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The Creation of the Matthewite Hierarchy On the 26th of August 1948, Bishop Matthew of Bresthena together with only a handful of clergy consisting of only one archpriest, six archimandrites, seven hieromonks and two priests (hardly anything compared to the remaining four bishops and 300+ Old Calendarist priests alive in Greece at this time), decided that Bishop Matthew was permitted to create a provisional “Holy Synod” with himself as president and four priests (who he was to select) to be members. Bishop Matthew selected the four priest‐members of his provisional “Holy Synod” to be Fr. Gideon Pasios, Fr. Eugene Tombros, Fr. Athanasius Anestis and Fr. Callistus Makris. On the 28th of August 1949, Bishop Matthew together with the four priest‐members of his provisional “Holy Synod” took part in the election of one of the members, Fr. Gideon Pasios, to fill the roll of “Bishop of Trimythus in Cyprus.” Bishop Matthew then performed the consecration with five archimandrites, seven hieromonks and one archpriest serving as “witnesses” in the place of a second bishop (since Bishop Matthew was the only bishop present at the consecration, just as he was the only bishop present at the election). The consecration took place at Prophet Elias chapel, Kroniza, Attica. At the consecration, Fr. Gideon was renamed Spyridon, so that he became “Bishop Spyridon of Trimythus.” In the next few weeks, Bishops Matthew of Bresthena and Spyridon of Trimythus took part in the elections and consecrations of Bishops Andrew of Patras, Demetrius of Thessalonica and Callistus of Corinth. Standing (left to right):
The Division of the G.O.C. Into Factions The first division among the Old Calendarists occurred in 1936, when three of the seven bishops returned to the New Calendarist State Church of Greece. The fallen hierarchs were Metropolitan Chrysostom Demetriou of Zacynthus, Bishop Christopher Hatziz of Megara and Bishop Polycarp Liosis of Diaulia. The remaining hierarchs of the Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece were Metropolitan Germanus Mavromatis of Demetrias, Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavouridis of Florina, Bishop Germanus Varykopoulos of the Cyclades and Bishop Matthew Karpathakis of Bresthena. The second division among the Old Calendarists also occurred in 1936, when the government‐recognized entity of the “Religious Community of the Genuine Orthodox Christians” (a group of laymen theoloigians without any bishops or priests) severed communion with the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Germanus, and also severed communion with all the remaining hierarchs of the Synod, and went off alone, forming a parasynagogue. The third division among the Old Calendarists occurred in September 1937, when Bishop Matthew of Bresthena severed communion with the Synodal President, Metropolitan Germanus, and instead formed his own party, and took over the leadership of the schismatic “Religious Community of the Genuine Orthodox Christians” which had severed communion from the Church a year earlier. Bishop Matthew left for ecclesiological reasons. The fourth division occurred in October 1937, when Bishop Germanus of the Cyclades severed communion with the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, and instead joined Bishop Matthew. The fifth division occurred in 1942, when Bishops Germanus of the Cyclades and Matthew of Bresthena severed communion with one another due to dogmatic reasons. Bishop Germanus of Cyclades condemned Bishop Matthew for his writings and publications, which included a statement that if it were not for the birth of St. John Chrysostom, there would have needed to be a “second incarnation of Christ,” and another statement that Christ’s teeth were supposedly broken, etc. Bishop Matthew retaliated against this by stating that Bishop Germanus was guilty of blaspheming against King Abgar’s letter to Christ, and the response from Christ to Abgar, and for mocking the “symbols of the Theotokos” that Bishop Matthew had published in his book “Garden of Graces.” The sixth division among the Old Calendarists occurred in 1943, when Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina severed communion with the Synodal President, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, due to political reasons. In other words, by 1943, there were four Old Calendarist bishops, and four factions! Each of the four bishops was the “president” of his own faction. Unfortunately, these hierarchs managed to preserve themselves from new calendarism, but they fell into the passion of factionalism, a passion that still runs wild among the Old Calendarist hierarchs even today. This is what occurs when bishops are led by their passions, make hasty decisions to condemn their brothers, and make themselves leaders of their own parties. In 1946, this factionalism began to come to an end when Bishops Christopher and Polycarp returned to the Old Calendar and joined the Synod of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina. Soon after this, Bishop Germanus of the Cyclades also began meeting with the above three bishops for the sake of reuniting all the factions of the Old Calendarists of Greece. However, he was placed in prison from 1947 to 1949, and it was not until he was released that he joined formally with the Synod of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina. The only bishop who remained separated was Bishop Matthew of Bresthena, mainly for ecclesiological reasons, but he was much more open to unity than were those immediately surrounding him. The below photograph is of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina and Bishops Germanus of Cyclades, Christopher of Megaris and Polycarp of Diaulia in 1946, when the factionalism began to end and a united Synod began to form again (with the exclusion of Bishop Matthew who did not meet in person with any of the remaining hierarchs). Germanus of Cyclades, Chrysostom of Florina, Christopher of Megaris, Polycarp of Diaulia
What are the “talent principles” we will discover during our study of Matthew 25:14-30, and how will each one allow us to become better stewards of Christ’s Kingdom?
