Thursday, September 23. 2010
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The Episcopal Assemblies should be abandoned! In the US, this is nothing more than the Greeks trying to reign over all the bishops in N. Am. The OCA has been marginalized and + Bart is trying to usurp authority that isn't his. The Antiochians should leave this charade and certainly the OCA. The main obstacle to Orthodox unity in N. Am. has ALWAYS been + Bart and the Greeks - historical fact! Now, + Bart is going to bestow a united, autocephalic church in N. Am.? Who are we kidding here? The Greeks will ONLY accept any kind of unity with themselves in full control. HELLOOOOOO, hubris, hubris & more hubris. And did I mention, NON-CANONICAL?
#1 Anonymous on 2010-09-24 06:12
What a wonderful opportunity for the Moscow Patriarchate to step in and assume leadership for the financial and administrative responsibility of this facility and its operations.
This would demonstrate in spades the very real differences between the disingenuous intellectual gymnastics of the Phanar attempting to justify its pompous pretensions of a patriarchate on paper on the one hand, and a real, fully and properly functioning patriarchate responsible for hundreds of millions of souls on the other.
#2 Alexander on 2010-09-24 06:42
The videos of the consecrations of +Thomas, +Mark and +Alexander sends a clear reminder to +Ignatius, +Philip and their flunkies “that a liar should have a good memory.”
#3 Sick of the double talk on 2010-09-24 07:31
Now that the Greeks in Greece have come to their senses, wouldn't it be nice if Americans of Greek descent would also stop funding the Istanbul circus that keeps them in servitude to a Patriarchate that ceased to have any relevance to the real world many years ago. Maybe we can even get the Turkish government to send the would be Pope of the Orthodox world to Mt. Athos, where he could spend the rest of his days in contemplation of his total irrelevance to Orthodox unity and mission.
#4 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2010-09-24 15:37
I don't know who you are ... but ... I agree
#5 Sean O'Clare on 2010-09-24 16:17
Keep your friends close ... your enemies closer!
It is all so very irksome. I want the church to lead, to grow, to serve, to act as if it is truly THE Church ... yes "Sick..." We need an excellent memory ... they do ... and we do ...
#6 Sean O'Clare on 2010-09-24 16:19
The article about Chambesy further demonstrates that the Chambesy Agreement and the Episcopal Assembly process are houses built on sand.
The big players in this process, the EA and the MP, are both completely dependent on civil government or business sponsors, and are therefore captive to those player's agendas. The Greek government is already broke, and the Russian government is not far behind (although this has escaped the attention of the Western media so far).
What is more, these Patriarchates are also morally compromised by their subservience to wordly politicians and those politicians' agendas.
The MP has violated a half dozen of the Apostolic Canons through it's daughter schismatic 'Abkhaz Eparchy', and the EP gave the MP a pass on these canonical crimes in return for political and financial considerations. Russian bishops have "blessed' the very acts and means of genocide against Georgian Orthodox Christians. They did so "on camera" and didn't even bother to deny these horrific crimes! They have frustrated the cause of justice for the afflicted, and God Himself will reject them in the end. As the articles attached below show, this is already happening.
The current issue of Vanity Fair Article magazine has an article that demonstrates the pivotal role of Athonite monks in precipitating the Greek debt crisis. Read the entire article here:
(A short excerpt is attached below). These monks look more like card sharks and real estate tycoons than examples of Christian modesty and poverty. Indeed, these holy fathers seem indifferent to the damage they have done to the church's reputation in society. In both Greece and Russia, less than 5% of the population participates in the church regularly, and this is why these patriarchs rely on political or financial sweetheart deals to maintain their finances. Is this a paradigm that could ever work in America?
Of course not.
The sad fact is that our Orthodox people have forgotten God. This is the root and cause of all our problems, yet no-one sees this. There is a terrible judgement coming; but who is there to warn the people?
May the Lord have mercy while there is still time!
The EA process will collapse because the foundations are rotten. We will never solve the jurisdictional crisis until we first address the moral rot, the ethical nihilism, that infects our church at the highest levels. We can shrug our shoulders and quote the old Greek proverb: "the fish rots from the head down", or we can, as the people of God call out to our leaders with the voice of the prophet Isaiah :
"You have become a dissatisfaction to me: I will not forgive your sins. When you stretch forth your hands to Me: I will turn My eyes from you. Although you make many prayers, I will not listen to you. Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves. Make yourselves clean. Put away the evils from your souls before My eyes. Cease from your evils. Learn to do good. Seek judgement and redeem the wronged. Defend the orphan and justify the widow. Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD, although your sins are like crimson, I will make them white like snow, and although they are as scarlet, I will make them white as wool." Isaiah 1:14-18
Excerpt from Vanity Fair: "Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds"
By now Doukas thought of these monks less as simple con men than the savviest businessmen he had ever dealt with. “I told them they should be running the Ministry of Finance,” he says. “They didn’t disagree.” In the end, under pressure from his boss, Doukas signed two pieces of paper. The first agreed not to challenge the monks’ ownership of the lake; the second made possible the land exchange. …. In exchange for their lake the monks received 73 different government properties, including what had formerly been the gymnastics center for the 2004 Olympics—which, like much of what the Greek government built for the Olympic Games, was now empty and abandoned space. And that, Doukas assumed, was that. “You figure they are holy people,” he says. “Maybe they want to use it to create an orphanage.”
