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Poll
Question: Is Metr. Zlizious responsible for derailing dialogue with RCC?
Yes, and he should resign from co-chairmanship of the commission immediately - 7 (29.2%)
Yes, and he should resign from co-chairmanship of the commission in a due time with a convenient excuse (other duties, health, etc.) - 0 (0%)
I'm still not sure - 1 (4.2%)
It's beyond my competencies - 2 (8.3%)
I have an opinion, but I will not say it - 1 (4.2%)
No, he did not derail the talks. - 13 (54.2%)
Total Voters: 24

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Author Topic: Is Metr. Zlizious responsible for derailing the dialogue with RCC?  (Read 14650 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 21, 2007, 07:24:37 AM »

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=interview&div=57

Quote
Metropolitan John of Pergamon [of the Constantinople Patriarchate] as co-president of the joint commission for Orthodox-Catholic dialogue is responsible for derailing the dialogue. His comments and the final text of the document work on which has finished in Ravenna without the participation of the Moscow Patriarchate may produce the impression that the Constantinople Patriarchate deliberately pushed the Moscow Patriarchate to withdraw from the dialogue so that decisions should be passed that would have been impossible with the participation of the Moscow Patriarchate.
What do you think?


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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2007, 07:32:49 AM »

I'm not going to fill out your poll, because you don't have a "No" option up there.  I won't answer "yes" because the dialogue has not been "derailed."  Only the MP thinks it has.  I'm not going to answer "unsure," because I am sure.  I'm not going to answer "it's beyond my competencies," because it most certainly is within them.  And I want to state my opinion, which is why I won't pick the last option.

No, the Metropolitan is not responsible for some supposed "derailing" of the talks; if the MP representative is unhappy, then he's the only one who took himself out of the talks.  If he hadn't left, then he would have been there to discuss the text he was referring to, and more clearly voice his objections.  So personally I think there is a lot of propaganda in his statement, which is really not helpful.
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 07:50:13 AM »

Was the Church of Estonia at the talks? I didn't think they were autocephalous.
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 08:17:22 AM »

Was the Church of Estonia at the talks? I didn't think they were autocephalous.


No, there're not, and that is why the stick in the eye of the MP.  Compare why the OCA doesn't get to attend any such function.

The EP was in Estonia recently causing trouble.  If he keeps it up, he risks finding out who is really isolated.
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 08:22:07 AM »

I'm not going to fill out your poll, because you don't have a "No" option up there. 
...
So personally I think there is a lot of propaganda in his statement, which is really not helpful.
Sorry, there was the possibility for five options only, so I couldn't post No as an answer. But that shouldn't prevent those who disagree with the question to say no.

Speaking about non helpfull propaganda, I think comment of Mrt. Zlizious should be quoted also:

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=10597&size=A%22

Quote
“Hilarion’s tough stance should be seen as an expression of authoritarianism whose goal is to exhibit the influence of the Moscow Church,” said Ioannis. “But like last year in Belgrade, all Moscow achieved was to isolate itself once more since no other Orthodox Church followed its lead, remaining instead faithful to Constantinople.” (NT)

Personally, I can't see MP is isolated.
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 08:43:24 AM »


Speaking about non helpfull propaganda, I think comment of Mrt. Zlizious should be quoted also:

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=10597&size=A%22

Quote
“Hilarion’s tough stance should be seen as an expression of authoritarianism whose goal is to exhibit the influence of the Moscow Church,” said Ioannis. “But like last year in Belgrade, all Moscow achieved was to isolate itself once more since no other Orthodox Church followed its lead, remaining instead faithful to Constantinople.” (NT)
I think it pertinant to allow the good bishop to respond to the above

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/14/130.aspx#3

Quote
First, it was not only I who walked out. It was the entire delegation, which consisted of myself and Father Igor Vyzhanov. It was not my decision to walk out. It was the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church's Bishops' Council in the year 2000, which I could not disobey. Moreover, at the request of Metropolitan John (Zizioulas), I phoned Metropolitan Kirill to ask what I was supposed to do, and he said that both I and Father Igor had to leave. So, it was not my decision; it was the official decision. And it was not my ultimatum; it was that of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is very important to say this clearly. I do not think I was in any way responsible for the decision, which was not mine. But each of us represents our Churches.
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 09:24:56 AM »

Sorry, there was the possibility for five options only, so I couldn't post No as an answer.
Fixed it!
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2007, 02:55:43 PM »

I think that work on the Ravenna Document should have been delayed until the Russian Church returned to the talks.
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 03:14:09 PM »

Sorry, there was the possibility for five options only, so I couldn't post No as an answer. But that shouldn't prevent those who disagree with the question to say no.

Well, 'yes' and 'no' are really the two most fundamental answers to a given question of opinion.

Quote
Speaking about non helpfull propaganda, I think comment of Mrt. Zlizious should be quoted also:

I think the Metropolitan is right on, if Russia doesn't want to be present, who cares?

I think that work on the Ravenna Document should have been delayed until the Russian Church returned to the talks.

They're a backwater bishopric without the Ancient pedigrees, the MP wasn't even around at the time of the schism, they shouldn't even be included in the talks. The representatives should come primarily from Rome and Constantinople, since those were the sees of the initial dispute, with possible input from Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus...the only Churches that were around in 1054; including such Churches as Russia simply unnecessarily complicates the prospects for reconciliation between Old and New Rome and, respectively, the Eastern and Western Christian Churches.
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2007, 03:53:15 PM »

They're a backwater bishopric without the Ancient pedigrees...

