As best I can tell, there are 941 active, canonical Orthodox bishops in the world right now. Give or take. Compared to the 19th century, that’s a big increase — in 1859, we had just 278 bishops worldwide. But at the time of the First Ecumenical Council, there were a reported 1,800 bishops in the world — about 1,000 in the East and 800 in the West. And that’s for a much smaller population of Christians. The largest share of the world’s bishops, by far, belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate, at 40% — 377 bishops (including the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and ROCOR, among others). Next is the Patriarchate of Constantinople at 14% (130 bishops) and the Church of Greece at 11% (100 bishops): Accurate population data for Orthodoxy is notoriously difficult to come by — it all depends on how you define “Orthodox.” But I did my best to track down population data for the various Orthodox Churches in the world, and it adds up to about 222 million Orthodox Christians worldwide (which, to be honest, is probably on the high end). That works out to 236,000 people per bishop, which seems just absurdly high. Interestingly, though, that ratio is identical to the ratio of people to bishops in 1859 — 236,000 to 1. That’s a big change from the time of Nicaea, when the ratio was somewhere between 5,000 and 20,000 to one. The people-to-bishop ratio varies a lot among the various Churches — the Churches of Russia, Romania, Buglaria, and Serbia all have incredibly high ratios, well over 150,000 to one. The OCA and the Alexandrian, Czech, and Jerusalem Churches are all under 20,000, closer to the way things were at the time of Nicaea. Of course, a lower ratio doesn’t necessarily mean more pastoral care
The Orthodoxology website has posted a French translation of Xenia Krivocheine’s interview. Here is our English translation: Xenia Igorevna Krivocheine is a writer, an artist, a founding member of the Movement for Local Orthodoxy of Russian Tradition in Western Europe (OLTR), and one of the persons in charge of the Orthodox website of the Korsoun diocese (Moscow Patriarchate). She is an active Orthodox public figure in France. She was nominated for the patriarchal literary prize in 2016, and she received the Order of the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Euphrosyne of Moscow, 3rd degree. Our interview with Xenia Igorevna focuses on the situation of the Orthodox diaspora in France and on the “Movement for the Local Orthodoxy of Russian tradition”, on the reasons and modalities of the construction of a new Orthodox cathedral in Paris, on the work of the Spiritual Center near the Seine, and on many other questions. “The Movement for Local Orthodoxy of Russian Tradition in Western Europe [OLTR]” – Dear Xenia Igorevna, you are a member and founder of the ” Movement for Local Orthodoxy of Russian Tradition in Western Europe”. Please tell us a bit about the need and relevance of this organization. – On April 1, 2003, the Russian diaspora in Paris was shocked by a message from Moscow: the Russian Orthodox Church proposed to create a single metropolis. I remember very well how it was perceived in the archdiocese of the Constantinople Patriarchate, on Daru Street. The Russians, who had lived all their lives hoping to unite with the Mother Church, rejoiced, but others had been dreaming of a “French Orthodoxy” for decades. The roots of this movement are found in the history of the archdiocese. Many pages have been written about it. An important remark: since the end of the 1960s, teaching
On July 14, 2019, Novak Djokovic won his 5th Wimbledon title, after an almost 5-hour epic match against Roger Federer. But before being number 1 tennis player in the world, Djokovic likes to highlight his faith: “Before I am an athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian”, he said back in 2011, as he received the order of St. Sava from the hands of Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. The award was to thank him help finance the renovation of churches in Serbia. The champion helps many charitable causes, like the renovation of a school in Pozega (Serbia) and other similar educational projects, or a restaurant offering free meals to the homeless and the poor. Source in English (with picture)
We recently presented The Foundations of Russian Culture, a book by Father Alexander Schmemann. The French daily La Croix has published a review by David Roure on it. Please find here our English translation of excerpts of this review: “This new book, bright and deep, features broadcasts given by Father Alexandre between 1970 and 1971 on Radio Liberty. The main idea of the book is quite simple. The author feels “the need to understand why and for what reasons it was in Russia and at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, that the revival of Orthodoxy occurred. And why there was such a social collapse, with the triumph of demons, as written on by Dostoevsky. At the end of the book, Schemmann clarifies what in his eyes, guided the search for Russian consciousness: “Integrity, universal unity, synthesis: these are the themes and ideals that destiny itself gave and bequeathed to this immense country. To a country that by its very nature, could not identify either with the West or with the East, and that did not really feel in Europe or in Asia”. Fifty years later, these broadcasts are a valuable instrument to better understand Russia at the beginning of the 21st century.” Source in French
Several Orthodox churches in Japan are presented on this page (including our featured picture). “The Japanese Orthodox Church became autonomous from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1970, the year of the canonization of its founder, the Russian missionary Nikolai/Ivan Dimitrovich Kasatkin (St. Nicholas of Japan). Services in the Orthodox Churches of Japan are mainly in Japanese, and these places of worship are open to prayer not only for the Orthodox, but also for other Christians.”
