In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Liturgical Year, September the First is considered New Year's Day, the first day of the year according to the Byzantine Year of Creation Calendar. This September the First will be the beginning of the Year of Creation 7521. orthodoxwiki.org
You can consider this a very early "year in review" thread, if you like, but what events do you think are significant during the Byzantine Liturgical year 7520, now drawing to a close?
One event that may have future significance may be the blasphemous and sacriligious protest by the band P(Meow) Riot (I think the context of the name precludes my using it in a Catholic Thread) before the iconostatis of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow earlier this year. Many Russians see this event, and the sacrileges done in support of it such as the chainsawing of an Eastern Catholic crucifix in Kiev by the feminist group FEMEN as an attack by the Western groups on the heart of Russian culture. Western media attention has focused on the trial as a "show trial" and have attempted to put Russia in a bad light as oppressors of "free speech", but the protest was not just a political one, but attacked Christian belief and mocked Eastern Christian practice and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
An orthodox writer, Frederica Matthews-Green, points out the significance of the incident to Orthodox believers, which I think is something we should share as Catholics whether we are Eastern or Latin Rite.
It is signicant also because it marks a contrast between US and Russian cultures I've been noticing for some time, and I can show through their space programs. In 1961, Vostok 1 carried Yuri Gregarin as the first man in orbit, and a phrase attributed to that flight but which shows the official spirit of the USSR was the line, ""I did not see any God up here." The statement, according to Interfax, was made by Nikita Kruchev and carried by USSR propaganda. Fifty years later, the Russian space capsule Soyuz TMA22 was blesed by a Russian Orthodox priest, and the Cosmonauts carried an Icon of Our Lady of Kazan to the International Space Station. The Icon is displayed behind the astronauts inside the capsule in the picture.
Other icons floating in zero gravity in the ISS. This had happened before.
Contrast that with the famous recitation by the astronauts on Apollo of Genesis 1 as they orbited the Moon over Christmas in 1968. Does anyone think an astronaut in the US program now, even if we had the machines to fly to the Space Station, would be allowed to give such a message nowadays?
That segueways into the attacks on religious liberty that are occuring in the U.S. and the West this year, as focused by the HHS mandate issued in January. This week, a Vermont couple who ran an inn and refused to host a "New Marriage" reception settled with the ACLU. They were forced to pay $30,000 and end the hosting of any wedding receptions at their inn. There are no professions and businesses that are "Christians need no apply" realms in the U.S.
Does anyone else have anything to add? And is this appropriate to this forum, or more suited to Current Events?