and atheists. Even the new atheist author Richard Dawkins is speaking out against the ban.

But enjoy the video for its own sake and as a Thanksgiving prayer.


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Nuns who pose as prostitutes to battle trafficking

An organization of religious sisters called Talitha Kum (Mark 5:41) is devoted to battling sex trafficking and slavery.  One of their techniques is to dress up as prostitutes so as to infiltrate brothels, then rescue the children and slaves who are being used sexually.

According to the group’s website, this is not a separate order, but an organization comprising members of any religious order who wish to address this cause.  More details after the jump. [Read more...]

Christians won’t qualify as victims of genocide

An upcoming State Department report will charge ISIS with genocide against the Yazidis, a small ethnic group in Syria.  But it will not use that term to describe the ISIS efforts to eradicate Christians.  “If true,” says Nina Shea, “it would reflect a familiar pattern within the administration of a politically correct bias that views Christians — even non-Western congregations such as those in Iraq and Syria — never as victims but always as Inquisition-style oppressors.” [Read more...]

Pope Francis on intercommunion with Lutherans

Pope Francis met with a congregation of Lutherans in Rome, giving them a chalice and kind words.  Then a woman asked when she might be able to share Holy Communion with her Catholic husband.  Read what the Pope said after the jump. [Read more...]

“Conscience,” “calling,” and the new pastoral counseling

More from Terry Mattingly’s column about the new Protestant-like role of “conscience” in liberal Catholicism:   He quotes Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, on how he counsels the divorced and remarried, gays, and others in what the Church officially considers to be a sinful lifestyle. [Read more...]