Thursday, February 25, 2016

The CIA Versus ISIL

CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen says the Agency is working closely with the US military in Iraq and Syria to disrupt and degrade ISIL.Mr.Cohen was previously Deputy Director for Operations (clandestine service) at the CIA.*
John Brennan,Director of the Central Intelligence Agency,adds that ISIL today is a greater cause for alarm than al-Qaida was after 9-11.ISIL is a lot larger than al-Qaida was and goes into more places.*
Italy will allow US drones to be based at the US Naval Air Station in Sigonella,Sicily for protection of US Special Operations Forces serving on the ground in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa.No offensive operations by the drones will be permitted and Italian pre-approval of the strikes will be required.Italy says it is committed to playing its part in the anti-ISIL effort,Operation Inherent Resolve.
The programme was initiated in January.
While the CIA has recently been involved in identification and location of ISIL leaders in Syria for drone targeting,the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command has actually been carrying out the strikes.It is not known whether the Agency is playing the same role in the North Africa programme.

The Byrds - Jesus Is Just Alright - 9/23/1970 - Fillmore East (Official)

The Byrds - Hickory Wind (Audio)

NATO Secretary General - Joint press point EU Parliament, 23 FEB 2016, P...

Belgian F16s guard the Baltic skies

Metropolitan Ilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate - Orthodox Faith will be protected at the Grand Council

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band - You're Sixteen - 8/22/2001 - Rosemont...

Ringo Starr - Liverpool 8

Blind Faith- Can't Find My Way Home (Electric Version)

Pope Francis meets with Patriarch Kirill - Part. 2 - 2016.02.12 - signing ceremony,remarks by Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis

First time in history: Patriarch Kirill meets Pope Francis (LIVE RECORD)

Inside the Historic Pope of Rome-Patriarch of Moscow Meeting Today

Today,12 February,the first ever meeting of a Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and a Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,who is the spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church,will take place at Jose Marti Airport in Havana,Cuba.One of the main topics on the agenda of His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill for their private two-hour dialogue is the crisis between Russia and Ukraine in general,and the tension between the Vatican's Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine and the Moscow Patriarchate's Metropolitanate of Kiev and All Ukraine,which is the only canonical Orthodox presence in Ukraine,in particular.Two other Ukrainian Orthodox churches that proclaimed their own independence are not recognised by the other autocephalous Orthodox Churches.
Pope Francis is on his way to Mexico,where he will seek to revive a declining Catholic and address social justice concerns until next Thursday.Patriarch Kirill is on a visit to Russian Orthodox communities in Cuba,Paraguay and Brazil.*
On the agenda is the problem of Greek Catholics in Ukraine,but it will certainly not be resolved at once,Patriarch Kirill's press secretary,Father Alexander Volkov,was quoted as saying by the Russian TASS news agency.The topic of Ukraine,Eastern Rite Catholicism and proselytism will be discussed.These issues remain unresolved.The Roman Catholic Church in its dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church has invariably emphasised this.And we understand that this theme is unlikely to be resolved now or in the foreseeable future.The meeting,however,will be a chance to discuss the theme in real time and,possibly,arrive at some conclusions,because our brothers in Ukraine still have to suffer.
Of course,it cannot be ruled out that if everything is fine,more meetings may follow.First,we should wait for the meeting of the Patriarch and the Pope to take place.Then we will see what the world community's reaction will be like.In any case it is necessary to wait for the meeting to end and see the response and actions following the calls from the heads of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion,head of the ROC's Department of External Church Relations,was quoted by TASS as saying that the situation has worsened due to the latest developments in Ukraine,in which Ukrainian Greek Catholics were directly involved under anti-Russian and Russophobic slogans.
At the same time,Patriarch Kirill was quoted by the Russian Interfax news agency as saying on Monday that the Roman Catholic Church's stance on the Ukraine crisis demonstrates positive dynamics,primarily thanks to their clear understanding of the need for Orthodox and Catholic believers to act jointly in order to protect traditional Christian values and counter modern challenges such as secularism,discrimination against Christians,family crisis and the dilution of moral principles in private and social life.*
The two spiritual leaders will sign a declaration on the contemporary persecution of Christians in such countries as Iraq and Syria and other common concerns,such as those mentioned by Patriarch Kirill in the remarks that were quoted by Interfax.Despite the symbolic overtones of this historic encounter,the reunification of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches will not be on the agenda,Patriarch Kirill's press secretary Father Volkov pointed out.The two largest Christian denominations drifted apart after 1054,primarily over the role of the papacy and one clause in the Nicene creed,a basic statement of faith that both Churches recite every Sunday,yet in slightly different forms.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

