By God’s mercy
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the plenitude of the Church
Grace, peace and mercy from Christ risen in glory
Beloved concelebrants and devout, god-loving children of the Church,
Christ is Risen!
The proclamation of the Resurrection by the myrrh-bearing women to the disciples of Christ was considered delirious. Yet, the word, formerly conceived as delirious, was confirmed as Truth. The risen Lord appeared to His disciples on several occasions.
In our time, the proclamation of the Resurrection is again considered delirious by rationalists. Nonetheless, we faithful not only believe in but also experience the Resurrection as a profoundly truthful fact. Indeed, if necessary, we seal our testimony with self-sacrifice because in the risen Christ we transcend death and are liberated from its fear. Our hearts are filled with joy when we repeat: The Lord has risen. Our saints, who have died according to the world, continue to live among us, responding to our petitions. The world that follows death is truer than the world that precedes death. Christ has risen and dwells among us. He has promised to be with us to the end of the world. And so He is – as our friend, brother, healer, who bestows all good things.
Blessed is our God, who has risen from the dead, granting eternal life to all people. O death, where is your sting? Christ has risen, revealing and ridiculing the one who formerly boasted without end to be a mockery. (See the Canon of St. John Damascene, 4th tone, 9th ode) Everything is filled with light and our hearts are replete with limitless joy.
And more than joy, they are filled with strength. For whoever believes in the Resurrection is unafraid of death; and whoever is unafraid of death is spiritually unyielding and unbending inasmuch as what may be the most terrible threat for the majority and for the disbelievers is of little significance to the Christian; for it is the entrance to life itself. The faithful Christian lives the Resurrection even prior to his or her natural death.
The consequence of experiencing the Resurrection is the transformation of the world. It inspires the soul. And an inspired soul also attracts other souls to its ways, when these souls are moved by the genuine joyous experience of immortality. Christ’s Resurrection and our own resurrection are not simply an abstract truth. They are a dogma of faith. They are a tangible reality. They are a force that overcomes the world despite the extremely harsh persecutions waged against it. “This is the victory, which has conquered the world, namely our faith” (1 John 5.4) in His Resurrection. Through the Resurrection, humanity is called to divinity through grace. Through the victory of the light of Resurrection over the impure passions, divine eros and a strange love, which surpasses human boundaries, are established in our souls.
Therefore, Christ is Risen! Our hearts are filled with the light and joy of the Resurrection. We approach the Risen Lord with authenticity and simplicity. For, as the royal Prophet David says, our God, who supervises our hearts from above, “will not despise a broken and contrite heart.” (Psalm 50.19)
The Resurrection is our strength, hope, joy, and delight. Through the Resurrection, we transcend pain and sorrow for all the evils of this natural, worldly life. The Resurrection is God’s response to the helplessness of wounded humanity before the suffering of worldly humanity.
We do not surrender to the difficulties and c For the rest of this News Release, visit the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website
Archbishop Demetrios Calls for Protection of Ecumenical Patriarch
May 10, 2013
Archbishop Demetrios Calls for Protection of Ecumenical Patriarch
Archdiocese Joins Cardinal Dolan at Mass for Kidnapped Syrian Bishops
NEW YORK – In response to the reports in Turkish and world media about an assassination plot against His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Demetrios of America today wrote to President Obama urging him to exercise his good offices to ensure the safety of His All Holiness.
Noting the continuing crisis in Aleppo, Syria, where the Greek Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox Hierarchs remain missing, kidnapped by terrorists, the Archbishop asked the President to protect His All Holiness, as the 1,700 year presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) is the highest Christian presence of a Christian leader in a Muslim country.
May 2, 2013
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, held a special mass today, May 2, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
President Obama Issues Statement for Orthodox Christians Around the World
NEW YORK – Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, held a special mass today, May 2, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the safety and well-being of Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo His Eminence Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, His Eminence John Ibrahim who were recently kidnapped in Syria.
Cardinal Dolan invited leaders from the Orthodox community and other Catholic leaders to join him in praying for the speedy return of the two kidnapped prelates. His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela represented Archbishop Demetrios of America, accompanied by Ecumenical Officer Father Mark Arey. His Eminence, Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim and Reverend Eli Shabo represented the Syriac Orthodox Church and Archpriest John Jillions represented the OCA.
Other Catholic leaders who participated were Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre; Bishop Gregory Mansour, Maronite Eparchy, and Monsignor John Kozar, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Fatima Shama, Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, represented the Mayor’s Office.
Following the service, Cardinal Dolan hosted all the clergy in his residence for a robust discussion of the situation and ways the various Christian Churches can work together for the release of the Hierarchs and the amelioration of the circumstances of all Christians in the Middle East.
May 4, 2013
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is pleased to announce the receipt of a very significant message and greeting from the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the First Lady Michelle Obama, on the occasion of Orthodox Pascha.
NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is pleased to announce the receipt of a very significant message and greeting from the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the First Lady Michelle Obama, on the occasion of Orthodox Pascha (Easter). In his message, the President makes reference to the ordeals facing Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and North Africa and reaffirms his commitment to religious freedom as a universal human right.
The Statement of the President follows:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2013
Statement by the President on the Occasion of Orthodox Easter
This weekend, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to members of the Orthodox Christian community here in America and around the world as they observe Holy Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection.
For millions of Orthodox Christians, this is a joyful time. But it’s also a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made so that we might have eternal life. His decision to choose love in the face of hate; hope in the face of despair is an example we should always strive to follow. But it’s especially important to remember this year, as members of the Orthodox community have been confronted with persecution and violence, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. For centuries, the region and the world has been enriched by the contributions of Orthodox communities in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. As a nation, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting universal human rights including the freedom of religion. And in this season of hope and restoration, we celebrate the transformational power of sacrificial love.