Michał, I had absolutely no idea this was not a canonical group. You could have just informed me without all the criticism.
I wanted to. But the thread just popped up on OC.net, so I decided to write here. Sorry, if I expressed my critisim to harshly.
And one more comment. I wrote:
The problem is that - correct me if I'm wrong - most of these painting weren't made by Orthodox, weren't made for Orthodox and have never been used by Orthodox. I guess that they were simply added to the site because they were fitting to particular cultures. But it gives a completely wrong impression of Orthodox missionary work. Adopting culture of a missionarised group in the field of iconography and even chanting isn't how it is done by us. We rather bring our big and small traditions and let the new people make something out of these in connection with their own culture. It's an organic process!
If I may add something to this. In many sections of your website, you put icons which are especially venerated by particular people. In other sections, you put "icons" which reflect appearance and/or culture of particular people. This may be confusing. In Polish section (http://orthodoxmysteries.com/chant-polish.html
), you added an icon of the Black Madonna because we especially venerate it (thus expressing our love for the Theotokos). And in many African sections you inserted another "Black Madonnas" but for a very different reason.
These images, for obvious reasons, have nothing to with Orthodoxy: http://orthodoxmysteries.com/chant-cameroon.html
. And neither have these: http://orthodoxmysteries.com/chant-kenyan.html
(the last one from one of North American sections) - they were painted by Robert Lentz, a Byzantine Rite Franciscan, who could have embraced Orthodoxy, as his family is of Russian Orthodox background, but he didn't want to. Moreover, he seems to see no difference between painting an icon of Our Lady and of pagan gods' worshipper who consciously rejected Christianity (http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/days/images/photos/mohandasgandhi.jpg
). Lentz's "icons" are quite recognizable what may lead to another misconceptions about the Eastern Orthodox Church, for instance:
- that we adhere to the controversial ideas of Robert Lentz,
- that we use Byzantine Catholic resources when evangelizing people,
- that we see the Byzantine Catholic Church as a part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Please, have a look at Ethiopian and Eritrean sections (http://orthodoxmysteries.com/chant-ethiopian.html
). Did the original African Orthodox people make their icons look ethnically Ethiopian/Eritrean? No. Although they made them in a non-Byzantine style. Please, have a look at this pdf file: http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/TanzaniatheSecondTimeAround_revised_.pdf
. Did Eastern Orthodox missionaries give the people of Tanzania Tanzanian looking icons? No. They simply gave them Byzantine icons with captions in Swahili. Please, have a look at this icon: http://www.orthodoxcanada.org/joyofcanada/joycan.jpg
. Did the Canadian Orthodox make an image of the Theotokos reflecting their Anglo-Saxon origin (http://orthodoxmysteries.com/images/chant-icon-canadian.png)?
No. They simply made a Byzantine style icon with maple leafs on the ornaments.
, I hope you will try to keep higher standards of Orthodoxy on your trully beautiful and valuable website.