Patriarch Teoctist is and always has been a real Servant of God, a true Christian gentleman, who led his flock through the darkest era of Communist persecution under one of the worst totalitarian regimes of XX century. Then he supervised the re-birth and extraordinary development of the Church in Romania. Furthermore, missions of Romanian Orthodox Church flourished all over the world under His Holiness' guidance. Of course, other people contributed a lot as well, but his input can be rated with the highest evaluation. James, may be Patriarch Teoctist is not the most appropriate deliberately selected target for Fr. Andrew Philips' critisism?
I agree. The fact that Patriarch Teoctist was the only heirarch at the fall of communism to offer his resignation out of fear that he would be viewed as tainted, and how this might negatively impact the Church, not to mention the fact that this was roundly rejected by the Church at large, is an extremely good indicator of his character and in general he certainly should not be criticised (I'd note that Fr. Andrew also mentioned this episode to me with admiration - he is not anti as you assume) and I am generally very happy to have him as Patriarch of our church. Patriarch Teoctist is, however, rather more ecumenist than I am happy with and where Fr. Andrew criticises these actions (not His Holiness himself) I believe he is right to do so. I do not believe that simply being a heirarch, even if in the main you are a very good one, means that your bad decisions (and the way the Romanian church responded to the Pope's visit was a very
bad decision - as many Romanians have also said) are immune to criticism.
This is not how it looks on paper or on a screen.
I agreed that he can write in a way that I consider over the top. All I objected to was your attack on his character. Had you said that Fr. Andrew wrote with a polemical style that you did not care for, I wouldn't have commented, but your attribution of base motives for what he writes, especially considering that you do not know the man, seemed to me rather beyond the pale.
We all need to see an image of Christ in others. Furthermore, we need to make that intent visible and understandable to others.
I agree. That's one of the reasons I picked up on your comments - you appeared to fail on both counts when it comes to Fr. Andrew.
I honestly cannot believe how a member of clergy allows himself to attack hierarchy, clergy and laity and then he should be untouchable.
I should think that Fr. Andrew wouldn't ask me to fight his corner if he knew about this, and I certainly don't think he should be untouchable. If his actions are worthy of criticism then criticise away - I just believe that you should refrain from blackening the character of a clergyman you do not even know.
I am not aware of this criticism. If the form of his statements towards ROCOR appears similar, then it is equally unacceptable, of course, regardless of my position on these issues. Then it only strengthens my point.
How? It strengthens my point as he clearly does not hate ROCOR, merely criticises certain acts. It doesn't strengthen your point at all, at least not the point I objected to, because that was that Fr. Andrew was a fanatic who hated the EP. In actual fact his position is pretty much straight down the middle of ROCOR (and that is clear oin what he has written about the reunion with the MP over the last couple of years) and any 'hatred' is solely in your interpretation of his words, especially as you seem to have difficulty distinguishing between criticising an action and criticising a person. If you know of anywhere where Fr. Andrew has done the latter, then I would concede that he was wrong to do so, but I am unaware of any such thing.
And I personally know His Grace Bishop Basil, who is even much more favorite target of Fr. Andrew compared to His Eminence Archbishop Vsevolod. These Hierarchs are both good and kind people - conclusion after series of personal communications. The list can be added.
But does he criticise them personally or certain actions they have made? (I honestly don't know as I tend to steer clear of the overtly Russian stuff - it makes no difference to me, to be honest). I have only ever known him to do the latter. As for Bishop Basil, if you mean formerly of Sourozh, I've never seen any sign of personal animosity towards him, the criticism was always for allowing certain abuses to go unchecked, abuses which pre-dated his time. The closest I ever saw him come to personally attacking him is when he reported the attack of another, and then he clearly doubted its being true:
Bishop Hilarion of Vienna attributes the present crisis in the Sourozh Diocese directly to the bishop in charge of the Sourozh Diocese, Bishop Basil. It may well be that Bishop Hilarion has personal reasons and knowledge for his attribution, but surely this cannot be the full story? Surely the mentality behind what has been called ‘the Sourozh schism’ cannot depend on one person, who has been administrating the Sourozh Diocese for less than three years?
Of course, he has also criticised that part of the Sourozh diocese that left for Constantinople (including Bishop Basil) but I've heard such criticisms from within Sourozh also. It should never have happened and I think that act is one well worthy of criticism.
Dear James, having said that, I wish you and everybody here many blessings in Christ. Being completely serious about that.
I don't doubt it and I reciprocate. This was never about you personally - I merely objected to certain assumptions you made about a priest I know and you do not.