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Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world

Posted By: Tomassus

Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 03:09 PM

Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world
Moscow and Constantinople Mutually at Odds


Friday, October 25, 2013
Posted by Teófilo de Jesús
http://vivificat1.blogspot.com/2013/10/deep-fissures-develop-in-eastern.html

The following article is from the Greek Europe Reporter http://eu.greekreporter.com/2013/10/21/conflicts-in-the-orthodox-ecumenical-council/ (hat-tip to Byzantine Texas http://byztex.blogspot.com/2013/10/constantinople-and-moscow-at-odds-over.html ):

A fierce conflict between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Moscow, that may lead to a new schism, threatens the forthcoming Orthodox Ecumenical Council.
The reason is the effort of the Russian Church to degrade the primacy of Constantinople in the orthodox world and to expand in China and Japan.

This expansive strategy has clear political extensions of geopolitical character, with the assistance of president Putin.

Patriarch Bartholomew reacted intensely, sending a letter to the Patriarch of Moscow, Cyrillus, and two others, of informative character to Archbishop Ieronymos.

According to the letter to Cyrillus, the facts that caused the reaction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are: the suppression of the contribution of the church of Constaninople to the christianization of Kievan Rus, the degradation of the Patriarchate’s delegation, the improper enhancement of the “autocephalous” Orthodox Church in America, and the unannounced presentation of a text that disapproved the violence in the Middle East. This had already happened in 2011, at the Council of high-ranking Bishops of Orthodox Churches of the Middle East, in Phanari.

The interest of the Russian Church for proselytism in China and Japan is not only religious, but also political. The text concerning the violence in Middle East is included in that framework.

It seems that the Tsaric subconscious comes to the surface, connected to the old theory of ”Third Rome” and this, despite being refuted, consists the main target. The opulent grand events contribute to the gold wrapping.

All the above have already caused serious side-effects. Most important of which, is the danger of cancellation of the Orthodox Ecumenical Council.


Commentary. I can't say I am surprised, for Orthodox ecclesiology allows for this kind of disorder. I have pointed out elsewhere that the Russian Orthodox Church is reasserting its view as the richest and most populous of the national Orthodox Churches and that their leaders care little about ancient precedents. True, Russian Orthodox missionaries were the first ones from among the Orthodox who opened mission churches in China and Japan, but the fact remains that Constantinople holds a principal role as guide of Orthodox missions, a role formally granted to that Church by Orthodox synodical decisions.

The long-awaited, often-delayed "Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church" has been in the plans for several decades now. It would be shame if internecine warfare between Moscow and Constantinople were to derail it.

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 05:48 PM

Gee, Moscow and Constantinople at each other's throats again. What is the world coming to?
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 06:21 PM

Playing out at the same time, the Patriarch of Antioch has withdrawn ties with Jerusalem over the establishment of a parish in Qatar and pulled out of the regional Assemblies of Bishops, including North America due to Constantinople's alleged support for Jerusalem in this matter.(There is always more to this than meets the eye....) The Patriarch of Serbia participated in an interfaith conference in Jakarta this week with the blessing of the regional ROCOR exarch in Australia but without that of the EP exarch who resides somewhere out there. The EP and ROCOR are fighting over two little parishes in Taiwan.

Of course this is all being played out with three great 'prizes' on the horizon - the massive emigration of Arab Christians out of the mideast, the money deemed available in the United States and the big enchilada - Ukraine.

We Orthodox seem to be stuck in cart ruts left in the wagon road in the 15th century.

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 06:33 PM

How's universal primacy looking now, boys? Maybe some disinterested third party could settle your food fights for you?
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 06:40 PM

This article appeared in the secular press, in a paper devoted to economic business. It has been rubbished as sensationalism.

Yes,there is conflict between Moscow and Micklegarth. The latter clings to the faded glory it had under a long dead empire. Moscow is vibrant and confident, the largest Church by far in the Orthodox world, and with money at its disposal. It is also reaching out in missionary work in Asia, China, Nepal, Thailand, etc.

All honour to Constantinople, its many centuries of leadership in the Christian world, its many centuries of martyrdom, its many great Saints and theologians. Let it retain its first place in the diptychs. But it is understandably feeling nervous about the 1000 pound gorilla in Moscow.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 06:57 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
How's universal primacy looking now, boys? Maybe some disinterested third party could settle your food fights for you?


That didn't work out so well either.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 07:29 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
How's universal primacy looking now, boys? Maybe some disinterested third party could settle your food fights for you?
How did that work out for you with the Ukrainian dog fight in the States? I believe the Vatican created two new Churches--Byzantine Catholic and Ruthenian Catholic. Nothing else could bring peace but to keep them apart in separate corners... or so I've heard. frown
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 07:33 PM

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by StuartK
How's universal primacy looking now, boys? Maybe some disinterested third party could settle your food fights for you?
How did that work out for you with the Ukrainian dog fight in the States? I believe the Vatican created two new Churches--Byzantine Catholic and Ruthenian Catholic. Nothing else could bring peace but to keep them apart in separate corners... or so I've heard. frown


Well, it did bring a lot of folks into Orthodoxy after a fashion.
Posted By: Recluse

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 07:59 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
How's universal primacy looking now, boys? Maybe some disinterested third party could settle your food fights for you?


