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Author Topic: The Battle Over Britain's Orthodox Church  (Read 25049 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irish Hermit
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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! 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 08:27:52 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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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.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 07:04:06 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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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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