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Author Topic: Russia's prospective church leader says opposed to reforms  (Read 11754 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 31, 2008, 03:30:26 AM »

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081229/119215944.html

Russia's prospective church leader says opposed to reforms

29/12/2008 16:24 MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Metropolitan
Kirill, the interim leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and a key
candidate to become the next patriarch, said on Monday he was opposed
to any church reforms.

Discussion of reforms, which includes the possible switchover from
Church Slavonic to modern Russian in church services, intensified
after the death of Patriarch Alexy II early this month.

Alexy, who led the revival of Orthodoxy in the country after the
demise of communism, died of heart failure at the age of 79.

"If a reform destroys values, it is called heresy. I am strongly
opposed to any reform," Kirill told reporters in the patriarch's
residency in Moscow ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrated on January 7.

He said other candidates to the patriarchal post were not "reformists" either.

Kirill, Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, was chosen by the
Holy Synod as interim patriarch until a larger ruling body gathers on
January 27-29 to elect Alexy II's successor. The new patriarch will
have to address relations with the state and the Catholic Church.

Kirill, 62, who heads the Church's department for external relations,
has led dialogue with the Catholic Church and has worked to rebuild
ties with other churches across the world. He is also well known to
the public in Russia through his weekly television program Pastor's Word.

He said reforms that damage tradition were dangerous. "The Church is
a conservative entity as it is to preserve the apostolic faith
through generations," Kirill said.

He said the most striking examples of church reform in Russia - that
of the 17th century to establish uniformity between Greek and Russian
church practices and the Renovated Church reform movement in the
1920s - only led to splits among clergy and believers.

Kirill said the Church does undergo changes through natural processes.

The new Russian patriarch is expected to be enthroned on February 1.
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 03:40:31 AM »

Quote
Kirill said the Church does undergo changes through natural processes.

I wonder if he has particular changes in mind. I'm also curious what "natural processes" these changes came through. Thoughts?
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2008, 01:45:26 PM »

What of the legacy of the All Russian Sobor of 1917?  The one that reinstituted the patriarchate of Moscow and, IIRC, was convened to consider a list of possible reforms in a conciliar manner more consistent with Orthodox praxis than the top-down reforms His Eminence Kyrill named as divisive...
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2008, 01:54:11 PM »

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081229/119215944.html

Russia's prospective church leader says opposed to reforms

29/12/2008 16:24 MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Metropolitan
Kirill, the interim leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and a key
candidate to become the next patriarch, said on Monday he was opposed
to any church reforms.

AXIOS!

He said other candidates to the patriarchal post were not "reformists" either.


What's the plural of AXIOS? Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2008, 01:58:11 PM »

What's the plural of AXIOS? Cheesy

AXIOI.
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 02:00:51 PM »

What reforms he opposes? Introduction of Revised Julian Calendar? Giving autocephaly to Churches of Ukraine or Belarus? Division Church from the state? I completely don't know what was he talking about.
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 02:15:18 PM »

I'm dubious about Met. Kirill.  I find him to be too cozy towards Roman Catholics and towards other apostate "Christian" churches.  I wonder if he is saying these things so that he may allay the fears of those who may support another candidate when the Holy Synod meets to elect a new Patriarch.
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2009, 04:31:11 PM »

I'm dubious about Met. Kirill. ...

Is is true that he is a spiritual child of infamous Metropolitan of Leningrad Nikodem (Rostov), who died during the audience at the Pope of Rome in 1978, confessing his pseudo-Orthodoxy and crypto-Catholicism?
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2009, 04:35:44 PM »

Is is true that he is a spiritual child of infamous Metropolitan of Leningrad Nikodem (Rostov), who died during the audience at the Pope of Rome in 1978, confessing his pseudo-Orthodoxy and crypto-Catholicism?

Found this.  It doesn't go into much about the relationship about the two men.  Things could be implied, but not much more than that.

He was tonsured by Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad and Novgorod on 3 April 1969. He was ordained hierodeacon on 7 April and hieromonk on 1 June of the same year. He was appointed personal secretary to Metropolitan Nikodim on 30 August 1970

From:  http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/3/4.aspx
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2009, 04:49:09 PM »

He was appointed personal secretary to Metropolitan Nikodim on 30 August 1970

From:  http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/3/4.aspx

Ouch.

