Τετάρτη, 31 Μαΐου 2017

"Bolloré l’Africain"


Cameroun : L’'Empire Noir de Vincent Bolloré


Fr.wikipedia / Vincent Bolloré 

VIDEO. Complément d'enquête. Colère dans l'empire africain de Vincent Bolloré

"Vincent Bolloré, un ami qui vous veut du bien ?"

Voir aussi

"Françafrique" // Exploitation du Tiers-monde

Reconciliation On Social Justice: The Consequences of Low Aim
 

Afrika: Nchi tajiri - watu maskini

International icon painting competition with the title “THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST”

Ανοιχτή προκήρυξη του διεθνούς διαγωνισμού εικονογραφικής τέχνης με θέμα:
«Η ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΙΗΣΟΥ»

Открытое приглашение к участию в международном иконографическом конкурсе на тему:
«Воскресение Иисуса Христа»

دعوة  مفتوحة
للمسابقة الدولية  لفن رسم الأيقونات  وموضوعها :
" قيامة يسوع المسيح "
 
Click here
 
 
The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) (www.eiao.org) is an interparliamentary body, set up upon the initiative of the Hellenic Parliament. The IAO is comprised of Official Parliamentary Delegations from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Estonia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Latvia, Belarus, Moldavia, Ukraine, Poland, Rumania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Montenegro, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, occasionally Lithuania, Finland, groups of MPs and individual MPs from: Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, Australia, USA, Canada, Congo, Mozambique, Uganda, Sudan, and Chile. 
 
تشارك فى الجمعية البرلمانية للأرثوذكسية وفود برلمانية رسمية من : ألبانيا، أرمينيا ، البوسنة والهرسك ، بلغاريا، چورچيا ، اليونان ، إستونيا ، كرواتيا ، كازاخستان ، قبرص ، لاتڤيا ، روسيا البيضاء ، مولداڤيا ، أوكرانيا ، بولندا ، رومانيا ، روسيا الإتحادية ، صربيا ، الجبل الأسود ، الأردن ، لبنان ، سوريا ، فلسطين وأحياناً ليتوانيا ، فنلندا ومجموعات من البرلمانيين وبرلمانيين منفردين من : مصر ، إثيوبيا ، الأرچنتين ، أستراليا ، الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية ، كندا ، الكونغو ، موزمبيق ، أوغندا، السودان وشيلى 

Δευτέρα, 29 Μαΐου 2017

For the Copts Martyrs of the May 2017



Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi
Photos from The stones were ripped into the Coptic martyrs' funeral (in Greek)

28, including children, killed in attack on Egypt Coptic Christians.
A bus packed with Coptic Christians in Egypt, including many children, was traveling on a side road in the desert to the remote monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Maghagha when it was attacked, presumably by Islamic terrorists. At least 28 people were killed, and 25 more were wounded.
"We express our heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this violent outrage, Mindful in a particular way of those children who have lost their lives.Our prayers are with you" -
+Archibishop Ioannis

Click

Palm Sunday attacks: 44 dead, more than 100 injured in church bombings carried out by ISIS in Egypt!   
CΟΝDOLENCE LETTER OF THE ALEXANDRIAN PRIMATE TO THE PATRIARCH OF THE COPTIC CHURCH IN EGYPT
DECLARATION BY THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA ABOUT THE BOMB ATTACK IN CAIRO (December 2016) 
Modern persecution of Coptic Christians 
Vivre en vrais chrétiens: l’exemple des 21 martyrs coptes
"Oriental Orthodox" 
New martyrs 

"Coptic Christians mourn martyrs of Islamist attack in Egypt. 7-year-old Julia is alive because her mother, who died, hid her behind luggage" (Orthodox Faith, South Africa).

The Fall of Constantinople by the army of the Ottoman Empire on 29 May 1453
Islamists
Early Muslim conquests & Rashidun Caliphate
The Orthodox Christian sentiment regarding the persecutions of Christians by Islamists
From Islam to Christianity: To our brethren who converted from Islam to Protestantism or Roman Catholicism
From Islam to Christianity: Saints in the Way to the Lihgt
Apostle Paul, the Christian equivalent to Mohammed

  

Κυριακή, 28 Μαΐου 2017

Two voices from Africa about the Sunday of the Holy God-bearing Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (seventh Sunday of Pascha)



Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi

On the seventh Sunday of Pascha, we commemorate the holy God-bearing Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.
The Commemoration of the First Ecumenical Council has been celebrated by the Church of Christ from ancient times. The Lord Jesus Christ left the Church a great promise, “I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). Although the Church of Christ on earth will pass through difficult struggles with the Enemy of salvation, it will emerge victorious. The holy martyrs bore witness to the truth of the Savior’s words, enduring suffering and death for confessing Christ, but the persecutor’s sword is shattered by the Cross of Christ.
The Council of Nicea was a historic gathering of Christian bishops in modern Iznik, Turkey, in 325 CE. Convened by the newly-converted Emperor Constantine, it condemned Arianism as a heresy and produced the Nicene Creed.

