Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part One: An Overview)

On the eve of the highly-promoted meeting in Jerusalem between the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church[1. The phrase ‘Roman Catholic Church’ here is used in a conventional manner, out of charity, and with no theological intent; other terms used throughout this essay—and in the Orthodox Tradition—are Latins, Papists (not frequently as it connotes a polemical reality), Westerners (used to denote the geographical origins and location of…

A Nestorian Canon of Scripture

I have long been interested in the development of the biblical canon. I probably wouldn’t have found my way into the Orthodox Church without such studies. Recently, I found a 13th century canon defined by Nestorian Metropolitan Mar Abd Yeshua (ca. A.D. 1298). He apparently served as the chief bishop of Nisibia and Armenia for the Nestorian church of the east. (Nestorians separated from the Orthodox Church following the ecumenical Council of…

60 Minutes: The Coptic Christians of Egypt

Turmoil in Egypt has led to one of the worst persecutions of the country’s Coptic Christians in their nearly 2,000-year history CBS News — Think of Egypt and the first thing that comes to mind is not Christianity. But Egypt is home to the Copts, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, with roots dating back to the time of Christ himself. Back then, the word “Copt” meant, simply, “Egypt”. But after…

Harmony and Peace Between Alexandria and Antioch

In the Apostolic Church of the first century and even within the first four decades after the Church began on Pentecost, St Paul had to contend with personality factions devoted to various ecclesiastical leaders – “I am of Paul; I am of Apollos” (1 Cor 3:4). His constant epistolary admonitions to the people of God were to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), and yet…

Was Bob Marley an Orthodox Christian?

[Thirty two years ago this month] the world lost the man who had been described as the “first Third World superstar”. The Hon. Robert Nesta Marley O.M. died on 11th May 1981 in a Miami hospital after an 8 month battle with cancer. He was 36. To the masses he was known as Bob Marley – the man who brought them reggae and Rastafarianism. His was the voice of classics like “No…