Archive for the ‘Orientale Lumen TV (OLTV)’ Category

Lenten Media Featured

Monday, March 7th, 2011

As we all begin the Great Fast of Forty Days in preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord, I would like to draw your attention to a few special products available from Orientale Lumen TeleVision (OLTV).  They either have Lent as their theme, or are spiritually oriented and would be appropriate material for personal reflections during this period of renewal.
They include:
MK09DV: The Holy Icon:  A Door into Eternity.  An introduction to the symbols, purpose, theology, and spirituality of icons for the lay person. Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia.  1 disk DVD
AE17: Preparation for the Great Fast (6 disks) Lectures about preparation for Lent by Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia
AE16: Liturgy: Model of Prayer—Icon of Life (6 disks) Spiritual reflections by Archimandrite Robert Taft on liturgy and prayer
AE25: The Mystery of the Church (6 disks) Lectures on Church ecclesiology by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokliea
AE09: Eastern Fathers on Involuntary Sin (7 disks) Reflections by Hieromonk Maximos on sin and the Fathers
AE14: Great Feasts of the Church (6 disks – DVD only) Theological explanations of the icons of the Great Feasts of the Church
AE12: Orientale Lumen XIII Plenaries (8 disks) “Monasticism for Every Day Life” Reflections by noted theologians on spirituality
You can view several of them at:  www.oltv.tv
You can order them online at:  www.olconference.com
Or call 703-691-8862.

Sister Churches 101 — Part 3

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

“What the Person in the Pew Needs to Know About the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue” 

At the lecture by Metropolitan Kallistos last February at The Catholic University of America, he was asked how to avoid another Council of Florence where Church unification agreements reached between Orthodox and Catholic theologians and hierarchs were not accepted by lay persons and diocesan clergy.  To answer this question he and I and others have been working on developing an education program for the “person in the pew” to raise the awareness of the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue, and educate lay persons about the misunderstandings and misconceptions we have about each other.

We have developed a project called “Sister Churches 101:  What the Person in the Pew Needs to Know about the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue.”  A more complete description has appeared in my previous two postings.

I have approached many institutions that give grants for such projects, but have not had any success yet in raising the funding required.

In order to get this project started, I need your help.  Metropolitan Kallistos, Msgr. Paul McPartlan, and others have agreed to record video interviews concerning the topics identified in the attached program description, but I do not have the money available to make the video recordings and edit them into the various programs for distribution (DVD, internet, etc.).  Therefore, I ask you to be generous and support the initial stage of this project by making a tax-deductible contribution to the OL Foundation that will be used to get the Sister Churches project started.  We need $25,000 for this first phase.

In order to have the program available for distribution by the OL Conference in June, I am scheduling the video recordings to be made in late March.  Therefore, I would very much appreciate if you could respond by March 1st so I can confirm the recording sessions with the speakers.

Thank you again for your generosity, and may God bless you!

For donations of $100 or more, we will send you a copy of the final Sister Churches video program as a thank you gift.

OL Foundation Donation – Sister Churches 101

Please complete the form and send to the address below, or complete your credit card information.

Name:  __________________________________________________
Street:  __________________________________________________
City:  ________________________    State: ________         Zipcode: ______________
Email:  ____________________________   Phone:  _____________________________
Credit Card # ______________________________________Expiration Date:  ________________
I wish to donate $ __________ to the Orientale Lumen Foundation for the Sister Churches 101 program.

Please make checks payable and send to:  

Orientale Lumen Foundation
PO Box 192
Fairfax, VA  22038-0192

Please respond by March 1, 2011 .

Thank you for your generosity!  All donations will be receipted for IRS tax deduction purposes.

Sister Churches 101 — Part 2

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

“What the Person in the Pew Should Know About
the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue”

An Orientale Lumen Foundation Educational Program

The detailed questions we plan to ask and record as interviews with Metropolitan Kallistos, Archimandrite Robert Taft, and Msgr. Paul McPartlan include the following:

Detailed Questions

1. How We Got Here

a. Apostolic Times — How unified was the Early Church of the first centuries after Christ’s Resurrection?
b. Seven Ecumenical Councils — What were the major issues settled by the seven recognized ecumenical councils?
c. Estrangement Between East and West — How and why did East and West drift apart in the last centuries of the first millennium?
d. Schism of 1054 — Was there an actual schism in 1054, or were the mutual excommunications symptomatic of a widening gulf between the Byzantine East and Roman West?
e. Partial Unions — What were the Councils of Lyons and Florence? Why was union not achieved at these Councils?
f. Papal Authority of the Late Centuries — How did the authority of the Bishop of Rome develop in the last two centuries of the second millennium?  What effect has the development of Papal authority in the West had on the Orthodox East and her relations with the West?
g. Current Dialogue — How did the current dialogue of the Orthodox and Catholic Church get started, what has it achieved, and why is important?

