What’s Wrong with Inter-communion?

Like many, I was more than a little surprised to see an American Orthodox archbishop of prominence suggest that inter-communion is a good idea—i.e. that an Orthodox priest should give Holy Communion to a non-Orthodox person. Admittedly he was not suggesting indiscriminate inter-communion and giving the Eucharist to anyone showing up from off the street. The situation he envisioned was that of inter-marriage, wherein an Orthodox was married to a non-Orthodox. He…

Doesn’t That Bible Say?

Recently I was listening to some very old music—that of Barry McGuire. Barry McGuire is perhaps best known in popular culture from his 1965 hit Eve of Destruction, but I was listening to him sing with the (then) young trio The Second Chapter of Acts at the 1975 live concert To the Bride, the final rousing song from which was the song Doesn’t That Bible Say We Shall Overcome? (offered here for…

Pascha 2020: Things That Remain

This Lent we have lost so much. I am reminded of images that I sometimes see on television of people returning to their homes after forced evacuation due to flood or fire and of them pawing through the ruins to discover how much of what they had before still remained. That’s what it sometimes feels like. Before the Covid pestilence struck, we had so much. Now many of the things we took…

How the Grinch Stole Pascha

The year 2020 will be remembered by Orthodox as the year without Pascha. At the beginning of the year, and even at the beginning of Great Lent, it hardly seemed possible. I remember the second Sunday of Great Lent here at St. Herman’s. We had served the Liturgy of St. Basil and commemorated St. Gregory Palamas. We were looking forward to the coming Sunday when we would venerate the Cross, and I…

“Beloved Israel”

It is a sad fact that historically many countries in which Orthodoxy has become well established have had a lamentable record of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism, like all forms of hatred, is of course demonic, and no one whose heart is filled with hate knows God. St. John said so long ago: “He who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going,…

Hysteria or Theology

National disasters and times of war seem to bring out the crazy in all of us, and the present Covid crisis is proving to be no exception. One finds some people suggesting that it is all a conspiracy and that no such virus actually exists, while others tell us that the pharmaceutical manufacturers secretly created it to sell more vaccines. One (of course) finds people declaring that it is a sign of…