Greek Orthodox patriarch orders U.S. leader to solve Salt Lake church dispute

Source: sltrib.com

The conflict between the parish council and clergy at the Salt Lake Valley’s two Greek Orthodox churches has reached that faith’s highest authority: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

The patriarch, who lives in Turkey, instructed Archbishop Demetrios, who oversees the American Greek church, “to solve the problem immediately,” according to a recent article in The National Herald, a weekly Greek-American publication in New York.

At issue in the four-year-long battle is the plan to divide the valley’s parish into two, a move that was pushed by the Denver-based Metropolitan Isaiah and two priests — the Rev. Michael Kouremetis at Holladay’s Prophet Elias Church and the Rev. Matthew Gilbert at Salt Lake City’s Holy Trinity — but which the majority of parishioners oppose.

In mid-December, the parish council voted not to fund Kouremetis’ salary. A month later, a scuffle broke out between the priest’s supporters and opponents during services at Prophet Elias.

On Feb. 5, Demetrios, “summoned Isaiah to the Archdiocesan headquarters in New York, telling him of the patriarch’s disappointment,” The Herald reported. “The message was clear that the Patriarchate will not tolerate the dissolvent of any parish in the United States.”

The next day, Demetrios Tsagaris, the head of Salt Lake Valley’s parish council, explained to the archbishop his perspective on the escalating tensions with the clergy.

“Although the day-to-day functions of our churches are being attended to by our office staff and director George Kournianos, we no longer have open communication with our clergy. … All priests are apparently under direction from Metropolitan Isaiah to not participate in matters concerning the administration of the parish,” Tsagaris wrote in a letter to parishioners as quoted in The Herald. “Despite multiple attempts, in person, via phone and email, to engage Father Matthew to participate in community matters and parish council meetings he has elected not to attend.”

The newspaper reported that Kouremetis was up for appointments to Greek Orthodox parishes in Florida and New Jersey, but “there was resistance from parishioners” in those states.

And though some Utah Greeks would like to see Gilbert move as well, The Herald said, his newly ordained son Chrysostomos, who works at church headquarters in New York, “has intervened and stopped his transfer, for now.”

Tsagaris believes that the impasse is now in good hands, he wrote to the parish.

“Your parish council is in weekly communication with the Archdiocese. Metropolitan Isaiah has removed himself as our spiritual leader and we now await further intervention from the Archdiocese.”

NBC has bathed its version of The Slap in the green glow of success by green lighting the full eight part series.

Source: artshub.com.au

US remake for The Slap

US remake for The Slap

The award-winning Australian series produced by Matchbox for the ABC was based on the novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas.

NBCU, the parent company for Matchbox, plucked it from the various offers from its worldwide network of boutique companies to re-concieve it for the US market. The eight episode series went into development in mid-2012 and has this week NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters at the Television Critics Association that the network has ordered The Slap together with its 75th anniversary retelling of The Wizard of Oz, entitled Emerald City.

Though Matchbox principal Tony Ayres has signed on as an Executive Producer, the US version has been completely rewritten by Jon Robin Baitz, known to us for The West Wing.

The suburban story begins at a backyard barbecue when an unrelated adult slaps a misbehaving child. The fallout leaves friends and family relationships in ruins. Tsiolkas set the story in a Greek Australian family with a racially-diverse group of characters, who were reproduced in the television series.

In directing some of the Australian production Matt Saville (below) emphasised the story’s Australian character and its ‘healthy cynicism towards political correctness’.

Both aspects will challenge the US remake.

 

100 years have passed, 1914 the year when Europe became embroiled in the Great War, a conflict that was essentially a civil war among nations if we look at it in retrospect

Source: Kathimerini

From 1914 to 2014

From 1914 to 2014

Fighting on the Western Front during the Great War in Europe.