You're a backwater bishopric without ancient pedigree.  nyah.   Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2007, 05:36:55 PM »

You're a backwater bishopric without ancient pedigree.  nyah.   Tongue

Well, I appreciate your attempt to elevate me to the episcopacy, but even I am too much of a traditionalist to accept such an ordination over a web forum. Grin Wink
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2007, 05:55:31 PM »

Why isn't there a "Who cares?" option.  I find that all of this discussion with the papacy and *her supporters* is worthless and that these documents all try to feed papal primacy in through some loophole or backdoor.  One need only look at the Balamand Agreement which is not worth the paper it is printed on.

The tensions between the EP and MP and any other sees, for that matter, should be resolved first before there is any more negotiations with Rome to give a clear and undivided witness of the Orthodox faith.



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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2007, 05:58:34 PM »

Why isn't there a "Who cares?" option.  I find that all of this discussion with the papacy and papists is worthless and that these documents all try to feed papal primacy in through some loophole or backdoor.  One need only look at the Balamand Agreement which is not worth the paper it is printed on.

The tensions between the EP and MP and any other sees, for that matter, should be resolved first before there is any more negotiations with Rome to give a clear and undivided witness of the Orthodox faith.

It may be a more effective strategy for us to first work on our healing of our relationship with Rome, then the five Ancient Patriarchates could stand undivided, against Russia, forcing Her to fall in line and respect her place amongst the Patriarchates.
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2007, 08:13:44 PM »

It may be a more effective strategy for us to first work on our healing of our relationship with Rome, then the five Ancient Patriarchates could stand undivided, against Russia, forcing Her to fall in line and respect her place amongst the Patriarchates.

*yawn*
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2007, 08:55:25 PM »

It may be a more effective strategy for us to first work on our healing of our relationship with Rome, then the five Ancient Patriarchates could stand undivided, against Russia, forcing Her to fall in line and respect her place amongst the Patriarchates.

Effective strategy?  Force her?  This isn't a game of chess!  This isn't even a competition of any sorts!  We're talking about what is best for Christ's Holy Orthodox Church and you're wanting to bully another patriarchate into submission to the EP (which, I grant, you didn't directly say, but I don't think I'm far off, am i?)!  In the words of some famous philosopher whose name I can't remember, "Get real!"
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2007, 09:13:49 PM »

Effective strategy?  Force her?  This isn't a game of chess!  This isn't even a competition of any sorts!  We're talking about what is best for Christ's Holy Orthodox Church and you're wanting to bully another patriarchate into submission to the EP (which, I grant, you didn't directly say, but I don't think I'm far off, am i?)!  In the words of some famous philosopher whose name I can't remember, "Get real!"

The best thing for the Church and the only long term solution to these problems at hand is for the Church of Russia to obey her tome of Autonomy and submit to her Mother Church of Constantinople.
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2007, 09:37:23 PM »

The tensions between the EP and MP and any other sees, for that matter, should be resolved first before there is any more negotiations with Rome to give a clear and undivided witness of the Orthodox faith.
Well said.
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2007, 09:39:53 PM »

How many Orthodox Christians live in the Ecumenical Patriarch's home territory?
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2007, 09:46:02 PM »

How many Orthodox Christians live in the Ecumenical Patriarch's home territory?

I don't know, how many Orthodox Christians are there in the world outside of the areas immediately surrounding Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus?
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2007, 09:50:01 PM »

I believe that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Orthodox Christians within the Ecumenical Patriarch's own territory, and there are no Christians living in Met. Zizioulas' diocese of Pergamon.
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2007, 10:00:58 PM »

Well, I appreciate your attempt to elevate me to the episcopacy, but even I am too much of a traditionalist to accept such an ordination over a web forum. Grin Wink


lol!!!!!  ha ha.   Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2007, 01:32:11 AM »

It may be a more effective strategy for us to first work on our healing of our relationship with Rome, then the five Ancient Patriarchates could stand undivided, against Russia, forcing Her to fall in line and respect her place amongst the Patriarchates.

So we can make the EP pope of the East?  I'll pass.

Rome would love to use Constantinople to grind Russia into submission.  Not gonna happen.

Jerusalem might be a museum soon, due to mismanagement.  Wolves for shepherds.

If it was not for the MP, the Church of Antioch would be languishing like the Church in Jerusalem.  The Faithful of Antioch do NOT forget that.

And if the PoM isn't ancient enough, her daughter Church, Estonia (whose presence caused the walkout), certainly is not.

The best thing for the Church and the only long term solution to these problems at hand is for the Church of Russia to obey her tome of Autonomy and submit to her Mother Church of Constantinople.

The tome is AUTOCEPHALACY, not autonomy.

If submission is the aim of that tome, how is it a tome of autocephalacy?

Moscow got its autocephaly because Constantinople submitted at Florence.  Should Moscow (and the rest of the Orthodox) submit at Ravenna?
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2007, 04:58:57 AM »

So we can make the EP pope of the East?  I'll pass.

Rome would love to use Constantinople to grind Russia into submission.  Not gonna happen.

Well, Moscow could always schism against the Church...their loss.

Quote
Jerusalem might be a museum soon, due to mismanagement.  Wolves for shepherds.

The influence she can exert is completely irrelevant, what is relevant is her standing under the Oecumenical Synods.

Quote
If it was not for the MP, the Church of Antioch would be languishing like the Church in Jerusalem.  The Faithful of Antioch do NOT forget that.

Nor do they easily forget their ancient standing as an Imperial Patriarchate, that is to say the dignity of their See.

Quote
And if the PoM isn't ancient enough, her daughter Church, Estonia (whose presence caused the walkout), certainly is not.

Both of which were invited at the good pleasure of Constantinople, who is free to invite whoever she sees fit. If Russia is unable to accept the hospitality of Constantinople, her mother Church, she should stay at home...I don't really care whether she comes or stays, but if she does decide to come she needs to be respectful to Constantinople.

Quote
The tome is AUTOCEPHALACY, not autonomy.

