Thursday, December 29, 2016

Patriarch of Antioch John X Stirs Patriotism,Hope

His Beatitude John X,Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,has once more written a powerful Christmas message for his flock and indeed the whole Orthodox world looking on with interest.In it,the Patriarch firmly roots their faith in their homeland of the Levant,which is today defined as the Eastern Mediterranean and its countries and islands Israel;Palestine;Cyprus;Syria;Lebanon;part of Southern Turkey;and Jordan.His Beatitude also promises redemption from the horrendous suffering which they have felt there because of this faith.Here are some memorable excerpts:
With the mercy of God John X
The Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East
To my brethren the pastors of the holy Antiochian Church
To my sons wherever they may be in this Apostolic See*
He came to lay His seal on our hearts so as to cling and adhere to Him and defend our homeland and get deeply rooted in it;to be rooted in our cities,villages and mountains,in the first land,the land of the church of Antioch that then spread the word "Christians" to the whole world.*
We are called to know that the hardest circumstances would not take out from our hearts and our ancestors' a confession other than we received and preserved.We are written down for the sake of Christ.And we received our baptism 2,000 years ago,so we do not need anybody to convert us to Christianity.*
The peace of Christ is first of all a consolation that cures our hardships;it is not a magical substance that takes away the yoke of suffering from us.
Our prayer on this blessed day is for peace in Syria,for settlement in Lebanon and for prosperity in the East.
Our prayer on this blessed day is for Palestine,for Iraq,and for every spot where people have undergone pain and suffering.For more than five years,the Christian Antiochian Church has been crucified by means of pain and suffering that have come out of barbarism,terror,violence and a stifling economic siege.For more than three years the world has been watching the Golgotha of this East,by that I mean bishops to be abducted,priests to be killed,and many other people to be displaced.But this pain and agony shall be broken by the dawn of the resurrection,and by the big stone of the empty tomb being rolled away no matter how long the Golgotha may last.*

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Extremists in Decline:Pentagon Cites Losses by ISIL,al-Qaida

The tide is turning against the Islamist extremists of ISIL and al-Qaida,according to Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook,who briefed reporters on 19 December 2016.Over the weekend,the Libyan Government of National Accord announced the successful conclusion of the campaign to liberate the city of Sirte from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,Mr.Cook noted.It was the only city outside of Iraq and Syria under ISIL's control.US Africa Command carried out this mission with particular skill,especially limiting the risk of civilian casualties in carrying out airstrikes in Sirte,Mr.Cook pointed out.We will continue to keep a close eye on the remnants of ISIL in Libya and will continue to assist the GNA as appropriate going forward.*
In Iraq,Mr.Cook said,the Iraqi Security Forces continue to degrade ISIL in Mosul,where the ISF has cleared approximately 20% of the city.
In Syria,the Syrian Democratic Forces rebel group have reached the Euphrates River northwest of the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa,which is important as the SDF try to isolate ISIL within Raqqa.Importantly,the SDF is continuing to attract Arab fighters for continuing the fight against ISIL.*
And finally,on the progress of counterterrorism in Afghansitan,we previously announced on October 23 that a precision airstrike near Kunar,Afghanistan killed Faruq al-Qatani,the al-Qaida emir for Eastern Afghanistan.The Department has now determined that the same airstrike killed two additional senior al-Qaida leaders:Bilal al-Utaybi,who was al-Qatani's deputy;and Abd al-Wahd al-Junabi,a senior al-Qaida explosives expert.All three were actively involved in the planning and carrying out of acts of terror inside and outside Afghanistan.The deaths of these three senior leaders will significantly disrupt the group's ability to threaten the US,our interests and our allies,and highlights our continuing commitment to the counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan.This strike is further evidence that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach,Peter Cook concluded at the Pentagon on Monday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Archbishop Anastasios of Albania Honoured in Holy Metropolis of Messinia

On Tuesday evening,13 December 2016,His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia,Greece (Kalamata),welcomed His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana,Durres and All Albania.The official reception was in front of the Cathedral of the Presentation of Our Lord to the Temple (Ypapanti) in Kalamata and attended by many clergy of the Holy Metropolis;civil authorities;and the faithful.Among the ecclesiastical dignitaries were His Eminence Metropolitan Gabriel of Leontopolis,Patriarchate of Alexandria;and Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papathanasiou,Director of the Office of the Archbishop of Athens.*
In his welcome,Metropolitan Chrysostomos praised the Archbishop on the key role he played in the reconstruction of the Church of Albania and his contribution to Inter-Orthodox,Inter-Christian and Inter-Faith Dialogue.For his part,Arhbishop Anastasios lauded Metropolitan Chrysostomos for his significant contributions in preparing and carrying out last summer's Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.*
In a special City Hall ceremony,Kalamata Mayor Panagiotis Nikos and the City Council proclaimed His Beatitude an honourary citizen of Kalamata and presented him with the "Foteas" prize for his writings.*
Wednesday night at the University of the Peloponesse,Archbishop Anastasios will be given an honourary Doctorate of Humanities degree by the Faculty of Philology and Cultural Resources Management,University of the Peloponesse.