2. Misunderstandings and Misconceptions

a. Dogma vs Doctrine — Please explain your view of “dogma” as compared with “doctrine”.
b. Dogma vs Discipline — How would you characterize the “dogma” of the Church as compared with the “discipline” of the Church?
c. Church vs Politics — Please give us your view of how the Church should function and act compared with what you have experienced as “church politics.”
d. Spirituality vs Action — What are your views about “spirituality” as opposed to “action”?
e. Mystical vs Rational — Please describe the “mystical” emphasis of Christianity that seems prevalent in the East as compared with the more “rational” emphasis of the West.
f. Legal vs Pastoral — How do you view “legal” approaches to Church life compared to “pastoral” approaches?
g. Primate vs Members — Please comment on the authority and responsibilities of a “primate” (priest, bishop, patriarch) compared with the authority and responsibilities of the “members” of a parish, diocese, region or patriarchal Church.
3. What We Agree On

a. Trinity — What are the most significant aspects of the Trinity on which Catholics and Orthodox agree?  Are there any areas of disagreement regarding the Trinity?
b. Christ — What do Catholics and Orthodox believe about Jesus Christ?  Do they disagree on any aspects of Him?
c. Mother of God — How do Catholics and Orthodox view Mary, the Mother of God? Are there any areas of disagreement regarding her?
d. Sacraments — What do Catholics and Orthodox believe about the sacraments?  Are they the same or different?
e. Eucharist — What are the characteristics of the Holy Eucharist on which Catholics and Orthodox agree? Are there any areas of disagreement?
f. Ministry — Who are the principal ministers in the Catholic and Orthodox Church? Do they function the same or not?
g. Scripture — Do Catholics and Orthodox use the same Sacred Scripture? How is Scripture considered in the Catholic Church versus the Orthodox Church?

4. What We Don’t Agree On

a. Primacy — What is the principal disagreement between Catholics and Orthodox concerning primacy?
b. Infallibility — What is “infallibility” and how do the Catholic and Orthodox Churches view it?
c. Jurisdiction — How do the Catholic and Orthodox Churches view jurisdiction at various levels of the church hierarchy?
d. Authority — What are the various views of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches about the authority of church hierarchs?
e. Councils of the Church — What councils do the Catholic and Orthodox Churches recognize and why?
f. Original Sin — What do the Catholic and Orthodox Churches believe and teach about “original sin”?
g. Married Clergy — What principles do the Catholic and Orthodox Churches follow concerning married versus celibate clergy?

5. Where do we go from here?
 
a. What is the future of official Orthodox/Catholic dialogue?
b. What are some practical applications for parish life and local dialogue between communities?
c. How can we educate the faithful, including adult enrichment and parish schools of religion?
d. How can we get to know each other through social gatherings?
e. How can we participate in common prayer (non-eucharistic services such as akathists, moleben, vespers, etc.)? 

Sister Churches 101 – Part 1

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

“What the Person in the Pew Should Know About
the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue”

An Orientale Lumen Foundation Educational Program
Introduction

The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches is making significant progress and currently dealing with issues concerning the role of the Bishop of Rome in a united Church.  Concerns have been raised about educating the laity and parish clergy about this dialogue and the implications for full communion.  This program is intended to inform, educate and encourage dialogue on the “grass roots” level.

Goal

The principal goal of this program is to raise the awareness of the importance of Church unity, improve the understanding among lay persons and local clergy about the issues involved, and create an atmosphere in which agreements reached by ecumenists and theologians can be accepted by the faithful of the Church, both Orthodox and Catholic.

Deliverables

This program will consist of four 45-minute educational videos containing interviews with Church leaders and well-known educators from the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic traditions.  A printed study guide will also be developed from the content of the interviews.  A video package and multiple copies of the study guide (10 per parish) will be provided at no cost to every Catholic and Orthodox parish in the United States to be used as the basis for a four week adult education program on Catholic-Orthodox relations. 