A Church that has not been established by an Oecumenical Synod can never have 'Autocephaly' per se, the canons of the Oecumenical Synods which subject those lands to one of the six ancient Churches cannot be overturned without the force of an Imperial Synod.

Quote
If submission is the aim of that tome, how is it a tome of autocephalacy?

Have you ever actually read the Tome?

'[Moscow] is to be numbered with the other patriarchs, and is to rank and be commemorated after the Patriarch of Jerusalem; he is to be obliged to commemorate the name of the Oecumenical Patriarch and the other patriarchs and to hold and regard as his head and primus the Apostolic throne of Constantinople, as do the other patriarchs.'

(W. Regel, Analecta Byzantio-Russica, St. Petersburg 1891, p. 87; Maximos, Metropolitan of Sardes, The Oecumenical Patriarchate in the Orthodox Church, Thessaloniki 1976, p. 291)

It seems that the problem is that Russia is trying to defy the very tomos that gave it the privilege of electing its own Bishops and ignoring the status of her Mother Church as her 'head and primus'.

Quote
Moscow got its autocephaly because Constantinople submitted at Florence.  Should Moscow (and the rest of the Orthodox) submit at Ravenna?

Perhaps.
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2007, 06:14:28 AM »

They're a backwater bishopric without the Ancient pedigrees, the MP wasn't even around at the time of the schism, they shouldn't even be included in the talks. The representatives should come primarily from Rome and Constantinople, since those were the sees of the initial dispute, with possible input from Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus...the only Churches that were around in 1054; including such Churches as Russia simply unnecessarily complicates the prospects for reconciliation between Old and New Rome and, respectively, the Eastern and Western Christian Churches.

Yep. They did "unnecessarily complicate" it the last time, too, along with St. Mark of Ephesus.

It may be a more effective strategy for us to first work on our healing of our relationship with Rome, then the five Ancient Patriarchates could stand undivided, against Russia, forcing Her to fall in line and respect her place amongst the Patriarchates.

Well, the effectivness for MP to "fall" is said not to be sufficient without the presence of antichrist himself - the last liturgy will be served in Russia according to the prophecy. So, considering your strategy, did you take into consideration if the child has grown already?

The best thing for the Church and the only long term solution to these problems at hand is for the Church of Russia to obey her tome of Autonomy and submit to her Mother Church of Constantinople.

I've usually heard the words "obey" and "submit" in relation to ecumenical talks and reconcilliation pronounced by RC. Well, I guess we are all learning every day, aren't we?
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2007, 06:15:06 AM »

I believe that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Orthodox Christians within the Ecumenical Patriarch's own territory, and there are no Christians living in Met. Zizioulas' diocese of Pergamon.

Well, good to know not many present will be asked for the Church of Pergamon, once the time comes.

The results show that the majority on this forum thinks the talks are not derailed. As His Grace Hilarion pointed, we are to wait for the next session in 2008 to see if that's true or not. Unless, of course, we stand for the dialogue in the form as greekischristian advocated above - as the dialogue between Rome and Constantinopolis, with the minor assistance of other ancient Churches, where us newcomers have no place and say.

I wonder if any Synod of any Orthodox Church anywhere took into consideration the Ravenna statement? Synod of Serbian Orthodox Church that was supposed to be convened this autumn was cancelled, due to the illness of H.H. Patriarch Pavle.

I'm waiting for Russian Commission's comments on the statement. The announcement sounds pretty promissing...
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2007, 06:15:40 AM »

If it was not for the MP, the Church of Antioch would be languishing like the Church in Jerusalem.  The Faithful of Antioch do NOT forget that.

Brother, please, I know I'm a hog, but could you expand this? I don't know about it at all.

I'm aware Patriarch Theophan of Antioch went to Kiev and performed hirotinia of bishops upon the call of hetman Petar Sagaydachny somewhere in 17th century, once all the bishops entered into union with Rome (the linked article at wikipedia refers to Theophan as Jerusalem Patriarch; I'm sure both Patriarch of Antioch and Patriarch of Jerusalem went there and performed hirotonias within several years). So, my Russ brothers do owe much not to the Mother Church of Constantinopolis only, but to the ancient Sees of Antioch and Jerusalem too.
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2007, 06:27:00 AM »

Well, Moscow could always schism against the Church...their loss.
Would it sound appropriate to rephrase it and say that Mrt. Zlizious and his followers could always schism against the Faith...their loss?
Quote from: ialmisry
Moscow got its autocephaly because Constantinople submitted at Florence.  Should Moscow (and the rest of the Orthodox) submit at Ravenna?
Perhaps.
Well, some of us perhaps aren't as submissive as you are.

Do you do it often, or you just did it once and forever?
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2007, 07:13:48 AM »

The best thing for the Church and the only long term solution to these problems at hand is for the Church of Russia to obey her tome of Autonomy and submit to her Mother Church of Constantinople.
*
Yes, absolutely.  Let Russia return to her pre-autocephalic status as a daughter Church of Constantinople.  This will bring the 180 Russian bishops into membership of the Holy Synod of the Throne of Constantinople.  Guess what nationality the next Ecumenical Patriarch will be when the votes are counted? 

His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Vladimir of Constantinople and All the Russias.


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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2007, 07:23:26 AM »

...

His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Vladimir of Constantinople and All the Russias.




Father, could it be His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Diomid of Constantinople and All the Russias?
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2007, 07:32:49 AM »

Jerusalem might be a museum soon, due to mismanagement.  Wolves for shepherds.
*

No, no!

The Church is Jerusalem is about to undergo an outstanding metamorphosis.  The Patriarchate will, in a generation or two, be no longer Greek but simultaneously Russian and Jewish.