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us Jesus’ Betrayal Announced (Matthew 26:20-25) The First Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29) Observance of the Lord’s Supper Chorus:
MATTHEW STEPHEN SHEPLER 90 Church Street (Church Street Station) P.O.
CAN FASTING MAKE ONE “WORTHY” TO COMMUNE? In the first paragraph of his first letter to Fr. Pedro, Bp. Kirykos writes: “... according to the tradition of our Fathers (and that of Bishop Matthew of Bresthena), all Christians, who approach to receive Holy Communion, must be suitably prepared, in order to worthily receive the body and blood of the Lord. This preparation indispensably includes fasting according to one’s strength.” To further prove that he interprets this worthiness as being based on fasting, Metropolitan Kirykos continues further down in reference to his unhistorical understanding about the early Christians: “They fasted in the fine and broader sense, that is, they were worthy to commune.” Here Bp. Kirykos tries to fool the reader by stating the absolutely false notion that the Holy Fathers (among them St. Matthew of Bresthena) supposedly agree with his unorthodox views. The truth is that not one single Holy Father of the Orthodox Church agrees with Bp. Kirykosʹs views, but in fact, many of them condemn these views as heretical. And as for referring to St. Matthew of Bresthena, this is extremely misleading, which is why Bp. Kirykos was unable to provide a quote. In reality, St. Matthew’s five‐page‐ long treatise on Holy Communion, published in 1933, repeatedly stresses the importance of receiving Holy Communion frequently and does not mention any such pre‐communion fast at all. He only mentions that one must go to confession, and that confession is like a second baptism which washes the soul and prepares it for communion. If St. Matthew really thought a standard week‐long pre‐communion fast for all laymen was paramount, he certainly would have mentioned it somewhere in his writings. But in the hundreds of pages of writings by St. Matthew that have been collected, no mention is made of such a fast. The reason for this is because St. Matthew was a Kollyvas Father just as was his mentor, St. Nectarius of Aegina. Also, the fact St. Matthew left Athos and preached throughout Greece and Asia Minor during his earlier life, is another example of his imitation of the Kollyvades Fathers. As much as Bp. Kirykos would like us to think that the Holy Fathers preach that a Christian, simply by fasting, can somehow “worthily receive the body and blood of the Lord,” the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church actually teach quite clearly that NO ONE is worthy of Holy Communion, except by the grace of God Himself. Whether someone eats oil on a Saturday or doesnʹt eat oil, cannot be the deciding point of a person’s supposed “worthiness.” In fact, even fasting, confession, prayer, and all other things donʹt come to their fulfillment in the human soul until one actually receives Holy Communion. All of these things such as fasting, prayers, prostrations, repentance, etc, do indeed help one quench his passions, but they by no means make him “worthy.” Yes, we confess our sins to the priest. But the sins aren’t loosened from our soul until the priest reads the prayer of pardon, and the sins are still not utterly crushed until He who conquered death enters inside the human soul through the Mystery of Holy Communion. That is why Christ said that His Body and Blood are shed “for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28). Fasting is there to quench our passions and prevent us from sinning, confession is there so that we can recall our sins and repent of them, but it is the Mysteries of the Church that operate on the soul and grant to it the “worthiness” that the human soul can by no means attain by itself. Thus, the Mystery of Pardon loosens the sins, and the Mystery of Holy Communion remits the sins. For of the many Mysteries of the Church, the seven highest mysteries have this very purpose, namely, to remit the sins of mankind by the Divine Economy. Thus, Baptism washes away the sins from the soul, while Chrism heals anything ailing and fills all voids. Thus, Absolution washes away the sins, while Communion heals the soul and body and fills it with the grace of God. Thus, Unction cures the maladies of soul and body, causing the body and soul to no longer be divided but united towards a life in Christ; while Marriage (or Monasticism) confirms the plurality of persons or sense of community that God desired when he said of old “Be fruitful and multiply” (or in the case of Monasticism, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”). Finally, the Mystery of Priesthood is the authority