With the support and blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America, these packages are planned to be distributed to every parish in the United States with an authoritative recommendation to utilize them at the local level.  After viewing the video, a group discussion would be held at each parish using the provided study guide.  Additional copies of the video and study guide will be available for purchase where requested by individuals or where more quantities are needed.

Other methods of distribution through the internet will be used to generate knowledge and awareness of these issues. 

Video Interviews

There will be two levels of interviews in each program.

1.  Remarks

The first level will include high-level remarks by Church leaders based on the following questions:

• Why is Church unity important?
• What impact will full communion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have?
• Why should the typical lay person or parish priest care about the relationship of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches?
• How did we get to our current separation?
• What are some of the misunderstandings we have of each other?
• On what do we agree?
• On what do we not yet agree?

The Church leaders who will be invited to participate in this level include:

• Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
• Patriarch Gregorios of Antioch
• Metropolitan Jonah of Washington, Orthodox Church in America
• Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago
• Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
• Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity
• Cardinal Christoph Shönborn, Archbishop of Vienna
• Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop of Kiev-Halych
• Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Patriarchate of Moscow

2.  Detailed Questions

The second level of interviews will be more detailed and educational in nature with the following persons providing answers to the questions listed in the next section:

• Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Oxford
• Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome
• Msgr. Paul McPartlan, The Catholic University of America, Washington

All of the interviews will be interwoven and edited into a single program on each of the four main topics with an overall conclusion at the end.  Each program will contain general remarks first and then detailed answers addressing the questions in each topic.  A voice-over narrator, Father Thomas Loya of “Light of the East Radio,” will serve as narrator and introduce each program and ask the questions of the speakers.

To be continued …

Video Recordings with Metropolitan Kallistos

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Over the last few years, OLTV has been producing recordings of past Orientale Lumen Conferences, both plenary lectures and liturgical services, as well as several special events around the world. We have also been making special recordings by scholars and theologians on various related topics dealing with liturgy, spirituality, theology, history, and ecumenism. The idea of these lectures is to preserve the wisdom and knowledge of key Church figures not only through their writings in books, but also in their person by video and audio recordings.

During my visit to Oxford last weekend to see Metropolitan Kallistos, we recorded six lectures on Church ecclesiology, or the study of the Church. His Grace entitled the series “The Mystery of the Church” and they are arranged into the following six lectures:

1: Why the Church? (57min)

2: The Church According to the Greek Fathers, Part 1 (53min)

3: The Church According to the Greek Fathers, Part 2 (46min)

4: The Church in 19th Century Russian Thought (33min)

5: The Church in 20th Century Orthodox Thought (47min)

6: The Church in Present-Day Dialogues (49min)

This series of lectures by Metropolitan Kallistos discuss various aspects of Eastern ecclesiology as it has developed through the ages. He begins with a discussion on the importance of the Church and its role in the world, and then moves on to discuss the theology of the Church as found in the Greek Fathers, Russian thought, and finally modern thought. Particularly emphasized is the theology of communion. This series is wonderful for all who desire to deepen their understanding of the ecumenical dialogue today.

In addition to these lectures, His Grace also recording a 45 minute talk on The Holy Icon: A Door Into Eternity. This reflection discusses the definition of an icon, their purpose, how they are used, and how they related to the Church doctrines of Incarnation, Creation and the Human Person. I found this lecture particularly educational that could be used as a Lenten program for personal enrichment or a parish day of recollection.

All of these programs will be available for purchase as CD or DVD recordings from the OL Conference online catalog or by calling 703-691-8862.

A Request for Donations

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

For the past fifteen years, I have personally subsidized the establishment and growth of Eastern Christian Publications, the Orientale Lumen Conferences, and most recently Orientale Lumen TeleVision.  Last year, at the suggestion of many who responded to our survey for OLTV, I created the Orientale Lumen Foundation to provide a more stable and permanent financial environment for future projects and programs.  The Foundation has been granted 501(c)3 status by the IRS as a charitable and tax exempt organization, so your donations made to the foundation are tax deductible.

