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Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4223 01/31/03 05:22 PM
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David,

The Benedictines in Butler and the Franciscans in Sybertsville were both once fairly healthy communities, even though they were very latinized. Both were used as a source for priests for our Church and this practice began some forty or more years ago. Currently, the hegumen of Holy Trinity Monastery is also serving in a parish on Sundays. The practice of taking priests away from their communities and making them pastors of parishes or even just having them routinely serve away from their communities on Sundays effectively destroys the community.

My point is that if these monasteries had not been raided for priests during the last several generations they would still have possibilities for the future. It is my opinion that the raiding of these monasteries over the years is the major reason for their current state. Right now their future is uncertain, at best, and they are in need of much prayer.

It is my hope that our bishops will establish a diocesan monastery for people who do not want to be desert monks. Holy Resurrection Monastery in the California desert is a wonderful place but the call to live in the desert is not for everyone. Many have a calling to live monasticism in the heart of a city or at least near to the population centers of our Church. I do not understand why our bishops have not acted on this and pray that they will do so soon. As I stated earlier, I think that first thing a new bishop should do is to create a monastery to pray for the eparchy. I can’t imagine why such prayer has become unimportant to our Church. A spiritual renewal of our Church can come only from this type of prayer.

Regarding the Esphigmenou monks their opinion of our Church or me has nothing to do with my opinion of them. They deserve to be treated humanely and with Christian dignity. I have stated that I do not have all the facts but, based upon what I have read, I do not think that evicting them is the proper solution to the current problem. If there is no demonstrable canon and precedent showing that the Ecumenical Patriarch has direct and universal jurisdiction over them then he should allow the canonical process to run its course.

Admin

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4224 01/31/03 06:19 PM
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AntonI Offline
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Dead Administrator! smile

I belive that that the constitution of the Holy Mountain as pertaining to who governs it, is similar (I think) to that that governs Andorra. In the latter, the President of France is co-leader along with the Spanish Bishop of Urgel. In the case of Mt Athos, both the Patriarchate and the Greek government have a kind of joint 'overship' over it. The Greeks keep a governor in the capital, to deal with various affairs pertaining to Greece, whilst the Patriarchate has spiritual leadership. The monasteries are - more or less - independently governed by the abbot and subordinates, though the Governing Body of the Mountain is made of the 8 senior abbots. They accept the leadership of Constantinople BUT they have always acted in the defense of Orthodoxy and have TOLD OFF [ smile ] various prelates for failing into errors. As pertaining to the current crisis, IMHO, the monks are wrong to be in opposition (perhaps the Patriarch is acting a bit hasty [what would Treebeard say?]. He has not fallen into heresy - he is in dialogue with (officially termed] heterodox groups but some of their criticism are erroneous. To my knowledge, His All-Holiness does not, for example, permit non-Orthodox to partake of Communion (the whole Ravenna thing is foolish - where IS the proof?). The canons of Orthodoxy DO allow groups to break communion with a prelate IF the latter is in error - the Ecumenical Patriach is not. Well, this is at least to my mind - some here may have different opininos. I think the orthodoxy of the monks is not in doubt but I think that they have taken as extreme route in this implacable opposition to Constantinople; likewise perhaps it was unwise to call the police in YET as I read it, it was the decision of the Governing Synod to call them (albeit after the pronouncement of excommunication). Frankly, they all need a good seeing too - send a bunch of babushkas to both camps to deal with them! biggrin

Anton

*Add fuel to the fire, from my viewpoint as a historian, the whole hullabaloo concerning the Old/New Calender seems a trifle exaggerated. But I digress....*

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4225 01/31/03 06:30 PM
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Evidently the High Court has granted the fathers their day in court to protest the decisions of the government and synod.

Candles--multiple candles--flicker before the sacred image of Ayios Nektarios wherever the faithful gather and pray to bring about a Christian solution to this sad episode.

