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Author Topic: The Battle Over Britain's Orthodox Church  (Read 25133 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 11, 2009, 03:15:06 AM »

I think this highlights the problem with the notion of "Diasporas" and the poor witness they give to Orthodoxy.


"
The Battle Over Britain's Orthodox Church

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/the-battle-over-britains-orthodox-church-1606233.html

Eight years ago, Oleg Deripaska stepped in to save a crumbling Orthodox church in Manchester. Was his generosity the start of a Kremlin-backed crusade to reclaim Russia's spiritual outposts in the West? Special report by Paul Vallely

.....For these curiously anomalous English Orthodox Christians claim they have been pushed out of their own cathedral by a large influx of Russians who arrived in the UK in recent times, some of whom have launched a Moscow-inspired takeover of the church......"
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 03:25:57 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 03:37:17 AM »

From the article:
Quote
Bishop Basil decided that the situation was untenable and applied to have his diocese transferred from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate to that of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople – who is the leader of all the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian.

This is what people think of us. They think jurisdiction is about ethnicity, and we can thank the "diasporas" for that. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not the "Leader of the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian".

We really need to find a solution to this problem, as the Primates of the Orthodox Churches all agreed and declared in October 2008:
"As Primates and the Representatives of the Most Holy Orthodox Churches, fully aware of the gravity of the aforementioned problems, and laboring to confront them directly as “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries” (1 Cor. 4:1), we proclaim from this See of the First-throne among the Churches and we re-affirm:
....our desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology. In this respect we welcome the proposal by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to convene Panorthodox Consultations within the coming year 2009 on this subject, as well as for the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council. In accordance with the standing order and practice of the Panorthodox Consultations in Rhodes, it will invite all Autocephalous Churches.
Source
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 03:39:08 AM »

I think this highlights the problem with the notion of "Diasporas" and the poor witness they give to Orthodoxy.


All the same I think  we can rejoice that this parish gathers several hundred worshippers of mixed nationalities at Sunday Liturgy.  Their success with missionary outreach is probably of greater delight to the Lord than any jurisdictional squabbles between Constantinople and Moscow.
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 03:56:26 AM »

All the same I think  we can rejoice that this parish gathers several hundred worshippers of mixed nationalities at Sunday Liturgy.  Their success with missionary outreach is probably of greater delight to the Lord than any jurisdictional squabbles between Constantinople and Moscow.

Their "success" is the result of a schism in the Diocese. This was once the Sourozh Diocese of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom of blessed memory. It has now been torn asunder because one of the criteria for the provision of funds to rebuild the Church in Manchester was that the diocese was expected to vote to remove itself from its relationship with Metropolitan Anthony in London and place itself under the direct authority of Moscow. This situation was untenable for many in the Diocese, with the result that the Diocese has now been torn apart, with half the Parishes and Clergy leaving to join Bishop Basil in the newly established Vicariate under the EP.
I see very little to rejoice about.

This thread will tell you more about the schism in the diocese:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9231.0.html
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 04:17:21 AM »

How can the MP declare one Metropolia autocephalous (e.g. OCA) and force another Diocese (Manchester) under MP Jurisdiction?

Doesn't seem like a religious problem - more of a political one and this Bishop made problems worse by going to the EP who already has an Exarchate in Great Britain.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 04:18:21 AM »

This battle seems to be happening all over Europe at the moment.
This is from the official website of the Exarchate of Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe regarding a similar situation in Nice:

DECLARATION BY THE COUNCIL OF THE ARCHDIOCESE regarding the situation in Nice, June 2008

The Council of the Archdiocese has studied the defamatory statements that have recently appeared concerning the leadership of the Parish at Nice. It observes with regret that as the date approaches for the trial relating to the title of ownership of the Cathedral of St Nicholas at Nice, personal – and false – attacks against the rector of the cathedral and the elected officers of the parish are proliferating on the part of certain people, generally outside the parish. These are being spread through the press and on internet websites closely linked to the Patriarchate of Moscow and to the Russian Federation, which is a party in the case.

Faithful to the line always followed by its ruling bishops, in the past as well as today, which consists in abstaining from vain disputes, the Council of the Archdiocese does not intend to enter here into polemic with its detractors, whoever they be, but it does emphatically denounce in the most vigorous terms this base campaign of insinuation and lies aimed at destabilising the parish of Nice and the whole diocese.

Such behaviour is unworthy, deplorable and inadmissible. It has personal implications for the Christian conscience of those who resort to it, both before the judgement of God and before the judgement of human beings. It is not acceptable that lying and slander should be used in the Church.

The Council of the Archdiocese also emphatically expresses its total support for the rector of the Cathedral of St Nicholas, Archpriest Jean Gueit, for the important work he has achieved towards renewal of the life of the parish of Nice, both spiritually and pastorally, as well as on the level of management and administration.

 

Background to the Declaration by the Council of the Archdiocese


Cathedral of St Nicholas, NiceIn February 2006, a bailiff (huissier) of the Nice court, accompanied by representatives of the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Nice, came to the cathedral to implement the local Court’s ruling that an inventory of the contents and property of the Cathedral be made on behalf of the Russian Federation. Permission to enter the Cathedral, property of the local parish and registered as such under French law, was refused and in April the higher court denied the right of the Russian Federation to make this inventory. In fact, the French Ministry of Culture had just previously completed a very full inventory of the icons, wall paintings and other items in the building as part of the registration of the Cathedral as a historical monument.

The Russian Federation, through an indirect approach by their Ambassador in Paris, then began a lawsuit in the High Court in Nice in an attempt to claim the title of the land on which the Cathedral of St Nicholas is built. The case is thus now in the hands of the French legal system. The Cathedral community continued to insist on its rights, and to try to continue liturgical celebrations in a calm manner.

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Exarchate/Declaration_NiceJune08.html
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 04:27:16 AM »

^ Another political problem, not religious problem.

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat.  Parishioners in other Churches have been found guilty of violating restraining orders after being banned from Church by Priests for asking too many questions and refusing to accept audits. 
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 04:32:25 AM »

the EP who already has an Exarchate in Great Britain. 

I think this is an oversimplification. After the Communist Revolution in Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church which was not in Russia found itself in an awful situation. In 1921, Patriarch Tikhon founded the  ‘Provisional Administration of the Russian Parishes in Western Europe’ to administer to the Russian Orthodox Churches outside Russia. In 1931, the head of this Provisional Administration, Metropolitan Evlogii, decided that the situation was intolerable, and requested to be received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate which established Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe. In 1965, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I closed the Exarchate because he deemed that it was no longer necessary, since several generations has passed and more and more converts had joined. At the request of the Churches themselves however, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I reinstated the Exarchate in 1971 and declared it autonomous. And it remains autonomous to this day.
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2009, 04:48:13 AM »

At the request of the Churches themselves however, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I reinstated the Exarchate in 1971 and declared it autonomous. And it remains autonomous to this day.

Thanks for the history.  I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2009, 04:49:48 AM »

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat. 
Really?
I know OCnet is becoming famous for outlandish claims, but I'm curious to see where you get these ideas, so could you tell me:
1) Which Exarch can take over your Church in a heartbeat?
2) Whose property is your Church building?
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2009, 04:58:57 AM »

I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink

I don't think you understand.
Those who have left the Diocese of Sourozh have not gone to the Diocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. They have gone to the Exarchate of Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe which is autonomous, whose history I gave you above.

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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2009, 06:47:05 AM »

All the same I think  we can rejoice that this parish gathers several hundred worshippers of mixed nationalities at Sunday Liturgy.  Their success with missionary outreach is probably of greater delight to the Lord than any jurisdictional squabbles between Constantinople and Moscow.

Their "success" is the result of a schism in the Diocese. This was once the Sourozh Diocese of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom of blessed memory. It has now been torn asunder because one of the criteria for the provision of funds to rebuild the Church in Manchester was that the diocese was expected to vote to remove itself from its relationship with Metropolitan Anthony in London and place itself under the direct authority of Moscow. This situation was untenable for many in the Diocese, with the result that the Diocese has now been torn apart, with half the Parishes and Clergy leaving to join Bishop Basil in the newly established Vicariate under the EP.
I see very little to rejoice about.

This thread will tell you more about the schism in the diocese:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9231.0.html
Thanks, George, I kind of know the history of these sad events, having friends in the UK on both sides of the divide.
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2009, 07:14:36 AM »

The Church of Russia is working towards the creation of a Metropolia for Western Europe which it hopes will eventually flourish into an autocephalous Church for Western Europe.

Here is a letter sent out by the late Patriarch Alexey (Memory Eternal).

One may read it on a website of the Constantinopolitan Exarchate of Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Archive/Patriarch_metropolia.html

THE PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA ALEXIS 1st April 2003 119034 Moscow, Chistiy per. 5
Doc. No. 1378

His Grace the Most Reverend Anthony,
Metropolitan of Sourozh
His Grace the Most Reverend Simon,
Archbishop of Brussels and Belgium
His Grace the Most Reverend Innokentii,
Archbishop of Korsun
His Grace the Right Reverend Gabriel,
Bishop of Komana,
Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese
of Russian Orthodox Parishes in Western Europe
His Grace the Right Reverend Amvrosii,
Bishop of Geneva and Western Europe
(Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia)
and all Orthodox parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

Most Reverend Bishops,
dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!

<snip>

We can hardly doubt that the time has come for a restoration of unity. We have already written on this matter in brotherly epistles, in September of last year to His Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople, and in the preceding year to the members of the Episcopal Council of the Russian Church Outside Russia. We consider that the time has now come for us to address this epistle directly to our compatriots in the countries of Western Europe and to their spiritual pastors. Why is it that now, when the years of sore trials have passed, when the Mother Church can freely fulfil its calling and Russia aspires to restore continuity with its historical past, Church divisions still continue, though the reasons for them have long disappeared? Why do we not fulfil the hopes of our predecessors and spiritual fathers?

<snip>

In addition to this, parishes founded by Russians and following Russian traditions have over the years acquired a multinational character and in liturgical practice make widespread use of local languages, which since the time of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Equal to the Apostles, has invariably been a characteristic of Orthodox pastoral and missionary work.

Therefore, so as to have a certain guarantee in the preservation of an established, familiar order, some of our compatriots living in Western countries - and some of the local Orthodox who form part of communities living according to the Russian Tradition - wish to structure their Church life according to their own Statutes, which guarantee internal self-government and the election of their own ruling bishop, on condition that the bishop so elected is then confirmed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

<snip>

Taking into consideration the combined weight of these wishes, I consider that they could be realised through the creation in Western Europe of a single Metropolia, consisting of several dioceses and embracing all the Orthodox parishes, monasteries and communities of Russian origin and Russian spiritual tradition who would wish to be a part of such a Metropolia. In addition to this it is envisaged that such a Metropolia would be granted the right of self-government, including the election of its ruling bishop by a Council of the Metropolia consisting of bishops, presbyters and laity on the basis of Statutes to be worked out with the participation of all groups in the Orthodox Russian diaspora in the countries of Western Europe.


<snip>

We hope that an autonomous Metropolia, uniting all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox tradition in the countries of Western Europe, will serve, at a time pleasing to God, as the foundation for the future canonical establishment of a multinational Local Orthodox Church of Western Europe, to be built in a spirit of conciliarity by all the Orthodox faithful living in those countries.

+ALEXIS
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA

source :: www.exarchate-uk.org/Archive/Patriarch_metropolia.html



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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2009, 08:18:04 AM »

From the article:
Quote
Bishop Basil decided that the situation was untenable and applied to have his diocese transferred from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate to that of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople – who is the leader of all the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian.

This is what people think of us. They think jurisdiction is about ethnicity, and we can thank the "diasporas" for that. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not the "Leader of the world's Orthodox who are not Greek or Russian".

We really need to find a solution to this problem, as the Primates of the Orthodox Churches all agreed and declared in October 2008:
"As Primates and the Representatives of the Most Holy Orthodox Churches, fully aware of the gravity of the aforementioned problems, and laboring to confront them directly as “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries” (1 Cor. 4:1), we proclaim from this See of the First-throne among the Churches and we re-affirm:
....our desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology. In this respect we welcome the proposal by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to convene Panorthodox Consultations within the coming year 2009 on this subject, as well as for the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council. In accordance with the standing order and practice of the Panorthodox Consultations in Rhodes, it will invite all Autocephalous Churches.
Source


I think we went over this somewhere: ALL Autocephalous Churches?  Including the OCA?

We can thank EP Meletios for creating the "Diaspora" in the Americas, yet another divisive legacy of his checkered career (the Calendar issue being another).
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2009, 08:19:05 AM »

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat.

Hardly.  The specific instances when the Church's property reverts to the Archdiocese (not the EP) are:
1. If there is a schism within the Church, then those who remain in communion with the Archdiocese retain legal right to use the property.
2. If the Church disbands, then the proceeds of the property are to go to the respective local Metropolis.

These things are clearly spelled out in the pertinent documents from the Archdiocese - there's no excuse to spread misinformation about it.

Parishioners in other Churches have been found guilty of violating restraining orders after being banned from Church by Priests for asking too many questions and refusing to accept audits. 

Did you read the article?  The Chancellor of Chicago says that the guy who was expelled from the parish ignored the IRS' determination that there was nothing irregular, and after the audits by the parish's and the Metropolis' committees he continued to press on, disrupting Church.  What would you do, if you tell someone once, twice, three times that they need to calm down?

Mr. Kalmoukos has done this before; he speaks to "the side that was wronged" without taking into account that they may actually be in the wrong.  He is a "yellow journalist" - someone seeking scandal to sell papers, and who is fully willing to rake the muck to do it.

Heck, my first post here on OC.net dealt with a similar story:

Lets introduce some background information into this discussion to provide some perspective on the initial issues (the dissmissal of a priest who "doesnt speak english" and subsequent fight with the bishop).

(And for the record, I live close to Marlboro and know a few of the characters involved in the story)

First, this parish has had a "full-time priest" before.  In fact, to my knowledge, they've had many.  But each time they are assigned a priest, they seem to find some fault in him and reject him.  The Metropolitan has sent "greek-speakers" and "english speakers" alike, but none seem to fit the extra-ordinarily high standards that this parish has set.  In fact, they got this "greek-speaker" (who does speak some english, but not a lot... he is trying to get better at it) because their last priest spoke more english and used little greek in the liturgy - and they rejected him.

That being said, the major problem that I've seen at this parish is the "president of the fired parish council" Mr Kritikos.  While he seems to be a faithful man, and is the parish's cantor, he is also a nutcase and a loose cannon.  These actions are just more notches in a long line of fighting between him and the Metropolitan and his fellow parishoners.  He has single-handedly had a hand in getting every priest that has been assigned to that parish replaced.  He is the one who changed the locks, not the full council.  He actually resigned his presidency almost two weeks before this incident, but seems to be the "president" still.  

So there are some particulars, and i'll probably provide more when I have time (I have to run).

On a personal note, I've met Mr. Kritikos before and he is not a kind person.  His whole disposition is wrong for someone who should be serving the parish.

The thing that aggrivates me here is that he displays an attitude held by many greeks in this country that they "own" their churches... The moment you give money to build a church, the money and the church are no longer yours!!! They are a gift to God.  parishes all over this country take an attitude of being "the boss" and use it to bully their priests (while in some cases, even worse so, the roles are reversed and you have despotic priests or bishops).

In this case, and in 99.9% of the cases like this where the parish decides to "fire" their priest, the parish is wrong because they're too self-centered.

Take everything from Mr. Kalmoukos with a grain of salt; I'm not saying to not read what he writes, just hoping that you'll look at it with a critical eye.

Thanks for the history.  I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous

It's not.  Only the Exarchate of the parishes of the Russian tradition is autonomous.

although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink

Nope.  The Americans are "subject" to their own bishops first and foremost, and to the Synod of Constantinople, made up of Turkish residents, one of our own bishops, and hierarchs from all over the world.
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2009, 08:49:56 AM »

The Church of Russia is working towards the creation of a Metropolia for Western Europe which it hopes will eventually flourish into an autocephalous Church for Western Europe.

There is already an autonomous Exarchate for the Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition which sees itself as the rightful heir to the ‘Provisional administration of the Russian parishes in Western Europe’ founded by Patriarch Tikhon. Isn't Moscow coming into the fray simply more jurisdictionalism?
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2009, 09:28:39 AM »

The Church of Russia is working towards the creation of a Metropolia for Western Europe which it hopes will eventually flourish into an autocephalous Church for Western Europe.

There is already an autonomous Exarchate for the Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition which sees itself as the rightful heir to the ‘Provisional administration of the Russian parishes in Western Europe’ founded by Patriarch Tikhon. Isn't Moscow coming into the fray simply more jurisdictionalism?

No.  The Russian parishes under Constantinople are few in number, and if memory serves, only in France. Their membership is also declining.   Several of them have now elected to return to their Mother Church, the Church of Russia.

There is little point in being Russian parishes and not belonging to the Church of Russia.  With the demise of Communism the 1920 Ukase (#362) issued by the Patriarch and the Synod of Bishops which authorises the creation of "independent temporary higher Church administrations", as the Ukase phrases it  (and which applied also to the Russian Church Abroad) is no longer operative.   It states clearly that these independent Church structures may maintain independence only for as long as communication with Moscow was impractical (because of the Communist regime.) 

This is a very important point in today's situation - the Ukase permits the temporary existence of independent Russian Church groups for only as long as it was impossible to communicate with Moscow.

The parishes of the Russian Church Abroad and of Moscow in W.Europe have always outnumbered these parishes.   And now with the influx of Russians after Perestroika in 1991, the number of Russian parishes in Western Europe has soared.  The Russian bishops say that in Germany they could now open a parish in every major German town if they had the resources.

The Church of Russia and the Russian Church Abroad are already, since our unification in May 2007, actively dialoguing as to how to best rationalise the Russian Church situation in Western Europe.  There is no need for us to continue our separate existences. 

I believe that in time the small number of Russian parishes which are under Constantinople will feel the natural gravitational pull towards their Mother Church and they will follow the example of those who have already returned to Russia.

We see this already in the British parishes under Bishop Basil Osborne.   They are willing to return to their Russian obedience provided that the new Statutes for the proposed Russian Western European Metropolia make provision for the continuance of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom's unique heritage in ecclesiastical structures.
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2009, 10:55:18 AM »

http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg-us.aspx?eccpageID=43&IndexView=alpha

The above link is to the CNEWA's webpage on the Constantinopolitan Russian Exarchate in Western Europe.

It gives interesting statistics - 100 worshipping communities and 100,000 faithful.

In general one can place some faith in this particular Catholic site and its statistics and in this instance they may also be accurate. 

However, the Exarchate's own website says that there are 60 parishes (40 of them in France.)
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2009, 01:24:59 PM »

The EP (via His Exarch) can take over my Church in a heartbeat.

Hardly.  The specific instances when the Church's property reverts to the Archdiocese (not the EP) are:
1. If there is a schism within the Church, then those who remain in communion with the Archdiocese retain legal right to use the property.
2. If the Church disbands, then the proceeds of the property are to go to the respective local Metropolis.

These things are clearly spelled out in the pertinent documents from the Archdiocese - there's no excuse to spread misinformation about it.

The perils of writing messages at 3 AM.   Shocked
A Metropolitan, can take over a Church based on the conditions you cited above.  The secular Courts cannot hear cases involving land issues between Church and Hierarch and defer to the Charter.

Parishioners in other Churches have been found guilty of violating restraining orders after being banned from Church by Priests for asking too many questions and refusing to accept audits. 

Did you read the article?  The Chancellor of Chicago says that the guy who was expelled from the parish ignored the IRS' determination that there was nothing irregular, and after the audits by the parish's and the Metropolis' committees he continued to press on, disrupting Church.  What would you do, if you tell someone once, twice, three times that they need to calm down?

Something else besides taking a restraining order out on a Parishioner and arresting him for violating the restraining order.  I think that was a little too "over the top."

Mr. Kalmoukos has done this before; he speaks to "the side that was wronged" without taking into account that they may actually be in the wrong.  He is a "yellow journalist" - someone seeking scandal to sell papers, and who is fully willing to rake the muck to do it.

...

Take everything from Mr. Kalmoukos with a grain of salt; I'm not saying to not read what he writes, just hoping that you'll look at it with a critical eye.

