MBS Doesn’t Care About Human Rights. He Does Care About Google. — Political Violence at a Glance

Guest post by Corey Ray and Sofia Smith. US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis stands with Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud during an honor guard ceremony at the Pentagon, March 16, 2017. Photo via James N. Mattis. The disappearance and assumed murder of activist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government,…

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Some thoughts on the Ukrainian autocephaly

I’ve recently watched a vlog by George Michalopulous published at his website Monomakhos.com on Sept 7. In the video he comments on the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s decision to grant an autocephalous status to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church basing on some historical arguments. They seem to be solid but as George says ‘are not necessarily true’.

There are some points I’d like to highlight:

  • First, the Patriarchate claims its exclusive right to grant autocephaly to the UOC. But it’s under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, so it’s impossible to declare the autocephaly without Moscow’s consent.
  • Then, the EP states that the letter of Patriarch Jeremiah II Tranos was signed under ‘great pressure’ of the Moscow Patriarchate so it cannot be considered legit. That’s a strange stance as for centuries Constantinople has recognized the paper.
  • There are also such repercussions as possible schism and bloodshed in Ukraine that can be caused by Patriarch Bartholomew’s actions.

A few days later Monomakhos.com also shared a 50 minute long video documentary of Mikhail Denysenko, the so-called Patriarch Philaret of Kyiv. After all the forgiveness that our Church has, shown with canonization of King David and Flavius Constantinus as saints, the blogger concluded that “if this defrocked bishop is recognized by Constantinople as a “patriarch” and his “church” as canonical, then that venerable See will have lost all moral authority.”

Anyway you can watch Michalopulous’ videos and decide whether arguments of him are stronger than those of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Constantinople has already been criticized by a large part of the Orthodox Christian community for its actions. For example, when Patriarch Bartholomew sent his controversial letter to Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymus in December, 2016, it caused a great turmoil and confusion among believers. At that, it is worth noting that some faithful lay people seemed to be even better in issues of Canonical law, church history and theology, or  wise and honest at least, than many of established experts and theologians on the EP’s side during those vehement debates.

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Hello Rejection, My Old Friend — Holland Rae, Writer

Well, this is it. This is the part of being a writer that sucks so much worse than the movies show. This part hurts.

via Hello Rejection, My Old Friend — Holland Rae, Writer

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FemInEM — Discover

FemInEM is a vibrant community hub for women who work in emergency medicine — and for anyone else who cares about diversity and equality in the medical professions.

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“Broken promises”: is Ukrainians’ Criticism of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Fair?

In July, Kyiv witnessed the celebrations of the 1030th anniversary of Kievan Rus Christianization. Two largest Ukrainian Orthodox confessions – the Ukrainian Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC KP) and the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) – traditionally held separate sacred processions on different days. The state-backed UOC KP’s procession was attended by President Petro Poroshenko, vast number of government officials and the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s delegates. Kyiv had assumed that the latter would come with the Tomos of Autocephaly (independence) for the Ukrainian Church but it never happened. And in his long speech, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France didn’t even hint at the date when this important for the Ukrainian faithful event could take place.

In April, President Poroshenko met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in his residence in the Phanar quarter (Istanbul). As it was revealed later, one of the main agenda topics was the bestowal of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. At the moment, the church situation in Ukraine is complicated. The country faces a fierce conflict between the UOC KP and UOC MP backed by Kyiv and Moscow. The UOC of the Kyivan Patriarchate broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1990s, when the independent Ukrainian state emerged. However, it still has been recognized by none of the Local Orthodox Churches.

Poroshenko is said to be setting up the new Autocephalous Church with this religious organization as its cornerstone. Obviously, the “hostile” UOC MP won’t be included in the Single Local Church and will witness even higher pressure than now when its property is being seized or desecrated by pro-government radical nationalists.

Nevertheless, for Kyiv and personally Poroshenko the autocephaly project is a thing that really matters. On the eve of the 2019 presidential elections in Ukraine, the Tomos (if granted by Constantinople) should become one of the aces up his sleeve in the election race. That’s why it was decided to boost the process.

Since April, Poroshenko kept claiming that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would likely become autocephalous on 28 July, when the UOC KP celebrates the 1030th anniversary of Kievan Rus Christianization. Many Ukrainians believed in their president’s words, and when the Tomos wasn’t granted, they lashed out not only at the government but also at Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew personally.

For example, the author of one of critical articles, expressing his indignation, not just accuses Constantinople of undermining the process of autocephaly bestowal but suggests that it should be proclaimed unilaterally, without the Phanar’s consent. Moreover, he blames Patriarch Bartholomew for his ties with Catholics and inability to make firm decisions.

Besides that, the Ukrainians fear that the Phanar is concerned only with the matters of property. In particular, another critical article even provides a list of churches, buildings and territories which can possible come into Constantinople’s possession. However, the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s representatives will need a place to live and hold divine services in. No one really means confiscating the property of Ukrainian Churches and handing it to the “Greek intruders”.

Of course, not all Ukrainian media outlets criticize the Phanar, but such harsh statements like the above-mentioned aren’t rare. The Ukrainians seem to have been hurt by broken promises. But what can the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Patriarch Bartholomew be blamed for? They didn’t promise the Ukrainian people that the Tomos would be bestowed on a certain date, they only named it the ultimate goal. The Phanar clearly understands that against the background of the today’s conflict between the faithful in Ukraine, autocephaly can be granted only after finding a way to heal the division. Why don’t some Ukrainians understand this? Don’t they see that they are throwing themselves under the bus by criticizing the Mother Church? The whole thing can easily come to naught: watching how groundlessly it is being criticized, the Patriarchate can turn away from Ukraine and never realize the dreams for autocephaly…

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Estonian Cuisine. Eesti Toit. — Discover

When Ruta’s daughter moved halfway around the world from Estonia, she kept asking her mom for recipes for the dishes she was missing. The result is Estonian Cuisine, an introduction to the Baltic state’s culinary culture.

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Georgian National Ballet “Sukhishvili” — ΕfiSoul63



Το Εθνικό Μπαλέτο της Γεωργίας Σουκχισβίλι μετρά περίπου 73 χρόνια ζωής και κατάφερε να αντέξει παρά τις δυσκολίες της κομμουνιστικής περιόδου. Παρουσιάζει την πλούσια μουσική και χορευτική παράδοση της Γεωργίας και του Καυκάσου, με ένα μοναδικό τρόπο. Δημιουργήθηκε το 1945 από ένα ζευγάρι: τον Ίλικο Σουκχισβίλι και την Νίνο Ραμισβίλι και ονομαζόταν αρχικά Κρατική Ομάδα […]

via Georgian National Ballet “Sukhishvili” — ΕfiSoul63

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