Abdur

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4226 01/31/03 06:32 PM
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Esteemed Admin,

I will defer to you in matters regarding the Esphigmenou monks.

That being said, I will carry on the discussion.

Yes, I agree that the raiding of the benedictines would kill the community, as we have today. But the franciscans, isn't this what they do? Franciscans do not form monasteries, they have friaries. Aren't they about more than just community. They are mendicant friars.

As for the "diocesan monastery for people who do not want to be desert monks", I agree this is what we need, but I must say, do not hold your breath, it won't happen anytime soon.

As I alluded to earlier, one of our bishops was approached about such an idea. He was asked to provide direction. This was months ago and he has yet to respond. I believe the idea is dead.

David frown frown

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4227 01/31/03 06:51 PM
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Dear AntonI:

Quote
I belive that that the constitution of the Holy Mountain as pertaining to who governs it, is similar (I think) to that that governs Andorra. In the latter, the President of France is co-leader along with the Spanish Bishop of Urgel.


Yes and No.

From 1278-1993, Andorra was a co-principality under the French head of state and the bishop of Urgel, Spain.

Presently, Andorra is a parliamentary State with a secular government independent of France. (The state religion is Catholicism, though freedom of worship is guaranteed to other religions.)

Ecclesiastical jurisdiction remains under the Spanish Diocese of Urgel.

Quote
Dead Administrator!


NOT!!!

Our esteemed Administrator is alive and kicking!

Did you notice how he is spewing fire at the posters here? biggrin

AmdG

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4228 01/31/03 06:56 PM
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eek Oh dear....please accept my humble apologies...that was most unfortunate slip of the keyboard...I should know better! *Puts on a dunce cap and goes to the corner*

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4229 01/31/03 06:57 PM
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David,

I agree with your points. I would only add that even though the Franciscans technically have friaries and not monasteries they can’t have much community if they are never there.

The only reason I can think of for our bishops not to be welcoming, hospitable and supportive to those who have a vocation to the monastic life is because they do not really believe that monasticism is a necessary part of a healthy Church. If this is the case then we have no future as a Church. I find it very strange that this coming Sunday our Church is participating in the “2003 World Day for Consecrated Life” that is observed throughout the Catholic Church when there is no announced action plan to actually affirm and support those who have been called to that life and to create new communities for those with these callings. I think much prayer and healing is needed.

Admin

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4230 01/31/03 06:59 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by AntonI:
eek Oh dear....please accept my humble apologies...that was most unfortunate slip of the keyboard...I should know better! *Puts on a dunce cap and goes to the corner*
AntonI,

No apologies necessary. No offense was taken.

But I think you may have momentarily made a lot of people very happy. biggrin

Admin

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4231 01/31/03 07:29 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Administrator:
David,

I agree with your points. I would only add that even though the Franciscans technically have friaries and not monasteries they can't have much community if they are never there.

The only reason I can think of for our bishops not to be welcoming, hospitable and supportive to those who have a vocation to the monastic life is because they do not really believe that monasticism is a necessary part of a healthy Church. If this is the case then we have no future as a Church. I find it very strange that this coming Sunday our Church is participating in the “2003 World Day for Consecrated Life” that is observed throughout the Catholic Church when there is no announced action plan to actually affirm and support those who have been called to that life and to create new communities for those with these callings. I think much prayer and healing is needed.

Admin
Admin,
See, as usual, if we keep at it, we end up at a point where we agree 100%! :p

We just have to keep at it! :p

David

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4232 01/31/03 10:00 PM
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Dear Alex and others,

Excellent points have been raised as a result of this news item. We've certainly drifted again, but I would like to follow up on something posted earlier. Perhaps the Administrator would like to transfer this question to a new thread.

We've covered some of this ground previously, but I think that I raise an important difference between East (not in communion with Rome) and East (in communion with Rome).

Way back on 1-30-03 Alex posted:

"The Assumption - again our liturgical tradition has always celebrated that, that's no news to us."