I think I give Mr. Kalmoukos the benefit of the doubt that I give any other reporter out there.  Also, now that ethnic Orthodox immigrants are dying off by the tens and hundreds every day, the Old Country mentality of the Church belonging to one person is dying (but not the idea of all Churches belonging to one Hierarch).  Of course, I realize that I probably sidetracked the topic  Sad ; However, Hierarchs and their Synods, whether autonomous or not do not have absolute rule.

Thanks for the history.  I didn't realize that the EP's Jurisdiction in Britain was autonomous

It's not.  Only the Exarchate of the parishes of the Russian tradition is autonomous.

There are 2 parallel Jurisdictions in Britain under the EP; One is autonomous; One is a Diocese?

although it made sense when Archbishop Gregorios was sent to oversee the 2008 GOA Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington, DC.  So, the Americans are subject to Turkish and British residents.   Wink

Nope.  The Americans are "subject" to their own bishops first and foremost, and to the Synod of Constantinople, made up of Turkish residents, one of our own bishops, and hierarchs from all over the world.

In New Jersey, I'm subject under 1 Hierarch, who's subject to the EP, and sits on the same Synod as the Exarch.  Some days, I wish there was a Bishop of Maryland.   Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2009, 01:42:49 PM »

The perils of writing messages at 3 AM.   Shocked
A Metropolitan, can take over a Church based on the conditions you cited above.  The secular Courts cannot hear cases involving land issues between Church and Hierarch and defer to the Charter.

Sorry if it sounded like I came down hard on you; not my intention.

Something else besides taking a restraining order out on a Parishioner and arresting him for violating the restraining order.  I think that was a little too "over the top."

Probably was; but, if true, the things that the Chancellor of Chicago has said were done by those expelled are truly troubling.

I think I give Mr. Kalmoukos the benefit of the doubt that I give any other reporter out there.  Also, now that ethnic Orthodox immigrants are dying off by the tens and hundreds every day, the Old Country mentality of the Church belonging to one person is dying (but not the idea of all Churches belonging to one Hierarch).  Of course, I realize that I probably sidetracked the topic  Sad ; However, Hierarchs and their Synods, whether autonomous or not do not have absolute rule.

There still is an idea that the Church belongs to one person: Christ our God.  While we, in our American sensibility, don't like the idea, obedience to the hierarch in all cases except if he slips into heresy is a part of Church life; he does it not for personal gain (if he did, then he would be liable to the Synod on which he sits), but for God's Glory and the spread of the Church.

There are 2 parallel Jurisdictions in Britain under the EP; One is autonomous; One is a Diocese?

Yes - one is a grouping of former Russian parishes that has recently joined the EP; the other is the Archdiocese which operates in Great Britain.

In New Jersey, I'm subject under 1 Hierarch, who's subject to the EP, and sits on the same Synod as the Exarch.  Some days, I wish there was a Bishop of Maryland.   Smiley

Eh, not really: In New Jersey, who have 1 Hierarch, who is subject to the Synod on which he sits (in this case, the Patriarchal Synod), and by delegation of certain responsibilities by the Patriarchal Synod, the Eparchial Synod.  He, as a diocesan bishop, is "subject" to no other bishop except Christ.
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2009, 02:32:47 PM »

Several of them have now elected to return to their Mother Church, the Church of Russia.

"Elected" to return? Interesting euphemism for this sort of behaviour:

Quote
In February 2006, a bailiff (huissier) of the Nice court, accompanied by representatives of the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Nice, came to the cathedral to implement the local Court’s ruling that an inventory of the contents and property of the Cathedral be made on behalf of the Russian Federation. Permission to enter the Cathedral, property of the local parish and registered as such under French law, was refused and in April the higher court denied the right of the Russian Federation to make this inventory. In fact, the French Ministry of Culture had just previously completed a very full inventory of the icons, wall paintings and other items in the building as part of the registration of the Cathedral as a historical monument.

The Russian Federation, through an indirect approach by their Ambassador in Paris, then began a lawsuit in the High Court in Nice in an attempt to claim the title of the land on which the Cathedral of St Nicholas is built. The case is thus now in the hands of the French legal system. The Cathedral community continued to insist on its rights, and to try to continue liturgical celebrations in a calm manner.

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Exarchate/Declaration_NiceJune08.html
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2009, 03:15:50 PM »

Sorry if it sounded like I came down hard on you; not my intention.

I felt you were appropriately correcting me and not coming down on me.   Smiley

Something else besides taking a restraining order out on a Parishioner and arresting him for violating the restraining order.  I think that was a little too "over the top."

Probably was; but, if true, the things that the Chancellor of Chicago has said were done by those expelled are truly troubling.

If these parishioners felt that no one was listening to them, where else could they turn to?  If I were in their shoes, I would go to another Church and not raise a ruckus.  The idea of a Priest opening secret bank accounts is troubling enough and the rationale for said Priest opening these secret accounts in GOYA's name was not good enough for these Parishioners....

There still is an idea that the Church belongs to one person: Christ our God.  While we, in our American sensibility, don't like the idea, obedience to the hierarch in all cases except if he slips into heresy is a part of Church life; he does it not for personal gain (if he did, then he would be liable to the Synod on which he sits), but for God's Glory and the spread of the Church.

If one's Synod is like the Mayor in Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, then what does one do?  These Synods are still accountable to Christ and no one else.

In New Jersey, I'm subject under 1 Hierarch, who's subject to the EP, and sits on the same Synod as the Exarch.  Some days, I wish there was a Bishop of Maryland.   Smiley

Eh, not really: In New Jersey, who have 1 Hierarch, who is subject to the Synod on which he sits (in this case, the Patriarchal Synod), and by delegation of certain responsibilities by the Patriarchal Synod, the Eparchial Synod.  He, as a diocesan bishop, is "subject" to no other bishop except Christ.

How can a Hierarch sit on multiple Synods? 
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2009, 05:16:48 PM »

How can a Hierarch sit on multiple Synods?  

Easy: he doesn't - at least not all the time.  The model is this - regional bishops sit on a regional/eparchial synod.  One member of the regional synod sits on the Patriarchal Synod as a representative of the region.  In the current model, the representative of our eparchial synod to the Patriarchal Synod is a rotating position; every year a new bishop from America takes a turn.
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2009, 05:24:22 PM »

How can a Hierarch sit on multiple Synods?  

Easy: he doesn't - at least not all the time.  The model is this - regional bishops sit on a regional/eparchial synod.  One member of the regional synod sits on the Patriarchal Synod as a representative of the region.  In the current model, the representative of our eparchial synod to the Patriarchal Synod is a rotating position; every year a new bishop from America takes a turn.

I was not aware of the latter although there is always the Exarch, the head of the Eparchial Synod, and one of the 8 Metropolitans sitting on the Patriarchal Synod at any given time. 

Are there 12 members of the Patriarchal Synod?
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2009, 05:59:46 PM »

http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg-us.aspx?eccpageID=43&IndexView=alpha

The above link is to the CNEWA's webpage on the Constantinopolitan Russian Exarchate in Western Europe.

It gives interesting statistics - 100 worshipping communities and 100,000 faithful.

In general one can place some faith in this particular Catholic site and its statistics and in this instance they may also be accurate. 

However, the Exarchate's own website says that there are 60 parishes (40 of them in France.)
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

Perhaps I am missing something but the site claims 93 parishes/communities in France, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden:
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?rubrique7
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2009, 06:58:13 PM »

I was not aware of the latter although there is always the Exarch, the head of the Eparchial Synod, and one of the 8 Metropolitans sitting on the Patriarchal Synod at any given time. 

No, the exarch isn't always on the Patriarchal Synod; only one of the GOA ruling bishops (1 Archbishop and 8 Metropolitans) is at any point in time.

Are there 12 members of the Patriarchal Synod?

I think so.
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2009, 08:51:17 PM »

However, the Exarchate's own website says that there are 60 parishes (40 of them in France.)
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

Perhaps I am missing something but the site claims 93 parishes/communities in France, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden:
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?rubrique7

It is such not insignificant discrepancies which call the statistics into dispute. 

See here on their web site:

"Архиепископия...  насчитывает свыше 60 приходов и один монастырь"
http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?article548

But the Orthodox are generally speaking notorious for muddling up their statistics.
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2009, 08:59:20 PM »

Several of them have now elected to return to their Mother Church, the Church of Russia.

"Elected" to return? Interesting euphemism for this sort of behaviour:


We are aware of such sad incidents.

Some returned to their Mother Church without problems, some parishes were rent by the decision and resorted to the secular courts.  Why would we be surprised by that?  The Orthodox are notorious for such things and for wasting the widow's mite on court cases which cost an arm and a leg.

What would one say of the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK and have court cases underway to claim the Russian properties for their new allegiance?

Quote
In February 2006, a bailiff (huissier) of the Nice court, accompanied by representatives of the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Nice, came to the cathedral to implement the local Court’s ruling that an inventory of the contents and property of the Cathedral be made on behalf of the Russian Federation. Permission to enter the Cathedral, property of the local parish and registered as such under French law, was refused and in April the higher court denied the right of the Russian Federation to make this inventory. In fact, the French Ministry of Culture had just previously completed a very full inventory of the icons, wall paintings and other items in the building as part of the registration of the Cathedral as a historical monument.

The Russian Federation, through an indirect approach by their Ambassador in Paris, then began a lawsuit in the High Court in Nice in an attempt to claim the title of the land on which the Cathedral of St Nicholas is built. The case is thus now in the hands of the French legal system. The Cathedral community continued to insist on its rights, and to try to continue liturgical celebrations in a calm manner.

http://www.exarchate-uk.org/Exarchate/Declaration_NiceJune08.html
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2009, 09:09:49 PM »

What would one say of the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK and have court cases underway to claim the Russian properties for their new allegiance?
"Departed to the Greeks"? You mean the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe? You mean those "Greeks" of Russian Tradition? Cheesy
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2009, 09:34:00 PM »

What would one say of the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK and have court cases underway to claim the Russian properties for their new allegiance?
"Departed to the Greeks"? You mean the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe? You mean those "Greeks" of Russian Tradition? Cheesy

Please read what I wrote attentively.

I did not call them "Greeks."  I wrote (see above) "the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK"

Why should they now be battling the Russian Church in the British courts to take the church properties to Constantinople?    Would you know if the Ecumenical Patriarchate has given its blessing to these actions in the courts?
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2009, 09:41:16 PM »

I did not call them "Greeks."  I wrote (see above) "the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK"

I know that's what you said, and again I ask what sort of "Greeks in the UK"? Answer: "the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe". Apparently, these "Greeks in the UK" as you call them are Russians. And their Exarchate traces it's origins to Patriarch Tikhon. Doesn't sound very "Greek" to me. But anyway......

Why should they now be battling the Russian Church in the British courts to take the church properties to Constantinople? 
Whose battling to take property for Constantinople? The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is autonomous. 

Would you know if the Ecumenical Patriarchate has given its blessing to these actions in the courts?
Why would she have to when The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is autonomous?
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2009, 09:53:37 PM »

I did not call them "Greeks."  I wrote (see above) "the Russians who have departed to the Greeks in the UK"

I know that's what you said, and again I ask what sort of "Greeks in the UK"? Answer: "the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe". Apparently, these "Greeks in the UK" as you call them are Russians. And their Exarchate traces it's origins to Patriarch Tikhon. Doesn't sound very "Greek" to me. But anyway......

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2009, 09:56:34 PM »

[
Would you know if the Ecumenical Patriarchate has given its blessing to these actions in the courts?
Why would she have to when The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is autonomous?

The question turns, and I am sure that you must know this, on the extent of autonomy which was given to the Russian Archdiocese/Exarchate.
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2009, 10:11:28 PM »

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?

No. Bishop Basil appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. As a result, he was directed to the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe.
He did not "join the Greeks", he appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch (who, by the way, is a Turkish national) who then made a judgement and directed him to the autonomous Exarchate of Churches of Russian Tradition.
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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2009, 10:25:03 PM »

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?

No. Bishop Basil appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. As a result, he was directed to the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe.
He did not "join the Greeks", he appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch (who, by the way, is a Turkish national) who then made a judgement and directed him to the autonomous Exarchate of Churches of Russian Tradition.

What is the name of the Patriarch commemorated by Bishop Basil?
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2009, 10:33:42 PM »

What is the name of the Patriarch commemorated by Bishop Basil?
He commemorates the Primate of his Exarchate, Archbishop Gabriel of Comane.
 
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2009, 10:43:31 PM »

Sorry for being so obtuse.  I thought that these groups of formerly Russian Church members had placed themselves under the omorphion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  Certainly their bishop, Basil Osborne, was received by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I may be wrong on this?  Was Bishop Basil not received by the Greeks?

No. Bishop Basil appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. As a result, he was directed to the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe.
He did not "join the Greeks", he appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch (who, by the way, is a Turkish national) who then made a judgement and directed him to the autonomous Exarchate of Churches of Russian Tradition.

OzGeorge:

I have a question. I was under the impression that even His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, did not have authority outside of his own Patriarchate.
At least that was ny understanding. Is that not correct?
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2009, 10:55:36 PM »

under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.

Interesting.  Do you have examples of bishops appealing to Constantinople against decisions of the Pope of Rome? 

Rome would have been subordinated to Constantinople's right of eccliton for 600 years, from Chalcedon in 451 AD to the schism in 1054.

It seems very odd that Constantinople would have been the Court of Appeal against the Church of Rome which, after all, held first place in the diptychs ahead of Constantinople.
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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2009, 11:00:26 PM »

What is the name of the Patriarch commemorated by Bishop Basil?
He commemorates the Primate of his Exarchate, Archbishop Gabriel of Comane.
 

And which Patriarch does the Exarch commemorate?

Is not an Exarch, by definition, a deputy of a Patriarch?
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2009, 11:46:12 PM »

OzGeorge and Cleveland,
Being a former short-term resident of UK, I support your statements 100%.

Bishop Basil (Osborne) and his flock did a right canonical thing. Now they do everything in order to strnegthen their parishes. For example, a number of ordinations has been performed.

The web-site of the Vicariate:
http://www.exarchate-uk.org/
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« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2009, 03:07:03 AM »

appealed to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is the right of any clergy in any Patriarchate under the Canons which give the Ecumenical Patriarchate the right of eccliton (the right to judge clergy of the other Patriarchates who appeal to her) under Canons 9 & 17 of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.

I would speculate that Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) of Alaska is unaware that he has this right.  He has started the process in the US Courts to sue the Orthodox Church in America for $41 million, charging wrongful dismissal and stress.   

It would be better for Constantinople to exercise its ecclitive powers than have such a spectacle in the civil courts.

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« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2009, 05:07:36 AM »

Further information on the eccliton rights of the Church of Constantinople......


" Basil immediately appealed the decision to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the basis of Canons 9 and 17 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and also Canon 28 of the same Council. Such canons, some argue, endow the Constantinopolitan Patriarch with the privilege of the "ekkliton" (read, hearing appeal) and granting it jurisdiction over regions not already subject to the other four senior Patriarchates, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. It should be noted, however, that this interpretation of these canons is not undisputed, and runs contrary to the classical interpretations of the canons found in the canonical commentaries of the Church.[6]"

It does seem that two of the most eminent canonists of the Throne would not agree about the right of eccliton.  Here is Saint Nikodemos and Zonaras:

"6 . As an example of the variances in interpretation, regarding Canon 9 of Chalcedon, St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain comments: "[This canon] did not say that if any clergyman has a dispute or difference with the Metropolitan of any diocese or parish whatever, they must be tried before the Bishop of Constantinople…."

"Zonaras likewise says that the Bishop of Constantinople is not necessarily entitled to sit as judge over all Metropolitans, but (only) over those who are judicially subject to him, and that "The Bishop of Constantinople must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Constantinople, precisely as the Bishop of Rome must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Rome."

In D. Cummings, trans., The Rudder of the Orthodox Catholic Church: The Compilation of the Holy Canons Saints Nicodemus and Agapius (West Brookfield, MA: The Orthodox Christian Educational Society, 1983), p. 255.

Source  ::  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Osborne
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« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2009, 05:24:31 AM »

I would speculate that Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) of Alaska is unaware that he has this right.  He has started the process in the US Courts to sue the Orthodox Church in America for $41 million, charging wrongful dismissal and stress.   

It would be better for Constantinople to exercise its ecclitive powers than have such a spectacle in the civil courts.
I know almost nothing about this sort of thing, but there must be a better way to resolve these disputes than to resort to the courts.  I seem to remember reading something...

Quote
1 Corinthians 6:1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church![a] 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
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« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2009, 07:20:28 AM »

I have a question. I was under the impression that even His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, did not have authority outside of his own Patriarchate.
At least that was ny understanding. Is that not correct?

Under the Canons of the Orthodox Church, appeals can be made to Constantinople from any clergy in any jurisdiction.
Here are the Canons:

Canon IX of Chalcedon:
If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s consent, select.  And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties.  And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province.  And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.

Canon XVII of Chalcedon.
Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years.  But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province.  And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid.  And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.

Therefore, what Bishop Basil did was Canonical

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« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2009, 08:13:54 AM »

I have a question. I was under the impression that even His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, did not have authority outside of his own Patriarchate.
At least that was ny understanding. Is that not correct?

Under the Canons of the Orthodox Church, appeals can be made to Constantinople from any clergy in any jurisdiction.
Here are the Canons:

Canon IX of Chalcedon:
If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s consent, select.  And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties.  And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province.  And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.

Canon XVII of Chalcedon.
Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years.  But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province.  And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid.  And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.

Therefore, what Bishop Basil did was Canonical





It certainly seems correct. If that is what the Canons say, etc. Now, one more question: These canons apply even when there is another Patriarchate over the territory?  The reason I ask, is that it almost seems, well, kind of "Papal" in scope. Almost like his holiness has some kind of "universal" jurisdiction.
I would think his Holiness, the Moscow Patriarch would not appreciate interference in his territory. Especially when there was recently a dispute regarding Estonia.
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« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2009, 08:19:03 AM »

I have a question. I was under the impression that even His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, did not have authority outside of his own Patriarchate.
At least that was ny understanding. Is that not correct?

Under the Canons of the Orthodox Church, appeals can be made to Constantinople from any clergy in any jurisdiction.
Here are the Canons:

Canon IX of Chalcedon:
If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s consent, select.  And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties.  And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province.  And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.

Canon XVII of Chalcedon.
Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years.  But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province.  And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid.  And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.

Therefore, what Bishop Basil did was Canonical



Question 1:  In the 60O years from Chalcedon 451 AD to the great schism of 1054 AD how many times did bishops and priests from the Church of Rome appeal to Constantinople against the Pope of Rome?

Question 2:  In the 1,358 years from Chalcedon 451 AD to the year of 2009, how many bishops (apart from +Basil Osborne) and priests have appealed to Constantinople against their own Patriarchs, Antioch, Alexandria, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria...

Please see message 41 above, where two of Constantinople's eminent canonists dispute your interpretation of these two canons.

The mosy obvious stumbling block to your interpretation is that it would mean that in 451 AD Constantiniple was given judicial authority over the number one See of the Church, the See of Rome,  and that would be a claim which we all know is simply false.


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« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2009, 08:27:19 AM »

It certainly seems correct. If that is what the Canons say, etc.

Please see message # 41.  Ozgeorge's interpretation has not been accepted by the Church, and Constantinople's own eminent canonists, St Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain and Zonaras, speak against George's interpretation.

This idiosyncratic interpretation would also have placed the Church of Rome, first in the diptychs, in a judicially inferior position to Constantinople and under Constantinople's judgement.     Roll Eyes  The Church would have found that rather ludicrous! 
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« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2009, 08:42:44 AM »

On reflection, these claims of universal jurisdiction by Constantinople reinforce the very real fears which some of us have over the proposed Great and Holy Council and the unholy and totally destructive forces the Council could willy-nilly unleash on the Orthodox world.   

The Patriarchates, and especially Russia and her allies, will wish to clarify Constantinople's claims in this area, not only because they are still smarting from the Bishop Basil Osborne business but also because Constantinople has herself already placed the diptychs as the first item on the agenda and topics such as these will draw blood.

