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Author Topic: Challenges of Orthodoxy in America And the Role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate  (Read 30290 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irish Hermit
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« on: March 18, 2009, 04:51:12 PM »


Reported on OrthodoxNews

Holy Cross Seminary has been in an uproar for the last few days. Below is a link to a speech given there on Monday:

Challenges of Orthodoxy in America And the Role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
by Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis
Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod

Just scroll past the Greek and you will see the speech.
http://www.greekamericannewsagency.com/gana/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4771&Itemid=83

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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 04:55:05 PM »

WOW...can you imagine the reaction in the room to this? I wonder what Metropolitan Phillip thinks about this given current events in his Archdiocese.
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 05:14:41 PM »

Purple demons everywhere!
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 05:35:29 PM »

I am friends with Fr Elpidophoros Lambriniadis on Facebook.  I wonder if he would be open to dialoguing there?


Fr Archimandrite
Elpidophoros Lambriniadis

His lecture is now on the website of the Church of Greece

http://www.ecclesia.gr/englishnews/default.asp?id=3986
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 05:58:25 PM »

I am not surprised.  The lecture was well organized and thought out.
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 06:03:27 PM »

I am not surprised.  The lecture was well organized and thought out.

Harry Coin who is a prominent Greek Orthodox layman has made a small comment:

"The archimandrite wrote, in part ....under the protection of the first See
in the Orthodox world, a strong Archdiocese was created that..

"In this article we see what happens when an author feels no obligation
to comport his assertions with the sort of history documented
in the 'non fiction' section of the library."

One hopes that when Harry Coin (his anglicised name) has had more time to devote to the lecture that he will offer more detail.

Do we have any students on the Forum from Holy Cross?  It would be great to have their thoughts too.   The diversity of reactions will allow us to see the situation better.
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 06:12:35 PM »

Although I disagree with the excerpt:

Quote
Hellenism is identified with its ecumenical character and for that reason it can never be nationalistic for both of its manifestations, its culture and its Orthodox faith are concepts that transcend the boundaries of the national.

The Greek language helped spread Christianity; However, the ancient Greek (or by extension Byzantine) cultures have no business being perpetuated in a Christian context.  Let the dead bury their dead - which is what Christ said.
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 06:19:00 PM »

I wonder if this lecture shows that Constantinople and Antioch are worried about America and how the Church is evolving in terms of perhaps seeking more autonomy. Could both thrones be worried about the same issue?
A friend of mine who attended Holy Cross told me about professors and students joking about the "immigrant mentality".
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 06:24:09 PM »

I wonder if this lecture shows that Constantinople and Antioch are worried about America and how the Church is evolving in terms of perhaps seeking more autonomy. Could both thrones be worried about the same issue?
Yes. I'm sure that's what it's about- the autonomy of the American Church is threatening the Ancient Patriarchates.
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 06:30:34 PM »

I'm sure it isn't that they are worried about our salvation...its really about money and power right?
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 06:33:20 PM »

I wonder if this lecture shows that Constantinople and Antioch are worried about America and how the Church is evolving in terms of perhaps seeking more autonomy. Could both thrones be worried about the same issue?
Yes. I'm sure that's what it's about- the autonomy of the American Church is threatening the Ancient Patriarchates.


Could you say more about that?

The Church in America constitutes less than 1% of global Orthodoxy.  I don't see why it would be a threat to the Patriarchates.


Even if it managed to unify itself administratively (and maybe even receive the status of a Patriarchate -highly unlikely) it would still be a piffling 1% of the Orthodox world.

The software generated tags at the bottom have thown up old threads.  One contains an interesting snippet from Fr Anastasios as to how Greek Americans were transferred from Athens to the EP.

"You know Tom, that's a funny story. The reason that America is under the EP is this: Meletios was Archbishop of Athens and was kicked out.  He never resigned.  He then came to the USA, where he strengthened his control over the Greeks here and founded the GOARCH.  He then became EP.  Now, he never had resigned being Archbishop of Athens so he issued a tomos declaring that the GOARCH was thereby transferred from his jurisdiction as Arch. of Athens to his jurisdiction as EP, and then he resigned being Arch. of Athens.  He was later deposed from the EP and later became Patriarch of Alexandria, and also served as the head of the Church of Cyprus. A very controversial figure."
 
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,1371.0.html


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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 06:49:20 PM »

Yes, you are right, it was about Philip who is currently the Archbishop of America.
I thought Metropolitan Jonah was.
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 07:04:48 PM »

Yes, you are right, it was about Philip who is currently the Archbishop of America.
I thought Metropolitan Jonah was.


There seems to be at least three claimants:

1.  His Eminence the Most Reverend Philip (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

2.  His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Jonah (Paffhausen) of Washington and New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada

3.  His Eminence the Most Reverend Archbishop Demetrios (Trakatellis), Archbishop of America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

All titles taken from their Orthodoxwiki entries.
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 07:09:26 PM »

I wonder if this lecture shows that Constantinople and Antioch are worried about America and how the Church is evolving in terms of perhaps seeking more autonomy. Could both thrones be worried about the same issue?
Yes. I'm sure that's what it's about- the autonomy of the American Church is threatening Hellenism / Arabism the Ancient Patriarchates.