The Council of Nicea (325 CE) was an important meeting of about 300 bishops from across the Roman Empire to discuss theological and administrative issues. It is best known for resulting in the Nicene Creed, which is still used by most Christian denominations today as a statement of faith.

Arianism

Named for Arius, a priest in Alexandria, Egypt, Arianism taught that Jesus Christ was divine but not quite equal to God.
Arians held that Christ did not always exist along with the Father (was not "coeternal"), but was begotten by him before the world (and even time itself) was created. The two divine beings were of "similar substance" but not the same (not "consubstantial").

Constantine and Arianism

The newly-converted Emperor Constantine had hoped Christianity would be the uniting force of his empire. He was thus distressed to hear of the dispute over Arianism.
So in 325, Constantine convened a council of Christian bishops at Nicea (modern Iznik, Turkey) with full confidence that they could work out their differences.
The gathering at Nicea was significant both historically and theologically.
Although many local synods had been held, the Council of Nicea was the first to include bishops from several different regions, and is thus considered the first "ecumenical council" of the church. All three main branches of Christianity - Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant - still consider the decisions of this and six other ecumenical councils to be authoritative.
The Council of Nicea also marked a major shift in Christianity's status. After centuries of persecution by Roman officials, Christian bishops from across the Empire now journeyed to Nicea under state protection to discuss theological problems with the help of the Roman emperor.
Official persecution had been so recent that many of the bishops still bore its scars; Constantine himself is said to have kissed the eyeless cheek of one attendee.



The Nicene Creed

By overwhelming majority, the bishops at the Council of Nicea voted to condemn Arianism.
In addition to condemning this doctrine as heresy, the Nicene bishops defined orthodox ("correct") Christian belief, focusing especially on the Son's relationship to the Father and using language specifically designed to refute Arius' teachings.
The official statement of faith issued by the Council of Nicea is called the Nicene Creed, which is still recited in many Christian churches today:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homousion) with the Father, by whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth, who for us men and for our salvation came down and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion—all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.
In addition to the creed, the bishops at the Council of Nicea issued 20 canons, or determinations, after the conclusion of the council. Most of them are fairly mundane and deal with administrative matters.


Primary Sources on the Council of Nicea
 

As the Council of Nicea was of such importance to the early church, quite a bit of information survives in ancient documents. Several church historians who lived during or shortly after the Council of Nicea documented the events of the council. In addition, writers such as Athanasius (the main defender of Nicene orthodoxy) referred to it in their letters.
Eusebius, Life of Constantine 3.4-23 (eyewitness account of a bishop at the council)
Athanasius, Letter to Bishops of Africa (eyewitness account)
Athanasius, Defense of the Nicene Definition (eyewitness, mainly on theology)
Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 1.7 (early 400s)
Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History 1.7-9 (early 400s)
Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History 1.15-17 (early 400s)
This Nicene Creed is documented in several contemporary sources, including the Acts of the Ecumenical Councils of Ephesus and Acts of Chalcedon, in the Epistle of Eusebius of Cæsarea to his own church, in the Ecclesiastical Histories of Theodoret and Socrates, and elsewhere.
In the Nicean Creed, the holy Fathers set forth and confirmed the Apostolic teachings about Christ’s divine nature. The heresy of Arius was exposed and repudiated as an error of haughty reason. After resolving this chief dogmatic question, the Council also issued Twelve Canons on questions of churchly administration and discipline. Also decided was the date for the celebration of Holy Pascha. By decision of the Council, Holy Pascha should not be celebrated by Christians on the same day with the Jewish Passover, but on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox (which occured on March 22 in 325).
The First Ecumenical Council is also commemorated on May 29.