Of course it was back in the 1970s when Constantinople drew up the Council's agenda and at that time the Russian Church was still very much under the heel of the Communist regime.  It was weakened and and it was passive.  It could not mount a challenge to Constantinople and Constantinople would not have seen it as a threat.  But since then the Russian bear has awoken, and has surged back into life with a great renaissance of its church life.
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« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2009, 09:38:24 AM »


"Elected" to return? Interesting euphemism for this sort of behaviour:


Perhaps '"Elected" to return is how the Mother Churches will now define the expected return of the children of the diaspora, instead of coming home to the Motherland they now will return to the Mother Church.  Where does that leave those of us who converted to Orthodoxy in our country and wish to see an orthodoxy that takes our own culture, traditions, and language sanctifying them and making them Holy thru the Holy Spirt and fully Orthodox?

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« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2009, 07:01:10 PM »

Perhaps '"Elected" to return is how the Mother Churches will now define the expected return of the children of the diaspora,

Dear Thomas,

The phrase "elected to return" applies to the Western European parishes of Russian origin who have been under the guidance of Constantinople during the long years of Communism but who are now able to rejoin their Russian brothers and sisters in the renewed Russian Church.

Quote
Where does that leave those of us who converted to Orthodoxy in our country and wish to see an orthodoxy that takes our own culture, traditions, and language sanctifying them and making them Holy thru the Holy Spirt and fully Orthodox?

I think that nothing has changed in this regard.  The Churches' concern and care for converts is the same, if not better, than when you signed up.

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« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2009, 11:24:33 PM »

The Moscow Patriarchate's complaint over the "claims of universal jursdiciton" ring hollow.

When the Moscow Patriarchate united with the Russian Church Outside of Russia, what they created was an extra-territorial, universal jursidiction. The MP-ROCOR encompasses the entire globe. It defines it's jursdiciton by ethnicity, rather than geography. The simple fact is that phyletism is the standard practice of all the jurisdictions, depsite the condemnations of the 19th century Council of Constantinople. Moscow can hardly complain that the Ecumenical Throne is "guilty" of exercising a universal jurisdiction, when Moscow has itself set up a universal jursidiciton!

The Ecumenical Patriarch can at least cite a canonical precedent for his claims. What canons or precedents can Moscow claim for its universal jurisdiciton ?  Moscow has now established three rival daughter jursidictions in North America alone! Moscow issued a Tomos of Autocephaly to the OCA; but has now established rival dioceses within the territory of the OCA. It still maintains its own Exarchate in North America along side both the ROCOR and the OCA.

 What is more, the Moscow Patriarchate established a non-canonical "Autonomous Eparchy of Abkhazia" within the universally recognized territory of the Patriarchate of Georgia. Even after the August 2008 invasion of Georgia, the late Patriarch Aleksei delared that the Moscow Patriarchate would not accept ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the dioceses of the Gergian Patriarchate. The new Patriarch Kirill, however, stated in interviews recorded last December that Georgia should forfeit these territories, and that Moscow would assume authority over both the Abkhazian and Tskhinvali dioceses. This is a direct violation of the Canons of the First Ecumenical Council. What is more, bishops of  the Moscow Patriarchate were filmed performing a "blessing" of the tanks and rockets used to attack Georgian civilains in the villages of Western Georgia. A link to the video was posted here last month.

It is clear that the MP is following the lead of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which has demanded that the UN peacekeepers and the OSCE  monitors recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states as a condition of the monitors continued presence in the conflict area.

These actions have been noted by His All-Holiness Patriarch Barhtolomew, who has expressed solidarity with the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate, and it's suffering flock. The MP will find it's complaints about "encroachment" answered by reminders of its own misdeeds, and it's complicity in crimes against humanity.
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« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2009, 11:33:23 PM »

The Moscow Patriarchate's complaint over the "claims of universal jursdiciton" ring hollow.

When the Moscow Patriarchate united with the Russian Church Outside of Russia, what they created was an extra-territorial, universal jursidiction. The MP-ROCOR encompasses the entire globe. It defines it's jursdiciton by ethnicity, rather than geography. The simple fact is that phyletism is the standard practice of all the jurisdictions, depsite the condemnations of the 19th century Council of Constantinople. Moscow can hardly complain that the Ecumenical Throne is "guilty" of exercising a universal jurisdiction, when Moscow has itself set up a universal jursidiciton!

The Ecumenical Patriarch can at least cite a canonical precedent for his claims. What canons or precedents can Moscow claim for its universal jurisdiciton ?  Moscow has now established three rival daughter jursidictions in North America alone! Moscow issued a Tomos of Autocephaly to the OCA; but has now established rival dioceses within the territory of the OCA. It still maintains its own Exarchate in North America along side both the ROCOR and the OCA.

 What is more, the Moscow Patriarchate established a non-canonical "Autonomous Eparchy of Abkhazia" within the universally recognized territory of the Patriarchate of Georgia. Even after the August 2008 invasion of Georgia, the late Patriarch Aleksei delared that the Moscow Patriarchate would not accept ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the dioceses of the Gergian Patriarchate. The new Patriarch Kirill, however, stated in interviews recorded last December that Georgia should forfeit these territories, and that Moscow would assume authority over both the Abkhazian and Tskhinvali dioceses. This is a direct violation of the Canons of the First Ecumenical Council. What is more, bishops of  the Moscow Patriarchate were filmed performing a "blessing" of the tanks and rockets used to attack Georgian civilains in the villages of Western Georgia. A link to the video was posted here last month.

It is clear that the MP is following the lead of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which has demanded that the UN peacekeepers and the OSCE  monitors recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states as a condition of the monitors continued presence in the conflict area.

These actions have been noted by His All-Holiness Patriarch Barhtolomew, who has expressed solidarity with the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate, and it's suffering flock. The MP will find it's complaints about "encroachment" answered by reminders of its own misdeeds, and it's complicity in crimes against humanity.

How do you figure Moscow did anything wrong by reuniting with ROCOR?  Especially when ROCOR was originally a part of the Moscow Patriarchate?
And I don't have any sympathy for Georgia. Don't believe everything you read from Western Media. Georgia tried to flex their muscles at the Russian Bear, and the Bear bit their head off! Georgia was not innocent in this situation.  Georgia was always part of the Russian Empire, and is Russia's sphere of influence. If Cuba attacked us, they would get pounded, just like Georgia
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« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2009, 12:10:48 AM »

Quote
Georgia was always part of the Russian Empire,


Umm, the Georgian Orthodox Church was established in the early 4th century. Kievan Rus did not adopt Orthodoxy until more than 600 years later.
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« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2009, 12:21:23 AM »

Quote
Georgia was always part of the Russian Empire,


Umm, the Georgian Orthodox Church was established in the early 4th century. Kievan Rus did not adopt Orthodoxy until more than 600 years later.

Agreed, but nevertheless, Georgia was apart of Imperial Russia since about 1800, and was in the "sphere" long before that. That still doesn't change the facts regarding the conflict between the two countries....
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« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2009, 12:26:32 AM »

Please keep politics out of the public forums.
There are plenty of threads in the Private Forums where people can express their political views on the Russian-Georgian conflict.
Please pm Fr. Chris if you wish to have access to the Private Forums.
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« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2009, 12:39:24 AM »

Please keep politics out of the public forums.
There are plenty of threads in the Private Forums where people can express their political views on the Russian-Georgian conflict.
Please pm Fr. Chris if you wish to have access to the Private Forums.


I concur George.
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« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2009, 04:03:05 AM »

These actions have been noted by His All-Holiness Patriarch Barhtolomew, who has expressed solidarity with the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate, and it's suffering flock. The MP will find it's complaints about "encroachment" answered by reminders of its own misdeeds, and it's complicity in crimes against humanity.

The ecclesiastical problem (let us leave the political one aside) has its origin in the Georgian Church's discriminatory attitude towards minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia.

Information:

THE UNRECOGNIZED EPARCHIES OF THE RECOGNIZED REPUBLICS
The problem of pastorship of Orthodox believers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia has to be resolved

Part 1: http://www.rpmonitor.ru/en/en/detail.php?ID=10966

Part 2: http://www.rpmonitor.ru/en/en/detail.php?ID=11160
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« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2009, 04:26:40 AM »

The Moscow Patriarchate's complaint over the "claims of universal jursdiciton" ring hollow.

When the Moscow Patriarchate united with the Russian Church Outside of Russia, what they created was an extra-territorial, universal jursidiction.

That took place willy-nilly since our Church Abroad inevitably set up parishes and monasteries all over the world wherever there were Russians displaced by the Revolution and requiring religious care.

In my country, for example, there was no Greek Orthodox church presence and it fell to the lot of our first Russian Orthodox priest, Fr Alexey Godyaev, to take the Greek Orthodox under his wing as well, performing their baptisms, weddings and funerals, and celebrating the Liturgy for them.

Quote
The MP-ROCOR encompasses the entire globe. It defines it's jursdiciton by ethnicity, rather than geography. The simple fact is that phyletism is the standard practice of all the jurisdictions

Why is it seen as phyletism when the Orthodox Churches create parishes in the barbarian lands to offer spiritual life to those who have emigrated from the home countries?

Quote
Moscow can hardly complain that the Ecumenical Throne is "guilty" of exercising a universal jurisdiction, when Moscow has itself set up a universal jursidiciton!

There is a significant difference which we are not taking into account.  The Russian Church Abroad, Antioch, Romania, Serbia, etc., are not claiming any universal jurisdiction in the diaspora.  They are looking after their own who are in the diaspora.  They are content to co-exist with the other Churches in the West.  They are realistic enough to see that the current situation will change towards administrative unity only slowly and organically.   The faithful (who after all *are* the Church) cannot be treated as passive sheep and forced into premature arrangements which they may reject.  This could lead to schism.  "Festina lente" is always the best watchword for the Orthodox.

But if we look at Constantinople's claim, it *is* that of universal jurisdiction, and it says it is applying Canon 28 which gives its universal jurisdiction in all countries outisde the traditional territories of the Churches.   However, as has been pointed out, Constantinopolitan canonists such as Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite say that this is not a correct understanding of Canon 28.

Quote
The Ecumenical Patriarch can at least cite a canonical precedent for his claims.

Disputed by the best canonists, even of his own Churrch.

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« Reply #58 on: February 15, 2009, 08:54:48 AM »

"IT IS OUR URGENT DUTY TO RESTORE CHURCH UNITY"

The following interview, with its introduction, is taken from the Parisian Russian-language weekly, Russkaia Mysl', No. 40 (4-10 November 2004).

It will be clear from the introduction and the interview itself that there are very strongly held and opposing opinions held within the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Parishes in Western Europe (Ecumenical Patriarchate).

For the rest of this article please see


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5573.msg71484.html#msg71484
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« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2009, 10:57:57 PM »

The article cited by the Irish Hermit is simple mimicry of Russian government propaganda.

The author's ignorance is demonstrated by her lack of understanding of the local language. Ms Maler-Matyazov claims that the Ossetian church "Khvrtismshobelis" was destroyed by the Georgian military. Here, her ignorance betrays her. The very name Ghvertismshobeli (her article misspelled the name) is the Georgian name for the Theotokos (Ghvertis -is the Old Georgian possessive of the word Ghmerto, and means God's. Mshobeli means parent, literally the one who gave birth) Ghvertismshobeli is Georgian for Theotokos. It is not remotely Ossetian. The churches in Tskhinvali dioces were destroyed by the Russian invaders and by Kokoity's Ossetian militias along with the Georgian villages in which they were located. The Ossetians have even admitted this in the Russian documentary shown on the BBC.

The simple fact is that the diocese of Tskhinvali was a constiutent dioces of the Georgain Patriarchate until the August war, when the Russian invasion forces launches rocket attacks on the Cathedral and Bishop's residence in Tskhinvali, which forced Bishop Isia, to flee for his life, as did most of his flock.

The fact is that Ossetians and Georgians lived in peace for centuries, until the neo-Soviets invaded the region using the criminal Kokoity and his gang of car thieves as proxies in the work of ethnic cleansing, destruction of property and murder. The facts have been collected by the International Red Cross, International Human Rights Watch, and the OSCE monitors. The Georgian govenment has filed 394 complaints against the Russian government, alleging violations of international law at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. To date, 49 individual claims of human rights violations have been filed on behalf of the victims of war at the International Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg.

The diocese of Abkhazia was a Georgian diocese from the most ancient times. The Apsni, the so-called Abkhazians, are Muslims, not Orthodox Christians. The non-canonical, so-called Autonomous Abkhazian Eparchy was founded by the Moscow Patriarchate to serve the Russian colonists, who were given land grants from the property stolen from the 240,000 ethnic Georgians driven from their homes in the 1993 invasion. This is proved by the fact that this "Eparchy" serves in the Slavonic language, not the Apsni language.

The fact is that even after the invasion of August 2008, Patriarch Aleksei declared his recognition of the territorial integrity of the Georgian Patriarchate.

The Moscow Patriarchate began to change its position after the collapse of its financial empire. In December 2008, in his last public act, the late Patriarch Aleksei, appealed to the Medvedyev/ Putin regime for a bail out of the Patriarchate's debts - debts resulting from speculation in the Russian real estate market. The article attached below details the history of this financial scandal.

It is clear that the Moscow Patriarchate, and Patriarch Kirill are following the Party line in order to cover debts, not out of conviction or concern for the truth. 

http://www.ocanews.org/news/KasparovArticle11.23.08.html

 11.26.08
 
Help in the Name of Christ!
by Alexander Khramov
Translated from the Russian by Paul Shirokov
 
Last week Patriarch Alexei sent a letter to President Medvedev in which he asks “to provide financial stability for the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate (ROC-MP) during the time of crisis”. In order to achieve  this Alexei II asks to extend a deposit insurance to all of the ROC-MP bank deposits, and also to revoke a tax on all church-owned properties.

(Note: At present only church properties that are used for worship are tax exempt, all other properties, e.g. rectories, offices, hotels, etc. are not.)
 
Besides that, the ROC-MP is asking for an interest-free loan for “stabilizing its financial condition” or, in other words, for a solution of all kind of problems that occurred in ROC-MP due the financial crisis, in the same way they occurred in many other institutions or organizations that keep money in banks, and are active in construction projects. (The construction industry has been hit particularly hard.)
 
It is wrong to think that the financial activities of the ROC-MP is limited to collection plates, sales of candles, religious literature and icons, collection of money for baptism and memorial services, etc. Of course, considering that the ROC-MP oversees thousands of parishes all over the country, and that a considerable part of the population attends church services regularly and “shops” in church stores, the aggregate income from that “network of retail industry” is quite substantial. However, it plays by far not the most important role in the ROC-MP budget.
 
Only 10% of the ROC-MP’s income is comprised of contributions from the dioceses (and these contributions are those that consist of money received from sales of candles, parishioners’ contributions and donations for sacramental services). This was reported by Alexy II during a hierarchical council on June 24, 2008. Moreover, the Patriarch pointed out that only 55 dioceses (out of 142) send their contributions to the ROC-MP. Contributions of some diocese are so small that they can be compared with contributions of some individual Moscow churches.
 
We shouldn’t be surprised that even money from “strictly church” income sometimes “get lost” and doesn’t reach its intended destination. The financial structure of the ROC-MP is completely non-transparent on all levels.

For example, what accountability mechanism, if any, is there for donations for sacramental services in any parish? How is the number of cars or apartments “blessed” controlled? Was it 20 or 120? And remember, that the “fee” for each blessed vehicle is several hundred rubles.
 
I don’t want to say that priests somehow become very wealthy as a result of this. (Usually, in order to get rich you don’t pick the occupation of a parish priest!) It is more likely that they merely receive some extra income thereby that helps them and their families to survive. However, manipulations with collection plates and “fees” for sacraments do not add to clarity of the (church’s) financial system.
 
Also, you have to understand, that in order to put together an accurate financial accounting, it is necessary to have an accountant. Where is a regular parish priest going to find one? Hence, priests often delegate their bookkeeping to another designated priest, the one who is responsible for several parishes. Furthermore, after money is passed through the hands of the designated priests they go to their hierarchs, who are also in no hurry to send them further “upstairs”.  Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised that the dioceses’ contributions to the ROC-MP are quite small. It couldn’t be otherwise, when the cash flows through several layers, each of which not only lacks any form of transparency, but often any kind of mechanism for recording cash transactions.
 
Therefore the ROC-MP gets its 90% of income from other sources. Which ones? The Patriarchal report lists the hotel “Danilovsky”, the ecclesiastical art production factory “Sofrino”, and also “individual contributions”. Obviously, the hotel and the factory alone are not sufficient to maintain a huge amount of real estate that belongs to ROC-MP (not to mention numerous church activities, Sunday schools, and church educational facilities). Besides, during the hierarchical council the Patriarch said that many parishes still owe money to “Sofrino” for the goods purchased, and that the resulting shortage of operational capital makes “Sofrino” unprofitable.
 
What’s left is “individual contributions”. They can be really large, considering that ROC-MP is fully capable of lobbying the interests of “Orthodox businessmen” in the State Parliament (or at least get them contracts for rebuilding of churches and other real estate. And the ensuing "kickbacks" of significant amounts of money could be quite legally accounted for as “contributions”).
 
But it doesn’t stop there.

The ROC-MP is very active on a financial scene; they purchase financial instruments and invest in banking sector. The statute of ROC-MP from 2000 lists income from investments, and banking deposits among sources of income of the Church.
 
Therefore, the MP’s anxiety about the instability of its finances at the time of current crisis is justified. Let’s remind ourselves, that in the 1990's the ROC-MP owned a significant share of the corporation “International Economic Cooperation” (IES), which was in oil export business (on preferential terms), took part in international deals (e.g. in the Iraqi “Oil for Food” program), which caused her to become a part of that large financial scandal.
 
The “IES” corporation initiated a holding company which owned shares of some big banks and production-and-trade companies. The Moscow leadership took an active part in the management of the holding company. Now that company ceased to exist, the bankruptcy hearings have passed, but the ROC-MP’s share in the companies that holding company owed could not disappear without a trace. Besides, exactly of what the ROC-MP’s (and particularly the Department of External Church Relations’) investment portfolio consists is hard to imagine, considering the existence of multiple middle companies. The ROC-MP’s financial activity among its leadership is as non-transparent as among the regular parish priests. The only difference is that in latter case the amount is in thousands - and in the former, billions. The “IES” example is provided only (as an example) for the reader to picture the whole extent of the financial activity of the ROC-MP. 
 
Besides the publicly-known fact about the ROC-MP’s shares in different companies, there are also well-known “church banks”, e.g. “Perevest” bank and “Sofrino” bank. Significant shares of those banks belong to church hierarchs and some clergy. Moreover persons close in relationship to them are on the boards of directors. One of the officially-stated purposes of their activity is church charity. These banks are in business of loaning money to people and businesses that are involved in real estate and construction projects. These banks are not very large, and as a result of the current financial crisis could be in real trouble. Hence, the Patriarch’s call for financial help should not sound surprising.
 
Also we need to recall the involvement of the ROC-MP in the construction of upscale condos, offices and hotels. Projects like these are attractive to investors: the ROC-MP owns a lot of land, including much in the center of Moscow. (The land is being transferred into the ownership of ROC-MP free of charge from the Moscow city government, who is likely to have common business interests with the Patriarchate, including in the construction business...)
 
We should point out that the land owned by ROC-MP is free of land tax. The Ministry of Finance, in the letter dated May 25, 2005 and numbered 03-06-02-02/41, quite interestingly resolved the issue of tax status:

“A land tax exemption is provided to a religious organization, who owns a piece of land on which a building of a religious or a charitable nature is located, despite the presence on this land of buildings of other nature.”
 
In other words, if the ROC-MP made a deal with a construction company, and on the piece of land owned by the Patriarchate, a huge building with upscale condos as well as a small tiny chapel were built, then the land tax need not be paid. It turns out that conditions for such successful construction projects are "heavenly", but, unfortunately, then came the crisis...

But it is OK. The ROC-MP, relying on the Will of God and on the will of President Medvedev, will receive loans from the state, and will finish building what it hasn’t built yet. But of course, this will be done for charitable and religious purposes only.
 
