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And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28431
04/28/03 10:32 PM
04/28/03 10:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 219
FL
Johan S. Offline OP
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Johan S.  Offline OP
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Quote
Priests from the competing sects shoved each other as part of an ancient dispute over who would emerge first with the flame they believe miraculously descends from heaven during the Easter Ceremony of the Holy Fire, celebrated this weekend by the Eastern Orthodox.
http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Apr/04272003/nation_w/51811.asp

Shame on us! We should be the light of the world!

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28432
04/29/03 12:29 AM
04/29/03 12:29 AM
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Takoma Park, MD
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Two Lungs Offline
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Clearly, the Greeks and Armenians cannot handle their differences. They need a Pope to solve the problem. :p

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28433
04/29/03 12:36 AM
04/29/03 12:36 AM
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Hermitage, PA
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Chtec Offline
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Very sad indeed. What we do in the name of the Resurrection!

Here are some videos of the event, a few showing the very tactile way some Christians choose to deal with eachother:

http://www.jerusalem-patriarchate.org/live/redefault.asp

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28434
04/29/03 03:02 AM
04/29/03 03:02 AM
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Dr John Offline
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Gee, perhaps if we focused more on feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, comforting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, instructing the ignorant, etc. then the "magical" elements adjoined to our faith would seem less important. And the "magical" Christians might be dissuaded from this crap and more inclined to follow Mother Teresa's and others' example.

While there may be Divine influence and presence in any number of our Christian activities, these miraculous elements must clearly be subordinated to the very real 'philanthropia' mandated by our Lord and His Gospel. If the "Holy Fire" were somehow to disappear, then: so what. Christ is still Lord, and we, His people, are still the most holy 'fools' for giving our last penny to those who are in need. And caring for anyone who comes to our doors.

Christ is Risen from the Dead!! He has conquered death and has given life to those who have been dead! Halllllleeee-luuu-jahhhhh! Praise God!!! Without Him, everything is just nothing.

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28435
04/29/03 07:41 AM
04/29/03 07:41 AM
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Andrew J. Rubis Offline
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Dear Dr. John,

Thank you for the much-needed tonic! May God bless you throughout your witness!

In Christ,
Andrew

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28436
04/29/03 09:15 AM
04/29/03 09:15 AM
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Dr. John,

The Holy Fire is not "magic" and it is not "crap."

Shame on you, Sir . . .

Alex

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28437
04/29/03 09:26 AM
04/29/03 09:26 AM
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Dear Friends,

Apart from the sadness of such a display by Orthodox Christians in Jerusalem - the West already seems to think of Orthodoxy as a nationalistic and antiquated spiritual museum - there is a, yes, positive side to this that is sometimes overlooked.

My agnostic and atheist friends often point out such stories as if to say, "tisk, tisk!"

But then, in conversation with them, what I discover is that they are actually upset and dismayed that people feel so strongly about their religious beliefs to engage in such actions.

So I ask you to pretend that you are an atheist for a moment.

You go through life believing that people will eventually stop believing in religion, that they don't really have all that strong an attachment to it etc.

Then you read a story like this and your atheistic dream-world is shattered.

You might even then begin to investigate the miracle of the Holy Fire - that thing that Dr. John thinks so highly of.

And you might, as one student of medicine I know, do - go to Jerusalem and stand in the Church of the Resurrection near the Tomb of Christ with a lantern in your hand - so as not to stand out from everyone else.

You might, as this fellow did, try to listen to what is going on in the Chapel and when you hear "Christos Anesti" sung for the first time, you just might experience what he did, the miraculous lighting up of his own lantern by the Fire . . .

And you might go home and write all this up in the New England Journal of Medicine . . .

Also, clerics jostling one another is nothing new.

St Nicholas gave a good account of himself at the First Ecumenical Council when he gave the heretic Arius a "shot to the chops." He could be a patron of boxers.

Pope St Pius X knocked out a parishioner with a single blow for swearing out loud after Sunday Mass.

