Monday, March 23. 2009
Your comments are welcome on the news of the day that affects, it seems, all of us....
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"At no point, the spirit of nationalism took hold of the Ecumenical Patriarchate because that is incompatible with the concepts of Hellenism and Ecumenicity (ecumenical character) as well as with the Christian Orthodox faith. "
Yeah, this is why 95% of the Turkish residents of Istanbul think it is impossible for them to be both Turkish and Christian..... (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/january/12.25.html)
I may theoretically grant the EP the right to the "barbarian lands" but the EP has made it abundantly clear that it has absolutely no interest in barbarian *people*, they can't even reach out to the one's who stand outside their front door! We can debate about canons all day, but what is more important than canons is a simple everyday Christian witness. The EP, and the Greeks here in America, have proved themselves unable to do that. So until they do that, as far as I'm concerned Canon 28 can go to Hellenism.
#1 Anonymous on 2009-03-23 14:57
Go to Hellenism, good one, I like it.
............. on the other hand, you are wrong, barbarian breath!
The EP, through the various Patriarchates, Alexandria comes to mind, has done excellent work in the missionary field.
Albania is another prime example. They found the men to be bishops, they found the man to be primate, and did nothing to turn the Albanians into tie-dyed blue and white hellenic morons.
The EP is not the enemy, he is the Ecumenical Patriarch. Anything else is just BS.
#2 no name on 2009-03-23 15:34
Regarding the speech by Fr. Lambriniadis which has been keeping the Holy Cross campus (among other places, I am sure) abuzz for the past week:
For those of you on Facebook, there is a lively (and civilized, and anonymous) discussion going on in the group called Challenges to Orthodox Christianity in America. It's an open group so anyone can go and check out the comments, links, etc. There is good representation there, including HC faculty...
#3 Inga Leonova on 2009-03-23 16:42
It does not matter. The GOA failed in its attempt to be self governing in ANY WAY! Most all GOA clergy/laity are discouraged by the Pat. and can do nothing. Poor Archp Demetrius is as must be expected the "company man", nearing his retirement. Yes, his replacement now in S. America already picked, born in the USA, but another rep. of the great Phanar. Orthodoxy unite in America? Many say never, others when all present Patriarchs (and their successors) are gone.
#4 Anonymous Priest on 2009-03-23 17:24
"go to Hellenism"; "barbarian breath" -- how childish. Funny to be sure, but really childish.
The EP is just that, the EP. He does not work "through" any other throne, he can work "with" but not through.
And you are right, he is not the enemy...but he sure can be a stumbling block on the road to real unity by sending his mouthpiece to trash other thrones. Nice job Bart. Maybe March 16, 2009 will go down in history as another Triumph of Orthodoxy!
#5 Any Mouse on 2009-03-23 17:41
I looked for the group on Facebook that you mentioned, but nothing came up. Could you provide more information on how to find this group? Thanks.
#6 anonymous on 2009-03-23 18:01
Wow. Hard to comment on a rambling monologue. I didn't see anything in there that was much more than a rehash. Hardly earth shattering other than the personal attacks on Metropolitans Jonah and Philip.
With regard to granting of autocephaly and what constitutes canonical territory I think it would have been interesting to hear more details and distinctions. For example: when Russia received its autocephaly it was within a specific territory. As the empire expanded east it acquired new territory. Whether some of that territory was separated by the Pacific Ocean is immaterial. If the claim is that all of the Americas belong under the EP then so does eastern Russia. I doubt that would fly.
All in all this seems nothing more than typical flame bait. Best to move along and ignore the neo-Papist propaganda. "Submit to the First Throne" indeed. For the past thousand years it's been "Submit to the Throne of Peter" and now we have two "Submit to the --insert here--" claims.
#7 D. Homiak on 2009-03-23 19:31
The EP is definitely " on the move". So far unreported is his recent excommunication of Fr. Daniel Byantoro, the godly missionary to Indonesia who has resolutely stood against the abuses heaped upon him for years by various bishops attached to the EP, presumably with the EP's unconscionable blessing. Fr. Daniel moved to ROCOR and Bp. Hilarion several years ago to escape the relentless persecution of certain Greeks (not all - the good Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh, Fr. Daniel's spiritual father, has stood behind behind him through thick and thin). This latest move proves to this writer that the EP is power hungry and corrupt. He is persecuting a saintly individual in Fr. Daniel. What godly person would make such choices? Only an ungodly man would... or one who is horribly uninformed, which is not believable given the rigid hierarchy that is the Greek Church. We must stand against this corruption within Orthodoxy.