And we should not doubt the fact that the loan and new tax benefits will be provided to the ROC-MP. The Russian government is always quick to support the Church during difficult times. Let’s recall the infamous letter from the Ministry of Finance, dated November 4, 1996 and numbered 11-01-08, in which “ considering the financial hardship of ROC-MP”, the Ministry of Finance “as an exception, supported the request of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy to import duty-levied goods in the form of humanitarian aid and within the set quotas”. The ROC-MP was then allowed to import - duty free- 50,000 tons of tobacco products and 112.3 million tons of sacramental wine. Of course, maybe the tobacco products and the wine were distributed later with spiritual and charitable purposes, and money raised from the sales went to the needs of little and vulnerable orphans, but to verify that is impossible.
 
Regardless of the fact that state support of financial endeavors of the ROC-MP (which as we saw are not limited to the sale of candles and icons) is hardly justified – we all live in a civil (or secular) society, -- and in the condition of a complete non-transparency of the financial activity of the ROC-MP, the act of providing it with more benefits and loans, is criminal.
 
Until a complete list of all sources of income and expenditures of the ROC- MP, as well as its assets is made public, any state help directed to this religious organization must be suspended. This also applies to not only ROC-MP but to other organizations to whom Russian government is eager to provide help (the help which is obviously provided with tax-payers money). In the meantime the finances remain murky....
 
In the conclusion I want to say: there is no need to be surprised that the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church actively supports the present political regime. It has nothing to do with the “eternal Orthodox loyalty”, or the words of St. Paul, that “There is no power but of God”. It has to do with business interests. This is business, gentlemen. And no one cares about God, or St Paul, anymore.
 
Alexander Khramov
www.kasparov.ru   
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« Reply #60 on: February 16, 2009, 11:18:07 PM »

Bravo, Frost!
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« Reply #61 on: February 16, 2009, 11:31:54 PM »

But I would still draw a solid line between certain corrupt and arrogant (and sometimes even criminal and un-Godly) individuals, who happened to be figures of power within ROC-MP and our honest Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ, who belong to ROC-MP.
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« Reply #62 on: February 16, 2009, 11:41:50 PM »

Much of the foregoing is just more justification for convening pre-conciliar commissions to address the administrative chaos of the Orthodox Churches in diaspora.  Then, the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church can convene and approve a corrective plan.  The meeting of the heads of the Orthodox Churches last fall agreed to consult with their respective governing synods, where necessary, to reactivate the process this year.
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« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2009, 12:15:14 AM »

For further verification of the antiquity of the Georgian dioceses of Tshkinvali, Shida Kartli and Abkhazia, I would like to direct the Irish Hermit's attention to " A Short History of the Georgian Church" authored by Platon Ioseliani, published in Russian in 1866. An English translation was published by the Hermit's own ROCOR Holy Trinity Monastery - St Job of Pochaev Press in 1984. This history demonstrates the fact that the Georgian diocese of Abkhazia (Lazika) existed from the times of the Holy Apostles. The bishop of Bichvinta attended the First Ecumenical Council and is recorded in the list of the 318 Holy Fathers of that Council.  The Lazi fell away from the faith in the 4-5th century; but the diocese was "re-founded" in the 6th century. It reamined a constituent diocese of the Georgian Patriarchate until the invasion and ethnic cleansing campaign of 1993. The legitimate bishop of Sokhumi and all Abkhazia, Meupe  Danieli, lives in exile in Tbilisi. The so-called "Autonomous Abkhazian Eparchy" has never been officailly recognized by anyone, not even by its fairy god-mothers in the Moscow Patriarchate !

The antiquity of the Georgian villages and the Georgian church in Tskhinvali / Shida Kartli is  demonstrated by the Georgian names of these churches, which even Ms. Maler-Matyazov admits ! The village of Tamarsheni, destroyed last August, was named in the 11th century, in honor of Queen Tamar who visited there.

The historical amity between the Ossetian and Georgain peoples is demonstrated by the fact that Queen Tamar's own husband was an Ossetian. Indeed, my wife's own uncle, Alyosha, was an Ossetian; as is Father Abibos, the rector of my mother-in-law's home parish of St. Nino in Kutaisi. The current violence and hatred all stem from the Russian government's policy of divide and conquer. If the Irish Hermit is interested, and can speak Russian or Georgian, he can verify this by calling Father Abibos on the telephone at Tsmindas Ninos Eklesia, Kutaisi. (private e-mail me for the telephone number).

Francis Frost
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« Reply #64 on: February 17, 2009, 12:27:10 AM »

"IT IS OUR URGENT DUTY TO RESTORE CHURCH UNITY"

The following interview, with its introduction, is taken from the Parisian Russian-language weekly, Russkaia Mysl', No. 40 (4-10 November 2004).

It will be clear from the introduction and the interview itself that there are very strongly held and opposing opinions held within the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Parishes in Western Europe (Ecumenical Patriarchate).

For the rest of this article please see


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5573.msg71484.html#msg71484




Father Bless:

Is unity in our Church such a bad thing? Especially for different branches of the Russian Orthodox Church?

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« Reply #65 on: February 17, 2009, 12:46:40 AM »

The article cited by the Irish Hermit is simple mimicry of Russian government propaganda.

The author's ignorance is demonstrated by her lack of understanding of the local language. Ms Maler-Matyazov claims that the Ossetian church "Khvrtismshobelis" was destroyed by the Georgian military. Here, her ignorance betrays her.

Dear Frost,

The article does not even mention either Georgia or Abkhazia.   

_________________________________

"IT IS OUR URGENT DUTY TO RESTORE CHURCH UNITY"
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5573.msg71484.html#msg71484

_________________________________


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« Reply #66 on: February 17, 2009, 12:58:44 AM »


http://www.ocanews.org/news/KasparovArticle11.23.08.html

 11.26.08
 
Help in the Name of Christ!
by Alexander Khramov
Translated from the Russian by Paul Shirokov
 
Last week Patriarch Alexei sent a letter to President Medvedev in which he asks “to provide financial stability for the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate (ROC-MP) during the time of crisis”. In order to achieve  this Alexei II asks to extend a deposit insurance to all of the ROC-MP bank deposits, and also to revoke a tax on all church-owned properties. Alexander Khramov

<snip>
www.kasparov.ru   

Dear Frost,  I do not know why you are pursuing this agenda in this particular thread but the anti-Church article by Kasperov can hardly be allowed to stand without some correction.  This response is thanks to to Alexander Andreev.

-oOo-

It is not surprising that an article alleging corruption in the
Russian Orthodox Church would appear on the website of Garry Kimovich
Weinstein, better known to the world as Garry Kasparov. The former
chess grandmaster has long been an outspoken critic of the current
"establishment" in Russia with the unfortunate Gorbachevian trait of
having more support abroad than at home. The article, "Help in the
Name of Christ!", was written by Alexander Khramov and appeared both
on Kasparov's website and on the anti-church forum Portal-credo.ru,
where Khramov is a regular contributor.

Normally, I do not respond to comments by Kasparov or Portal-credo.
The former has lost credibility since his alliance with the Neo-Nazi
National Bolshevik Party and his staged demonstrations in Moscow and
St Petersburg, a show for Western media where he addresses crowds in
English and deliberately violates laws to get arrested. As for
Portal-credo, the website is run by a cult, the so-called "Russian
Orthodox Autonomous Church", organized by the convicted pedophile
Anatoly Rusantsev, who calls himself "Metropolitan Valentine". Such
"ideologues" are better left unacknowledged with the hope that lack of
publicity will make them go away.



The article alleges that, last week, His Holiness sent a letter to
President Medvedev asking for help during the financial crisis. Among
measures requested, the author claims, is deposit insurance for church
bank accounts and tax exemption for church property. Here is a good
place to note that in Russia, unlike many jurisdictions in the United
States, the church has to pay property tax. The remainder of the
article accuses the Russian Orthodox Church of lacking financial
transparency, lobbying the interests of "Orthodox businessmen" in the
State Parliament, issuing "kickbacks", operating an investment
portfolio, owning a lot of land, including much in the center of
Moscow, and other sins.

It is true that church finances are notoriously difficult to manage,
as anyone who has served on a parish council (myself included) will
attest. Part of it stems from the nature of church "income", much of
which comes from anonymous cash donations and goes, in the form of
cash disbursements, to pay for the living expenses of a priest. Many
of our clergy, especially in the Russian Church, do not receive a
"salary" and largely live off such cash donations for special needs
services ("treby"). In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service
has waived annual reporting requirements for churches, recognizing, in
part, that accurate financial tracking of cash donations and
disbursements would place an undue burden on churches, many of which
do not have the money to employ a full-time accountant. This has never
been an issue, at least before the current OCA financial scandal.

The allegation that the Russian Church is afloat with cash could only
occur to someone who visits only one parish - Christ the Saviour
Cathedral in Moscow. The reality outside the Garden Ring (Moscow's
equivalent of the Beltway) and especially outside Moscow, is quite
different. The fact is, that most of the so-called "church
properties", including Christ the Saviour, are not owned by the church
at all. They continue to be government property, given to the church
for use. Confiscated following the 1917 coup, many of these church
buildings are badly damaged from years of Soviet misuse as barns,
factories, skating rings, video production studios, and the like. In
only very few instances do the Federal or regional authorities pay for
their restoration (in the cases of "historical monuments"). While it
would only seem fair that the heir of a thief would pay reparations to
the victims of theft, in most instances parishes and parishioners are
on their own. The natural way to raise money for such projects is,
yes, to "lobby" "Orthodox businessmen", many of whom (for example,
Viktor Vekselberg) give millions every year, and to operate "banks" at
the Patriarchate level, which loan money for parish projects. Think of
"FA ROCOR", only bigger and more efficient. Many parishes in the
United States (and I'm sure Mr. Stokoe's as well) routinely invest in
mutual funds, bonds, and other traded assets in anticipation of
capital projects. This has never been against the law, Canon or otherwise.

Much of the accusations of "corruption" in the Moscow Patriarchate
target "HPP Sofrino", the church goods production factory. The fact
is, however, that Sofrino operates at a net loss and has to be
continually propped up by the Patriarchate, largely because
monasteries and large parishes have realized that Sofrino's reputation
for low quality provides them with an opportunity to produce and sell
church goods as well. Such is the nature of the market. By the way, it
has never been illegal for churches to produce and sell, at a profit,
goods related to their religious ministry.

That the church has made millions importing tobacco is an old
allegation raised by Moskovskie Novosti in 1995. It has yet to be
independently confirmed. Mr. Khramov has not cited any new facts or
proven any illegal activity on the part of anyone in the Church's
administration. This is not surprising — he does not really care about
what happens in the Russian Church; his true fight is with the current
government. He writes: "State support of financial endeavors of the
ROC-MP [sic] is hardly justified — we all live in a secular society.
The act of providing it [i.e., the church] with more benefits and
loans, is criminal. Any state help directed to this religious
organization must be suspended. This also applies to not only ROC-MP
[sic] but to other organizations to whom Russian government is eager
to provide help (the help which is obviously provided with tax-payers
money)."

The funny thing is, when the state confiscated church property, when
it blew up Christ the Savior, when it converted monasteries for use as
nuclear weapons facilities, when it sent priests and monks to
concentration camps, when it took village churches apart for firewood
— all of this was done with tax-payer money. Our self-proclaimed
ideologue of "Russian disestablishment" seems to ignore these facts.

Of course, those were different times. In those days, as the state
built "democracy" and "freedom", those opposed to such ventures were
"reeducated" in the GULags. Now, they get to educate us in cyberspace.
And, as if their blogs were not a big enough forum, they get
additional bandwith from members of the OCA. How sad.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 01:04:31 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #67 on: February 17, 2009, 01:02:54 AM »

For further verification of the antiquity of the Georgian dioceses of Tshkinvali, Shida Kartli and Abkhazia, I would like to direct the Irish Hermit's attention to " A Short History of the Georgian Church" authored by Platon Ioseliani, published in Russian in 1866. An English translation was published by the Hermit's own ROCOR Holy Trinity Monastery - St Job of Pochaev Press in 1984. This history demonstrates the fact that the Georgian diocese of Abkhazia (Lazika) existed from the times of the Holy Apostles. The bishop of Bichvinta attended the First Ecumenical Council and is recorded in the list of the 318 Holy Fathers of that Council.  The Lazi fell away from the faith in the 4-5th century; but the diocese was "re-founded" in the 6th century. It reamined a constituent diocese of the Georgian Patriarchate until the invasion and ethnic cleansing campaign of 1993. The legitimate bishop of Sokhumi and all Abkhazia, Meupe  Danieli, lives in exile in Tbilisi. The so-called "Autonomous Abkhazian Eparchy" has never been officailly recognized by anyone, not even by its fairy god-mothers in the Moscow Patriarchate !

The antiquity of the Georgian villages and the Georgian church in Tskhinvali / Shida Kartli is  demonstrated by the Georgian names of these churches, which even Ms. Maler-Matyazov admits ! The village of Tamarsheni, destroyed last August, was named in the 11th century, in honor of Queen Tamar who visited there.

The historical amity between the Ossetian and Georgain peoples is demonstrated by the fact that Queen Tamar's own husband was an Ossetian. Indeed, my wife's own uncle, Alyosha, was an Ossetian; as is Father Abibos, the rector of my mother-in-law's home parish of St. Nino in Kutaisi. The current violence and hatred all stem from the Russian government's policy of divide and conquer. If the Irish Hermit is interested, and can speak Russian or Georgian, he can verify this by calling Father Abibos on the telephone at Tsmindas Ninos Eklesia, Kutaisi. (private e-mail me for the telephone number).

Francis Frost

Mods, I think the Georgian abnd Ossetian history and contemporary situation is of sufficient interest to create a separate thread?
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« Reply #68 on: February 17, 2009, 01:13:42 AM »

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav021609.shtml

  GEORGIA: TBILISI USES DIVINE DIPLOMACY IN ITS DEALINGS WITH RUSSIA
Giorgi Lomsadze 2/16/09

With diplomatic ties between Georgia and Russia
ruptured, the two countries' shared Orthodox
Christian faith has emerged as the primary
conduit for dialogue between Tbilisi and Moscow.

That post-war connection first came into play on
August 15, three days after the end of active
fighting between Georgian and Russian troops,
when the 76-year-old Georgian Orthodox Church
Patriarch Ilia II traveled into the
Russian-occupied territory to bring back the
bodies of slain Georgian soldiers. He traveled at
the intercession of his Russian counterpart, the late Patriarch Alexy II.

Nearly four months later, at Alexy II's funeral,
Ilia II again acted as intermediary. This time,
he reportedly delivered a message from Georgian
President Mikheil Saakashvili to Russian leader
Dmitry Medvedev concerning Georgia's "territorial
integrity." A Georgian church delegation again
returned to the Russian capital for the February
1 installation of Alexy II's successor, Kirill.

The Georgian government, however, has been
circumspect about commenting on or publicly
acknowledging the patriarch's role in restoring
some form of communication with Moscow. [For
background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

In remarks to reporters in December, President
Saakashvili stated that he had met with Ilia II
on the eve of his departure for Moscow, and
described himself as "very grateful" for the
patriarch's "diplomatic mission." Foreign
Minister Grigol Varshadze later stated that Ilia
II had shared some "very interesting" information
about his conversation with Medvedev, but declined to elaborate.

"This was a public diplomacy effort meant to coax
politicians to the negotiations table," commented
Deacon Mikael, who also serves as the Georgian
patriarch's secretary. "The patriarch's position
is that we should be able to have neighborly
relations with Russia, but not at the expense of
giving up Georgian territories."

Moscow responded to Ilia II's efforts in late
December by dispatching to Tbilisi its own public
diplomacy mission, led by Medvedev's
international cultural affairs envoy Mikhail Shvidkoy.

But with Ilia II now in Germany for medical
treatment of a virus and a new, untested
patriarch in Moscow, how those Georgian-Russian
church contacts will further develop remains unclear.

Asked to comment in February on the Georgian
patriarchy's missions to Moscow, an official
within the Georgian Foreign Ministry told
EurasiaNet that the topic was "irrelevant," given
the primacy of government concerns about the
European Union investigation into the 2008 war with Russia.

Within Georgia, the greatest concern focuses on
whether or not the Russian Orthodox Church will
reverse its October 2008 decision to recognize
the Orthodox congregations in Abkhazia and South
Ossetia as still subject to the Georgian Orthodox
Church. The Russian Orthodox Church and the
Georgian Orthodox Church function as separate entities.


Religious history scholar Beka Mindiashvili
believes that the Russian patriarchy will avoid
antagonizing the Georgian church and, thus,
inviting retaliation. In case of any reversal of
Alexy II's decision, Mindiashvili noted, "the
Georgian church can then recognize the
autocephaly of the Kiev patriarchy [an Orthodox
church that rivals the Moscow patriarchy], which
is not recognized by other canonical Eastern Orthodox churches."

In a November 2008 interview with the Russian TV
channel Vesti, Kirill said that a "temporary,
transitional model" should be found to meet the
needs of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian Orthodox
communities without angering the Georgian church.

Mindiashvili, an outspoken church critic,
contends, though, that the Kremlin's doors are
now open to the Georgian Orthodox Church since it
is viewed as a natural partner in the fight
against Western influence in the Caucasus. "While
Russia is struggling against growing Western
influence throughout its sphere, the church in
Georgia is against Western-style liberal
democracy's taking hold, as it would inevitably
lead to an erosion of the church's powers,"
Mindiashvili argued. "This is one area where the
two can cooperate, and the Russians view the
[Georgian Orthodox] church as a potential foothold in Georgia."

Conservative religious publications have
reinforced this view. In a recent editorial,
Kvakutkhedi (Cornerstone), a magazine financed by
Metropolitan Job of Akiashvili, wrote that
Georgia should remain under the fold of
"righteous" Russia and stop seeking integration with the "unorthodox" [West.

But the Georgian patriarchy's Deacon Mikael takes
a different position, regretting what he
described as the United States and European
Union's "weak-willed" support for Georgia's
integration with Western institutions. The
Georgian church, he said, completely supports the
government's campaign for democratic reform.

Aside from the patriarchy's growing influence
within Georgia, Ilia II, who has led the Georgian
Orthodox Church since 1977, has longstanding
influence within other Orthodox communities.
During the Soviet era, he served as co-president
of the World Council of Churches for six years
and has received various honors from Orthodox churches worldwide.

One former Georgian ambassador to Moscow,
however, notes that there are limits to the
church's actual influence on Moscow. Patriarchal
missions can do nothing to reverse Russia's
recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as
independent states, said Zurab Abashidze, who
served as ambassador to Russia from 2000 to 2004.
"This leaves us in a bind that no cultural
diplomacy can resolve," said Abashidze, who
traveled to Moscow for Patriarch Kirill's
installation. "It's next to impossible to imagine
any real turnaround, when within 40 kilometers
from the capital there is Russian artillery stationed and trained on Tbilisi."

But Abashidze believes that the church can help
deter any resumption of hostilities by creating a
backdrop that is conducive to negotiations. "Many
in Moscow feel that in August the job was not
completed," he said. "The threat of renewed
hostilities is real, so Georgia should have
recourse to all international and cultural means
to bring the political temperature down."

Editor's Note: Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance reporter in Tbilisi.

Posted February 16, 2009 © Eurasianet
http://www.eurasianet.org
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« Reply #69 on: February 17, 2009, 01:48:24 AM »


Father Bless:

Is unity in our Church such a bad thing? Especially for different branches of the Russian Orthodox Church?



I believe that unity is a good thing, but administrative unity is not so essential that we would need to force such entities as the Archdiocese of Russian Parishes in Europe (Constantinopolitan Patriarchate) to be re-united with the Russian Church unwillingly. 

This could be one of the great dangers of the proposed Great and Holy Council.  It may try to exceed its authority and flex its muscles and enforce what it may see as a logical unity.  The result, as Fr Justin Popovich foresaw, could be chaos and schism.  Let sleeping dogs lie and allow matters to proceed slowly and organically.
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« Reply #70 on: February 17, 2009, 09:01:38 AM »

Hi Father, I understand what you are saying but in my humble opinion some sort of unity is more important. I think the Chuch needs a council and there may be dangers in that but we need to trust the Holy Spirt because the disunity we have now in hurting our message to a starved world.

I believe that unity is a good thing, but administrative unity is not so essential that we would need to force such entities as the Archdiocese of Russian Parishes in Europe (Constantinopolitan Patriarchate) to be re-united with the Russian Church unwillingly. 