What they wanted to create, as it turned out, was a commercial-real-estate empire. They began by persuading the Greek government to do something it seldom did: to re-zone a lot of uncommercial property for commercial purposes. Above and beyond the lands they received in their swap—which the Greek Parliament subsequently estimated to be worth a billion euros—the monks, all by themselves, were getting 100 percent financing to buy commercial buildings in Athens, and to develop the properties they had acquired. The former Olympics gymnastics center was to become a fancy private hospital—with which the monks obviously enjoyed a certain synergy. Then, with the help of a Greek banker, the monks drew up plans for something to be called the Vatopaidi Real Estate Fund. Investors in the fund would, in effect, buy the monks out of the properties given to them by the government. And the monks would use the money to restore their monastery to its former glory.
From an ancient deed to a worthless lake the two monks had spun what the Greek newspapers were claiming, depending on the newspaper, to be a fortune of anywhere from tens of millions to many billions of dollars. But the truth was that no one knew the full extent of the monks’ financial holdings; indeed, one of the criticisms of the first parliamentary investigation was that it had failed to lay hands on everything the monks owned. On the theory that if you want to know what rich people are really worth you are far better off asking other rich people—as opposed to, say, journalists—I polled a random sample of several rich Greeks who had made their fortune in real estate or finance. They put the monk’s real-estate and financial assets at less than $2 billion but more than $1 billion—up from zero since the new management took over. And the business had started with nothing to sell but forgiveness.
Russia Now at Risk of ‘Religious War’ Across the Country, Experts Warn
SEPTEMBER 23, 2010
Staunton, September 23 – Increasingly sharp disputes in many cities of the Russian Federation over whether Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque, disputes that have already spilled over into violence in Syktyvkar and Moscow this week, threaten to unleash “a religious war” across the country, experts say.
The number of people now directly involved in these disputes is small and “real tensions” at the societal level” are not intense, but Aleksey Levinson, a sociologist at Moscow’s Levada Center, argues that the situation could easily get out of control because of the way the media is playing up these disagreements (www.svpressa.ru/society/article/30919/).
Speaking to “Svobodnaya pressa” journalist Anton Razmakhnin, Levinson suggests that “those who have decided now to play the anti-Islamic card are taking a great risk.” In response to such “aggressive” opposition to mosques, Russia “can get not just a war in the Caucasus but something much worse a full-scale jihad in every city where there is a conflict of this kind.”
In both the Moscow and Syktyvkar cases, Razmakhnin notes by way of introduction, the number of people involved on both sides of the disputes has been small. Moreover, these disputes have been going on for some time without attracting much attention. But coverage of massive Muslim participation in the Uraza-Bayram celebrations triggered something
When Razmakhnin asks Levinson why he was so pessimistic about the future, the latter replies that was “because “fundamentalist Islam and precisely this trend is becoming more active … after the protests is a very strong organizing and cementing phenomenon,” one that has “all the signs of a young, active and militant religion” and that no one knows how to stop.
Levinson dismisses the idea that the increasing activism of the Russian Orthodox Church could block this. In his view, the sociologist said, “the mobilizing potential of Christianity [in general and not just the Russian Orthodox Church] now is much weaker than that of Islam,” something the followers of all confessions need to understand.
“To launch a new crusade now,” he argues, “would be insanity – under current circumstances of Christian civilization, such a response would be equal to a battle between crowds of peasants and old women with an organized army. No, contemporary Christianity should not play at such a war.”
Instead, Levinson says, the best outcome is likely to be achieved by “the tactic of the soft assimilation of Islam, its integration into a secular and ecumenical civilization. Such a course of events would allow [Russia and the world] to avoid the escalation of force and new religious wars. To stand above religion and to lift the Muslim up to this level is our chance.”
“Unfortunately,” Levinson continues, the world at present is skittering “toward confrontation. And Russia is no exception. I see that a clash is very probable but we will hardly win it. But with the help of ecumenism, we could achieve a good peace, but this variant of development of events still is not very probable.”
Razmakhnin then asked another expert for her views on the clashes over the construction of mosques. Valeriya Porokhova, a specialist on Islam who has translated the Koran into Russia, says that it is important to draw a distinction between the lumpen elements that are taking part in the clashes and the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Church’s upper echelons, she says, “are more friendly to Islam for these are two traditional religions which have common interests and face common challenges.” But “at the lower level, especially among lay Orthodox activists, hostility to Islam is strong: why are there so many of them? Why are they so well-organized?” And that “threatens” peace in Russia.
