Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Faith Features Columnist

 

Gjergji Evangjeli served as the Editor-In-Chief of The Torch. He had previously served as the Executive Editor and the World News section editor. He is currently pursuing a ThM at the BC School of Theology and Ministry. Gjergji is interested in the patristic period, specifically in the apologists of the second century. He is an ardent defender of the Oxford comma. 

Wed

12

Dec

2018

A Thank-You to Our Chief

by The Editorial Board and Staff

 

The staff of The Torch would like to express its deep gratitude to its Editor-in-Chief, Gjergji Evangjeli, for all of his hard work. He is preparing to move on to greater things, but we would be remiss to let him go without reminding him of our appreciation. Gjergji has been with The Torch since its earliest days, contributing dozens of articles, working as the World News editor, and taking the reins as Executive Editor and Editor-in-Chief. Journalism can be a bumpy field—especially for new publications—and with Gjergji’s guidance, The Torch has forged ahead.

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

Extreme Humility

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst (1622)
Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst (1622)

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Imagine that you wake up tomorrow and cannot recognize where you are. You look around frantically and try to scream out, but all you can manage is a feeble cry. A nurse comes to check on you and—with a shock—you finally recognize where you are: a maternity ward. “There’s been a mistake,” you try to say, “I’m not supposed to be here! What-” She picks you up and tries to calm you down. Only then do you realize that your soul has somehow been transported into the body of a newborn child.

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

How Long Must I Struggle?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

A friend mentioned to me recently that despite the fact that he fully accepts the Lord in his mind, his will still struggles. In his words, he finds it difficult to surrender fully to God. I might suspect that this was a unique problem that affects only him and myself, if it were not for the fact that this issue is so often discussed in Scripture. The Lord Himself says, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:41). He gives this directive to the Apostles. St. Paul is even more stark: “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched mind that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:22-24).

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Cornerstone: Icons or Idols?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

From the earliest days of the Church, Christians have kept depictions of Christ and the saints. The Good Shepherd is depicted in the catacombs of Rome, and a Church in Dura-Europos contains depictions of Christ and Peter dating back to AD 235. As Christianity gained ground in the fourth century, such depictions became prominent, and were known as icons. They became widespread under the reign of Emperor Justinian in the sixth century, and Christ was even depicted on Byzantine coins in the seventh and eighth centuries.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

“Love and Do What Thou Wilt”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

St. Augustine wonderfully summarizes the Gospel in short sentences. “Love and do what you will,” he says to his parishioners when preaching on the First Letter of John. He says something very similar in On Christian Doctrine, where he points out that for the person who has mastered Faith, Hope, and Charity, the Scriptures provide no further use except for teaching others. Of course, he is not the first to make this point. Long before him, St. Paul pointed out, “Love is the fulfillment of the Law” (Rom. 13:10). That’s it. That is the whole of the Christian teaching; we can all go home now.

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Wed

26

Sep

2018

St. John's Seminary Investigated for Alleged Misdeeds

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Amid the scandals of Archbishop McCarrick coming to light, especially his conduct regarding seminarians, another revelation rocked the Archdiocese of Boston regarding St. John’s Seminary. In an article dated August 1, John Monaco, a former seminarian at St. John’s, recounted his experiences at a minor seminary in Ohio as well as his two years at St. John’s in an article which appeared in OnePeterFive

 

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Wed

26

Sep

2018

"Therefore the World Glorifies You"

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In the Eastern tradition, all the rites of the Church are sung. Since the melodies are generally easy to pick up, a person who attends these services regularly will undoubtedly get certain hymns stuck in their head, especially the ones that are sung every day. Chances are that if you have ever attended an Eastern Vespers service, you remember “O Gladsome Light,” which is sung at the procession. As a child serving during Vespers, I remember taking great care to make sure I did not trip over my words when I was in front of everyone. This hymn has been a constant reminder of God’s Providence in my life, being at its core an exaltation of the Trinity upon seeing the sunset.

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Thu

03

May

2018

"Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light"

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In 1947, Dylan Thomas wrote “Do not go gentle into that good night,” as a plea to his father to continue fighting against his impending death. It is unclear what inspired Thomas’ verse in this case, since the poem was written a few years before his own father’s health problems started.

 

On the same theme, one might recall Jimmy Valvano’s stirring speech at the 1993 ESPN awards, where he said: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” For Valvano at least, his cancer diagnosis was not the end of the fight but only the beginning. He continues, “That’s what I’m going to try to do every minute that I have left. I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. If you see me, smile and give me a hug. That’s important to me too.”

 

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Wed

28

Mar

2018

Why is Evil Evil?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The problem of evil is well-known to most Christians today. In fact, you have likely heard some version of this problem from your non-believing friends. It proceeds from the premise that some evil has happened which an all-good God would not allow. Since this evil did occur, however, there are three choices open: either God is not all-good and did not wish to stop it, or He is not all-powerful and could not stop it, or He does not exist in the first place. Since the first two options seem illogical—if there were an eternal, perfect God, He would be all-good and all-powerful—the problem of evil seems to show that God does not exist.

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Tue

27

Feb

2018

On Not Two Gods: A Response to WMSCOG

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

At the height of the Trinitarian controversy in the 4th century, St. Gregory of Nyssa explained his theology on a delightfully short and surprisingly deep work. Written in response to Ablabius, it is known alternatively as Ad Ablabium and On Not Three Gods. For anyone looking for a short work on the Trinity which does not oversimplify or shortchange the doctrine, there are few works more worth reading than this one. Nyssa—who was called “Father of Fathers” by the Seventh Ecumenical Council—rejects the opposite extremes of polytheism and Unitarianism to provide an authentic Christian explication of the Trinity.