Boy, that's rather uncharitable.
Posted By: Recluse

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 08:00 PM

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
This article appeared in the secular press, in a paper devoted to economic business. It has been rubbished as sensationalism.


Yes.
Posted By: Recluse

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
I believe the Vatican created two new Churches--Byzantine Catholic and Ruthenian Catholic.


I believe they are one in the same.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 09:40 PM

Father is in New Zealand, cut him some slack. He obviously is referring to the initial efforts to unite the Rusyns and Ukrainians under Bishop Ortynsky. That didn't work out as we all know and a prolonged period of turmoil ensued.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 10:00 PM

Originally Posted by DMD
Father is in New Zealand, cut him some slack. He obviously is referring to the initial efforts to unite the Rusyns and Ukrainians under Bishop Ortynsky. That didn't work out as we all know and a prolonged period of turmoil ensued.
Someone will have to explain it to me. I thought the fighting among Ukrainians was quite divisive and the Vatican founded the Ruthenian Catholic Church in the States for Ukrainians who refused to belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/25/13 11:01 PM

Certainly the problem was that the UGCC was very nationalistic within the western Ukrainian historical context. It was anti-Russian imperialism and against the Russian Orthodox Church of the Tsars and later of the USSR.

The Ruthenians were outside that stream of cultural/national consciousness - although not all.

But that is past. Today, the "big enchilada" in Ukraine is a wild card with Orthodoxy there divided betweeen a nationalistic Ukrainian Orthodox Church (which has been excommunicated by Moscow) and the UOC-MP (which is the ROC in Ukraine that is constantly trying to put on a Ukrainian-friendly face).

Apart from the issue of who will win between the New and Third Rome's, the other one is what will happen between Kiev and Moscow.

And that is very real and threatens to be very significant for the future of Orthodoxy.

So significant, in fact, that one might predict that part of the outcome will be the movement of the EC's back to their mother Orthodox Churches - once the mothers start to respect the integrity of each other's household boundaries.

Alex
Posted By: Mor Ephrem

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 12:30 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
How's universal primacy looking now, boys? Maybe some disinterested third party could settle your food fights for you?


When I think of "disinterested third party", I think of Rome.

Said no one ever.
Posted By: Mark R

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 03:05 AM

So the patriarchates are behaving not unlike they would have in the early Church...big deal.

In re. to the Ruthenian/Ukrainian question in the U.S., we forget that the Ruthenian hierarchy and upper clergy were overwhelmingly Hungarian in language and self-identification (one frequently embraced Hungarian culture once one achieved middle class status in the Carpatho Rus' region of Hapsburg Hungary). Unfortunately, sheer careerism influnces the behaviours of many upper clergy and at that time mixing with Galicians would have threatened the small piece of pie held by the Ruthenians. This division and enforced celibacy, i.m.o., really blew it for E. Slavic Greek Catholics.
(For full disclosure, I am half, in an obshcherusskost', sense Russophile Ruthenian, who also likes Ukraine a lot, but would feel disingenuous to call myself Ukrainian.)
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 07:07 AM

Originally Posted by Mark R
So the patriarchates are behaving not unlike they would have in the early Church...big deal.

In re. to the Ruthenian/Ukrainian question in the U.S., we forget that the Ruthenian hierarchy and upper clergy were overwhelmingly Hungarian in language and self-identification (one frequently embraced Hungarian culture once one achieved middle class status in the Carpatho Rus' region of Hapsburg Hungary). Unfortunately, sheer careerism influnces the behaviours of many upper clergy and at that time mixing with Galicians would have threatened the small piece of pie held by the Ruthenians. This division and enforced celibacy, i.m.o., really blew it for E. Slavic Greek Catholics.
(For full disclosure, I am half, in an obshcherusskost', sense Russophile Ruthenian, who also likes Ukraine a lot, but would feel disingenuous to call myself Ukrainian.)


Magyarism among the upper clergy certainly was an issue within he Rusyn Greek Catholic community and remained so through the 20s and played as role in the ACROD schism. Yet today, it is all but forgotten - along with the Hapsburgs.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 08:45 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
How's universal primacy looking now, boys? Maybe some disinterested third party could settle your food fights for you?