#8 Anon. on 2009-03-23 19:42
"At no point, the spirit of nationalism took hold of the Ecumenical Patriarchate because that is incompatible with the concepts of Hellenism and Ecumenicity (ecumenical character) as well as with the Christian Orthodox faith."
The Greeks tried to Hellenize the Bulgarians; then, when they resisted, they were labeled as heretics ("ethnophyletism"). This doesn't count?
#9 Anonymous on 2009-03-23 20:28
With respect, the Albanian story (and Madagascar) is more a story of one bishops missionary attitude with some rich friends and devoted fellow workers, than a movement by the EP as a whole. If I recall, he was sent out with fairly low expectations and was alone for quite a while with very little support (actually sizable amount of Albanian missionaries are NA).
I don't think that a large amount of people would see the EP as evil or an enemy. We do worry about the requirement for ethnic identity to be Orthodox. (Last time I checked, Christ, Baptism and Theology were the requirements not Greek). I know that is being said, but that is the root of mistrust of ethnic diocese.
I think that most of the OCA knows that our autocephaly has some serious problems, but we hold on to it in the hope that we can bring it to the table for a NA church. We know that it is not completely solid, but it offers the only hope for a non-state church right now. Though some have said that it has caused more divisions which may be correct.
I for one would give up autocephaly for unity, hey... have the EP move here, we would be more than happy to accept him, give Greece and Turkey a different bishop. America could us +Bartholomew's guidance.
Our need for a local church is necessity, it takes 12 hrs travel to the nearest patriarch(who has very little idea of what NA is like), we have more Orthodox in NA then many Orthodox Countries. (Finland, Turkey etc.) They are crying out for leadership! No patriarch has time to deal with NA, they have their own churches problems!
As having served in Greek parishes, I have seen the heartbreaking sight of Kids leaving because they only know the basics of what is being said, it is not their own words. I have seen parishioners question why I am there ... I am not Greek. I see so much right with the Greek Church, I love the charity, the quiet faithfulness, the music, the language! At the same time, I hope that people never leave Orthodoxy because of a lack of understanding of it, or because learning a different language is too daunting. A young man once told me, that in reality, his local Church is a cultural club.
We have so many problems in North America, Kýrie, eléison!, I for one am praying that the All Orthodox Synod will be guided by the Holy Spirit. God Save Us.
Δόξα Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ καὶ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, καὶ νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.
#10 Anonymous on 2009-03-23 21:40
I'm not bothered at all by what the nice Greek man had to say. I have heard it all before, and eventually if the OCA does want its status as a self-governing Church to be recognized by the rest of the world's Churches, than we are going to have to deal with these things. The rest of the Churches are going to side with the EP. They always do. In order for our autocephaly to be universally recognized it is going to have to be recognized by the EP. Its going to be an interesting road, because I don't think that is ever going to happen.
#11 Anon. on 2009-03-23 21:48
I have one word for your lecture at Holy Cross..........SAD!
#12 Anonymous on 2009-03-23 22:45
Hmmm... Here is the link, but it's from my home page, I don't know whether it will work for you: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=59365988043&ref=nf
If it doesn't work, try searching the Groups, or search FB for Panteleimon Manoussakis (he set up this group).
If all else fails, you can friend me, but you would have to tell me who you are! ;o)
#13 Inga Leonova on 2009-03-24 05:56
"In order for our autocephaly to be universally recognized it is going to have to be recognized by the EP. Its going to be an interesting road, because I don't think that is ever going to happen."
No it doesn't! When Kievan/Rus declared itself autocephalous after the Council of Florence which the Kievan/Rus rejected and Constantinople embraced (union with Rome), it took Constantinople 144 YEARS to formally recognize the autocephaly of Russia! Russia was not outside of Orthodoxy, in fact, Russia remained as the ONLY Orthodox country while Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria fell into heresy. Thus, a good claim for Moscow as the "Third Rome." It wasn't until 25-30 years later Constantinople rescinded it's agreement to the Council of Florence.
In any event, Russia after 144 years had to pay Constantinople a large sum of money for Constantinople's formal recognition of autocephaly. WHY? Because Constantinople was corrupt and remains this way today.
The OCA isn't going to pay the Pat. of Istanbul anything, nor should it. The OCA "IS" the ONLY indigenous, canonical, autocephalic Orthodox Church in North America. Istanbul's stubbornness to recognize what is canonical and proper, only brings to light all the more how corrupt Pat. Bartholomew is. Orthodoxy does not have an Eastern Pope nor is ONLY all of God's grace flowing from Istanbul. Chalcedon 28 has nothing to do with world domination by Istanbul!
+ Bartholomew can go to Hellenism!