Saint Athanasius the Great of Alexandria, the pillar of Orthodoxy

This is a part from the post Three Africans ancients saints: Anthony the Great (the Professor of Desert), Athanasius the Great & Cyril of Alexandria
 
Saint Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria, was a great Father of the Church and a pillar of Orthodoxy. ...It was as a deacon that St Athanasius accompanied Patriarch Alexander to the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in the year 325. At the Council, St Athanasius refuted of the heresy of Arius. His speech met with the approval of the Orthodox Fathers of the Council, but the Arians, those openly and those secretly so, came to hate Athanasius and persecuted him for the rest of his life.
After the death of holy Patriarch Alexander, St Athanasius was unanimously chosen as his successor in the See of Alexandria. He refused, accounting himself unworthy, but at the insistence of all the Orthodox populace that it was in agreement, he was consecrated bishop when he was twenty-eight, and installed as the archpastor of the Alexandrian Church. Several times he was expelled from Alexandria and hid himself from the Arians in desolate places, since they repeatedly tried to kill him. St Athanasius spent more than twenty years in exile, returned to his flock, and then was banished again.
There was a time when he remained as the only Orthodox bishop in the area, a moment when all the other bishops had fallen into heresy. At the false councils of Arian bishops he was deposed as bishop. Despite being persecuted for many years, the saint continued to defend the purity of the Orthodox Faith, and he wrote countless letters and tracts against the Arian heresy. (...)



St Paphnutius of Egyptian Thebes, the Confessor, a prominent member of the First Council of Nicaea

A part from here
 
Paphnutius of Thebes, also known as Paphnutius the Confessor, was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great and a bishop of a city in the Upper Thebaid in the early fourth century. He is accounted by some as a prominent member of the First Council of Nicaea which took place in 325 CE. Paphnutius had been persecuted for his Christian beliefs, and had suffered mutilation of the left knee and the loss of his right eye for the Faith under the Emperor Maximinus, and was subsequently condemned to the mines. According to some reports, at the First Council of Nicaea he was greatly honoured by Constantine the Great.
Some ancient church historians claim that he took a prominent, perhaps a decisive, part in the debate at the First Ecumenical Council on the subject of the clerical celibacy. It seems that most of the bishops present were disposed to follow the precedent of the Council of Elvira prohibiting conjugal relations to those bishops, priests, deacons, and sub-deacons who were married before ordination. Paphnutius, so certain ancient authors tell us, earnestly entreated his fellow-bishops not to impose this obligation on the orders of the clergy concerned. He proposed, in accordance "with the ancient tradition of the Church", that only those who were celibates at the time of ordination should continue to observe continence, but, on the other hand, that "none should be separated from her, to whom, while yet unordained, he had been united". 
The great veneration in which he was held, and the well-known fact that he had himself observed the strictest chastity all his life, gave weight to his proposal, which was unanimously adopted. The council left it to the discretion of the married clergy to continue or discontinue their marital relations. In addition, Paphnutius was a zealous defender of Orthodoxy in the face of the Arian heresy. Paphnutius supposedly accompanied Saint Athanasius to the First Synod of Tyre in 335 A.D. His feast is on April 19; in the Roman Catholic Church It is on September 11. (...)

St Anthony the Great publicly denounced Arianism

From Three Africans ancients saints: Anthony the Great (the Professor of Desert), Athanasius the Great & Cyril of Alexandria (icon from here)

(...) Another time St Anthony left the desert and arrived in Alexandria to defend the Orthodox Faith against the Manichaean and Arian heresies. Knowing that the name of St Anthony was venerated by all the Church, the Arians said that he adhered to their heretical teaching. But St Anthony publicly denounced Arianism in front of everyone and in the presence of the bishop. During his brief stay at Alexandria, he converted a great multitude of pagans to Christ. (...)


*****
Our Church in her holy church services continues to pray for “the unity of the holy Churches of God”


Orthodox Archbishopric of Zimbabwe
Icon from here

This Sunday’s is dedicated to the holy memory of the 318 God-bearing Fathers of the Church who participated in the 1st Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., in order to verify the basic teachings of our Church, which are linked to our salvation through Christ. These basic principles are emphasised from the first articles of our Symbol of faith, the well known “I believe ….” which we Christians continue to repeat even today in fear of God, to emphasize our faith to God the Father as the Creator of the World and to Jesus Christ as His only begotten Son who came to this world to save us from sin and death and to direct us to Paradise.
In the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea with the Creed of faith, the heretical teaching of Arius was condemned as was that of his followers who rejected the Divine nature of the Son and Word of God, saying with much disrespect that there was a time when Christ was not God and consequently that He was something that was made, that is one of God’s creations.
The followers of the heretical Arius successfully managed to influence the political authority of the time and to rule in the East in different ways. In stages however, the followers and believers of Arius began to disagree and consequently they dispersed into various heretical sects. Generally speaking, Arianism provoked one of the most serious crises in Church history because with the denial of the Divine nature of Christ they rejected the reality of the redemptive character of Christianity.
Arius, by completely disregarding the unity and oneness of God the Father hence devalues the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity. This furthermore is the qualifying characteristic of every heresy – the complete disregard of a certain part of the truth to the detriment of the whole truth of the dogmatic teaching of our Church. In reality, in this situation, for the understanding of the dogma an anthropomorphic element is working which is anthropocentric and self-centered, that is egoistical. It is a complete disregard of man’s logic and hence the dogma is fully understood not as the consciousness of our Church understands it but as a limited logic perceives it, which selfishly claims to think that it knows everything. 


