Thursday, March 28, 2024

A Time of Reflection and Resistance: The Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia's Holy Thursday Letter

By. A. DiNardo

ROME-RUTHENIA 28 March 2024 (NRom)

In an era where the fabric of faith seems continually under siege, the Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia's letter to the clergy of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, as well as to churches in communion around the globe, serves as both a beacon of hope and a call to spiritual arms. Issued on Holy Thursday, a day that commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist, the letter from His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I is a poignant reminder of the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead for the Christian community, particularly the orthodox and catholic faithful.

The text of the letter follows: 

Dear Brethren in the Episcopate, Brother Priests, and Fellow Clergy around the World,

At the heart of Holy Thursday is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, a sacrament that encapsulates the essence of Christian faith, the true and living Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. It is a testament to the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ, offering himself for the salvation of humanity. This day is important, not only as a moment, at the same time historical and timeless, of deep spiritual significance but also as a foundation upon which the faithful must stand firm, especially in times of adversity.

The era in which we find ourselves today sees the world at a crucial juncture. Earlier it seemed like a  comparatively golden period for freedom for the Christian Church, but we know such periods are fleeting. Now the world is overshadowed by increasing hostility towards Christian people. The orthodox and catholic communities, in particular, find ourselves at the forefront of these challenges. Attacks, both verbal and physical, on our religious freedoms have escalated, making the defense of the faith more critical than ever.

Today, as we celebrate the institution of the most powerful act on earth, the Holy Eucharist, We give an unequivocal call to the clergy and the faithful: to uphold the teachings and traditions of the Church with courage and conviction. This is a reminder that the journey of faith is fraught with trials, but also that these trials are not insurmountable. The history of the Church is replete with periods of persecution, yet it has always emerged stronger, buoyed by the resilience and dedication of its people and aided by Christ and the Saints. The Church is washed in the blood of the martyrs like Christ before. Many have tried to stop the Church. All have failed. 

In the face of these adversities, though, the coming celebration of Pascha is a source of hope and renewal for the clergy and the faithful alike. Pascha is not just a celebration of Christ's Resurrection; it is a reaffirmation of the victory of life over death, of faith over despair. This message of hope is particularly poignant for us clergy, who bear the responsibility of shepherding our flock through these turbulent times. Draw strength from the Paschal mystery, remain steadfast in your vocation, and to continue spreading the Gospel's message of love, peace, and redemption. We call on you not only to defend the faith but to live it fully, embodying the very principles that this holy time in the liturgical calendar represents.

Yet, we do not merely reflect today, but directly call for action. Both the clergy and the lay faithful must be vigilant. The clergy must educate themselves and their communities about the richness of their faith and fight opposition in accordance with Christian principles. Remember, though, that defending the faith does not only mean defence against attacks but also proactively living out the teachings of Christ in everyday life.

Most of all, unity within the Christian community, especially between the orthodox and catholic churches, is of utmost importance. In the face of external pressures, this unity is a formidable force, a testament to the strength and resilience of the Christian faith. It serves as a reminder that, together, the faithful can overcome the challenges of the present day, just as they have in the past.

This is Our call to the clergy and the faithful of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and its sister churches worldwide. Remember the significance of the Holy Eucharist and Pascha as cornerstones of the Christian faith, symbols of sacrifice, hope, and resurrection. In a world where the faithful increasingly find themselves besieged, remember the strength found in unity, the importance of defending the faith, and the ever-present hope that Paschal mysteries bring to the Christian community. As we reflect today on the institution of the Holy Eucharist and we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ in a few days, let us also recommit ourselves to the mission of the Church in the world today.

In peace,

Rutherford Pp. I
Bishop of Rome-Ruthenia

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Pontifical Household Responds to Tragic Bridge Collapse in Baltimore

By J. DuBois

ROME-RUTHENIAN 26 March 2024 (NRom)

In the wake of a catastrophic event that saw a Singapore-flagged vessel collide with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the Pontifical Household has expressed its deep sympathy and concern for all those affected.

It was a scene that could have been plucked from the script of a disaster movie. The Dali, a massive cargo ship, was leaving the Port of Baltimore when it struck the Key Bridge, a vital artery for the city's transportation system. Officials report that the crew had issued a warning of a power issue and sent out a "mayday" call before the collision occurred. The footage that has since circulated online shows the harrowing moment when the ship collided with one of the bridge's columns, causing it to snap and collapse into the water below, partially landing on the vessel itself. A burst of flames and smoke could be seen rising into the night sky, painting a grim picture of the incident.