given by Christ for all of these Mysteries to be administered. Certainly, it is an Apostolic Tradition for mankind to be prepared by fasting before receiving any of the above Mysteries, be it Baptism, Chrism, Absolution, Communion, Unction, Marriage or Priesthood. But this act of fasting itself does not make anyone “worthy!” If someone thinks they are “worthy” before approaching Holy Communion, then the Holy Communion would be of no positive affect to them. In actuality, they will consume fire and punishment. For if anyone thinks that their own works make themselves “worthy” before the eyes of God, then surely Christ would have died in vain. Christ’s suffering, passion, death and Resurrection would have been completely unnecessary. As Christ said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick (Matthew 9:12).” If a person truly thinks that by not partaking of oil/wine on Saturday, in order to commune on Sunday, that this has made them “worthy,” then by merely thinking such a thing they have already proved themselves unworthy of Holy Communion. In fact, they are deniers of Christ, deniers of the Cross of Christ, and deniers of their own salvation in Christ. They rather believe in themselves as their own saviors. They are thus no longer Christians but humanists. But is humanism a modern notion, or has it existed before in the history of the Church? In reality, the devil has hurled so many heresies against the Church that he has run out of creativity. Thus, the traps and snares he sets are but fancy recreations of ancient heresies already condemned by the Church. The humanist notions entertained by Bp. Kirykos are actually an offshoot of an ancient heresy known as Pelagianism.
Scholtz says, “[It] is complex and difficult to interpret, but crucial to any preaching about eschatology.”5 The discourse is in the three synoptic gospels, but the most developed account of the three is Matthew’s, since it contains a prelude (Matthew 23), and three parables not seen in the other two synoptics (Matthew 25).
Fullop DSTL, Roger Neal Smith DSTL false witness, Angela Howells DSTL false witness, Major Ronald Thomas Cunningham Harley DSTL false witness, Lynne Sheridan Reah DSTL, Andrew Hall DSTL false witness, Matthew J Parish DSTL, Sarah L.
17---cv 10254- ER Filed Document 38 ..,MEMO ENDORSED ‘ogElxi’B 10/OE4/18 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MEMO DORSED 25:32:“?W ”0.52 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ENDORSED °f Pae Case Ne, i217nev=1025é MATTHEW STEPHEN (ER) (GTE?
The Position of Bp. Kirykos Regarding Re‐Baptism Differs From the Position of Bp. Matthew of Bresthena When Bp. Kirykos receives New Calendarists, Florinites, ROCOR faithful, etc, under his omophorion, he insists on rebaptising them even if they had already been baptized in the correct form of triple immersion and invocation of the Holy Trinity. He insists on doing this due to his belief that he is the only valid bishop left on earth and that anyone baptized out of communion with him, even if baptized in the correct form, is in need of re‐ baptism by his hands. But was this the position of Bp. Matthew of Bresthena? In 1937, Bp. Matthew of Bresthena issued an Encyclical in which he declared the following: “…We knock against the slander that supposedly we re‐baptize or request the repetition of the service of marriage. We request only, according to our sacred obligation, as Genuine Orthodox Christians, to follow the Sacred Ecclesiastical Tradition, and according to which, we must guide the faithful towards salvific pastures, and thus to those approaching the Genuine Orthodox Church, those who are of age we receive by libellus, as for the children which were baptized by Schismatics, we re‐chrismate them according to the 1st Canon of St. Basil the Great.” So there you have it. Bishop Matthew of Bresthena adhered to the correct practice of the Second and Quinisext Ecumenical Councils, and of St. Basil the Great, whereby he received New Calendarist converts to his Synod only by chrismation, and sometimes only by mere libellus, because the converts had already received the correct form of baptism. This clearly correct method is that practiced today by the Kiousis Synod, Makarios Synod, Nicholas Synod, Gregorians, Maximites, HOCNA, Tikhonites, Valentinites, ROCIE, etc. Almost every Old Calendarist Synod adheres to the Patristic use of receiving Orthodox converts by chrismation. Thus all of these Synods prove by their methods to be truly “Matthewite,” since they adhere to Bishop Matthew’s practice. Only Bp. Kirykos has fallen from this principle and has ignored the Patristic Matthewite approach, by beginning to “re‐baptize” those who are already baptized in the canonical form of triple immersion!