The human word ministers theology without becoming a point of departure for theology. The human word projects the salvation of mankind when it presupposes the consciousness of the Church precisely because Church consciousness embodies the concept of a catholic consciousness.
This is a why a distinctive mark of Christianity is the breaking of the ego. Of our self, of human logic. when human logic is humbled then it bears fruit within the life of the Church as a service of love which serves the theology of the Church directing the people to work for salvation through Christ.
This Sunday, which is dedicated to the holy memory of the God bearing church Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council, conveys to us their great struggles which they faced in opposition to the heresy of Arius who, as we have already pointed out, violently shook the entire unity of the Church. Simultaneously, however the struggles of the church Fathers drove the Orthodox truth to victory as well as to the preservation of the unity of the people of God.
So, today’s Gospel extract, by presenting to the faithful a part of our Lord and Savior’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, reveals to us the Lord’s struggle for his holy disciples and Apostles and for all their successors and generally speaking his faithful disciples who were to follow - our Saints. Christ pleads with his Father to protect his disciples from every form of evil and cunning. Christ prays to His Father to safeguard His disciples and to look after them on the difficult road of the right teaching of the Gospel. Christ pleads with His Father to immerse them and sanctify them in the truth and for them to dedicate their whole life to this.


However, above all, Christ prays for the unity of all the people who believe in His Name. This unity will be strengthened by the unity which exists between Father and Son. The fruit of this unity is the upright faith of the people in the Holy Trinity. In her entire historical path, our church struggles and wrestles against heresies and schisms.

This is why our Church in her holy church services continues to pray for “the unity of the holy Churches of God” and for “their word of truth to be held upright and to be honored” and for all the faithful to be “as one” as is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, our Triune God.
Therefore our Christian unity stems from the existence of the common faith of the common baptism of all who freely believe and with the fear of God in our Savior Jesus Christ. With the unity of the church as the foundation is the entity of the God-man Jesus Christ who also constitutes the Head of the Church. And since the church is one also unified is his body, which is the church. The church’s unity can be connected to the Holy Spirit, which also gives the church soul and courage. Furthermore the unity of the church is joined to God Father who in fact constitutes the first origin and reason for the church.
The unity of the church is connected by the one common faith of her members with the one holy Baptism in which all who become Christians are baptized and with which the faithful are joined to one body completely with the Church.
Saint John Chrysostomos tells us that “when all believe in the same way, then there is unity.” Hence every deviation of the Christian from the exactness of the faith creates a division in the unity of the church.
In the daily spiritual struggle for our Christianity and our sanctity with the grace of God we must pray to our lord Jesus Christ who strengthens us asking for the intercessions of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and of all the saints and especially of our God bearing fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council whose memory our Church honours today.
Let us try therefore for the rest of our lives to be the light of Christ, which enlightens our path, all these great and heroic persons of the Goldbeating Church Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council. Their examples remind us of the great debt that we have as Christians to continue our spiritual struggle for our Orthodox faith. In this way, Christ’s existence will remain alive in the world so that we can have hope in our salvation through Christ and our entry into Paradise.


Christ Prays For Our Perfect Joy

 
The Mystic Dinner. Icon from here.
 
Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi

Today, when the Church of Christ prayerfully remembers the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council – who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were able to formulate, explain, and transmit to us the truth about God inscribed in the definitions of the Symbol of Faith – a passage from the Holy Gospel of the Apostle John the Evangelist, frequently called the High Priestly Prayer of Christ, is read at the divine service.
These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come, glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on earth: I have finished the work which Thou gave Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thy own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.
I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gave me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gave them Me; and they have kept Thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which Thou gave Me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.
I pray for them, I pray not for the world: but for them which Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine: and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thy own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition: that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to Thee, and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves (John 17:1-13).
The Lord prays for His people. The Lord, like a priest standing before the Holy Table, prays for the little ones of this world. Before ascending the Cross, before accepting horrible torment and terrible shame, our Lord prays for those who will be left orphaned after His departure. He prays for those who will betray Him at the very first sign of danger. The Lord prays for His people because He loves them.
This is something with which we are familiar. When a mother is dying, when the father of small and uncomprehending children stands at the threshold of death, their hearts are filled with horror at the fate of those they are leaving behind, their little ones who are soon to become orphans. This does not happen very often on this earth. Fathers and mothers usually depart from this world after their children have grown up and are standing on their own feet, no longer in need of their aging parents. Yet how the maternal heart overflows with grief when it sees that nothing can help her beloved child besides prayer! Some might say that this is due to lack of faith. Why should mothers fear for their children when God is with them? But let us listen once again to the loving, anxious words spoken by Christ as He prayed for His disciples and, thus, for us: I pray for them, I pray not for the world: but for them which Thou hast given Me… And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world… Holy Father, keep through Thy own name those whom Thou hast given Me.