The OCA is a threat to the bolded entities.  The geopolitical purple demon has been awakened once again since America was founded on Hellenistic principles, such as democracy, which didn't exist in Constantinople nor in Moscow nor in Damascus ... ever.
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 07:10:22 PM »

I think there is a concern in both patriarchates of the growing number of priests in each jurisdiction who are not Arabs or Greeks. Many Greek Orthodox Churches are using more English and less Greek because many of their priests can't speak Greek. In the Antiochian Archdiocese, one can only have DL in Arabic if the priest is an immigrant. But most of our priests are either American-born Arabs (who don't speak the language) or priests who have come into the church from other religious backgrounds.

In time, the priests, who will be mostly Americans from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, will and are already finding they have more in common than just the language of English. And with each passing year there will be more cooperation at the clergy level between the jurisdictions. Over time, as each jurisdiction will remain the same size or shrink, there will be an even a larger draw to pull together with other Orthodox communities, regardless of jurisdiction. It is only a matter of time. The patriarchates can try and keep Hellenism, or any other cultural perspective alive but they are fighting a losing battle. This paper written by this particular priest is just screaming of their fears for the future.

And maybe Metropolitan Jonah scares the living daylights out of the patriarchates because he is an intelligent, pastoral, monastic who believes in Orthodox unity and is not a homosexual.


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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2009, 07:13:25 PM »

And maybe Metropolitan Jonah scares the living daylights out of the patriarchates because he is an intelligent, pastoral, monastic who believes in Orthodox unity and is not a homosexual.
Yes. I'm sure that's what it is Tamara. Its all about homosexuality.

Will you guys just schism already? You're an embarrassment.
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2009, 07:15:52 PM »

I thought Met.Jonah was celibate..
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2009, 07:17:37 PM »

I think there is a concern in both patriarchates of the growing number of priests in each jurisdiction who are not Arabs or Greeks. Many Greek Orthodox Churches are using more English and less Greek because many of their priests can't speak Greek. In the Antiochian Archdiocese, one can only have DL in Arabic if the priest is an immigrant. But most of our priests are either American-born Arabs (who don't speak the language) or priests who have come into the church from other religious backgrounds.

In time, the priests, who will be mostly Americans from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, will and are already finding they have more in common than just the language of English. And with each passing year there will be more cooperation at the clergy level between the jurisdictions. Over time, as each jurisdiction will remain the same size or shrink, there will be an even a larger draw to pull together with other Orthodox communities, regardless of jurisdiction. It is only a matter of time. The patriarchates can try and keep Hellenism, or any other cultural perspective alive but they are fighting a losing battle. This paper written by this particular priest is just screaming of their fears for the future.

And maybe Metropolitan Jonah scares the living daylights out of the patriarchates because he is an intelligent, pastoral, monastic who believes in Orthodox unity and is not a homosexual.
What the **** does one's sexual orientation have to do with anything put forth in this discussion? Huh
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2009, 07:26:28 PM »

And maybe Metropolitan Jonah scares the living daylights out of the patriarchates because he is an intelligent, pastoral, monastic who believes in Orthodox unity and is not a homosexual.
Yes. I'm sure that's what it is Tamara. Its all about homosexuality.

Will you guys just schism already? You're an embarrassment.


Yesterday you told a new convert to Antioch to go into schism.  Now you are telling the same to an OCA member. 

Read profiles carefully - the poster in question is not an OCA member.

Edit - ozgeorge beat me to the punch.
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2009, 07:32:01 PM »

Time means very little.

So then I guess you're still a Roman Catholic.

Who told you that?  Besides, I thought we were not supposed to bring in people's personal details?

Please can we stop any further derailing of the thread.

The lecture from the Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Church of Constantinople is of more than a little significance.

It is a watershed speech, a clarion call, even a call to arms - a clear statement of Constantinople's exclusive claims to authority in America as against all the other jurisdictions which exist there.

I am sure the speech did not just "happen."  It was carefully prepared and the Archimandrite had a mission from Constantinople to bring this position statement to America.  Would you agree with me that what we are hearing in this lecture is the voice of the Ecumenical Patriarch?

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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2009, 07:34:44 PM »

Time means very little.

So then I guess you're still a Roman Catholic.

Who told you that?  Besides, I thought we were not supposed to bring in people's personal details?

Please can we stop any further derailing of the thread.
Um....are you telling yourself to stop derailing your own thread?
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2009, 07:39:23 PM »

Time means very little.

So then I guess you're still a Roman Catholic.

Who told you that?  Besides, I thought we were not supposed to bring in people's personal details?