In the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church (not in communion with Rome) one is not obligated to believe, as a dogma, that the Most Holy Theotokos was assumed bodily into heaven. The liturgical tradition definitely speaks of her "translation to life." On that, I have often asked what that means and not always been satisfied with the answers. I think that I have come close to proposing some answers in some other subforum. I'll try to look up that earlier exchange and try to refer to it in my next post.

With that as a reference, let me ask in this:

Are Eastern Catholics (in communion with Rome) obligated to believe in the bodily assumption into heaven of the Most Holy Virgin Theotokos?

You should know my style by now. It's not a trick question.

In Christ.

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4233 01/31/03 10:04 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I only know of 2 monasteries within our Church with only one of them being a true monastery.

Those would be the benedictines (Holy Trinity Monastery) in Butler, PA, and the franciscans (Holy Dormition Friary) in Sybertsville, PA.
If by monasteries you mean only places for men, then you left out the Basilian Fathers of Mariapocs monastery in Matawan, New Jersey.

You may or may not be leaving out the Exaltation of the Holy Cross monastery in Miami, Florida (Studite) - it may or may not be part of the Eparchy of Passaic any more.

But women can be monastics too, and we have:
Mt. St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa. (Sisters of St. Basil);
Queen of Heaven Monastery in Warren, Ohio (Benedictine Sisters of the Byzantine Church);
Holy Annunciation Monastery in Sugarloaf, Pa. (Byzantine Carmelite Sisters).

A bishop can't very well raid a women's monastery to staff parishes, although there are Sisters of St. Basil working as Pastoral Associates in a number of our parishes.

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4234 01/31/03 10:09 PM
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Dear Brethren,

The previous thread to which I refer above was started by Ghazar and is on page 5 of the Byzantine Faith & Worship subforum. The thread was titled, "Did the Theotokos Die?"

In Christ.

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4235 01/31/03 10:10 PM
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Andrew,

I think you are misunderstanding the Eastern position. The East has always held that Mary was taken up into heaven (assumption). The East just does not see a need to proclaim an official dogma about it. The idea that every aspect of theology needs to be proclaimed in a neat and tidy way is a very Western one. You are asking Easterners to embrace Western theological expressions in order to prove their Catholicism. It just doesn't work.

Here is a wonderful explanation about the Eastern understanding from http://www.anastasis.org.uk/august.htm :
Quote
Concerning the Dormition of the Mother of God the Church has received the following from the ancient tradition of the Fathers. When the time drew near when it was our Saviour’s good pleasure to take to himself his own Mother, he informed her through an Angel, three days before hand, of her passing from this temporary life to that which is eternal and blessed. When she heard this, she went in haste to the mount of Olives, where it was her custom to go and pray, and when she had given thanks to God, she returned to her house and prepared for her burial. Meanwhile clouds had snatched up the Apostles from the ends of the earth, wherever each of them was preaching, and set them down together at the house of the Mother of God. She quickly explained to them the reason for their coming together and like a mother she consoled them in their distress. Then she raised her hands to heaven, prayed for the peace of the world, blessed the Apostles and then, when she had lain down on the bier and disposed her body as she has intended, she placed her all-holy soul into the hands of her Son and God.

The Apostles with devotion and great pomp took up the bier of that body which had received God and chanting funeral hymns they took it to the grave, when Angels from heaven began to sing with them, as they escorted her who is higher than the Cherubim. One of Jews, out of envy, audaciously placed his hands on the bier and at once received the punishment of his rashness, for his hands were cut off by an invisible blow. When they reached the village called Gethsemane, they buried there with honour the all-pure body, source of life, of the Mother of God. But on the third day after the burial, as they were consoling one another together, they raised the loaf that had been set out, as was their custom, in the name of Jesus, when the Mother of God appeared in the air and said them, ‘Hail!’. From this they understood that the Mother of God had been translated bodily into heaven.