On June 1, 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk participated in a symposium at the University of Fribourg. On this occasion, he gave an interview to the French agency Cath.ch, which can be found on this page (including the picture).Please find here our English translation. While former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wanted to use religious issues for political ends and get re-elected, Volodymyr Zelensky, the new president, said he would not interfere in the internal affairs of the Church. “That’s wise,” said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. On June 1st, 2019, the “number two” in the Moscow Patriarchate took part in the symposium “Russia, Ukraine, Belarus: A Common Civilizational Space?”, organized by the St-Nicholas Center for the Study of Eastern Churches at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. In an interview with cath.ch on this occasion, Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church Department for External Church Relations, lamented former President Poroshenko’s interventionism in the internal affairs of the Orthodox Church, “which has created a great division in the country”. Patriarch Bartholomew’s game The Metropolitan highlighted that the former Ukrainian President appealed to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, so that Ukrainian Orthodox (members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, self-administered, but maintaining a canonical and spiritual bond with the Moscow Patriarchate) may have a national Church detached from Moscow, called “autocephalous”. Poroshenko pleaded with Bartholomew to obtain a decree [tomos, in ecclesiastical language] sanctioning the creation of a new Orthodox Church in Ukraine. On December 15, 2018, a hierarch of the Church of Constantinople and Poroshenko presided over “a so-called ‘’council of reunification’”, explained Metropolitan Hilarion. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not ask for autocephaly On this occasion, “two schismatic Orthodox groups” [led by Filaret Denissenko, who had been excommunicated by the Moscow Patriarchate, and Makariy Maletych] merged. The Patriarchate of Constantinople immediately
The Orthodox faithful of Montenegro continue to raise their voices against the scandalous new law that gives the state the authority to seize Church properties, coming out in prayerful defense of their holy churches and monasteries. Yesterday, January 12, more than 10,000 faithful took part in a prayerful procession in the capital city of Podgorica to this end, reports the official Facebook page of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ of the Montenegrin Metropolis of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The procession and litiya were led by His Grace Bishop Metodije of Diokleia, the vicar of the Montenegro Metropolis. The bishop was attacked and hospitalized at a previous protest just after the law was passed by the Parliament late last month. Bp. Metodije addressed all those gathered, calling “all our brothers to a feast of love and the path of freedom.” He also wished all those present to “awaken and be as children, like the Divine Child, and to fill our souls, our lives, our hearts with the living God,” and called upon the faithful to “not to leave the nests and hearths of faith of the living and of our holy ancestors.” According to the Serbian hierarch, “anyone who has an eye to see all these eagles gathered around Christ—the Divine Child, and he who has an ear to hear the song of freedom will know, as the wise men, where the holy Infant was born, where they sang the song of freedom, where the cave is located, where is the greatest glory of this world and of the next.” After the service, many thousands of faithful took part in a procession from the Cathedral of the Resurrection to the Church of St. George and back. Prayer services and processions have been held throughout Montenegro since the law was
His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East of the Greek Orthodox Church, called to hurry in forming a Lebanese government. His Beatitude’s words came as part of the Sunday homily during the Divine Liturgy that was held in the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand.
