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Author Topic: Finnish Priest is to candidate to the European Parlament  (Read 2282 times) Average Rating: 0
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mike
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« on: April 22, 2009, 02:50:55 AM »

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Pastor Mitro Repo, 50, known generally as Father Mitro, of the Orthodox congregation of Helsinki announced last Thursday that he is to stand in June’s European Parliament election as a politically non-aligned candidate of the Social Democratic Party.
     
The Council of Bishops of the Finnish Orthodox Church is to convene within the next few weeks in order to take a stand on the EU election candidacy of Father Mitro.
      Archbishop Leo, the head of the Finnish Orthodox Church, declared to the Finnish Christian newspaper Kotimaa already in March, when Father Mitro was only considering his candidacy, that the Orthodox clergy do not take part in politics.
      Nevertheless, according to Repo himself, the candidacy is no problem.
      ”An Orthodox priest can bear his social responsibilities in this way”, Mitro noted.
      At present, Repo is on a three-year leave of absence from his job as an Orthodox pastor.
     
In the sphere of the Orthodox church it is impossible to think of combining politics and religion.
      According to the Orthodox church circles, a person who declares God’s Truth cannot pursue his own interests or those of a political party in the attire of a priest.
      The priest’s symbols are a key consideration. Political participation is a human right, which is difficult to forbid.
      But representing a secular authority in priestly attire is another matter altogether.
     
The church demands that Repo should not wear his cassock when practicing politics.
      At an SDP press conference on Thursday, Repo was again wearing his familiar robe and a large cross around his neck.
      Repo says that he has been wearing a cassock ever since he was ordained into the Orthodox clergy.
      He has also said that he never removes the cassock - not even when he goes to a grocery store.
     
Father Mitro’s answer to a number of requests by various political parties has been long awaited. Since last spring, all large parties - including the Centre, the National Coalition, and the Social Democrats - would have liked to have him to run in their colours in the elections.
      Moreover, the Christian Democrats, the True Finns, and the Greens have also enquired about the possibility of his standing as their candidate.
      It took Repo a long time to make up his mind.
      In January, he said that he would postpone his answer until the last moment - ”like all other veteran politicians”.
     
The party’s election programme and its human and social dimensions eventually tipped the scales in favour of the Social Democrats, Father Mitro reported.
      ”The concept of a new Social Europe fits well in my ideas about the future Europe, which continues to be as human as possible and in which one could recognize a human face”, Repo added.
     
For the European Parliament election, the country as a whole is one large electoral constituency.
      This means that the candidates enter as candidates in the entire country and the voters may vote for any of the candidates, which also means that campaigning will necessarily be expensive.
      Many potential candidates have thus been musing over their participation for a long time, and for example Esko-Juhani Tennilä (Left Alliance) decided not to run as he was unable to collect enough funds for campaigning.
     
Apparently, Father Mitro does not have such problems.
      ”I have the feeling that I have been campaigning already for several years, like sort of citizens’ voluntary work. Participating in social debates and feeling that one can exert influence over something, being a kind of opinion leader, that is politics at its best”, Repo argued.
      Mitro Repo admits straight that he cannot be bothered to worry about his own campaigning - at least not yet.
      ”So far, there are no funds, but hopefully human capital is more abundant”, Father Mitro noted.
     
In addition to the Orthodox priest Mitro Repo, Lempäälä resident Tuula Petäkoski-Hult, 53, a senior research scientist at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), and Ahmed Al Chibibi, 23, an Iraqi-born entrepreneur from Turku, were announced last week to complete the Social Democratic party's list of 20 European Parliament candidates.
      SDP party secretary Ari Korhonen acknowledged that Al Chibibi was "a so-called immigration candidate".

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Orthodox11
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009, 04:35:41 AM »

Bad idea. His mistakes will be viewed as the Church's mistakes, the same goes for his hypocrisy, corruption, etc. (things nearly all politicians will be accused of at some point).
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CRCulver
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 12:09:59 PM »

Bad idea. His mistakes will be viewed as the Church's mistakes, the same goes for his hypocrisy, corruption, etc. (things nearly all politicians will be accused of at some point).

As an EU resident,  I would say European Parliamentarians are given very little attention. It is the representatives at the national and local levels who get tarred in the media.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 12:10:14 PM by CRCulver » Logged
mike
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 02:04:36 PM »

Bad idea. His mistakes will be viewed as the Church's mistakes, the same goes for his hypocrisy, corruption, etc. (things nearly all politicians will be accused of at some point).

As an EU resident,  I would say European Parliamentarians are given very little attention. It is the representatives at the national and local levels who get tarred in the media.