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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2009, 09:39:55 PM »

Scamandrius wrote:

"I find him to be too cozy towards Roman Catholics and towards other apostate "Christian" churches."

Your views on ecumenism notwistanding, who are you to judge which churches are "Christian" and those that are not?
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2009, 09:56:08 PM »

Scamandrius wrote:

"I find him to be too cozy towards Roman Catholics and towards other apostate "Christian" churches."

Your views on ecumenism notwistanding, who are you to judge which churches are "Christian" and those that are not?

Uh, Orthodox.
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2009, 10:27:04 PM »

I know of no Orthodox statements pronouncing the Roman Catholics to be apostates and non-Christians.

The 1965 Constantinople declaration rescinding the anathemas of 1054 didn't say that.

The Balamand Declaration of 1993 didn't say that.

The numerous other recent meetings between Orthodox and Roman Catholic hierarchs didn't say that. In fact, the Russian hierarchs (including Alexei II of blessed memory) said that where the Orthodox and Roman Catholic church agree on worldwide social issues, they should work together in Christian brotherhood and common purpose, even if significant theological differences remain.
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2009, 01:04:30 AM »

What's the plural of AXIOS? Cheesy

 laugh

AXIOI.

 laugh laugh



Reminds me of one of my favorite jokes about Orthodoxy (which I first read on this forum):

How many Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?...
CHANGE?!?
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2009, 02:17:25 AM »

He is right about certain reforms at least. One example is the calendar. I have nothing against the revised Julian Calendar myself (perhaps because my church uses it!), but it did cause a schism. Some reforms are just not worth having to deal with another schism (like the calendar), but some things are. For one, language is an issue. Can Russians still understand Church Slavonic decently enough for the Liturgy? 
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 02:32:51 AM »

Can Russians still understand Church Slavonic decently enough for the Liturgy? 

No, they can't, and this is one reason why +Kirill's seeming oppostion to any reform is most troubling, if true.  Russians have to work quite hard in order to understand Slavonic.  I have heard it said that the average Russian speaker understands Slavonic about as well as we understand pre-Chaucerian English.  So. as I said, if it is true that he and other powerful bishops are opposed to any reforms in the Russian Church, this is very disturbing.
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2009, 03:36:36 AM »

Can Russians still understand Church Slavonic decently enough for the Liturgy? 

No, they can't, and this is one reason why +Kirill's seeming oppostion to any reform is most troubling, if true.  Russians have to work quite hard in order to understand Slavonic.  I have heard it said that the average Russian speaker understands Slavonic about as well as we understand pre-Chaucerian English.  So. as I said, if it is true that he and other powerful bishops are opposed to any reforms in the Russian Church, this is very disturbing.

Poor Russkies are not so different from their Greek brethren.  Undecided Same issues, different languages.
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2009, 03:47:50 AM »

Some reforms are just not worth having to deal with another schism (like the calendar), but some things are. For one, language is an issue. Can Russians still understand Church Slavonic decently enough for the Liturgy? 
Change to modern Russian will cause a schism - the very last thing that the Russian Church needs as it works so hard to bring Christ back into people's hearts and lives and moral code.


While there are of course some who would like to see a change most of the faithful prefer to retain Church Slavonic - one reason you hear is that it was the holy language which got them through the misery of 70 years of Communism and persecution.  They evaluate Church Slavonic as one of the strengths of the Church.
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« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2009, 06:30:57 AM »

Some reforms are just not worth having to deal with another schism (like the calendar), but some things are. For one, language is an issue. Can Russians still understand Church Slavonic decently enough for the Liturgy? 
Change to modern Russian will cause a schism - the very last thing that the Russian Church needs as it works so hard to bring Christ back into people's hearts and lives and moral code.


While there are of course some who would like to see a change most of the faithful prefer to retain Church Slavonic - one reason you hear is that it was the holy language which got them through the misery of 70 years of Communism and persecution.  They evaluate Church Slavonic as one of the strengths of the Church.


One compromise that can be made is use of the Synodal Russian Bible, as opposed to the Church Slavonic. That is, of course, in Russian speaking areas.

