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I am fully aware of the tendentiousness of AsiaNews (and of Catholic news sites in general) in reporting news about the Orthodox Church, and their general attitude of "go-Bartholomow-go-bust-Alexy's-nose!" but I still find this article interesting enough to post, if only for an intriguing passage in it:


http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=28490

Quote


Patriarch Bartholomew I : Bold Move toward Communion
7/7/2008
Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

The ecumenical Patriarch favors meeting and talking with everyone, even with the "uniates", often considered an obstacle to ecumenism.

ISTANBUL (AsiaNews) - Ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I will lead the delegation to Constantinople for the celebrations of the 1020 years of the Christianisation of the Russians of Kiev.

The decision satisfies both the invitation of the patriarch of Moscow, Alexy II, to send a delegation from the ecumenical patriarchate, and that of Ukrainian president Victor Yushchenko, who asked Bartholomew I to provide over the festivities.

A statement from Constantinople recalls that "the Mother Church [Constantinople] . . . led the Ukrainian people toward baptism in Christ, [and] has decided to send its own delegation under the leadership of the ecumenical patriarch, to the celebrations that will take place from July 23rd to the 25th ".

With this gesture, Constantinople intends to seize the occasion to offer its own contribution to smoothing over the tensions within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, divided between Russians and Ukrainians.

Because of authoritarianism and the impact of national contrasts, Ukraine sees its own Christian world divided into three churches.

There is a "uniate" church of the Greek-Byzantine rite. In 1695, tired of the overweening Polish Church and afraid of the tsarist Russian Church [1], since Constantinople had been weakened under Ottoman rule, it placed itself under the protection of the patriarch of the West, the pope of Rome. It is worth noting that the region had no concept of the schism between West and East.

After the fall of the Soviet empire, in 1991 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church proclaimed its autonomy from Moscow, and under the guidance of Filaret it sought its own recognition in the Orthodox world.

Finally, there is the flock of Orthodox faithful of Russian origin, who have remained faithful to Moscow.

Constantinople has always tried to oppose the nationalist tendencies of these churches, and to moderate the tensions within the Orthodox world, struck - according to an expression of Bartholomew I - "by the modern heresy of nationalism".

For this reason, the ecumenical patriarch favours meeting and talking with everyone, even with the "uniates", often considered an obstacle to ecumenism.

Bartholomew I himself, in a highly significant symbolic gesture, gave a chalice to the new Greek Catholic bishop of Athens, Bishop Salachas. "The chalice of our shared communion", he commented, "must be our point of reference".

An Orthodox wise man once said: "In the Christian world, the spirit of the scribes prevails over that of Christ toward the Samaritan woman . . . because we have given more importance to defining ourselves as Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant, instead of being Christians before all else".

Bartholomew's decision to preside over the celebrations is highly criticised in Orthodox circles in Moscow. The agency Interfax launched a few days ago a series of articles highly critical of Constantinople.

According to some Orthodox priests, no invitation was issued to Bartholomew I by Alexy II; according to some historians, Bartholomew's decision is even "a hostile act against Russia".

[1] The Russian Church was elevated to the status of patriarchate in the 16th century, by Constantinople.




Last edited by asianpilgrim; 07/08/08 03:39 PM.
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More lies! The poor Ecumenical Patriarch is being attacked by Christians as well as the Turks.

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Bartholomew I himself, in a highly significant symbolic gesture, gave a chalice to the new Greek Catholic bishop of Athens, Bishop Salachas. "The chalice of our shared communion", he commented, "must be our point of reference".


Orthodox have consistently said that there must first be unity in faith before inter-communion.

Here is the response from the Ecumenical Patriarch from their web page:
Quote
PRESS RELEASE

With respect to the recently published articles reporting that allegedly His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew believes that it is possible for the Greek Catholics (Uniates) to have a “double union”, in other words, full communion with Rome as well as with Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarchate refutes this inaccurate statement and affirms it was never made. The Ecumenical Patriarchate repeats its position that full union in faith is a prerequisite for sacramental communion.

At the Patriarchate, the 5th of July 2008
From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy Synod
http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=en&id=952&tla=en


What I want to know is why all of a sudden are these lies being spread? Why now?


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Orest,

Sorry - where are the lies in the article? Did Patriarch Bartholomew not present a chalice as a gift with those words?

Not being argumentative, just trying to figure out fact from the fiction.

Thanks...

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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I'm not sure if it can really be termed a lie, but the statement that Bartholomew is going to lead a pilgrimage to Constantinople is certainly amusing, since he lives in the Queen of Cities all year round.

