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Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110629 08/08/02 12:59 AM
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Adam DeVille Offline
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I find it hard, after having read Borys Gudziak's *Crisis and Reform* to take seriously the claims of Moscow to be a patriarchate, never mind "Third Rome" and other such titles. I regard such claims frankly as historically tendentious and specious. Of course, the conduct and personality of the present holder of this questionable office only adds to the distaste one feels. Kyiv, not Moscow, is the centre of Christianity in Eastern Europe. Until and unless that is recognized as a patriarchate, Moscow is not to be taken seriously.

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110630 08/08/02 12:16 PM
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Brendan Offline OP
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The bottom line here is that ecumenical dialogue between Catholicism and Orthodoxy isn't going to make much progress if the Vatican is a loggerheads with the world's largest Orthodox jurisdiction. I honestly think that the Vatican was trying to isolate the ROC from the remainder of Orthodoxy under some kind of divide and conquer theory (or at least a multitrack theory, whereby progress can be made with "good" Orthodox churches, while relegating recalcitrant ones, like Moscow, to isolation). I think that this is not working. Most of the other Patriarchs and autocephalous jurisdictions have written letters of support for the MP in its current situation with the Vatican, and a few have even sent letters of complaint to the Vatican -- and these have even come from traditionally "Rome-friendly" Orthodox Churches, like Antioch and Romania. It seems that, as fractured as we may sometimes seem, when we feel like one of us under attack, we will join together and support one another. There really is no benefit to Rome in confronting the ROC in this way -- I think it has had a definite negative on overall Catholic-Orthodox relations beyond the confines of the ROC.

Brendan

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110631 08/08/02 12:20 PM
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Gerard Serafin Offline
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Come, Holy Spirit!

Alex writes:

And the Pope of Rome, with whom we are in communion with, has no problem publicly calling Moscow that.

In this you are referring to using the phrase "third Rome" for Moscow.

On several occasions, Alex, I have seen you refer to public statements of a Pope calling Moscow "the third Rome." Could you reference that for me? I have never seen it anywhere and am most curious as to your source.

Thanks!

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110632 08/08/02 12:35 PM
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Kyiv never recieved christianity form Moscow, on the contrary, Moscow recieved christianity from Kyiv. Now, this is a fact. Kyiv is the Capital of Ukraine and not Russia, this is another fact. A Moscow Patriarchate makes no sense whatsoever in Ukraine, this is common sense. I say, let our bishops of the true Ukrainian Orthodox faiths and Ukrainian Greek Catholic faith sit at a table and work it out. I think it will happen. I hope so anyway.
Lauro

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110633 08/08/02 12:35 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Brendan,

I don't think Rome is trying to isolate Moscow, but rather grew tired of walking on eggshells around her and realized nothing Rome did short of abolishing the Latin and Greek Catholic Churches in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine was going to please Moscow, which by her actions and statements is clearly her desire. Rome finally got smart and started worrying more about her own faithful than how to please Moscow. And Rome still hasn't gone all the way because she still refuses to re-establish Greek Catholic exarchates for Russia or Belarus despite requests from those faithful for regularized status.

In Christ,
Lance


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110634 08/08/02 01:31 PM
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Dear Gerard,

The Pope referred to Moscow as the "Third Rome" early in his pontificate and the Ukrainian Catholic Church had quite a problem with it.

I did not keep any quotes about this, as so many of us preferred to forget the Holy Father ever said that.

Our priest mentioned this in a sermon not more than two weeks ago as well.

I certainly know what I read and I remember the discussions in our parish and community about this, including several televised debates in Ukrainian.

If you doubt me, that is fine.

But you may wish to search this out and records could possibly be somewhere on the internet.

In addition, in 1988, a letter from the Vatican was made public, addressed to the Moscow Patriarchate, wherein a spokesman officially called Moscow, not Kyiv, the "true descendant" of the Christian tradition of St Vladimir the Great.

That didn't go over well with our people or clergy either. I didn't keep a copy, but then I don't have a copy of the Magna Carta either.