 In general though, now is not the time for such changes, but that might not be luxury the PoM can afford.  The Ukrainians are going to use more Ukrainian, and why not?  The Estonians use Estonian, the Moldavians Moldavian/Romanian, etc.  (I think Heoriy discussed this once, how a little clause in the Our Father could cause an uproar). This is obviously going to push the Kiev Patriarchate issue forward, which is going to go forward anyway.

Another problem is that a lot of the necessary changes were done at the last sobor before the Bolsheviks took power, but because they took power immediately afterwards, in some people's minds the changes are tainted.  It shouldn't: the sobor only capped decades of preparation.  The Synodal Russian Bible is an example: it was started almost a century before the Revolution, and not only with the approval of the czar's synod, but also St. Filaret Metropolitan of Moscow, who pushed for it.
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2009, 04:00:43 PM »

Scamandrius wrote:

"I find him to be too cozy towards Roman Catholics and towards other apostate "Christian" churches."

Your views on ecumenism notwistanding, who are you to judge which churches are "Christian" and those that are not?

I don't.  I said that they were apostates.  That is not the same as non-Christian.  Nor does it mean that they still don't have elements of the truth, but have not only forsaken the truth in its fullest expression as found in the Holy Orthodox Church but have also "invented" new truths.  Perhaps my use of the quotes was not a good idea.
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2009, 06:03:12 PM »

I know of no Orthodox statements pronouncing the Roman Catholics to be apostates and non-Christians.

The 1965 Constantinople declaration rescinding the anathemas of 1054 didn't say that.

Perhaps you have touched a vital point....   Not one of the other Orthodox Churches accepted the annulment of the Anathemas.  They protested strongly to Constantinople over its unilateral action and for 99% of the Orthodox world the Anathemas remain in place.

Quote
The Balamand Declaration of 1993 didn't say that.

Again you bring up a good point......  There was only ONE Orthodox Church which accepted and ratified Balamand (and I think that was Romania which has since rejected its ratification anyway.)  All other Orthodox Churches refused to ratify it.

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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2009, 06:09:21 PM »

One compromise that can be made is use of the Synodal Russian Bible, as opposed to the Church Slavonic. That is, of course, in Russian speaking areas.
The Patriarchate has run this through several printings since the fall of Communism allowed it access to printing presses.  I am looking at my own 1993 copy right now.  Many people use it.   Others like to go on using the Church Slavonic.
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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2009, 06:12:31 PM »

I know of no Orthodox statements pronouncing the Roman Catholics to be apostates and non-Christians.

The 1965 Constantinople declaration rescinding the anathemas of 1054 didn't say that.

Perhaps you have touched a vital point....   Not one of the other Orthodox Churches accepted the annulment of the Anathemas.  They protested strongly to Constantinople over its unilateral action and for 99% of the Orthodox world the Anathemas remain in place.

Quote
The Balamand Declaration of 1993 didn't say that.

Again you bring up a good point......  There was only ONE Orthodox Church which accepted and ratified Balamand (and I think that was Romania which has since rejected its ratification anyway.)  All other Orthodox Churches refused to ratify it.



Looking this up I found this on the OCA website:
Quote
I might conclude by stating that some suspicion -- or at the very least a certain amount of confusion -- of Roman Catholicism still exists in many Orthodox circles. Taking this observation out of the Roman Catholic/Orthodox setting, the recent situation involving Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism might serve as an example. Not long ago, the Roman Catholic/Lutheran dialogue produced a statement of agreement on faith and, if I am correct, certain other essential points. Shortly thereafter, the Vatican announced a variety of new indulgences, restating in the process the role of indulgences, the place of purgatory, the "merits of the saints," etc. The reaction among many, especially in Lutheran circles, was interesting: having reached agreement on certain essentials, the Vatican then unilaterally, and independently of the dialogue, restated and reemphasized the role of indulgences -- one of the very issues that led Luther to seek reform in the Roman Catholicism of his day! Many came away from these two actions confused or suspect. Objectively speaking, this struck me as odd, not to mention something which may have generated more confusion than had existed in those circles in the past.

Perhaps this is why the Orthodox reaction to B XVI's motu propriu on the Church was, in contrast to the apoplexy of the Protestants, "ho-hum."
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2009, 06:16:22 PM »

One compromise that can be made is use of the Synodal Russian Bible, as opposed to the Church Slavonic. That is, of course, in Russian speaking areas.
The Patriarchate has run this through several printings since the fall of Communism allowed it access to printing presses.  I am looking at my own 1993 copy right now.  Many people use it.   Others like to go on using the Church Slavonic.