A whole century has passed since 1914, the year when Europe became embroiled in the Great War, a conflict that was essentially a civil war among nations if we look at it in retrospect. Greece more particularly sank into a period of turmoil known as the National Schism over differences of opinion regarding what role the country had to take in World War I.

In most ways 2014 is much different to 1914, but there are a few similarities, mostly regarding the crucial issues that arise from the historical circumstances.

Challenges that we stand before today much as we did back in 1914 include the ever-widening gap between rich and poor and growing inequality within society, the geopolitical upheaval on the fringes of Europe, an economic crisis that seems nowhere close to coming to an end and the emergence of new forces on a global level.

In this historical watershed, Greece needs to make some crucial decisions about its fate and about how it will manoeuvre itself into a more propitious position so that it can curb its losses and achieve an equilibrium in what is a radically new set of circumstances.

The European Union is no longer the safe haven it was in 1974 when Greece emerged from the dictatorship nor what it was in 1980, when the country signed the accession treaty to join the European Economic Union. Everything about Europe has changed, from its identity and its orientation to the internal balance of power at play.
The non-European part of the Mediterranean, meanwhile, is also changing drastically: the dramatic developments in war-torn Syria, embattled Egypt and fractured Libya most decidedly concern and have an effect on Greece. Even the crisis that has started to emerge in Ukraine will have consequences for Greece, not to mention, of course, the political turmoil in neighbouring Turkey.

Here in Greece, the deep economic crisis has revealed the magnitude of the political crisis, not just in the structures and institutions of the state but also in terms of national self-determination and long-term goal-setting. In this sense alone we can make parallels with 1914, and it is in this sense also that we should closely examine the consequences of the choices made 100 years ago on our geopolitical position and on our prospects in the 20th century.
We need to look at 2014 in the same way – without blinkers. Like then, we are at a historical threshold with new social formations and new geopolitical relations emerging to the fore.

The last thing we need is to expend our energies on internal divisions.

Sydney Harbour YHA and Cradle Mountain Lodge among Lonely Planet’s top hotels

Cradle Mountain Lodge offers luxury in the wilderness. Image courtesy of Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain Lodge offers luxury in the wilderness. Image courtesy of Cradle Mountain Lodge. Source: Supplied

TWO Australian tourist spots have grabbed “top 10” accolades in Lonely Planet’s first ever collection of the world’s best places to stay.

Sydney Harbour YHA has snared second spot in the travel guide’s Best Value list, and Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania is fifth in the “Extraordinary” category.

Lonely Planet authors around the world nominated places to stay in three categories before an expert panel selected the winners.

The resulting list of top hotels takes in accommodation from the United Arab Emirates to the Ukraine and from budget to high end.

In the extraordinary places to stay category the top three hotels were Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India; Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana and Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy.

Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge grabbed its top 5 placing, just behind Qasr Al Sarab, UAE.

Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge

Writer Anita Isalska says a stay at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge “plunges you into the heart of Tasmania’s wilderness, with luxury that feels as organic as your surrounds”.

“Wildlife is best viewed from an outdoor hot tub. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be exhausted by long hikes in the national park and even I enjoyed Cradle Mountain’s dramatic weather. But the thrill of spotting echidnas and pademelons from the silky waters of a private hot tub is hard to forget.”

 

An incredible desert getaway, the Mihir Garh. Picture: James Kay / Lonely Planet.

An incredible desert getaway, the Mihir Garh. Picture: James Kay / Lonely Planet. Source: Supplied

Mihir Gahr, Rajasthan, India

“Few hotels are created without compromise; Mihir Garh is a rare example. This is not just a unique place to stay; it’s a shrine to the artistic and architectural traditions of Rajasthan in general and Jodhpur in particular.” – James Kay

 

Planet Baobab is named after the trees surrounding its thatched huts. Image courtesy of U

Planet Baobab is named after the trees surrounding its thatched huts. Image courtesy of Uncharted Africa Safari Co. Source: Supplied

 

Visitors enjoy the view from the top of Prendiparte B&. Image courtesy of Prendiparte B&B