2017-RTK-448 Allentown Police Department Employee Name Annual Salary ADUDDELL, JASON A $60,654.80 ALMONTE, AMAURY M $74,057.02 AMMARY, JASON A $74,057.02 ANDERSON, THOMAS E $80,215.83 ANTON, WILLIAM S $74,057.02 BAJWA, PREET $60,654.80 BAKER, JOSHUA J $74,057.02 BALL, ZACHARY D $58,014.51 BATTONI JR, NEIL $74,057.02 BAUER, DOUGLAS A $55,378.64 BECKER JR, MICHAEL J $80,215.83 BEIDELMAN, MICHAEL S $74,057.02 BEINER, JOSEPH L $74,057.02 BEKY, ANDREW J $74,057.02 BENNER, DAVID W $74,057.02 BERGER, CRAIG G $74,057.02 BEST, BRIAN T $73,781.19 BIROSIK, KEVIN C $74,057.02 BLOOMBERG, ANDREW M $74,057.02 BOCCADORO II, ALFRED S $74,057.02 BOEHM, ALEXANDER J $74,057.02 BONSER II, HAROLD D $60,654.80 BOSTICK, EMILY K $58,014.51 BOWLAND, ANTHONY R $74,057.02 BOYLE, SHAWN P $74,057.02 BRADER, BRIAN S $84,227.57 BRANSTON, BRIAN R $60,654.80 BRENNER, ERIC R $80,215.83 BRIXIUS III, JOHN W $74,057.02 BRUBAKER, JOSHUA DAVID $74,057.02 BUBNIS, ZACHARY R $60,654.80 BUCKWALTER, JOHN C $71,900.02 BULL, PATRICK C $74,057.02 BUSCH, ROBERT T $73,781.19 CARBAUGH III, ROBERT E $74,057.02 CASHATT, TALDEN M $74,057.02 CASTILLO, YAMIL $74,057.02 CHRISTENSEN, MARK B $74,057.02 CLEMENS JR, DENNIS L $74,057.02 CLOUSER, DAVID D $60,654.80 COLE JR, COREY E $74,057.02 COLLINS, LOUIS A $80,215.83 CONJOUR, ALICIA M $80,215.83 CONWAY IV, JOSEPH L $74,057.02 CORREA, CHRISTIE LYNN $78,379.89 CRUZ JR, PEDRO A $74,057.02 CRUZ, ANTHONY S $58,014.51 CUNNINGHAM II, THOMAS R $74,057.02 D'ARGENIO, THURMAN A $74,057.02 DE LA IGLESIA, ALEX M $74,057.02 DEAN, MARK J DENNIS, ADAM H DEVINE, RODERICK DEWALT, JACK M DIAZ GONZALEZ, VICTOR R DIEHL, CHRISTOPHER R DIEHL, MATTHEW A FAUST, JOSHUA R FEGELY, ANDREW J FERRARO, RAYMOND T FEY, RANDY J FIORILLO, STEPHEN C FITZSIMMONS, EDWARD D FLORES, ROBERT FLYTE, DEAN D FRENCH, KYLE A FRITZINGER, LEONARD P GARCIA, LUIZ D GEAKE, MATTHEW D GLENNY, JACOBY P GOGEL, LEWIS D GOGEL, MELISSA L GOOD, MICHAEL R GRANITZ JR, GLENN E GRAVES, JOSEPH R GRESS, JAMES G GROSS JR, DANIEL J 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$74,057.02 $84,227.57 KARNISH, MATTHEW M KESACK, JASON M KISKERAVAGE, THEODORE A KLUSARITZ, LONNY J KNERR, APRIL L KOCHER, BENJAMIN W KOMATICK, ALEXANDER T KOONS, RYAN A KOPPEL, CRAIG E KOURY, JOSEPH M KOZIEL, PAUL M KOZLOWSKI, KARL T KRASLEY, JASON M KREBS, JOSEPH F LANDIS, ERIK M LAYTON, DAVID J LEBERT, CHERIE LEA LEBRON, JOSE L LEONARD III, JOHN E LERCH, NICHOLAS J C LISCHKE, RYAN J LOBACH, DAMEIN J LONG, DATHAN J LYTLE JR, ANTHONY B MADISON, STEPHEN J MANCINI, MICHAEL J MARSTELLER, CORY A