I was referring to the readings in DL, which, I am told, are still mostly in Slavonic.  Some priests have, however, begun to use the Russian.  Btw, even the Russian protestants use the Synodal Bible (after mutilating it by removing the "Apocrypha").  I had one, but returned it because of this.  I am looking for one now to go with my Slavonic one, which was published with the Blessings of Alexei in the 1990's.
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2009, 06:50:00 PM »

Scamandrius wrote:

"I said that they were apostates.  That is not the same as non-Christian.  Nor does it mean that they still don't have elements of the truth, but have not only forsaken the truth in its fullness."

I prefer the term "heterodox." It conveys the meaning that they are not Orthodox without seeming pejorative.

I think the new Patriarch of Moscow (whoever he is) and the other Orthodox hierarchs could do a great deal of good by convening a synod in which they might answer the invitation by the Roman Catholic church to reunify by saying, "OK. Here are our conditions for reunification. Here are the theological issues which must be resolved before reunification takes place. And this is the role of a Papacy in a reunified church. And here is our ecclesiological vision of a reunified church." Roman Catholics, as a general rule, like to have boundaries and definitions nailed down. The Orthodox Church ought to thus oblige them this.

Doing so would either challenge the Roman Catholic church to change its theology and ecclesiology (unlikely) or would serve to highlight the fact that serious differences remain (probable). But it would be a serious, sober response to the constant overtures by Rome to reunify.

Without such a unified and succinctly-defined response, the Orthodox churches resemble the anarchists that supporters of the Papacy portray them to be.
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2009, 07:07:41 PM »

Quote
No, they can't, and this is one reason why +Kirill's seeming oppostion to any reform is most troubling, if true.  Russians have to work quite hard in order to understand Slavonic.  I have heard it said that the average Russian speaker understands Slavonic about as well as we understand pre-Chaucerian English.  So. as I said, if it is true that he and other powerful bishops are opposed to any reforms in the Russian Church, this is very disturbing.

That's strange, I would think Slavonic would undergo less a change than English because England was conquered several times and influenced much by French. The Russians really were never conquered. Didn't they change from Old Church Slavonic to Church Slavonic during the Nikonian Reforms? Has Russian really changed that much since the 1650s? I also read somewhere that old Russians can understand Church Slavonic better because Russian changed a lot during the Soviet Union. Perhaps that explains it?

How about the Greek Liturgy? I knew a Greek man who first learned modern Greek, but he said he could still basically understand the Greek Liturgy with what he already knew. He said it was very hard to understand, but after one goes to the liturgy hundreds of times, I'd assume they could eventually get it.
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2009, 07:30:10 PM »

I think the new Patriarch of Moscow (whoever he is) and the other Orthodox hierarchs could do a great deal of good by convening a synod in which they might answer the invitation by the Roman Catholic church to reunify by saying, "OK. Here are our conditions for reunification. Here are the theological issues which must be resolved before reunification takes place. And this is the role of a Papacy in a reunified church. And here is our ecclesiological vision of a reunified church." Roman Catholics, as a general rule, like to have boundaries and definitions nailed down. The Orthodox Church ought to thus oblige them this.

Doing so would either challenge the Roman Catholic church to change its theology and ecclesiology (unlikely) or would serve to highlight the fact that serious differences remain (probable). But it would be a serious, sober response to the constant overtures by Rome to reunify.

Without such a unified and succinctly-defined response, the Orthodox churches resemble the anarchists that supporters of the Papacy portray them to be.

But such is not necessary.  Orthodox jurisdictions from Greek to the Russian to the Georgian, etc. have all stated the obstacles that remain and must be repudiated by the Pope of Rome and his followers before reunification can become a reality.  Each time that an Orthodox hierarch has restated the obstacles, Roman Catholic theologians have gone out of their way to say that they will not compromise either.  So what is the point?  Why persist in talking about issues that we will not give up on because that is the faith handed down once and for all time? 
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2009, 08:41:28 PM »

Oh, I think it's very necessary.