There are several projects needing additional funding support right now:

  • Establish a special fund to subsidize some of the travel expenses for 12 students and professors from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome to attend the Orientale Lumen EuroEast III Conference in Constantinople
  • Provide a scholarship fund for students or monastics who wish to attend the Orientale Lumen Conferences in the US
  • Record and edit additional theological lectures for OLTV programs (including ones by Metropolitan Kallistos, Archimandrite Robert Taft, and others)
  • Record and edit the three OL Conferences scheduled for this coming summer to create a large educational library of lectures by our 20 speakers on the conference theme “The Councils of the Church”
  • Convert our most popular recent book, “Finding A Hidden Church” by Father Chris Zugger, into a documentary about the persecution and resurrection of the Greek Catholic Church of Transcarpathia, Ukraine, homeland of the American Byzantine Catholic Church

I urgently ask for your help and support by making a financial donation to the Foundation so that we can continue and expand the valuable programs that I have started.

You can contribute in one of four ways:

  1. Go to our website www.oltv.tv and select the Donations tab on the left side of the screen.  This will provide you a screen to make a donation directly to the Foundation through PayPal.
  2. Go to our website www.olconference.com and click on the text link on the lower right corner of the home page.  Choose the amount you wish to donate, and pay by credit card.
  3. Access the PDF file below, print the donation form, and send with your check or credit card information to our office.
  4. Call our office at 703-691-8862 and make your donation over the phone by credit card

 OL Foundation Donation Form

Any amount will be greatly appreciated.  For donations of $100 or more, we will send you a thank you gift DVD of Metropolitan Kallistos’ lecture at Catholic University in February, 2010 on the status of the Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue.

If you would like to discuss any of our programs further, or an even larger donation, please contact me directly by email at jackfigel@verizon.net.   Thank you for your support!

Signed Books by Metropolitan Kallistos

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

During the recent visit of Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokliea (Timothy Ware) to the US, we obtained copies of three of his most popular books — The Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Way, The Inner Kingdom.  They were very popular at all of his lectures, and we sold nearly 100 copies of each.

Eastern Christian Publications will continue to offer these three titles in conjunction with the extensive collection of theological lectures that we offer by His Eminence through OLTV.  OLTV has recordings titled “Mystical Theology of the Eastern Fathers”, “Heaven on Earth: The Inner Meaning of the Eucharist”, “Ecumenical  Reflections: 10 Years of OL Plenaries”, and “Our Lenten Journey.”  We will be recording another series of lectures on the Doctrine of the Church in April and hope to have them available by June 2010.

As a special introductory offer, customers who place orders through our website (New Titles on www.ecpubs.com) or call into our office (703-691-8862) by April 20, 2010 for any of these three books will received SIGNED copies by the author.  This is a one-time only offer and expires on April 20.

So if you want a signed copy of these timeless and valuable books by the leading Orthodox lecturer, educator and theologian of the late 20th century, place your orders now.  Books will be shipped in early May.

Lenten Lectures Now Available

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, one of the foremost Orthodox lecturers, authors and theologians alive today, gave a series of lectures on various Lenten themes during his visit to America in early February 2010.  OLTV recorded all of his lectures and they are now available, along with other collections of talks by His Eminence.

They include:

  1. Mystical Theology of the Eastern Fathers
  2. Ecumenical Reflections: 10 Years of Orientale Lumen Plenaries
  3. Heaven on Earth: The Inner Meaning of the Eucharist
  4. Our Lenten Journey: Spiritual Preparation for the Great Fast

His Eminence has also agreed to record another series of talks later this month on the Doctrine of the Church, or Ecclesiology.  I will be spending a week with him in Oxford making the recordings and hope to have them available later this summer.

Two other individual lectures on the Ravenna Agreed Statement of the Orthodox-Catholic International Dialogue given by Metropolitan Kallistos at the Catholic University of America in 2008 and 2010 are also available.

Use the flier and order form below, or you can order through the online catalog at www.olconference.com or call 703-691-8862.

Kallistos Media Flier

Iconological Journey of the Great Feasts

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Professor Richard Schneider is a professor of iconology (the theology and symbolism of icons) at York University in Toronto and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York.  He has been a speaker at several Orientale Lumen Conferences over recent years and always gives a fresh and in-depth perspective of iconography.

In October 2009 he was invited to give a lecture in Washington, DC by the Washington Theological Consortium in conjunction with an icon exhibit at the Dadian Gallery of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary, one of the members of the consortium.  While in the area, he agreed to record several lectures about the icons of the Great Feasts of the Eastern Churches.  He illuminates the deep meaning that lies within the Holy Icons and their importance in the Eastern Christian liturgical cycle of feasts.  He teaches us how to read icons through their “rhetoric” and “order.”  Focusing on 14 Great Festal Icons, Professor Schneider objectively discusses the historical, theological, and scriptural significance of each and their inter-relationships.