Please can we stop any further derailing of the thread.
Um....are you telling yourself to stop derailing your own thread?


I have not been derailing it.  Read the sequence of messages.  Do you think we should open another 'clean' thread where people may discuss simply the Archimandrite's speech?   This thread is getting lost in a thicket of off topic posts.  Maybe a Mod could bring it back on track by 'pruning' it?
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2009, 07:40:56 PM »

Qzgeorge and Irishhermit...could you take your b--ch fights elsewhere..Im taking this thread seriously...I am starting to think that both Antioch and Constantinople are digging in their claws and that the next few months could be extremely important for the future of the Orthodox Church in the USA
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2009, 07:41:46 PM »

Quote
On the other hand, however, four very concrete dangers lurk behind such a communal organization of the local Church:

a) That the priest might become alienated from his administrative duties, and from being the spiritual leader of the parish would become a clerk of the parish council,
b) That the parishioners would find it difficult to comprehend the rules according to which the Church is governed and instead they would follow their own secular reasoning,
c) That the structures of the parish would become influenced by the prevalent Protestant models and thus they would replicate and imitate practices that are foreign to the Spirit of Orthodoxy, and
d) That the parishes would degenerate into nothing more than membership clubs, invested with some ecclesiastical resemblance.

As you all know, one of the secrets for the success of the American miracle in its financial, political and technological aspects was precisely its desire to detach itself from the traditional models of the old world, its ability to break free from the established norms, its willingness to question whatever was considered as given or beyond any criticism. As it might have been expected, these tendencies soon found an expression within the life of the Church, sometimes in more extreme ways, other times in more temperate ways. Thus, soon Orthodox clergymen became indistinguishable from the clergy of other denominations, choirs in the western style were adopted, the liturgical tradition became more and more impoverished by being limited only to the bare essentials, etc.

I was quite pleased to see him adress these issues, which I think are more immediate. If the promotion of Hellenism within the GOA means a reversal of these issues, and not merely a promotion of Greek-ness, then it's something I'd be very supportive of.
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2009, 07:55:09 PM »

Quote
On the other hand, however, four very concrete dangers lurk behind such a communal organization of the local Church:

a) That the priest might become alienated from his administrative duties, and from being the spiritual leader of the parish would become a clerk of the parish council,
b) That the parishioners would find it difficult to comprehend the rules according to which the Church is governed and instead they would follow their own secular reasoning,
c) That the structures of the parish would become influenced by the prevalent Protestant models and thus they would replicate and imitate practices that are foreign to the Spirit of Orthodoxy, and
d) That the parishes would degenerate into nothing more than membership clubs, invested with some ecclesiastical resemblance.

As you all know, one of the secrets for the success of the American miracle in its financial, political and technological aspects was precisely its desire to detach itself from the traditional models of the old world, its ability to break free from the established norms, its willingness to question whatever was considered as given or beyond any criticism. As it might have been expected, these tendencies soon found an expression within the life of the Church, sometimes in more extreme ways, other times in more temperate ways. Thus, soon Orthodox clergymen became indistinguishable from the clergy of other denominations, choirs in the western style were adopted, the liturgical tradition became more and more impoverished by being limited only to the bare essentials, etc.

I was quite pleased to see him adress these issues, which I think are more immediate. If the promotion of Hellenism within the GOA means a reversal of these issues, and not merely a promotion of Greek-ness, then it's something I'd be very supportive of.

Actually, I think point a,b,c, & d have already happened to various degrees, and are not merely future dangers. Parish Councils often do behave like they "own" the Priest, who is merely a functionary, and the laity do make judgements based on their own secular reasoning, with little or no knowledge of the guiding Canons of the Church.
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2009, 08:12:00 PM »

Absolutely not! I am advising the entire Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of America to schism and declare itself autocephalous.

When did "schism" come into use as a verb?  It is not in my Oxford nor Merriam-Webster as a verb.  But I have noticed that some American Orthodox have started to use it as a verb.
Languages evolve.  Get used to it.
To be honest, I believe this is more a question of lack of education rather than languages evolving.
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« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2009, 08:13:19 PM »

Actually, I think point a,b,c, & d have already happened to various degrees, and are not merely future dangers. Parish Councils often do behave like they "own" the Priest, who is merely a functionary, and the laity do make judgements based on their own secular reasoning, with little or no knowledge of the guiding Canons of the Church.

Very much so, and I think issues such as these are much more important than the issue of multiple jurisdictions. While lamentable and uncanonical, the existence of multiple ethnic jurisdictions is not a direct impediment to the salvation of their faithful. Allowing the churches to be run by secular-minded laity, and the undermining, if not outright disdain for, orthopraxis and traditional forms of worship (it seems almost everything can be dismissed as insignificant as long as the "Big T vs. small t traditions" cliché is invoked) does create such an impediment imho.
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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2009, 08:38:46 PM »

I have split off two tangents from this thread.