"Orthodox jurisdictions from Greek to the Russian to the Georgian, etc. have all stated the obstacles that remain and must be repudiated by the Pope of Rome and his followers before reunification can become a reality."

Really? How recent has this been?

Scamandrius, you cannot deny that the response that Orthodox churches have had to the Catholic church have varied - a lot. Patriarch Bartholemew regularly travels to Rome to co-officiate services; while the ROCOR priests that I have talked with are horrified by such an action.

"Each time that an Orthodox hierarch has restated the obstacles, Roman Catholic theologians have gone out of their way to say that they will not compromise either."

No, from what I've read, most Catholics involved in ecumenical minimize these differences or act as if they don't exist.

Certainly that has been the case with the rank-and-file Catholics whom I've talked to. Most are completely puzzled as to why we're separated from them. They have spent so many years and so much energy defending their theological positions against Protestants (such as the 7 sacraments, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, apostolic succession) that to them, we appear as fellow Catholics with curious ethnic traditions.

Most will give you a blank stare if you mention the Filioque; and as for the Pope, a lot of Catholics ignore his teachings anyway, so these "Cafeteria Catholics" can't understand why we'd object to something like the Infallibility teaching.

You also wrote:

"So what is the point?  Why persist in talking about issues that we will not give up on because that is the faith handed down once and for all time?"

Because if you hold the True Faith, then it is worth restating - again, and again, if need be. Keeping in mind what I've told you about the Rank-and-File in Catholicism, making succinct statements about what Orthodoxy teaches could inform that rank-and-file, even if it didn't result in reunification (or at least not within our lifetime).

So Scamandrius, keeping in mind your statement above, can you point out an official pronouncement by Orthodox hierarchs (monastics on Mt. Athos don't count - they're not bishops) as to how reunion could occur with the Catholic Church? Can you even find any official (ie from a Bishop) statement on whether the Orthodox Church considers the Catholic sacraments as having validity or not? I'd love to see this, if you can point me to one.

I've dug around on the Internet a long time, and I have yet to find the Orthodox equivalent of "Orientale Lumen" - the official Catholic paper written by John Paul II in 1995 that details the Catholic church's official position on Orthodoxy (and other eastern churches).
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2009, 08:56:55 PM »


Scamandrius, you cannot deny that the response that Orthodox churches have had to the Catholic church have varied - a lot. Patriarch Bartholemew regularly travels to Rome to co-officiate services; while the ROCOR priests that I have talked with are horrified by such an action.

And each time that Vartholomaios I does such a thing he is repudiated by the hierarchs of the other jurisidictions and even of his own (the monks of Athos have repeatedly called him out for engaging in such unOrthodox activities).  There is consensus, even if individual hierarchs have not followed it and the history of the Orthodox Church is replete with examples (the deposition of Nestorius from his Patriarchate; the repudiation of the Council of Florence by the faithful after many hierarchs gave in back in 1451, etc.).  The Church is bigger than the individual hierarchs who represent her and it is often the faithful and the moastics who put things into the correct and larger perspective.  So, there is consensus.   
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2009, 09:11:17 PM »


That's strange, I would think Slavonic would undergo less a change than English because England was conquered several times and influenced much by French. The Russians really were never conquered. Didn't they change from Old Church Slavonic to Church Slavonic during the Nikonian Reforms? Has Russian really changed that much since the 1650s? I also read somewhere that old Russians can understand Church Slavonic better because Russian changed a lot during the Soviet Union. Perhaps that explains it?

How about the Greek Liturgy? I knew a Greek man who first learned modern Greek, but he said he could still basically understand the Greek Liturgy with what he already knew. He said it was very hard to understand, but after one goes to the liturgy hundreds of times, I'd assume they could eventually get it.

I'm just telling you what others have said to me.  One Russian woman told me that when she was a child, she interpreted the great prokeimenon text "Who is so great a God as our God?  Thou art the God who doest wonders!" as "If you are God, do a miracle!" when hearing it in Church Slavonic.  

I don't know where you get the idea that Russia was never conquered.  The Mongols overran much of the country and extracted tribute from Russian princes for a very long time.  Parts of Russia have suffered invasion at various times from Scandinavians, Germans, and the French, among others.  Novgorod was a great trading city state at one time, and I imagine this would have invited linguistic influences from other nations.  In the eighteenth century French certainly made its mark felt on the Russian tongue, though not nearly as much as it did in other parts of Europe.  I imagine that German and other tongues also had quite  an influence.  But I am not a linguistic historian.  I don't know all the ins and outs.  