This could be one of the great dangers of the proposed Great and Holy Council.  It may try to exceed its authority and flex its muscles and enforce what it may see as a logical unity.  The result, as Fr Justin Popovich foresaw, could be chaos and schism.  Let sleeping dogs lie and allow matters to proceed slowly and organically.
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« Reply #71 on: February 17, 2009, 09:02:38 AM »

The ecclesiastical problem (let us leave the political one aside) has its origin in the Georgian Church's discriminatory attitude towards minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia.

Huh
What do you mean "minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia"?
Georgia is an Orthodox country with it's own Patriarchate. A "minority Orthodox group" in Georgia which is not in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia is nothing short of Phyletism.
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« Reply #72 on: February 17, 2009, 09:15:08 AM »

The ecclesiastical problem (let us leave the political one aside) has its origin in the Georgian Church's discriminatory attitude towards minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia.

Huh
What do you mean "minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia"?
Georgia is an Orthodox country with it's own Patriarchate. A "minority Orthodox group" in Georgia which is not in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia is nothing short of Phyletism.

I do not understand.

Yes, there are minority Orthodox groups in Georgia.

No, none of these minority Orthodox groups are not in the Patriarchate of Georgia.

Where is the phyletism?

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« Reply #73 on: February 17, 2009, 09:21:46 AM »

The ecclesiastical problem (let us leave the political one aside) has its origin in the Georgian Church's discriminatory attitude towards minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia.

Huh
What do you mean "minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia"?
Georgia is an Orthodox country with it's own Patriarchate. A "minority Orthodox group" in Georgia which is not in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia is nothing short of Phyletism.

I do not understand.

Yes, there are minority Orthodox groups in Georgia.

No, none of these minority Orthodox groups are not in the Patriarchate of Georgia.

Where is the phyletism?



How can there be "minority Orthodox groups" in a country which is Orthodox? If they're Orthodox, they are in the majority.
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« Reply #74 on: February 17, 2009, 09:28:44 AM »

The article cited by the Irish Hermit is simple mimicry of Russian government propaganda.

<snip>

The fact is that even after the invasion of August 2008, Patriarch Aleksei declared his recognition of the territorial integrity of the Georgian Patriarchate.


Your two statements seem at odds.   The Church of Russia continues to recognise the territorial boundaries of its sister Georgian Orthodox Church, even though this annoys the Kremlin.

People may not realise that with the complete breakdown of diplomatic communication between Moscow and Tbilisi and the withdrawal of diplomatic embassies, it is only the two Patriarchates which ae enabling communication between the two countries.  The Church continues its mission while the diplomats flounder.

See this article as an example of the contact between the two Churches:

"Georgian, Russian Orthodox Churches ponder South Ossetia"http://www.christiantoday.com/article/georgian.russian.orthodox.churches.ponder.south.ossetia/21842.htm

This question deserves to be split off into its own thread since it has nothing to do with "The Battle Over Britain's Orthodox Church."
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« Reply #75 on: February 17, 2009, 09:36:00 AM »

 The Church of Russia continues to recognise the territorial boundaries of its sister Georgian Orthodox Church, even though this annoys the Kremlin.
Perhaps, but at the same time, the notion that there are "minority Orthodox groups" in Georgia as you have stated clearly show that there is a percieved division between the "majority" Orthodox and the "minority" Orthodox group. And isn't this division the same problem we find in the Orthodox Church in Britain?
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« Reply #76 on: February 17, 2009, 09:38:20 AM »

The ecclesiastical problem (let us leave the political one aside) has its origin in the Georgian Church's discriminatory attitude towards minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia.

Huh
What do you mean "minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia"?
Georgia is an Orthodox country with it's own Patriarchate. A "minority Orthodox group" in Georgia which is not in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia is nothing short of Phyletism.

I do not understand.

Yes, there are minority Orthodox groups in Georgia.

No, none of these minority Orthodox groups are not in the Patriarchate of Georgia.

Where is the phyletism?

I think his point is that phyletism in the original sense was the Church of Bulgaria putting a bishop in Constantinople's territory to minister to Bulgarians there; if there are people in Georgia who aren't Georgian who don't submit themselves to the Church of Georgia, and instead have their own bishop, then that is phyletism.  The Church of Georgia is the spiritual authority for all Orthodox within the country, whether they be Georgian or not.
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« Reply #77 on: February 17, 2009, 09:40:15 AM »

What do you mean "minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia"?
Georgia is an Orthodox country with it's own Patriarchate. A "minority Orthodox group" in Georgia which is not in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia is nothing short of Phyletism.
Quote

I do not understand.

Yes, there are minority Orthodox groups in Georgia.

No, none of these minority Orthodox groups are not in the Patriarchate of Georgia.

Where is the phyletism?


Quote

How can there be "minority Orthodox groups" in a country which is Orthodox? If they're Orthodox, they are in the majority.

Well, for example, until 10 years ago, the Greek Orthodox were the majority Orthodox group in New Zealand.  There were around 7,000 Greek Orthodox. Due to a surprisingly rapid death rate, but most of all recent emigration out of New Zealand, the Greek Orthodox are now around 2,500 - 3,000.

This has placed them in the minority group since thanks to immigration the Russian Orthodox have climbed to around 7,000.  (I am pleased to say that Yours Truly signed the Immigration Sponsorship applications for the great number of these   Smiley ).  However the Russian numbers could also fall with the next generation as the younger people either move to the UK, Canada or Australia or maybe back to Russia if the economy there improves and life becomes more secure and tranquil.

I think that lumping all the Orthodox into one group labelled "Orthodox" is not useful.  Government statistics break us down into groups of ethnic origin and I think that the Churches are pleased to have such statistics.
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« Reply #78 on: February 17, 2009, 09:45:08 AM »

 The Church of Russia continues to recognise the territorial boundaries of its sister Georgian Orthodox Church, even though this annoys the Kremlin.
Perhaps, but at the same time, the notion that there are "minority Orthodox groups" in Georgia as you have stated clearly show that there is a percieved division between the "majority" Orthodox and the "minority" Orthodox group.

Surely we would have to question whether anybody who is unable to see the division is in touch with reality?
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« Reply #79 on: February 17, 2009, 09:49:31 AM »

The ecclesiastical problem (let us leave the political one aside) has its origin in the Georgian Church's discriminatory attitude towards minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia.

Huh
What do you mean "minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia"?
Georgia is an Orthodox country with it's own Patriarchate. A "minority Orthodox group" in Georgia which is not in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia is nothing short of Phyletism.

I do not understand.

Yes, there are minority Orthodox groups in Georgia.

No, none of these minority Orthodox groups are not in the Patriarchate of Georgia.

Where is the phyletism?

I think his point is that phyletism in the original sense was the Church of Bulgaria putting a bishop in Constantinople's territory to minister to Bulgarians there; if there are people in Georgia who aren't Georgian who don't submit themselves to the Church of Georgia, and instead have their own bishop, then that is phyletism.  The Church of Georgia is the spiritual authority for all Orthodox within the country, whether they be Georgian or not.

Is this like the Church of Greece which does not have control over a significant part of the territory of Greece?  Instead the northern part of Greece and some of its central territory is under Constantinople?
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« Reply #80 on: February 17, 2009, 09:54:25 AM »

Please let me know if I'm totally missunderstanding this. There are Orthodox Christians in Georgia who are not Georgian and don't want to be under Georgian Clergy but their own ethnic Clergy? Would this not be the same problem we have here in the US with all the "jurisdictions"? Should it really matter what your ethnicity or Church of origen is as long as you go to a legit Orthodox Church. If I emmigrated to Greece there would not be an OCA Church there so I would go to a legit Greek Church under a Greek Bishop and not want an OCA "jurisdiction" formed.

I may be totally not getting this! Sorry if thats the case!
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« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2009, 10:03:54 AM »

Is this like the Church of Greece which does not have control over a significant part of the territory of Greece?  Instead the northern part of Greece and some of its central territory is under Constantinople?
No. The "territory of Greece" is not the same as "the territory of the Church of Greece".
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
The Church's jurisdictional areas have nothing to do with national borders, which is why the Archbishopric of Ohrid is such a contentious issue between the Serbian and Macedonian Churches.
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« Reply #82 on: February 17, 2009, 10:28:49 AM »

No. The "territory of Greece" is not the same as "the territory of the Church of Greece".
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?


Give it a generation and the Russians will see to it that there is a Russian patriarch on the throne of Micklegarth.

Matter of fact, there are estimated to be 5000 Russians now resident in the city.  Does this outnumber the Greeks?  Probably.   The Russians have petitioned the Patriarch to be assigned a church.  I don't know if this has happened? 

By the way, has anybody read William Dalrymple's "From the Holy Mountain."   It's a must read.  He is a brilliant writer. He is retracing the pilgrimage footsteps of John Moschus and gives us a really fascinating glimpse into the modern life and rather sorry state of the Churches surviving in the Orient.  He starts off in Constantinople and paints a sad picture of a handful of people in the patriarchal church of Saint George on Sundays.

The Holy City of Jerusalem ( believe it or not!) is itself likely to see a Russian Jew on the throne of Saint James within a generation or two.  The Russian Jewish immigration (large numbers of Orthodox Christans from Russia and the Ukraine) is going to alter the whole demographic of the Orthodox presence in the Holy Land.  It already is.  The Jerusalem Patriarchate has created a department for its Russian immigrants.  Serrvices are conducted in both Slavonic and Hebrew.  .  Cities are building Russian Orthodox churches.  Beersheba, for example, has two brand new Russian churches. While other Christian Churches there face a gloomy future, the Orthodox can anticipate a time of flourishing.  It is rather pleasing to contemplate a Patriarch of Jewish ancestry back in the Holy City.

References for all this...? Can you wait until tomorrow.  It is all on my previous computer.
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« Reply #83 on: February 17, 2009, 10:42:35 AM »

I think his point is that phyletism in the original sense was the Church of Bulgaria putting a bishop in Constantinople's territory to minister to Bulgarians there; if there are people in Georgia who aren't Georgian who don't submit themselves to the Church of Georgia, and instead have their own bishop, then that is phyletism.  The Church of Georgia is the spiritual authority for all Orthodox within the country, whether they be Georgian or not.

Is this like the Church of Greece which does not have control over a significant part of the territory of Greece?  Instead the northern part of Greece and some of its central territory is under Constantinople?

Well, not exactly.  The Church of Greece never had authority over the New Lands and certain islands; it could be argued that the Church of Greece was a phyletist movement, but it was the split of existing bishops, not the addition of other ones.  Plus, the Church of Greece's split isn't so much phyletism, considering the members of the COG are of the same phylos (tribe, clan, etc.) as the members of the Church of Constantinople (especially in the 19th century, when the split happened).
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« Reply #84 on: February 17, 2009, 10:42:51 AM »

Are the Russian Jews who convert to Russian Orthodoxy once the get to Israel or are they Russian Jews who were born Jewish but converted before they get to Israel? It would seem that Israel would not allow a large infux of non-jews to Israel with them wishing it remain a majority Jewish state.

The Holy City of Jerusalem ( believe it or not!) is itself likely to see a Russian Jew on the throne of Saint James within a generation or two.  The Russian Jewish immigration (large numbers of Orthodox Christans from Russia and the Ukraine) is going to alter the whole demographic of the Orthodox presence in the Holy Land.  It already is.  The Jerusalem Patriarchate has created a department for its Russian immigrants.  Serrvices are conducted in both Slavonic and Hebrew.  .  Cities are building Russian Orthodox churches.  Beersheba, for example, has two brand new Russian churches. While other Christian Churches there face a gloomy future, the Orthodox can anticipate a time of flourishing.  It is rather pleasing to contemplate a Patriarch of Jewish ancestry back in the Holy City.

References for all this...? Can you wait until tomorrow.  It is all on my previous computer.
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« Reply #85 on: February 17, 2009, 10:47:42 AM »

I think that lumping all the Orthodox into one group labelled "Orthodox" is not useful.  Government statistics break us down into groups of ethnic origin and I think that the Churches are pleased to have such statistics.
Not everyone who is Greek or Russian is Orthodox so who cares how the government wants to label ethnic groups. The fact exist that if someone is Orthodox they are Orthodox, it does not matter where they are from.

The town I live in there is no "Russian" church but there have been many Russian immigrants and they are all not only ministered to but also very happy. The reason they are happy is because all the churches in town have the attitude that they are Orthodox first and the liturgy is celebrated in the local vernacular.

To be honest after reading these post I have to wonder if the good Father would minister to a Greek person if he came to his church or if he would just send him away because he isn't the right ethnic group.

Quote
The Holy City of Jerusalem ( believe it or not!) is itself likely to see a Russian Jew on the throne of Saint James within a generation or two.  The Russian Jewish immigration (large numbers of Orthodox Christans from Russia and the Ukraine) is going to alter the whole demographic of the Orthodox presence in the Holy Land.
If they are Russian Jews then they are not Christians, they are JEWISH!!!! On top of it Russian Jews are not even ethnically Jewish or Russian.

Quote
Serrvices are conducted in both Slavonic and Hebrew
The only languages that the Patriarch of Jerusalem uses on a regular basis are Greek, Arabic and Slavonic (but only use the Slavonic is the churches that the Russian government has built). Hebrew is not used as a language in the Church because Modern Hebrew is a made up language.
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« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2009, 10:48:52 AM »

No. The "territory of Greece" is not the same as "the territory of the Church of Greece".
.....

The Church's jurisdictional areas have nothing to do with national borders, ...

Yes, it is the same for the Church of Russia.

The Russian Orthodox Church is multi-ethnic and crosses many national borders.

Her canonical territory includes several countries - Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbajian, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Lithuania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, etc.
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« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2009, 10:54:35 AM »

Are the Russian Jews who convert to Russian Orthodoxy once the get to Israel or are they Russian Jews who were born Jewish but converted before they get to Israel? It would seem that Israel would not allow a large infux of non-jews to Israel with them wishing it remain a majority Jewish state.

These are in the main Jews who have been Orthodox Christians in Russia and the Ukraine for decades and even centuries.

One fifth of Israel's population is now Russian and a percentage of these are Orthodox Christians.

The "Right of Return" to Israel applies to all Jews irrespective of their religion.    This has been causing some concern in the Israeli Knesset for several years now and they talk from time to time about restricting the "Right of Return."  If you do a web search it will turn up various articles. 
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« Reply #88 on: February 17, 2009, 10:57:35 AM »

I see now. I did not know this I thought only practicing Jews could use the "Right of Return". It's awesome to hear that Orthodox are going to the Holy Land. Thanks Father!

The "Right of Return" to Israel applies to all Jews irrespective of their religion. 
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« Reply #89 on: February 17, 2009, 11:00:29 AM »

I see now. I did not know this I thought only practicing Jews could use the "Right of Return". It's awesome to hear that Orthodox are going to the Holy Land. Thanks Father!

The "Right of Return" to Israel applies to all Jews irrespective of their religion. 

Actually no. You can't be Christian and exercise the "Right of Return."
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« Reply #90 on: February 17, 2009, 11:30:35 AM »

Actually no. You can't be Christian and exercise the "Right of Return."
The right of return is exercised by virtue of Jewish ethnicity.  Russian Orthodox Christians do not enter a religon on the immigration aplication.

"It has been estimated that in the past twenty years about 300,000 avowed non-Jews and even practicing Christians have entered Israel from the former Soviet Union on the basis of being a grandchild of a Jew or by being married to a Jew."

Source  ::  Law of Return

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Return

The Secretary of the Jerusalem Patriachate estimates that in the last 10 years or so around 300,000 Russian Orthodox Christians have immigrated into Israel (Typical lax Orthodox statistics!   Grin )  He points out that even if we take a lower estimate the Russian Orthodox outnumber the Arab Orthodox in Jerusalem.


Who is a Jew?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_is_a_Jew%3F#Law_of_Return


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« Reply #91 on: February 17, 2009, 11:36:42 AM »

Momentarily cannot find the statistics from the Secretary of the Jerusalam Patriarchate for Russian Orthodox immigrants.  Will keep looking.

In the meantime there is this:


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.
__________________________________

That's quite an old link so it may well be dead.  Please don't flog me!   Grin
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« Reply #92 on: February 17, 2009, 11:42:10 AM »

I just did a quick read of the Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs website and it seems that Father is correct. You need to be an ethnic Jew not a religious Jew. It would seem that those Jews who converted to Orthodoxy can use the "Right of Return" Law as long as they can establish they are ethnically Jewish.

I need to read more but I don't have time at work.
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« Reply #93 on: February 17, 2009, 11:42:55 AM »

Found it   Smiley

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

Summary of article:

Russian-speaking Orthodox believers today outnumber Orthodox Arabs in the Jerusalem Patriarchate -- according to Metropolitan Timothy, the Jerusalem patriarchate's Secretary General. Some statistics indicate 300,000 Russian Orthodox while others state no more than 150,000. In either case, they outnumber the Arab Orthodox faithful.

This will have some impact on the future of the Patriarchate.
***

We see from these statistics that the Orthodox outnumber the 117,000 Catholics (stats of eight years ago.)
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« Reply #94 on: February 17, 2009, 12:01:32 PM »

To be honest after reading these post I have to wonder if the good Father would minister to a Greek person if he came to his church or if he would just send him away because he isn't the right ethnic group.

I was unofficial parish priest to the Greek congregation of Wellington in 1992 for about 6 months (maybe a bit less than 3000 members at the time, I was a Serbian priest then)) while they were experiencing an interregnum of priests.

For six months I did Liturgy for them, in Greek, also their funerals and weddings.  I was slightly exhausted and glad when a new Greek priest arrived - there is so much socialising expected of a Greek priest !!

For years afterwards people I married asked that I baptize their children and provided it was given the green light from the Greek Church authorities I was honoured to do so.

It's an awful thing to say that I would send people away from church.  I cannot imagine what sort of priests you have experienced?? !!  Even today Greeks who live in the neighbourhood of the Russian church will be seen at services.
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« Reply #95 on: February 17, 2009, 12:29:12 PM »

Hebrew is not used as a language in the Church because Modern Hebrew is a made up language.

Fr Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel is (or was) the head of the Russian Department of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.  I was sure that he mentioned years ago that they were using both Slavonic and Hebrew in the Liturgy.

He is on Facebook if anybody would like to make contact and ask him:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=1126861596
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« Reply #96 on: February 17, 2009, 12:45:52 PM »

Whether it is a made up language or not, it is used by people now, so I don't see the problem with it being used.  If Esperanto were spoken by people in an area as a native language and they were monolingual, we could use that too (although most Esperantoists I have met have some kind of universalist humanist pov so I doubt there are many of them that are Orthodox!)

However, the number of parishes using Hebrew must be rather small.
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« Reply #97 on: February 17, 2009, 12:58:42 PM »

Momentarily cannot find the statistics from the Secretary of the Jerusalam Patriarchate for Russian Orthodox immigrants.  Will keep looking.

In the meantime there is this:


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.
__________________________________

That's quite an old link so it may well be dead.  Please don't flog me!   Grin

The problem isn't with the link it is with the timeliness of the data. You should know this by now, many of the Russians claim to be Orthodox but very few of those that fled during this time period are actually practicing Orthodox Christians. They may show up at Pascha but you don't see them until there is a death and they need a burial. Also you will find very few of them practicing their Christianity and attending church because it will make them targets amongs some of the more zealous Zionist. The Russians are able to live in the Jewish sections but they will be persecuted by the Jews, the Arabs live in the Palestinian sections are they are persecuted by the Muslims. If you are Christian and live in the Jerusalem it is not easy and many have left. Just come to America and visit the cities of Houston, Chicago and Detroit and you will meet many pious people who have fled that part of the world so that they can live like human beings.
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« Reply #98 on: February 17, 2009, 12:59:48 PM »

Whether it is a made up language or not, it is used by people now, so I don't see the problem with it being used. 

Technically, it's a reconstructed language, not a "made up one", such as Tolkien's Quenya and Sindarin languages.

The more important point is that not only is Hebrew used now, but it is actively being taught to children as their first language and has been for over 100 years.  While it may be argued that it has significantly changed from Biblical Hebrew due to the influx of European syntax and vocabulary via Yiddish, and therefore a truly hybrid language, no linguist or language scholar would deny that it is a living, viable language.



