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Author Topic: Orthodox Patriarch to Baptise 50 New Converts  (Read 2894 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« on: November 02, 2002, 10:46:29 AM »

POPE TO VISIT SOSHANGUVE

His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and
all Africa, will visit Soshanguve on Monday 4 November to baptise
up to 50 new members of the Orthodox Church.

The candidates for baptism will be presented to the Patriarch by
Fr Athanasios Akunda, a young missionary priest of the Orthodox
Church in Kenya, who has been working in South Africa since June
2002. Fr Athanasios, who studied theology in Nairobi and Boston,
USA, was ordained priest by Metropolitan Seraphim, the Orthodox
Archbishop of Johannesburg and Pretoria, last July, and sent to
Soshanguve in response to a request from a group of people there
to be taught the Orthodox Christian faith.

The baptism, which is to be held in the Halala Hall in Block H,
Soshanguve, will be the culmination of a historical process that
goes back more than 75 years, when a group of 400 people in
Kimberley, led by Daniel William Alexander, decided to form a
branch of the African Orthodox Church back in 1924.

In 1927 Alexander went to America to be made bishop by George
Alexander McGuire of the African Orthodox Church there. In the
1930s Alexander visited both Uganda and Kenya and planted
branches of the African Orthodox Church in those countries. The
leaders in East Africa, however, discovered that the Orthodox
Church in Africa fell under the Patriarch of Alexandria, in
Egypt, where the Christian faith had been established by St Mark
in the first century.

In 1946 the East African branches of the African Orthodox Church
were united with the Patriarchate of Alexandria. After a period
of hardship when they were suppressed by the British colonial
government, they flourished after Kenya and Uganda became
independent.

Mindful that the first news about Orthodoxy had reached Kenya
from South Africa, Fr Athanasios responded willingly to the call
from Archbishop Seraphim to help to repay that debt by teaching
people in South Africa about the Orthodox faith.

In South Africa most Orthodox Christians are of Greek, Russian or
Serbian descent, and most of the parishes are composed of
immigrants from those countries and their descendants. The new
parish of St Seraphim in Soshanguve will be the first one in
which the majority of members are South Africans.

Please pray for those who are to be baptised on Monday, for those who will be
baptised later, and for those who are teaching them, and for the priests and
peiople of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria.


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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2002, 12:12:42 PM »

An incredible story - Bishop Kallistos (Ware) wrote about it in The Orthodox Church. In the 1920s these two Anglican men in either Kenya or Uganda (I think the latter) literally read their way into converting to Orthodoxy. Note: the 'African Orthodox Church' in the US mentioned here is not Orthodox but a vagante sect founded by an American black ex-Episcopal minister who followed Marcus Garvey's black nationalist movement in the 1920s. When the founder of sub-Saharan African Orthodoxy learnt its true identity as non-Orthodox they cut all ties to it.

(Interestingly this sect still exists - its church in San Francisco is named after John Coltrane, whom they canonized. Obviously it has little to do with catholic, orthodox Christianity and from the start has been one of several religious versions of American black ethnic boosterism, like Louis Farrakhan's pseudo-Muslim Nation of Islam.)

As Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy move towards full communion, which seems inevitable, what of the two Popes of Alexandria? Now there are two, the Coptic majority under Pope Shenouda and the Greek Orthodox minority (including the sub-Saharan, black Africans) under Pope Petros. Should there be be two Alexandrian Popes based on rite or should one revert to the primitive ideal of one bishop per see with both rites under one Pope?
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2002, 12:24:28 PM »

If it comes to a vote, Serge, I'm for both rites under one Pope of Alexandria and All Africa, i.e., one bishop per see irrespective of rite.  Local parishes/dioceses, however, should have a guarantee that they may continue in their present rite, whatever it be, "ad infinitum."

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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2002, 02:51:07 PM »

I think at a reunion of the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox, the concept that there is only one bishop per city should be scrapped.

It hasn't been a reality since the 450's, and even before that, when the Meletian schism was settled in Egypt, the decision was that there would be an overlapping hierarchy in each city until the death of the first hierach, with the lasting hierarch being the sole successor.