It depends on the country. Some of our europarliamentarians are not been known to public but some of them are and their actions make some controversies in the country.
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observer
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 02:21:30 PM »

I understood that no clergy were allowed to hold any public office. Perhaps some bishop can enlighten us, which canon.  I know that the Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus was president....
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 02:33:14 PM »

Bishop Fan Noli was president of Albania.

Canons are easy ignore.
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Eugenio
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 12:13:32 AM »

From what I've read, Makarios III was in a special position. He held the title of "ethnarch" or leader of his "ethnos," or people.

That title doesn't exist anywhere else in the Orthodox world, from what I can tell. And it hasn't existed in Cyprus since 1974, when Makarios was deposed in a US-backed coup that pursued the disasterous policy of "enosis" with Greece, and that eventually resulted in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 12:26:47 AM »

I understood that no clergy were allowed to hold any public office. Perhaps some bishop can enlighten us, which canon.  I know that the Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus was president....

Clergy aren't allowed to hold public office. I know I've read the canon, but I can't remember which one it is. However, who needs a canon when it comes from the mouth of our Lord Himself?:

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 04:03:41 PM »

Gloria in excelsis Deo! The Council of Bishops of the Finnish Orthodox Church have unanimously pronounced that canons forbids clergymens participation in politics. The Council also decided that it will hear fr. Mitro before making final decision.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 04:04:14 PM by Alpo » Logged

mike
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 04:23:37 PM »

Gloria in excelsis Deo! The Council of Bishops of the Finnish Orthodox Church have unanimously pronounced that canons forbids clergymens participation in politics. The Council also decided that it will hear fr. Mitro before making final decision.

I'll be grateful if you post the final decicoin when it will have been made. TIA
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 03:02:11 AM »

Gloria in excelsis Deo! The Council of Bishops of the Finnish Orthodox Church have unanimously pronounced that canons forbids clergymens participation in politics. The Council also decided that it will hear fr. Mitro before making final decision.

I must say I almost laughed when I saw that...quite a statement from a Church who's decrees for five hundred years had the force of Imperial law (and for whom, every Imperial decree for five hundred years had the force of canon law).
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 02:25:20 PM »

Gloria in excelsis Deo! The Council of Bishops of the Finnish Orthodox Church have unanimously pronounced that canons forbids clergymens participation in politics. The Council also decided that it will hear fr. Mitro before making final decision.

I must say I almost laughed when I saw that...quite a statement from a Church who's decrees for five hundred years had the force of Imperial law (and for whom, every Imperial decree for five hundred years had the force of canon law).

I wasn't aware that the Finnish Orthodox Church has been around for 500 years.
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 12:19:39 PM »

Well this is NOTHING. It wasn;t really a wise decision becasue the European Union speaking as a Christian is something rather evil in many aspects. So what has a priest to do there? Unless he has the illusion that be getting involved he will pass christian laws.

On the other hand Fr Mitro is considered to be among the tradtional and good priests.

However what is shocking is the hypocricy of the Finnish Synod who are urgently discussing onthe issue as if this is the end of the world and they didn't do anything when the local bishop just 2 days ago had a forum and a service with Freemasons while heimslef as well as the Orthodox Priest who is the General Secretary of the CHurch of Finland are organizing homosexual and transgender ecumenist conference where among others ecclesiastical marriage of homosexuals as well as the "right" of a gay priest to live together openly with his lover will be introduced.

That doesn't mater to them, that the have turned the Church into a gay club and into an ecumenist sect where there is room even for free masons. The worst that can happen is a priest as a candidate in the elections.

I call that hyprocricy
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mike
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2009, 07:11:46 PM »

Fr. Mitro will sue Finnish Orthodox Church to Strasburg for suspending him:

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The Supreme Administrative Court has rejected an action brought by  Mitro Repo, a Finnish Social Democratic Member of the European Parliament, against the Finnish Orthodox Church.
      Repo, an ordained priest in the church, brought legal action against a ruling by the bishops of the church, who banned Repo from serving as a priest while he is a candidate for the European Parliament.
      Anticipating his possible election to the post, the bishops also said that he cannot serve as an Orthodox priest during a possible Parliamentary term.
    
Repo also was banned from using a priest’s cassock, and other insignia related to the priesthood.
      Repo was elected to the European Parliament last summer.
    
The Supreme Administrative Court found that the issue was an internal matter for the Orthodox Church, which has the right to interpret its own doctrines.
      The court found nothing illegal about the decision to suspend Repo.
      Mitro Repo says that he will appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
source

It looks like the Bulgarian Metropolitan Simeon has set a new tradition: suing ones Holy Synod to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 07:14:08 PM by mike » Logged
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