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I posted this question elsewhere today, but an ultranationalist derailed the discussion and it was locked. I think this is a critical issue facing Orthodoxy, and the UGCC finds itself in the fray, so I ask this here.

The Ukrainian crisis has brought to the table Orthodox faith and nationalism as Ukrainian and Russian nationalists wrap themselves in the Cross as they enter the Fast. The comments expressed by many on various threads demonstrates the issue in stark terms. The very nature of our post Byzantine imperial method of organizing national churches with unique national attributes makes the current situation all the more volatile given the historical claims of both Russians and Ukrainians. I realize that phyletism is a more narrow concept but all three seem to be interrelated.

Thoughts, anyone...apolitical if possible please. The UGCC perspective interests me as well.

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Just wanted to bump this thread. It interests me also, coming from an Oriental Orthodox background (as it relates to a sublime issue between the Syriac and Malankara Orthodox). When the Malankara Orthodox first clamored for autocephaly, there were accusations of the heresy of phyletism flying around. But not so much when the Ethiopian and Eritreans wanted autocephaly from the COC. It would make an interesting study why phyletism was considered an issue in the former, but not in the latter case.

Blessings

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The five patriarchates of the Pentarchy were (and are still) transnational: e.g., Antioch includes both Syria and Lebanon; Jerusalem embraces Israel, Palestine and Jordan. A spiritually healthy Orthodoxy should (and, in some instances, does) follow this path. There is no good reason why the Church of Christ, where there is no Jew and Greek, nor freedman nor slave etc., should be carved up to suit the nationalist passions of fallen man! Remember the sublime teaching of the Epistle to Diognetus: For the Christian every native land is an exile and every exile -- a native land!

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Originally Posted by mardukm
Just wanted to bump this thread. It interests me also, coming from an Oriental Orthodox background (as it relates to a sublime issue between the Syriac and Malankara Orthodox). When the Malankara Orthodox first clamored for autocephaly, there were accusations of the heresy of phyletism flying around. But not so much when the Ethiopian and Eritreans wanted autocephaly from the COC. It would make an interesting study why phyletism was considered an issue in the former, but not in the latter case.

Blessings
Great to see you here Brother, I noticed they put you under the Ban over there.

I think the reason why with the SOC/IOC issue ethnicity is mentioned is that the SOC Constitution specifically excludes the Bishops of the Malankara Archdiocese from ever becoming eligible for the Patriarchate. Although, the exceptions are the Bishops who are directly responsible to the Patriarch, such as the Malankara Archdiocese based in NY, the Simhasana (Thronal) Churches, and the seminaries/monasteries. Many Indians feel this is tantamount to "separate but equal", I don't agree. Just as the Pope, in theory, should be elected by the Latin Church, and we our own.

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I'm not sure I have any answers, but I do have thoughts and questions! This is a topic I'm still thinking through. As a former member of the OCA, I find it interesting to see the OCA (which remained faithful despite some tough circumstances) apparently thrown under the bus now in the Orthodox world and ROCOR (despite its irregular situation for decades)now playing a prominent role in the US and elsewhere, apparently with the MP's full blessing. This surprises me because the MP does not seem reluctant to throw its weight around. A few years ago a local (Seattle) ROCOR priest, born here in the US, essentially said that there is no such thing as an "American." He is very proud of having retained his Russian identity. As one of French descent, this kind of attitude, coupled with Greek denunciations of "the Franks," is tedious. The best thing that ever happened to the papacy was the loss of the Papal States, because it then decoupled the Church of Rome from territorial and ethnic pretensions. Sorry for being so long-winded!

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The OCA in Seattle seems to have become more and more ROCOR style Russian and this year there was a noticeable lack of diversity in the one OCA church here. Only one priest, no deacon! Noticed the Seattle Romanians Sunday having a bishop, several priests, deacons and many servers for their Liturgy. Trying to figure out the change in scenery from previous years.

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The intersection of politics and religion it seems to me have always led religious believers in some way to violate the tenets of their religion. That's not even just Orthodoxy or Christianity. There are so many examples in history its hard to even know where to start.

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Hi brother Michael,

Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Great to see you here Brother, I noticed they put you under the Ban over there.

Yes, it was only a matter of time. I wouldn't be surprised if there are Absolutist Petrine (AP) advocates on their staff. I am unrelenting when it comes to that issue. I've always expressed myself as I always have on the matter, and the ban was strange, if not unexpected. I've often pointed out the similarity between the SSPX and the Catholic AP advocates, but without actually quoting an SSPX source. I knew the SSPX was like this after having read that one of Lefebvre's opposition to V2 was its teaching on collegiality. I thought it was telling that I was banned after I gave an actual quote from an SSPX website (with a link) about their beliefs on the matter. I think it might have hit too close to home that there is actual proof that, despite their remaining in the Catholic Church, the ecclesiology of AP advocates really is opposed to official Catholic ecclesiology. It's no doubt a hard pill to swallow by certain Latin Catholics that their personal opinion on ecclesiology/the papacy is schismatic in nature.

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I think the reason why with the SOC/IOC issue ethnicity is mentioned is that the SOC Constitution specifically excludes the Bishops of the Malankara Archdiocese from ever becoming eligible for the Patriarchate. Although, the exceptions are the Bishops who are directly responsible to the Patriarch, such as the Malankara Archdiocese based in NY, the Simhasana (Thronal) Churches, and the seminaries/monasteries. Many Indians feel this is tantamount to "separate but equal", I don't agree. Just as the Pope, in theory, should be elected by the Latin Church, and we our own.

Given the Syriac Tradition on the doctrinal importance of primacy, I can understand the SOC perspective. On the other hand, I really don't see a problem with a PURELY administrative "autocephaly." As long as there is an admission of the primacy of the "mother Church" (i.e., of its head bishop) on the more important matters, there should ideally be no problem. The latter is how it is lived among the COC and its daughter Churches. Maybe the Malankara Orthodox were asking for something more than a merely administrative "autocephaly."

Blessings

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According to non-SOC, MOC views, there is strictly speaking no absolute need to ask - as according to this view, the church in India was always independent of Antioch. It only came to dependency on Antioch in reaction to Rome and later protestantism.

I'm not saying I agree, but it is the view I've read and understand. That view is "understandable", if one accepts that the Church in India was originally (prior to Portuguese involvement) under the Assyrian/Chaldean Catholicate-Patriarchate of Babylon and not directly Antioch. This position also claims the Apostolic See of St. Thomas.


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