#14 Annie Moose on 2009-03-24 06:19
If I'm not mistaken, both Schmemann and the EOC tried going to the EP first in order to sort out their respective canonical issues. The EP pretty much gave them the middle finger and told them to shove off. So for the EP to now whine that we should all just "submit" to them is more than a bit rich, it's ridiculous. I'm not entrusting my soul to the care of the EP, I don't trust them with it. It really is as simple as that. The comments at Holy Cross only serve to cement that mistrust.
#15 Anonymous on 2009-03-24 07:14
It is, I think, long past time for the OCA to cease maintaining polite public silence in the face of the EP's deliberate twisting and self-aggrandizing misuse of Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council.
It does not, after all, take an advanced degree in the study of the Sacred Canons to read and understand the plain meaning of this Canon and its commentary. Even someone who "only dabbles in the Canons" can grasp, firstly, that this Canon repeats and renews the insistence of Canon 3 of the Second Ecumenical Council, which grants to New Rome the same privileges and priorities accorded Old Rome...which means that it sets limits on privileges, priorities, and primacy. Then it says:
"And it is arranged so that only the Metropolitans of the Pontic, Asian (i.e., Asia Minor), and Thracian dioceses shall be ordained by the most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople aforesaid, and likewise the Bishops of the aforesaid dioceses which are situated in barbarian lands..."
BUT that phrase "barbarian lands" in explained in the commentary by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite: "...Not only are the Metropolitans of the said dioceses to be ordained by him (i.e., the EP), but indeed also the bishops located in barbarian regions THAT BORDER ON THE SAID DIOCESES, as, for instance, those called Alani are adjacent to and flank the diocese of Pontus, while the Russians border on that of Thrace..." (emphasis added).
Thus, the "barbarian lands" are those adjacent to certain dioceses already established at the time of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. (And in case no one has noticed, both the Balkan and Russian Churches are now autocephalous and therefore no longer considered "barbarian lands.")To hijack this Canon to mean that the EP retains primacy and authority over North America, Central and South America, Australia,and Antarctica, (and what next: the Romulan, Klingon and Cardassian homeworlds? the entire Delta Quadrant?) is simply silly and unsupported by the words of the Canon itself, by the commentary in The Rudder, and/or by soldily-based canonical precedent.
It is also important to note how The Rudder understands the term "ecumenical patriarch." In a very extensive footnote, it says, inter alia, that: "The title of 'Ecumenical,' on the other hand, denotes two different things: for it is either taken in general as applying to the Church as a whole, by way of describing a bishop as being entitled to exercise personal and monarchical authority in the Church as a whole; or else it denotes a major part of the inhabited earth" (i.e., the Oikumene, that territory over which the Byzantine Emperors ruled at the zenith of the Empire). The footnote goes on to say: "In the first sense of the word, therefore, the Bishop of Constantinople is NEVER called an Ecumenical Patriarch, nor is the Bishop of Rome, or anyone else, excepting only Christ..." (emphasis added).
So what does it matter what some overseas head of a has-been diocese (now canonically defined as one block in downtown Istanbul, the Holy Mountain, the Dodecanese Islands and---against protests by the Church of Greece---the "New Lands") thinks? Simple: reliable sources indicate that at the upcoming "Great Synod"---to which the OCA is not invited---the EP has placed the OCA's autocephaly on the agenda, in an attempt to gain unanimous support of all the other Churches for the EP's rejection of that autocephaly. And note that the Estonians under the EP are also not invited, so as to forestall Russian wrath. So how much we can count on "mother's" support is an open question.
The reality is that such an unprecedented public attack---by name, yet!---on Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Philip, by someone so highly placed at the Phanar, could only have been done with the express approval of the Archbishop of Constantinople..."cui resistite, fortes in fide."
#16 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2009-03-24 07:17
I am trying to imagine how wonderful any converts in the audience must've felt. What a warm and welcoming missionary spirit!
When I moved into a new area and was looking at the local parishes the church closest to home was a Greek parish. The people were warm and friendly, but I knew I'd always feel like an outsider on account of not being Greek. The same was true of the local ROCOR and Antiochian parishes.
Am I the only one who finds it difficult enough to be a faithful follower of Christ, in English and as an American?
#17 Morton on 2009-03-24 09:34
That's ALL we need a Pat. of Ec nature in the USA. We have enough despots and that is what he is. Sat in on the Gk Clergy-Laity in Los Angeles as an observer. What a sham as Archp Demetrius souted the Co. line. Has those delegates had their way IMMEDIATE unity as an Amer. Orth. Ch. would have resulted. Who said Many, many years ago, "We will ever observe the battle bet, Constantinople and Moscow. True?