Visitors enjoy the view from the top of Prendiparte B&. Image courtesy of Prendiparte B&B. Source: Supplied

Planet Baobab, Gweta, Botswana

“I visited Planet Baobab on a two-night side-trip from the Okavango Delta. Seeing lions in that bleached-out landscape was certainly memorable and I loved the lodge’s Afro-funk decor.” – James Bainbridge

Prendiparte B&B, Bologna, Italy

A medieval high-rise turned romantic hideaway, the Torre Prendiparte is unlike anywhere else you’ll ever stay. For you don’t just get a room here, you get an entire 900-year-old tower. – Duncan Garwood

See all Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Extraordinary hotels and read more about them

In the Best Value category Sydney Harbour YHA was pipped for top spot by The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa, with the Inkosana Lodge in Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, South Africa taking third.

 

A warm welcome is guaranteed at The Backpack. Image courtesy of The Backpack.

A warm welcome is guaranteed at The Backpack. Image courtesy of The Backpack. Source: Supplied

The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa

The Backpack remains a hip, vibrant hangout, where you can play pool in the courtyard, drink local beers in the bar and organise a trip to the bushveld or a stint in a local township program. – James Bainbridge

 

Amazing views top off the attractions at Sydney Harbour YHA. Image courtesy of Sydney Har

Amazing views top off the attractions at Sydney Harbour YHA. Image courtesy of Sydney Harbour YHA. Source: Supplied

Sydney Harbour YHA

Location, view, bargain rates, history, friendly staff? It’s hard to say exactly what makes this one of the best hostels in the world so it’s probably wisest to say everything. The location, in the Rocks, is second to none, with narrow pub-lined streets offering stop-you-in-your-tracks glimpses of the harbour. Which brings you to the view from the hostel itself. – Cliff Wilkinson

 

Inkosana Lodge is nestled in glorious scenery. Image courtesy of Inkosana Lodge.

Inkosana Lodge is nestled in glorious scenery. Image courtesy of Inkosana Lodge. Source: Supplied

Inkosana Lodge, Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, South Africa

“I have goose-bump moments when I sit on Inkosana’s lawns at dusk watching the dramatic cloud formations over the rugged peaks, while listening to the birds or songs that echo across the valley from the local villages (oh, and if it’s tunes you want, Inkosana is located near the Drakensberg Boy’s Choir, which gives performances in summer)”. – Kate Armstrong

See all Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Best Value hotels and read more about them

Australia missed out on a listing in the Eco resorts top ten, with Lapa Rios in Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica taking top honours.

Bulungula Backpackers in South Africa claimed second spot, with Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania, in third.

 

Sunrise in the jungle at Lapa Rios nature reserve. Picture: Lizzie Shepherd / Robert Hard

Sunrise in the jungle at Lapa Rios nature reserve. Picture: Lizzie Shepherd / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images Source: Supplied

Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica

“I encountered three species of monkey within an hour of arriving at Lapa Rios – nature owns the freehold here; humanity has a short-term lease.” – James Kay

 

Bulungula Lodge offers traditional accommodation owned in partnership with the local comm

Bulungula Lodge offers traditional accommodation owned in partnership with the local community. Image courtesy of Bulungula Lodge. Source: Supplied

Bulungula Backpackers , South Africa

“Days are spent on coastal walking trails, in a canoe, or doing nothing at your own pace. Nights are spent gathered around the firepit craning your neck at the Milky Way, wondering how you could ever leave.” – Michael Grosberg

 

Visitors stay in tree houses at Chole Minji. Image courtesy of Chole Minji.

Visitors stay in tree houses at Chole Minji. Image courtesy of Chole Minji. Source: Supplied

Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania

“Chole’s mangrove forest, colourful village, superb sunsets and lazy island pace were a wonderful immersion into life on the Swahili coast.” – Mary Fitzpatrick

See all Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Eco retreats and read more about them