Thursday, January 31, 2019

Questions and Answers 71 - 74

Orthodox Mysteries in the Movies

Question 71: I recently saw Keanu Reeves give an interview and he mentioned something I had read in one of your posts. He talked about how till this day he will get a text from Winona Ryder saying "Hi husband", referring to the real wedding scene from Dracula where their characters were married in a Russian Orthodox wedding. I was just wondering, since they did go through an entire wedding service by a real Orthodox priest, can they really consider themselves married, even though they now joke about it and consider themselves single?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Questions and Answers 68 - 70

Sources of Ecclesiastical News in English

Question 68: I'm wondering what you consider to be a good source of ecclesiastical news in English. I have been going to but it is slanted to the Russian side. Do you have another recommendation?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no good English source for ecclesiastical news. You have to go to a lot of places to get them all. This is something I once thought of compiling, but when I saw how difficult it would be, I put it aside, since to do it properly would require full time work in and of itself. And since most people aren't willing to pay for something like that, if they can get it for free elsewhere, such work will probably not be done. Which leaves much of the work to be done by you. First of all, most dioceses, metropolises, archdioceses and patriarchates have websites, and these websites have news sections, often in English, so if you want news about a particular one, you can visit these sites and get some basic news. There are also periodicals and newspapers put out by some with news, like the Orthodox Observer for the Greek Archdiocese of America, where you can get news. There are also about a dozen or so news websites put out by groups or individuals that compile some of the news, which is sometimes helpful. I personally also get a lot of my news from Greek websites, most of which is never translated unfortunately. This is the best general advice I can offer. One day I will try and put all these sources together in one post so people can easily access the news they are looking for.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Questions and Answers 64 - 67

Identity of Hermit in A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain

Question 64: Does anyone know who the hermit was in the book A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos?

Answer: In a lecture of Metropolitan Hierotheos I translated, he recalls: "After the publication of the book A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain I visited a Hagiorite monk. He said to me: 'Many people ask me whether I am the monk with whom you were talking. I answer them: Do not try to find out who it is. Try to take the advice and live the prayer about which the book is speaking.'"

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Questions and Answers 58 - 63

Ukraine, Russia and Constantinople

Question 58: I see conflicting opinions and histories about the Ukraine Church situation, specifically if it is coming from a Russian side or from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Both bring different historical arguments and it becomes confusing. I get worried when I hear that it could lead to a split in Orthodoxy. Wanted to know what the real history is? Is it something we should be concerned about?

Answer: I tend not to address jurisdictional issues, as I don't think it is an issue but for Bishops to address, since they are the only ones involved with the issue. The problem is that it confuses the faithful and even affects them in what I would call a minor way. The Orthodox Church does not have a defined well-rounded ecclesiology universally accepted, despite what many will tell you, which is why the Church has so many ecclesiological problems. Ecclesiology did not really begin to develope in the Orthodox Church until the 19th century, or some would say the 20th century. And with all the problems the various jurisdictions went through in the 20th century, it makes jurisdiction problems much more difficult to address and be universally accepted.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Questions and Answers 53 - 57

On the Name "Skevos"

Question 53: Would you have any idea why the name “Skevos” is so common on the island of K├ílymnos? Especially, since there does not seem to be a “Saint Skevofilax”.

Answer: The name Skevos is short for the ecclesiastical office known as Skevophylax, which means "keeper of the vessels." This office was usually held by a cleric. As far as the modern popularity of the name in Kalymnos, from what I read, it is due to Skevos Zervos (1875–1966), who was a prominent Greek Professor; a pioneer surgeon in Transplants and Telemedicine, and who became a local and national benefactor in Greece. Though he may not have been the first to be named Skevophylax, it seems that he was the first to be called Skevos, and seeing that he was a hero from Kalymnos, the shortened name became popular.

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