She suggests that one needs to look beyond the emotions of the moment because they reflect not just religious differences but the ways in which the powers that be conduct their relations with people of faith. Instead of holding public hearings and discussions, Porokhova says, officials do everything in secret, something that sparks anger in and of itself.
“In other words,” she suggests, “the problem which really threatens peace in Russia is not in the mosques as such but in the authoritarian way in which cities take decisions, including on the most sensitive issues.” Whatever decision is reached in this way will be “insufficiently legitimate” to those on the losing side who were not able to participate in reaching it.
That reality can be seen, the specialist says, if one compares the tensions over mosques in Russia with those in European countries. There, “if a case involves a decision about prohibiting or permitting the construction of a mosque in a particular region, this decision will be taken by democratically elected authorities, and the level of trust in this decision will be greater.”
Unfortunately, Porokhova concludes, this, “the main question,” is one that in Russia, “none of the key players has raised. Instead of democratization, practically all somewhat powerful forces are pushing Russia to a new civil but now already religious war,” when the application of democracy could prevent that.
Separatism Spreads in the North Caucasus while Moscow Blames Outsiders
SEPTEMBER 23, 2010
Many observers have noticed that the situation in the North Caucasus is further deteriorating against the backdrop of two recent suicide bombings in the region, despite complacent reports of Russian officials who try to portray the desirable as reality.
According to Russian authorities, the intensity of rebel activity increased by a third from 2008 to 2009 (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/163438/). Although the data are not yet available for 2010, there is no doubt that it will be marked as the most active period of the past several years. These numbers are the clearest evidence. Even in the Russian government’s own account available to the public, there have been four times as many actions qualified by Russian authorities as terrorist acts from January to August 2010 than in 2009 (http://finam.fm/news/71509/). That means 37 cases in total.
As usual, Russian propaganda is trying to explain the negative trend by pointing to increased foreign influence over the region. In the Russian understanding, it is impossible for the armed resistance movement in the North Caucasus to exist and survive autonomously. The Russians seem to present the organization of the North Caucasus rebels as some commercial branch that cannot subsist on its own without the overseas market. The mythical financial injections that pseudo-analysts have much talked about over the course of 11 years of war in the North Caucasus have never in fact been substantiated with evidence; neither has the flow of funds to the actual perpetrators from individuals alleged to have ordered terrorist attacks ever been clearly proven. In general, such allegations are meant for ordinary people who are prone to believe everything shown on Russian TV.
Year after year, the Russian propaganda machine has been trying to prove to the rest of the country that the whole world has risen to weaken Russia and to break it up. The West is alleged to be the usual suspect even without providing specifics, while the United States is portrayed as having its share in the scheme (http://forum-msk.org/material/fpolitic/4100001.html). Those allegations do not seem to be very ethical given the ongoing reset of relations between Washington and Moscow.
Georgia is yet another enemy in the eyes of Russia. Here, the imagination of the Russian military and politicians goes way beyond any realistic calculation. Without even bothering to look at a map of the Caucasus, they discuss how “mercenaries” carrying heavy bags stuffed with money and weapons penetrate the North Caucasus from Georgian territory. But the border there goes along the mountains and steep cliffs which rise 4,000 meters above sea level or even higher and are perennially covered with ice and snow. Even in the summer, there would be very few who would go on that kind of trek even without toting any bags.
The West is once again starting to believe that Chechnya is a nominal republic within the Russian state; otherwise, it would be difficult for them to interpret the numerous discrepancies between the Russian constitution and the actions committed by Moscow’s emissaries in Chechnya (www.la-croix.com/article/index.jsp?docId=2439318&rubId=4077). It must be stated that whoever comes to power in Chechnya cannot afford to make his own policies, according to common Russian tradition, as do the leaders of the other regions of the Russian Federation. In Chechnya, the intricacies of the very specific situation require that everything that happened over the past 20 years be taken into account. Anyone who tries to encroach on the historical memory of the Chechens will lack authority to speak on behalf of even the smallest portion of the Chechen population.
Even some experts from Azerbaijan on the Caucasus see the intensification of rebel activities in the North Caucasus as an attempt by the West to lessen Russian pressure on the South Caucasus by exacerbating the situation in the North (http://kavkasia.net/Russia/2010/1284592054.php). It is hard to agree with that assumption. Russia’s actions against Georgia prove the contrary; now Moscow has two new territories inside Georgia that act as a buffer between the North and South Caucasus. Georgian experts, on the other hand, believe that Georgia should not lose contact with the North Caucasus even if it decides to start negotiations with Russia. They argue that Georgia should keep the North Caucasus republics within a sphere of its potential influence by engaging with them in order to create a single cultural and political space in the Caucasus region (http://kavkasia.net/Georgia/2010/1284588768.php). However, Russia reacts badly to any contacts made by Tbilisi – even unofficial ones – with representatives of the North Caucasus peoples.