One tangent about the whether the North American Antiochian Church should schism has been moved here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20240.0.html

And another tangent about our forum rule of referring to Hierarchs by their titles has been moved here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20270.0.html
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« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2009, 08:51:30 PM »

This thread was the final inspiration for my posting:

Forum debates… sometimes good, but often not-so-much
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« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2009, 08:57:56 PM »

Very much so, and I think issues such as these are much more important than the issue of multiple jurisdictions. While lamentable and uncanonical, the existence of multiple ethnic jurisdictions is not a direct impediment to the salvation of their faithful. Allowing the churches to be run by secular-minded laity, and the undermining, if not outright disdain for, orthopraxis and traditional forms of worship (it seems almost everything can be dismissed as insignificant as long as the "Big T vs. small t traditions" cliché is invoked) does create such an impediment imho.

I agree. I think one of the big issues is that as more converts join the Churches, they will bring their cultures into the Church- which is great, however, culture needs to be sanctified by the Church, and what is good retained, and what is not so good, and incompatible with Orthodox Tradition be rejected. But this isn't what is happening. What is happening is the notion that "all culture" in the "New Lands" of the Church must be absorbed and accepted as is- including such notions as "rugged individualism", "independence" etc.  But there is no such thing as complete independence in Orthodox Christianity- the Body of Christ cannot be divided. But what is happening in places where there are multiple jurisdictions is so close to denominationalism that it might as well be. But rather than using the Orthodox Church's Concilliar method of resolving such issues, the Churches in the New Lands seek to impose themselves- "We are the American Church- join us!", "No, we are the American Church, join us!"  They are using Protestant denominationalism to try and solve an issue which cannot possibly be solved that way. And not only that, it's ecclesiastical heresy.
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« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2009, 09:01:11 PM »

Very disturbing development. So the Patriarch of Constantinople has sent the secretary of His Synod to America to challenge both Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Phillip. And, in a decidedly ugly way. I will quote from the article, but first I want to make a comment on the following claim: "At no point, the spirit of nationalism took hold of the Ecumenical Patriarchate because that is incompatible with the concepts of Hellenism and Ecumenicity (ecumenical character) as well as with the Christian Orthodox faith. The proof of this emerges in the most decisive manner throughout the 17 centuries of its history, during which it never Hellenized, not even attempted to Hellenize the nations to which it gave through its apostolic missions the undying light of Christ." This is a complete lie, the opposite of historical truth, and one which I am sure would not be presented to the non-Greek populations of the Balkans.

Here is how the Archimandrite Lambriniadis mocks Metropolitan Phillip: "Metropolitan Phillip begins his argument with an entirely anti-theological distinction  of the holy canons into three categories 1) dogmatic, 2) contextual and, 3) “dead”. I would like to know in which of these three categories, following his reasoning, His Eminence would classify the canons of the Ecumenical Councils that demarcate the jurisdictions of the ancient Patriarchates. Are they “contextual”—subject, as it is, to change? Does His Eminence believe that in this way he serves the unity among Orthodox, by subjugating the holy and divine canons under the circumstantial judgment of some bishop?" So, this is how an archimandrite of the Constantinople Patriarchy talks about the head of an archdiocese that has more members than the Patriarch has in the three dioceses that are enumerated in the canon!

Now let's see what the learned Doctor has to say about Metropolitan Jonah:
"It is indeed saddening the ignorance of this Hierarch not only on account of History and canonical order but even on account of the current state of affairs. How is it possible that he ignores that there is no Church that does not recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate? Perhaps he is carried away by the fact that the ecclesial schema over which he presides and which has been claimed as “autocephalous” in rampant violation of every sense of canonicity, is not recognized but by few Churches and it is not included in the diptychs of the Church."

As egregious as this is, he escalates the rhetoric: "Let me add that the refusal to recognize primacy within the Orthodox Church, a primacy that necessarily cannot but be embodied by a primus (that is by a bishop who has the prerogative of being the first among his fellow bishops) constitutes nothing less than heresy. It cannot be accepted, as often it is said, that the unity among the Orthodox Churches is safeguarded by either a common norm of faith and worship or by the Ecumenical Council as an institution. Both of these factors are impersonal while in our Orthodox theology the principle of unity is always a person. Indeed, in the level of the Holy Trinity the principle of unity is not the divine essence but the Person of the Father (“Monarchy” of the Father), at the ecclesiological level of the local Church the principle of unity is not the presbyterium or the common worship of the Christians but the person of the Bishop, so to in the Pan-Orthodox level the principle of unity cannot be an idea nor an institution but it needs to be, if we are to be consistent with our theology, a person."

