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Orthodox targets Catholics with English services

Melbourne's Holy Cross Orthodox Mission, the first Orthodox church in Australia to have services in English, has said that it is targeting non-Orthodox - including Catholics, Protestants and unbelievers - who are seeking spiritual succour.

Orthodox churches in Australia are based on racial or national identities, such as Greek, Russian, and Serbian. Traditionally, they shape and give identity to their expatriate communities, and see themselves as charged with preserving the home culture. The services are therefore conducted in the traditional language.

The Age reports that the new mission plans to reach out to non-Orthodox by offering not only the gospel, but free medical services, counselling, legal aid, a library and soup kitchens.

Mission secretary John Kakos (pictured) says Melbourne's other Orthodox churches are watching but have not opposed them. The Holy Cross Mission does not intend to "poach" other Orthodox believers. Its targets, according to Kakos, are Catholics, Protestants and unbelievers.

Note: The Holy Cross Orthodox Mission has no connection with the Greek Orthodox Church, as CathNews erroneously indicated in an earlier version of this article. We apologise for the error.

The sweet lilt of English (The Age 5/5/04)

5 May 2004