He Who offers this prayer – so full of compassion and sympathy, anxiety and hope – is He Who said to His disciples: I am the light of the world (John 8:12). Of course, the Lord is not praying only for the eleven Apostles. He is God; time does not exist for Him. For Him there is neither “yesterday” nor “tomorrow”; for Him there is only one time: “now.” Therefore our Lord, in His High Priestly Prayer, is praying both for the Apostles and for the bishops and presbyters of the Church of Christ who three centuries later would gather at Nicaea to speak, sing, and proclaim our Symbol of Faith – the Symbol of our faith. He prays for them, that this Symbol might be accepted and proclaimed by the Church: For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee.
Our Savior sees everything during this prayer: He sees us, lost in our own passions, embittered by grievances and loneliness, mean and trembling from fear; He sees us as we are today, asking of our common Father that He would keep us through His name. He prays for us, because He knows how difficult it will be for us to keep our faith, how difficult it will be for us to keep our child-like trust amidst the allurements and temptations of this world.

God is for us! God is with us! God did not turn away from us when we betrayed the Crucified One, when by our sins we dragged Him again and again onto the Cross. He continues to call us with Him to eternal life: to the joy that only He can give; to the happiness that is only possible with Him. We often make Him out to be a stern judge about to pronounce a fair but terrible sentence over us. But in His prayer to God the Father, the Lord intercedes for us. He does not simply ask for our preservation; He asks neither for rest, nor for truth, nor for justice for the human race; but rather – only listen to this! – He says to His Father and ours: And now come I to Thee, and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
If only we would not forget this. If only we would, if only once, hear our Savior’s words about perfect joy not just with our ears – which are no longer capable of being surprised by words or astonished by speeches – but with our whole hearts and with all the depths of our souls. Perhaps then joy and truth might return to our lives, as warmth returns to earth wearied from cold. Amen.

Please, see also

The Orthodox Church of Alexandria & the Patriarchate of Alexandria
What do we mean by “Fathers of the Church”?

Ancient Christian faith (Orthodox Church) in Africa  
How “White” is the Orthodox Church?  
Three Africans ancients saints: Anthony the Great (the Professor of Desert), Athanasius the Great & Cyril of Alexandria  
The holy anarchists... in the Egyptian Desert
OBSERVING THE FEAST DAYS OF THE AFRICAN SAINTS  

Was st. Athanasius the Great an African Pygmy?
 
Sunday of the Samaritan woman (5th Sunday of Pascha): "Close to God is he who in his daily life becomes the light of Christ who enlightens his neighbours..." 
Sixth Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the Blind Man 

The Holy Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: Through Christ, man becomes a "partaker of Divine Nature" 
Orthodox Spiritual Legacy: Pentecost (the Descent of the Holy Spirit)
 

St Paphnutius of Egyptian Thebes, the Confessor, a prominent member of the First Council of Nicaea


Wikipedia

 
Greek icon of the saint Paphnutius, from here

Paphnutius of Thebes, also known as Paphnutius the Confessor, was a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great and a bishop of a city in the Upper Thebaid in the early fourth century. He is accounted by some as a prominent member of the First Council of Nicaea which took place in 325 CE.
Paphnutius had been persecuted for his Christian beliefs, and had suffered mutilation of the left knee and the loss of his right eye for the Faith under the Emperor Maximinus, and was subsequently condemned to the mines. According to some reports, at the First Council of Nicaea he was greatly honoured by Constantine the Great.
Some ancient church historians claim that he took a prominent, perhaps a decisive, part in the debate at the First Ecumenical Council on the subject of the clerical celibacy. It seems that most of the bishops present were disposed to follow the precedent of the Council of Elvira prohibiting conjugal relations to those bishops, priests, deacons, and sub-deacons who were married before ordination. Paphnutius, so certain ancient authors tell us, earnestly entreated his fellow-bishops not to impose this obligation on the orders of the clergy concerned. He proposed, in accordance "with the ancient tradition of the Church", that only those who were celibates at the time of ordination should continue to observe continence, but, on the other hand, that "none should be separated from her, to whom, while yet unordained, he had been united". The great veneration in which he was held, and the well-known fact that he had himself observed the strictest chastity all his life, gave weight to his proposal, which was unanimously adopted. The council left it to the discretion of the married clergy to continue or discontinue their marital relations. In addition, Paphnutius was a zealous defender of Orthodoxy in the face of the Arian heresy.
Paphnutius supposedly accompanied Saint Athanasius to the First Synod of Tyre in 335 A.D.
His feast is on April 19 [1]; in the Roman Catholic Church It is on September 11.