I believe "Church Slavonic" and "Old Church Slavonic" are the same thing.

It is true that Russians can understand Church Slavonic if they work at it, but this is exactly it.  They have to work to understand it, otherwise they remain ignorant or perhaps slightly aware of what is actually being said in the liturgy.
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2009, 09:15:14 PM »

...

And each time that Vartholomaios I does such a thing he is repudiated by the hierarchs of the other jurisidictions and even of his own (the monks of Athos have repeatedly called him out for engaging in such unOrthodox activities).  There is consensus, even if individual hierarchs have not followed it and the history of the Orthodox Church is replete with examples (the deposition of Nestorius from his Patriarchate; the repudiation of the Council of Florence by the faithful after many hierarchs gave in back in 1451, etc.).  The Church is bigger than the individual hierarchs who represent her and it is often the faithful and the moastics who put things into the correct and larger perspective.  So, there is consensus.   

Ditto.
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« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2009, 09:18:59 PM »

...
It is true that Russians can understand Church Slavonic if they work at it, but this is exactly it.  They have to work to understand it, otherwise they remain ignorant or perhaps slightly aware of what is actually being said in the liturgy.

As discussed on a neighboring thread, the case is the same with other Slavic languages.

We need to work at it, and that's a good thing.

We have managed until now, so why should we repair it if it works already?
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2009, 09:24:22 PM »

Well, if such consensus exists, a joint statement by all Orthodox hierarchs would send that very message.
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« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2009, 09:28:25 PM »

Well, if such consensus exists, a joint statement by all Orthodox hierarchs would send that very message.
Would it really?
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« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2009, 09:34:01 PM »


Change to modern Russian will cause a schism - the very last thing that the Russian Church needs as it works so hard to bring Christ back into people's hearts and lives and moral code.


While there are of course some who would like to see a change most of the faithful prefer to retain Church Slavonic - one reason you hear is that it was the holy language which got them through the misery of 70 years of Communism and persecution.  They evaluate Church Slavonic as one of the strengths of the Church.


Father, bless.

I don't know if you are advocating the use of Church Slavonic in an uncompromising way, or simply explaining why the Russian Church is not eager to switch from Slavonic and why you think it should continue in use for now.  What is clear to me is that this attitude of the Russian Church is tragically misguided and wrong.  Since it is not possible to use modern Russian in the liturgy because it would sound too harsh, a "liturgical Russian" should be agreed upon and put into practice.  This should be done with great pastoral care and over as long a  period of time as necessary, in a spirit of love, patience, and tolerance, in order to avoid any possible hurt to people or schismatic movements.   But the fact is that using a language that no one can understand is not defensible.  It is almost heretical, and venerating it as something holy verges on the idolatrous.  It is very clear that we are to understand what is being proclaimed in church, and to pray with understanding.  Of course, there is more to understanding what is being done in church than the words themselves, many subtle things that words cannot express, but using a language in church  that most, if not all present can understand should  be a no-brainer.
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« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2009, 09:39:06 PM »

As discussed on a neighboring thread, the case is the same with other Slavic languages.

We need to work at it, and that's a good thing.

We have managed until now, so why should we repair it if it works already?

It does not work.  Millions of Russians have no real idea of what is really happening in the liturgy, just vague and/or erroneous "folkodox" notions. Using a language that no one understands just blinds people to the Truth about what is really going on in the liturgy and ensures that they remain ignorant.  IMHO, the  continued use of Slavonic is one of the great tragedies of the Orthodox world.

According to + Kallistos Ware and others, the Russian Church was preparing to switch to a liturgical kind of Russian when the 1917 revolution occurred and put these plans on permanent hold.
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« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2009, 09:44:35 PM »

Russia doesn't have the same problem as the Greek Diaspora for one will never hear English, Greek or any other language in a Russian Orthodox Church.   Smiley

Just for grins, Roman Catholicism is on the rise in Russia.  Do RC's perform Mass in Russian (for Russian audiences, I know RC's perform Mass in Polish, English, German and other languages depending on the congregation)?
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« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2009, 09:52:08 PM »


So Scamandrius, keeping in mind your statement above, can you point out an official pronouncement by Orthodox hierarchs (monastics on Mt. Athos don't count - they're not bishops) as to how reunion could occur with the Catholic Church?

