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||FIRST, THE NEWS:
CONFIRMATION OF SERBIA'S FIRST GAY PM IS THROWN INTO DOUBT
from: Daily Mail
(19 Jun) Serbia's ruling conservatives say if Prime Minister-designate Ana Brnabic does not get enough votes to be confirmed by parliament as the first openly gay person to head the country's government, an early general election will be held.
Brnabic, nominated last week by Serbian Present Aleksandar Vucic, could also become the conservative nation's first female prime minister. But some of Vucic's coalition partners say they will vote against her because due to her sexual orientation.
Vucic on Monday met with 100 of his party lawmakers who promised to vote for Brnabic in Serbia's 250-seat parliament. She needs at least 26 more votes to be confirmed. This nomination, however, is likely to meet strong resistance from both the Christian Orthodox church and nationalists.
Party official Marija Obradovic says if Brnabic does not get the additional support, an early vote will be held. [read more...]
PUTIN SUPPORTS RETURN OF ST. ISAAC'S CATHEDRAL TO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
from : Daily Herald
(15 Jun) Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for a planned handover of St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, which became a focal point of protest there with thousands residents rallying against the plan. The cathedral, a UNESCO-protected site, was taken over by the state during Soviet times and run as a museum of atheism.
After the 1991 Soviet collapse it continued in that role, although it occasionally held religious services as well. In the largest protest there in years, thousands of St. Petersburg residents have been rallying against the plans to hand over St. Isaac's to the Russian Orthodox Church, fearing for the safety of the museum's artifacts and seeing the plan as a symbol of the church's increasing role in Russian society.
Asked about the planned handover during a live call-in show on Thursday, Putin said the original idea to set up a museum in St. Isaac's was "an insult to religious sentiment" and that the church has the right to claim it. He offered assurances, however, that a compromise will be found to accommodate the museum's needs. [read more...]
(21 Jun) On June 21, In the Latin Metropolitan Basilica in Lviv, the nominee-bishop Edward Kava was ordained as a bishop, on May 13 he was appointed by Pope Francis as Assistant Bishop of the Lviv Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine.
Bishops and priests from Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy arrived for the solemn procession. Franciscans arrived from different cities, among which the Provincial of the Krakow Province of Franciscan Convents and others. Priests from the Orthodox Churches, government officials, and diplomats also participated.
The Mass was conducted in Polish, Ukrainian and Latin languages. "May the Lord bless you and lead the ways of the Blessed Jacob Strepa and St. Joseph Bilczewski," Metropolitan of Lviv, Archbishop Mecislav Mokshitsky called on Edward Kava to perform the mission that the Church and the faithful await from him. [read more...]
PRESIDENT POROSHENKO IN WASHINGTON D.C., MEETS WITH LOCAL UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC AND ORTHODOX BISHOPS, CLERGY AND CHURCH CHOIRS.
from : Ukrainian Weekly
(24 Jun) The Ukrainian president arrived in Washington on June 19 and began his visit that evening at the Ukrainian Holodomor Memorial by paying his respects to the millions of Ukrainians who died as a result of Stalin’s 1932-1933 Famine-Genocide.
He was joined at the memorial by more than 100 Ukrainian Americans from the Washington area, including local Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox bishops, clergy and members of their church choirs., Also present was Larysa Kurylas, who designed the memorial, which was opened in 2015.
In his brief remarks to those who came to join with him to honor those killed in that man-made famine, President Poroshenko thanked the Ukrainian diaspora "for all they have done to help Ukraine get to where it is today." [read more...]
RUSSIAN JUSTICE MINISTRY TO APPEAL ECHR JUDGMENT ON RUSSIAN LAW BANNING GAY PROPAGANDA AMONGST MINORS
(20 Jun) The Russian Justice Ministry is unhappy with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which gives an award of about 50,000 euros to three LGBT movement activists for a breach of their rights, and will appeal it before September 20, the ministry said.
"The Russian Justice Ministry disagrees with the European Court's conclusion on the alleged breach of the convention and believes that provisions of certain regional laws banning propaganda of untraditional sexual relationships amongst minors are not at odds with the international practice and have the sole purpose of protecting morals and health of children," the ministry said in a report obtained Tuesday by Interfax.
The ministry and relevant governmental agencies will prepare Russia's legal stance within the next three months for filing an appeal with the ECHR Grand Chamber, the report said. The Russian laws "did not impose any measures leading to a ban on homosexuality or its formal condemnation, did not contain any signs of discrimination, and did not allow excessive actions of the authorities by their essence," the report said. [read more...]