So, Metropolitan Phillip is a fool and Metropolitan Jonah is a heretic. Furthermore, if one does not accept the universal primacy of Constantinople Patriarch, one is not truly Orthodox. I have not quoted other passages that also manage to insult converts and early emigrants. All I can say is that this Very Reverend Doctor Archimandrite from the Phanar should have stayed in Istanbul--what a one-man wrecking crew!
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« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2009, 09:07:23 PM »

I think there is a concern in both patriarchates of the growing number of priests in each jurisdiction who are not Arabs or Greeks. Many Greek Orthodox Churches are using more English and less Greek because many of their priests can't speak Greek. In the Antiochian Archdiocese, one can only have DL in Arabic if the priest is an immigrant. But most of our priests are either American-born Arabs (who don't speak the language) or priests who have come into the church from other religious backgrounds.

In time, the priests, who will be mostly Americans from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, will and are already finding they have more in common than just the language of English. And with each passing year there will be more cooperation at the clergy level between the jurisdictions. Over time, as each jurisdiction will remain the same size or shrink, there will be an even a larger draw to pull together with other Orthodox communities, regardless of jurisdiction. It is only a matter of time. The patriarchates can try and keep Hellenism, or any other cultural perspective alive but they are fighting a losing battle. This paper written by this particular priest is just screaming of their fears for the future.

And maybe Metropolitan Jonah scares the living daylights out of the patriarchates because he is an intelligent, pastoral, monastic who believes in Orthodox unity and is not a homosexual.
What the **** does one's sexual orientation have to do with anything put forth in this discussion? Huh

The only thing holding back the OCA was their compromised bishops and corrupt administration. Now, with the election of Metropolitan Jonah, the OCA has a spiritual leader who can take the OCA in the direction it always needed to go. And he is an American with no allegiance to Istanbul, Lebanon, Syria, Russia, etc. His only allegiance is to his American flock.  
The very thought of him with his clear vision and sense of purpose is scaring the daylights out of Istanbul and Antioch.
Read between the lines, you can see the fear in every word written by this Greek/Antiochian priest.
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« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2009, 09:09:23 PM »

I think there is a concern in both patriarchates of the growing number of priests in each jurisdiction who are not Arabs or Greeks.

Nope, not a concern, especially not in the EP; hence why there are Carpatho-Rus, Ukranians, Albanians, etc. within the fold here.

Many Greek Orthodox Churches are using more English and less Greek because many of their priests can't speak Greek.

The concern is not whether a parish uses more English, but whether a priest who is assigned to a Greek-speaking parish uses Greek when he needs to, or not.  If a non-Greek speaking priest goes to a non-Greek speaking parish, and doesn't speak Greek, there is neither complaint nor concern on local, diocesan, national, or international levels.

In time, the priests, who will be mostly Americans from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, will and are already finding they have more in common than just the language of English. And with each passing year there will be more cooperation at the clergy level between the jurisdictions. Over time, as each jurisdiction will remain the same size or shrink, there will be an even a larger draw to pull together with other Orthodox communities, regardless of jurisdiction. It is only a matter of time.

My, what a pessimist.  That's the spirit!

The patriarchates can try and keep Hellenism, or any other cultural perspective alive but they are fighting a losing battle. This paper written by this particular priest is just screaming of their fears for the future.

No, your response is screaming with your presuppositions and bias.  He specifically addressed the Hellenism question in the paper - they're not trying to spread Hellenism, just maintain it where there are Greek people who want it.

And maybe Metropolitan Jonah scares the living daylights out of the patriarchates because he is an intelligent, pastoral, monastic who believes in Orthodox unity

There are lots of them around; heck, I've met quite a few in Churches within the grouping of the EP.  I don't think he "scares the living daylights" out of anyone, and the comments in the article seem to only be pointing out inexperience, and ignorance that is perceived in the Metropolitan's past statements and writings.

and is not a homosexual.

Non-sequitur, and certainly off topic.
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« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2009, 09:20:52 PM »

Very disturbing development. So the Patriarch of Constantinople has sent the secretary of His Synod to America to challenge both Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Phillip.

Hardly.  Fr. Elpidoforos is an academic invited by the school to speak, not the other way around.  This isn't his first visit (I was at the school, when he broke the news about Cyprus to a few of us sitting in the barber shop; he had just gotten the phone call), nor will it be his last - he has relationships with people there, relationships that were revisited when my class visited Constantinople.

And, in a decidedly ugly way.

It's a paper, rebutting comments that both Metropolitans have made recently.  How is that ugly?  If it is ugly, then shouldn't the comments that were initially made by the other Metropolitans be considered equally "ugly?"

I will quote from the article, but first I want to make a comment on the following claim: "At no point, the spirit of nationalism took hold of the Ecumenical Patriarchate because that is incompatible with the concepts of Hellenism and Ecumenicity (ecumenical character) as well as with the Christian Orthodox faith. The proof of this emerges in the most decisive manner throughout the 17 centuries of its history, during which it never Hellenized, not even attempted to Hellenize the nations to which it gave through its apostolic missions the undying light of Christ." This is a complete lie, the opposite of historical truth, and one which I am sure would not be presented to the non-Greek populations of the Balkans.

Bring the proof, or don't bother responding.