Alex

[ 08-08-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110635 08/08/02 01:45 PM
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Dear Lance,

The only thing I wonder about Vatican diplomacy with the Orthodox is what the Vatican's real position is with respect to the East.

For years, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Patriarch Joseph Slipyj were the victims of the Vatican Ostpolitik policies.

(Gerard, there's lots written about that and I'm sure if you put your mind to it you can find some bibliographic material).

Whatever Moscow said in those days was sacrosanct and Rome appeared to want to bend over backwards so as not to offend the dears at the MP.

Today, there's a different approach by the Vatican.

Is it informed by a political perception with respect to the alleged weakness of Russian Orthodoxy within an economically weak Russia with lots of unchurched lambs walking around ready for ecclesial plunder?

You yourself have confirmed that the Vatican refuses to establish Byzantine Catholic eparchies in Russia because that is Orthodox territory etc.

So how does one square this position with the Vatican's current actions?

Another about-face?

Where is it all leading to?

The Vatican's ecumenical theologians have been telling the Orthodox that Eastern Catholic Unias are no longer the "way to go."

At the same time, the Orthodox seem to be getting the impression that Rome wants to bring Russians over into the Latin Church wholesale, at least juding by their reaction.

My in-laws and others who have visited Russia have seen Russians from Russian Orthodox families who have been converted to the Latin Church.

One of these even asked why the Russians weren't placed in a Byzantine Catholic parish and the Latin priest shrugged it off saying that that wasn't "his tradition."

Ultimately, I think the Vatican wants to cajole Moscow back to the negotiating table and it is doing this by showing how precarious the position of the MP in Russia really is today.

That may be good politics, but it's lousy Christianity.

Alex

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110636 08/08/02 01:53 PM
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I agree with Alex. The Vatican knows that, in Russia today, particularly among a certain class of people, everything West is seductive at the moment. For this class, Russian=backward=underdeveloped, while West=progress=prosperity, etc. Playing this over into the ecclesial realm is fairly easy, as Catholicism, at least for Russians, is the religious face of the West. It is an "easy sell", in some ways, at least among the intelligentsia for the Latin Catholics in Russia (and easier than for the Byzantine Catholics, as these have the trappings of Orthodoxy, and therefore they may be associated with Russian backwardness, at least for those who are attracted to a religious form that, in their own minds at least, encapsulates the preogressive West.) Olivier Clement has said as much, and to me his words ring true.

As for taking advantage of an opportunity, I think that the words of Cardinal Kasper are particularly chilling here. He spoke of the Catholics having superior pastoral techniques (read: money, organizational skills, large base of missionaries) that the ROC feared. Well, if this is the case, then why would a sister church come along and use those, when it knew, even acknowledged explicitly, that its sister would fear them -- apparently, at least according to the tone in Cardinal Kasper's comments, rightly.

As with all of the Vatican's political maneuverings, there is much more than meets the eye, and certainly much, much more than is reported in Vatican press releases and in the Vatican-friendly pseudo-independent news organizations like Zenit. There is a "play" going on here ... and it remains to be seen how that will end up. My own view is that there seems a good possibility that the Vatican overplayed its hand a few months ago, in light of the reaction of world Orthodoxy to what happened, as well as the reaction of the Russian state itself.

Brendan

[ 08-08-2002: Message edited by: Brendan ]

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110637 08/08/02 02:05 PM
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Gerard Serafin Offline
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Come, Holy Spirit!

Alex writes:

The Pope referred to Moscow as the "Third Rome" early in his pontificate and the Ukrainian Catholic Church had quite a problem with it.

I did not keep any quotes about this, as so many of us preferred to forget the Holy Father ever said that.

Our priest mentioned this in a sermon not more than two weeks ago as well.

I certainly know what I read and I remember the discussions in our parish and community about this, including several televised debates in Ukrainian.

If you doubt me, that is fine.

But you may wish to search this out and records could possibly be somewhere on the internet.


Hi Alex,

My norm is this: when I hear something that doesn't have what I think a "ring of truth" about it (and that is based on what I do know and have read and my basic "intuition" about things), I try to get verifiable sources for the reference. This does not at all mean I do not trust the one who makes the reference. It is just that since it seems out of whack with my own knowledge and perceptions, I have a need to have this new reference verified.