Russian Orthodox Now the Majority in Patriarchate of Jerusalem

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/print.php?act=news&id=5819

Summary:

Russian-speaking Orthodox believers today outnumber Orthodox Arabs in the Jerusalem Patriarchate -- according to Metropolitan Timothy, the Jerusalem patriarchate's former Secretary General. Some statistics indicate 300,000 while others state no more than 150,000. In either case, they outnumber the Arab faithful.
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2007, 07:38:10 AM »

Jerusalem might be a museum soon, due to mismanagement.  Wolves for shepherds.
*
The election of a Russian Patriarch of Constantinople is not science fiction.  Greeks in Istanbul number about 2,500 (but that may increase if/when Turkey enters the EU.)  Russians are estimated to be around 5000 in Istanbul but one imagines that the Greeks have the electoral system for a Patriarch system under tight control, at least for the moment.

The Russian community petitioned the Patriarchate to be allotted a church for the Russian community.  Has anybody heard what has come of that?  Did Constantinople assign one to them?

The election of a Russian Patriarch of Jerusalem is highly likely within two or three generations.  Russian Orthodox Christians in Israel now outnumber both the Greek and the Arab components of the Patriarchate.

The official version of the state of Christianity in the Holy Land is :"It is less than 2% of the entire holy land. Christianity in particular in Jerusalem subsists mostly of pilgrims. They visit only."

This is not in fact the case. The situation is looking quite optimistic, at least for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A web search will turn up information on the growing number of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land and the concern it is causing to the Israeli Knesset.

"The Russians Are Coming" to rescue the Holy Land?

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

There have been significant changes to Israeli religious demographics over the last 10 years, thanks to the influx of more than 1 million Russians. One in 5 Israelis is now Russian, 20% of the population. A proportion of these are Jews by ancestry but Russian Orthodox Christians by religion. Today new Orthodox churches are being built throughout Israel and even on the kibbutzim! The Russians and the Arabs are brother Orthodox in Israel and together they will bring a new springtime of Christianity to the Mother Church of Jerusalem.


"I was recently given two startling pieces of information by a visiting Palestinian friend from Jerusalem. One was that there were several Russian Orthodox Christian churches being built in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba.... <snip>

"Just as remarkable is Lustick's observation that a significant number of the newcomers had registered themselves either as Christians or persons of no religion at all. As a result of this situation, the Russians, or to put it another way, non-Arab Christians are the fastest growing Israeli religious community and now constitute 8-9 per cent of the non-Arab population of the state... <snip>"
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

One factor with which the Jerusalem Patriarchate will have to come to terms in the near future is the large numbers of Russian Orthodox who are now part of its flock. These are Jews genetically and Orthodox Christians religiously. Jerusalem has set up a church department for the Russians but it seems inadequate for the numbers of Russians involved. In the years ahead the character of the Patriarchate will be altered by the Russian Orthodox influx.

Another article:

http://portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=news&id=33276

Last wave of immigration sharply increased
the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel


Although official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing, in reality, EAI data shows that there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993.

Thus, the research conducted among 86,000 new immigrants in 1999 demonstrated that approximately 53% of them cannot be considered Jews in accordance with Judaic law. Available data suggest approximately 400,000 "unregistered Orthodox Christians" arrived with the last wave of immigration.
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2007, 08:48:06 AM »

Here are the Jewish statistics for immigration from the Soviet Union/Russia, covering 1948 to 2006.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Immigration/FSU.html

It's a very high percentage of Israel's population of 6,400,000
https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/is.html

As I have mentioned above, it is the influx of Russian Orthodox Christians who are genetically Jewish which will ensure the survival of Christianity in Israel. Although they are rarely mentioned, they already outnumber all the other Christians in Israel and are building churches. God is blessing the Orthodox in the Holy Land with great hope for the future.

These Russian Christian Jews use both Hebrew and Slavonic in their services. In time we will see a unique phenomenon emerging - a truly Jewish Orthodox Church and a Jew (of Russian background) sitting on the Throne of Saint James the Just as Patriarch of Jerusalem.
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2007, 08:49:22 AM »

Father, could it be His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Diomid of Constantinople and All the Russias?
Who is Diomid?
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« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2007, 08:52:32 AM »

Who is Diomid?
At present bishop of Chukotka (and something).
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« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2007, 09:17:18 AM »

At present bishop of Chukotka (and something).
*
People in Chukotka still ride horses down the main street.
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« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2007, 02:27:25 PM »

Would it sound appropriate to rephrase it and say that Mrt. Zlizious and his followers could always schism against the Faith...their loss?Perhaps.

Well, I guess that's a theoretical possibility, but only if His Eminence were to break off from the Oecumenical Throne, so long as he remains loyal to Constantinople he is incapable of schism.

Quote
Well, some of us perhaps aren't as submissive as you are.

Do you do it often, or you just did it once and forever?

Once and forever to the Oecumenical Throne and only in matters of ecclesiology.
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« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2007, 02:28:49 PM »

*
Yes, absolutely.  Let Russia return to her pre-autocephalic status as a daughter Church of Constantinople.  This will bring the 180 Russian bishops into membership of the Holy Synod of the Throne of Constantinople.  Guess what nationality the next Ecumenical Patriarch will be when the votes are counted? 

His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Vladimir of Constantinople and All the Russias.

Actually a return to the status of the Church before the tomos simply means that Constantinople elects the Russian Bishops, they did not have a seat on the Synod of Constantinople, the Patriarch of which has to be a Turkish citizen anyway.

In any case, last count I heard there are approximately 190 Bishops within the membership of the Synod of Constantinople and Constantinople could always ordain 100 more or so to ensure that the Russian voting block was in the minority if, for some strange reason, they were allowed to sit on the Synod.
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« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2007, 11:24:16 PM »

The best thing for the Church and the only long term solution to these problems at hand is for the Church of Russia to obey her tome of Autonomy and submit to her Mother Church of Constantinople.
I'm still fairly new to Orthodoxy and I've never heard anyone talk like this before, things I would expect from a Roman Catholic not an Orthodox. It calls to mind a column I read a couple of months ago about the prospects for a united American Orthodox Church.

