Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Orthodox bishop shares Communion with Catholics

Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu receiving Holy Communion at a Romanian Catholic celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Christ is Risen!

don't know what to think--I do not understand why Metropolitan Nicolae asked to receive nor why he was allowed to do so. I'm not sure what will happen as a result of this, but I pray God something good come out of all of this.

+Fr Gregory

Timisoara , May. 27, 2008 (CWNews.com) - A Romanian Orthodox bishop has shared Communion with Catholics, causing a sensation in a country where Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox have a history of tense relations.

At the consecration of the Queen of Peace parish church in Timisoara on May 25, Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu of Banat asked to share Communion. The Orthodox metropolitan approached the altar and received the Eucharist from his own hand.

Romanian Catholic Bishop Alexandru Mesian of Lugoj was the celebrant of the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Catholic church; Archbishop Francisco-Javier Lozano, the apostolic nuncio to Romania, was also present.

Although Orthodox and Catholic bishops often join in ecumenical services, and occasionally participate in each other's liturgical ceremonies, they do not share Communion-- an indication of the breach in ecclesial communion between the Orthodox churches and the Holy See. In Romania, tensions between the Orthodox Church and the Eastern-rite Romanian Catholic Church have been pronounced, adding to the surprise created by Metropolitan Corneanu's action.

With some Orthodox believers outraged by the metropolitan's sharing Communion with Catholic bishops, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Romania issued a statement saying that at the next meeting of the Orthodox synod, in July, Metropolitan Corneanu "may be asked to give an appropriate explanation" for his action.

The statement from the Orthodox patriarchate went on to say that ecumenical relations with the Catholic Church, "already quite fragile, cannot be helped, but are rather complicated," by sharing in Communion.

Metropolitan Corneanu-- who was one of the first Orthodox bishops to admit that he had cooperated with the secret police under the Communist regime-- has a record of friendship with Romanian Catholics. He was among the few Orthodox leaders prepared to return church properties that had been seized by the Communist government from Catholic ownership in 1948 and handed over to Orthodox control.

Memory Eternal! Khouriya Joanne Abdalah

It is with great sadness that I report that this morning Khouriya Joanne Abdalah, wife of Fr John Abdalah
(together in the picture above) fell asleep in the Lord.

Please remember Kh. Joanne and her families un your prayers

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

From the web page of the Antiochian Archdiocese of America:

Kh. Joanne Abdalah of St. George Cathedral/Pittsburgh, Pa., fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, May 27, after suffering with ovarian cancer for more than two years.

She and Fr. John are the parents of three children: Gregory, a 2008 graduate of St. Vladimir Seminary in Crestwood, NY, Joseph of Houston, TX, and Maria at home. Please remember them all in your prayers.

Among other ministries, Kh. Joanne was co-editor of the WORD magazine and a past president of the North American Board of Antiochian Women.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:

She will be laid out at the Cathedral of St. George in Oakland, PA, Thursday evening, May 29, from 4pm to 8pm. Immediately after that at 8pm we will have the funeral service. The internment will be on Friday at the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pa.

Condolences can be sent to the V. Rev. Fr John Abdalah, St. George Cathedral, 3400 Dawson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

May she rest in peace.

Read Khouriya Joanne's story in the May issue of the Word Magazine (pp 3-4)

Read a dedication to Khouriya Joanne and learn more about ovarian cancer in Antiochian Women's Diakonia Magazine (pp 1, 6-7)