Philosophical fisticuffs at Councils and public theological debates were rather common-place.

It would be good for the Orthodox, Eastern and Oriental, to stop behaving like children.

But at least they really DO believe in the Holy Fire and don't deride it as "crap" etc.

Besides, how do you say "crap" in either Greek or Armenian?

Alex

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28438
04/29/03 09:53 AM
04/29/03 09:53 AM
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paromer Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Johan S.:
Quote
Priests from the competing sects shoved each other as part of an ancient dispute over who would emerge first with the flame they believe miraculously descends from heaven during the Easter Ceremony of the Holy Fire, celebrated this weekend by the Eastern Orthodox.
http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Apr/04272003/nation_w/51811.asp

Shame on us! We should be the light of the world!
How can we Christians ever have the same date for Easter/Pascha when these brawls go on at the Church of the Resurection??

Paul

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28439
04/29/03 10:11 AM
04/29/03 10:11 AM
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Mikey Stilts Offline
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Alex,

Do you have a cite for the NEJM article? I'd love to read it!

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28440
04/29/03 02:47 PM
04/29/03 02:47 PM
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Philadelphia
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Andrew J. Rubis Offline
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Dear Alex,

Christ is Risen!

Please reconsider:

Said "crap" is most likely a reference to the shoving match and not the Holy Fire itself. At least, that is how I understood Dr. John's post.

In Christ,
Andrew

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28441
04/29/03 03:18 PM
04/29/03 03:18 PM
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sam Offline
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I've never heard of the "Holy Fire". Now that I've been enlightened I think I would learn a little more.
As far as the angry mob scene- isn't this just a reflection of the problem between the churches in a nutshell? The argument/shoving match was about who would be first. Why do we act like this? Does it really matter who is first to receive? Will we ever reach a level of spiritual maturity in which we can say to our brother "You go first, I will wait for you"? What a concept.

Sam

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28442
04/29/03 05:11 PM
04/29/03 05:11 PM
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Falls Church, Virginia
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Dr John Offline
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I was indeed speaking of the jostling clerics. I just can't envision it - vested clergy from various communities pushing against each other in the sanctuary.

Blessings!

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28443
04/29/03 05:30 PM
04/29/03 05:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
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Chicago
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Amadeus Offline
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Friends:

That's why it's good that Latin (and some Eastern) Catholics have celebrated theirs a week earlier, effectively preventing the Franciscan Friars from joining the fray! :p

And, there are other things that preoccupy those OFM clerics: by agreement of ALL parties concerned, including the Israeli and Muslim authorities, and by Papal fiat, they are the venerable Custos of all the Christian shrines throughout the Holy Land.

What an unedifying scene this must have been to the Israeli Jews and Muslim Arabs.

AmdG

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28444
04/30/03 09:51 AM
04/30/03 09:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Amado,

Yours is the best justification for having two Easters that I've ever come across.

Congratulations on behalf of all of us Old Calendarists! smile

Alex

Re: And We Call Ourselves Christian - SHAME! #28445
04/30/03 09:55 AM
04/30/03 09:55 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Dr. John,

I apologise for imputing to you what I did and hereby withdraw.

I apologise to your Amen Corner - Reader Andrew too! wink

But we don't have to go to Jerusalem to see jostling clerics.

Just come to a concelebrated Ukrainian Divine Liturgy.

Priests have told me that they have been punched in the ribs by bishops to get them to move in the right direction during processions . . .

One priest told me, "But not our Bishop Isidore Borecky - he never does that - he is truly worthy of having his hands kissed!"

But, Dr. John, isn't Greek antipathy toward Armenians a longstanding thing?

Didn't Greek saints and teachers warn Greeks against marrying Armenians or even trying to learn the Armenian language?

So, in the end, how much is this the product of religious rivalry and how much is it part of the ongoing Greek vs Armenian nastiness?

Besides, unlike in North America, religion doesn't exist apart from cultural and national/political issues elsewhere . . .

Let's not be too quick to condemn Christianity as a whole for ethnic squabbles!

Alex

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