If I'm allowed - here is what counts (it's official - adopted by the local councils of EP, Antioch and Jerusalem, at that time embracing now autecephalous Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Czech and Slovak Lands):

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

Quote
10. Each one of our brethren and sons in Christ who have been piously brought up and instructed, wisely regarding the wisdom given him from God, will decide that the words of the present Bishop of Rome, like those of his schismatical predecessors, are not words of peace, as he affirms (p. 7,1.8.), and of benevolence, but words of deceit and guile, tending to self-aggrandizement, agreeably to the practice of his antisynodical predecessors. We are therefore sure, that even as heretofore, so hereafter the Orthodox will not be beguiled. For the word of our LORD is sure (John x. 5), A stranger will they not follow, but flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers.

and this one, after Vatican I and doctrine on Papal Infallability

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx

Now, since we've got a Crimean War after the first encyclical, where Roman Catholics joined forces with Anglicans, Protestants and Muslims to deliver us their displeasure about the answer they receive, can we somehow avoid to repeat it again on the grounds you think we need to do it, to clarify the issue to "rank and file Catholics", whom are bound to submit mentally and intellectually to the Pope of Rome, whom is aware of our position anyhow?

Mind, there is no confusion in Vatican about our position. They are not fooled by those hierarchs they've planted several decades ago in Orthodox Church. They know they are theirs students.

Can you even find any official (ie from a Bishop) statement on whether the Orthodox Church considers the Catholic sacraments as having validity or not?

Our official position is that we don't know if they are valid or not.

That's deducted from various ceremonies to conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy, and universally valid anathema against baptizing the second time an already baptized soul. I believe there is similar conclusion of a commission (consisted of bishops), but it's not "official", since commissions are non-existent body in Orthodoxy. We know about Councils, not commissions.
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« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2009, 09:56:54 PM »

Orthodoxlurker, the links that you provided point to documents 150 years old. I'd prefer a recent statement.

As for your accusation that "Mind, there is no confusion in Vatican about our position. They are not fooled by those hierarchs they've planted several decades ago in Orthodox Church. They know they are theirs students."

Really? That sound a bit conspiratorial. Can you produce definitive evidence of this?
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« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2009, 09:58:36 PM »

As discussed on a neighboring thread, the case is the same with other Slavic languages.

We need to work at it, and that's a good thing.

We have managed until now, so why should we repair it if it works already?

It does not work.  Millions of Russians have no real idea of what is really happening in the liturgy, just vague and/or erroneous "folkodox" notions. Using a language that no one understands just blinds people to the Truth about what is really going on in the liturgy and ensures that they remain ignorant.  IMHO, the  continued use of Slavonic is one of the great tragedies of the Orthodox world.

According to Kallistos Ware and others, the Russian Church was preparing to switch to a liturgical kind of Russian when the 1917 revolution occurred and put these plans on permanent hold.

I painted red my emphasize.

Its your opinion, and perhaps Kallistos Ware's. You might have concluded that "millions of Russians" have not been saved due to the language, but that's your private opinion.

My personal opinion is that the introduction of Serbian in DL was a mistake and that Church Slavonic is more beautifull (we can hear it since some services are held in Church Slavonic). And no, millions of Serbs still have "vague and/or erroneous "folkodox" notions".

If we are doomed for that, so be it.
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« Reply #40 on: January 04, 2009, 10:01:16 PM »

Regarding the Russian vs. Church Slavonic language issue:

Knowing neither language, I asked (in another topic) how different the two languages are. The responses have been very informative.

From what I can tell, there was an official effort in the 1920s to switch the language of the Russian liturgy from Church Slavonic to Russian - unfortunately, that effort was made by the so-called "Living Church" which was under the thumb of the Soviet government.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Church
"In August 1923, a power struggle among the factions the Renovationist Synod resulted in the forced resignation of Metropolitan Antonin Granovsky. Antonin retired to the church in Moscow that was occupied by his group ("Union of Church Renewal") and, reverting to his previous title of "bishop", engaged in a series of radical liturgical experiments: e.g. moving the altar table to the middle of the church, etc. He made one of the first translations of the Divine Liturgy into modern Russian."

