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Author Topic: The Battle Over Britain's Orthodox Church  (Read 24072 times) Average Rating: 0
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ozgeorge
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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."

« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 09:55:20 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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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
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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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EXTERMINATE!


« 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
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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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