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« Reply #99 on: February 17, 2009, 01:01:11 PM »

The ecclesiastical problem (let us leave the political one aside) has its origin in the Georgian Church's discriminatory attitude towards minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia.

Huh
What do you mean "minority Orthodox groups within the territory of Georgia"?
Georgia is an Orthodox country with it's own Patriarchate. A "minority Orthodox group" in Georgia which is not in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia is nothing short of Phyletism.

I do not understand.

Yes, there are minority Orthodox groups in Georgia.

No, none of these minority Orthodox groups are not in the Patriarchate of Georgia.

Where is the phyletism?



How can there be "minority Orthodox groups" in a country which is Orthodox? If they're Orthodox, they are in the majority.
Simple.  They are not Georgian, and therefore in the minority.  For most of us, that would at a very basic level, raise the questions of the Liturgical language (Georgian is notoriously difficult, and if you aren't Georgian...)

I second someone's motion to have a separate thread on this issue, or perhaps merge it with the thread on the Georgian's treatment of the Armenians. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #100 on: February 17, 2009, 01:07:06 PM »

If you are Christian and live in the Jerusalem it is not easy and many have left. Just come to America and visit the cities of Houston, Chicago and Detroit and you will meet many pious people who have fled that part of the world so that they can live like human beings.

I have several ex-Israelis in my parish.
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« Reply #101 on: February 17, 2009, 01:14:49 PM »

Hebrew is not used as a language in the Church because Modern Hebrew is a made up language.

Friday, August 29, 2008
OCMC supports Fr. Alexander Winogradsky

http://abbaaw.blogspot.com/2008/08/ocmc-supports-fr-alexander-winogradsky.html


This article was published in Fall 2007 in the OCMC Magazine. As we come to the end of 5768, a year of shmittah\שמיטה release and rest for the earth, the 150th anniversary year of the birth of Eliezer Ben Yehudah. He revived Hebrew, a dream that came true.

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) recently began supporting the work of Archpriest Alexander Winogradsky in Jerusalem. Fr. Alexander leads a small community where he performs the Liturgy in Hebrew. Offering Church services in the native language of the Israeli people has allowed Fr.Alexander to build bridges and reach out to those who are seeking Christ in this ancient and Holy Land. Fr. James Bernstein of St.Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Brier, Washington, interviewed Fr. Alexander about his remarkable ministry.

Fr. James/ Fr. Alexander, you are authorized to serve the Divine Liturgy and other services in Hebrew in the Holy Land. Is the servicing of Orthodox
services in Hebrew a recent development?

Please click on link above for more....
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« Reply #102 on: February 17, 2009, 01:42:32 PM »

God bless Fr. Alexander and his work but one parish using Hebrew in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is still an anomaly rather then the norm.

Also the text he is using is a more pure form of Hebrew then what is being taught in schools today.
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« Reply #103 on: February 17, 2009, 01:55:01 PM »


Also the text he is using is a more pure form of Hebrew then what is being taught in schools today.

There is no such thing as a "pure" form of a language.

Once again, any linguist will tell you that.
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« Reply #104 on: February 17, 2009, 01:55:29 PM »

Is this like the Church of Greece which does not have control over a significant part of the territory of Greece?  Instead the northern part of Greece and some of its central territory is under Constantinople?
No. The "territory of Greece" is not the same as "the territory of the Church of Greece".
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!
Quote
The Church's jurisdictional areas have nothing to do with national borders, which is why the Archbishopric of Ohrid is such a contentious issue between the Serbian and Macedonian Churches.

Oh?

Ecumenical Council of Nicea I
Quote
Canon IV.

It is by all means proper that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should meet together, and the suffrages of the absent [bishops] also being given and communicated in writing, then the ordination should take place.  But in every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the Metropolitan.

Those provinces were the ones drawn by the emperors and the various client kingdoms.  The Metropolis was also decided by the secular world, Jerusalem being the sole exception.  Which is how we got:

Constantinople I
Quote
Canon III.

The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome.

And of course, who could forget (as if the EP would let us):


Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon

Quote
Canon XXVIII.

Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and acknowledging the canon, which has been just read, of the One Hundred and Fifty Bishops beloved-of-God (who assembled in the imperial city of Constantinople, which is New Rome, in the time of the Emperor Theodosius of happy memory), we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome.  For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city.  And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges (ἴσα πρεσβεῖα) to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her; so that, in the Pontic, the Asian, and the Thracian dioceses, the metropolitans only and such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians, should be ordained by the aforesaid most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the bishops of his province, ordaining his own provincial bishops, as has been declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been above said, the metropolitans of the aforesaid Dioceses should be ordained by the archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been held according to custom and have been reported to him.

Quote
Canon XII.

It has come to our knowledge that certain persons, contrary to the laws of the Church, having had recourse to secular powers, have by means of imperial rescripts divided one Province into two, so that there are consequently two metropolitans in one province; therefore the holy Synod has decreed that for the future no such thing shall be at tempted by a bishop, since he who shall undertake it shall be degraded from his rank.  But the cities which have already been honoured by means of imperial letters with the name of metropolis, and the bishops in charge of them, shall take the bare title, all metropolitan rights being preserved to the true Metropolis

Quote
Canon XVII.

Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years.  But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province.  And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid.  And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.

Quintsext
Quote
Canon XXXVIII.
The canon which was made by the Fathers we also observe, which thus decreed:  If any city be renewed by imperial authority, or shall have been renewed, let the order of things ecclesiastical follow the civil and public models.

Not to say that is the way things should be. But it is how they have been.

No. The "territory of Greece" is not the same as "the territory of the Church of Greece".
.....

The Church's jurisdictional areas have nothing to do with national borders, ...

Yes, it is the same for the Church of Russia.

The Russian Orthodox Church is multi-ethnic and crosses many national borders.

Her canonical territory includes several countries - Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbajian, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Lithuania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, etc.


ESTONIA
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« Reply #105 on: February 17, 2009, 02:06:34 PM »

I think that lumping all the Orthodox into one group labelled "Orthodox" is not useful.  Government statistics break us down into groups of ethnic origin and I think that the Churches are pleased to have such statistics.
Not everyone who is Greek or Russian is Orthodox so who cares how the government wants to label ethnic groups. The fact exist that if someone is Orthodox they are Orthodox, it does not matter where they are from.

The town I live in there is no "Russian" church but there have been many Russian immigrants and they are all not only ministered to but also very happy. The reason they are happy is because all the churches in town have the attitude that they are Orthodox first and the liturgy is celebrated in the local vernacular.

To be honest after reading these post I have to wonder if the good Father would minister to a Greek person if he came to his church or if he would just send him away because he isn't the right ethnic group.

You mean, they aren't Irish?

The Holy City of Jerusalem ( believe it or not!) is itself likely to see a Russian Jew on the throne of Saint James within a generation or two.  The Russian Jewish immigration (large numbers of Orthodox Christans from Russia and the Ukraine) is going to alter the whole demographic of the Orthodox presence in the Holy Land.


If they are Russian Jews then they are not Christians, they are JEWISH!!!! On top of it Russian Jews are not even ethnically Jewish or Russian.

Uh, they can, and do, convert.

Not ethnically Jewish or Russian, huh?  Then what are they?

Serrvices are conducted in both Slavonic and Hebrew

The only languages that the Patriarch of Jerusalem uses on a regular basis are Greek, Arabic and Slavonic (but only use the Slavonic is the churches that the Russian government has built). Hebrew is not used as a language in the Church because Modern Hebrew is a made up language.

About as made up as is Modern English, Modern Greek (or Koine for that matter), Classical Latin, Classical Arabic, Slavonic, etc.  Btw, the Revival of Hebrew (I guess what you mean by "made up) predates Zionism.
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« Reply #106 on: February 17, 2009, 02:25:49 PM »

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.
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« Reply #107 on: February 17, 2009, 02:43:18 PM »

I'm going to a guess that he meant God grant that Constantinople comes back under Christian hands, and not the violent takeover of the EP!

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.
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« Reply #108 on: February 17, 2009, 02:48:42 PM »

I'm going to a guess that he meant God grant that Constantinople comes back under Christian hands, and not the violent takeover of the EP!

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.
The Russians so far have saved their violence for the Turks.  Btw, the last Orthodox service in Agia Sophia was a few years ago, when the Russian delegation at the funeral for the EP stopped by for a molieben I believe.  The Turks didn't dare stop them.
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« Reply #109 on: February 17, 2009, 02:56:52 PM »

I just did a quick read of the Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs website and it seems that Father is correct. You need to be an ethnic Jew not a religious Jew. It would seem that those Jews who converted to Orthodoxy can use the "Right of Return" Law as long as they can establish they are ethnically Jewish.

I need to read more but I don't have time at work.

We have a couple in our parish originally from Kazakhstan.  He was Jewish and she was a Moselm.  They immigrated to Israel where they converted to Orthodoxy before coming to the U.S.  Many immigrating to Israel are not practicing Jews.

Orthodoc
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« Reply #110 on: February 17, 2009, 03:02:00 PM »

I just did a quick read of the Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs website and it seems that Father is correct. You need to be an ethnic Jew not a religious Jew. It would seem that those Jews who converted to Orthodoxy can use the "Right of Return" Law as long as they can establish they are ethnically Jewish.

I need to read more but I don't have time at work.

We have a couple in our parish originally from Kazakhstan.  He was Jewish and she was a Moselm.  They immigrated to Israel where they converted to Orthodoxy before coming to the U.S.  Many immigrating to Israel are not practicing Jews.

Orthodoc

Thats great for the Orthodox Church. The numbers of Christians in the Holy Land are down. I pray that God will bring their numbers up there and that many more Orthodox Churches are built.
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« Reply #111 on: February 17, 2009, 03:06:05 PM »

I'm going to a guess that he meant God grant that Constantinople comes back under Christian hands, and not the violent takeover of the EP!

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.

Why would you guess that when he said "God grant it" that the Patriarchate of Constantinople should come under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
That's stretching the interpretation of what he said a bit far isn't it?
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« Reply #112 on: February 17, 2009, 03:08:56 PM »

I'm going to a guess that he meant God grant that Constantinople comes back under Christian hands, and not the violent takeover of the EP!

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.

Why would you guess that when he said "God grant it" that the Patriarchate of Constantinople should come under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
That's stretching the interpretation of what he said a bit far isn't it?

No I don't. I just don't think he meant he wanted Russian to take over Turkey and depose the EP. I'm guessing (thinking) he wants God to grant it to Russia to liberate the EP in Constantinople. Maybe I'm wrong but thats how I see it untill he says otherwise.
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« Reply #113 on: February 17, 2009, 03:12:36 PM »

I'm going to a guess that he meant God grant that Constantinople comes back under Christian hands, and not the violent takeover of the EP!

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.

Why would you guess that when he said "God grant it" that the Patriarchate of Constantinople should come under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
That's stretching the interpretation of what he said a bit far isn't it?

No I don't. I just don't think he meant he wanted Russian to take over Turkey and depose the EP. I'm guessing (thinking) he wants God to grant it to Russia to liberate the EP in Constantinople. Maybe I'm wrong but thats how I see it untill he says otherwise.

Lets go through this slowly.

I said:
]Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
To which ialmisry responded:
GOD GRANT IT!

I don't see any other way to interpret this.
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« Reply #114 on: February 17, 2009, 03:16:48 PM »

I'm going to a guess that he meant God grant that Constantinople comes back under Christian hands, and not the violent takeover of the EP!

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.

Why would you guess that when he said "God grant it" that the Patriarchate of Constantinople should come under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
That's stretching the interpretation of what he said a bit far isn't it?

No I don't. I just don't think he meant he wanted Russian to take over Turkey and depose the EP. I'm guessing (thinking) he wants God to grant it to Russia to liberate the EP in Constantinople. Maybe I'm wrong but thats how I see it untill he says otherwise.

Lets go through this slowly.

I said:
]Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
To which ialmisry responded:
GOD GRANT IT!

I don't see any other way to interpret this.


I know what he said but I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here. It would be pretty bad to advocate the violent takeover of a Patriarchal Throne.
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« Reply #115 on: February 17, 2009, 03:20:36 PM »

well ialmisry is a regular poster, I am sure he will be back soon enough to clarify Wink
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« Reply #116 on: February 17, 2009, 03:30:08 PM »

I'm going to guess that he hope that the Russians will wipe out the Turks, not specifically that the MP will get to take over control of Constantinople.  I that would pretty much be the end of the Orthodox Church's unity.  Forget calendar issues; something like that would never be forgotten, like the sacking of Constantinople by the crusaders.
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« Reply #117 on: February 17, 2009, 03:50:24 PM »

This is how I see it also. I think we should be praying for the liberation of Turkey (Greece), and I would bet the person praying the most for this is the EP!

I'm going to guess that he hope that the Russians will wipe out the Turks, not specifically that the MP will get to take over control of Constantinople.  I that would pretty much be the end of the Orthodox Church's unity.  Forget calendar issues; something like that would never be forgotten, like the sacking of Constantinople by the crusaders.
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« Reply #118 on: February 17, 2009, 04:41:51 PM »

I'm going to a guess that he meant God grant that Constantinople comes back under Christian hands, and not the violent takeover of the EP!

Quote
Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
GOD GRANT IT!

Such a thing would come from the demons, not from God. That a Bishop should usurp another Bishop's authority through violence is diabolical, infernal and a direct assault on the Orthodox Church. So I have to wonder who your god is that you address this prayer to.

Why would you guess that when he said "God grant it" that the Patriarchate of Constantinople should come under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
That's stretching the interpretation of what he said a bit far isn't it?

No I don't. I just don't think he meant he wanted Russian to take over Turkey and depose the EP. I'm guessing (thinking) he wants God to grant it to Russia to liberate the EP in Constantinople. Maybe I'm wrong but thats how I see it untill he says otherwise.

Lets go through this slowly.

I said:
]Let's take the extreme example: if Russia invades Turkey and annexes it, does the Patriarchate of Constantinope automatically become the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow?
To which ialmisry responded:
GOD GRANT IT!

I don't see any other way to interpret this.


I'm going to guess that he hope that the Russians will wipe out the Turks,
I'd prefer convert.
Quote
not specifically that the MP will get to take over control of Constantinople. 
I'm not for the takeover of one patriarchate by another, violent or otherwise.  Well, Old Rome needs to be under someone's wing.
Quote
I that would pretty much be the end of the Orthodox Church's unity.  Forget calendar issues; something like that would never be forgotten, like the sacking of Constantinople by the crusaders.
Or the abolition of the patriarchates in Bulgaria, Serbia, etc. by the Phanar for the Ottomans?

Actually, shocking as it may seem to some, my Cross was blessed on the altar at St. George's, a/k/a the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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« Reply #119 on: February 17, 2009, 06:55:06 PM »

This is how I see it also. I think we should be praying for the liberation of Turkey (Greece), and I would bet the person praying the most for this is the EP!

As I've said I believe that the Russians will eventually take control of the Ecumenical Throne simply by the strength of their numbers in Constantinople.  They are estimated to now number 5,000 which is more than the Greeks.  And they are still increasing.

I don't see what is wrong with this, especially for those people who do not perceive that there can be majority and minority ethnic groups within a Local Church and insist that all people are simply "Orthodox" within a Local Church.  All that happens is that a member of the majority Orthodox ethnic group in Constantinople (the Russians) may one day be elected Patriarch which is only fit and right.  It will be a natural outcome of the preponderance of their numbers within the Patriarchate. 

Constantinople will continue as always, but there should be one great benefit;  the Russians are in in position to actually ameliorate the Throne's position vis-a-vis the Turkish Government in a way which the Greeks have not been able.

And, when one thinks about it, is not the election of a Russian visible proof of the multi-national character of the Ecumenical Throne?
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« Reply #120 on: February 17, 2009, 06:59:18 PM »

I just can't see the turks allowing a Russian on the Throne.
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« Reply #121 on: February 17, 2009, 07:01:18 PM »

Tom, I think you're right about the courts not really caring about us Orthodox, which means, really, that we don't have to worry about what they think -- much less what they who have no actual power to affect change think -- concerning the EP's role.

How sad that we've forgotten the scripture which warns against bringing your brother before a secular court...  :-";"xx

Is there any news from London concerning the case of the Exarchate of Russian Parishes (Ecumenical Patriarchate) against the Church of Russia, for ownership rights of the London cathedral of the diocese of Sourozh?

If memory serves the case is set to open this week in a London court.
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« Reply #122 on: February 17, 2009, 07:06:53 PM »

This is how I see it also. I think we should be praying for the liberation of Turkey (Greece), and I would bet the person praying the most for this is the EP!

Turkey is not Greece. "Greece" is a modern invention. Before 1821, there was no nation state called "Greece". It was a collection of City States, which is why you won't find the word "Greece" in any of St. Paul's journeys there in the New Testament. St. Paul went to Corinth, Athens, Philippi, Ephesus etc. But if you asked someone who lived in what is now called Greece what their nationality was, they would have said "Romoi" (Roman). Turkey has nothing to do with the modern Nation State of Greece, and Greece has absolutely no claims over Constantinople.
Constantinople will be returned to the "Romoi", not Greece.
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« Reply #123 on: February 17, 2009, 07:12:49 PM »

I just can't see the turks allowing a Russian on the Throne.
They won't.
All the prophesies of our contemporary Saints and Elders about this say that Constantinople will be taken by Russia, but they will be forced to give it to the Romoi against their will.
That's why the Romoi tend not to care about Russian boasts about their power- they are God's instument which will do our work for us.
Venerable Elder Paisios of blessed memory, my first Spiritual Father prophesied:
"We will get Constantinople back, but not us. We, because of the sorry state of the majority of our youth, are not capable to do such things. But God will arrange it so that others will capture Constantinople and give it to us, as a solution to their problem."
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« Reply #124 on: February 17, 2009, 07:14:02 PM »

This is how I see it also. I think we should be praying for the liberation of Turkey (Greece), and I would bet the person praying the most for this is the EP!

Turkey is not Greece. "Greece" is a modern invention. Before 1821, there was no nation state called "Greece". It was a collection of City States, which is why you won't find the word "Greece" in any of St. Paul's journeys there in the New Testament. St. Paul went to Corinth, Athens, Philippi, Ephesus etc. But if you asked someone who lived in what is now called Greece what their nationality was, they would have said "Romoi" (Roman). Turkey has nothing to do with the modern Nation State of Greece, and Greece has absolutely no claims over Constantinople.
Constantinople will be returned to the "Romoi", not Greece.

And who are the decedents of the Romoi? Modern Greeks?
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« Reply #125 on: February 17, 2009, 07:15:36 PM »

I just can't see the turks allowing a Russian on the Throne.

If he is a Turkish national, why not?  It would be legal.

As you see from the Russians actually daring to pray in Agia Sofia, the Turks have to show a bit of respect for the Russians.  The exigency of realpolitik.
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« Reply #126 on: February 17, 2009, 07:22:48 PM »

And who are the decedents of the Romoi? Modern Greeks?
Not only modern Greeks, but anyone who was a Christian subject of New Rome (Constantinple) is a "Romois". For example, the Christians in the Middle East who were subjects of the Roman Empire called themselves "Rum" which is the arabic word for "Roman". This is why the Patriarchate of Antioch to this day calls itself the "Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East", by "Greek", they actually mean "Roman".
Even the Turks call us Romans, because that is who they conquered. The Patriarchate of Constantinople is called in Turkish: "Rum Ortodoks Patriği" ("The Roman Orthodox Patriarchate").
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« Reply #127 on: February 17, 2009, 07:25:56 PM »

All the prophesies of our contemporary Saints and Elders about this say that Constantinople will be taken by Russia, but they will be forced to give it to the Romoi against their will.

References please for the prophecies that

1. Constantinople will be taken by Russia

2. Russia will be forced againts its will to give it to the Greeks.
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« Reply #128 on: February 17, 2009, 07:28:02 PM »

And who are the decedents of the Romoi? Modern Greeks?
Not only modern Greeks, but anyone who was a Christian subject of New Rome (Constantinple) is a "Romois". For example, the Christians in the Middle East who were subjects of the Roman Empire called themselves "Rum" which is the arabic word for "Roman". This is why the Patriarchate of Antioch to this day calls itself the "Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East", by "Greek", they actually mean "Roman".
Even the Turks call us Romans, because that is who they conquered. The Patriarchate of Constantinople is called in Turkish: "Rum Ortodoks Patriği" ("The Roman Orthodox Patriarchate").