At the risk of stating the obvious, that was rude.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 08:49 AM

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Someone will have to explain it to me. I thought the fighting among Ukrainians was quite divisive and the Vatican founded the Ruthenian Catholic Church in the States for Ukrainians who refused to belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

I think you're reading more into recluse's post than he/she intended. You had said:
Quote
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
I believe the Vatican created two new Churches--Byzantine Catholic and Ruthenian Catholic.

but perhaps you meant "... Byzantine/Ruthenian and Ukrainian"?
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 08:54 AM

Originally Posted by Peter J
but perhaps you meant "... Byzantine/Ruthenian and Ukrainian"?
Sorry, yes. I was working from an old memory of something written by Ruthenian hermitess. So the division in the States is between the Ukrainian Greek Catholics and other Ukrainians from one segment of the Ukraine?
Posted By: Mark R

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 10:17 AM

Oh, I am aware that Magyarism is old news...but there were until quite recently two bishops with Magyarized surnames and for some reason as late as 1990 the Hungarian primate visited the Seminary in Pittsburgh as if there were still a strong connection with Hungary (and I have nothing against Hunarians).

The only really practical reason for dividing Ukrainians and Ruthenians is their respectve music (prostopinie), i.m.o. -- and that is pretty weak.
Posted By: Orlets

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 11:21 AM

We can look at it another way: Rome hides real doctrinal differences among Catholics in the name of unity. You have traditionalist Roman Catholics (not the SSPX) and Greek Catholics in formal "communion" with the "nuns in a bus" and the utterly heretical Dutch Dominicans.
Posted By: Orlets

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 11:30 AM

The issues in the article are all old, decades old. Looks like it was written by a reporter with little knowledge of the issues.

What is overlooked in this thread is that in reality unity has been preserved among Orthodox despite these issues and 'quarrels'. The situation is actually better now, despite occasional rumblings. OCA and Constantinople now concelebrate, unlike a couple of decades ago. Moscow and Constantinople largely cooperate, despite their obvious differences. Have you forgotten what Constantinople did to the UOC-KP last year when the latter's Patriarch went to Canada? Only last week the Patriarchs of Serbia, Moscow and Constantinople concelebrated in Montenegro, and presented a united front against the breakaway "Orthodox" there.

Someone said in this thread that Antioch has broken communion with Jerusalem. That has not happened yet. Should it happen, we can expect it to be resolved quickly, like the temporary severing of communion between Jerusalem and Romania from 2011 to 2013, or between Constantinople and Athens in 2004, or between Constantinople and Moscow in 1996.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 11:49 AM

Originally Posted by Mark R
Oh, I am aware that Magyarism is old news...but there were until quite recently two bishops with Magyarized surnames and for some reason as late as 1990 the Hungarian primate visited the Seminary in Pittsburgh as if there were still a strong connection with Hungary (and I have nothing against Hunarians).

The only really practical reason for dividing Ukrainians and Ruthenians is their respectve music (prostopinie), i.m.o. -- and that is pretty weak.


Mark, Mark, Mark, spoken like such a 21st century Christian - not a 19th century one.

I am old enough to have known plenty of those 19th century Greek Catholic/Orthodox Greek Catholics of both the Galician (now known as Ukrainian) and Ruthenian (now known as Rusyn, Russian, Rusin, Carpatho-Russian and Byzantine Catholic)persuasions. Simply stated, those old timers really did not like each other.

There was far more to what divided them in terms of administration than just their closely related chant systems would indicate. That can still be seen today in the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine where the historical status of the Eparchy of Muchachevo as a self governing entity not part of the omophorion of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is as potent a symbol of the American division as it was a century ago. It remains alive and vibrant in Transcarpathia. (Those rights to self rule are something which are not granted to their Orthodox counterparts by the UOC-MP by the way.)

Simply stated, the old folks from one side of the Tatras really didn't like the old folks from the other side of the Tatras - for a lot of reasons - none of them particularly powerful to our modern point of view - but enough so that one Bishop, a man that history now views as a good man - Bishop Soter - who consecrated the first church building of my then Greek Catholic church in 1907 (and Orthodox since 1938) could not be accepted by the clergy of 'each side'. The political meddlers from the Russian empire, the Austro-Hungarian empire and those standing on the sidelines of the impending world war also did their best to meddle in the immigrant media and fraternal lodges, vying for influence in America for their foreign civil masters - the Tsar and the Emperor.

In Binghamton, by 1915 the Galicians had left to found a church under the protection of the Russian Mission since the Greek Catholics would not permit another congregation in the neighborhood. (That is now OCA) By 1923 the now self-identified Ukrainians left to start a Ukrainian Orthodox Church and by 1938 celibacy, property control and the whole 'borba' thing split what was left of the original Greek Catholic parish blessed by Bishop Soter. So, out of one came five - six if you count the ROCOR parish which split off of the Metropolia/OCA parish when they changed the calendar in the 1970's and seven if you count the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church founded after the war with some from the UOC parish and others relocated after the war.

Should it be th is way in a perfect world?