Existence

The very existence of Paphnutius is contested by the historian Friedrich Winkelmann, because he is never mentioned by Athanasius, who also battled against arianism.[1] Also, the Church History of Socrates Scholasticus, our earliest source on Paphnutius, is one of the very few references for him in general.
His participation in the First Ecumenical Council was disputed several times, among others by such a respected canon law historian as Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler.[2] Stickler's objection is that Paphutius' presence at the council was never mentioned by the council's historian Eusebius of Caesarea, and he also disproves Socrates' statement that he personally spoke to a participant of the council as Socrates was supposedly born too late to know personally anyone who had taken part in it. Stickler's main argument against Paphnutius' story is that the Synod of Trullo (691) failed to mention the Paphnutius story when they allowed matrimony for priests, which was done, as Stickler claims, under the Emperor's pressure. The Council of Trullo, rather erroneously, referred only to the decrees of the Council of Carthage. However, Eusebius does not mention many things that certainly did happen, we are not sure when Socrates of Constantinople was born, and the Council of Trullo might have invoked several other canons from the past, though it did not.
On the other hand, there have also been several prominent scholars who defended the veracity of the Paphnutius story. The main arguments were laid down already by Karl Josef von Hefele in his Conciliengeschichte (1855),[3] and were taken up by his successor at the Tübingen Catholic faculty of theology Franz Xaver von Funk, as well as by some other eminent historians as Elphège Vacandard in the article on celibacy in the prestigious Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (1905) and Henri Leclercq in an article in the Histoire des conciles (1908). Vacandard's position found wide acceptance among the scholars. The original argument by Hefele is available below.[4]

The First Council of Nicaea (from Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi)

Sources
See also


The Orthodox Church of Alexandria & the Patriarchate of Alexandria
What do we mean by “Fathers of the Church”?

Ancient Christian faith (Orthodox Church) in Africa  
How “White” is the Orthodox Church?  
Three Africans ancients saints: Anthony the Great (the Professor of Desert), Athanasius the Great & Cyril of Alexandria  
The holy anarchists... in the Egyptian Desert
OBSERVING THE FEAST DAYS OF THE AFRICAN SAINTS  
 
 Notes

  • Friedrich Winkelmann: 'Paphnutios, der Bekenner und Bischof.' In: P. Nagel (Hg.): Probleme der koptischen Literatur. Halle 1968, p. 145-153. And idem: 'Die Problematik der Entstehung der Paphnutioslegende.' In: J. Herrmann: Griechenland - Byzanz - Europa. Berlin 1985, p. 32-42 - (Berliner Byzantinische Arbeiten; 52).

  • Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler: The Case for Clerical Celibacy. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995.

  • Karl Josef von Hefele (Bishop of Rottenburg): Conciliengeschichte. 7 vols. Freiburg, 1855-74. English translation: History of the Councils of the Church, 7 vols, 1871-1882.

    Conciliengeschichte, 1855, vol. I, pp.436 ff. "If this account [the Paphnutius story] be true, we must conclude that a law was proposed to the Council of Nicaea the same as one which had been carried twenty years previously at Elvira, in Spain; this coincidence would lead us to believe that it was the Spaniard Hosius who proposed the law respecting celibacy at Nicaea.

    The discourse ascribed to Paphnutius, and the consequent decision of the Synod, agree very well with the text of the Apostolic Constitutions, and with the whole practice of the Greek Church in respect to celibacy. The Greek Church as well as the Latin accepted the principle, that whoever had taken holy orders before marriage, ought not to be married afterwards. In the Latin Church, bishops, priests, deacons, and even subdeacons, were considered to be subject to this law, because the latter were at a very early period reckoned among the higher servants of the Church, which was not the case in the Greek Church. The Greek Church went so far as to allow deacons to marry after their ordination, if previously to it they had expressly obtained from their bishop permission to do so. The Council of Ancyra affirms this (c. 10). We see that the Greek Church wishes to leave the bishop free to decide the matter; but in reference to priests, it also prohibited them from marrying after their ordination.