From OrthodoxyToday.org.....

Quote
the last time a major question on the unity of the Church was approached primarily from the angle of submission to one church structure, we ended up losing the entire West.


P.S. to all of the CAF rejects I was also banned without notice or explanation and it's sure nice to read your posts again.

Yours in Christ
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« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2007, 12:05:31 AM »

His Eminence Ioannis of Pergamon elicits strong reactions.  Here is one from an Italian Orthodox journal.  The quality of the English is rather poor but the points they wish to make deserve consideration.

Read on the Web at
http://digilander.libero.it/ortodossia/Zizioulas.htm

Is the Theologian Ioannis Zizioulas
proclaiming Orthodoxy?
   


 
This work is not based on empty inferences.
In Italy there are many articles of Zizioulas translated and publicized and also some book.
In Greece there are differents works of Zizioulas publicized. Recently Zizioulas has participated to a conference in Italy and he has spoken in manner absolutely catholic!
All this more the comments of some orthodox teologian from Romania, France and Greece  have pushed us to take this clear position. We must do this because there are orthodox countries where the Zizioulas' theology is beginning to create big problems to the same Orthodoxy creating lacerations and sufferings.
We hope that a day our readership, reading some work of Zizioulas and compares it with the thought of orthodox authors they will see that our writing is real!


I
 
In full sincerity, we have to distance ourselves completely from and express our disavowal of the “orthodox" theologian Ioannis Zizioulas. After having studied his recent “theology”, we are now utterly convinced his thinking thoroughly distorts and misrepresents Orthodoxy. Here are some points, which clearly vindicate our contentions:

 

1.          For Zizioulas the true “problem of ecumenicity”" seems to be an issue of structures or functions like, for example, that of the papacy. The fact that there is no papacy in Eastern Christendom pushes Zizioulas to search for substitutes because he presumes the papacy as an unreservedly acceptable and necessary principle underlying the foundations of all Christian Churches. In truth, the absence of the function of the papacy poses no problem to Orthodoxy. For a millennium, the Pope had been the first amongst the orthodox Patriarchs and nobody had felt such a thing was strange or alien to Orthodoxy. The true problem of ecumenicity is quite another: Orthodoxy cannot recognize in any Western form of Church life the Orthodox Way of life. Orthodoxy finds, instead, the single mentality of western Church life that pervades all kinds of Christian activities in Western Christendom to be far away from that Orthodox Way. In such a context, the papacy itself is a mere consequence of the absence of the Orthodox Way of life. Zizioulas appears unable to discern this clear-cut difference.

 

2.          The Orthodox Way of life does not imply uniformity. We see a legitimate diversity prevailing in customary issues amongst all Orthodox Churches. The Orthodox Way of life appears to have a common base: the common faith, the common life under the uncreated Grace of God and not according to the wisdom of this world, the taste and experience of the uncreated gifts of God which offer true guidelines to human life in all its aspects. All these escape to a great extend western Christianity even to the point to feeling free to substitute typically human sentiments or securities for the uncreated gifts of God! This explains why orthodox people cannot help defining western Christianity as "Arian".

 

3.          As Zizioulas overlooks this serious problem, his perspective of ecumenicity becomes irreparably defective. His failure is comparable to someone’s attempting to join in wedlock a man and a woman with characters so far apart that they cannot stand each other; nevertheless, he imperturbably discusses the organization of their household and their accommodation details, such as where to place their bedroom, etc. Such a discussion is truly illusory and abstract and aims at deceiving its listeners. Such a discussion makes the listeners believe that, in fact, no substantial difference between Western Christianity and Orthodoxy did ever exist! What would Catholics and Protestants think of Zizioulas once they discovered that his account consisted of academic theories without any real and concrete foundations in history?

 

4.          By doing so, Zizioulas demonstrates a much greater love for himself that for the catholic world because he is obviously trying to gain support and approval of his own importance by choosing to speak the language the Catholics find to be music to their ears. If he did love the catholic world or the Reformed Christians, he would have duly the courage to unmask in front of them the false securities, which surround them. Once upon a time, the prophets did this same thing to the Israelites when the latter would not follow the ways of God, but those stemming from mere human wisdom.

 

Moreover, one can detect in Zizioulas’ s thought some considerable theological anomalies that either verge on or, to some point, identify with heresy. In fact, he is greatly indebted to it, at least in the following instances:

 

1.          Regarding a supposed correlative between the intimate life of the Trinity and the Church. Zizioulas asserts: "since the Trinity is communion, the Church must be communion too". This and similar parallelisms imply a primordial principle of analogy between created and uncreated reality (analogia entis), which is strictly forbidden in patristic theology. According to the Holy Fathers ’s teaching, there is no analogy whatsoever between the created world and the uncreated Trinity! In fact, we can say nothing about the life of the Trinity, save that the Father generates, the Son is generated and the Spirit proceeds from the Father. We cannot "put our nose in the Trinity", as saint Gregory the Theologian said!

 

2.           Zizioulas associates the concept of "communion" with that of "relation". Hence, for Zizioulas, a person in relation is a person in communion. This principle is born from personalistic philosophy and is contrary to the definition of the person the Fathers repeatedly cite in their writings. For them the Persons of the Trinity represent three "distinctions" within the Trinity, not three "relations" of the Trinity with Its own Self! Zizioulas does not consider this and he applies his philosophical principle of the person equally to both: the Trinity and all created human beings! Thus, his absolute philosophical principle renders incomprehensible and anomalous every human person, who is not in constant communion with other persons such as hermits, precisely because they are not "in relation" with the world! Consequently, Zizioulas promulgates a philosophical and sociological concept of the Church whereby each traditional element is reshaped according to this mentality or, if it cannot be reshaped, then it is abolished! Because of his Procrustean theological method, authorities such as saint Gregory Palamas or saint Maximos the Confessor create serious problems to his "theological system" and, therefore, he never quotes the former and the latter is quoted rarely!

