The Eagle

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H/T: Facebook – Fr. Dragan Petrovic

This is called Orlec – the eagle. Image of an eagle flying over a city – overseeing it. The Eagle represents the bishop overseeing his diocese – taking care of it by looking at (paying attention to) every detail with an eye of an eagle.

When the Bishop serves liturgy in a parish or comes to visit – we take this little piece of carpet out and he stands on it. This is to remind him and us what the function of the bishop in the church is.

We just bought one from our Monastery bookstore thanks to the Djukanovic family. You can buy one for your parish for $120. Ask your priest, buy it and donate it.

Serbs Second-class Citizens in Croatia

Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia: Serbs are Second-class Citizens in Croatia

H/T: Inserbia (here)

BELGRADE – Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia stated that Serbs in Croatia are second-class citizens with no right to mark the sites of their suffering or do so in their own, Cyrillic script.

Serbs tried to mark the sites of their suffering during the civil war in the ’90s but this is very difficult because the monuments were destroyed over night, Fotije said in an interview for the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti.

As an example of this, he listed the destruction of the monument honouring the victims in Golubic near Knin (Serb Krajina area) which was destroyed on the same night it was built.

Fotije announced that Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church would pay a two-day visit to the Diocese of Dalmatia to mark a major jubilee, the 400th anniversary of the Seminary of the Krka Monastery.

According to the plans for August 18, the patriarch should first visit the local Church of Saint Elijah in Zadar, then the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Anastasia where the remains of the early Christian saint Anastasia are kept, Fotije said.

The bishop also pointed to the problem of Serb return to the Dalmatia area and other parts of Croatia, and he listed usurpation of Serb apartments as the main reason of low return to the cities.

Until the ’90s war, Dalmatia was home to around 120,000 Serbs, while today, only a quarter of them still live here, and they are mainly elderly citizens, Fotije said.

Clergy and Laity

The representative of the bishop in each parish is the presbyter. There can be many presbyters in each parish, but one of them can be appointed by the bishop as the head (proistamenos). Since all administration in the Church derives from the Eucharist, the head of the parish council can only be a presbyter, not a layman. It is a canonical anomaly, to be found particularly in the Diaspora, to have a layman as the president of the parish council. It is a sign of secularization to regard the Church as a democracy in the secular sense, and to subject the Eucharistic leader to the administrative control of the laity. The laity are essential part of the Eucharist, without whom there can be no liturgy. But just as in the Eucharist, also in the administration of the parish which is nothing but a continuation of the Eucharist in the every day life of the Church, the laity are not leaders, they are not shepherds, but flock. This does not undermine their role, since they remain indispensable, but places them in their proper order. Otherwise the administration of the Church will become a secular matter unrelated to the Church. But there is nothing in the Church, not even the authority of the bishop or the presbyters, which is not derived from their place in the Eucharist. It is this that makes Canon Law a matter of Dogma and Ecclesiology, and not just a matter of administration.

Fashionable to sin

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H/T: Kandylaki (full text here)

Geronta=Elder

– Geronda, did you tell anyone that there’s going to be a war? That’s what we heard. Is it true?

I have not said anything of the sort, but people come up with things. Even if I knew something, to whom would I say it?

– Geronda, war is such a barbarous thing.

– If people did not have the «courtesy» of sin they would not have reached this barbarous state. Even more barbarous is this moral degradation. People’s bodies and souls are falling apart. Someone told me, «They call Athens a ‘jungle’ but no one is leaving the city. Every one calls it a ‘jungle’ and yet everyone still gathers there.» Human beings have come down to the level of animals. You know what animals do when they enter the stable; they defecate and urinate… Then, as the manure ferments, they feel warm and don’t feel like getting themselves out of there. The same happens with human beings; they feel the comfort of sin and don’t have the heart to leave. They smell the stench, but they stay anyway. You see, if someone were to come inside the stable he would not be able to stand the stench; but those who have got used to it are not bothered.

– Geronda, some people say that it’s not only today that people are sinning; this has been going on ever since ancient Rome.

– Yes, but the Romans were idolaters. And when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, he was writing to bap­tized idolaters who had gone back to their bad habits.  We should not take as example a decadent era. Today, they have taken sin and made it fashionable. Have a look at us, an Orthodox Nation and yet, we are in such a state! Imagine how other nations must be! And the worst thing is that today, that the sin has become so fashionable, if people see someone who does not go with the flow, avoids sin and is pious, they consider him old-fashioned and backward. For them not to sin is considered an insult and to sin is considered progress. And this is the worst thing of all that could happen. If today, all those who live in sin would only acknowledge their condition, God would have mercy on them. Instead, they justify the unjustifiable and they glorify sin. This is the greatest blasphemy against the Holy Spirit: they take sin to be progress and morality the status quo. For this reason, the wages of those who struggle in the world and maintain a pure life are great and of great worth.

In the old days, if one were a pervert or a drunk, they would be ashamed to appear in public because people would scorn them. A woman who had strayed even a little did not dare to come out of her house; and in a way, this was a sort of restraint. These days, if someone is upright, say a young woman who lives a life of piety, people will say, «Look at how she lives.» Back then, when lay people sinned, poor souls, they felt their sinfulness, bowed their head a bit and would not mock one who lived a spiritual life. On the contrary, they actually admired them. Today, people have no sense of their guilt and there is no respect. All standards have been leveled. And people make fun of those that don’t live a worldly life.