I am not answering the obvious, as we live in a fallen world - not a perfect one.
Posted By: Mark R

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/26/13 08:50 PM

Fair enough. The church my mother's family belonged to is still a mission in the Met. of Pittsburgh and was cosecrated by Soter as well. I guess for reasons DMD illustrated my family, though hazy about our ethnicity, considered the Ukrainians a different nationality. It is a shame that both Greek Catholic jurisdictions are dyiing on the vine and if it were not for the influx of Ukrainian immigrants it would be far worse for the Ukr. Gk. Catholic Church in the US. And I am one to talk, since I attend ROCOR services, though I am still Catholic.
It is not entirely clear among people in Transcarpathia today who they are, from what I have heard. True, one hears people calling themselves Rusyns as reportred in Ruthenian church publications, but some of my seminary instructors (I attended Pittsburgh 1989-1990) who visited their relatives in the old country encountered the Ukrainian self-identification to a man. Half of the region is Orthodox, and even they have an arrangment similar to the Greek Catholics, except they fall directly under Moscow, instead of Kyiv, I think.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks is that Carpatho Rusyns have a harder time just saying who ther are.
Posted By: Edward Yong

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/27/13 12:26 AM

there's more fun and games up ahead:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1000001_10151913608410279_1566155874_n.jpg

said 'defrocked' priest was given the title 'illuminator of Indonesia' by the first Oecumenical Patriarchate metropolitan of the area, and has gone over to ROCOR. the defrocking was done *after* the transfer, and not recognized either by ROCOR or the MP (and by Serbs too, clearly).

Met Konstantinos is possibly also pissed that the Russians, having set up shop here in 2007, are moving to the same street that he's on. Met Konstantinos' community is renting (at a nominal fee) a conference room in the local RC Archdiocesan Education Centre, and the MP chose to rent a whole house - just three minutes' walk away.

his brother, the Metropolitan of Hong Kong, tried to 'suspend' an MP priest who was ministering to a new MP parish in Taipei. suspension of clerics not under one's omophorion... sigh.
Posted By: Edward Yong

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/27/13 12:59 AM

the Metropolitian of Singapore's open letter (what else can you call it) may be found here:

http://byztex.blogspot.sg/2013/10/another-chapter-in-asian-territorial.html

the Metropolitan of Hong Kong, back in August, excommunicated a Filipino ROCOR hieromonk and called him a 'pretend' monk and clergyman:

http://byztex.blogspot.sg/2013/08/hong-kong-metropolitanate-continues-to.html

most unedifying.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/27/13 06:26 AM

Constantinople has picked quarrels with several Churches in the last few decades. A Church which feels its prestige and influence declining and is making erratic decisions?

Is the EP ailing and acting aberrantly? There are some who think so - even some of its leading hierarchs. The EP's actions around the globe are to the detriment of Orthodoxy .

Interesting tidbit from a thread on OrthodoxChristianity.net

[begin quote] "... the opinions I espouse are quite common and quite popular within the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Just read anything on the matter written by the Oecumenical Patriarch, or by the chief canonist for the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Panteleimon Rodopoulos,

I see that Rodopoulos quotes Zonaras in his "Ecclesiological Review of the Thirty-Fourth Apostolic Canon" and the implication seems to be that at the present time the Ecumenical Patriarchate is ailing in some way and acting aberrantly:

"Just as bodies, if the head does not maintain its activity in good health, function faultily or are completely useless, so also the body of the Church, if its preeminent member, who occupies the position of head, is not maintained in his proper honor, functions in a disorderly and faulty manner."

Now if this is the case and the EP is indeed acting in a "disorderly and faulty manner" - whether in the Ukraine or Estonia or in its contacts with Rome - then we must be cautious in our own contacts with it and not allow the EP's aberrations to affect the entire body of the Church. [end quote]

http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:3PIJAgyeG1YJ:www.orthodoxchristianity.net/fo\
rum/index.php%3Ftopic%3D13487.45+%22Panteleimon+Rodopoulos%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3\
0&gl=nz

Posted By: Edward Yong

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/27/13 07:14 AM

not belonging to either jurisdiction and hence having no horse in the race, so to speak, i will be fair and point out that Moscow's actions are also dishonourable.

while still the MP's PR man, the then-Metropolitan Kirill assured ŒP Metropolitan Nikitas of Hong Kong that SE Asia was Œcumenical Patriarchate territory and that the MP had no intention of violating that canonical agreement. shortly afterwards, the MP set up a parish in Singapore.

certainly China and Japan are legitimately Moscow's turf as they were there first, but then Moscow's been setting up parishes in Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and soon The Philippines.

sure, 'for the salvation of souls' demands we do all that we can but when done in such an underhanded manner, great scandal is given and the faithful are disgusted with the whole state of affairs.

but then why should i bother speaking of honour, when we are the origin of the term 'Byzantine'...
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/27/13 07:58 AM

Another chapter in Asian territorial disputes


This is another chapter in the continuing story (see previous here) of the Greek Church's claims on all of Asia. Met. Nektarios of Hong Kong is claiming Southeast Asia as his exclusive territory and now Met. Konstantinos of Singapore has done the same with South Asia. To that end Met. Nektarios has in recent months not only spoken harshly of parishes from other Patriarchates that have been operating in the area for quite a long time, but has begun excommunicating people involved in founding more of these non-Greek parishes.