The situation in the North Caucasus might as well develop into a religious confrontation given the continued aggressive involvement of the Russian Orthodox Church in the conflict. The fact that Russian clerics confer their blessings on those who go to Chechnya and the North Caucasus in general (http://orthodox-newspaper.ru/events/at14627) can only further antagonize those in the region who sympathize with the armed resistance movement. In canonizing Yevgeny Rodionov, a Russian soldier who died in Chechnya, and declaring that he was killed exclusively for his Christian faith, the Russian Orthodox Church has only created more distrust, particularly given that there are no witnesses or sources of information, while the story is thought to have been fabricated.
The conflict in the North Caucasus has long had the features of an inter-ethnic standoff. Russian authorities, for example, felt compelled to stop drafting Chechen youths into the Russian army because there was a hostile attitude towards them both in the army units and among the local population. The wars have turned Chechnya and Ingushetia into virtually mono-ethnic societies. Dagestan now is undergoing the same process (www.newsland.ru/News/Detail/id/477059/), and Kabardino-Balkaria, with its ethnic Russian population appears to shrinking day by day, and could soon share the same fate (http://news.km.ru/russkix_vyzhivayut_iz_kabardino).
Given all of this, it is not surprising that there is talk behind the scenes in the Russian federal government that the North Caucasus ought to be populated by ethnic Russians while North Caucasus residents should be dispersed across Russia – something that would make the region more tolerant (http://dkvartal.ru/news/99835923). But the history of the North Caucasus shows that there was no tolerance there at the time of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union despite the fact that the Russian population was represented in the region in large numbers.
The policies of the current authorities in Chechnya are pushing the Chechens toward even greater separatism than before the Russian invasion. Until 1999, when the Russian army invaded Chechnya, separatism was naturally based on the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria’s policy of independence from Russian infringements. Modern-day separatism, on the other hand, appears to be an ideologically supported attack on Russian interests in any corner of the country where Chechen communities live. Increasingly, more and more Chechens think that they have a role in achieving the main goal of independence from Moscow.
The Moscow Times reports: ”Russia has the worst record in Europe and Central Asia on homicides of young people, ranking ahead of Albania and Kazakhstan. The rate for violence-related deaths among people aged 10 to 29 in Russia is 15.85 per 100,000 individuals — 34 times higher than in Germany, the World Health Organization‘s European bureau said in its first report on youth violence.”
Russia’s rate of youth murder is nearly 50% higher than that of the second-place country.
“There is nothing surprising in those figures. It’s common knowledge that the level of crime is higher in Russia than in European countries,” an Interior Ministry spokesman, Oleg Yelnikov, told The Moscow Times.
In other words, the Putin regime knows, and it couldn’t care less.
That’s not all: ”The suicide rate among Russian minors is the highest in the world and three times higher than the global average for this age group. About 45 percent of young women and 27 percent of young men in Russia have thought, at least once, about committing suicide.”
#7 Francis Frost on 2010-09-24 20:15
The videps are very revealing.
The VIDEO The Patriarchal Summons
Patriarch Ignatius IV Patriarch of Antioch and all the East calls upon you to take over the God Protected DIOCESES of Pittsburgh and and the east; Toledo and the Midwest; Ottowa and Upstate New York.
also you will note the paper the Archimandrite is holding states Archimandrite Thomas Joseph Bishop Elect for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the east; Archimandrite Mark Maymon bishop elect for the Diocese of Toledo and the midwest and Archimandrite Alexander Mufarage for the DIOCESE of Ottowa and Upstate New York.
This is the same paper the Patriarch has inserted in his service book on the video The Naming
Patriarch Ignatius IV had hours from Vepers the night before until the consecration of the Bishops to contemplate what these titles meant.
The Confession of Faith of Bishop Thomas, Patriarch Ignatius IV says Archimandrite Thomas Joseph Bishop Elect for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the East may the Holy Spirit bless you all the days of your life.
Thus with each candidate.
After Thomas Joseph, Patriarch Ignatius says, I call Archimandrite Mark Maymon bishop elect for the Diocese of Toledo and the midwest and he repeats the same at the conclusion of the confession of Faith.
With Bishop Alexander he speaks in Arabic and calls him bishop elect for the Abrishiyya (eparchy?) of Ottowa and Upstate New York
The Consecration and Vesting
The Patriarch uses the term Episcopas (Bishop)
There is no reference to auxiliary or assistant.
All are called episcopas and reference is made to abrishiyya of the respective DIOCESE (Eparchy?)