Here is how the Archimandrite Lambriniadis mocks Metropolitan Phillip: "Metropolitan Phillip begins his argument with an entirely anti-theological distinction  of the holy canons into three categories 1) dogmatic, 2) contextual and, 3) “dead”. I would like to know in which of these three categories, following his reasoning, His Eminence would classify the canons of the Ecumenical Councils that demarcate the jurisdictions of the ancient Patriarchates. Are they “contextual”—subject, as it is, to change? Does His Eminence believe that in this way he serves the unity among Orthodox, by subjugating the holy and divine canons under the circumstantial judgment of some bishop?" So, this is how an archimandrite of the Constantinople Patriarchy talks about the head of an archdiocese that has more members than the Patriarch has in the three dioceses that are enumerated in the canon!

Numbers don't matter; if he feels that the Metropolitan's point on canons was disrespectful, he'll respond, although he did leave His Eminence +PHILIP with the dignity of his title in all cases (unlike members on this forum who write MP so flippantly).  I would actually disagree with the Metropolitan's assessment of canons; while my experience in the studies of the canonical tradition are greatly diminished in the shadow of someone who studied at Halki, I think his statement, as quoted, is irresponsible and probably flies in the face of how his own Synod in Antioch interprets the canons.

So, Metropolitan Phillip is a fool and Metropolitan Jonah is a heretic.

He didn't say that.  But think what you want to.

Furthermore, if one does not accept the universal primacy of Constantinople Patriarch, one is not truly Orthodox.

I'm sorry, maybe it's time for me to get glasses; where is the phrase "universal primacy" in that address?  I think people like to superimpose the adjective to sensationalize the story.

I have not quoted other passages that also manage to insult converts and early emigrants. 

You know, I read much of those passages to two converts who were in my office (one a priest, the other a monk, both of whom are easily twice my age) and they agreed with most of the characterizations and statements, although had concerns about approach.

All I can say is that this Very Reverend Doctor Archimandrite from the Phanar should have stayed in Istanbul--what a one-man wrecking crew!

And you should have stayed away from the keyboard.  You're attempting to rebut an address at a Theological school with complaints and whining; if you bring the facts to back up your statements, then fine by me, but don't presume to take the "moral/theological" high road if you can't prove you're there and aren't sure where it is on the map.
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« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2009, 09:23:31 PM »

I think there is a concern in both patriarchates of the growing number of priests in each jurisdiction who are not Arabs or Greeks. Many Greek Orthodox Churches are using more English and less Greek because many of their priests can't speak Greek. In the Antiochian Archdiocese, one can only have DL in Arabic if the priest is an immigrant. But most of our priests are either American-born Arabs (who don't speak the language) or priests who have come into the church from other religious backgrounds.

In time, the priests, who will be mostly Americans from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, will and are already finding they have more in common than just the language of English. And with each passing year there will be more cooperation at the clergy level between the jurisdictions. Over time, as each jurisdiction will remain the same size or shrink, there will be an even a larger draw to pull together with other Orthodox communities, regardless of jurisdiction. It is only a matter of time. The patriarchates can try and keep Hellenism, or any other cultural perspective alive but they are fighting a losing battle. This paper written by this particular priest is just screaming of their fears for the future.

And maybe Metropolitan Jonah scares the living daylights out of the patriarchates because he is an intelligent, pastoral, monastic who believes in Orthodox unity and is not a homosexual.
What the **** does one's sexual orientation have to do with anything put forth in this discussion? Huh

The only thing holding back the OCA was their compromised bishops and corrupt administration. Now, with the election of Metropolitan Jonah, the OCA has a spiritual leader who can take the OCA in the direction it always needed to go. And he is an American with no allegiance to Istanbul, Lebanon, Syria, Russia, etc. His only allegiance is to his American flock.  
The very thought of him with his clear vision and sense of purpose is scaring the daylights out of Istanbul and Antioch.
Read between the lines, you can see the fear in every word written by this Greek/Antiochian priest. 

You know what I find arrogant?  That one would presume to characterize and diagnose the fears of a man (or group of people) who goes to work not knowing if somebody is going to lob a grenade on his office and end his life.  If there are concerns about Metropolitan +JONAH, I'm positive that they are not because of his energy, integrity, background, or vision.
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« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2009, 09:24:32 PM »

The patriarchates can try and keep Hellenism, or any other cultural perspective alive but they are fighting a losing battle. This paper written by this particular priest is just screaming of their fears for the future.

No, your response is screaming with your presuppositions and bias.  He specifically addressed the Hellenism question in the paper - they're not trying to spread Hellenism, just maintain it where there are Greek people who want it.


I have learned that when Hellenism is used today by those of the EP throne it is their way of saying Roman and when I say Roman I mean it as in the Empire and not in what the guys in Italy like to call themselves. The EP looks at itself as the last shining light of the Roman Empire and those citizens who are Greek speaking to be the last heirs of the Empire.

I appreciated reading the article and knowing who the audience is, young whining seminarians at Holy Cross, thought it to be an excellent presentation. Many of his points are right on, and I am glad he took Met. Philip to task on the presentation he made at St. Vladimir's, particularity the comment about "dead" canons.  
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« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2009, 09:29:48 PM »

I wonder if this lecture shows that Constantinople and Antioch are worried about America and how the Church is evolving in terms of perhaps seeking more autonomy. Could both thrones be worried about the same issue?

Not quite.  You're closer on the next one:

A friend of mine who attended Holy Cross told me about professors and students joking about the "immigrant mentality".

One thing I have heard raised is the concern that while we strive to better serve the people of America, which at least the EP wants to happen, we shouldn't neglect the people that are not culturally American (i.e. immigrants of all cloths).  The perception I've heard frequently is that we send priests who speak no Greek to parishes that want/need Greek, and priests who do speak Greek to parishes that don't want it or need it.

Personally, I'm a multiculturalist: celebrate all the independence days you want to; have 10 different types of cultural foods at the Church's festival (which should coincide with it's feastday, as a feastday celebration); but speak English in the parish, unless you're the "only game in town," and then sprinkle in as many languages as you need to.  Teaching languages at the Church?  Great idea: Greek, Hebrew, Russian, German, and Latin - you will be able to read 99% of all theological works ever created with that set.
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« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2009, 09:32:45 PM »

No, your response is screaming with your presuppositions and bias.  He specifically addressed the Hellenism question in the paper - they're not trying to spread Hellenism, just maintain it where there are Greek people who want it.

I have learned that when Hellenism is used today by those of the EP throne it is their way of saying Roman and when I say Roman I mean it as in the Empire and not in what the guys in Italy like to call themselves. The EP looks at itself as the last shining light of the Roman Empire and those citizens who are Greek speaking to be the last heirs of the Empire.

There is definitely an element of that.  An Orthodox people, Orthodox culture, etc.  A time when Christianity is the dominant religion, and it shows.

I appreciated reading the article and knowing who the audience is, young whining seminarians at Holy Cross, thought it to be an excellent presentation.

Don't discriminate against the "old whining seminarians."

Many of his points are right on, and I am glad he took Met. Philip to task on the presentation he made at St. Vladimir's, particularity the comment about "dead" canons.  

Uh-huh.  When I had first heard of it, I said "irresponsible."  The response shows that someone was paying attention.
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« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2009, 09:37:48 PM »


Reported on OrthodoxNews

Holy Cross Seminary has been in an uproar for the last few days. Below is a link to a speech given there on Monday:

A friend there says it was yesterday, not Monday.
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« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2009, 09:50:23 PM »


Reported on OrthodoxNews

Holy Cross Seminary has been in an uproar for the last few days. Below is a link to a speech given there on Monday:

A friend there says it was yesterday, not Monday.

The two sources which are running the lecture date it as happening on 16th March which is Monday.

http://www.greekamericannewsagency.com/gana/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4771&Itemid=83

(Chapel of the Holy Cross, March 16, 2009)

http://www.ecclesia.gr/englishnews/default.asp?id=3986

(Chapel of the Holy Cross, March 16, 2009)
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« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2009, 10:16:41 PM »

One thing always overlooked when Canon 28 is cited is that it was never accepted by the Church.  It was firmly opposed by the Holy Church of Rome which held the Primacy and so it was not accepted by the fullness of Orthodoxy.  Without a conciliar acceptance, if one of the five Patriarchates rejects it,  then it cannot be implemented.

There was an hiatus from Chalcedon in 450 AD to the schism in 1054 AD, a total of 600 years, when Canon 28 was quite meaningless.


After the schism and the loss of the Patriarchate of Rome, Constantinople may like to argue that Canon 28 come into force at that time, 600 years later, but in point of fact, no Orthodox Patriarchate, in its actions, agrees with Constantinople's interpretation of Canon 28. 



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« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2009, 10:25:06 PM »

One thing always overlooked when Canon 28 is cited is that it was never accepted by the Church.  It was firmly opposed by the Holy Church of Rome which held the Primacy and so it was not accepted by the fullness of Orthodoxy. 

And?  There are canons from local synods that have Ecumenical force or are universally accepted.

Without a conciliar acceptance, if one of the five Patriarchates rejects it,  then it cannot be implemented.

Proof? (Oh, and I like how you've managed to make Cyprus a second-class Church with one small sentence.)

There was an hiatus from Chalcedon in 450 AD to the schism in 1054 AD, a total of 600 years, when Canon 28 was quite meaningless.

After the schism and the loss of the Patriarchate of Rome, Constantinople may like to argue that Canon 28 come into force at that time, 600 years later, but in point of fact, no Orthodox Patriarchate, in its actions, agrees with Constantinople's interpretation of Canon 28.  