#18 Anonymous Layman on 2009-03-24 10:24
Could you provide a link regarding the excommunication of Fr. Daniel? I had the pleasure of meeting him several years ago, and his quiet courage and fearless truth-telling impressed me deeply. More and more I begin to question the actions of some of our hierarchs. It seems as if the spirit motivating them is not necessarily the Holy Spirit. I see disquieting resemblances to Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor, from "The Brothers Karamazov".
#19 Scott Walker on 2009-03-24 12:58
Thank you, Father Philip, for that erudite and comprehensive refutation of the EP's ridiculous claims. I suspect you are right on target with respect to the Phanar's ultimate game plan.
My question to our brothers and sisters in the GOC in North America is why do you continue to enable this tyrannical megalomaniac with your financial support? Since the Church in Greece has long since cut the umbilical cord to the EP, why can't you? It is time to send a message with your prayers and pocketbooks!
#20 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2009-03-24 13:11
Great Star Trek references, Father! I'm more of a Larry Niven guy, so I would have included the Kzinti Empire and the Puppeteers.
Back to the real world, where Byzantium has been dead and buried since 1453-everywhere except the Orthodox Church. Shoot, there's really no such place as Antioch anymore, and Alexandria has vanished, too. Is there any chance that some of energy devoted to maintaining historical fantasies could be diverted, instead, to bringing Christ to a dying world? Truthfully, the more I read about the endless bickering about autocephaly and who's canonical and who's not, and Patriarch this and Metropolitan that, the more discouraged I get. It all seems such a sterile waste of time.
I meet Christ in the Eucharist, and in the people of my parish. It seems to me that everything patriarchs and metropolitans do should be aimed at supporting the parish, where we meet Christ. Instead, it seems more and more to be a stupid power game.
Sorry to ramble all over your post, Father, but I do wonder what the point of it all is, when so many of our leaders seem more interested in p-ssing matches than in serving the people of Christ. Asking your blessing,
#21 Scott Walker on 2009-03-24 13:19
Why is it that there are so many wise people here that know better than the Patriarch of Constantinope, or the Patriarch of Moscow, or Antioch.
Does their sanctity and history mean nothing? Have we in our 200+ history of Orthodoxy here, in this land, reinvented Orthodoxy for the better?
No one say's they can't be wrong...... but jeepers!
The lack of humility here is radiant!
#22 no name on 2009-03-24 15:42
i don't care whether the greeks recognize us or not.the MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE, THE THIRD ROME, gave our oca autocephaly.let his ALL HOLINESS PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMAIOS enjoy his TURKISH coffea and loukoumia in istanbul and eat his heart out. that being said, i love the greeks, speak greek,know how to read and sing byzantine chant, but the EP's claim of universal jurisdiction is ridiculous. l
#23 Anonymous on 2009-03-24 16:20
Glory to IC XC!
Fr. Bartholomew (no relation)
#24 Rev. Bartholomew Wojcik on 2009-03-24 16:38
Fr. Daniel is currently in Indonesia. Some Friends of Indonesia have helped him with a website: http://friendsofindonesia.org/ He learned of his long threatened "excommunication" while on a trip to a national education conference where he was asked to speak. Met. Hilarion of ROCOR has responded to EP, I believe, and told the EP that his abusive act is unwarranted and will be ignored. This should be confirmed, because the phone connection when this information was received from Fr. Dan faded inexplicably. Ever since the EP sidelined Bp. Maximos of Pittsburg regarding Indonesia, the Greek treatment of Fr. Dan and Indonesia can only be considered unmerited Greek hegemony. There has been nothing remotely Christian about the behavior of the EP or the Bishop of Hong Kong.
I will also provide Mark Stokoe with Fr. Dan's email address in case anyone would wish to communicate their support to him. Which by the way, I am sure he and the Indonesian faithful would much appreciate.
#25 Anon. on 2009-03-24 16:51
You forgot to mention that Russia kept the Pat. of Constantinople (or maybe his representative?) prisoner until they recieved recognition of their Autocephaly, but thats not the point. The point is why go through all of that trouble? If Moscow did not NEED the EP's recognition, then why pay large sums of money to get it? And I am not saying that the OCA or any other Church is outside of Orthodoxy until recognized by the EP. I am just saying that eventually, if our Autocephaly is to be recognized by the rest of the Churches, then that recognition is going to first have to come from the EP. Lets not also forget that the majority of Orthodox Christians in this country are under the EP. Perhaps as many as the OCA and the Antiochian's put together. We can't ignore this fact. We are claiming to be THE Church in America when the majority of the Orthodox here aren't even under our jurisdiction.