The existence of parishes from Antioch, Russia, and even the OCA before these hierarchs were even enthronedcombined with a Chambésy process that sees things quite differently makes this latest story equal parts lamentable and confusing. Below is Met. Konstantinos' latest letter expressing outrage that Patriarch Irinej of Serbia chose to visit a parish in the "diaspora."

http://byztex.blogspot.sg/2013/10/another-chapter-in-asian-territorial.html
and see
http://byztex.blogspot.sg/2013/08/hong-kong-metropolitanate-continues-to.html
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 07:26 AM

Photos of the new Russian church at Phuket, Thailand. With the millions of souls in Asia who do not know Christ any missionary work by any Churches should be welcome.

https://www.facebook.com/orthodox.phuket?viewer_id=659516457
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 05:58 PM

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Another chapter in Asian territorial disputes


This is another chapter in the continuing story (see previous here) of the Greek Church's claims on all of Asia. Met. Nektarios of Hong Kong is claiming Southeast Asia as his exclusive territory and now Met. Konstantinos of Singapore has done the same with South Asia. To that end Met. Nektarios has in recent months not only spoken harshly of parishes from other Patriarchates that have been operating in the area for quite a long time, but has begun excommunicating people involved in founding more of these non-Greek parishes.

The existence of parishes from Antioch, Russia, and even the OCA before these hierarchs were even enthronedcombined with a Chambésy process that sees things quite differently makes this latest story equal parts lamentable and confusing. Below is Met. Konstantinos' latest letter expressing outrage that Patriarch Irinej of Serbia chose to visit a parish in the "diaspora."


David's explanation of the rift between the Ukrainians and the Rusyns in the early 1900's was excellent and extremely accurate. Though less than ideal, at least the delineation was practical and has been relatively successful. The saving grace was that Rome had the final say. Some of you will say that is just horrible, but if the "canonical territory" argument won, we wouldn't even exist in the USA.

And "canonical territory" is the crux of the whole dispute in Asia, from what I understand. Under which Patriarchate does Asia fall? In practice "canonical territory" doesn't allow evanagelizing "to the ends of the earth", but rather to the ends of "canonical territory." That is the problem in Ukraine, the MP claims that it is the Patriarchate of all the Slav lands, and wherever its descendents settle. The EC, it seems to me "legitimately" that the EC has first claim. By the same argument, the Patriarch of Alexandria (is there one?) would have the whole of Africa as its canonical territory.

We Eastern Catholics have the Pope as our arbitrator; one is lacking for the Orthodox. This is sad, and we see the diseased fruit which has resulted.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B
the MP claims that it is the Patriarchate of all the Slav lands, and wherever its descendents settle
So not the case, Father Paul.

There are several Patriarchs in Slav lands.

Descendants of Russians reside in the United States, Israel, Constantinople, Ireland, Australia, and there is not any suggestion the Russian Patriarch is Patriarch of those lands.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 06:20 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B
We Eastern Catholics have the Pope as our arbitrator; one is lacking for the Orthodox. This is sad, and we see the diseased fruit which has resulted.
Phew! You are more harsh on us than the Pope!

Pope Benedict himself thinks that Orthodoxy has everything - except for the Papacy.

But he states that even without the papacy and without the Magisterium we have kept the faith intact.

Pope Benedict::

"While the West may point to the absence of the office of Peter in the East—it must, nevertheless, admit that, in the Eastern Church, the form and content of the Church of the Fathers is present in unbroken continuity"

~"Principles of Catholic Theology," Cardinal Ratzinger, Ignatius Press, 1987.

Unwittingly the Pope has proclaimed that the papacy is not necessary for the preservation of the true faith.

The Orthodox steadfast witness and adherence to the Apostolic faith since Rome parted company may be seen as startling proof that neither the Papacy nor the Magisterium (seen as so essential by Rome) are at all necessary for the preservation of the Faith.

/\ The above is by way of saying that we possess some wonderful fruit. And if the Holy Spirit has maintained the Apostolic faith intact in us for 2 millennia He will certainly get us past these stupid transient quarrels over territory.
Fr Ambrose
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 06:43 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B
By the same argument, the Patriarch of Alexandria (is there one?) would have the whole of Africa as its canonical territory.
And this is the case. Missionary monks from Athos and priests from Greece work in African countries with permission from the Patriarch of Alexandria. Serbs create parishes in South Africa and other places and they commemorate the Patriarch of Alexandria at all church services.
Posted By: Athanasius The L

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 09:21 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B

We Eastern Catholics have the Pope as our arbitrator; one is lacking for the Orthodox. This is sad, and we see the diseased fruit which has resulted.