The aftermath of the collapse was nothing short of chaotic. Several vehicles, including those of contractors who were on the bridge repairing potholes, plunged into the river below. The water temperature that day was measured at a chilling 48 degrees, dangerously cold enough to induce hypothermia in minutes. Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld confirmed that two individuals were rescued from the icy waters. One was miraculously unharmed, while the other remains in very serious condition. The community and emergency services have rallied together in a display of solidarity and swift action, but the incident has left many shaken.

The Pontifical Household's Message of Compassion

In the face of such tragedy, the Pontifical Household has issued a statement expressing its profound sympathy and concerns for all those impacted by the bridge collapse. The message highlights the importance of community support and the power of collective prayer during times of crisis. It is a reminder that, in the midst of despair, there is hope to be found in human kindness and solidarity.

As the city of Baltimore begins to heal and rebuild, it is clear that this incident will not soon be forgotten, serving as a poignant call to action for all involved. The road to recovery will be long and fraught with challenges. However, with the support of the global community and the guiding light of compassion and empathy, there is hope yet for a brighter, safer future. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Imperial Russo-Italian Chronicler King of Arms Grants Coat of Arms to HRH Dominick Amodio, Grand Duke of Ravenna

From the Cronista Re d'Armi Russo-Italiano Imperiale

ROME-RUTHENIA 25 March 2024 (NRom)

The Cronista Re d'Armi Russo-Italiano Imperiale (Imperial Russo-Italian Chronicler King of Arms), the heraldic ministry of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial StateUnited Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial State, has granted a coat of arms to HRH Dominick Amodio, Grand Duke of Ravenna. 

The Role of the Imperial Russo-Italian Chronicler King of Arms

The Cronista Re d'Armi Russo-Italiano Imperiale is responsible for overseeing the granting and registration of coats of arms within the jurisdiction of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and Pontifical Imperial State. Registrations of existing coats of arms and grants of new coats of arms are made with a large, full-color document with large pendant wax seal. For more, please see this website.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Embracing Unity: Bishop Rutherford's Message as Holy Week Begins

By A. DiNardo

ROME-RUTHENIA 24 March 2024 (NRom)

Amidst a world so often divided by differences, His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I addressed his people around the globe after the Palm Sunday liturgy, emphasizing the importance of fraternal love and the shunning of differences. Holy Week begins with the Palm Sunday liturgy, marking the commencement of the holiest time of the year for Christians. This period leads up to Latin Pascha (Easter) on the following Sunday according to the Gregorian calendar. Notably in the custom of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, there is a second celebration of "Eastern" Pascha, following the Julian calendar, which, this year, falls one month later. These celebrations underscore a shared heritage and faith that bind the Christian community across the traditional Roman-Ruthenian lands and across the globe.

The United Roman-Ruthenian Church: A Testament to Unity in Diversity

The ancient yet unique liturgy of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church is a vivid embodiment of Christian unity. Faithfully incorporating the heritage of the very diverse people in the traditional Roman-Ruthenian lands, the Church serves as a model of how diverse Christian traditions can come together in worship and fellowship. The United Roman-Ruthenian Church, with most of its members located in Europe, Africa, and South America, stands as a testament to the unity that can be achieved across borders. 

A Call to Action: Living Out the Message of Brotherhood

Bishop Rutherford's call for Christians to behave in a fraternal manner and to shun differences is particularly poignant during Holy Week. This time offers an opportunity for Christians, regardless of their geographic location or national affiliations, to come together in mutual respect, love, and understanding. As we reflect on the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, we are reminded of the core values of forgiveness, compassion, and unity that are central to the Christian faith.

In embracing these values, the global Christian community can set a powerful example of how differences can be transcended through shared faith and love. This Holy Week, Bishop Rutherford reminds us to celebrate our diversity while uniting in our common heritage and faith. By doing so, we can build a more understanding, compassionate, and brotherly world.

A Unified Path Forward

As the Christian community worldwide prepares to observe the sacred traditions of Holy Week and Pascha, Bishop Rutherford's message resonates with renewed urgency. In a world often divided, the example of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church and the shared observance of this holiest time of the year remind us of the strength found in unity. Let us embrace this time of reflection and renewal with open hearts, committed to living out the principles of brotherhood, understanding, and love. Together, we can forge a path forward that honors our diverse heritage while celebrating our shared faith and humanity.