 

3.           On the other hand, Zizioulas owes his theological formation to authors like Henry De Lubac. There are very many similarities between the two, there is even an Oxford thesis examining their striking similarities, a sign that Zizioulas has assumed many theological elements from the catholic theologian De Lubac, and assimilated them to his thinking thus becoming himself a thoroughly catholic theologian. The same concept of "Church - Eucharist" is also found in the Russian theologian Afanasieff, but it is typically western. As the East emphasizes the life in the Spirit and the acquisition of the Holy Spirit (see saint Seraphim of Sarov) so the West emphasizes the Eucharist. Between the two emphases lies the huge difference in theological mentalities, which separate the two traditions. In the case of Orthodoxy, one discerns the freedom of man and the prominence of the Presence of God; in Western Christianity prominent is the human initiative in "achieving", "possessing" and "consuming" the Eucharist. As the Romanian theologian Dumitru Popescu has noticed: “By emphasizing the Eucharist in the typical manner pertaining to catholic theologians, Zizioulas has removed the vertical dimension of the Church and rendered the Eucharist from a means into an end in itself”. No wonder then, in the light of such startling similarities, that a profound sympathy has developed between Zizioulas and the catholic world, wherein, out of mutual responsiveness, Zizioulas’ s writings are constantly published and celebrated as expressive of the true spirit of Catholicism, as perceived by an "orthodox", recently rehabilitated into the catholic faith!

 

These remarks are meant to inform our readership. We are not against dialogue, nor against sincere and open comparisons. We believe, however, that comparisons must only show respectively the real positions of what orthodox and catholic Christians truly believe or experience. Only by doing so theologians are truly representative of their traditions; otherwise, they end up to representing only their own individuality of thought and they speak only for the sake of pleasing their friends’ ears.

But in the present case, our “theologian” has betrayed his listeners twice: a) by denying them understanding of what his tradition truly stands for and b) by snatching from them unjustifiable esteem and honours for improper “services” he has falsely rendered to them…

In addition, out of respect for the Catholic and the Reformed world we must state that Zizioulas’ s theological style and argumentation can be proven deceitful, as he often stands too far from the truth. This man’ s individual thinking in no way represents the orthodox traditional theology but only personal and, at times, peculiar theological aspects having nothing to do with the common experience shared and faithfully practised by the great majority of orthodox believers down the Christian centuries.


The editorial staff of the Magazine "Italia Ortodossa"



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« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2007, 12:14:07 AM »

I'm still fairly new to Orthodoxy and I've never heard anyone talk like this before, things I would expect from a Roman Catholic not an Orthodox. It calls to mind a column I read a couple of months ago about the prospects for a united American Orthodox Church.

Well, if you continue to be involved in these matters you will find that, unlike amongst some of the more idealistic corners American Orthodoxy, 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, or by the late canonist and historian Metropolitan Maximos of Sardis, or by anyone intimately involved in the Synod itself. I didn't pull these ideas out of thin air, they date back to Balsamon, Zonaras, and Aristenos and before that to Leo VI the wise, and before that to the Synod of Chalcedon.
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« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2007, 01:08:38 AM »

1.          For Zizioulas the true “problem of ecumenicity”" seems to be an issue of structures or functions like, for example, that of the papacy. The fact that there is no papacy in Eastern Christendom pushes Zizioulas to search for substitutes because he presumes the papacy as an unreservedly acceptable and necessary principle underlying the foundations of all Christian Churches. In truth, the absence of the function of the papacy poses no problem to Orthodoxy. For a millennium, the Pope had been the first amongst the orthodox Patriarchs and nobody had felt such a thing was strange or alien to Orthodoxy. The true problem of ecumenicity is quite another: Orthodoxy cannot recognize in any Western form of Church life the Orthodox Way of life. Orthodoxy finds, instead, the single mentality of western Church life that pervades all kinds of Christian activities in Western Christendom to be far away from that Orthodox Way. In such a context, the papacy itself is a mere consequence of the absence of the Orthodox Way of life. Zizioulas appears unable to discern this clear-cut difference.

His Eminence, as an objective student of history, understands the history of the Oecumenical Patriarchate within the Orthodox Church, up to the fall of the Imperial City and, indeed, even after that up through the 19th Century the Oecumenical Patriarchates maintained an actual authority within the Eastern Church that rivaled, and even often surpassed, the authority Rome was able to exert within her own Patriarchate. It was not really until Vatican I that Rome was able to consolidate her authority and exert it in the West in a manner approaching that of the Oecumenical Patriarchate within the East. Unfortunately, around this time rebellion from certain Slavic Churches (most notably Moscow) began an attemt to undermine the authority of Constantinople (though such Churches that are closer to Constantinople such as Serbia and Romania have remained more loyal). This rebellion has threatened to cause a rift within the Church as we increassingly see the distancing of the Greek and Slavic Churches from each other. His Eminence realizes that if this rebellion is unchecked it may very well lead to the schism of the Russian Church and a disastern unknown since the Great Schism between Constantinople and Rome.

Quote
2.          The Orthodox Way of life does not imply uniformity. We see a legitimate diversity prevailing in customary issues amongst all Orthodox Churches. The Orthodox Way of life appears to have a common base: the common faith, the common life under the uncreated Grace of God and not according to the wisdom of this world, the taste and experience of the uncreated gifts of God which offer true guidelines to human life in all its aspects. All these escape to a great extend western Christianity even to the point to feeling free to substitute typically human sentiments or securities for the uncreated gifts of God! This explains why orthodox people cannot help defining western Christianity as "Arian".