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Wed

31

Jan

2018

Thomas Asks: Christ’s Personhood

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In the third part of the Summa Theologiae, commonly referred to in Latin as the tertia pars, Thomas Aquinas turns his attention to the topic of Jesus Christ. After discussing the fittingness of the Incarnation (q. 1), Aquinas then turns to considering the mode of the union of the Word. This, in other words, examines the way in which the Son was united to a human nature and, as such, became incarnate. One easy-sounding question in this topic is whether Christ is a Divine Person with a human nature, or a human person with a Divine Nature.

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Wed

31

Jan

2018

Reunion: Within Our Lifetimes?

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

I am firmly of the opinion that Christian reunification must remain a steadfast commitment for every serious and informed Christian. In a time when the Faith is being attacked on so many sides, it is necessary that the people of God join together to provide a unified response, or suffer the disadvantage of dealing with quarrels both between Christians themselves and those who would like to see Christianity be a footnote in history. Most near and dear to my heart is the reunion of East and West, not only because it is the oldest wound in the Church, but also because the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have—despite their near one-thousand-year divide—remained the closest doctrinally. It is also dear to me because I come from two generations of intermarried Catholics and Orthodox. Though it was fascinating and enriching for my spiritual formation that every Sunday when I was a child we’d have to trek from the Orthodox Church to the Catholic Church so that everyone could attend the Divine Liturgy and Mass, respectively, it was rather irregular.

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Wed

29

Nov

2017

“My Life is Mine”

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Scrolling through Facebook recently, I came across a video of a famous actor, who—speaking about their life—came to the conclusion that “my life is my own.” I don’t mean to comment on the particular context of the actor’s speech so much as to focus on that phrase alone. When I heard those words, my mind went to the parable of the rich man in Luke 12:16-21, who also thought to himself, “my life is my own,” and “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (Lk. 12:19). It would not be so, however. The Angel of the Lord informs him that he will die that very night (Lk. 12:20).

 

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Thu

26

Oct

2017

The Sin of Racism

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Christian perspective on racism is surprisingly simple to formulate. St. Paul, speaking on baptism, says that it is “a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11, cf. Gal. 3:28-29). This is not to say that baptism erases ethnic identity, sex, or socio-economic status, but rather that none of these things are an impediment to membership in the Church of Christ and to the reception of the promises of the Lord. Since we have been commanded to “make disciples of all the nations” (Mat. 28:19), it follows that the same is true for any nationality or race.

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Thu

26

Oct

2017

Marcion

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

While listening to Richard Spencer’s take on Christianity, I noticed a funny coincidence. In his act of arguing for a Christianity separated from its Jewish context, he is borrowing from Marcion. The latter is a second-century Syrian heretic who argued that the Old Testament was revealed by another god distinct from the Father of Jesus. I leave the reader to contemplate the irony of a white supremacist employing the arguments of a Syrian to show that Christianity is not, after all, Jewish. Nonetheless, the dichotomy between the “jealous and capricious Old Testament God” and the “loving and gentle Jesus of the New Testament” is oft repeated in our culture.

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Tue

26

Sep

2017

The Good Place, Or No Exit Revisited [SPOILERS]

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Whenever someone recommends a show or movie about Heaven, I tend to groan. After all, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him,” (1 Cor. 2:9). But, in a break from tradition and after much coaxing, I reluctantly agreed to watch The Good Place.

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Tue

26

Sep

2017

A Sunday in Montgomery

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

In early June, a few of my friends and I travelled down to Montgomery, AL for our friend’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful, Montgomery was amazing, and the food was delicious all around. The wedding was on Saturday, so everyone in our friend group booked tickets home for Sunday, except for me and one other friend. Because virtually everyone we knew in Montgomery was suddenly gone, we found ourselves asking the question, “What’s there to do on Sundays in Montgomery?” Apparently, the answer is “an epic quest to discover a restaurant that’s not closed.”

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Tue

25

Apr

2017

On Weed, Dryer Sheets, and "Eerie Chants"

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In the early hours of April 16, Mr. Jeff Maples visited St. Nektarios Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina for what he would later call a “Holy Saturday service.” Around the same time, I was attending the same service at my own parish, but our observations could not have been more different. In his post about it, Mr. Maples takes issue with any and everything about the Paschal Vigil he attended, starting with the length of the service. He complains that despite having started at 11:30 p.m., there was no sign of slowing down at 2 a.m. In addition, Mr. Maples complains that the smell of incense brought him back to his college dorm days filled with (him or others) "smoking weed and blowing the smoke through toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer sheets." Neither was the music up to his taste, as he observes that almost everything consisted of "eerie Byzantine chant."

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Wed

29

Mar

2017

AHCA Pulled from Voting in House of Representatives

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Following campaign promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Donald Trump—in conjunction with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan—introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA) or Trumpcare on March 6. The bill was originally announced as the first of three pieces of legislation which would complete the transition from the ACA and effectively repeal it.

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Wed

29

Mar

2017

Euthanasia Debate

This Catholicism 101 special feature is part one of a debate between the editorial staff of The Torch.

To see the rebuttals from each side, please click here.