As to the gift, it is not improbable that Bartholomew actually knows Bishop Demetrios and would therefore make such a gift. Gracious, but hardly earth-shattering.


Fr. Serge

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Father Serge,

I think the Editor needs a wake-up call.

The story clearly is about a pilgrimage to Kyiv.

But the Editor apparently does not remember what he has assigned the reporters to report on! laugh



Patriarch Bartholemew has long been known for his civility and generousity. He folows the advice of St. Francis --- to preach the gospel always, to use words when necessary.



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These words about shared communion:
Quote
Bartholomew I himself, in a highly significant symbolic gesture, gave a chalice to the new Greek Catholic bishop of Athens, Bishop Salachas. "The chalice of our shared communion", he commented, "must be our point of reference".


This is a direct contradiction to what is said in the press release from the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Quote
”double union”, in other words, full communion with Rome as well as with Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarchate refutes this inaccurate statement and affirms it was never made. The Ecumenical Patriarchate repeats its position that full union in faith is a prerequisite for sacramental communion.

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The gracious gift from Bartholomew to Bishop Demetrios does not necessarily imply that the two of them should concelebrate the Eucharist.

Fr. Serge

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Originally Posted by Orest
These words about shared communion:
Quote
Bartholomew I himself, in a highly significant symbolic gesture, gave a chalice to the new Greek Catholic bishop of Athens, Bishop Salachas. "The chalice of our shared communion", he commented, "must be our point of reference".


This is a direct contradiction to what is said in the press release from the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Quote
”double union”, in other words, full communion with Rome as well as with Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarchate refutes this inaccurate statement and affirms it was never made. The Ecumenical Patriarchate repeats its position that full union in faith is a prerequisite for sacramental communion.


Shlomo Orest,

I believe that he ment a shared Byzantine Tradition.

Poosh BaShlomo,
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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
I am fully aware of the tendentiousness of AsiaNews (and of Catholic news sites in general) in reporting news about the Orthodox Church


As compared to who? Interfax?

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The article itself is poorly written and edited, even for AsiaNews, not exactly the stellar component of Vatican-affiliated news outlets on its best day.

While, as Father Serge notes, His All-Holiness may well know Bishop Demetrios, the comment is a throw-away - stretched in an effort to make it relevant to the topic at hand.

On the other side of the issue, if it is true that the gift was given and those words were said, I do not think that it is unrealistic to interpret the phrase thusly, using idiom familiar to English speakers:


"The chalice of our shared communion must be our point of reference"

"Shared communion (the idea of which this chalice symbolizes) is the prize (goal) on which we must keep our eyes (toward which we must direct our hopes/prayers)"

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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The gracious gift from Bartholomew to Bishop Demetrios does not necessarily imply that the two of them should concelebrate the Eucharist.

Fr. Serge


Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

I'm perplexed that a gift from His All-Holiness to a Greek Catholic bishop should stir such visceral reactions. I'm sure that His All-Holiness was showing Chritian charity of the type we should all be showing each other. We don't have to fully agree on every issue to make a gift to another person.

I gave a pair of large icon books--one of which has been out-of-print for some time--to an Orthodox priest who I consider to be a friend of mine. They were well researched and had some spectacular prints in them. I had asked that when he was finished that they find their way to his jurisdiction's seminary for the library so that future seminarians could benefit from them. They had been a gift to me from my spiritual father but after I'd studied them they were collecting dust on my shelf.

Given the tone of some of the responses to His All-Holiness' generosity, am I to conclude that we should keep things to ourselves because we don't share full unity in the Faith through Eucharistic Communion?

I think not.

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 07/09/08 02:44 PM.
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I have no intention of being visceral about it. Again, I simply assume that Patriarch Bartholomais knew Bishop Demetrios in Rome and has kindly given the new Bishop something pleasant. Nothing wrong with that, surely.

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Maybe I am making an erroneous interpretation; however I do not see in any part of the article that the chalice which was given by His All-Holiness to Bishop Demetrios is anything else than a chalice (let's say a cup per se).

I believe that the intention of the author is to create a confusion so anyone who might read it understands that he gave a chalice with the consecrated Holy Blood, when the actual event was a gift with a symbolical message. As Neil states; "The chalice of our shared communion must be our point of reference"
"Shared communion (the idea of which this chalice symbolizes) is the prize (goal) on which we must keep our eyes (toward which we must direct our hopes/prayers)"

God Bless

Bernardo

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Quote
I believe that the intention of the author is to create a confusion so anyone who might read it understands that he gave a chalice with the consecrated Holy Blood, when the actual event was a gift with a symbolical message.


That's the way I read it too. There has just been too much of this going on lately.


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