MATTHEWS, CHRISTOPHER R MCADAMS, PAUL M MCAFEE, PETER A MCCARTY, CHRISTOPHER S MCCULLOCH, SCOTT D MCDONALD, DAVID T MEDERO, JORGE A MEHMETI JR, BEJTULLAH M MELBER, JAY M MERTZ, CHAD E MILKOVITS III, STEPHEN J MILLAN, REYNALDO L MILLER, DANIEL J MOLL, ANDREW J MOLL, JEREMY J MOORE, BRIAN J MOTZ, JUSTIN M MURRAY, DAMIAN A MURRAY, JACQUELINE MURRAY, RYAN T NEWSOME, JAMIL A OQUENDO, WALTER A OWENS II, ARTHUR G OZOA JR, JOSE L PAMMER, KYLE P $80,215.83 $58,014.51 $60,654.80 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $58,014.51 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $80,215.83 $74,057.02 $58,014.51 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $58,014.51 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $58,014.51 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $73,781.19 $58,014.51 $80,215.83 $78,379.89 $80,215.83 $80,215.83 $74,057.02 $58,014.51 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $78,379.89 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $78,379.89 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $74,057.02 $58,014.51 $58,014.51 $60,654.80 $73,781.19 $78,379.89 PEREZ, JOHN JOSEPH PHILLIPS, GEOFFREY P PIERSON JR, KIRK M PRITCHARD, ZACHARIAH C ROCA, CHARLES O ROSENBERGER, STEPHEN A RUFF, ERIK B RUSHATZ, TODD M SANNIE, RAYMOND J SBAT, ERIC A SCHLEGEL JR, RONALD E SCOCCA, ANTHONY V SEGARRA, ISMAEL A SELTZER, RICHARD C SHADE, MATTHEW K SINTON, ADAM J SKRILETZ IV, WILLIAM F SKUTCHES, DAVID A SMITH, JONATHAN C SMITH, JORDAN R SNYDER, SCOTT M SNYDER, TIMOTHY M STANKO, JAMES M STAUFFER, ERIC P STEPHENSON, CHRISTOPHER LUKE TANNER, JEFFREY J 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$96,004.21 LAKE, WILLIAM J REINIK, WILLIAM C STRUSS, GAIL M VANGELO, STEPHEN F WIEDEMANN, DANIEL A $96,004.21 $100,803.96 $100,803.96 $96,004.21 $96,004.21
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(30 min.) Conductor Reader Review Followed by Preview of Next Week (3 min.) Song 13 Anthony Jones Cesar Perez Prayer Matthew Schweitzer 9:10 Printed on 12/17/2017 Our Christian Life and Ministry Valley View DECEMBER 25-31 | MALACHI 1-4 Song 131 Floyd Martinez End Philip Heath 7:38 "Does Your Marriage Please Jehovah?":
The Final Fantasy Role Playing Game Third Edition Lead Developer Samuel Banner Development Staff Carl Chisholm, ‘Holy Sword Excalipur’, Elisha Feger, Chris H., Amanda Latimer, ‘General Leon’, Stuart MacGillivray, Blair MacKenzie, James Reid, Justin Schantz, Michael Schroeder, Matthew White, Lavi Zamstein Playtesters Joe Alane, Leonard Anthony P.
