Once again, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are pleased to announce that they have each received $15,000.00 grants from the Prokopis Charitable Foundation to underwrite for 2007 the official Theological Consultation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in the U.S.

Twice each year, twelve Orthodox theologians and twelve Roman Catholic theologians gather for the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation that was initiated in 1965 by SCOBA and the USCCB. Having read many of the papers and statements issued over the years by this oldest ongoing official dialogue between the two Churches, Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Prokopis have decided to cover the costs of the Consultation for a third year. Similar grants covered all the costs of the Consultation in 2005 and 2006. Mr. Prokopis has expressed many times his genuine interest in the success of this dialogue. He noted that he and Mrs. Prokopis "offer this gift to aid in the rediscovery of the unity that existed during the first millennium. These efforts are of importance to me personally, as well as to all Christians."

The religious philanthropy of the Prokopis Charitable Foundation is guided by the following principles: preserving the Word of the Lord; the health, morale and welfare of parish priests; education; and embracing mixed marriages.

In expressing thanks on behalf of Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman, and the SCOBA hierarchs, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA, said "It is certainly a great inspiration to know that the significant work done by our theologians over the past forty years is beginning to bear fruit. Seeking to implement our Lord's prayer 'that all may be one,' our hierarchs and theologians, both lay and ordained, embarked on this long and difficult journey four decades ago. Your very generous support of the work being accomplished by the members of the Consultation, is received with much love and gratitude."

For his part, Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee, the Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Prokopis for the grant, and said that "your support of these multi-faceted efforts has been most appreciated and, I believe, fully corresponds to Our Lord’s desire that we be reconciled.”

Statements produced by the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation can be found on the SCOBA website at www.scoba.us.

For further information CONTACT: SCOBA General Secretariat, Tel: 212-570-3593.

Source: www.goarch.org 19-Dec-2006

Teachings of Christ

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky