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Author Topic: Trip to Orthodox UN prayer service yesterday  (Read 2883 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« on: October 07, 2003, 10:39:12 AM »

Friends,

I went with the SVS and St Tikhon's choirs to the Holy Trinity Greek Archdiocesan Cathedral for the 3rd annual UN prayer service.

It was a Byzantine Orthodox Vespers prayed by Met Herman and concelebrating priests.  The other hierarchs of both the E. Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches sat in the front rows but did not concelebrate.

The prayer service was for the UN community, especially the ambassadors who are Orthodox.  Speaking after the Vespers were the ambassadors to Armenia and Greece, and a representative of Kofi Annan.

The Armenian ambassador's message was Christocentric, the Greek ambassador's message was slightly tainted with a humanist emphasis (our Orthodox faith assists us in the completion of our mission of bringing peace to the world...) and the representative of Kofi Annan was completely humanistic ("the dialogue of the world's great religious traditions are fostered by the UN's dialogue of humanity blah blah blah).

That was followed by Met Herman's wonderful speech where he did a great rhetorical (?) device:

1) Praised UN for its humanitarian work
2) Praised UN for its lofty goals of world peace
3) Prayed for UN victims of Baghdad
4) Prayed for US and UK soliders in Iraq
5) Prayed for Iraqis who suffered
    a) under Saddam
    b) under two wars
    c) under "uncertain occupation"
6) Reiterated that UN is trying its best to bring peace
7) ***Bluntly stated "but our allegiance is not to a nation or to a community of nations; it is to OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST and any humanitarian concerns FLOW FROM OUR FAITH IN HIM.***

(I could not see anyone's reaction in the choir loft but there was dead silence and I think he hit the point accross quite clearly: "we aren't your chaplaincy, we are praying for you so that you will do the right thing, not making you feel better about yourselves.")

It was followed by a reception.  All in all, quite nice.

anastasios
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2003, 10:44:21 AM »

I wish I could have heard Met. HERMAN's speech.  Thanks for the report!
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2003, 11:46:59 AM »

I wish I could have heard Met. HERMAN's speech.  Thanks for the report!

I am so proud to have the OCA blessed with His Beatitude, Metropolitan +HERMAN, as our uncompromisingly Orthodox Primate!

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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2003, 06:08:37 PM »

I'm curious, should the type of reception given to the monophysite "bishops" be interpreted as a recognition of their possessing the grace of the Priesthood?

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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2003, 11:43:00 PM »

I'm curious, should the type of reception given to the monophysite "bishops" be interpreted as a recognition of their possessing the grace of the Priesthood?

Seraphim


Seraphim, what type of reception?  This service for the Orthodox UN representatives is held annually under the joint auspices of the SCOBA and the SCOOCH.  The service is never *mixed.*  It is *EITHER* Eastern Orthodox *OR* Oriental Orthodox, but both groups---including hierarchs and clergy--- attend out of respect without prejudice.  Last year it was held at the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, but only Oriental Orthodox hierarchs officiated then.  I don't think the participants, EO or OO, raised the spectre of Monophysitism.  Why don't you bring it to their attention?  Tongue

Hypo
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Anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2003, 01:18:03 AM »

Seraphim,

I'll try to answer your question respectfully even though it seems loaded.

Obviously the majority of SCOBA hiearchs view the OO bishops as bishops with grace. That is obvious and I don't think we need to debate it.

I obviously believe Oriental Orthodox bishops to be bishops of the Church.

However, according them honor as bishops--even if you viewed them as heretics--is just the way the Church has always operated.  Look for instance at the letters of Cyril to Nestorius--sure Cyril called him a heretic and told him he was way off base but he always started the letter with the customary salutations to a brother bishop.  The same with visiting Protestant ministers--we give them respect and call them reverend even if we believe they are not priests.

I think that even someone such as yourself who views OO as graceless can accord respect to them and call them bishops (minus the " ") and not be transgressing your traditional Orthodox viewpoint.

anastasios
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2003, 02:37:37 PM »

Thank God Metropolitan HERMAN speech was as you describe it!  I cringe whenever I hear anything of the UN -- since it really tries to force its secularist, humanist agenda on the world.  Sort of like the chapel at the UN -- where one is supposed to worship a nameless cube......

Anastasios, RE: your comment above where you talk about according respect to protestant ministers/bishops.  I don't think it's an adequate comparison by paralleling Cyril's relation to Nestorius with our relationship with protestant ministers and bishops.  In Cyril's days there was only one Church (albeit with disputes of what is true doctrine).  Today, there are thousands of organizations (who don't communicate with one another) claiming to be Christ's Church on earth, with teachings as different as night and day.

Extrapolating from your comment, if the Very Rev. Gene Robinson of the ECUSA diocese of New Hampshire were to visit an Orthodox parish, he would be accorded the title of "bishop"?  Even with the glaring differences in teaching between his church and ours???  Even with the vast majority of Orthodox Christians not recognizing him as a member of the episcopate???
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2003, 02:55:45 PM »



Extrapolating from your comment, if the Very Rev. Gene Robinson of the ECUSA diocese of New Hampshire were to visit an Orthodox parish, he would be accorded the title of "bishop"?  Even with the glaring differences in teaching between his church and ours???  Even with the vast majority of Orthodox Christians not recognizing him as a member of the episcopate???



      I hope he would be received with courtesy and civility at the very least.

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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2003, 03:03:54 PM »



Extrapolating from your comment, if the Very Rev. Gene Robinson of the ECUSA diocese of New Hampshire were to visit an Orthodox parish, he would be accorded the title of "bishop"?  Even with the glaring differences in teaching between his church and ours???  Even with the vast majority of Orthodox Christians not recognizing him as a member of the episcopate???
I hope he would be received with courtesy and civility at the very least.

Quite so, as we should receive anyone in Christ's image.  But as a layman, *not* as a bishop (or bishop-elect)!

Hypo
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2003, 07:26:43 PM »

Of course Gene Robinson should be received with civility and courtesy, as anyone should!  But he should not be accorded the title of bishop, unless you (or anyone else) believe him to truly be a member of the episcopate of Christ's Church!!

Anastasios, one other comment in using the the Cyril and Nestorius analogy.  They were brother bishops in the same church -- of course Cyril would call him a brother bishop in his letters, that's what he is!  Gene Robinson (or Pope John Paul II, or the Archbp of Canterbury Rowan Williams, etc) are NOT in the same church as we are!!!

It would be as if Bishop Seraphim of Ottawa said something way off base, and Metropolitan Herman wrote to him to correct him -- he would certainly address him as "brother bishop."  But Metropolitan Herman wouldn't (I pray he wouldn't!) converse with Gene Robinson in the same manner that he would converse with a fellow member of the Holy Synod.  

Ecumenism has gone too far -- we simply cannot consider Anglican bishops, Roman Catholic bishops, Lutheran bishops, etc. to be brother (or these days, sister) bishops of Christ's Holy Church!!

By the way, I'm new to this forum, I just recently discovered it, and I find it edifying.  Thank you!!!
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Anastasios
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2003, 09:06:50 PM »

Dear St. G.N.:

Here is my take.

My analogy might be weak, but many analogies are.

I have seen pictues of St Tikhon attending Anglican ordinations, and pictures of Anglican bishops in semi-liturgical garb (Keble, what is your term for the inbetween wear?) in Orthodox Churches from way before "ecumenism" was a catchy phrase.

With Robinson you raise a touchy subject because he is actively homosexual.  It might set a new precedent.

With Anglicans, who are Protestants, I think it would be appopriate to address them as Bishop so and so if they visit an Orthodox Church.  I think visiting Roman Catholic bishops, as well as visiting Non-Chalcedonian bishops, on the other hand should be given high places of honor given their closer position to Orthodoxy if they visit an Orthodox Church.

I have no problem with Archbishop Vsevolod praying the Akathist hymn with the Greek Catholic bishops at the Oriental Lumen Confernence but I would have a big problem if they let an Anglican bishop vest and do so (sorry Keble!).

I don't think honoring the position of a bishop of a real church is denying the uniqueness of Orthodoxy.  There is no eucharistic concelebration and other areas of protocol that are not followed as when an Orthodox bishop comes to visit so I think the faithful can get the hint.

I think that Pat. Athenagoras carried it over the edge though in the 1960's.

Anyway, I am glad you like the forum.  You will discover that there are lots of views expressed here from moderate to traditionalist to liberal.  As long as they are expressed in a spirit of charity, and as long as our non-Orthodox posters do not go beyond questioning to attacking the Orthodox positions, we usually get along fine and the admin's don't step in.  So if you disagree with what I've written above, don't worry, we won't censure anyone. :-)

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2003, 09:49:07 PM »

Anastasios,
Perhaps you're referring to the black cassock/white surplice combo?
A priest might have worn a biretta, the cap with the ball on top. That would have been pretty formal dress for a non-Eucharistic event-no stole or Eucharistic vestments

Every year for the past 5 years, Cantores in Ecclesia, a world class RC choir in Portland, Oregon, puts on a William Byrd festival in late August. Since Cantores specializes in singing Renaissance Polyphany for local RC churches (they unfortunately had a disagreement with the new rector of the church they had sung at for the past 19 years-a rather liberal priest was the problem), it perfectly suits them.
Last August they had one of their concerts at an Anglican parish, part of the Contuning Church movement, that left ECUSA about 10 years ago. They are extremely Anglo-Catholic, and managed to keep their building when they left the diocese (the most beautiful church in Portland if you ask me).