Presentation of Mitre and Staff
Patriarchal charge to care for the flock entrusted to them as they will have to give an account for them. The staff to rule and guide and a rod of discipline.
Patriarchal Speech at Banquet , your guess is as good as mine, but Bishop Antoun's remarks are supposedly reflective of it.
Bishop Antoun's remarks
We will evangelize North America making them Orthodox Christians, Antiochians. Each Bishop will bring groups of young people here to meet you and receive your blessing.
So much for a vision of Unity and getting out of the ethnic ghettos!!!!
These videos are proof of the terminology used by the Patriarch himself who is fluent in English.
He used the term Diocese numerous times.
NOW, how once again can the Holy Synod who participated in this CONSECRATION NOW DENY what took place?
How can DIOCESAN BISHOPS be demoted without their consent as prescribed by the HOLY CANONS?
How can they be dethroned?
How can they be demoted or moved without a Spiritual Court?
Would we at this point even trust the Holy Synod to be unbiased in such a proceeding? Absolutely NOT!!!
This all point to the fact MP has them in his pocket!
This points to the fact that his real objective is keep keep audits from occurring!!!!#
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES BETTER WAKE UP OR THEY CAN ALL BE SUED FOR FAILURE TO PROTECT THE ASSETS OF THE ARCHDIOCESE.
MP IS NOT AN ASSET! HE IS A LIABILITY!!!
Has the Patriarch NO SHAME?
Have the Holy Synod no shame?
These videos are up for the entire world to see.
Now the whole Orthodox World may see how the affairs are conducted in the once Christian patriarchate of Antioch!!!
#8 anonymous on 2010-09-24 20:31
I watch all 9 video's! Very interesting.
The message the past 6 years send is what a Patriarch grants he can take away!
Because an sisuation change does not make the person a liar, but change with the time
Looking back at the entire sisuation I think the only thing we gainw as electing our Bishops for No. america and a funny name for the archdiocese
#9 Anonymous on 2010-09-24 22:13
Sir: I should think you could at least show some respect to the man. C'mon, "Bart"?
#10 Michael Strelka on 2010-09-25 06:24
The Videos of the Consecration need to be shared with the people.
For ward the videos to your email lists of antiochian parishioners.
Put the videos on your twitter or facebook page with appropriate notes.
Philip's lies and deceit need to stop!
#11 anonymous on 2010-09-25 09:30
I would like to address my comment to Fr. George Kevorkian, the Hierarchical Assistant to MP, and I'm putting this under this article to make sure it is seen, since it has been a month since his letter was written.
First let me thank you for taking the time to write the clarification of the decision of the Synod of Antioch. I think we all appreciate your efforts to clear things up.
However, I think we all know that there is no way you completely wrote this letter on your own. Coming from the Archdiocese, MP would not allow anything printed up on his behalf without his full reading and approval of it.
In the past, we have seen how words on paper mean nothing, how conference calls mean nothing, and how spoken words from MP mean nothing. He uses his typical old country tactics - say one thing, act in another way, and create confusion in the process. Your letter does not change that fact. It only increases our lack of trust of anyone who follows MP, and I guess that puts you in that category.
Why was this subject even brought up at the meeting, when MP very clearly stated at Antiochian Village that "it was not even on the agenda". Again, says one thing, does another. His word is no good, and we will not believe him or trust his actions anymore.
Before we were granted self rule, we were Regions with Auxiliary Bishops. After self rule began, we switched to Dioceses with Diocesan Bishops. Across the Archdiocese, people had the opportunity to witness the enthroning services - many people travelled long distances to attend that - and for what? To now see our Bishops reduced to mere "Assistants" to MP, who has complete control over them? Those travellers wasted their time and money, as we did last year in Palm Desert, and as every Bishop and member of Board of Trustees does when they have their different meetings. That money could go to charity instead of these people coming home with nothing to show for their time spent away from parishes and families.
Sorry about that. What I meant was "Black Bart."
(Editor's note: I think he prefers to be known as "Green Bart". However, let's all be good and polite.)
#13 Anonymous on 2010-09-26 07:05
WRONG Alexander! The American Church needs neither Moscow nor Istanbul. WE ARE AMERICANS! The Canons are clear, "Foreign bishops have NO authority over territories not under their immediate area." NO FOREIGN BISHOP HAS AUTHORITY IN N. AMERICA! Read Canon Law! The ONLY hope for American Orthodox is for "US" to unite and lead our own Church. The OCA has been that opportunity since 1970, but the Greeks have been the prime obstacle to our own unity. Recognizing your enemy is the first step in winning a war. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts! WAKE UP!
#14 Anonymous on 2010-09-26 08:22
"This points to the fact that his real objective is keep keep audits from occurring!!!!"
Finally, someone who has ears to hear....now we need those who have heard to speak, and loudly!
Ladies and Gentlemen we are in the midst of the greatest financial cover-up in American Orthodox History the likes of which will make Kondratic seem like a petty thief!!
SPEAK OUT NOW!!!
#15 Delegate #1 on 2010-09-26 13:01
Well Fr George we see from the Videos what was granted in in 2003 and implemented in 2004.
May God forgive you for participating in the Byzantine Intrigue, lies and deception that you now know are blantantly false.
#16 anonymous on 2010-09-26 15:50
Mark, why do you let this man run his constant anti- Russian screed on this site? What is his- and your- agenda for doing so?
From what terrible hatred of Russia does this boil over into other conversations?- and why do you allow it? To what end?
(Editor's note: I ask for people's comments, and they post them. I rarely edit them, except in the case of personal attacks that are beyond the pale. Otherwise, I think it important people have a change to speak, mainly to learn how to discuss things openly. This takes practice and discipline and self-control, and sometimes we fail. That is my agenda.
If you think his remarks are an "anti-Russian screed", then address his concerns. and refute him. Unfortunately, I doubt anyone will, because this is one situation which no one in the Orthodox world wants to touch. )
#17 anonymous on 2010-09-26 19:32
---Want to go home to Romania? Taking your vote on Oct. 3rd? Look what Romania has to offer you - NOTHING!---
Romanian govt in uproar amid austerity protests
Sep 27, 8:40 AM (ET)
By ALISON MUTLER
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - The Romanian government was in an uproar Monday over austerity protests - the interior minister resigned, the opposition demanded the prime minister go as well and top police officials held emergency talks with the president.
The chaos reflected social fallout from the sharp wage cuts, tax hikes and other austerity measures the government has taken to fight its budget deficit amid a deep recession.
President Traian Basescu's government has been unable to pay wages and pensions without a euro20 billion ($26 billion) bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund and other lenders, and the IMF is demanding strong action to trim Romania's debt.
Romanians took to the streets of Bucharest, the capital, several times last week to protest. Some 6,000 police angry over a 25 percent wage cut marched to the presidential palace on Friday and pelted it with eggs, shouting "Get out, you miserable dog!"
On Monday, Interior Minister Vasile Blaga said the protesting officers had staged an illegal action and "forgot the oath they swore." Blaga, a close ally of Basescu, resigned, calling the move "one of honor."
Later, Blaga, Romania's top police chief and the head of its anti-riot police all held an emergency meeting with Basescu. There was no immediate word on the substance of the talks.
The Romanian president had dismissed his police protection in response to Friday's protest, which he said had undermined state authority. Prime Minister Emil Boc followed suit. Both are now relying instead on security paid for by the presidential budget, one of the few not reduced in this age of austerity.
Liberal Party lkeader Crin Antonescu, meanwhile, called on Boc to resign along with Blaga.
Amid the uproar there were lighter moments. Television cameras captured Basescu driving himself to work, puffing on a cigarette and speaking on his mobile phone in his Dacia Logan, an inexpensive Romanian-manufactured car. Stuck in traffic like any regular commuter, Basescu joked with reporters.
It is rare for Romanian television to show the president smoking.
In 2009, Romania's economy shrank 7.1 percent and the government needed the bailout from the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank, partly to pay state wages and pensions.
The anti-austerity protests are to continue this week.
(Editor's note: I would hope the vote would be more about the future of Orthodoxy in America than the politics of Romania. But in a church-state context, that is perhaps unavoidable. May God be with all who are deciding.)
#18 HEY ROMANIANS! on 2010-09-27 06:31
I agree the Antiochian archdiocese should do an audit. The Archdicoes eis doing an internal Audit which the report will be presented next month at its Board of Trustees meeting in JAcksonville, Fl. I think we should see what the reports says.
If you arew going to make the statement that there is a "cover up", if you ahve proof of any wrong doing you would have made it, not blanket statements.
#19 Anonymous on 2010-09-27 09:15
-Black Bart was perhaps the most successful pirate of the time, with the capture of over 400 ships and over 50 million Pounds of loot. - He encouraged prayer, drank a lot of tea instead of alcohol, and forbid drinking and gambling. - He preferred to wear fancy gentleman's clothes: a rich crimson waistcoat and breeches, a hat with a red feather, and a diamond cross hanging from his neck.
---Sounds about right to me!---
#20 Anonymous on 2010-09-27 12:28
Here is news from elsewhere in the Orthodox world. We are called to pray for one another, bear each other's burdens.
September 25, 2010 Letter from His Holiness, Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of Mtskheta and All Georgia to His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
This letter appears in Georgian and Russian on the official site of the Georgian Patriarchate: http://www.patriarchate.ge. (The translation from Russian to English is mine.) Here is the letter from His Holiness Ilia II:
The media carried reports alleging that You sent congratulations to the head of the self-styled Republic of South Ossetia in connection with the 20th anniversary of its “independence”. Such reports brought a severely negative reaction both amongst my faithful flock and throughout all of Georgian society.
Such an action is quite lamentable and at the same time incomprehensible, as it means support and recognition of a regime that was established by force and illegally proclaimed its “independence” on ancient, historical Georgian land, as recognized by the whole world.
Our people personally remember Your support and the support of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding the recognition of the legal and canonical borders of Georgia and the Georgian Orthodox Church; therefore the aforementioned action was completely unexpected by us.
We think that the Church should not be under the influence of politicians and politics. We hope that in the future You will, as in the past, be on the side of justice, and support the restoration of a good relationship between our governments.
With brotherly love in Christ,
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia
(Translator’s notes: Russian military and the separatists they back occupy 20-25% of Georgia. On September 20, 2010, the separatist South Ossetian “government” celebrated its 20th anniversary of “independence.” I read reports in both South Ossetian separatist media and Russian media containing messages of congratulation to the separatist government, including remarks by His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Russia. From the Russian news agency INTERFAX RELIGION: “South Ossetia's State Committee for Information, Communication and Mass Media reported on its website on September 19 that Father Sergy, at a ceremonial meeting at the South Ossetian government's conference hall, ahead of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of South Ossetia's independence, conveyed the Russian patriarch's greetings to the president and people of South Ossetia.”
O Lord, Save Thy People! Matushka Jan)
You make a valid obsefvation, my take is somewhat different. In 2004 the Holy Synod, the Patriarch and Metropolitan PHILIP endorsed them all as Diocesn Bishops; I do not think any of them do the reality what would be the result: each diocese with the potiential of being too independent! For that reason I think the 2009 directe and the recent Holy Synod decission has become necessary to clarify the origional doccument. I am not a scholar, but if I remember the Bishops will be Auxilarry bishop but serving in that Area, i.e Bishop Thomas Auxilary Bishop & Dio. of Pittsburgh and Charleston.
PS the Dio. of Charlestonw as added after the after no one is making this point.
In opther words the Holy Synod changed their mind!
#22 Anonymous on 2010-09-27 20:55
In financial accounting, an audit is an INDEPENDANT assessment of the fairness by which an organization's financial statements are presented by its management. It is performed by competent, independent and objective person(s) known as auditors or accountants, who then issue an auditor's report based on the results of the audit.
This "internal audit" of which you speak is not impartial, exhaustive nor accurate. As a matter of fact you should not even refer to it as an audit because that is not what it is.
We should all be reminded that when an impartial professional audit is done, and it is just a matter of time, should any misappropriation be found then as a member of the Board of Trustees they will be held personally liable for not exercising their fiduciary duties.
It is a good thing then that they have deep pockets.
PS: you might want to google: fiduciary duty FYI
#23 Delegate #1 on 2010-09-28 07:47
I don't know where you guys get your news from, but there is not a "vote" concerning the unity of the 2 Romanian jurisdictions on the agenda of the meeting. Very unlikely that it would be added, or even that it could be added since the meeting is only one day this year (barely enough time to get through the basic reports). If you were told there is a vote planned, you have been misinformed.
#24 Anonymous on 2010-09-28 11:33
These are the facts:
*Metropolitan Philip, Patriarch Ignatius and the synod of Antioch have made a travesty of the sacred canons and grossly distorted Orthodox ecclesiology.
*Their actions have embarrassed the Antiochian Church not just in North America but before the entire Orthodox world.
*If the liturgical actions of calling, consecration and enthronement of diocesan bishops are not reverenced as spiritual realities then every liturgical service is subject to rejection.
The synod in Damascus cannot rescind Sacred Canons and Traditions like congress repealing a law.
+Philip’s predecessor Metropolitan Anthony, of thrice blessed memory, used to respond to those who made allegations against a priest by asking, “You got pictures?” The videos of the calling and consecration of +Thomas, +Mark and +Alexander don’t lie nor do the videos of their enthronements along with +Joseph’s and +Basil’s.
Like St. Mark of Ephesus who with clergy and laity in the 15th Century rejected the heretical council of Florence, today’s aggrieved bishops, priests, deacons and laity must stand up and reject this abomination of Damascus and Englewood.
To those who ask: “what can I do?” The one certain answer is not to be passive, for indifference is the greatest weapon perpetrated by the "prince of darkness."
"God grant us the courage to change the things we can... and strength to try again even when we feel it is hopeless."
“All things are possible to him who believes.”
#25 Sick of the double talk on 2010-09-28 18:27
Any organization, private or public, that collects funds from it's members yet refuses to perform a complete, transparent audit is fraudulent - SIMPLE! Whatever the excuses may be, it is fraud. What members of these organizations must ask themselves is, "How much fraud can we turn a blind eye to?" Is the number millions? Billions? How about abuse of power - is a little acceptable? Moderate acceptable?