CARDINAL PAROLIN SAYS 'IN ALL PROBABILITY' HE WILL VISIT MOSCOW SOON
from: Natonal Catholic Register
(23 Jun) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has said he will "in all probability" visit Moscow in August to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the Russian Orthodox Church. Vatican Secretary of State said "conditions are in place" to visit Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and President Vladimir Putin in August.
According to Italian media reports, the Vatican’s number two told reporters in Rome on Wednesday that the Holy See is "verifying whether this visit will take place." He added that it has been "planned for a long time and now all the conditions are in place."
"I believe I will meet President Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church's top officials because this needs to be a high-level visit," the Italian Holy See diplomat continued. His expected trip follows the historic meeting in Cuba in February 2016 between Pope Francis and head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. [read more...]
OTHER NEWS HEADLINES:
UGCC IS PROPOSING TO HOLD OFF RATIFICATION OF ISTANBUL CONVENTION ON PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, GENDER IDENTITY, ETC.
from Religious Information Service of Ukraine
RUSSIA FACES SCRUTINY OVER RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ISSUES
from Mission Network News
NUMBER OF THOSE WHO WANT TO BE ORTHODOX PRIESTS HAS SIGNIFICANTLY GROWN IN RUSSIA
ROC(MP) ADVOCATES STUDY OF BASICS OF CHURCH SLAVONIC IN SCHOOLS
from RIA Novosti
PATRIARCH KIRILL BLESSES MONUMENT MARKING 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF RESTORATION OF UNITY WITH ROCOR
from Russian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate
MARIA AND RUSTAM’S TESTIMONY
from Mission Eurasia
THE VISION OF OUR HOLY FATHER JOHN, WONDERWORKER OF KRONSTADT
DIVINE BLESSINGS! WHAT RUSSIANS SEEK TO SANCTIFY
from Russia Beyond the Headlines
THE ESTONIAN LUTHERAN CHURCH CELEBRATES ITS CENTENARY
from Estonian World
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Our first news article CONFIRMATION OF SERBIA'S FIRST GAY PM IS THROWN INTO DOUBT tells us that Serbia is a staunchly conservative Orthodox Christian country for the most part, and yet the LGBTQ movement has succeeded in pushing forward their lesbian politician as candidate for Prime Minister. This is because the tiny minority of LGBTQ people, less than 5% of the population, are highly organized, know how the political system works, and are willing to work at making it work in their favor.
We conservative Christians must first of all pray that the gay candidate for Prime Minister of Serbia will not get the needed votes to capture that office. But we also need to learn how politics works and then take a firm, public stand for our positions in the political sphere. Not to do this is to abdicate to the LGBTQ people and the rest of the secular humanist / materialist folks who run the world's political systems. We can't allow ourselves to retreat into our "holy huddle" and hope that these anti-Christian forces will just fade away like a bad dream.
In our "Other News Headlines" link ROC(MP) ADVOCATES STUDY OF BASICS OF CHURCH SLAVONIC IN SCHOOLS it states - "a complete translation of the language of the liturgy [into Russian] is too massive and is not on the agenda." This is quite strange: The various Orthodox jurisdictions in the U.S. have several different translations into English of the liturgy, all of its variable parts according to the Church calendar, all of the other services such as Vespers, Matins, Baptism, Marriage, funerals, special prayers, etc.
The Orthodox in the U.S. are less than 1% of the population, but we've managed to translate all of these services into English several times. Why is it that the Russian Orthodox Church, which claims to have 80% of the Russian population as its members, think it is "too massive" to revise the existing Slavonic church books into modern Russian? The answer is that it "is not on the agenda" - they simply don't want to do it.
It is commendable that we hold on to traditional Christianity that has been handed down to us from the Early Church for the last 2,000 years. But language changes and words that were in normal usage 1,000 years ago simply aren't understood today. Slavonic is the root language of all the Slavic languages, but very few people in Slavic countries today really understand Slavonic. Some may be able to repeat the Church services in Slavonic by rote memory, but they wouldn't be able to hold a conversation in Slavonic. This means that they don't think in Slavonic - it doesn't come from their heart.
I can translate texts from Slavonic into modern Russian with some effort, and then I can easily understand and appreciate with my heart what the text says. But most native-born Russians can't even read Slavonic... and most don't want to make the effort to learn it. The Divine Liturgy and all the other services of the Church should not be locked up in a "secret" mysterious language that almost nobody understands. The Orthodox Church has always held to the belief that the services should be in the languages of the people in all the countries of the world. It's time for some new Cyril-and-Methodius-types to bring Christian truths into the languages of today's Russian people.
Mill's Religion of Liberalism
In Samuel Gregg's recent article "John Stuart Mill’s Intolerant Faith and the Religion of Liberalism" published on the Witherspoon Institute's website, we read and begin to understand what really lies behind most of the ideology of what is called "Liberalism" today.
