St. Peter Newsletter – April 18, 2015 – Bible Study, Captive Metropolitans, Met. Joseph March for Marriage, Lifesite News

Bible Study Resumes Tuesday, April 21 at 7pm

Bible Studies resume on Tuesday beginning April 21 at 7pm. We will continue with our study of 1 Corinthians.

St. Thomas Sunday Dedicated to Abducted Bishops, Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop Youhanna

Received from the Antiochian Archdiocese:

As you may know, on April 22, 2015 the two abducted Bishops, Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop Youhanna will complete their second year in captivity. Therefore His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X and His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH would like you to dedicate St.Thomas Sunday, April 19, 2015 to pray for them and to print the attached statement from His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X and to give it out to all parishioners to read it.

Print and read the essay sent to all parishioners that accompanies the request on the St. Peter website.

Who are Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop John?

Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop John

During the Divine Liturgy right after the petitions for Metropolitan Joseph and Bishop Antoun we say these words:

For Metropolitan Paul, Archbishop John, and for their quick release from captivity and safe return, let us pray to the Lord.

Who are Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop John? Why are we praying for them?

From the Assembly of Orthodox Canonical Bishops:

[O]n April 22, 2013, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch) and the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, both of Aleppo, Syria were kidnapped by Islamist extremists during a joint philanthropic mission in the region.

With sorrowful hearts we recognize a growing lack of interest on the part of civil authorities to assist in the recovery of the two Christian leaders. We encourage all people of good conscience to communicate with their elected officials and ask them to assist in the effort to find and retrieve the two bishops.

We implore the Holy Great-Martyr Saint George, the patron of Christians of the Middle East and upon the eve of whose Feast the Hierarchs were kidnapped, to intercede for their salvation and safe return.

Moreover, we appeal to the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, as well as to all people of faith and good will, and ask them to keep the two bishops in their daily thoughts and prayers.

Met. Joseph Urges Faithful to Attend March for Marriage

Marriage Crowns

The letter to all parishioners was received from Met. Joseph urging Orthodox Christians to join the March for Marriage in Washington DC on April 25, 2015.

From the letter:

We are clearly on the cusp of a historic Supreme Court decision that could mark a powerful affirmation of marriage between one man and one woman, upon which all major civilizations have flourished – or, it can initiate a direction which the Holy Orthodox Church can never embrace.

Throughout the history of our faith our Holy Fathers have led the Orthodox laity to gather in unison to preserve the faith against heresy from within, and against major threats upon societies from without. We are in a unique position as Orthodox Christians in a nation governed as a democratic republic. We still benefit from religious freedoms that would allow us to voice with clarity the gospel message of Christ’s love, and the path to salvation.

A growing group of Orthodox clergy and laity have begun to prepare for this event and to assemble resources, and they have established the website www.crownthem.org . We encourage you to visit this website for additional information.

Read the complete letter on the St. Peter website.

Fr. Hans Quoted in LifeSite News

LifeSite News

Met. Joseph’s letter (above) is garnering considerable attention in American religious circles. Lifesite News quoted Fr. Hans’ reaction.

Read “The Orthodox Church strongly endorses the March for Marriage, encourages all faithful to participate” on Lifesite News.