    Therefore, whilst the Latin Church exacted of those presenting themselves for ordination, even as subdeacons, that they should not continue to live with their wives if they were married, the Greek Church gave no such prohibition; but if the wife of an ordained clergyman died, the Greek Church allowed no second marriage. The Apostolic Constitutions decided this point in the same way. To leave their wives from a pretext of piety was also forbidden to Greek priests; and the Synod of Gangra (c. 4) took up the defence of married priests against the Eustathians. Eustathius, however, was not alone among the Greeks in opposing the marriage of all clerics, and in desiring to introduce into the Greek Church the Latin discipline on this point. St. Epiphanius also inclined towards this side. The Greek Church did not, however, adopt this rigour in reference to priests, deacons, and subdeacons, but by degrees it came to be required of bishops and of the higher order of clergy in general, that they should live in celibacy. Yet this was not until after the compilation of the Apostolic Canons (c. 5) and of the Constitutions; for in those documents mention is made of bishops living in wedlock, and Church history shows that there were married bishops, for instance Synesius, in the fifth century. But it is fair to remark, even as to Synesius, that he made it an express condition of his acceptation, on his election to the episcopate, that he might continue to live the married life. Thomassin believes that Synesius did not seriously require this condition, and only spoke thus for the sake of escaping the episcopal office; which would seem to imply that in his time Greek bishops had already begun to live in celibacy. At the Trullan Synod (c. 13.) the Greek Church finally settled the question of the marriage of priests.

    Baronius, Valesius, and other historians, have considered the account of the part taken by Paphnutius to be apocryphal. Baronius says, that as the Council of Nicaea in its third canon gave a law upon celibacy it is quite impossible to admit that it would alter such a law on account of Paphnutius. But Baronius is mistaken in seeing a law upon celibacy in that third canon; he thought it to be so, because, when mentioning the women who might live in the clergyman's house--his mother, sister, etc.--the canon does not say a word about the wife. It had no occasion to mention her, it was referring to the συνεισακτοι whilst these συνεισακτοι and married women have nothing in common. Natalis Alexander gives this anecdote about Paphnutius in full: he desired to refute Bellarmin, who considered it to be untrue and an invention of Socrates to please the Novatians. Natalis Alexander often maintains erroneous opinions, and on the present question he deserves no confidence. If, as St. Epiphanius relates, the Novatians maintained that the clergy might be married exactly like the laity, it cannot be said that Socrates shared that opinion, since he says, or rather makes Paphnutius say, that, according to ancient tradition, those not married at the time of ordination should not be so subsequently. Moreover, if it may be said that Socrates had a partial sympathy with the Novatians, he certainly cannot be considered as belonging to them, still less can he be accused of falsifying history in their favour. He may sometimes have propounded erroneous opinions, but there is a great difference between that and the invention of a whole story.

    Valesius especially makes use of the argument ex silentio against Socrates. (a) Rufinus, he says, gives many particulars about Paphnutius in his History of the Church; he mentions his martyrdom, his miracles, and the Emperor's reverence for him, but not a single word of the business about celibacy. (b) The name of Paphnutius is wanting in the list of Egyptian bishops present at the Synod. These two arguments of Valesius are weak; the second has the authority of Rufinus himself against it, who expressly says that Bishop Paphnutius was present at the Council of Nicaea. If Valesius means by lists only the signatures at the end of the acts of the Council, this proves nothing; for these lists are very imperfect, and it is well known that many bishops whose names are not among these signatures were present at Nicaea. This argument ex silentio is evidently insufficient to prove that the anecdote about Paphnutius must be rejected as false, seeing that it is in perfect harmony with the practice of the ancient Church, and especially of the Greek Church, on the subject of clerical marriages. On the other hand, Thomassin pretends that there was no such practice, and endeavours to prove by quotations from St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, Eusebius, and St. John Chrysostom, that even in the East priests who were married at the time of their ordination were prohibited from continuing to live with their wives. The texts quoted by Thomassin prove only that the Greeks gave especial honour to priests living in perfect continency, but they do not prove that this continence was a duty incumbent upon all priests; and so much the less, as the fifth and twenty-fifth Apostolic canons, the fourth canon of Gangra, and the thirteenth of the Trullan Synod, demonstrate clearly enough what was the universal custom of the Greek Church on this point. Lupus and Phillips explained the words of Paphnutius in another sense. According to them, the Egyptian bishop was not speaking in a general way; he simply desired that the contemplated law should not include the subdeacons. But this explanation does not agree with the extracts quoted from Socrates, Sozomen, and Gelasius, who believe Paphnutius intended deacons and priests as well."
  • Africa Day, Orthodox Church & the Decolonization of Africa


    Africa Day
     
    From Wikipedia
     
    Africa Day
    Observed by Member states of the African Union
    Type International; cultural and historical
    Significance Anniversary of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity
    Date 25 May
    Next time 25 May 2017
    Frequency annual
    Related to African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day

    Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. 