When we think of "Liberalism," we likely most often have in mind the ideas of "liberty and justice for all," the freedom to express and live according to one's beliefs or worldview, and to grant others this same freedom as long as they respect our rights to live according to our beliefs. This may have been what the Founding Fathers of the U.S. had in mind. But the ideas that drive society can change. One hundred years after the founding of the U.S., the idea of "Liberalism" had taken on a new meaning, thanks largely to the writings of John Stuart Mills.
Mills had in mind the reshaping of the Western notions of God and morality. The above article mentions Cambridge historian Maurice Cowling's 1963 book Mill and Liberalism, which calls John Stuart Mills' "Liberalism" a form of "moral totalitarianism." In that book, "Cowling challenged the widespread view of John Stuart Mill as the secular saint of tolerance. According to Cowling, Mill’s liberalism constituted nothing less than an alternative religion: one that turns out to be a rather fideistic faith that demands submission from nonbelievers." So today, as the above article states -
"Mill, I suspect, would be gratified at just how many Christians and Jews have embraced that same liberal faith over the past 150 years. For them, feelings are the measure of morality. That is consistent with liberal religion’s view of God as the indulgent Great Non-Judge: except, of course, with regard to questions such as the environment or supranational bureaucracies. On such subjects, the otherwise soft-spirited Deity and his followers brook little dissent, prudential or otherwise."
The article continues - "It was the French philosopher Auguste Comte who proposed a 'Religion of Humanity' as a full-blown successor to supernatural religion. Mill’s writings mention Comte extensively. In his Autobiography (1873), however, Mill describes Comte’s scheme as 'the completest system of spiritual and temporal despotism which ever yet emanated from a human brain, unless possibly that of Ignatius Loyola'." So here we have the modern Liberals' hero, John Stuart Mills, advocating a "spiritual and temporal despotism" akin to that of Ignatius Loyola!
Under the guise of what one hundred years earlier had been understood as "Liberalism" or "liberty and justice for all," Mills had smuggled in the ideas of a "liberal" pseudo-clergy that would strictly enforce his "Religion of Humanity" that he believed was "a better religion than any of those which are ordinarily called by that title."
So there you have it: modern "Liberalism" according to one of its leading thinkers is actually a "Religion of Humanity" that should be enforced by a "spiritual and temporal despotism" - an earthly, worldly clerisy that brooks no dissent to its belief system. The Liberal worldview is thus closely aligned with Marxism in its approach to promulgating its ideas by "the barrel of a gun," as Chairman Mao said.
Mills viewed Christ as merely "a great man." This is quite similar to the Arian heresy's notion of Jesus Christ as a very good man who was indwelt sometime later in life by a spirit from God. This also explains why modern Liberalism is supportive of Islam and Muslim immigration, because Islam is a form of Arianism, teaching that Jesus was a great prophet and a godly man, but not the Son of God. Modern man, according to Mills, has outgrown such old-fashioned ideas.
As the Apostle John wrote - "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn't have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Therefore, as for you, let that remain in you which you heard from the beginning. If that which you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son, and in the Father." (1 John 2:22-24) The article continues -
"In other words, thanks to modern science, most smart people no longer believe Christianity’s claims. The insinuation is that only less intelligent or unenlightened beings could cling to an obsolescent belief system. Hence, we need to 'move on.' This amounts to what the philosopher Thomas Pink calls the 'Whig theology of secularization as spiritually progressive.'"
Under the banner of "modern, progressive thinking," the new secular-humanist Liberalism rejects the old idea of the Incarnation, God taking on human nature in Jesus Christ, so that we could "become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) and become united with Christ's divine-human nature. As the Apostle John wrote further -
"Beloved, don't believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit who doesn't confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already." (1 John 4:1-3)
The deeper, hidden ideas behind Liberalism, according to Mills, are the eradication of historical Christian teachings -
"In correspondence with Comte, Mill stated that "The time has not yet come when we in England shall be able to direct open attacks on theology, including Christian theology, without compromising our cause.' But 'indirectly,' he says in another letter to Comte, 'one may strike any blow one wishes at religious beliefs.' That way, he tells Comte, you avoid frightening off 'the young' 'who would eventually become accustomed to all [positivism’s] consequences, including the antireligious ones.'"
God is greater than humanist-secularist Liberalism, science, technology, artificial intelligence - even Google maps, self-driving cars and IBM's Watson. We must not cower in fear of a Liberal onslaught against our faith - "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18a) and "Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:5) Let us believe and publicly confess our faith that Jesus is the Son of God incarnate!
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Bob & Cheryl
p.s. The majority of the mob outvotes the prudence of the wise.