People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, Fr. Deacon. We have our own issues of "diseased fruit."
Posted By: davinpa

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 09:26 PM

Just fyi, in Indonesia both the MP and ROCOR are not in communion with the EP parishes. This has been going on since 2007 when Fr Daniel Byantoro, the "illuminator of Indonesia". Made themove to ROCOR shortly before its reunion with MP.
Pat. Alexy II awarded Fr. Daniel a mitre in mid 2008.
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 10:24 PM

I apologize for the impression that I apparently gave about "diseased fruit." We all have our share of "diseased fruit" but the root and trunk are strong. My intention was only to describe the frustrating disputes over missionary territory which were previously mentioned.

I wish the best for the Orthodox Churches and all the patriarchates. I pray for their unity and strength in this worldly culture in which the faith of so many are tested.. The more unified the Orthodox are, the better the chance for an honest, sincere and permanent unity of all the Apostolic Churches.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/28/13 11:10 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B
My intention was only to describe the frustrating disputes over missionary territory which were previously mentioned.
It happens, Father. Rome at war with Constantinople over mission in Bulgaria. Rome also at war over mission in territories bordering on Russia and Ukraine. Quarrels which flared and died.
Posted By: Thanos888

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/29/13 10:37 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Gee, Moscow and Constantinople at each other's throats again. What is the world coming to?


I have no idea!
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/29/13 11:13 AM

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by Paul B
We Eastern Catholics have the Pope as our arbitrator; one is lacking for the Orthodox. This is sad, and we see the diseased fruit which has resulted.
Phew! You are more harsh on us than the Pope!

Pope Benedict himself thinks that Orthodoxy has everything - except for the Papacy.

But he states that even without the papacy and without the Magisterium we have kept the faith intact.

Pope Benedict::

"While the West may point to the absence of the office of Peter in the East—it must, nevertheless, admit that, in the Eastern Church, the form and content of the Church of the Fathers is present in unbroken continuity"

~"Principles of Catholic Theology," Cardinal Ratzinger, Ignatius Press, 1987.

Pth.[/b]

The Orthodox steadfast witness and adherence to the Apostolic faith since Rome parted company may be seen as startling proof that neither the Papacy nor the Magisterium (seen as so essential by Rome) are at all necessary for the preservation of the Faith.

/\ The above is by way of saying that we possess some wonderful fruit. And if the Holy Spirit has maintained the Apostolic faith intact in us for 2 millennia He will certainly get us past these stupid transient quarrels over territory.
Fr Ambrose


After my initial post in the thread, I don't think it's really that significant. I've talked this over with respected friends during the weekend. There's no news here, a tempest in a tea pot started by agenda driven "journalists."

As to Fr. A's post and what I bolded, I'm guessing the then-Cardinal's comments were not inadvertent. The next time the Pope emeritus is over for a chat, let's be sure to ask him! wink
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/29/13 06:12 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Gee, Moscow and Constantinople at each other's throats again. What is the world coming to?
I've kept an eye on Russian blogs and e-groups. So far this hasn't had a mention.
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/29/13 09:52 PM

I believe this to be nothing more than ill informed journalistic muckraking. If, and this is a big "if", this is true, this just destroys what little credibility the current Bishop of Constantinople still holds. After his disastrous meddling in the internal affairs of the Estonian and Ukrainian Churches, to label the Russian Church schismatic is just insane. The order of the Diptychs need to be changed and the Ecumenical See needs to be moved to the true center of Orthodoxy, Third Rome.
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/29/13 10:43 PM

Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
The order of the Diptychs need to be changed and the Ecumenical See needs to be moved to the true center of Orthodoxy, Third Rome.


And how many schisms will that create? Good luck.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/29/13 11:08 PM

Originally Posted by Utroque
Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
The order of the Diptychs need to be changed and the Ecumenical See needs to be moved to the true center of Orthodoxy, Third Rome.


And how many schisms will that create? Good luck.
The ordering (taxis) of the Diptychs is the first item on the agenda at this upcoming (maybe 8th Ecumenical) Council. Serbia has already generously offered to step down a notch to enable the ancient Church of Cyprus to occupy a higher position. A magnanimous gesture.

I think the proposal to advance Moscow to first place will cause schism with the Greeks. Let the ancient Patriarchates (Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem) keep their ancient prestige. Maybe slot Moscow in right behind them.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 07:16 AM

Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
I believe this to be nothing more than ill informed journalistic muckraking. If, and this is a big "if", this is true, this just destroys what little credibility the current Bishop of Constantinople still holds. After his disastrous meddling in the internal affairs of the Estonian and Ukrainian Churches, to label the Russian Church schismatic is just insane.