Fortunately His Eminence is more objective than this and better understands Western Christianity, he realizes that they do indeed maintain many of the Ancient Traditions of the Church, though they have altered them in different ways that the East over the years (though, don't be fooled, we have both allowed these customs to evolve); in the West there is a Christianity with which it is worth recognizing and worth dialoguing, it is not some heathen and graceless land, they are sisters and brothers in Church and we are all harmed by the continuing schisms.

Quote
3.          As Zizioulas overlooks this serious problem, his perspective of ecumenicity becomes irreparably defective. His failure is comparable to someone’s attempting to join in wedlock a man and a woman with characters so far apart that they cannot stand each other; nevertheless, he imperturbably discusses the organization of their household and their accommodation details, such as where to place their bedroom, etc. Such a discussion is truly illusory and abstract and aims at deceiving its listeners. Such a discussion makes the listeners believe that, in fact, no substantial difference between Western Christianity and Orthodoxy did ever exist! What would Catholics and Protestants think of Zizioulas once they discovered that his account consisted of academic theories without any real and concrete foundations in history?

Without any real and concrete foundations in history? If by this they mean that he dismisses the centuries of emotion and anger that has built up and simply focus on the real issues at hand, they would be absolutely correct. His Eminence, in his wisdom, does dismiss this emotional baggage, from both sides, and focuses on the real issues at hand; when this is done he recognizes that the differences are not as great as those entangled in the emotional issues may, on first glance, suggest. Because of this objectivity His Eminence, and others like him, are capable of moving on and making real progress in these dialogues; granted, we still must deal with this emotional baggage, but this is not the goal of ecumenical dialogue, these matters are internal affairs to be handled within the respective Churches: the Orthodox need to bring the radical and emotional elements in line with the Church, independent of the efforts of Rome, and Rome needs to bring the similar elements within their Church in line, independent of the efforts of the Orthodox.

Quote
4.          By doing so, Zizioulas demonstrates a much greater love for himself that for the catholic world because he is obviously trying to gain support and approval of his own importance by choosing to speak the language the Catholics find to be music to their ears. If he did love the catholic world or the Reformed Christians, he would have duly the courage to unmask in front of them the false securities, which surround them. Once upon a time, the prophets did this same thing to the Israelites when the latter would not follow the ways of God, but those stemming from mere human wisdom.

If His Eminence loved them he would not speak the truth in love, but rather in emotion and anger? This objection is almost laughable; His Eminence speaks the truth in love, in love which bears no grudges, no anger, no animosity, it seeks only the objective truth and does not bow to those who, ignoring the requirements of love, insist on closing their eyes to the same.
 
Quote
Moreover, one can detect in Zizioulas’ s thought some considerable theological anomalies that either verge on or, to some point, identify with heresy. In fact, he is greatly indebted to it, at least in the following instances:

If they object to the Orthodoxy of His Eminence, the proper forum to address this would be with a complain to his Synod, at which point the Patriarch could assess their claims and determine whether or not they have any basis in reality. As His All-Holiness would, in all likelihood, dismiss these unfounded claims an refuse to bring His Eminence to trial, these people seem to be contenting themselves with a libelous smear campaign against His Eminence.

Quote
1.          Regarding a supposed correlative between the intimate life of the Trinity and the Church. Zizioulas asserts: "since the Trinity is communion, the Church must be communion too". This and similar parallelisms imply a primordial principle of analogy between created and uncreated reality (analogia entis), which is strictly forbidden in patristic theology. According to the Holy Fathers ’s teaching, there is no analogy whatsoever between the created world and the uncreated Trinity! In fact, we can say nothing about the life of the Trinity, save that the Father generates, the Son is generated and the Spirit proceeds from the Father. We cannot "put our nose in the Trinity", as saint Gregory the Theologian said!

This objection is simply nonsense, St. Paul himself used such an analogy when he instructed husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. St. Ignatios of Antioch instructed one to revere and obey their Bishop as they would God. There is a long patristic history of using high theology to derive moral theology; in fact, this derivation and analogy, popularized by the School of Alexandria, is the very essence of any good moral teaching or theology. This particular objection, in fact, sounds very post-patristic and very protestant to me.

Quote
2.           Zizioulas associates the concept of "communion" with that of "relation". Hence, for Zizioulas, a person in relation is a person in communion. This principle is born from personalistic philosophy and is contrary to the definition of the person the Fathers repeatedly cite in their writings. For them the Persons of the Trinity represent three "distinctions" within the Trinity, not three "relations" of the Trinity with Its own Self! Zizioulas does not consider this and he applies his philosophical principle of the person equally to both: the Trinity and all created human beings! Thus, his absolute philosophical principle renders incomprehensible and anomalous every human person, who is not in constant communion with other persons such as hermits, precisely because they are not "in relation" with the world! Consequently, Zizioulas promulgates a philosophical and sociological concept of the Church whereby each traditional element is reshaped according to this mentality or, if it cannot be reshaped, then it is abolished! Because of his Procrustean theological method, authorities such as saint Gregory Palamas or saint Maximos the Confessor create serious problems to his "theological system" and, therefore, he never quotes the former and the latter is quoted rarely!

The persons of the Holy Trinity are not three 'distinctions' they are three distinct and personally independent Divine Persons, as three Humans are three independent Human Persons. Whoever wrote this article is demonstrating a strong Sabellian influence in their theology and thought, the trinity is not three 'modes' or 'distinctions' of a single divine person, it is indeed a relationship between three Persons. And, using this reasoning, this disciple of Sabellius has the audacity to criticize the Orthodoxy of His Eminence? Do I really have to take this heretical nonsense seriously?