President Plans Massive Increase of US Response to Russia

President Barack Obama's fiscal 2017 budget includes much more funding for the European Reassurance Initiative,quadrupling America's special support of its NATO allies aimed in particular at recent Russian aggression in Georgia,Crimea and Eastern Ukraine,as well as Russia's large scale ground exercises along the NATO periphery and high number of bomber flights near NATO and partner airspace,to 3.4 billion dollars.*
An ERI funding of 3.4 billion will enable the US to strengthen our robust military posture in Europe and improve our ability to uphold our Article 5 commitments to NATO members,the President said on 2 February.It should make clear that America will stand firm with its allies in defending,not just NATO territory,but also shared principles of international law and order.*
The funding will result in more prepositioned US military equipment and supplies in Europe;more rotations of US land,air and maritime forces into Europe;more exercises with NATO allies and partners;and more infrastructure improvement in NATO countries.*
It is a very clear sign of the US commitment to enhance the deterrent in Europe,and especially the Eastern part of Europe,noted Andris Razans,Latvian Ambassador to the United States.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Synodical Act of Canonisation of St.John the New Chozebite - the historical background and life of Orthodoxy's newest saint

In a singularly resplendent and moving Orthros and Divine Liturgy,the canonisation of St.John the New Chozebite was celebrated by His Beatitude Theophilos III,Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine,as well as other hierarchs and lesser clergy both from the Patriarchate and the Romanian Orthodox Church,as well as other autocephalous Orthodox Churches,at the Monastery of St.George Chozeba,Palestine,before the sacred relics and icon of the new saint on 31 January,2016.*
The area of the Cherith brook and the Monastery of St.George Chozebite within it,the place where we hold this Joint Patriarchal Liturgy,have proven to be sites of revelation of God's miracles for the salvation of man since the days of the Old Testament,His Beatitude said in his Canonisation decree for St.John the New Chozebite.This is where,to escape the wrath of King Ahab,Prophet Elias sought refuge,called by God.His Beatitude went on to mention that Joachim and Anna prayed there and became ancestors of God as by divine intervention they were liberated from the shame of childlessness and bore a child,Maria the ever virgin,through whom the Only Begotten Son and Logos of God,Jesus Christ,became incarnate by the Holy Spirit.
During the first years of the monastic angelic community,shown to us by our Lord Jesus Christ,this area was inhabited by the five holy fathers of the Monastery of Chozeba:Promos,Elias,Yannaios,Aian and Zenon,who led a holy life to sanctification.After them,in the fifth century AD,St.John,Bishop of Caesarea,Palestine,an opponent of the heresy of Monophysitism,expanded this first skete into a large monastic centre.Then,men,churches and cells were lost to the Persian rage in 614 AD.From the ruins and the ashes of destruction,St.George the Chozebite,hailing from Cyprus,went on to restore the Monastery and turn it once more into a pole of attraction and a monastic centre for hundreds of monks.
In the mid-twentieth century,God blessed the Monastery par excellence through the presence of His chosen vessel,St.John the New Chozebite.Leaving behind his earthly homeland of Romania,relatives and friends,he arrived in the Holy Land as a pilgrim and received the monastic schema at the Monastery of St.Savvas the Sanctified,where he would live a monk's life for a decade.He then went on to lead an ascetic life at this monastery of Chozeba,hence why he has been called "the Chozebite."He also lived in the desert of the Jordan River,emulating the example of the Baptist and subjecting himself to asceticism,fasting,vigilance and prayer...Those who have known St.John attest to this day the holy life and the help he offered through prayer and spiritual guidance.Others attest that after his dormition they were cured of their illnesses by his mediation.
For these reasons,and for the strengthening of the faithful of the Mother of Churches and those pilgrims who have come to the Monastery of Chozeba from across the world,and to the glory of the Triadic God,the Holy and Sacred Synod has decided to sanctify St.John the New Chozebite and place him in the Canon of Saints of the Church of Jerusalem,his memory to be observed on the 28th of July of each year,the day of the translation of his holy relics.
In the Holy City of Jerusalem,22 December 2015
THEOPHILOS III,Patriarch of Jerusalem
KYRIAKOS,Metropolitan of Nazareth
Here are affixed the signatures of the rest of the Holy and Sacred Synod.