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Alice Offline OP
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-October-2009 -- Catholic World News Brief

Cyprus: Setting for Ecumenical Summit?

Oct. 1, 2009 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Cyprus in June 2010. That announcement, made by Cypriot government officials on October 1, has triggered speculation about the possibility that a much more important announcement could follow.

Could Cyprus be the setting for a long-awaited "summit meeting" between the Roman Pontiff and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill?

Just two weeks have passed since Archbishop Hilarion, the top ecumenical-affairs officer of the Moscow patriachate, visited Rome. During his visit, Vatican officials spoke optimistically about arranging a meeting between Pope Benedict and the newly installed leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. Cardinal Walter Kasper -- who, as president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, would coordinate plans for any such a summit-- disclosed that his Russian interlocutors "not refusing a meeting with the Pope."

If such a meeting did occur, however, Cardinal Kasper told reporters that it would not take place in Moscow or in Rome, but at some "neutral" location. Archbishop Hilarion had made a similar statement after talks in Rome in March 2007; the Russian prelate said that a "summit" meeting between the leaders of the world's two largest Christian churches would not be held in Russia or in Italy, but in some other country.

Shortly after Archbishop Hilarion made that statement in March 2007, the Vatican received a visit from the Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostom II of Cyprus, who told reporters that he was hoping to arrange the summit meeting, and offered Cyprus as a possible location. After his talks in Rome, Archbishop Chrysostom traveled to Moscow, hoping to persuade then-Patriarch Alexei II to agree to the meeting. He was evidently unsuccessful.

The death of Patriarch Alexei, and the succession of Patriarch Kirill-- who was, prior to his election, Archbishop Hilarion's predecessor as Moscow's top ecumenical official-- has given new life to the prospects of a meeting between the Pope and the Moscow Patriarch. And the visit by Archbishop Hilarion to Rome, followed quickly by the revelation that the Pope will travel to Cyprus, is spurring new hope that the meeting could take place in 2010.

www.ewtn.com [ewtn.com]




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Thanks Alexandr for that link. I was intrigued by the quote from His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew which they give: "This is the Orthodox Church - the only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." Giving its uncharacteristic lack of a equivocation, I wonder what the context was. Of course, the general context was Mt. Athos... maybe he was playing to the crowd there. But I always want to believe that His Holiness is less compromising than he seems.

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http://www.oodegr.com/english/papismos/holy_mountain_on_primacy.htm

I find nothing true, holy or sacred about this statement. I find it repugnant and unchristian.

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A wise and well put response indeed.

Let us pray that the Vatican will react positively to the God inspired community of the Holy Mountain and cast away said dogmas which have separated East and West.

Lord Have Mercy!




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Originally Posted by Utroque
http://www.oodegr.com/english/papismos/holy_mountain_on_primacy.htm

I find nothing true, holy or sacred about this statement. I find it repugnant and unchristian.

Why?

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So, the monks object to the existence of the Vatican City, because it is a secular state. Correct me if I am wrong, but is not Mount Athos itself a self-governing monastic state that has a capital city and employs non-monastic (secular) security guards to police its borders, control the influx of visitors and maintain order on the Holy Mountain?

Also, Athos seems unable to point to any conciliar decisions that condemn what it calls "papism" as a heresy, so in effect, the Athonites are guilty of trying to elevate their own theological opinions to the level of dogma.

A good many pots are trying to call the kettle black, but they seem blissfully unaware of their own inherent hypocrisy.

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Alice Offline OP
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I think that the post and the link provided by Slavipodviznik/Alexandr was inflammatory and unecessary.

I posted the initial post as a source of optimism and good will, not to degenerate into stirring the passions of anger towards the monks of Athos, who one must remember are very insular and fearful towards anything outside of who and what they are because they consider themselves the guardians of Orthodoxy.

As such, they naturally believe that Orthodoxy, as retained, is the only correct Christian path to God. Remember, that many saints and staretz of great holiness and mystical graces of the Holy Spirit, presently reside on the Holy Mountain...and that narrow mindedness and the fear for self preservation that accompanies it is no greater sin that the many other sins which we all have.

I ask that this all posters refrain from further posting until our Administrator has a chance to decide if he wants to close this thread or not. I have alerted him but he is a busy man.

Alice

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I will agree with Alice that the link provided by Slavipodviznik / Alexandr can be seen as inflammatory. Yet it is a legitimate opinion within Orthodoxy, so I don't see it as unnecessary. I do see such an opinion - a total unwillingness to even talk about the same Savior we hold in common - as very sad. Yet Orthodoxy blesses such an opinion a valid so we must respect that it exists even as many disagree with it.

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Let us remember Christ's prayer "that they may all be one" (John 17:21) and let us make this prayer our own.

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Christ is in our midst!!

While the post of the Holy Fathers of Mt. Athos may seem harsh to some, I believe that in real ecumencial dialogue all such opinions need to be brought to the table, considered, reflected on, and an attempt made to understand both the mindset from which they spring and the reasons behind them.

Certainly there are Catholics who could be found who might write or say the smae thing and read off Orthodox Christians as schismatic, etc.

We need to understand that we all have brethren with whom we live who do not want to move toward the prayer of Christ. And it is not always because of poor or bad intentions. We sometimes fail to understand that the road we are on is a long one, that we have over a millenium of separation to understand and bridge and reconcile, and that there will be those with a sincere conscience who think we are on the way to compromising the Faith once delivered to the Church to preserve without adding to or subtracting from it.

I appreciate the candor of our brethren from the Holy Mountain and I think it provides a welcome ice-water bath to those who think we can quickly come to full communion.

Thank you, Alice, for pointing out that we should remain positive as this meeting goes forward and that we ought to be thankful to the Lord that we are at least talking to one another.

Thank you, Alexandr, for reminding us that even as our Churches sit down together and examine things that continue to divide us that there are some very real reservations still out there that need to be brought to the fore and not ignored.

In Christ,

BOB

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Moscow denies plans to meet with Pope.

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=dujour&div=68

Alexandr

p.s. Maybe we should pitch in and buy Archbishop Hilarion a khlobuk. And with that short hair and beard, he looks like a baptist minister. I fear that he finds the west just a bit too attractive.

p.p.s. In regards to my posting Athos' response to Cyprus as being "inflammatory and unnecessary", how is posting the response of the Holy Mountain to a proposed summit "inflammatory and unnecessary"? They are merely presenting the Orthodox position as it has always been. What I find distressing is when fellow Orthodox are more than willing to surrender Orthodoxy for the opportunity to sing Kumbaya with the West. As I have stated before, I have no problem with the Church working hand in hand with Rome for the betterment of Europe and to present a joint stand against the humanists and the Hagarenes. We can work together, learn about each other and live together as good neighbors. But when it comes to the Faith, there is no room for compromise. Not one jot, jittle or iota. The Church will not stand for another pseudo council of Florence. And if that makes some Orthodox uncomfortable, so be it.

Alexandr

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Originally Posted by Utroque
http://www.oodegr.com/english/papismos/holy_mountain_on_primacy.htm

I find nothing true, holy or sacred about this statement. I find it repugnant and unchristian.

Yet it is a quite succinct statement of what most Orthodox would believe. It is just the sort of statement which the Orthodox desire to see from the Holy Mountain since they expect the Athonite monks to act as the guardians and defenders of the integrity of the Orthodox faith. (It is also the same sort of statement which the Vatican itself would issue prior to Vatican II.)

I would say that ALL Orthodox are pro union with the Church of Rome. But they are pro union with the condition that unity is based on the faith of the undivided Church of the first 1000 years. If any bishops tried to create a union on any other basis I suspect we would see wide spread schism in Orthodoxy.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
So, the monks object to the existence of the Vatican City, because it is a secular state. Correct me if I am wrong, but is not Mount Athos itself a self-governing monastic state that has a capital city and employs non-monastic (secular) security guards to police its borders, control the influx of visitors and maintain order on the Holy Mountain?

A good many pots are trying to call the kettle black, but they seem blissfully unaware of their own inherent hypocrisy.

No. By statute Athos is self-governing internally except in the case of serious crime. Its foreign policy and also its military defence are, also by statute, in the hands of the Greek Government.

Even spiritually it is not really autonomous since it is expected to bow to the Patriarchate in Constantinople. When they don't... well, we see what measures are being taken with regard to Esphigmenou's challenge to the Patriarch where both the Police and the Army and the Greek Courts are making life a misery for the monastery. No - there is nothing similar to the Vatican.

What protects Athos is 1) the Mother of God, 2) the moral and doctrinal integrity of the monks, 3) the love and veneration of the Orthodox faithful who place their confidence in the purity of the monks' orthodoxy.

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Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
Moscow denies plans to meet with Pope.

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=dujour&div=68

Alexandr

p.s. Maybe we should pitch in and buy Archbishop Hilarion a khlobuk.

A monk wearing a klobuk without his ryassa would be a fashion absurdity!
LOL!

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