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Wed

29

Mar

2017

Not a Thing to be Grasped

 

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

The Feast of the Annunciation always compels me to give some thought to Our Lord's Incarnation. It is such a strange thing. In fact, if it does not jump off the page to you, if you are not utterly confounded by the idea, I would humbly say that you do not understand it as well as you could. In the Republic[1] , Socrates rejects the possibility that any of the Greek gods would ever accept to be embodied, because that would entail going from a more perfect mode of existence to a less perfect one. The understanding of the body is different between the Platonic and the Biblical worldview, but Plato’s claim is true of the Christian God a fortiori[2] . The Greek gods are far from perfect, not only for reasons that Socrates rejects, but also due to their conception as such. They are multiple, finite, created, and limited. The Christian God, on the other hand, is the Creator. He is one, infinite and infinitely perfect, and omnipotent. Why would such a God accept to do such a thing as to take on a form infinitely lower than Himself?

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Wed

22

Feb

2017

On Lent and Ascesis

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

With Lent approaching fast, it is perhaps particularly important to give some thought to the topic of fasting and—more importantly—ascesis. The Church from Her earliest days—as is evident from the Didache—has prescribed particular days and times when one is expected to fast. Why is it that we fast, what is the point of it and what is its benefit?

 

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Wed

22

Feb

2017

The Fate of Fr. Rodrigues and the Mission to Japan [Spoilers]

 

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

Almost all of my friends who watched Silence before me left the movie with some big questions regarding the ending, so when I first watched it, I had already formed the opinion that I needed to pay close attention to what went on, especially toward the end of the movie. Those who have seen the movie know that the ending, is deeply unsettling, because it seems that ultimately, after watching so many instances of heroic faith, the solution proposed is to feign apostacy and hope for the best.

 

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Tue

06

Dec

2016

Why Do We Care So Much About Black Friday?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

For many, the idea of Black Friday brings a feeling of excitement. Sales, savings, door busters, and discounts excite millions across the country. However, for a growing number of Americans, the thought of Black Friday brings with it thoughts of disgust.  Long lines, stores opening on Thanksgiving, and businesses taking advantage of consumers are just some of the complaints that people have about Black Friday. Despite the debate, retailers continue to make billions of dollars in one day, and customers continue to flock to their stores. 

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Tue

06

Dec

2016

“Are You the One Who Is to Come, or Should We Look for Another?”

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

I find the Gospel reading for Gaudete Sunday to be particularly fascinating. If you follow along in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is proclaimed to be the Son of God by John the Baptist in Matthew 3 and—after fasting for forty days—begins His public ministry by preaching and performing miracles. By Matthew 11, Jesus is reported to have performed dozens of miracles and—doubtless—there was much talk about the new traveling and healing teacher in Israel. On the other hand, things were not exactly looking up for John. While Jesus tended to the crowds, John languished in prison.

 

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Tue

15

Nov

2016

Christ’s Tomb Uncovered for the First Time in Centuries

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The limestone bed that, according to tradition, Christ’s body lay on in his tomb was uncovered for about 60 hours starting on October 26. Known as the Holy Rock, the burial bed was last exposed in 1810 when the Greek Orthodox Church repaired the shrine after a fire damaged the previous Crusader-built structure. This structure, also called the Edicule, encases the walls of the cave like church-within-a-church to protect the burial bed. 

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Tue

15

Nov

2016

Evidence for the Resurrection?

 

 

 

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Back in September, Bishop Robert Barron released an article on Word on Fire about the lack of apologetics in the Church today and called for more people to tackle the issues which are driving some out of the Church. Answering that call is of tremendous importance to the Church—especially among the young—so I endeavor to add my small voice to this call for action. 

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Tue

25

Oct

2016

Poland Vetoes New Abortion Bill

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On October 6, Poland’s lower chamber of Parliament voted down a bill that would have implemented a near-total ban on abortions. The proposed bill, defeated by a margin of 352-58, would have forbidden all abortion procedures except in instances when the health of the mother would be threatened.

 

The pro-life group Stop Abortion and the legal organization Ordo Iuris brought the legislation before the parliament. The proposed bill garnered 450,000 signatures, surpassing the requirement of 250,000 needed for the parliament to consider the law.

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Tue

25

Oct

2016

A Short Reflection on Jonah

 by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Book of Jonah is one of my favorite books in the Bible. For one, it’s short, to the point, and quite funny. It also contains one of the most concise expressions of God’s love for us coupled with His understandable frustration over the fact that we just don’t get it. After Jonah has declared to God his anger at the fact that the plant He sprang up to give him shade rotted overnight, God responds, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” (Jon. 4: 10-11).

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Thu

29

Sep

2016

Cornerstone: On Fasting and Prayer

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Ascesis and its derivative—asceticism—come from the Greek verb askeō, which means to exercise. Whether the term originated with Christianity is debatable, but certainly the Middle Platonists and the Stoics had specific ascetic practices associated with their respective philosophical schools and according to Pierre Hadot in Philosophy as A Way of Life ascetic practices were part and parcel of every ancient school of philosophy.

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Tue

27

Sep

2016

“Love Until It Hurts”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On September 4, the Catholic Church canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta to—one assumes—the shock of very few. Mother Teresa’s radical selflessness has been a source of inspiration to so many that the question regarding her canonization was never ‘if,’ only ‘when.’ Among the many things about her which deserve praise, one of the most fascinating aspects of Mother Teresa’s life was how much she gave with so little reward. That is, not merely in the material plane. Coupled with her lack of material means and possessions was the spiritual darkness in which she dwelt for most of her life. She suffered not only in body, but also in spirit. It is this double suffering that might lead one to exclaim, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:1). Through this all-encompassing suffering and in answer to it, she came up with a simple motto: “love until it hurts.”

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Tue

27

Sep

2016

Saint of the Issue: St. Teresa of Kolkata

by Stephanie Madzey & Gjergji Evangjeli

 

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier,” was what St. Teresa of Kolkata told the world to do and also lived by herself. She devoted her entire life to helping and serving the poor. This desire and passion began when she was a child and was instilled in her by her mother.