    Background 

    The First Congress of Independent African States was held in Accra, Ghana on 15 April 1958. It was convened by Prime Minister of Ghana Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and comprised representatives from Egypt (then a constituent part of the United Arab Republic), Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon. The Republic of South Africa was not invited. The conference showcased progress of liberation movements on the Africa continent in addition to symbolizing the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. Although the Pan-African Congress had been working towards similar goals since its foundation in 1900, this was the first time such a meeting had taken place on African soil.[1] 
    The Conference called for the founding of an African Freedom Day, a day to "...mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation."[2] 
    The conference was notable in that it laid the basis for the subsequent meetings of Africa heads of state and government during the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group era, until the formation of the OAU in 1963.

    History 

    Five years later, on 25 May 1963, representatives of thirty African nations met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie. By then more than two-thirds of the continent had achieved independence, mostly from imperial European states. At this meeting, the Organisation of African Unity was founded, with the initial aim to encourage the decolonisation of Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. The organisation pledged to support the work conducted by freedom fighters, and remove military access to colonial nations. A charter was set out which sought to improve the living standards across member states. Selassie exclaimed, "May this convention of union last 1,000 years."[3] 
    The charter was signed by all attendees on 26 May, with the exception of Morocco.[4][3] At that meeting, Africa Freedom Day was renamed Africa Liberation Day.[2] In 2002, the OAU was replaced by the African Union. However, the renamed celebration of Africa Day continued to be celebrated on 25 May in respect to the formation of the OAU.[5] 

    Contemporary celebrations 

    Africa Day continues to be celebrated both in Africa and around the world, mostly on 25 May (although in some cases these periods of celebrations can be stretched out over a period of days or weeks).[6] Themes are set for each year's Africa Day, with 2015's being the "Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063". At an event in New York City in 2015, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, delivered a message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he said, "Let us... intensify our efforts to provide Africa’s women with better access to education, work and healthcare and, by doing so, accelerate Africa’s transformation".[7]

    References
    "The History of Africa Liberation Day"; TheTalkingDrum.com; accessed May 2017
    "African Liberation Day: A Celebration of Resistance". Pambazuka News. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
    "1963: African States Unite Against White Rule". BBC On This Day. Retrieved 23 October 2016.

    Note: Morocco's delegation was present in an observatory capacity only, due to the attendance of Mauritania and the ongoing border dispute with that nation.

    Allison, Simon (26 May 2015). "Africa Day: Is the African Union worth celebrating?". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
    "Kakadu for Africa Day celebrations". The Nation. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
    "Africa Day 2015 Celebrated in New York". United Peace Federation. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2016.

    External links
     

    Africa Day (African Union website)
    Grayson, Taylor. "Videos from Africa Day 2014 in Limerick". Today.ie.


    Zambia commemorates The Africa Day
     
    Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi
     
    Orthodox Bishop of Zambia & Malawi Ioannis in the Africa Day, Zambia 2017

    Thursday, 25th May 2017.
    Zambia Joins Rest Of Africa In Commemorating Africa Freedom Day.
    Mr. Lungu this morning leaded a delegation of senior government officials, former presidents, service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Zambia in laying wreaths at the Freedom Statue,.
    Later the President will hold an investiture ceremony at State House where various people will be honored.

    This year’s Africa Freedom Day is being commemorated under the theme "Harnessing the Demographic Divinded through the Investiment in the youth"
    Africa Freedom Day was founded during the first Conference of Independent African States which attracted African leaders and political activists from various African countries in Ghana on April 15th 1958.

    Click

    Hope for the Kikuyu (Kenya) / "The caves along the Tana River became the refuge for freedom fighters..."

    Orthodox Church & Capitalism: Orthodox Fathers of Church on poverty, wealth and social justice
    Is capitalism compatible with Orthodox Christianity?
    Grace and “the Inverted Pyramid”
    The Orthodox African Church (Patriarchate of Alexandria) denounces the exploitation of Africa by contemporary colonialists
    Neocolonialism
    Decolonization

    Greek Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos of USA, Martin Luther King Jr. & Reverend James Reeb




    The Orthodox Church in Zambia & Malawi (Orthodox Archdiocese of Zambia and Malawi)