Was it meaningless?  None of them?  What about the "autocephalous" non-Patriarchates (Cyprus, Athens, etc)?
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« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2009, 10:26:17 PM »

Very disturbing development. So the Patriarch of Constantinople has sent the secretary of His Synod to America to challenge both Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Phillip.

Hardly.  Fr. Elpidoforos is an academic invited by the school to speak, not the other way around.  This isn't his first visit (I was at the school, when he broke the news about Cyprus to a few of us sitting in the barber shop; he had just gotten the phone call), nor will it be his last - he has relationships with people there, relationships that were revisited when my class visited Constantinople.

Well, I am relieved that he did this all on his own. By the way, how about some prime real estate....

And, in a decidedly ugly way.
Quote
It's a paper, rebutting comments that both Metropolitans have made recently.  How is that ugly?  If it is ugly, then shouldn't the comments that were initially made by the other Metropolitans be considered equally "ugly?"
Ugly in the sense of being condescending, accusing opponents of heresy, calling Metropolitan Phillip's considered opinion that of "circumstantial judgment of some bishop." This is not tit-for-tat, this is disrespect.
 
Quote
I will quote from the article, but first I want to make a comment on the following claim: "At no point, the spirit of nationalism took hold of the Ecumenical Patriarchate because that is incompatible with the concepts of Hellenism and Ecumenicity (ecumenical character) as well as with the Christian Orthodox faith. The proof of this emerges in the most decisive manner throughout the 17 centuries of its history, during which it never Hellenized, not even attempted to Hellenize the nations to which it gave through its apostolic missions the undying light of Christ." This is a complete lie, the opposite of historical truth, and one which I am sure would not be presented to the non-Greek populations of the Balkans.
Quote
Bring the proof, or don't bother responding.

I was hoping you would not challenge me. But, here it goes, warts and all...
Are you familiar with the reestablishment of the Bulgarian Church in the 19th century? It was called the Bulgarian Exarchate and covered all of Modern day Bulgaria, almost all of modern day northern Greece, and the current Republic of Macedonia. A German map showing the boundaries may be found at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Bulgarian-Exarchate-1870-1913.jpg. The reasons were partly the Bulgarian national renaissance and partly the insistence by the Patriarchate to suppress the national awaking/promote Hellenism or Greekness. You may remember the 1903 Ilinden Rebellion in the Macedonia and Adrinople regions against the Ottoman Turks. You may not know that it failed and was brutally suppressed by the Turks, aided and abetted by some of the Patriarchate's clergy who guided the Turkish troops to the Bulgarian villages. You know, people remember this knife in the back from a fellow Orthodox (and clergy to boot) better than any atrocity that comes from one's enemy. Do you need more evidence?

All I can say is that this Very Reverend Doctor Archimandrite from the Phanar should have stayed in Istanbul--what a one-man wrecking crew!
Quote
And you should have stayed away from the keyboard.  You're attempting to rebut an address at a Theological school with complaints and whining; if you bring the facts to back up your statements, then fine by me, but don't presume to take the "moral/theological" high road if you can't prove you're there and aren't sure where it is on the map.

As OzGeorge says, thank you for your opinion.
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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2009, 10:32:34 PM »

I believe that Fr Francis Dvornik showed in Byzantium and the Roman Primacy that Rome did in fact accept Chalcedon 28 after protesting it. It was only later that they reverted to the "we never accepted this" position. I don't have that book sitting here though. Maybe someone can cite the page if they have it, or show me if I am mistaken.
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« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2009, 10:34:50 PM »

I agree. I think one of the big issues is that as more converts join the Churches, they will bring their cultures into the Church- which is great, however, culture needs to be sanctified by the Church, and what is good retained, and what is not so good, and incompatible with Orthodox Tradition be rejected. But this isn't what is happening. What is happening is the notion that "all culture" in the "New Lands" of the Church must be absorbed and accepted as is- including such notions as "rugged individualism", "independence" etc.  But there is no such thing as complete independence in Orthodox Christianity- the Body of Christ cannot be divided. But what is happening in places where there are multiple jurisdictions is so close to denominationalism that it might as well be. But rather than using the Orthodox Church's Concilliar method of resolving such issues, the Churches in the New Lands seek to impose themselves- "We are the American Church- join us!", "No, we are the American Church, join us!"  They are using Protestant denominationalism to try and solve an issue which cannot possibly be solved that way. And not only that, it's ecclesiastical heresy.

I can't remember the exact story, but it's either Dostoevsky or Tolstoy that writes about a holy water or something, contained in a beautiful gilded container. The people, wanting to access the holy water directly, and seeing the container as something nonessential, break the container. The liquid then falls to the ground, soaks into the earth and is forever lost.

Does this ring a bell? I've been meaning to look it up.

It seems to me that many people are trying to do just this. Thinking that only the essence of Orthodoxy (whatever is meant by this) is of importance, they are prepared to strip it of all the things that has preserved it in order to accommodate their own fallible opinions, and in their zeal risk losing the whole thing.
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