Now this doesn't mean that you did not read it somewhere or hear it somewhere, etc. (but we can read and hear all sorts of things). What I need to know, before I accept what seems inconsistent with what I think I know, is a verifiable reference.

If the Pope referred to Moscow as "the third Rome" then it would seem that Moscow would or at least could get some use of this in her dealings not only with the Catholic Church but other Churches as well. I have never seen any Russian Orthodox refer to such words from the Pope.

I have never heard or seen any Catholic ecumenist refer to such words.

I have never heard or read of the Pope himself using such a phrase (and I have read a good bit of the Pope's materials over many years, especially relating to the Orthodox Churches).

That's why I need to have some verifiable reference. So if you can locate it, I would be most grateful. My own internet search came up with nada along these lines.

I hope you are not offended, but I will not make a final determination yet on whether or not the Pope or any Pope referred to Moscow as "the third Rome." If I get verification, fine. I will adjust and try to integrate that new knowledge.

In the meantime, I wonder....

Thanks for your response.

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110638 08/08/02 02:19 PM
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Gerard Serafin Offline
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Come, Holy Spirit!

Brendan writes:

The Vatican knows that, in Russia today, particularly among a certain class of people, everything West is seductive at the moment. For this class, Russian=backward=underdeveloped, while West=progress=prosperity, etc. Playing this over into the ecclesial realm is fairly easy, as Catholicism, at least for Russians, is the religious face of the West. It is an "easy sell", in some ways..

Brendan,

Mutatis mutandis, much of the same could be said of the Orthodox presence in some Catholic countries. The Catholic Church has been going through some difficult (challenging!) times and for some there is a real "seductiveness" to the East and Orthodoxy.

The Orthodox have been attracting Catholic converts in Italy, France, and other Catholic lands quite successfully. The Reply of the Catholic Church to the Russian Orthodox complaints of proselytism, points to some interesting facts: i.e. that only one Russian Orthodox priest working in Italy has a Russian name - all the others have Italian surnames. They point, too, to the same phenomenon in France.

Let's face it: with some of the liturgical problems in the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and her Liturgy can be very "seductive" to certain types of people.

Should all such pastoral and liturgical activity on the part of Orthodox in Catholic lands cease?

I know some think that Russia is unique in what she suffered, etc. and there is some truth to that. But THERE WERE AND ARE CATHOLICS IN RUSSIA and have been for a long time. The Catholic Church is more than justified in reaching out to her flock there and everywhere.

If some of her pastoral care and prayer life, etc. are "seductive" - well, so be it. Let it be so for Orthodox in Italy and France as well (and as the Catholic Reply mentions there has been so outcries from Catholics about Orthodox "proselytism").

I just don't see that a double standard is at all helpful here.

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110639 08/08/02 02:55 PM
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Gerard --

There isn't any level playing field, and to suggest that there is in itself is a distortion. The Orthodox acting in the "Catholic world" are not well-funded, organized, centrally controlled missionaries. To the contrary, they are, in the diaspora as well as in Russia, at the short end of the stick in terms of organization, money, resources, numbers, etc. In a head-to-head competition in that realm, Orthodoxy will always, always, always lose to Roman Catholicism. So the idealistic notion of a level playing field is simply bunk, with all due respect.

Concerning Russia and the remainder of the CIS, the situation is even more acute. Again, to compare the current status of the Latin Church in Western Europe or the Americas to what the Russian Orthodox Church went through for most of the 20th century is to make a non-sensical comparison. There is a wide, significant difference between (1) societal change leading to disinterest in the church (and aggregated together with some self-inflicted wounds following Vatican II) and (2) official state-sponsored persecution and control for 70+ years. To simply "move on in" after 70+ years of official persecution of the ROC, and then to say that this is similar to the Russian diaspora experience in France and represents a level playing field is simply to ignore the actual realities on the ground, in my view.