Following the promulgation of the law robbing the churches and ecclesiastical goods of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro, the members of the Episcopal Council of the latter published the following press release Podgorica, December 29, 2019 The Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro which, by decision of the Holy Assembly of Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church in May 2006, is made up of the bishops of the Metropolitan Diocese of Montenegro and the Coast, of the Diocese of Budimlje -Nikšić, of the diocese of Mileševo and of the bishopric of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and of the Littoral, met in Podgorica on December 28 and 29 of the year of the Lord 2019. The diocesan bishop of Methodius, Vicar of the Metropolitan of Montenegro-Coastal, who was detained at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade on December 26 due to the use of physical force over him by the Police at the Tara Đurđević Bridge on December 26, did not participate in the gathering. His fellow bishops wish him a speedy recovery and return. At the end of prayers of intercession to the Most Holy Mother of God – celebrated during times of misfortunes and trials – and which took place on Saturday December 28 in the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica, the Episcopal Council held a session during which the hierarchs discussed the newly created situation, in which the holy Orthodox Church of God found itself after the adoption by the Parliament of Montenegro of the openly anti-ecclesial, discriminatory and unconstitutional law, on “religious or confessional freedom and the legal situation of religious denominations”. The bishops agreed that the promulgation of such a law without prior dialogue, with numerous procedural violations and incompatibilities with international standards, is undoubtedly directed against the Orthodox Church, specifically against the
We have just received a press release (read below) from the office of the Patriarchate of Antioch which informs us of the initiative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem to find a solution to the crisis caused by the recognition of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Recall that there is a dispute between the two patriarchates (Jerusalem and Antioch) over the jurisdiction over Qatar which was the reason for the Patriarchate of Antioch’s refusal to participate in the Council of Crete in 2016.. “His Beatitude Patriarch John X received His Eminence Christopher, metropolitan of Amman, delegated by His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilus III, on December 28, 2019, to the Patriarchate of Damascus. His Eminence Theophilus delivered a message concerning a meeting in Amman of the primates of the Orthodox Churches with the aim of “preserving the Orthodox unity” shattered by the Ukrainian crisis. In this regard, Patriarch John X reaffirmed the firm position of the Antiochian Church, announced by the Holy Synod of Antioch, which insists on the need for a “synaxis” meeting of the primates of the local Orthodox Churches, so that all Orthodox Churches collaborate to resolve Orthodox problems. ”
In a message to the priests, monks, and nuns of the Vicariate of the Russian tradition, Saint Mary of Paris and Saint Alexis the Just, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople gave his blessing for the creation of a Vicariate within the Metropolis of France of the Ecumenical Patriarchate This message follows the visit of a delegation who visited Istanbul from December 16 to 18. You can read a report of this visit, as well as other information on the life of the Vicariate in Letter n ° 2 which you can download here. Sources : 1 and 2
During its session of December 26, 2019, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to complete the composition of the Inter-Council Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church and to include in particular: 1) the archpriest Jean Gueit, vice-president of the Diocesan Council of the Archdiocese of the Orthodox Churches of Russian tradition in Western Europe, in the liturgical and ecclesial art commission, 2) the archpriest Nicolas Cernokrak, dean of the Institut Saint-Serge in Paris, in the theology and theological education commission.
The ROC expressed deep sorrow due to the anti-canonical actions of Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and confirmed the non-commemoration of his name in the Diptych.