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Tue

26

Apr

2016

A Brief Point on God’s Not Dead

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

When I found out that a second installation of God’s Not Dead was due to be released, I was less than enthusiastic. The plot for the new movie revolves around a teacher, who was asked a question in class about Jesus and incorporated Scripture into her answer. This lands her in a trial which considers whether she acted against the law in presenting a religious text as evidence. At some point, the legal proceedings turn into a debate about the reliability of Scripture, however, as the prosecutor seems to argue that Jesus never existed, a position to which even the most skeptical scriptural scholars do not seem to cling fast. That is not to say that there are no people out there who believe in such nonsense, but merely that most serious scholars on both sides of the issue of the Divinity of Jesus would be quick to disavow them.

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Tue

26

Apr

2016

On Marriage and Martyrdom

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

With the release of Amoris Laetatia earlier this month, the topic of marriage has likely been on a lot of people’s minds. Rather than try to comment on it, which should be left to the learned theologian, I think it appropriate for me to share briefly an aspect of the Eastern rite of Matrimony which will hopefully shine a light on this crucial topic. I do not know whether the Western rite was reformed at some point to drop this element or whether it was never used in the West, but the main element of the Eastern rite is not the exchange of rings, but rather the crowning of the husband and wife. In fact, Matrimony is referred to in the Orthodox Church as The Service of the Crowning. The bride and groom are each crowned and, after a series of blessings, the crowns are exchanged between them three times. Both these actions bear serious significance to the Orthodox understanding of what marriage entails.

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Tue

26

Apr

2016

New Eucharistic Miracle Confirmed in Poland

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

A bleeding Host, which showed signs of a Eucharistic miracle, was approved for veneration in Poland on April 17. Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica made the announcement and asked the vicar of St. Jack’s Church, where the host originated, to prepare a suitable place to display the relic. He also requested a new registry be made to record any other miracles associated with the relic.

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Tue

29

Mar

2016

Christians Attacked in Yemen and Pakistan

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

The month of March has been particularly bloody for Christians living in the Middle East and Asia. On March 4, the Missionaries of Charity home for the elderly in Aden, Yemen was attacked by an extremist group. According to the eyewitness testimony of Sister M. Sally, the only nun to survive the attack, various lay workers pleaded with the attackers to not hurt the sisters, but their pleas were ignored.

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Tue

29

Mar

2016

“Lord of the Powers”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

As the Eastern Church is now fully enveloped in Lent and the Western Church just celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, I think a meditation on the event of the Savior’s Passion and Resurrection is duly in order. During my youth—and even today—I think that the music of the Church is a great tool for catechesis. This is especially true for the Byzantine rite, where services are often longer and hymns are set for particular services. One of the greatest assets of this model is that there are a great number of hymns and psalms that a person regularly attending all of the services hears over and over and over again. Granted, this might seem a bit boring, but I think the point in hearing these songs so often is that they carry a very important message that those hearing them won’t be able to help but learn. During Great Lent, the usual service of Vespers is replaced with the Great Compline, which is—as far as I know—only sung during Lent. In it are some of the most beautiful hymns in the Eastern Church. I would highly recommend anyone to attend a Great Compline, or at least to listen to it on YouTube, but as the recording that I found comes in at 1:38:45, and as perhaps not all people have that much time to devote to a service that will undoubtedly sound very strange to them, I will attempt to pull out some points to contemplate.

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Tue

23

Feb

2016

“It is Time for the Lord to Act”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

In conversation with a Protestant friend, the topic of the difference in worship between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations came up. While for most of the latter worship consists mostly of preaching and singing, I believe the function of the Divine Liturgy and the Roman Catholic Mass is rather different. I will be focusing on the Divine Liturgy specifically, but I think a similar analysis of the Novus Ordo and Tridentine Masses in the Western Church will yield much of the same conclusions. In addition, the Divide Liturgy—which is both used by Eastern Catholics and part of the common tradition of the Eastern and Western Churches—provides a grounding for the subsequent Masses that are currently used in the West.

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Tue

23

Feb

2016

Pope Francis Sends Out Missionaries of Mercy

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On February 10, Pope Francis sent out 1,142 priests to serve as Missionaries of Mercy throughout Catholic parishes. The priests—who were selected from a pool of volunteers and episcopal recommendations—were given authority to forgive sins that usually need to be brought up to the Vatican during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Such sins include the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament, an attempt at the life of the pope, ordaining a bishop without proper clearing from the Vatican, and breaking of the seal of confession.

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Tue

23

Feb

2016

On Fiction: A Brief Note on “Flatline”

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Tue

26

Jan

2016

Archbishop of Brussels Seeks Euthanasia Opt-Out for Catholic Hospitals in Belgium

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

After controversial legislation legalizing euthanasia for minors was ratified in 2014, Belgium has been one of the most progressive countries in regard to right-to-die legislation. Now, it seems that the issue has come to a head between Belgium and the Catholic Church, which offered the most substantial bulwark both when euthanasia was legalized in 2002 and during the aforementioned law.

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Tue

26

Jan

2016

“Strive to Enter In”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

January 17 is the anniversary of my grandmother Marieta’s death. To me, she was a true role model and a great example of faith. Though she suffered much, she complained little. After seeing her family lose everything when the communists took over in Albania in 1945, having both her knees broken, watching her husband die slowly as the communist regime forbade pharmacies to sell him insulin, and finally being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, she always found refuge in God and—even in the most painful moments—she bore every difficulty with courage, grace, and, above all, great faith. Since Korça’s Cathedral was across the street from our house, she hardly ever missed a service, even when she was not feeling well. In truth, not a day goes by that I do not miss her and her wise advice. I would dearly love to see her again. I believe that I will see her on the Last Day, but under what circumstances will that meeting come? Has she made it to Heaven? Will I?