Interesting!
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« Reply #129 on: February 17, 2009, 07:38:42 PM »

I just can't see the turks allowing a Russian on the Throne.
They won't be given the choice.
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« Reply #130 on: February 17, 2009, 07:42:06 PM »

And who are the decedents of the Romoi? Modern Greeks?
Not only modern Greeks, but anyone who was a Christian subject of New Rome (Constantinple) is a "Romois".

Ah, the Millet-i Rum.  Orthodox Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Vlachs, Romanians and Serbs were all considered part of the same millet and were Romans to the Turks.
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« Reply #131 on: February 17, 2009, 07:44:37 PM »

I just can't see the turks allowing a Russian on the Throne.
They won't be given the choice.

That would be wonderful. I would love to see the day when the turks are removed from Orthodox lands!
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« Reply #132 on: February 17, 2009, 07:56:10 PM »

References please for the prophecies that

1. Constantinople will be taken by Russia

2. Russia will be forced againts its will to give it to the Greeks.

Well, he's formerly of ROCOR, but Vladimir Moss may be familiar to you. In his work "The Book of the End" he references many of our Saint's prophecies about this:
Quote
"Several of the Greek prophets speak of the conquest of Constantinople by a blonde race beginning with the letter "R". This occupation will last "until the fifth hour" (St. Constantine's tomb) or "for six and five" (St. Methodius of Patara). We suppose that this means: “between five and six months”, for the climax of the prophecy of Hieromartyr Constantius the Russian of Constantinople covers a period of little over five months: "On July 8th two unheard-of wars will coincide. On August 12th there will be an unbearable heatwave. On December 18th half mankind will perish."[173] This is more or less consistent with the Apocalypse's five months."
and in the footnotes to this paragraph (footnote 171), he lists the Saints as:
Quote
"Hieromartyr Methodius of Patara, St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ of Constantinople, St. Tarasius of Constantinople, Emperor Leo the Wise, Hieromartyr Cosmas of Aitolia and on the tomb and column of St. Constantine the Great, translated in Sotiropoulos, op. cit."

Then, add to this the prophecy of the venerable Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain from the book "Ο ΓΕΡΩΝ ΠΑΪΣΙΟΣ" ("THE ELDER PAISIOS") by Heiromonk Christodoulos Angellou (pg 183):
Quote
Στην Λιτανεία της Φοβεράς Προστασίας το 1992, την ομπρέλλα της Παναγίας την κρατουσσε ο ανθυπασπιστής της Μοίρας Καταδρομων, Β.Τ., από τα Ιωάννινα. Όπως προχωρούσαμε, δεξιά του ήμουν εγώ και αριστερά του ο Γέροντας, ο οποιος κάποια στιγμή είπε στον αξιωματικό:

-Άντε, εύχομαι με το καλό να είσαι σημαιοφόρος και στην Πόλη (Κων/πολη), που θα μπουμε:

Και γυρνώντας προς εμένα μου είπε:

-Άκουσες τι είπα;

-Ναι, Γέροντα το άκουσα. Αμήν, του απάντησα.

Τοτε γέλασε εκεινος και πρόφερε το χαρακτηριστικό του επιφώνημα.

-Ά! (εντάξει, δηλαδή).

Μιά μέρα αργότερα κατέβηκα στο κελί του και τον ρώτησα σχετικά με την Πόλη και μου είπε:

-Την Κωνσταντινούπολη θα την πάρουμε πίσω, αλλά όχι εμείς. Εμείς, έτσι όπως κατάντησε η πλειονότητα της νεολαίας μας, δεν είμαστε ικανοί για τέτοια. Όμως ο Θεός θα οικονομήσει να πάρουν άλλοι την Πόλη και να την δώσουν σ’ εμας, σαν λύση στο πρόβλημά τους.

 

Rough English translation:

During the Procession of the Awesome Protection of 1992, the umbrella of the Panagia was being held by the sergeant-major of the Army Squadron, B.T., from Ioannina. As we proceeded, I was on his right, and the Elder, who was on his left, at some point said to the officer:

-"Come on, I hope you are the standard-bearer even in Constantinople, in which we shall enter."

And turning to me he said:

-"Did you hear what I said?"

-"Yes, Elder, I heard it. Amen," I answered him.

Then he laughed and uttered his characteristic exclamation.

-"Ah!" (ok, in other words)

One day later I went to his cell and I asked him about Constantinople and he told me:

-"We will get Constantinople back, but not us. We, because of the sorry state of the majority of our youth, are not capable to do such things. But God will arrange it so that others will capture Constantinople and give it to us, as a solution to their problem."

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« Reply #133 on: February 17, 2009, 07:57:36 PM »

That would be wonderful. I would love to see the day when the turks are removed from Orthodox lands!

Yikes, could we not learn to live side by side.  If the Turks are expelled from Turkey, we will create a political problem which will make the Palestinian one seem like a mild toothache.   Sad
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« Reply #134 on: February 17, 2009, 08:19:35 PM »

That would be wonderful. I would love to see the day when the turks are removed from Orthodox lands!

Yikes, could we not learn to live side by side.  If the Turks are expelled from Turkey, we will create a political problem which will make the Palestinian one seem like a mild toothache.   Sad

Yeah if they convert to Orthodox. As muslims these people have committed genocide on a scale that is really hard to comprehend. I'm not saying execute them but what are the Orthodox going to do. Maybe split the country I'm not sure and its not up to me. I don't think there has ever been a country in the history of islam that has had a sizable muslim population and no strife?  If I'm wrong ok, but living side by side with muslims usually means continual strife.
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« Reply #135 on: February 17, 2009, 08:20:21 PM »

Yikes, could we not learn to live side by side.  If the Turks are expelled from Turkey, we will create a political problem which will make the Palestinian one seem like a mild toothache.   Sad
According to 18th Century prophecy of St Cosmas the Aitolan who prophesied the liberation of what is now Greece:
"The Turks will leave, but they shall return and will come as far as Hexamilia. In the end, they shall be driven away to Kokkina Milia. Of the Turks, one third will be killed, another third will be baptized, and the remaining third will go to Kokkina Milia. "
http://members.cox.net/orthodoxheritage/St.%20Kosmas.htm

There is a town in Southern Greece called "Hexamilia" and rumours began spreading saying that the Turks would invade as far as that town. Elder Paisios explained that they had misunderstood. "Hexamilia" literally means means "six miles". Every other country in the world with a coastline can claim twelve nautical miles of territorial waters around it, however, Turkey will only recognise six nautical miles of territorial waters for Greece. Elder Paisios explained that the prophecy meant that the Turks would come within six nautical miles ("hexa milia") of Greece (i.e., to challenge it's territorial waters) but be forced back. "Kokkina Milia" in the prophecy means "The Red Apple Tree" and was believed to be the place where the Turks originally came from.
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« Reply #136 on: February 17, 2009, 08:29:43 PM »

As I've said I believe that the Russians will eventually take control of the Ecumenical Throne simply by the strength of their numbers in Constantinople. 

Let us not forget that many of Orthodox residents in Istanbul and Jerusalem, who may be purposely or inadvertently listed as Russians in some surveys are, in fact, Ukrainians. And many Ukrainians, myself included would never ever participate in any kind of the MP takeover against the EP.

Fr. Protopresbyter Alexander Winogradsky has been mentioned here. He is a wonderful person and, if only it is appropriate to call someone a living Saint, that term can be applied to Fr. Alexander Winogradsky. He is really multilingual and some of his services are in Ukrainian. As a matter of fact, he used vernacular Russian as well.


I would love to see the day when the turks are removed from Orthodox lands!
With all the respect, Innocent, a peaceful missionary work and peaceful conversions would be preferable.

In terms of multinational character of the Patriarchates. (23) current and (2) retired Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople ethnically are not Greek.

In Moscow Patriarchate, most of Hierarchs are either natives of former USSR or ROCOR members. Only (3) can be named as exceptions. (2) of (3) belong to Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Chruch. (1) more, a really nice person, is an ethnic Russian, born in Finland.

While historically a lot of missionary results have been achieved not only by converts but also by cradle Orthodox, in these Patriarchates and elsewhere, these proportions say a lot.
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« Reply #137 on: February 17, 2009, 08:32:30 PM »

With all the respect, Innocent, a peaceful missionary work and peaceful conversions would be preferable.

Yes it would be preferable!
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« Reply #138 on: February 17, 2009, 08:37:11 PM »

With all the respect, Innocent, a peaceful missionary work and peaceful conversions would be preferable.

Yes it would be preferable!

Thanks!
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« Reply #139 on: February 17, 2009, 08:39:50 PM »

In terms of multinational character of the Patriarchates. (23) current and (2) retired Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople ethnically are not Greek.

In Moscow Patriarchate, most of Hierarchs are either natives of former USSR or ROCOR members. Only (3) can be named as exceptions. (2) of (3) belong to Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Chruch. (1) more, a really nice person, is an ethnic Russian, born in Finland.

While historically a lot of missionary results have been achieved not only by converts but also by cradle Orthodox, in these Patriarchates and elsewhere, these proportions say a lot.

I don't think this is a fair assessment. The USSR was multinational so it is not right to say that it does not count as multinational. What about the OCA? The EP does not recognize them as separate from Moscow so lets count them to.
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« Reply #140 on: February 17, 2009, 09:03:53 PM »


I don't think this is a fair assessment. The USSR was multinational so it is not right to say that it does not count as multinational. What about the OCA? The EP does not recognize them as separate from Moscow so lets count them to.

The USSR was indeed mutinational and multicultural. As someone, who grew up there, I agree with this part. But non-Greek Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have more diverse backgrounds. They were not necessarily educated in institutions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Their spiritual growth could come in Orthodoxy but outside of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. That can be even said about some Greek Hierarchs. His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Hong Kong served in the Church of Greece prior to his ordination to the Episcopacy.

My point is about the promotion of "outisders" so to say. His Eminence Archbishop Longin (von Talypin), who was born in Finland serves as a Heirarch in Germany since 1981. His still remains an auxiliary Bishop, while the ruling Hierarchs changed a couple of times during that period.

Regarding OCA. This jurisdiction is recognized by Moscow Patriarchate as an independent entity. Moscow Patriarchate does not have influence over administrative decisions of OCA. Methods of governance are totally different in OCA and Moscow Patriarchate.

Actually, recent advancement of transparency in OCA is highly commendable. Many years to Metropolitan Jonah! And best wishes to Metropolitan Herman. He experienced some health issues unfortunately.
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« Reply #141 on: February 17, 2009, 09:05:48 PM »

References please for the prophecies that

1. Constantinople will be taken by Russia

2. Russia will be forced againts its will to give it to the Greeks.

Well, he's formerly of ROCOR, but Vladimir Moss may be familiar to you. In his work "The Book of the End" he references many of our Saint's prophecies about this:
Quote
"Several of the Greek prophets speak of the conquest of Constantinople by a blonde race beginning with the letter "R". This occupation will last "until the fifth hour" (St. Constantine's tomb) or "for six and five" (St. Methodius of Patara). We suppose that this means: “between five and six months”, for the climax of the prophecy of Hieromartyr Constantius the Russian of Constantinople covers a period of little over five months: "On July 8th two unheard-of wars will coincide. On August 12th there will be an unbearable heatwave. On December 18th half mankind will perish."[173] This is more or less consistent with the Apocalypse's five months."
and in the footnotes to this paragraph (footnote 171), he lists the Saints as:
Quote
"Hieromartyr Methodius of Patara, St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ of Constantinople, St. Tarasius of Constantinople, Emperor Leo the Wise, Hieromartyr Cosmas of Aitolia and on the tomb and column of St. Constantine the Great, translated in Sotiropoulos, op. cit."


Thanks for this although I don't really see anything which is good news in it.  Just the opposite -the conquest of Constantinople by a blond race, followed by the the death of half the world..

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« Reply #142 on: February 17, 2009, 09:17:02 PM »

By all means, my intent was not to show the USSR as a country of one nation. Contrary to attempts of communists, who invented the term of "Soviet nation", it was never that way at all in reality. In all my life, my personal opinion about this issue was as opposite to this Soviet nation thing as it only could be. If you allow me to make a personal reference - I am proud of my Ukrainian national heritage and I respect the right of this nature for every person on Earth.

The intent was to illustrate opportunities to outsiders, so to speak. Outsiders in terms of administrative structure.
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« Reply #143 on: February 17, 2009, 09:23:11 PM »

By all means, my intent was not to show the USSR as a country of one nation. Contrary to attempts of communists, who invented the term of "Soviet nation", it was never that way at all in reality. In all my life, my personal opinion about this issue was as opposite to this Soviet nation thing as it only could be. Sorry for making a personal reference, but I am proud of my Ukrainian national heritage and I respect the right of this nature for every person on Earth.

The intent was to illustrate opportunities to outsiders, so to speak. Outsiders in terms of administrative structure.

I understand what your saying and bringing your personnel experience in is fine. It shows why you have your opinion. I think your right that the EP has more "outsiders" but in reality the EP is gathering "jurisdictions" in other nations besides the one it was traditionally in. This may be a good this for a diverse administrative structure, but there has conflict caused by this.
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« Reply #144 on: February 17, 2009, 09:25:48 PM »

Thanks for this although I don't really see anything which is good news in it.  Just the opposite -the conquest of Constantinople by a blond race, followed by the the death of half the world..
When I look over the history of humanity, particularly the bloodshed of the last century, I see no good in that either- the future will be the same....and probably worse. That is simply the way the world turns.
The strife in the world and the Church today is the result of the human history of annexings, violent uprisings, clashes and mad cruelty of those believing they were "right". Out of this mess of history, each people tries to establish it's own story- because without stories, people don't know who they are. There is no people's history on Earth which is free from suffering, and I dare say therewill be no people's future on this planet which will be free from suffering either.
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« Reply #145 on: February 17, 2009, 10:05:05 PM »

I just can't see the turks allowing a Russian on the Throne.
They won't be given the choice.

That would be wonderful. I would love to see the day when the turks are removed from Orthodox lands!
I would rather they be in their own Orthodox Church, like the Gagauz Turks.
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« Reply #146 on: February 17, 2009, 10:22:10 PM »

This thread saddens me. When our nationalism is greater than our common Orthodoxy the Church is in trouble....  Embarrassed
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« Reply #147 on: February 18, 2009, 08:41:34 AM »



As I've said I believe that the Russians will eventually take control of the Ecumenical Throne simply by the strength of their numbers in Constantinople.  They are estimated to now number 5,000 which is more than the Greeks.  And they are still increasing.

By which logic the Pope then takes control from Russians "simply by the strength of their numbers"  Wink
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« Reply #148 on: February 18, 2009, 08:48:12 AM »



As I've said I believe that the Russians will eventually take control of the Ecumenical Throne simply by the strength of their numbers in Constantinople.  They are estimated to now number 5,000 which is more than the Greeks.  And they are still increasing.

By which logic the Pope then takes control from Russians "simply by the strength of their numbers"  Wink


I have to say that I don't see the logic in that.  Ther Catholics in Turkey are not members of the Orthodox Church of that country and are not eligible for election to the Patriarchate.
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« Reply #149 on: February 18, 2009, 09:01:07 AM »

Neither is any Russian...in Turkey. Hence I don't see any logic in your reply as well.
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« Reply #150 on: February 18, 2009, 09:13:09 AM »

Neither is any Russian...in Turkey. Hence I don't see any logic in your reply as well.

I believe if they were Russians who became turkish citizens they would? It may have been discussed in this thread but I don't exactly know turkish law.
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« Reply #151 on: February 18, 2009, 03:04:31 PM »

Neither is any Russian...in Turkey. Hence I don't see any logic in your reply as well.

The people who have migrated from Russia and now live in Turkey are not in the Patriarchate of Constantinople?     Then whose omophor are they under?  Do both Patriarch Kyrill and Patriarch Bartholomew have jurisdiction in Constantinople?

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« Reply #152 on: February 18, 2009, 03:10:34 PM »

Neither is any Russian...in Turkey. Hence I don't see any logic in your reply as well.

I believe if they were Russians who became turkish citizens they would? It may have been discussed in this thread but I don't exactly know turkish law.

Turkish law requires that a Turkish citizen be elected Patriarch.  I don't suppose that it would matter to them if that person were Orthodox or Jew.

There has been much criticism of 'phyletism' lately.   So we should rejoice if someone who is not from the Greek race should be elected Patriarch.   Smiley
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« Reply #153 on: February 18, 2009, 03:23:32 PM »

Turkish law requires that a Turkish citizen be elected Patriarch.  I don't suppose that it would matter to them if that person were Orthodox or Jew.

There has been much criticism of 'phyletism' lately.   So we should rejoice if someone who is not from the Greek race should be elected Patriarch.   Smiley

As long as they're committed to the our Orthodox faith, the Archdiocese of Constantinople, and the responsibilities of the Patriarchate and its Synod, then yes.  If they are not, then it does not matter the race, they don't deserve the position!
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« Reply #154 on: February 18, 2009, 11:30:06 PM »


As long as they're committed to the our Orthodox faith, the Archdiocese of Constantinople, and the responsibilities of the Patriarchate and its Synod, then yes.  If they are not, then it does not matter the race, they don't deserve the position!

This is a perfect summary, Cleveland!
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« Reply #155 on: February 19, 2009, 03:00:12 PM »

Neither is any Russian...in Turkey. Hence I don't see any logic in your reply as well.

I believe if they were Russians who became turkish citizens they would? It may have been discussed in this thread but I don't exactly know turkish law.

Turkish law requires that a Turkish citizen be elected Patriarch.   I don't suppose that it would matter to them if that person were Orthodox or Jew.

There has been much criticism of 'phyletism' lately.   So we should rejoice if someone who is not from the Greek race should be elected Patriarch.   Smiley

I think it goes beyoind that.  Only a NATIONAL BORN Turkish citizen can become Patriarch according to Turkish law.

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« Reply #156 on: February 20, 2009, 12:06:28 AM »

Just one more thought, (to get back to the origianl argument) The fact that  Ecumneical Patriarch has a higher authority than the Patriach of Moscow can be demonstrated by Russian history. The Russian Patriarch Nikon was deposed from the Episocopate and exiled to a monastery after a trial presided over by the Ecumenical Patriarch.



Could you please substantiate the claim that the Ecumenical Patriarch came to Russia and presided over Patriarch Nikon's trial.

I know that the Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria participated but have not read anywhere that the Constantinople Patriarch came to Moscow and presided

Please supply your references.
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« Reply #157 on: February 20, 2009, 05:05:00 PM »

Of course, the confict in Georgia is near to my heart. Our Medjuarebi (wedding koumbariu) are among those who were "ethnically cleansed" from their homes in Tskhinvali region by the Ossetians last August. My wife's uncle was dragged off a bus in Gori, beaten and robbed by the invaders. My mother-in-law's neighbor lost her only son in the war. My godson's family were ethnically cleansed from their homes in Abkhazia 12 years ago. There is no-one in Georgia, or related to Georgia, who has not been affected by the war.

Could one say that the Ossetians and the Abkhazians are in a similar situation as the Irish with the northern counties occupied by the British?  As we know, the resentment and anger over that led to such sorrowful events as the Irish freedom fighters setting off bombs in London through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Father:

With all due respect to your office:  The "IRA" were NOT freedom fighters, but terrorist!  I had an ancestor that fought in the Easter Rising of 1916, and those thugs from Northern Ireland weren't fit to wipe his boots!
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« Reply #158 on: March 18, 2009, 09:51:03 AM »

Yikes, could we not learn to live side by side.  If the Turks are expelled from Turkey, we will create a political problem which will make the Palestinian one seem like a mild toothache.   Sad
According to 18th Century prophecy of St Cosmas the Aitolan who prophesied the liberation of what is now Greece:
"The Turks will leave, but they shall return and will come as far as Hexamilia. In the end, they shall be driven away to Kokkina Milia. Of the Turks, one third will be killed, another third will be baptized, and the remaining third will go to Kokkina Milia. "
http://members.cox.net/orthodoxheritage/St.%20Kosmas.htm

There is a town in Southern Greece called "Hexamilia" and rumours began spreading saying that the Turks would invade as far as that town. Elder Paisios explained that they had misunderstood. "Hexamilia" literally means means "six miles". Every other country in the world with a coastline can claim twelve nautical miles of territorial waters around it, however, Turkey will only recognise six nautical miles of territorial waters for Greece. Elder Paisios explained that the prophecy meant that the Turks would come within six nautical miles ("hexa milia") of Greece (i.e., to challenge it's territorial waters) but be forced back. "Kokkina Milia" in the prophecy means "The Red Apple Tree" and was believed to be the place where the Turks originally came from.