In his six lectures he covers:

  1. Introduction
  2. Nativity of Our Lord; Encounter with Simeon
  3. Nativity of the Theotokos; Entry of the Thetokos into the Temple; Annunciation
  4. Epiphany of Our Lord; Palm Sunday; Great and Holy Friday
  5. Transfiguration; Ascension; Dormition of the Theotokos; Pentecost; Exaltation of the Holy Cross
  6. Resurrection and Conclusion

In each talk, Professor Schneider uses scripture and liturgical texts to point out the meaning behind specific elements of each icon.  The video shows the icons in a general view but also highlights the details explained during the lecture.

Each lecture is 40-80 minutes in length and is an excellent series for anyone who wishes to better understand the Holy Icons and their importance to Eastern Christian worship.  This series would also be a great program for an adult education program in a parish, using the video as the starting point following by group discussion.

This program is one of the newest additions to the OLTV group of Adult Enrichment programs available in DVD form, and can be purchased through the online catalog at www.olconference.com or by calling 703-691-8862.

Visit of Metropolitan Kallistos — Week 2

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

With two postponements from the previous week, the second week of the visit of Metropolitan Kallistos to America became quite filled with events.  The snowstorms had left there mark on the area, but we managed to not cancel a single event, and only delayed two — coincidentally the two Catholic venues were those postponed!

The lecture on the theme of “Lent: Our Personal Journey” took place on Sunday evening, February 14, at Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church in Annandale, VA.  Nearly 100 persons attended the reception in the parish center followed by the lecture in the church.  Bishop William Skurla of the Eparchy of Passaic, the diocese of Epiphany Church, also attended the lecture and welcomed Metropolitan Kallistos.

On Monday, we traveled to Toms River, NJ where His Eminence attended Great Compline for the first day of the Great Fast at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church that evening.  Nearly 400 persons were present for the service and his lecture on the same theme as at Epiphany, “Lent: Our Personal Journey”.  A large receptions was held in the parish social hall, and a long line of people eagerly waited to have copies of his books signed.  The next morning we returned to Washington.

On Tuesday evening, an ecumenical prayer service was conducted by the student board of the Washington Theological Consortium, a group of theological education institutions around Washington, DC.  At the prayer service, the annual Ecumenism Award was bestowed upon Metropolitan Kallistos.  After a short reception, Metropolitan Kallistos delivered the Second Annual Figel Lecture in Ecumenism to a group of over 100 persons gathered in the Happel Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus of The Catholic University of America.  His Eminence gave “An Insider’s View of the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Today.”  A lively Q&A discussion followed with many interesting points raised.  Father Mark Morozowich, Associate Dean of CUA, Father John Crossin, Executive Director of the WTC, and Father Paul McPartlan, Professor of Ecumenism at CUA and member of the International Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Commission, all made remarks welcoming Metropolitan Kallistos.  As the financial sponsor of the event, I also made a few remarks, and told of my first encounter with Metropolitan Kallistos some 18 years ago (perhaps subject of a future blog posting?!)

The last scheduled event of His Eminence’s visit was a lecture at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda, MD on Wednesday, February 17.  Over 200 persons attended the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts and the lecture entitled “Trinity:  Heart of Our Life.”  A Lenten dinner buffet was served between the liturgy and lecture.  After the lecture, a line again formed for many to have their books signed.

I obtained copies of the Metropolitan’s most popular works to have available for people to buy at all the events, and we sold over 100 copies of each.  They included:  The Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Way, and The Inner Kingdom.  We are now carrying all three titles in our catalog and on our website:  www.ecpubs.com.

All of the lectures from this week are also available from OLTV, and a combo pack of all the lectures has been specially priced.  You can order online at www.olconference.com or call 703-691-8862.

After a grueling schedule, and speaking to nearly 1000 persons at 8 venues, Metropolitan Kallistos returned to the UK on Thursday morning.  We especially scheduled his return on the “day” flight that leaves the US in the morning and lands in London the same evening, avoiding having to sleep overnight on a “red eye” flight.  At the age of 75, His Eminence deserves all the comforts possible!

But in the end, I believe he returned home with a renewed vigor and enthusiasm for his ministry of teaching and lecturing, given the great response he received everywhere and the thousands of people he has touched with his wisdom and insight.  Many years, O Master!