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Wed

09

Dec

2015

Jack Dunn Upset Concerning Portrayal in Spotlight; Filmmakers Fire Back

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Spotlight, the movie dramatizing the discovery and reporting of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning team of journalists from the Boston Globe of the abuse of children and subsequent cover-ups by priests in the Archdiocese of Boston, has grossed $16.3 million to date and has received a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but not all feedback concerning it has been good. After watching the movie at the Loews Theater, Jack Dunn—long-time Board of Trustees member of BC High School and spokesman for Boston College—stepped onto the sidewalk and threw up.

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Tue

08

Dec

2015

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

As I have grown up to become a curmudgeonly old man, I have started to have more and more of a problem with the Christmas music that seems to sprout up everywhere right after Thanksgiving. As soon as my father turned on the car to drive me back on Saturday, there it was. I am not sure how this started, but it is likely that working retail helped since everyone loves listening to “Jingle Bells” eight times a day.

 

At any rate, my position as an outsider coming into the U.S. gives me a good venue point to make some observations about how Christmas is approached in this country. Starting with the commercialization of Santa Claus and—with it—the loss of the very real and very important story of the historical St. Nicholas, it would not be controversial to question whether we have, at some point along the line, lost the original meaning of Christmas.

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Tue

17

Nov

2015

Pope Francis Responds to Paris Terror Attacks

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Following Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis expressed his thoughts regarding the Paris terrorist attacks that occurred on Friday November 13. “I wish to express my deep sorrow for the terrorist attacks which on Friday evening covered France in blood,” the Pontiff said during the Angelus address.

 

“Such barbarity leaves us shocked and makes us wonder how the human heart can conceive and carry out such horrible events, which have shaken not only France but the entire world.” According to EWTN News, Francis offered his condolences to President Hollande and the families of the dead and wounded, entrusting them to the mercy of God.

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Tue

17

Nov

2015

A Critical Look at the Benedict Option

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Today, the U.S. faces a crisis, both in considering the grievous polarization between differing political ideologies and camps and the many systemic issues of discrimination and bias that are evident in many walks of life. This is compounded by societal and economic issues with which we are all too familiar, whether it be the dwindling of children and the subsequent aging of the population or the increase of pressures that make it harder for families to provide a proper environment to raise their children. These issues by no means exclusively pertain to the U.S., but apply to the West as a whole. In all these ways and others, the West is moving away for its Christian roots. One might begrudge the phrase “living in a post-Christian society,” but the practical situation that it describes is immediately observable.

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Tue

27

Oct

2015

The Myth of Autonomy

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In the past month and in the past few years in general, more and more governing bodies have chosen to pass laws allowing those whoa re terminally ill to obtain help from physicians in order to end their lives.  At least here in the U.S., the seemingly arbitrary cutoff for physician-assisted suicide is the determination that the patient has less than six months left to live.  Leaving aside the fact that such determinations have an inherent degree of inaccuracy in predicting how long the patient actually have to live and the fact that prescribing patients medication which contributes in ending their life is a blatant disregard to the Hippocratic Oath, the idea that loss of autonomous function is a viable reason for someone seeking and obtaining medication which will knowingly end their life is deeply flawed.

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Tue

29

Sep

2015

#DoYourJob

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

One of the most practical principles of practical philosophy is to seek for truth everywhere and to cling to it wherever it is found. This can be seen plainly in the figure of Socrates in Plato’s writing, who seeks wisdom for almost everyone and seldom leaves without having gained something from it. Faced with this principle and the rather extended streak of the Patriots’ season last year, which ended in February with a Super Bowl victory, what is a Pats fan to do but take some practical wisdom from Bill Belichick? Yes, I realize that this is a bit of a divisive topic, and yes, I know that fans from all other teams would be ready to pillory Belichick and the Patriots as cheaters whenever possible, but if you will not accept his wisdom for the sake of his accomplishments, at least accept it on account of St. Basil, who advises us to be like the bee, which takes in what is good and leaves the rest behind.

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Tue

29

Sep

2015

CON: Should Catholics Be Able to Divorce and Remarry Within the Church

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In responding in the negative to the question of whether Catholic married couples should be able to divorce and remarry, there are two dimensions to consider: the doctrinal issue and the pastoral issue. The answer to the first is rather short and straightforward and easily proves the point of the negative side, but the answer to the second is a bit more complicated. I will try to devote more attention to the second point to show that, even from a pastoral perspective, the side that argues against the possibility of divorce and remarriage within the Church is correct.

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Wed

29

Apr

2015

Pro-Life: A Matter of Consistency

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

As I was weaving in and out of paying attention to “The Nightly Show” with Larry Wilmore, something caught my ear that switched my mood from mild amusement to deep frustration. More than one of the members of the panel, which had gathered to discuss whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be condemned to death, said with one breath that they were against the death penalty and that they were for executing Tsarnaev.

 

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Tue

28

Apr

2015

An Eastern Difficulty with Understanding the Concept of the Assurance of Salvation

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

I was listening to a speech by Reverend N. T. Wright, one of my favorite Pauline theologians who, in passing, mentioned the assurance of salvation. The introduction of this concept made me pause, specifically because it called to mind a conversation that I had had with an Eastern Orthodox priest a few years before who had been frustrated at a conference after hearing several statements that exclaimed with confidence that different non-Christians could be saved. That topic aside, his reasoning was particularly interesting to me. He said that he could not be sure of his own salvation, or of the salvation of those next to him, so he was confused about how one could be so forward as to confidently state that certain non-Christians are saved.

