Fr. Emmanuel

“When a person genuinely seeks the truth, he is moving toward God”

(Mon. Dec. 17, 2018)

This statement was made by John (Rudenko) Bishop of Domodedovo, a vicariate of the Patriarchate of Moscow, whose former profession was radiophysicist:

“Science does not interfere with faith. On the contrary, my teachers and older colleagues always taught us to think more broadly, not to get stuck on narrow questions. When I told them I wanted to study not just physics, but also metaphysics, they supported me. In fact, faith helps a scientist. We expand the limits of our knowledge thanks to our Creator. I am deeply convinced that when a person genuinely seeks the truth, he is moving toward God. And if he isn’t moving toward God, then the question arises of what he is really seeking: the truth, or maybe some kind of lifestyle that’s more convenient for him.”

The Radiophysicist Who Became a Monk

Dead tree of heresies

(Thu. Dec. 13, 2018)

I see no fruit and no leaves on the dead tree of the World Council of Heresies, which the Orthodox Church is not a part of.

It’s time for the Lord to act

(Sat. Jan. 5, 2019)

Καιρὸς τοῦ ποιῆσαι τῷ Κυρίῳ – It’s time for the Lord to act. But any time is a good time for us to also act, by obeying the Lord and allowing Him to act in us. Then He lives in us and we become one with Him.

Einstein could neither accept nor reject God’s existence

Einstein could neither accept nor reject God’s existence.

He said he believed in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”

The second half of the sentence has been misunderstood, when taken out of context.

This is made clear in another article by the deist Bob Johnson, who puts Einstein’s letter into perspective ( showing that what Einstein meant was belief in the biblical (Old Testament) God.

Elsewhere Einstein expressed himself more clearly:

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. (The Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press)

I find his view similar to that expressed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things of Ηim since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.” (ASV)

I respect Einstein’s position, and I’ll bring one more of his quotes:

I'm not an atheist, and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. (Einstein and Religion by Max Jammer)

(I emailed the two quotes in red to the AKTINES today, Jan. 3, 2019)

I think any scientist, if he/she wants to be true to his discipline, should take a similar position.

Scientists deal with the physical. If they express an opinion about the metaphysical they do it not as scientists but as private individuals.

I respect more a scientist who publicly stays “neutral” making no pronouncements about God, pretending to speak with authority on a subject over which he/she is not competent (unless he is also an Orthodox theologian, but then he speaks as theologian, not as scientist).

Eternal Memory: +Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis (1941-2024)

Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis

Orthodox Witness founder, Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis, reposed in the Lord on January 9, 2024 in Chania, Crete.

On Tuesday, January 9, Priest Emmanuel Hatzidakis (diocesan cleric) reposed in the Lord in Chania, Crete, Greece. He was 82 years old.
Born November 20, 1941 in Kotsiana, Crete, Fr. Emmanuel was the son of Ioannis and Eleni (Fandaki) Hatzidakis. He graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School in 1989 with a Master of Divinity. He also held a Bachelor’s Degree in Classics from Oberlin College (1972) and did graduate level studies in Classics at the University of Chicago (1973). In 1965 he received a Licenza from the International Institute of St. Paul in Rome. Read the full story here.

Before his ordination, he worked as an insurance underwriter and agent. He was also Protopsalti at St. Nicholas Greek Church in St. Louis, MO.
Fr. Emmanuel served as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America from 1988 to 2019. In 2019, he was received by ROCOR by Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral; +2022) of blessed memory.

Fr. Emmanuel was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Iakovos (Krinis; +2017) of Chicago in 1988 and served in parishes in Huntington, WV; Rocky River, OH; Swansea, IL; Chicago, IL; Columbia, MO; and Clearwater, FL. He also served as a visiting priest in the diocese of Kythera, Greece, under Metropolitan Seraphim.

In 2001, Fr. Emmanuel founded Orthodox Witness, a ministry dedicated to Orthodox evangelism that brought together dedicated individuals from parishes of different jurisdictions. Annual outreach seminars were hosted in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area from 2002-2007.

He authored two books, The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy and Jesus: Fallen? The Human Nature of Christ Examined from an Eastern Orthodox Perspective, and published three original Orthodox Christmas plays: Prophecies Announcing Christ, Daniel and the Three Holy Youths, and Christmas Eve. Other unpublished books, music, translations, and articles will, God willing, be forthcoming. Over 200 of Fr. Emmanuel’s articles have been published on “Over the Rooftops” since 2001.

Fr. Emmanuel was a pioneer in making English translations of Greek church hymns fit their original melodies. He rendered the Resurrectional Apolytikia and Theotokia, Apolytikia of Saints and Feasts, Prosomia, Evlogitaria, and more.

Fr. Emmanuel is survived by his presbytera and wife of 53 years, Barbara; three children: Joy-Eleni (Dimitris), Anthony, and Christina; and three grandchildren: Nicolas, Eleonora, and Alexandra; and two siblings: Ioannis (Markella) Hatzidakis and Olga (+Nick) Packis; he was preceded by an infant son, John; and brother, George (Katina) Petrakis.

His funeral took place on Thursday, January 11, at St. John the Theologian Cemetery Church in Kotsiana.

Fr. Emmanuel had moved back to Crete with Presbytera Barbara and their son about one year prior to his repose after living for over 50 years in the United States.

Memory Eternal to the newly reposed Priest Emmanuel!

A tribute to his life is forthcoming.

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