#26 Anonymous on 2010-09-29 05:47
Your comments are not fair to Fr. George, Fr. George is loyal to His metropolitan and for that you mock and critizes him.
Its seems to me anyone who support Metropolitan PHILIP or who is loyal to him are eveil in you book.
I respectfully understand how intellegent people can disagree on an issue, however making person atatcks is not fair.
Especially since MEtropolitan PHILIP have servered as MEtropolitan for over 40 years aand have done a great deal of good for the Archdiocese.
IT is OK to disagree with someone (ebven a metropolitan), but make your arguement with respect and not making personal atatchks!
#27 Dedicated Antiochian on 2010-09-29 07:08
Even those who voted against an external audit and since resigned from the Board of Trustees could be held financially liable and they should.
MP simply wants to keep a lid on financial investigations.
If St George in Troy were audited it would blow the lid off the entire archdiocese.
MP blocked pressing charges against ...... who embezzled at least $157,000 from St George Cathedral in Toledo.
Even though the local synod voted on the matter last spring, MP has once again acted contrary to the synod's decision of insisting 90% be paid back immediately and the balance paid over a short period of time.
The balance should be guaranteed by some life insurance policy.
Well Chuch only is required to pay $80,000.
Well we certainly would not want the bad publicity? Whta is bad about having an embezzler asrrested?
Well, it might cause other parishes to implement stronger financial policies and cut off someone's skimming! Can't let that happen can we?
Also as matters become public and the extent of the impropriety the faithful may finally insist on BEST BUSINESS practices for the Archdiocese as well.
The smoke screen continues and MP wants to get Mark out so there will be no more discussion of audits. If he is allowed to make an example of Mark, then the other Bishops will know their place.
#28 anonymous on 2010-09-29 08:51
"Metropolitan Philip, Patriarch Ignatius and the synod of Antioch have made a travesty of the sacred canons and grossly distorted Orthodox..."
...fill in the blank.
Why, they've been doing that for years! Why stop now?
#29 ejv on 2010-09-30 20:10
There are many offensive comments on this board. It is not that discussing issues like these is wrong, but the labels and terminology used are utterly unorthodox. We are Orthodox Christians, not Western Protestants-contrary to what some of you would obviously like to think. We do not speak disrespectfully of our bishops, even if we think they are wrong.
The editor's choice of title for an article when speaking of the Patriarch of Constantinople was obviously intended to be offensive. We do not say "Istanbul" when speaking of the Patriarch. The very name "Istanbul" is INVALID TO ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS!!! The city is properly called Constantinople. The "Phanar" is a Turkish term invented to denigrate our Holy Church, of which the Patriarchate of Constantinople is a part.
To refer to him as "Bart" is disrespectful and a reflection of the liberalization/Westernization brought into the Orthodox Churches in America both by "converts" and "cradle" Orthodox alike. His name is Bartholomew, or Bartolomej, or Vartholomej, or whatever, but not "Bart." We call our bishops and clergy by their full Christian names, not nick names. It is an insult to the solemnity and formality of our church to use this terminology.
This is the church of Christ, not some Western excuse for a "church" in which we implement the typical informal, irreverent behavior found in the West. We may be American, we may be of Western European descent (as I am) but we must acknowledge-with humility and grace-the inherent farce of the Western worldview in regards to Christianity. We do not practice as they do. Our priests, unlike their priests and pastors do not (should not in some situations) proceed saying "Hi, I’m father Rob…you can call me Rob…ok...now we're going to kind of say a little prayer...and then I’ll crack some jokes during the sermon…” Our priests go forth proclaiming “Wisdom, let us attend!”
This is not some kind of cute little game. It disappoints me to see this childish, irreverent, utterly Protestant behavior from both the posters, and the editor(s) of this site.
(Editor's note: I have never advocated people be rude on the site, but alas, people sometimes are. Such is the price of freedom, but then, you obviously don't like the "West" and its values, even as you enjoy their fruits. And, ahhh, if you haven't noticed the Roman Empire, in all its iterations, was finally ended by Napoleon, who pointed out that by that time it was neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire. Constantinople's name was changed by its owners in 1922, almost a century ago. The Patriarch of Constantinople may continue to use any title he wishes, and I use the title he prefers, but the fact remains he now lives in Istanbul, and pouting about the last Paleologoi won't change that. And "Phanar" is not a derogatory term, but a term used to describe a neighborhood, once fashionable, in Constantinople, that is rather worn in today's Istanbul. The "fanariotis" had no problem with it for 5 hundred years as they ruled the Greeks of the Sultan's realm.
That being said, your comments about Protestants are offensive, rude and unworthy- a prefect example of the type of sniping you claim to decry in others. While we may disagree with other Brothers and Sisters in Christ theologically, please remember they are still that - our brothers and sisters. Arrogance is not a virtue.)
#30 Wiw Smoth on 2010-10-13 12:10
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