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Tue

28

Apr

2015

Trouble Assails Pontifical Oriental Institute

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, the premier institution for the study of Eastern spirituality, canon, and liturgy was shaken earlier this month at finding out that one their professors, Fr. Lafranco Rossi, had been found dead. The 60 year-old priest was found lifeless in a pool of blood in a hazelnut grove near his community’s retreat center in San Feliciano, about 21 miles south of Rome.

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Tue

24

Mar

2015

Church in DC Appeals to US Senate over Religious Liberty

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Last December, the Human Rights Amendment of 2014 and The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act of 2014 were passed by the D. C. Council and signed into law in January by Washington D.C.’s mayor, Muriel Bowser (D). The Catholic Church, however, has expressed that they cannot comply with the regulations they entail out of conscience.

 

The Human Rights Amendment (HRAA) forces religious schools to recognize persons and groups that might conflict with their stated mission and allow them to use their facilities and benefits. A Catholic school, for example, would have to recognize a pro-abortion student group and could not deny them use of their facilities or funds.

 

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Tue

24

Mar

2015

A Reflection on John 12:25-26

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Gospel reading for March 22 (Jn. 12:20-33) is as fascinating as it is puzzling. It starts off with a rather unsurprising event. Jesus is in Jerusalem, and there are some Greeks, likely proselytes, who want to speak with him. The Greeks reach out to Philip, who reaches out to Andrew, and the two together tell Jesus that some Greeks want to talk to Him.

 

Jesus’ response, however, is anything but ordinary. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves (φιλῶν) his life will lose it, and he who hates (μισῶν) his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor” (Jn. 12:23-26). The discourse continues and, if there was a response to the initial inquiry concerning the Greeks, we are not told.

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Tue

24

Feb

2015

“A Man May Do Both”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

For anyone who has yet to memorize the whole of The Lord of the Rings, the above reference is to a conversation between Aragorn and a rider of Rohan. Aragorn has just finished recounting his travels into the Golden Wood and the capture of Merry and Pippin by the orcs when is met with incredulity by this unnamed rider. “Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in daylight?” he asks. Aragorn responds, “A man may do both … For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!”

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Tue

24

Feb

2015

ISIS in Libya Beheads 21 Copts

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

ISIS released a video titled “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross” on February 15 showing masked ISIS militants beheading 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians on a secluded beach in Libya. The captives were forced to kneel and then lie down on the beach, where the masked men kneeling on their backs proceeded to saw at their necks. The masked figures report to be IS operatives of the Libyan Province of the Caliphate. The video then concludes with images of their decapitated heads lying on each victim’s back, their blood turning the waters of the Mediterranean red, and a threat that ISIS is soon to come to Rome. The spokesperson indicated that the victims were being slaughtered for refusing to give up their Christian faith and each of the victims were heard shouting “Ya Rabbi Yasou” or “Oh my Lord Jesus” in unison as the blades met their necks.

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Wed

28

Jan

2015

Pope Francis Visits Philippines and Sri Lanka

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On January 12, Pope Francis arrived in Sri Lanka’s national airport, kicking off a weeklong visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The Holy Father met with religious leaders in the majority Buddhist country, but the most memorable event was the canonization of St. Joseph Vaz, a 17th century priest who, on January 14, because the first recognized Sri Lankan saint.

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Wed

28

Jan

2015

“What Are You Looking For?”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

 

All I was thinking about as I rushed into St. Ignatius on January 18 is that I had to be out and in my room by 6:40 PM. God, however, often chooses to teach us important lessons when we seem least open to Him. In other words, I was as attentive during the Mass as a six year-old kid who has just been allowed to play with his mother’s phone. Then the Gospel reading came around, and I felt like someone dropped a bucket of ice water on my head.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

What Will You Be Celebrating This Christmas?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In Book II of the Republic, Plato lays the foundations of what will become the lengthiest and most important part of the dialogue, i.e. seeing justice in the city as a macrocosm for the individual person. The first issue he chooses to take up in this regard, however, is how the gods are represented in Greek mythology. After everyone agreeing that a god would be perfect, Socrates asks whether, in order to take human form, a god would have to give up a greater thing (his or her own superior form) for a lesser thing. Thus, he concludes, the gods would never do such a thing.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Cardinal Burke named Patron of the Knights of Malta

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On November 8, the Vatican announced that Cardinal Raymond Burke would be transferred from his post as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura to being the Patron of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta, or the Knights of Malta for short. Cardinal Burke’s position entails providing spiritual guidance to the Prince and Grand Master of the Order, Fra. Matthew Festing and the Knights at large, as well as to serve as the representation of the Holy Father to the Knights. This post, usually given to retired Cardinals past the age of 75, seems unusual for Burke, who is currently only 66.

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

Ecumenism: A Brotherly Dispute

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On November 30, Pope Francis will be attending Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. George in Istanbul on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, which will be presided over by Patriarch Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Every year, the Vatican sends a delegation to the Feast, St. Andrew being the founder of the See of Constantinople, the First See in the Eastern Church, which is usually reciprocated with a delegation sent to the Vatican for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. It has been a very long time, however, since the Pope has been present at the Cathedral in Istanbul for the Feast of St. Andrew (likely, the last time that happened the city was named Constantinople and the cathedral was Hagia Sofia). It had also been a very long time since the Patriarch of Constantinople has been present at the Pope’s installation Mass, until it happened when Pope Francis was installed. Most of all, for far too long, exchanges between these two heads of the kind witnessed on March 20, 2013, where the Pontiff called the Patriarch “my brother Andrew” and the Patriarch responded by calling him, “my big brother Peter” have been far too scarce. Now, however, all these things have either happened or will happen very soon. Times are changing and they are changing for the better.