Being that this effort was first made by those who were enemies of the Russian Church, I'm guessing it will be a long, long time before any further language updates are attempted - even if they are needed.
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« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2009, 10:03:09 PM »

Orthodoxlurker, the links that you provided are 150 years old. I'd prefer a recent statement.

I'm giving you Orthodox response, not the recent one, no matter what you prefer.

As for your accusation that "Mind, there is no confusion in Vatican about our position. They are not fooled by those hierarchs they've planted several decades ago in Orthodox Church. They know they are theirs students."

Really? That sound a bit conspiratorial. Can you produce definitive evidence of this?


What is conspirational about the fact that HAH Bartholomew is Vatican graduate/post-graduate, Mrt. Zlizloulas is Vatican graduate/post-graduate, H.E. Amfilohije of Montenegro and Litorral (currently acting leader of Serbian Church) is Vatican graduate/post-graduate and H.E. Anastasios of Albanian Church is Vatican graduate/post-graduate?
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« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2009, 10:12:38 PM »

As discussed on a neighboring thread, the case is the same with other Slavic languages.

We need to work at it, and that's a good thing.

We have managed until now, so why should we repair it if it works already?

It does not work.  Millions of Russians have no real idea of what is really happening in the liturgy, just vague and/or erroneous "folkodox" notions. Using a language that no one understands just blinds people to the Truth about what is really going on in the liturgy and ensures that they remain ignorant.  IMHO, the  continued use of Slavonic is one of the great tragedies of the Orthodox world.

According to Kallistos Ware and others, the Russian Church was preparing to switch to a liturgical kind of Russian when the 1917 revolution occurred and put these plans on permanent hold.

I painted red my emphasize.

Its your opinion, and perhaps Kallistos Ware's. You might have concluded that "millions of Russians" have not been saved due to the language, but that's your private opinion.

My personal opinion is that the introduction of Serbian in DL was a mistake and that Church Slavonic is more beautifull (we can hear it since some services are held in Church Slavonic). And no, millions of Serbs still have "vague and/or erroneous "folkodox" notions".

If we are doomed for that, so be it.

So what?  Of course I'm writing down my own opinions.   I hope you are writing down your's too.   Just what is your point?  This is the best rebuttal you can offer?  "We might be going to hell because of it, but Church Slavonic is beautiful, so it's worth it."  Huh?  Huh  Please don't waste my time or your own by saying things like "what I write is only my own opinion."  I hope it is my own opinion.  Otherwise, something would be very wrong.   Roll Eyes

Oh, and I never said that Slavs were going to be damned for eternity for using Church Slavonic, so kindly refrain from  misrepresenting "my opinions".
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« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2009, 10:20:44 PM »

Russia doesn't have the same problem as the Greek Diaspora for one will never hear English, Greek or any other language in a Russian Orthodox Church.   Smiley

I've been to several Russian Churches where I heard English. That was something St. Tikhon worked for.  I think all the Western Rite Orthodox Churches of ROCOR are in English.  Translating the BCP into Russian would sort of defeat the purpose.

Quote
Just for grins, Roman Catholicism is on the rise in Russia.  Do RC's perform Mass in Russian (for Russian audiences, I know RC's perform Mass in Polish, English, German and other languages depending on the congregation)?


Just for grins: yes it seems it does.  I heard the first priest ordained in Russia for the Vatican's "Russian Church," and he went on about how his ordination was the first one in history in Russian, as the Orthodox Church uses Slavonic and the Latin church used, well, Latin.
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« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2009, 10:29:31 PM »

Orthodoxlurker wrote:

"I'm giving you Orthodox response, not the recent one, no matter what you prefer."

Precisely my point. No recent pronouncement exists as far as I can tell, which is why one needs to be made now. You can't judge a church's current teachings based solely on documents from 1848 - just look at the Catholic Church for example. It's changed positions on a number of issues since then. So to effectively communicate with them, the Orthodox Churches together need to either revise or reissue those earlier statements.

Also, the fact that those Orthodox bishops have studied at Catholic institutions doesn't mean that they have somehow become agents of the Catholic Church. That's an accusation that you cannot prove.
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