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3.           On the other hand, Zizioulas owes his theological formation to authors like Henry De Lubac. There are very many similarities between the two, there is even an Oxford thesis examining their striking similarities, a sign that Zizioulas has assumed many theological elements from the catholic theologian De Lubac, and assimilated them to his thinking thus becoming himself a thoroughly catholic theologian. The same concept of "Church - Eucharist" is also found in the Russian theologian Afanasieff, but it is typically western. As the East emphasizes the life in the Spirit and the acquisition of the Holy Spirit (see saint Seraphim of Sarov) so the West emphasizes the Eucharist. Between the two emphases lies the huge difference in theological mentalities, which separate the two traditions. In the case of Orthodoxy, one discerns the freedom of man and the prominence of the Presence of God; in Western Christianity prominent is the human initiative in "achieving", "possessing" and "consuming" the Eucharist. As the Romanian theologian Dumitru Popescu has noticed: “By emphasizing the Eucharist in the typical manner pertaining to catholic theologians, Zizioulas has removed the vertical dimension of the Church and rendered the Eucharist from a means into an end in itself”. No wonder then, in the light of such startling similarities, that a profound sympathy has developed between Zizioulas and the catholic world, wherein, out of mutual responsiveness, Zizioulas’ s writings are constantly published and celebrated as expressive of the true spirit of Catholicism, as perceived by an "orthodox", recently rehabilitated into the catholic faith!

WOW. One must ask if the author has actually read the Oxford thesis they are referencing (McPartlan, Paul. The Eucharist Makes the Church: Henri De Lubac and John Zizioulas in Dialogue. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996.). In this thesis Zizioulas goes to great effort to emphasize BOTH the vertical and horizontal relational aspects of the Eucharist and actually ties in the latter with the former. His Eminence and Henri De Lubac do agree on many points (which shouldn't surprise anyone that East and West have maintained rather similar understandings, but these people seem to suggest that it's unlikely based on nothing more than they fact that they do not want it to be so) and there are a few minor points of disagreement, which seems to be ignored here. Perhaps someone should tell this 'Journal' editor that reading a Bibliography is no subsitute for responsible academic research and, heaven forbid, actually reading the papers one wishes to use to condemn a Metropolitan of the Church. Roll Eyes

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But in the present case, our “theologian” has betrayed his listeners twice: a) by denying them understanding of what his tradition truly stands for and b) by snatching from them unjustifiable esteem and honours for improper “services” he has falsely rendered to them…

As opposed to the editors of this 'Orthodox Journal' which espouse Sabellian theology and falsely present ideas supposedly found in works they have not even bothered to read?

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In addition, out of respect for the Catholic and the Reformed world we must state that Zizioulas’ s theological style and argumentation can be proven deceitful, as he often stands too far from the truth. This man’ s individual thinking in no way represents the orthodox traditional theology but only personal and, at times, peculiar theological aspects having nothing to do with the common experience shared and faithfully practised by the great majority of orthodox believers down the Christian centuries.

Perhaps if His Eminence were to throw in some Gnostic and Sabellian theology into his papers he would be worthy of their esteem? There is no deceit, but when one unlearned and ignorant of the Theology of the Church reads something from an educated and intelligent Bishop that rubs their folkloric understanding of the Faith the wrong way, I can see how they would mistake truth for deceit.
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« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2007, 03:30:18 AM »

It may be a more effective strategy for us to first work on our healing of our relationship with Rome, then the five Ancient Patriarchates could stand undivided, against Russia, forcing Her to fall in line and respect her place amongst the Patriarchates.

Here, brother, you can read a brilliant shot fable written by Krylov:
http://max.mmlc.northwestern.edu/~mdenner/Demo/texts/elephant_pug.htm

I belive that MP and our nation will always be on the side of Christ's Holy Orthodox Church. I'm really upset that the dialogue with Rome attracts Patriarch Bartholomew more than with Moscow. Together we stand, divided we fall.

Russian Orthodox Now the Majority in Patriarchate of Jerusalem

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/print.php?act=news&id=5819

Irish Hermit, Вы говорите по-русски?
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« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2007, 04:25:13 AM »

Could someone please change the manner in which the metropolitan is referenced in the caption?  His name is Metropolitan John of Pergamon, his last name being "Zizioulas."

The answer is no.  Notwithstanding the Church of Russia's justification for leaving, these adults should take their disagreements into a private setting.  Constantinople should not have included an Estonian member of this commission, knowing full well how it would offend the Russian's, whether they are right or wrong in this stance.  However, the Russian's should not have publically, and while the meetings were in progress, bring the administrative disagreements among the Holy Churches of God into the open.  These esteemed hierarchs should show some maturity as they tackle the the various issues that separate churches who both trace their founding to the Apostles.  It's really embarrassing to see this type of behavior at such a high profile and significant forum.
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« Reply #43 on: November 23, 2007, 04:35:42 AM »

Irish Hermit, Вы говорите по-русски?
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Да, несмотя на то, что я родился новозеландцем ирландского происхождения, я являюсь священником (иеромонах) русского прихода в Новой Зеландии. 
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2007, 04:58:35 AM »

Well, if you continue to be involved in these matters you will find that, unlike amongst some of the more idealistic corners American Orthodoxy, 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, or by the late canonist and historian Metropolitan Maximos of Sardis, or by anyone intimately involved in the Synod itself. I didn't pull these ideas out of thin air, they date back to Balsamon, Zonaras, and Aristenos and before that to Leo VI the wise, and before that to the Synod of Chalcedon.
As I said on another thread regarding papal primacy (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13495.msg187040.html#msg187040), we really must beware of any patriarch's interpretation of Tradition (be he the Patriarch and Pope of Rome or the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople) that gives the patriarch himself prerogatives of supremacy and authority that are not recognized from below, because such understandings are all too easily seen for what they really are:  imperialist grabs for power.
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