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

USCCB Picks Delegation for Synod on the Family

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

            The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has elected its delegation for next year’s Synod on the Family during their annual meeting in Baltimore last week.


            The Church in the US will be represented by: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the USCCB; Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the vice president of the USCCB; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who will host the 2015 World Meeting of Families; and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the highest-ranking Hispanic bishop in the country and the leader of the US’s largest Catholic diocese.

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Fri

31

Oct

2014

Pro/Con: On the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood



The topic of women's ordination has been highly contested in recent decades.  Although Pope Saint John Paul II issued Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in 1994 and gave the Catholic Church's final word on the matter, the debate

continues today among Christians of all denominations.  Here, Annalise Deal, an Episcopalian, writes in favor of the practice. Gjergji Evangjeli, who is Greek Orthodox, writes against it.


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Wed

22

Oct

2014

New Michalczyk Documentary on Clergy Abuse Scandal at the MFA

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The premiere of Susan and John Michalczyk’s documentary A Matter of Conscience: Confronting Clergy Abuse (2014) was on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on October 4. The documentary largely treated the plight of the men and women who chose to speak out against the clerical abuse that affected the Catholic Church. It is the sequel to the Michalczyk’s previous work, Who Takes Away the Sins: Witnesses to Clergy Abuse (2013) that was primarily concerned with the lives and the lasting psychological and spiritual damage to survivors of sexual abuse by clergy. The viewing was followed by a panel discussion on the topic.

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Wed

22

Oct

2014

Synod Releases Relatio; Misinterpretations Start Confusion

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Synod of Bishops released a Relatio post Discepationem or “Summary after the Debate” relating to the topics that the Synod Fathers discussed during this month’s gathering to talk about issues relating to the family. The 58-paragraph document is supposed to relay the different points which were brought up during debate and which should be considered in the drafting of the final document of the Synod, which came out on October 19. As soon as the document was released, however, there was some degree of confusion, as this release was interpreted as a finalized decision in regards to the Synod and some of the phrases in the English version of the document (which was originally written and relayed in Italian) were taken to mean that the Catholic Church has shifted Her views on certain matters.

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Tue

23

Sep

2014

Pope Francis Visits Albania

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Pope Francis has concluded a one-day visit to Albania on September 21, during which he focused on the character of interreligious coexistence among the country’s three main religions. On September 16, just five days before the visit, the faithful were unsettled by the report of that ISIS intended to assassinate the Pope and that his visit to Albania could provide ISIS with an opportunity to carry out such a plot. Though the vast majority of Albania’s 70% Muslim population is largely westernized, there is a core of radical Islamists within the country, some of which have decided to join forces with ISIS.

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Tue

29

Apr

2014

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII Canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On the Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church celebrated the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, two of the most influential popes of the 20th century and among the most important figures in the last one hundred years. It was Pope John Paul II who instituted the celebration of the Divine Mercy on the Sunday following Easter.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Bishop Issues Pastoral Letter on Pornography

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On March 19, Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, VA released a new edition of his pastoral letter entitled Bought with a Price. On the same day, the bishop also published an article in First Things titled “Let the Battle for Purity Begin: Love vs. Pornography.” Both pieces of literature coincide with the Solemnity of St. Joseph, who is the patron saint of fathers. The pastoral letter’s title comes from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, where St. Paul adjures the members of the Church of Corinth to guard their bodies against unchastity, since, properly speaking, they are only the stewards of their own bodies, which were bought with a great price.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

MA Bishops Push for a Just Minimum Wage Increase

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Bishops of Massachusetts released a statement on March 19th that highlighted the necessity of the State legislature to carefully consider the struggles of workers who are earning minimum wage. This statement from the College of Bishops of Massachusetts comes at the same time that as many as three different pieces of legislation are being entertained by the State Government. The Senate recently passed a bill increasing the minimum wage to $11 by 2016 and another overhauling the unemployment insurance system. The House is introducing another piece of legislation that seeks to increase the minimum wage to $10.50 by 2016. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said on Thursday that he hopes the finalized House bill will take into consideration the increased burden that such a hike would take on business owners and argued that this measure could be passed only in conjunction with reform in the unemployment insurance sector and that he hoped to combine the two bills from the Senate into a single system.

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Tue

25

Feb

2014

CDF Prefect Gerhard Müller Created Cardinal

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On February 22, Pope Francis added nineteen new Cardinals to the roster of the Princes of the Church. Though there is a wealth of themes to talk about in his choices, one notable name among the new group is Archbishop Gerhard Müller, who is currently serving as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Cardinal Müller has been a public and vocal figure in the past few months.

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Tue

25

Feb

2014

New Evidence Suggests the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 


New research from a group of Italian scientists suggests that the image of the Shroud of Turin was likely caused by neutron radiation during an earthquake in AD 33. The scientists published their findings in a paper on February 11.

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Tue

28

Jan

2014

Trappist Monastery in Massachusetts Begins Brewing Beer

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Trappist ale has long been a favorite with beer aficionados throughout the world. Particularly in the last two centuries, the distinctive ale has gained great notoriety for being one of the few products that has largely remained the same both in recipe and brewing practices since roughly the 1600’s. The name ‘Trappist’ comes from the French monastery of La Trappe in Normandy, where the monks first decided to brew beer which would be sold to the public in order to help support the monastery and to provide them with means to help the less fortunate in their community. Following the great success of the monastery of La Trappe, Trappist monasteries started blossoming throughout Europe. After the French Revolution and the two world wars, however, many of the monasteries were destroyed, damaged, or simply unable to continue their production of the beloved ale.