I don't think anyone is denying the Vatican the right to care for its own flock in Russia or in other predominantly Orthodox nations. However, many in Orthodoxy would deny the Vatican the right to set up missionary organizations targeted at people in a traditionally Orthodox country where the Orthodox church has been subject to varying degrees of state persecution for 70 of the last 80 years. And then to say, hey "it's a level playing field" is like adding salt to the wound.

It's simply not a level playing field at this point in time comparing the Vatican and its resources with the ROC and its resources. And when it isn't a level playing field, it is sometimes appropriate to apply different standards -- this is often done in other areas as well, where it is clearly identified that there isn't a level playing field. The Vatican seems to be hiding behind the notion of a certain kind of treatment that would only apply when there is a level playing field, and that isn't the case here.

Brendan

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110640 08/08/02 03:04 PM
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Dear Gerard,

Fair enough.

But what concerns me is that you say that the whole idea of Rome favouring Moscow in this and other ways doesn't have a ring of truth to it.

Where have you been?

Are you completely unfamiliar with the struggles of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for its rights here and at home with the Vatican?

Are you completely unfamiliar with the struggles of Patriarch Joseph Slipyj in this respect?

Do you seriously believe Rome has somehow favoured the Ukrainian Catholics within its overall Ostpolitik policy since Vatican II?

Sorry, but where have you been?

Alex

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110641 08/08/02 03:07 PM
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Dear Brendan,

Yes, Servant of Christ, you present a well thought-out case in a courteous and intellectually-defensible manner, as you always do.

And whatever past arguments between Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholics and the like, we must call a spade a spade in the case before us.

Yours is a dispassionate position that reflects not only a solid Orthodox Christian commitment, but also a well-reasoned request for fairness and simple Christian justice.

And I salute you, Big Guy!

Alex

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110642 08/08/02 03:47 PM
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Gerard Serafin Offline
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Come, Holy Spirit!

But what concerns me is that you say that the whole idea of Rome favouring Moscow in this and other ways doesn't have a ring of truth to it.

Where have you been?

Are you completely unfamiliar with the struggles of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for its rights here and at home with the Vatican?

Are you completely unfamiliar with the struggles of Patriarch Joseph Slipyj in this respect?

Do you seriously believe Rome has somehow favoured the Ukrainian Catholics within its overall Ostpolitik policy since Vatican II?

Sorry, but where have you been?


I have no idea where you pick up your reading of my knowledge of the history of Rome's relationship with Moscow and the politics of more modern times, etc.

I have not spoken to this issue at all.

What lacks the "ring of truth" to me is that the Pope would refer to Moscow as "the third Rome" - a phrase I do not see as consonant with the way this Pope speaks and uses terminology.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the Pope's view of Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church or his view of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. My difficulty is simply with a phrase referenced that I have never heard of or read as being used by this Pope or any Pope.

I have read a bit on the area you speak to. I read Jaroslav Pelikan's lovely book on +Joseph Slipyj "Confessor between east and west" and learned a lot about the persecution of Ukrainian Catholics in that book.

I am no expert (on this or, by the way, on either Catholic or Orthodox theology). But I know a bit and always want to learn more.

I think you have read far more into my words than is warranted, though I am sure you do not do this deliberately. It's hard not to read more into what others actually write and say. But it is the best path, I believe, and I do try to follow my own advice here. (Come, Holy Spirit!)

[ 08-08-2002: Message edited by: Gerard Serafin ]

Re: From the Moscow Patriarchate #110643 08/08/02 03:52 PM
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Dear Gerard,

This is an emotional issue for many Ukrainian Catholics, as I know you are aware.

And I'm sorry for having given offence in any way.

But the Pope is a friend to Ukrainian Catholics.

And he is also open to the Russian Orthodox as well. Perhaps he was just being polite.

He has quoted from the works of Russian theologians and saints in some of his public talks, including, I will add, St Theophan the Recluse.

I'm not accusing the Holy Father of anything mean-spirited, heaven forbid!

But his statement did cause consternation among our people for several years afterwards.

I guess my initial reaction to your disbelief on this score was along the lines of "Doesn't everyone know this?"

Perhaps I'll be able to obtain a record of this in the near future.

Alex

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