Historic Orthodox Church to be demolished, not restored in Turkey.

Orthodox Church of Saint Nicolas.

The decision to demolish a 232-year-old Orthodox Church in the Bodrum district of the western province of Muğla (Turkey) has surprised locals who had been expecting it to be restored, daily Radikal reported today.

Locals had applied to restore the Saint Nicolas (Aya Nikolaya) church, however the Bodrum municipality decided to demolish it instead, according to a claim by Pamukkale University that declared the church building rotten.

The decision was signed by Dursun Göktepe of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who was substituting for Mayor Mehmet Kocadon while the latter was in prison on allegations of corruption. However, Kocadon was against the demolition and has announced that he will launch an investigation into the decision.

Since 1965, the Saint Nicolas Church had been used as a storage site, cinema, theater and boat shed.

Source: Hurriyet Dailynews.com


Germany: video from the “Day of Ecumenism”(in German).

The church where the “Day of Ecumenism” took place in Trier, Germany,  was built by Saint Constantine the Great  (306–337 AD) at the beginning of the 4th century. It is now used by Protestants.


Germany: photographs from the “Day of Ecumenism”.

“Orthodox” Metropolitan Augustine of Germany of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

It has been reported by various sources that “Orthodox” Metropolitan Augustine of Germany of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has violated the holy cannons of the Orthodox Church by receiving “holy water” from a Roman Catholic bishop as well as taking part in non-Orthodox liturgical services during an ecumenical event held on May 5, 2012, at Trier, Germany.

The event was attended by Orthodox Churches, of Monophysites, of Nestorians, of Roman Catholics, of Anglicans and of several other Protestant denominations. The presence of female  “priestesses” was also very much visible.

The Day of Ecumenism (May 5) was established in Germany in 2003 to bring together divided German Christians of various denominations and churches who believe in the Holy Trinity to symbolically celebrate their mutual cooperation. This year thousands of pilgrims gathered in Trier to venerate an alleged robe of Christ. When the various Christian representatives gathered at the Basilica of Constantine they dipped their hand in water and symbolically baptized each other on the forehead with an open hand, saying: “You are baptized in the Name of the Triune God!”


-Click any photo to magnify it.-

-Click any photo to magnify it.-


Good Shepherd???

(Apr. 29, 2012)

Fr. William Holtzinger plays the “Good Shepherd” during an ordinary mass with his poodle Benny (kanis). St. Anne’s Parish, Archdiocese of Portland,Oregon, U.S.A.

More Ecumenism: Muslim Call to Prayer in a (Roman Catholic?) church.

At an ecumenical prayer service in a (Roman Catholic?) church the Imam intoned the “Azan” (Islamic call to prayer) surrounded by Rabbis, Protestant pastors and Roman Catholic clergy. This happened recently but it does not specify where.

A priest of the Moscow Patriarchate baptizes a child in Siberia…

What’s next we wonder…

 A priest of the Moscow Patriarchate baptizes a child in Siberia…

Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem awards female Lutheran “bishop” (photo).

Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem

On Monday, March 6 /19, 2012, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem awarded the female Lutheran “bishop”  Helga Haugland Byfugien, from Norway, a Mother of Pearl priest’s cross made in Bethlehem.

Ecumenism holds mighty as it seems.


Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia: It Is ‘Necessary to Destroy All the Churches of the Region’.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has made some statements that have religious freedom critics bouncing between scratching their heads and curling up in horror. Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh recently announced that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.“ The ”region” he was referring to, of course, is the Arabian Peninsula (including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman).

Christians throughout the Middle East, of course, have responded sharply, finding themselves dismayed that such a statement could be made.

Russia Today (RT) has more about these comments:

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah made the controversial statement in a response to a question from a Kuwaiti NGO delegation. A Kuwaiti parliamentarian had called for a ban on the construction of new churches in February, but so far the initiative has not been passed into law. The NGO, called the Society of the Revival of Islamic Heritage, asked the Sheikh to clarify what Islamic law says on the matter.

The Grand Mufti, who is the highest official of religious law in Saudi Arabia, as well as the head of the Supreme Council of Islamic Scholars, cited the Prophet Mohammed, who said the Arabian Peninsula is to exist under only one religion.

The Sheikh went on to conclude that it was therefore necessary for Kuwait, being a part of the Arabian Peninsula, to destroy all churches on its territory.


ArabianBusiness.com reported very similar details:

Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, stressed that since the tiny Gulf state was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, it was necessary to destroy all of the churches in the country, Arabic media have reported.

 Saudi Arabia’s top cleric made the comment in view of an age-old rule that only Islam can be practiced in the region.

In February, RT reports that Osama al-Munawar, a member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, was planning to submit official legislation that would remove all churches from the country. He later clarified that any church currently in existence would be allowed to stay, but that new houses of worship that were not Islamic in nature would not be allowed to be constructed.

What’s most interesting in this case is that al-Sheikh is calling for the houses of worship to be destroyed — a radical ideal to say the least. The proposal in Kuwait — a nation that he is not a resident of — calls, as stated, for a ban on any new buildings, not to destroy current houses of worship.

Elliot Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, though, explains why the Grand Mufti’s statement is unsurprising:

…the reported statement by the Grand Mufti came as no surprise to me. Nor is it a surprise, considering his interpretation of Islam, that the religious police make it so difficult for Christians even to worship privately, in their homes. In a better world, the UN Human Rights Council would be denouncing these violations of freedom of religion, as would the whole Organization of Islamic Cooperation—given that Saudi Arabia is the only one of its 57 member countries that absolutely bars churches. In the world in which we actually live, denunciations of the Saudis for this are almost non-existent.

In Saudi Arabia, Islam is the only permitted religion and there are no houses of worship for individuals who subscribe to different faiths.

Britain crucifix workplace ban argument for European court a blow to Christian symbol, say critics.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has said the crucifix has become little more than jewellery for Christians, adding fuel to the British government

The British government is set to argue at the European Court of Human Rights that Christians do not have the right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work.

Critics call the move a blow to Christianity, saying the display of its symbols of faith is restricted while symbols of religions such as the Sikh turban and Muslim hijab are granted special status.

The London Telegraph has revealed the government will argue that employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so because wearing the crucifix is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith.

Judges in Strasbourg will hear the test case on religious freedom in Britain later this year. It will bring together four separate cases, including that of Nadia Eweida, who works for British Airways. Her case dates from 2006 when she was suspended for refusing to take off the cross which her employers claimed breached BA’s uniform code.

Although the airline later changed its policy, the Telegraph reports Eweida fought the case through the U.K. court system, finally losing her application to be heard by the Supreme Court.

She and co-plaintiffs in separate cases want the European court to rule their human right to manifest their religion, protected under the European Convention of Human Rights, has been breached.

But the government’s response, as reported by the Telegraph, states that the wearing of the cross is not a “requirement of the faith” and therefore does not fall under the remit of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The government’s position on the right of Christians to wear the cross at work emerged after its plans to legalize same-sex marriages angered leaders of Britain’s Roman Catholic Church.

In a surprise move, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, appeared to undermine the case for wearing the crucifix when he said that for many Christians, it has become little more than jewellery, “which religious people make and hang on to” as a substitute for true faith.

Williams, speaking at a church service in Rome where he met the Pope on the weekend, said the cross had been stripped of its meaning as part of a tendency to manufacture religion.

“And the cross itself has become a religious decoration,” he said.

After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? Science from hell…


Alberto Giubilini (Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan; Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), Francesca Minerva (Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University).
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
(Journal of Medical Ethics, published online 23 Feb 2012, available at http://jme.bmj.com/)