The 6th Sunday After Pentecost
"When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men." (Mt. 9:8)
Last Sunday we heard how the crowds threw out the Savior, who had healed two demon-possessed men of Gadarene. They rejected him, preferring to be alone rather than accept the healing help of the God-Man. In today-s Gospel, the crowds give glory to God for the power they had seen manifested in a man. The crowds could not understand right away that He who had brought healing was God Incarnate, but they recognized that the miracle they had witnessed could only be the work of God. This is the beginning of the path of seeking and recognizing the power of God. But this process is fundamental and from the start it separates those who desire from those who do not desire to seek for and recognize Almighty God. And this is the beginning of a synergy, or working together, of man with God. This means that the beginning of our salvation is accomplished together with God, and it is also together with Him that we build upon this foundation.
The Meetings of the Holy Synod
From June 15-17, 2004, at the Patriarchal Residence, with His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist presiding, the meetings of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church took place. This gathering of the Holy Synod took place in the context of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the passing into eternity of the Orthodox Voievod Steven the Great.
On the agenda were various subjects related to the pastoral-missionary service, monastic life, and the social mission of the Church, the liturgical life of the parishes, religious and theological education, activities of the Romanian Orthodox communities abroad, and the participation of members of the Holy Synod and other Romanian Orthodox theologians in international and ecumenical meetings.
Among decisions made at the meetings we mention the following:
- the founding of the Diocese of Tulcea within the Metropolis of Muntenia and Dobrogea, having its residence in the city of Tulcea;
- the Holy Synod approved the final edition of the statement of the National Orthodox Commission on Bio-Ethics, expressing the official position of the Romanian Orthodox Church on organ transplants;
- regarding the present status of the Dialog between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Byzantine Catholic Church (Greco-Catholic), the Holy Synod-in view of the fact that the Greco-Catholic side, in its Letter Nr. 518/2004, had not given a clear response to the Orthodox request of February 26 to decide between dialog and appealing to legal proceedings-approved the proposal that the next session of the Dialog should take place only after the Greco-Catholic side gives a clear response to this issue;
- the definition, prevention, and sanctioning of simony as an act of corruption through bribery within all Church institutions;
- the reactivation of homophonic singing during the Divine Liturgy in the entire Romanian Patriarchate in order to increase the participation of all the faithful in the liturgical life, and for the strengthening of Church unity;
- the elaboration of a unified strategy regarding the curriculum of the Orthodox Theological Faculties.
All the members of the Holy Synod were invited to participate in a solemn moment of commemoration of the great Romanian ruler and symbol of our national dignity and unity, which took place on July 2 at Putna Monastery, near the burial place of the Orthodox Voievod.
The solemn session of the Holy Synod and National Church Assembly consecrated to the commemoration of the 500th anniversary since the passing into eternity of the Voievod St. Steven the Great
At the solemn session organized on Wednesday, June 16 at the Patriarchal Palace, in the context of the "Year of Homage to St. Ştefan the Great - 2004", the following persons participated: the President of Romania, Mr. Ion Iliescu, the President of the Senate, Mr. Nicolae Văcăroiu, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Valer Dorneanu, the President of the Romanian Academy, Mr. Eugen Simion, and other personalities from Romanian public life, members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives of other religious bodies.
The personality of the Orthodox Voievod St. Steven the Great was evoked by His Eminence Metropolitan Daniel of Moldova and Bucovina and by Mr. Virgil Cândea, member of the Romanian Academy.
The session was also the occasion for the debut of the new postage stamp "c1504-2004", published by Romfilatelia, and of the Jubilee Medallion created by the Romanian Patriarchate.
from the Press Release of
the Romanian Patriarchate
Sunday, July 11 - 6th Sunday after Pentecost
- Divine Liturgy at St. Parascheva Parish in Boston
Sunday, July 18 - 7th Sunday after Pentecost
- Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral in Chicago