What the heck are you referring to here ^^ ?

Quote
The order of the Diptychs need to be changed and the Ecumenical See needs to be moved to the true center of Orthodoxy, Third Rome.

Is this still part of the "If ..." ?
Posted By: byzanTN

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 08:36 AM

I'm afraid there were only two Romes. The concept of a third one was part of a Russian power grab on the part of the Russian Patriarchs. No Roman government ever relocated to Russia.

However, it seems to me a great part of the secret to Orthodoxy preserving its ancient liturgy is precisely because no one is really in charge. Orthodoxy split into national churches which are entwined with the national cultures. Even if a particular church should get a crazy patriarch, his degree of damage would be limited to his nation's borders. It may be a good thing they never had a pope with revisions on his mind.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 09:42 AM

Originally Posted by byzanTN
Orthodoxy split into national churches which are entwined with the national cultures.
It's broadly true and has been since apostolic days. Byzantine Catholic Churches seem to follow the same model.

Rome imposed uniformity on the West back in the centuries it was in communion with the other Patriarchates. It suppressed the ancient forms of Liturgy in Ireland, France and Spain, Southern Italy (which was Byzantine.) It even tried to suppress the native Ethiopian liturgy but was only half successful.
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 02:28 PM

http://www.omhksea.org/2013/10/anno...ons-of-patriarch-of-serbia-in-indonesia/
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 03:28 PM

They seem to have their knickers in the proverbial knot. I suppose though, that when one thinks and writes in archaic Byzantine court-style Greek and uses Google to translate the same into English, it sure seems zany! We've been discussing that letter elsewhere this past week. Apparently this snit fit has been ongoing for some years and to the Muslims it surely confirms their stereotypes about us for sure. A shame.
Posted By: Michael_Thoma

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 05:09 PM

Originally Posted by DMD
They seem to have their knickers in the proverbial knot. I suppose though, that when one thinks and writes in archaic Byzantine court-style Greek and uses Google to translate the same into English, it sure seems zany! We've been discussing that letter elsewhere this past week. Apparently this snit fit has been ongoing for some years and to the Muslims it surely confirms their stereotypes about us for sure. A shame.
Well, no one's getting killed, threatened, fatwa-ed or blown up over it, so we're still not up to their level of stereotype!
Posted By: DMD

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 05:20 PM

Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Originally Posted by DMD
They seem to have their knickers in the proverbial knot. I suppose though, that when one thinks and writes in archaic Byzantine court-style Greek and uses Google to translate the same into English, it sure seems zany! We've been discussing that letter elsewhere this past week. Apparently this snit fit has been ongoing for some years and to the Muslims it surely confirms their stereotypes about us for sure. A shame.
Well, no one's getting killed, threatened, fatwa-ed or blown up over it, so we're still not up to their level of stereotype!


We are seemingly close to hurling verbal anathemas though! lol...except it's pathetic - not funny.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 10/31/13 10:46 PM

Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Originally Posted by DMD
They seem to have their knickers in the proverbial knot. I suppose though, that when one thinks and writes in archaic Byzantine court-style Greek and uses Google to translate the same into English, it sure seems zany! We've been discussing that letter elsewhere this past week. Apparently this snit fit has been ongoing for some years and to the Muslims it surely confirms their stereotypes about us for sure. A shame.
Well, no one's getting killed, threatened, fatwa-ed or blown up over it, so we're still not up to their level of stereotype!

Post of the decade!
Posted By: BenjaminRH

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 11/03/13 05:21 PM

Meanwhile Christianity in the West is both fragmented and dying. Non-belief is on the rise. I wonder in these disputes if these patriarchs remembered to recite the Jesus Prayer. That might assist them.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 11/03/13 10:17 PM

Alas Benjamin, such disagreements and bad feelings occurred even among the holy Apostles....


"Paul and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the Word of the Lord, with many others also. And some days later, Paul said unto Barnabas, “Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the Word of the Lord, and see how they do.” And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought it not good to takehim with them, as he had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them in their work. And the contention was so sharp between them that they parted one from the other; and so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus. And Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches."
Acts 15
Posted By: Tomassus

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 11/05/13 11:22 AM

Eastern Orthodox Unity

November 5, 2013
Ivan Plis
http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/11/eastern-orthodox-unity

October was not a month of especial cooperation in the global Eastern Orthodox communion. Protesting the appointment in March of an archbishop for Qatar by the Church of Jerusalem, the Church of Antioch withdrew its participation from “all the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops abroad.” The Antiochian Patriarchate claims sole authority over the small Gulf state though at present it has no parishes of its own there. The assemblies affected by this decision include the canonical episcopal council in North America, which counts several Antiochian bishops among its officers.


Meanwhile, following a visit to Indonesia by Serbia’s Patriarch Irinej, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore expressed dismay that “the Church of Serbia never informed the local canonical Orthodox Metropolitan.” This comes after a series of incidents over the summer in which its sister see in Hong Kong unilaterally excommunicated clergy of another legitimate Orthodox jurisdiction serving in the Philippines.


A 2009 meeting in Chambésy, Switzerland appointed Orthodox regional assemblies to resolve issues like these. Its goal was to reach a modus vivendi in canonically fresh territory through gradual cooperation, seeking to carry out Christ’s commandments and minister to the whole world. Why, despite such good will, have occasional clashes persisted?


Orthodox Christians in the United States (along with Western Europe) enjoy a relatively well-established church infrastructure, and even before Chambésy our hierarchs have collaborated on everything from college ministry to pastoral discipline to social witness. We are learning to overcome the legacy of generations of canonical setbacks, including decades in which sister congregations had broken communion with one another. Many of these outward wounds have been healed, most notably the 2007 restoration of communion between the Russian Church Abroad and those churches which recognized the Church of Russia during the Soviet era.


But despite this reconciliation among local brethren, we still lack a permanent resolution to the patchwork of canonical Orthodox bodies that hold overlapping authority in the Americas, Western Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Chambésy addressed all these lands except Asia, since the existing bishops on the ground were so sparse that they could hardly constitute an assembly of their own. Hence the recent controversy.


Besides violating Orthodox ecclesial order, these disputes also portray Orthodoxy in the most unflattering light imaginable. I have already mentioned over half a dozen Orthodox governing bodies in passing. When he providentially encounters the Church, small in numbers as it is, the unfamiliar American must first navigate all kinds of terminological and organizational hurdles: “Is that church up the street Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, or something else? Why are those different, and why should I care, since my grandparents came to America from Norway and Vietnam?”


I set aside the question of whether he will feel welcome if he does, in fact, choose to visit an unfamiliar church with a strange name. St. Paul has a name for an impediment like those encountered by our hypothetical inquirer: skandalon.


There are plenty of obstacles to order and witness on the home front as well. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which Antioch has accused of overreach in the Gulf, has long been dominated by ethnically Greek hierarchs; only one Orthodox Palestinian currently holds episcopal office in the Holy Land. This has led to disaffection for the Church among many Orthodox-born Palestinians and Jordanians, some of whom have fled for other churches. And Antioch faces upheaval of its own, as the newly-elected Patriarch John (in Arabic, Youhanna) seeks to lead a Church for all Syrians in the midst of a divisive and deadly civil war. In a bitter twist, the Church of Antioch has just withdrawn from North America’s Assembly of Bishops, which oversees International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)—one of the only relief agencies still active inside Syria’s borders.


The Chambésy process is the worst form of Orthodox church government for the 21st century, except for all the others. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has the power to bring bishops together, but he cannot force them to accept an unwelcome edict. When disputes arise, they must be resolved honestly by brother bishops and their flocks, even if the solutions are slow to come.


Last Saturday the Antiochian Orthodox Church commemorated St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Born in Beirut and educated in Syria, Turkey, and Russia, he humbly and tirelessly served the diverse Orthodox flock in America in the early 20th century as their bishop. Even if churches of Slavic rite celebrated his memory back in February, he is a reminder to all Orthodox in this land that despite our formal divisions, we remain one body in Christ.


While our Church is hampered by human weakness and pettiness, much of the world is still what Protestants would call a mission field. The Orthodox Church has great riches, if like Fr. Raphael we allow ourselves to overcome our own ethnic allegiances and allow Christ to shine forth.


Ivan Plis is an Orthodox Christian in the Washington, DC area.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 11/06/13 12:17 AM

Looking at this spiritually it could well be demonic forces which are striving to disrupt any mission in Muslim countries and in the Asian region.

In all these areas there is such massive work waiting to be done that all the Churches should be working there without rivalry. It is shameful that the Greek Metropolitans of Hong Kong and Singapore--two dioceses only recently created--should be causing trouble for other Orthodox Churches who have been established in these regions for longer than they have.

Let us pray the charity and reason will prevail.
Posted By: johnzonaras

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 12/18/13 11:15 AM

What is new about the fight between Constantinople and Moscow? I would remind all of you of the words of the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus: " no wild beasts are so hostile to men as Christian sects in general are to one another.." Book 22, res Gestae. All we have here is a variation on a theme.
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 12/18/13 11:19 AM

Is there any wonder, when "brothers" treat each other in such a manner, that the Christian faith is rather unappealing to the pagans?

As Ghandi said "I like your Christ. It is His followers I have a problem with."
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Deep fissures develop in the Eastern Orthodox world - 12/18/13 08:43 PM

I never liked Gandhi, the miserable old hypocrite.
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