The Nativity Story 1 Monday, December 25 Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 Stable Sunday, December 24 John 1:26-27, 29 6 1 Angel Gabriel Monday, December 4 Luke 1:26 3 Lamb 11 Friday, December 1 Luke 2:1-7 2 Jesus 12 10 2 Friday, December 22 Luke 2:8-20 Mary 9 Wednesday, December 6 Luke 1:26-37 4 4 10 Friday, December 8 Matthew 1:18-24 11 Donkey Monday, December 11 Mark 11:1-10 6 7 8 Star of David Wednesday, December 13 Matthew 2:1-2 Wiseman #3 Wednesday, December 20 Matthew 2:11-12 3 Joseph 5 Shepherd 9 5 12 8 Wiseman #2 Monday, December 18 Matthew 2:9-10 7 Wiseman #1 Friday, December 15 Matthew 2:3-8 The Nativity Story Verses 1 Stable | Friday, December 1 | Luke 2:1-7 4 Joseph 5 Donkey Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
The Lord’s Supper The Lord’s Supper first occurred on the night before Jesus was crucified (Matthew 26:17-30).
ANCIENT AND CONTEMPORARY FATHERS REGARDING SO‐CALLED “WORTHINESS” OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES St. John Cassian (+29 February, 435) totally disagrees with the notion of Bp. Kirykos that the early Christians communed frequently supposedly because “they fasted in the fine and broader sense, that is, they were worthy to commune.” Blessed Cassian does not approve of Christians shunning communion because they think of themselves as unworthy, and supposedly different to the early Christians. Thus whichever side one takes in this supposed dispute of Semipelagianism, be it the side of Blessed Augustine or that of Blessed Cassian, the truth is that both of these Holy Fathers condemn the notions held by Bp. Kirykos. Blessed Cassian writes: “We must not avoid communion because we deem ourselves to be sinful. We must approach it more often for the healing of the soul and the purification of the spirit, but with such humility and faith that considering ourselves unworthy, we would desire even more the medicine for our wounds. Otherwise it is impossible to receive communion once a year, as certain people do, considering the sanctification of heavenly Mysteries as available only to saints. It is better to think that by giving us grace, the sacrament makes us pure and holy. Such people [who commune rarely] manifest more pride than humility, for when they receive, they think of themselves as worthy. It is much better if, in humility of heart, knowing that we are never worthy of the Holy Mysteries we would receive them every Sunday for the healing of our diseases, rather than, blinded by pride, think that after one year we become worthy of receiving them.” (John Cassian, Conference 23, Chapter 21) Now, as for those who may think the above notion is only applicable for the Christians living at the time of St. John Cassian (5th century), and that the people at that time were justified in confessing their sins frequently and also communing frequently, throughout the year, while that supposedly this does not apply to contemporary Orthodox Christians, such a notion does not hold any validity, because contemporary Holy Fathers, among them the Hesychastic Fathers and Kollyvades Fathers, have taught exactly the same thing as we have read above in the writings of Blessed Cassian. Thus St. Gregory Palamas, St. Symeon the New Theologian, St. Macarius Notaras of Corinth, St. Nicodemus of Athos, St. Arsenius of Paros, St. Pachomius of Chios, St. Nectarius of Aegina, St. Matthew of Bresthena, St. Moses of Athikia, and so many other contemporary Orthodox Saints agree with the positions of the Blessed Cassian. The various quotes from these Holy Fathers are to be provided in another study regarding the letter of Bp. Kirykos to Fr. Pedro. In any case, not only contemporary Greek Fathers, but even contemporary Syrian, Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian and Romanian Fathers concur. St. Arsenius the Russian of Stavronikita (+24 March, 1846), for example, writes: “One can sometimes hear people say that they avoid approaching the Holy Mysteries because they consider themselves unworthy. But who is worthy of it? No one on earth is worthy of it, but whoever confesses his sins with heartfelt contrition and approaches the Chalice of Christ with consciousness of his unworthiness the Lord will not reject, in accordance with His words, Him that cometh to Me I shall in no wise cast out (John 6:37).” (Athonite Monastery of St. Panteleimon, Athonite Leaflets, No. 105, published in 1905) St. John Chrysostom (+14 September, 407), Archbishop of the Imperial City of Constantinople New Rome, speaks very much against the idea of making fasting and communing a mere custom. He instead insists on making true repentance of tears and communion with God a daily ritual. For no one passes a single day without sinning at least in thought if not also in word and deed. Likewise, no one can live a true life in Christ without daily repentance and frequent Communion. But in fact, the greatest method to abstain from sins is by the fear of communing unworthily. Thus, through frequent Communion one is guided towards abstinence from sins. Of