(editor's note: By that token, how valid is Orthodoxy's claim to be the "true" Church then , when the overwhelming majority of Christians in the world "aren't even under our jurisdiction"?)
#26 Anon. on 2009-03-24 17:54
Morton, you are not alone.
#27 Anon. on 2009-03-24 20:21
Insulting the Patriarch of Constantinople is not the answer. The answer is prayer, the answer is the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that is getting the OCA out of their mess, not this website, and certainly not the comments posted by anonomous people and others who decide that cynicism and hurling insults are the best way to go. The posts that analyze canon law, or respectfully disagree are great and should be encouraged.
Telling the Patriarch to "eat his heart out". or calling him corrupt because you disagree with his policies, should be eliminated from this forum. This forum should only have comments posted that are carefully thought out, and respectfully and prayerfully submitted. The wolf of souls is guiding some typings hands.
This website was designed to inform OCA members of the scandal within the OCA and how to properly deal with it in the face of a Metropolitan that was proven to have commited countless harms. Now Mark, your website is dabbling into being the Hollywood gossip page: Orthodox Version. Trying to read between the lines of a letter from Patriarch Kyrill directed towards Met. Jonah is not in the spirit of anything really. I see the same kind of provocational posts on Pro Football rumor pages.
Providing a forum is one thing, providing news is another. But allowing insults, baseless accusations, and anonomous falsehoods to be printed deviates from this website's purpose, especially during the time of fasting.
Mark, I am a nobody. Putting my name down on this posts means nothing to people, since 99.9% of them do not know me, and what does it matter what some guy in Pennsylvania thinks? I wish that my posts just makes you and others pause for a second, and consider what you are doing. While my own faults are many, this website is potentially becoming an accessory to sin, and is hastening the spiritual downfall of others.
(Editor's note: Thanks for the comments. You are not "nobody". That you think otherwise is part of the problem, for I fail to see how you are unimportant, or your voice is unimportant, since our Lord choose to die for you. Isn't that what our Tradition teaches?
However, if you feel the website is now unhelpful, and I am sorry you do, feel free to stop reading it. Simple as that. If anonymous or snarky comments bother you, pass them by. Id do. End of problem. The greater question perhaps is not why are they posted, but what is causing all this anger and bitterness they express? And should we just put our fingers in our ears and hum so we don't hear them? Isn't it better after twenty five years of ignoring them, to listen to them for what, 3.5 years, and maybe begin to address the causes of the anger?
As for the Patriarch's comments, and their appropriateness in being given, and being reported, I know it is Lent, but I think you should lighten up a bit. Clearly, the Patriarch has.)
#28 Alex Uram on 2009-03-25 06:09
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Russia did not "receive" their autocephaly, they "declared" it, to be much later accepted by the EP. Same thing with the church in Greece.
#29 Michael Strelka on 2009-03-25 08:12
"Why is it that there are so many wise people here that know better than the Patriarch of Constantinope, or the Patriarch of Moscow, or Antioch."
Dear No Name: Take "The Cassock of the Heart" reflection and wherever you see the word Arab substitute the word Greek, wherever you see the word Damascus or Anticoh substitute the word Istanbul (or Constantinople if you prefer, even though you can't go back there), and subsitute EP for Metropolitan Philip or Patriarch Ignatius, and there you'll have your answer.
But in case you're a little slow on the uptake, when Americans are told to jump, we generally don't answer "how high", but "why?"
#30 Michael Strelka on 2009-03-25 08:41
Who cares if the EP recognizes the OCA or not? I dint. Beside,Bishops and priests of the OCA and GOA in this country concelebrate Liturgy and other services in the spirit of brotherly love as Orthodox Christians,as well as it should be. The Patriarch of Russia gave her daughter Church the Autocephaly,which he had every right to do so...canoncially. Its time the EP swallowed his pride. Let the Sunnis and Shiites fight one another...not Orthodox Christians.
#31 Anon on 2009-03-25 10:32
Thank you, Scott, for this breath of fresh air! A very sensible, if utopian, vision.
Blessed Feast to you all.
#32 Rdr. John on 2009-03-25 15:26
"Beside,Bishops and priests of the OCA and GOA in this country concelebrate Liturgy and other services in the spirit of brotherly love as Orthodox Christians,as well as it should be."
Well, not in the Metropolis of Boston! And not in the Metropolis of Mexico, either.
#33 ejv on 2009-03-25 21:18
This is an excellent and pertinent read:
#34 Inga Leonova on 2009-03-26 07:50
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