DOD Article:Developing Military Capabilities in the Heart of Europe

Developing Military Capabilities in the Heart of Europe: At the 7th Army Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany, the U.S. military works with NATO and partner-nation forces to develop the full-spectrum capabilities needed for a fight against a near-peer

Monday, December 5, 2016

6 December - Apolytikion for St.Nicholas - Απολυτίκιο Άγ. Νικολάου Αρχιεπισκόπου Μύρων της Λυκίας - 6 ΔΕΚΕΜΒΡΙΟΥ

Hymn to St. Nicholas - 6 December

Archbishop Ieronymos II Meets With Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Papadopoulos

On 1 December 2016,His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece met with George Papadopoulos,one of of US President-elect Donald Trump's foreign policy advisors,on the sidelines of the annual conference of KEDE,an organisation of Greek mayors,the Archdiocese of Athens said.Also present at the conference was His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America,the Ecumenical Patriarchate's exarch in the US.*
During their 30 minute meeting,Archbishop Ieronymos (Jerome) told Mr.Papadopoulos about the efforts the Church of Greece,Archdiocese of Athens and the "Send" were making to aid those affected by the economic crisis in Greece.His Beatitude emphasised that the Greek people cannot stand any more austerity policies,which,if they persist,will cause tragic consequences for Greece.
On the subject of Turkey,Archbishop Ieronymos expressed his deep concern about the provocative rhetoric coming out of Ankara recently and how this can affect Greco-Turkish relations and Turkey's entrance into the European mainstream,such as the European Union.
His Beatitude also asked Mr.Papadopoulos to convey his best wishes to the President-elect,Donald J Trump.*
Mr.Papadopoulos is a 2009 graduate of DePaul University in Chicago.In 2010,he received a Master's degree from the University of London.He is presently director of the international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice.Previously,Mr.Papadopoulos was an advisor to presidential candidate Ben Carson and a research fellow at the conservative think tank the Hudson Institute in Washington.
In the course of his career,he has met with the President of Cyprus and Prime Minister of the UAE.Mr.Papadopoulos has been concentrating on what he believes is the emerging strategic partnership of Israel,Greece and Cyprus,particularly with regard to Israeli energy assets such as the mammoth Leviathin natural gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In January 2014,Mr.Papadopoulos wrote that Israel and Greece's robust military relations have redrawn the political map of the region.The US would be wise to shift its policies and resources towards improving relations at all levels with its stalwart allies in the region,Israel,Greece and Cyprus,to counter the newly emergent Russian fleet and malignant jihadist forces operating around Israel's borders.*
In his separate meeting with Archbishop Demetrios of America at the KEDE conference,Archbishop Ieronymos discussed issues concerning the Church,the Greek people and the developments in the US,according to the Archdiocese of Athens.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Monastery Renovated in Occupied Cyprus:A message of hope on the feast day of St. Andrew - Hellenic American Leadership Council

A message of hope on the feast day of St. Andrew - Hellenic American Leadership Council: In what proved a historic occasion, hundreds of pilgrims gathered at the newly renovated St. Andrew’s monastery, off the tip of Cyprus’ Kapras peninsula this morning. Greek and Turkish Cypriots celebrated the feast day of St. Andrew and participated in … Continue reading →

Extensive photos of yesterday's Divine Liturgy for St.Andrew's Day in Constantinople presided by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and attended by Kurt Cardinal Koch of Switzerland - Τον ιδρυτή του Απόστολο Ανδρέα τίμησε το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο|

Τον ιδρυτή του Απόστολο Ανδρέα τίμησε το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο| Με την αρμόζουσα πατριαρχική τάξη και συμφώνως με την παράδοση της Μεγάλης Εκκλησίας του Χριστού εορτάστηκε στο Φανάρι η εορτή του πολιούχου του, Αγίου Αποστόλου Ανδρέα του Πρωτόκλητου. Το πρωί της Τρίτης τελέστηκε Πατριαρχική και Συνοδική Θεία Λειτουργία στην οποία παρέστη και Αντιπροσωπεία της Εκκλησίας της Ρώμης υπό τον Καρδινάλιο Κούρτ Κοχ, ο οποίος μετέφερε μήνυμα του Πάπα Φραγκίσκου.