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Tue

28

Jan

2014

Pro-Life: Abortion and Practicality

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Abortion has long been recognized to be a harmful procedure. Though resistance to abortion has been presented as a strictly Christian position, the Hippocratic Oath goes against abortion about half a millennium before Christ was born. Of course, the way the Oath treats abortion and euthanasia is one of the major reasons why it is no longer required to be taken in many medical schools. One may wonder at the wisdom for removing the Oath rather than living up to it, but it seems that one’s priorities take precedence.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Pro-Abortion Protests in Buenos Aires Turn Violent; Attempt to Vandalize Cathedral

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Violent outbreaks and inflammatory statements marked this year’s Gathering of Women on November 24 in Argentina. According to InfoCatolica and LifeSiteNews.com, the conflict started earlier in the day, while the different workshops of the meeting were still in session. Eye-witness accounts report that in workshops related to the topic of abortion, several fundamentalist groups of pro-abortion feminists blocked access to anyone that did not espouse their views. There were several reports of physical violence reported by opponents of abortion who sought to engage in discussion regarding the topic.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Catholicism 101: Incarnation

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

St. Athanasius famously said, regarding the Incarnation, that, “God became man, so that man might become god.” A few years of continuous contemplation of this very deep thought from one of the greatest Fathers of the Church would not even begin to peel the first layer off the great Mystery that is the Incarnation of our Lord. This teaching, that God became man, indistinguishable from any regular person, was very confusing to the people to whom the Apostles were preaching. In fact, it is only out of use that we do not realize the radical strangeness of it all. In Greek mythology, there are plenty of gods who come down in human form, but none of them undergo the kenosis, by which they would come not in glory, but in the lowly form of a servant.

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Sun

17

Nov

2013

The Jesus Prayer: A Way to Ecumenism

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Click to view full document

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the prospect of reunification between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches has seemed closer than ever. The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Orthodox Church and The Roman Catholic Church has been fast at work since 1980 trying to solve issues which divide the two churches. Though the work of these and other bodies discussing is very important, I would not be saying anything new if I were to say that prayer is an integral part of reunification. Regardless of how many conferences and documents may be issued, the Body of Christ cannot be healed of this scar with intellectual statements, but in an organic manner, through the unceasing prayer of both the Catholic and Orthodox faithful.

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Sun

17

Nov

2013

Catholic and Orthodox Theologians Jointly Ask for an End to Christian Repression in the Middle East

by Gjergji Evangjeli

  

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Conference, a group of theologians assigned by the Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America on the Orthodox side and The Canadian and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Catholic side, released a statement on October 26 condemning the sectarian violence against Christians in the Middle East and calling for continued support from the leaders of both Churches and the leaders of countries in North America and beyond to end the oppression of Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

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Tue

22

Oct

2013

The Superior General of the Jesuits Visits the US

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Very Rev. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, concluded a two-week visit to the US on October 12. He had a packed schedule as he moved through Boston, New York, St. Lewis, and Chicago where he engaged in many activities, including attending a meeting with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

 

Fr. Nicolás’ visit began in Boston, where he met with faculty members of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He told students and seminarians that the Church needs Jesuits who are men of great intellectual depth. He also reminded them that, when being called to the Society of Jesus, they are being called to join a universal vocation. “To be available in a universal way,” he said, “calls for us to be creative, and to be creative we need to be men of prayer.” While in Boston, Fr. Nicolás met with 55 Jesuit scholastics from 20 different countries.

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Tue

22

Oct

2013

Kuma’s Corner Offers Burger Topped with Wine and Unconsecrated Host

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Controversy has sprung up in the Avondale neighborhood in Chicago after a small restaurant, Kuma’s Corner, decided to sell a burger called “Ghost” which is topped off with a wine reduction and an unconsecrated host. Luke Tobias, the Director of Operations at Kuma’s, said that the specialty burger was inspired by the Swedish heavy metal band, Ghost BC, and that they see it as a tribute to them. Relating to the fact that a host was used he said, “The thing with this is, the communion wafer is unconsecrated, so until that happens, it's really just a cracker.”

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Tue

24

Sep

2013

Ecumenism: Concerning the Natures of Christ

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In 1999, the late Coptic Pope, H. H. Shenouda III, wrote “The Nature of Christ,” a work through which he hoped “to settle this question by attempting to rewrite a satisfactory wording of our faith, which would be acceptable to all.” There is much that all Copts, Orthodox, and Catholics would have to agree with while reading it. Nonetheless, the principal question of the article is to see whether it is possible to maintain that Christ, the Incarnate Logos, had only one Nature, which has been the Coptic Church’s position and the reason for its separation from both the (Eastern) Orthodox Church as well as the Roman Catholic Church. “On the Nature of Christ” is a clear and precise formulation that shows that there is now more possibility than there has ever been for the Coptic Church to join with the Chalcedonian Churches. More than that, it shows that the Coptic Church has given a great push toward the purpose of reunification, a push that needs to be examined and answered by both the Christian East and the Christian West. I do not claim to be a theologian for any purpose, but I believe that a new and more philosophically inclined look into this article will show that there is little more than misunderstanding over definitions in the separation between the non-Chalcedonian and Chalcedonian Churches and, at the same time, that the loose definition of ‘Nature’ on the part of non-Chalcedonian Churches can be harmoniously substituted without causing harm to either side’s theology.

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