course, the grace of the Mysteries themselves are essential in this process of cleansing the brain, heart and bowel of the body, as well as cleansing the mind, spirit and word of the soul. But the fear of hellfire as experienced in the partaking of communion unworthily is most definitely a means of preventing sins. But if one thinks that fasting for seven days without meat, five days without dairy, three days without oil, and one day without anything but xerophagy, is a means to make one “worthy” of Communion, whereas the communicant then returns to his life of sin until the next year when he decides to commune again, then not only was this one week of fasting worthless, not only would 40 days of lent be unprofitable, but even an entire lifetime of fasting will be useless. For such a person makes fasting and Communion a mere custom, rather than a way of Life in Christ. Blessed Chrysostom writes: “But since I have mentioned this sacrifice, I wish to say a little in reference to you who have been initiated; little in quantity, but possessing great force and profit, for it is not our own, but the words of Divine Spirit. What then is it? Many partake of this sacrifice once in the whole year; others twice; others many times. Our word then is to all; not to those only who are here, but to those also who are settled in the desert. For they partake once in the year, and often indeed at intervals of two years. What then? Which shall we approve? Those [who receive] once [in the year]? Those who [receive] many times? Those who [receive] few times? Neither those [who receive] once, nor those [who receive] often, nor those [who receive] seldom, but those [who come] with a pure conscience, from a pure heart, with an irreproachable life. Let such draw near continually; but those who are not such, not even once. Why, you will ask? Because they receive to themselves judgment, yea and condemnation, and punishment, and vengeance. And do not wonder. For as food, nourishing by nature, if received by a person without appetite, ruins and corrupts all [the system], and becomes an occasion of disease, so surely is it also with respect to the awful mysteries. Do you feast at a spiritual table, a royal table, and again pollute your mouth with mire? Do you anoint yourself with sweet ointment, and again fill yourself with ill savors? Tell me, I beseech you, when after a year you partake of the Communion, do you think that the Forty Days are sufficient for you for the purifying of the sins of all that time? And again, when a week has passed, do you give yourself up to the former things? Tell me now, if when you have been well for forty days after a long illness, you should again give yourself up to the food which caused the sickness, have you not lost your former labor too? For if natural things are changed, much more those which depend on choice. As for instance, by nature we see, and naturally we have healthy eyes; but oftentimes from a bad habit [of body] our power of vision is injured. If then natural things are changed, much more those of choice. Thou assignest forty days for the health of the soul, or perhaps not even forty, and do you expect to propitiate God? Tell me, are you in sport? These things I say, not as forbidding you the one and annual coming, but as wishing you to draw near continually.” (John Chrysostom, Homily 17, on Hebrews 10:2‐9) The Holy Fathers also stress the importance of confession of sins as the ultimate prerequisite for Holy Communion, while remaining completely silent about any specific fast that is somehow generally applicable to all laymen equally. It is true that the spiritual father (who hears the confession of the penitent Orthodox Christian layman) does have the authority to require his spiritual son to fulfill a fast of repentance before communion. But the local bishop (who is not the layman’s spiritual father but only a distant observer) most certainly does not have the authority to demand the priests to enforce a single method of preparation common to all laymen without distinction, such as what Bp. Kirykos does in his letter to Fr. Pedro. For man cannot be made “worthy” due to such a pharisaic fast that is conducted for mere custom’s sake rather than serving as a true form of repentance. Indeed it is possible for mankind to become worthy of Holy Communion. But this worthiness is derived from the grace of God which directs the soul away from sins, and it is derived from the Mysteries themselves, particularly the Mystery of Repentance (also called Confession or Absolution) and the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ (also called the Eucharist or Holy Communion). St. Nicholas Cabasilas (+20 June, 1391), Archbishop of Thessalonica, writes: “The Bread which truly strengthens the heart of man will obtain this for us; it will enkindle in us ardor for contemplation, destroying the torpor that weighs down our soul; it is the Bread which has come down from heaven to bring Life; it is the Bread that we must seek in every way. We must be continually occupied with this Eucharistic banquet lest we suffer famine. We must guard against allowing our soul to grow anemic and sickly, keeping away from this food under the pretext of reverence for the sacrament. On the contrary, after telling our sins to the priest, we must drink of the expiating Blood.” (St. Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ). St. Matthew Carpathaces (+14 May, 1950), Archbishop of Athens, while still an Archimandrite, published a book in 1933 in which he wrote five pages regarding the Mystery of Holy Communion. In these five pages he addresses the issue of Holy Communion, worthiness and preparation. Nowhere in it does he speak of any particular pre‐communion fast. On the contrary, in the rest of the book he speaks only about the fasts of Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, and the four Lenten seasons of Nativity, Pascha, Apostles and Dormition. He also mentions that married couples should avoid marital relations on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Aside from these fasts and abstaining, he mentions no such thing about a pre‐communion fast anywhere in the book, and the book is over 300 pages long. In the section where he speaks specifically regarding Holy Communion, Blessed Matthew speaks only of confession of sins as a prerequisite to Holy Communion, and he mentions the importance of abstaining from sins. Nowhere does he suggest that partaking of foods on the days the Orthodox Church permits is supposedly a sin. For to claim such a thing is a product of Manicheanism and is anathematized by several councils. But Blessed Matthew of Bresthena was no Manichean, he was a Genuine Orthodox Christian, a preserver of Orthodoxy in its fullness. The fact he had 600 nuns and 200 monks flock around him during his episcopate in Greece is proof of his spiritual heights and that he was an Orthodox Christian not only in thought and word, but also in deed. Yet Bp. Kirykos, who in his thirty years as a pastor has not managed to produce a single spiritual offspring, dares to claim that Blessed Matthew of Bresthena is the source of his corrupt and heretical views. But nothing could be further from the truth. In Blessed Matthew’s written works, which are manifold and well‐ preserved, nowhere does he suggest that clergy can simply follow the common fasting rules of the Orthodox Church and commune several times per week, while if laymen follow the same Orthodox rules of fasting just as do the priests, they are supposedly not free to commune but must undergo some kind of extra fast. Nowhere does he demand this fast that is not as a punishment for laymen’s sins, but is implemented merely because they are laymen, since this fast is being demanded irrespective of the outcome of their confession to the priest. Yet despite all of this, Bp. Kirykos arbitrarily uses the name of Bishop Matthew as supposedly agreeing with his positions. The following quote from the works of Blessed Matthew will shatter Kirykos’s notion that “fasting in the finer and broader sense” can make a Christian “worthy to commune,” without mentioning the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion themselves as the source of that worthiness. The following quote will shatter Bp. Kirykos’ attempt to misrepresent the positions of Blessed Matthew, which is something that Bp. Kirykos is guilty of doing for the past 30 years, tarnishing the name of Blessed Matthew, and causing division and self‐destruction within the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece, while at the same time boasting of somehow being Bishop Matthew’s only real follower. It is time for Bp. Kirykos’ three‐decades‐long façade to be shattered. This shattering shall not only apply to the façade regarding the pharisaic‐style fast, but even the façade regarding the post‐1976 ecclesiology held by Bp. Kirykos and his associate, Mr. Gkoutzidis—an ecclesiology which is found nowhere in the encyclicals of the Genuine Orthodox Church from 1935 until the 1970s. That was the time that Mr. Gkoutzidis and the then layman Mr. Kontogiannis (now Bp. Kirykos) began controlling the Matthewite Synod. On the contrary, many historic encyclicals of the Genuine Orthodox Church contradict this post‐1976 Gkoutzidian‐ Kontogiannian ecclesiology, for which reason the duo has kept these documents hidden in the Synodal archives for three decades. But let us begin the shattering of the façade with the position of Blessed Matthew regarding frequent Communion. For God has willed that this be the first article by Bishop Matthew to be translated into English that is not of an ecclesiological nature, but a work in regards to Orthopraxia, something rarely spoken and seldom found in the endlessly repetitive periodicals of the Kirykite faction.
CAST (in order of appearance) *** Eric Cotti……………………………………………………….…EDGAR Matthew Jeffers…………………………………………………..OLD MAN Jennette Nelligan…………………………………………….YOUNG WOMAN Matthew Mitchell…………………………………………………..CHARLES Emily Vere Nicoll…………………………………………………THE RAVEN !
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