As one of the oldest hierarchs of the Russian Church, who reportedly refused to nominate himself as a candidate for the Patriarchal Throne, Metropolitan Vladimir led the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for all those many, often painful years, from 1992 until his repose in 2014.
Until the revolution in Russia, there was a universal tradition of reading the “lay order” of the services. In the absence of the priest in church, or at home, the entire family would read part or all of the daily cycle of Church services. We will talk today about what happened to this good tradition, how to revive it, and what benefit it brings for the whole body of the Church.
Now, during this new time of troubles, we deeply require church education, especially concerning the events in Ukraine. Wherever there is disinformation and ignorance, this is where it’s easiest to spread heresy. It’s time to rediscover our history, and learn where we came from.
For many centuries a Greek Asia Minor was an important part of the Byzantine Empire, which was a largely Greek, Orthodox Christian entity that reached the peak of its success and prosperity in the early eleventh century, when it was the envy of the rest of the known world. Then, over the following four centuries, the Byzantine Greeks were attacked by the Western European Crusaders and by the Muslim Turks.
Why did this ancient Slavic Orthodox nation have to suffer so much grief and oppression from constantly changing groups of nomads, to occupiers and invaders, to the next “liberators”, and then some more “benefactors”?
We state that the idea of overcoming the church schism in Ukraine by the granting of a Tomos of autocephaly to the non-canonical church groups (“UOC-KP” and “UAOC”) has turned out to be a grave error.
Rather than attempting to add to the litany of excellent publications on the feast day, and retell the same glorious stories, let’s take a look and reflect on some stories and aspects of the Lavra that are rarely told in the English language.
The “Will and Testament” of the Forty Martyrs—the Roman soldiers of the Eleventh Thundering Legion (Legio XII Fulminata) who suffered in 320 in the town of Sebaste (Lesser Armenia)—is an important historical document and memorial of early Christian hagiographic literature.
This assessment and comparison of persecutions against the Church in Ukraine by the Poroshenko government today and its persecution by the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth after the Brest Unia in the sixteenth century was offered by an Archpriest Andrei Tkachev, who was born and raised in Lvov, the center of Western Ukraine and the stronghold of Greek Catholicism (Uniatism).
When and why did the Patriarchate of Constantinople introduce the new calendar? How is it connected with the current Church conflict in Ukraine? We discussed these subjects with Pavel Kuzenkov, Ph.D in Historical Sciences, teacher of the Sretensky Theological Seminary, and expert in Christian chronological systems.
The leaders of that sanguinary and bloodthirsty era, which did come about as Dostoevsky foresaw, indeed founded a kingdom of evil and terror in absolute contrast to the Heavenly Kingdom. Their atheistic and anti-Christian kingdom saw in the person of the Tsar and his family not any possible claimants to the throne, but the epitome of the Russian Orthodox state, the living symbol of the Orthodox Faith and the main defender of Orthodoxy on a worldwide basis.