The concert in question was actually part of Evensong, and three RC priests and an assistant bishop from Chicago showed up, processed in, and sat in the sanctuary-all dressed in cassocks, surplices, birettas and the red skullcap for the bishop.  I thought it was cool.

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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2003, 09:54:43 PM »

SGN:
Since no Lutheran body in the US has bishops, you don't have to worry about that!(I think the ELCA's sort of a joke in that regard).

However, take a look at the Lutheran Churches of Latvia and Estonia-in the Lutheran World Federation, but also in communion with the Missouri Synod! Archbishop Vangas (I'm not sure if I remember his name correctly) in the early 90s actually stopped the practice of ordaining women-quite courageous!

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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2003, 11:22:15 PM »

Anastasios,

 Sad  Oh well, I disagree with you!

I don't see what Robinson's sexuality has to do with this, anyway.  An ordination of this type was bound to happen at some time, given that Anglican bishops are not celibate, and that they've been ordaining actively gay Anglican clergy for a while now.  Anglicanism is so different from Orthodoxy, and it's my opinion that as Orthodox Christians we need to express that they're not simply two expressions of the same faith.  We're otherwise mocking the many individuals who have died for Orthodoxy over the years, and whose faith we inherited.  They had more faith in their fingernail than many of us (including me) will ever know.

St Tikhon had good reason to attend Anglican services - in the late 1800s-early 1900s, there was some serious talk, as I understand it, of Anglicanism entering the Orthodox faith.  Obviously, never happened.  Plus, the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA did much to help the Russian Orthodox Church get established in America in the late 1800s-early 1900s, as you know.  I don't think you'd see St Tikhon visiting a Protestant Episcopal Church in 2003, however  Smiley  

I worship at a relatively conservative, rural OCA parish, so I doubt protestant church leaders will be visiting anytime soon.  I agree, Athenagoras went too far ecumenically, and in general I think the Greeks have a habit of doing that.  As a half-Greek boy myself, I'm allowed to impugn them  Grin  As I get older, I'm developing more and more a strong distaste for feel-good ecumenical dialogues/gatherings.  

All the best.  No hurt feelings, I pray.

Oct 15, martyr Lucian (+312), Euphemius the New (+889), Bishop John of Suzdal (+1373)
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2003, 07:53:22 AM »

I have seen pictues of St Tikhon attending Anglican ordinations, and pictures of Anglican bishops in semi-liturgical garb (Keble, what is your term for the inbetween wear?) in Orthodox Churches from way before "ecumenism" was a catchy phrase.

I'm guessing you're referring to the rochet and chemere-- a floor-length sleeveless coat, open at the front, worn over a white tunic with extremely puffy sleeves gathered at the wrist. This is the distinctive liturgical garb of Anglican bishops, although these days you're more likely to see them in a cope and miter. (There is a famous picture of St Tikhon with a large group of American bishops in the latter vestments too.)
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2003, 08:41:04 AM »

But he should not be accorded the title of bishop, unless you (or anyone else) believe him to truly be a member of the episcopate of Christ's Church!!


I don't think it would be wrong to address him with the title by which he is recognised in his own church. If President Bush came to Greece he would still be addressed as president even though he has no part in the Greek political structure (officially that is. Bloody CIA!)

John
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2003, 01:38:04 PM »

But he should not be accorded the title of bishop, unless you (or anyone else) believe him to truly be a member of the episcopate of Christ's Church!!


I think the case here is different.  Here we have an (P)ECUSA clergyman who is a public, unrepentant sinner in the eyes of the Orthodox Church but whose sin and lifestyle are being glorified by those in the (P)ECUSA who are supposed to uphold traditional Christian morality.  If an Orthodox priest behaved in this manner he would be called to task and asked to repent; failing this, he would be suspended; if no repentance was forthcoming even after this, he would be removed from the ranks of the clergy and possibly excommunicated until he came to his senses.

Hypo-Ortho  

I don't think it would be wrong to address him with the title by which he is recognised in his own church. If President Bush came to Greece he would still be addressed as president even though he has no part in the Greek political structure (officially that is. Bloody CIA!)

John
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