The reason that I believe in scrapping one bishop per city is that the idea developed into the pentarchy, where there are patriarchates with jurisdictions. That idea has now developed into the current practice where there are overlapping jurisdictions based on immigration.

If the two Orthodox families reunite, there is simply no way that say Pope Shenouda III could administer a Byzantine parish.  There is no doubt in my mind he'd try to "Copticize" it.  And even if he didn't, how could he liturgize with them?  Each bishop would have to master 5 or more liturgical rites!  To me, that's nonsense.  Let's just let there be multiple bishops.  For the Byzantines, sure there should only be one bishop no matter if Greek, Russian, etc.  But with the Oriental Orthodox, each group is totally different.  Pastoral needs need to outweigh a primitive ecclesiological concept (although we should always look back to that ideal in order to keep from straying too far).

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2002, 02:53:39 PM »

That's my gut feeling too, Hypo-Ortho - the Coptic Pope eventually would win out, with the Greek churches under him, but the Greek Pope at the time of reunion would live out the rest of his reign in a kind of partnership with the Coptic one, with the Greek churches in his care.

anastasios has a point too - fallen human nature being what it is, it is conceivable the Copts would try to assimilate the Greeks.

A practical solution for a reunited catholic, orthodox, apostolic Church would be the majority's bishop gets the title of the see but he'd have ritual vicar bishops for the minority rites. So the Pope of Alexandria would be a Copt but there'd be an episcopal vicar for Greeks. The patriarch of the Russias would be Russian Orthodox but he'd have a vicar for the Latins in his lands. The archbishop of New York would be a Roman Catholic but he'd have a vicar bishop for the Ukrainians and so on. In time, particular Churches could be rationalized by location: the Church of Russia (basically as it is now), the Church of North Africa, the Church of North America, etc.

Bishops are divinely ordained, of the esse of the Church. The pentarchy is manmade, of the bene esse of the Church, and IMO is obsolete.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2002, 03:18:31 PM by Serge » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2002, 09:50:12 PM »


A practical solution for a reunited catholic, orthodox, apostolic Church would be...



Serge, I had not known the Church was divided. At what point was this acknowledged by your leaders? And I thought I read elsewhere that you do not subscribe to the "branch theory"?

Perhaps you meant to say: "A practical solution for uniting those separated from the Church is for them to be baptised (or perhaps in this case Chrismated) and acknowledge the Seven Ecumenical Synods."
« Last Edit: November 04, 2002, 12:50:56 AM by anastasios » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2002, 11:16:56 PM »

Anastasios,

Somehow you edited my last post to include the last paragraph.

I disagree with the Russian method of convert reception. It was found to be in error by a council of Patriarchs and the method of "confession" was specifically listed to be an error.

The Western influences in Russia of this period are not examples to hold in high regard.

And irregardless, even your errant method is not being practiced, so your point will just distract us from the original issue.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2002, 11:23:46 PM by OrthodoxyOrDeath » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2002, 12:09:36 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Anastasios, Somehow you edited my last post to include the last paragraph.

In Anastasios' defense, for administrators, the quote button and the modify button are right next to one another and he probably meant to quote you and then add that paragraph as his own thought, not put words in your mouth. I've accidentally done it myself. God Bless!
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2002, 12:50:26 AM »

OOD:

I'm very sorry for having messed up your post!  Like Nik said, our modify button is right next to quote!  I'll see if I can fix your post.

Actually the OCA just received my friend by the profession, confession, communion model in November of last year. He's now a seminarian at St. Tikhon's.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2002, 12:51:36 AM »

This is the part of the post I accidently inserted to OOD's post (sorry again!)


Or received by profession of faith, confession, and communion, as the Russian Church traditionally has received Catholics (cf. "Reception of Roman Catholics into Orthodoxy" by Arch. Peter L'Huiller, Saint Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, 1980's)

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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2002, 10:31:48 AM »

Thank you Anastasios and Nik,

I was certain it was just a mistake. But you can imagine my shock when I first read that; I could not believe I wrote that!
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