This is what the Church has received from the traditions of the Fathers, and having set down many things from them in hymns, as a proof of true devotion, it chants them this day to the glory of the Mother of our God.
I agree with your idea that this should be discussed in a new thread. If you wish to begin a discussion on this topic please start a new thread in the appropriate forum.

Admin

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4236 02/05/03 09:31 AM
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Holy Monastery Esfigmenou and the communion of heterodox at the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy in Raven that never took place…

Tomorrow afternoon, February 6, a concentration supporting the Esfigmenites monks will take place in Athens near the University. Another concentration took place last Saturday at Ouranoupolis board (the board to the Holy Mountain) in which no more than 5000 people, according to different papers and news agencies, took part. Demonstrators, members of the Old-calendar movement and ultra-nacionalit organizations, used in their slogans insults against the Pope (Pope Anti-Christ), as they consider the bishop of Rome the personification of evil over the earth. Esfigmenou monks were charged with 85 charges against the Chart of the Holy Mountain by the Holy Community. One of these charges is for proselytism (of other monks and lay pilgrims, members of the Orthodox Church both of the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in favor of the Church of the Authentic Christian Orthodox), forbidden at the Holy Mountain. Most of their 100 monks are consider lay men by the Holy Community as their monastic profession is consider uncannonical. Both the Monastic tonsure and the ordination of deacons and priest of the members of the fraternity were celebrated by the bishops of the Synod of Archbishop Chrisostomos of Athens (Christodoulos is the name of the cannonical Archbishop of Athens), the president of one of the at least 4 Old-Calendarist synods existing in Greece, whom they consider their bishop. Esfigmenites monks, who had no representation at the Holy Community after their official represent refused to pray with the represents of the other monasteries because they are also considered heretics by the Esfigmenites monks. Esfigmenou monks are not peaceful monks that want to life a live of prayer in the Holy Mountain according to the Holy Tradition together with the other monks of the Holy Mountain, they just want to provide the Church of the Truly Orthodox Christians of Archbishop Chrysostomus with a monastery at the Holy Mountain, all the others are heretics (Pope also know as the Anti-Christ, Catholics-papists, Patriarch, Church of Greece, the monks of the other 19 monasteies at the Holy Mountain, the Old-Calendarist that are not in communion with Archbishop Chrysostom…everybody except themselves and the Synod of Archbishop Chrysostomus)

According to the Greek papers letters were interchanged between the higoumenos of the Holy Mountain Monastery of Saint Gregory (Moni Grigoriou) and the Archbishop of Tyrana and Albania Anastasios. In his first letter archimandrite father Georgios accused him and the ecumenical patriarch of giving Holy Communion to heretics and even non Christians at the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy in Raven. In his answer to the letter the Archbishop of Albania assured that he and his assistant deacon asked everybody if they were Orthodox before giving them Holy Communion.

Yours in Christ
F

Re: Greece's rebel monks in stand-off #4237 02/05/03 03:14 PM
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Dear Andrew,

Yes, we know your style and that is the problem . . . wink

As the Administrator said so eloquently, simply because the East doesn't define a doctrine doesn't mean that we don't believe it.

In fact, there is much that we believe and celebrate in the liturgy without having to worry about the Latin straight-jacket "if the Pope didn't define it, we don't have to believe it."

Eastern Catholics and Orthodox have always believed that the Mother of God was taken, body and soul, to heaven.

This is clear from the liturgical prayers for the Feast of the Dormition, the deuterocanonical sources for that feast and those prayers etc.

We Eastern Catholics don't believe this BECAUSE we are obliged to by virtue of being in communion with Rome.

We believe this as part of our living Orthodox Catholic Eastern patrimony.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I find the way you do theology to be a bit disturbing.

I think you are treating theology like a natural or social science - and you just can't do that, my brother.

It matters not what you wrote or posit about this or that - it matters what the Eastern Church teaches and celebrates, especially in her liturgy.

Please show us one Orthodox authority that teaches that the Mother of God was NOT taken body and soul to Heaven.

Alex

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