George,

In one of the autocephaly threads we find this from Ntinos.  Does it chime with what you understand of the prophecies?

"According to what Elder Paissios the Agioreite said, Russia will invade Turkey and massacre the 1/3 of the population, not because they want to be viewed as Defenders of Orthodoxy, but because that would be the best thing for them to do. And Greece will be given Constantinople not because the Russians love us, but because noone else will be more suitable as a solution then. Therefore, the whole 'Third Rome' issue and 'Defender of Orthodoxy' was a political excuse for Tsars to blow the Sultan's strength, and not something the Church states. As for the Third Rome, pardon me, but it isn't Tsaric Russia. It is soon to come, and it will have Constantinople as the seat of power. Check the prophecies about the awaited Great King John preceding the Antichrist (Byzantine Prophecies).

"There is a page in Greek talking about these prophecies (the return of Constantinople to greek hands), which I found http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/glg/Pages/Cpagosmios.htm however, I cannot seem to find an equivalent page in English. I'm pretty sure that if our Slav brothers search a little for texts in Russian, they will find what I'm talking about. But you can always check Saint Matrona of Moscow's prophecies (recently canonized by the Russian Church), who talks about what will happen to Russia (and the world) within the next years.

"That being said, have trust in God that Constantinople has been tried enough as a Church of the Lord, and is soon to become the center of the Orthodox Faith once more. As for when '6' will take place, just wait a few years. It shouldn't be late, since the elder warned us we would be here to see it all, while he would be seeing them all from above."

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« Reply #159 on: March 18, 2009, 11:45:55 AM »

Yikes, could we not learn to live side by side.  If the Turks are expelled from Turkey, we will create a political problem which will make the Palestinian one seem like a mild toothache.   Sad
According to 18th Century prophecy of St Cosmas the Aitolan who prophesied the liberation of what is now Greece:
"The Turks will leave, but they shall return and will come as far as Hexamilia. In the end, they shall be driven away to Kokkina Milia. Of the Turks, one third will be killed, another third will be baptized, and the remaining third will go to Kokkina Milia. "
http://members.cox.net/orthodoxheritage/St.%20Kosmas.htm

There is a town in Southern Greece called "Hexamilia" and rumours began spreading saying that the Turks would invade as far as that town. Elder Paisios explained that they had misunderstood. "Hexamilia" literally means means "six miles". Every other country in the world with a coastline can claim twelve nautical miles of territorial waters around it, however, Turkey will only recognise six nautical miles of territorial waters for Greece. Elder Paisios explained that the prophecy meant that the Turks would come within six nautical miles ("hexa milia") of Greece (i.e., to challenge it's territorial waters) but be forced back. "Kokkina Milia" in the prophecy means "The Red Apple Tree" and was believed to be the place where the Turks originally came from.

George,

In one of the autocephaly threads we find this from Ntinos.  Does it chime with what you understand of the prophecies?

"According to what Elder Paissios the Agioreite said, Russia will invade Turkey and massacre the 1/3 of the population, not because they want to be viewed as Defenders of Orthodoxy, but because that would be the best thing for them to do. And Greece will be given Constantinople not because the Russians love us, but because noone else will be more suitable as a solution then. Therefore, the whole 'Third Rome' issue and 'Defender of Orthodoxy' was a political excuse for Tsars to blow the Sultan's strength, and not something the Church states. As for the Third Rome, pardon me, but it isn't Tsaric Russia. It is soon to come, and it will have Constantinople as the seat of power. Check the prophecies about the awaited Great King John preceding the Antichrist (Byzantine Prophecies).

"There is a page in Greek talking about these prophecies (the return of Constantinople to greek hands), which I found http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/glg/Pages/Cpagosmios.htm however, I cannot seem to find an equivalent page in English. I'm pretty sure that if our Slav brothers search a little for texts in Russian, they will find what I'm talking about. But you can always check Saint Matrona of Moscow's prophecies (recently canonized by the Russian Church), who talks about what will happen to Russia (and the world) within the next years.

"That being said, have trust in God that Constantinople has been tried enough as a Church of the Lord, and is soon to become the center of the Orthodox Faith once more. As for when '6' will take place, just wait a few years. It shouldn't be late, since the elder warned us we would be here to see it all, while he would be seeing them all from above."



Father, George doesn't like us bringing up Ntinos.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5731.msg301656.html#msg301656
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« Reply #160 on: March 19, 2009, 05:46:03 PM »


Who controls Russian Orthodoxy in Britain?

Xenia Dennen, 18 - 03 - 2009
 |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

Read this on the Web at:
http://www.opendemocracy.net:80/russia/article/email/who-controls-russian-orthodoxy-in-britain

The courts are about to rule on a bitter fight for the soul of Russian
Orthodoxy in Britain


From the editors: The Russian Orthodox Church community of the Diocese of
Sourozh was set up in 1962 by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom(1914-2003). He
welcomed believers of all national backgrounds and developed the principle
of lay participation in the management of Cathedral affairs. In1978 the
Diocese bought the church in London's Ennismore Gardens that served as their
Cathedral for nearly 30 years.When repairs to the building's fabric were
needed in 1999, a Russian industrialist (subsequently revealed to be Oleg
Deripaska) donated themoney.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991,London has become home to
ever increasing numbers of New Russians. They have their own ideas as to how
the Cathedral should be run. This has resulted in what Paul Vallely
(Independent 11.02.09) has suggested could be a 'Kremlin-backed crusade to
reclaim Russia's spiritual outposts in the West'.  The Orthodox Community in
Britain has splintered and a court case to settle the question of ownership
of the Cathedral and its 5 houses and flats looms.

The differences are between the Moscow Patriarchate's way and the British
way as developed by Metropolitan Anthony. The waters have been further
muddied by politics. The UK Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, recently
issued a legal opinion in favour of Moscow.  Could it be that the state of
British-Russian relations had something to do with this? The court case is
due to continue soon.

Xenia Dennen describes the background to the conflict:

The year 2006 will be remembered in British church circles as the year of
the Sourozh drama: by one of those strange historical twists the British
Isles became the stage upon which a conflict within the Russian Orthodox
Church was played out on foreign soil, between an "open" type of Orthodoxy,
open to the culture around it, concerned with exploring the faith, unafraid
of "the other", as opposed to one that is "closed", defensive, and focussed
onpower and control.  Within Russia itself many Orthodox believers, in their
search for Christian authenticity, push against the rigid contours of a
church adapted to the current neo-Soviet period in Russian history.  This
church is the direct descendent of one which, to defend itself against the
greatest onslaught against the Christian faith since Roman times, had, if it
was to remain above ground, to make compromises and create an authoritarian
system of control from above, and leave behind the ideals of its 1917-18
Local Council.  Russian Orthodoxy in the British Isles developed in a
different environment and in a different way.  It influenced quietly and
nurtured an inconspicuous dialogue with Christians of all traditions; it
became part of the local landscape and an example of Christian authenticity.

Many in Great Britain learnt about Russian Orthodoxy thanks to the work of
the Sourozh Diocese and valued its main centre, the Cathedral of the
Dormition and All Saints, known to us Londoners simply as "Ennismore
Gardens", which became an oasis of prayer and devout liturgical life. So
what happened at Ennismore Gardens?   Suddenly word got around that hefty
young Russian men in leather jackets were elbowing their way through the
crowd at the liturgy, pushing aside the serious English converts and Russian
émigrés who had arrived penniless in these isles after enduring the horrors
of revolution, war and a hostile Communist system.  The New Russians had
arrived in town en masse!  Many were relatively new to the church, they were
not well-grounded in the Christian faith and, unable to converse easily in
English, needed care, teaching, and support from Russian-speaking clergy.
The solution to such a situation would seem obvious: bring in more Russian
clergy.  Unfortunately, however, the machinations of a small,
well-organised, and determined group within the cathedral congregation, in
league with a Russian priest and with the support of the Moscow
Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations (DECR) at the
Danilovsky Monastery in Moscow, undermined all efforts to solve what was an
urgent but not at root insoluble pastoral problem.

The difficulties which accompanied the influx of Russians to Great Britain
during and after perestroika had become apparent long before the crisis
which erupted at Ennismore Gardens at the end of 2005 and in early 2006:
Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, the spirit behind the founding and growth of the
Diocese of Sourozh, and beloved of Christians in these islands, whether
Orthodox or not, had himself struggled with how to care for so many Russian
newcomers and their needs.  Sourozh, under his leadership, had developed
quite differently from dioceses within Russia; Great Britain had not, after
all, had to survive within a Communist system; here there was a
centuries-old tradition of tolerance and anti-authoritarianism - suitable
soil for planting seeds which had not been allowed to germinate in Russia
after the Revolution.

The Sourozh Diocese was formed in 1962, and 13 years later at its first
Diocesan Conference principles on lay participation in the running of the
diocese began to be discussed. By 1977 a Diocesan Assembly, formed by
Metropolitan Anthony, met for the first time and from this body grew a
committee which began work on a new set of statutes which, on Metropolitan
Anthony's insistence, were intended to reflect the principles of the 1917-18
Local Council on the governance of the church.  Thanks to these statutes the
laity were able to contribute, with the clergy, at every level within the
diocese to decision-making.  Such lay responsibility, based on solid
theological understanding and a mature spiritual life, which supported and
worked with, rather than was subservient to, the clergy, is an aspect of
church life which is very often absent in Russia today where unquestioning
obedience is demanded of adults rather than mature Christian commitment
which, after all,involves personal decision and individual thought.

Another important aspect of the Diocese of Sourozh was its identification
with the culture of the country in which it developed; it had not tried to
use the Russian Orthodox Church as a vehicle for preserving Russian national
identity.  This principle of acculturation was by implication condemned by
the then Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk (now the Patriarch of Moscow) when,
in a statement on 24 October 2006, he said that the Russian Orthodox Church
should, on the contrary, seek to prevent assimilation and to preserve a
separate cultural and religious identity for Russians abroad.  Acculturation
was also attacked in January 2004 by Mikhail Sarni, then a member of the
Ennismore Gardens congregation, and Mikhail Peregudov. The latter two argued
that Russians abroad needed their church to be a contact point with their
country, language and culture; Sarni and Peregudov dismissed the Sourozh
statutes with the words "so-called" as they had not been formally passed by
the Holy Synod, and proceeded to suggest that the governance of the diocese
be completely changed, with the removal of lay involvement and a return to
what they considered to be the traditions of the Russian Church, that is
clerical control along national lines, with only Russian clergy appointed at
a senior level to care for the Russians. Such attitudes towards some of the
founding principles of the diocese were bound to foment conflict.

And indeed they did. Despite efforts to satisfy the pastoral requirements of
the many new arrivals from Russia - and plans were being worked out in the
autumn of 2005 -the Russian priest, Fr Andrei Teterin, who had come to
London in 2004 at the invitation of the diocese to help care for them,
proceeded to foment a shocking and unchristian attack on Bishop Basil
Osborne, the person to whom Metropolitan Anthony had entrusted his diocese.
On 3 December 2005 he publicly attacked Bishop Basil and the diocese; on 10
December he sent a letter criticising his bishop's leadership to Patriarch
Alexi in Moscow, Metropolitan Kirill (head of the DECR), Archbishop
Innokenty of Korsun based in Paris, and even the Russian Ambassador in
London, which he then circulated to the cathedral's parish council on 12
December leading to his banishment from the cathedral by Bishop Basil the
next day.  It had become clear that Fr Andrei felt no obligation to observe
the usual rules of obedience to his bishop and acted confidently in a way
that revealed he had protection and support from on high for his actions.
Immediately on 13 December a small group of Teterin supporters gathered a
total of 209 signatures and wrote to Patriarch Alexi and Metropolitan Kirill
claiming that Fr Andrei was the only priest who had been educated in a
Russian theological college and preached "strict canonical traditions".
Evidence of his protection from on high came when on 13 January 2006 Bishop
Basil received a telephone call from the DECR asking him to reinstate Fr
Andrei.  After expressing repentance Fr Andrei was allowed to return to his
duties; on Sunday 15 January 2006 he took the microphone at the end of the
liturgy and thanked those in the congregation who had supported him and who
were later heard to exclaim triumphantly "We have won!" Unfortunately his
reinstatement did not bring to an end his disruptive activity.  Thus
disciplinary procedures in conformity with British employment law were
instituted until on 22 February 2006 Fr Andrei was given a "final warning"
and dismissed on 3 March.

Meanwhile Fr Andrei's supporters within the parish council continued
campaigning against Bishop Basil, gathering signatures for petitions and
writing messages on the Internet (Fr Andrei Kurayev's website provided a
rich feast of discussion between many a "humble servant of God" whose pious
phrases masked a viper's tongue) until the troublemakers on the parish
council were expelled by an Episcopal decree on 20 March 2006.  By 25 March
Fr Andrei, in a letter published on the Internet, was emitting wild
accusations of "schismatics and sectarians" against Bishop Basil and his
"team": they were leading an anti-Russian campaign and attacking the Russian
Orthodox Church; it was time to form a "real diocese" in the British Isles
in the place of a "fictitious"one.   Three days later on 28 March Fr
Andrei's supporters, calling themselves  "the Initiative Group", were
circulating a petition on the web "defending the norms of church life and
the true legacy of Metropolitan Anthony".  What on earth had such behaviour
to do with the life to which Christ called his followers and about which
Metropolitan Anthony preached?

By 30 March the situation had become intolerable: Bishop Basil wrote to the
DECR asking Metropolitan Kirill to confirm that those writing petitions did
not have the department's support.  He did not receive such confirmation. At
the beginning of April a gentleman called Viktor Nikiforov claimed that his
"democratic rights had been infringed" because members of the parish council
had been expelled.  He announced that he would begin a strike, inviting
others to demonstrate their "position as citizens" by joining the strike,
while on the Internet bewildered parishioners wondered whether by singing in
the choir they would be failing to stand up for their own "democratic
rights".

Rather than firmly supporting Bishop Basil's authority, the DECR chose
simply to investigate the situation at Ennismore Gardens: it sent over Fr
Mikhail Dudko during Lent. The latter did not speak to those members of the
parish recommended by Bishop Basil and made clear that headquarters
considered it was time to bring the Sourozh Diocese to heel and turn it into
an ordinary Russian diocese.   Thus towards the end of April, Bishop Basil
decided that if the diocese was to continue to develop along the lines
instituted by Metropolitan Anthony, it was time to deliver it from
imprisonment within an authoritarian system: on 24 April he wrote to
Patriarch Alexi asking to be released from the Moscow Patriarchate as he
proposed to approach the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  This he did on 2 May with
the request that he and all those clergy and lay members of the Sourozh
Diocese who wished to do so should be received into the Archdiocese of
Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe (within the
jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate).  Patriarch Alexi did not
accede to Bishop Basil's request and instead on 9 May issued a decree
retiring him. The latter only learned of this decree on 14 May when the text
reached London and was publicly read out by Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun
whom the Moscow Patriarchate appointed as temporary administrator of the
Sourozh Diocese.  On 8 June Bishop Basil was accepted into the jurisdiction
of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and accorded the title of Bishop of
Amphipolis as head of the Episcopal Vicariate of Orthodox Parishes of
Russian Tradition in Great Britain and Ireland.

These events have divided the clergy of the Sourozh Diocese (most of whom
are English converts to Orthodoxy)  - some have remained in the jurisdiction
of the Moscow Patriarchate, others have supported Bishop Basil.  A list of
each side's clergy can be found on the relevant website so it is not
difficult to establish that the split on this level has been about equal.
Two Russian priests and one Russian deacon have stayed with the Moscow
Patriarchate whereas four deacons of Russian descent (two of them recently
arrived in the Britain) have sided with Bishop Basil.  The division among
the laity is not so clear, however. There were many who, unlike the small
campaigning "Initiative Group" at Ennismore Gardens, stood on neutral
ground, not wishing to take sides, and indeed deeply regretting the
divisions which had developed.  Many of the pre-perestroika Russian émigrés,
and many of the English who were converted to Russian Orthodoxy by
Metropolitan Anthony, followed Bishop Basil, but not all.  The situation in
different parishes has varied enormously: some followed Bishop Basil, and
others, like the Russian Orthodox parish in Oxford, split into two separate
groups, yet not along ethnic lines.

British secular and church circles have not shown any great interest in the
Sourozh split, although among Anglican clergy and bishops Bishop Basil has
many friends and is deeply respected.  Some Anglican bishops and clergy have
felt much sympathy for his position and indeed have tried to help him.  But
for Lambeth good relations with the Moscow Patriarchate are too important
and not worth damaging for the sake of friendship with Bishop Basil.  The
official position of both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Church is a
strictly neutral one.  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of
Westminster, is prepared to maintain good relations with whomever the Moscow
Patriarchate chooses to appoint as head of the Sourozh Diocese despite his
friendship with Bishop Basil.  Bishop Elisei of Bogorodsk, recently sent to
London by Moscow in order to help Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun, has been
officially received by both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Church.

The Sourozh Diocese was different from other Russian Orthodox dioceses and
had become "an embarrassment" for the Moscow Patriarchate, according to
Protodeacon Peter Scorer in a Radio Liberty interview given on 13 June 2006:

"Thanks to the labours of Metropolitan Anthony, Sourozh was a diocese unique
in the entire Moscow Patriarchate. [...] Now this free, sobornaya (communal)
diocese, unlike any other within the Russian context, has become an
embarrassment for Russia.  They would like to see them 'all of a kind', so
that the churches abroad, which are being built in many countries, would be
something like the embassy churches before the revolution.  They are
representations of Moscow abroad, and are controlled not by their local
bishops, but by the DECR."

The Moscow Patriarchate would like Ennismore Gardens to become a Russian
enclave, an outpost of Moscow in London within a diocese ruled firmly by
headquarters (DECR). The principle of lay participation in decision-making,
which was central to the way the Sourozh Diocese was run, will not sit
easily with the Moscow Patriarchate's authoritarian culture which prefers
obedience to mature lay-clerical cooperation.

Does the split in the Sourozh Diocese sound the death-knell for Russian
Orthodoxy in the British Isles?   Time will tell. These events may, however,
represent the growing pains of a Christian tradition in this country which
will now develop towards greater maturity:  let us hope that the Vicariate
under Bishop Basil of Amphipolis can continue the mission of Metropolitan
Anthony,opening up the riches of Orthodoxy to people in this country and
nurturing mature Christians who can contribute at parish level to
inter-denominational and inter-faith dialogue which is so essential if our
world is not to disintegrate.
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PeterTheAleut
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #161 on: December 06, 2010, 11:52:24 PM »

The recent post about the Russian/Georgian conflict, along with the political tangent it continues, has been moved to Politics.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=31877.0
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 12:04:49 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Shanghaiski
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Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #162 on: December 07, 2010, 02:56:50 PM »

Quote
Georgia was always part of the Russian Empire,


Umm, the Georgian Orthodox Church was established in the early 4th century. Kievan Rus did not adopt Orthodoxy until more than 600 years later.

Agreed, but nevertheless, Georgia was apart of Imperial Russia since about 1800, and was in the "sphere" long before that. That still doesn't change the facts regarding the conflict between the two countries....

Actually, your history is quite mixed up. The Georgian kingdoms were supposed to be protected by the Russian Empire, the process being begun in the late 18th century and concluding in the early 19th. They were, however, illegally annexed and the autocephalous Georgian Orthodox Church was uncanonically suppressed to the patariarch-less Holy Synod. Prior to the Russian annexation, Georgia was not in the "sphere" or the Russian empire, but continually harassed by the Persian and Ottoman Empires. Georgia was in the sphere of the Persian Empire up until the annexation by Russia. The Russian Empire did not embark on its Caucasian conquest until the 19th century. Prior to Persian influence, Georgia was in the Byzantine sphere, and before that the Armenian sphere. Georgia was never legally a part of the Russian Empire.
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