The Church-Manger: The Visitation of God and the Visitation of Man
Could we speak of unique memory and mesmerizing consciousness that has been passed down through the generations from ancient times, from the time when there was a longing for unity? Such a unity today seems unreal in the world of our generation but remains an idea stored inside of ourselves since its initial creation. We should be obsessed with reaching, returning to unity, unification, reunion, and reunification in utopian processes, even while reality shows breaches, splits, rejections of souls and dangerous absence of tolerance between nations, citizens, all peoples. The Jewish calendar in September entered the year 5780, switching the Hebrew decade from the seventies to the eighties. Jewish tradition will reach out to the Nations during the 58th century of their calendar that is based on the Sumerian calculation of ages and times. In the Hebrew tradition of Gematria–interpretation of the alphabet–the letter “ayin/עין” symbolizes “Seventy – ע”. It is linked to the concept of the seventy nations that existed by the time of the Tower of Babel. The Jewish calendar just finished a decade of the seventies. Now we are in the new decade of the “Eighties – פ”. The number eighty in Gematria is called the letter “peh”. It is written ” פ ” in Hebrew and ” ܦ ” in Aramaic (Serto chart). In Hebrew, it is connected to the two-consonant radical “Peh/פה = Mouth”. In Hebrew, “peh” refers to an aperture, an orifice, a hole that is here and/or there, location, compact and precise. It is of course also “mouth,” as the word is most commonly used today, but also because the word opens the possibility of speech (Hullin 142a). The mouth suggests physical and technical capacities to speak and utter sounds. As said: “On can speak in one way through the mouth and in
L’archiprêtre du trône oecuménique p. Nicolas Xenos est nommé par son éminence le métropolite Emmanuel, vicaire épiscopal générale de la Métropole grecque orthodoxe de France. Le père Nicolas, originaire de Zakynthos, est membre du clergé de la métropole grecque depuis 1990. Depuis 2007, il se rend à l’église de la Présentation du Seigneur dans le quartier de Sartrouville. Source
On 3rd November 2019, an official reception on the occasion of the reunification of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe with the Russian Orthodox Church took place in the Refectory Chambers of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia shared with all those present his thoughts about the reasons behind the historic reunification of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe with the Mother Church.
This appeal of international Orthodox theologians, 86 scholars from 40 academic institutions and 13 countries, is made following the deeply concerning pronouncements and edicts coming from the beloved Patriarchate of Serbia. We have come together with this appeal as we are concerned about impingements on the freedom of speech and academic thought, independence of universities, and ecclesiastical morality. Support for this appeal is great, and the number of signatories to this appeal would have been far greater had we not limited the period to join to three days.
These are the daily dates that I use to share every day on my different sites and blogs as they appear on this Sunday night: יום א’ ראשון וראשי און א שיינעם זונטיק כ”ח דתשרי תש”ף. Приятного Воскресенья 27-ого\14-ого Октября 2019-7528. Blessed Sunday 27\14 of October 2019-7528 – Safar 29, 1441. 6769, 29, (tishrin qadmaya) ܬܫܪܝܢ ܩܕܡܝܐ It shows that we are on the first head day (of the week) [Hebrew], a nice Sunday [Yiddish] 28 of Tishri 5780 / a sweet Sunday or Day of the Resurrection 27/14 of October 2019-7528 [Russian] / on the 29th day of the Month Safar of the Year 1441 of the Hijri, i.e. on the 29th day of the first (month) on Tishrin in the Year 6769 after the Assyrian comput. I daily refer to these traditions. Basically, it allows to appreciate times and delays. It means that we are on the move, live on the same planet, in different locations and that we understand the deployment of measurable periods and spaces according to contrasted cultural patterns. They maintain the primacy of a diversified system, among all the human beings, in view to approach the quality of living in a special generation. Contemporary existence and continuous streaming that advances ahead of future times. A year ago, I had started to publish posts in English on this site. These were conceived as chronicles on the connection between the Eastern Christian Orthodox traditions and the way the Jewish traditions could meet at the present. It was just a sort of a launch, merely a project. Serving as an Orthodox priest in Israeli society and being born a Jew of Hebrew, Yiddish, multi-faceted backgrounds, I have spent long years of reflecting on the present development of new diachronic and synchronic cultural, mental, social, linguistic and spiritual-theological
By Archpriest Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel (Patrairchate of Jerusalem)
Are we going to dwell in huts, booths, tents, tabernacles? or sukkot\סוכות? From Tishri 14, 5780/October 13, 2019 till Tishri 23, 5780/October 22, 2019, the Jewish Community celebrates the harvesting feast of the Booths