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Author Topic: OCA, ROCOR AND GOA  (Read 9991 times) Average Rating: 0
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SamB
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« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2003, 07:13:58 PM »

A point of fact, the Patriarch of Antioch settled in Damascus after the Roman Catholic Crusaders so kindly sacked and destroyed Antioch leaving a population currently that is only Moslem with the Christian center of the Antiochian  Patriarchate and country of Syria located in Damascus, the Capital City, thus his residency on "The way called straight" noted in the New Testament.

The picture is skewed here.

Antioch was decimated by the Mamelukes, Baybars in particular, in whose hands Antioch long was when the Patriarchate was moved to Damascus.  That, and the city's long history of earthquakes did the job.

The Mamelukes did such a job that the Ottomans found it an insignificant ruin once they consolidated power in the territory.

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« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2003, 07:29:17 PM »

In the Middle East, the two countries where the government explicitly claims and/or exercises the right to recognise the Patriarch are Turkey (obviously) and Israel, which had the gall to refuse to recognise the election of Patriarch Irinios.  I am not certain whether the election has finally been accepted by the government.

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arimethea
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« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2003, 07:33:10 PM »

The situation of the churches in the Middle East.

In all cases the govt where the Patriarch is in residence must confirm the Patriarch that is elected. I may be mistaken, but I believe that the Patriarch of Jeruslem has yet to be confirmed by the Isreali Govt.

In Syria the govt regulates the land that the christians may hold. They do not distugish between RC, EO, OO, or any other group that calls themselves Christian. That is why there is so much cooperation in Syria among the Christian groups, it is a matter of survial. The "Greek" Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch has some flexibilty because Lebanon is a friendly country towards the Orthodox. So much happens at the Balamand because it is the Patriarch's hold in Lebanon and therefore is not regulated.

Part of the Problem with the city of Antioch is that it is in Turkey now. A Cathedral is still there but the is no real community located there. The last time I heard of a services being held there was several years ago and it was a concelebration with both Pats. Ignatius and Bartholomew on the feast of Peter and Paul.

Both the Patriarches of Jeruslem and Alexandria are held by actual Greek citizens so that creates another problem all together.  In the case of Alexandria wonderful work is being done with the help of the OCMC in bringing the Word to the people of Africa. Many under the Jersulem Patriarch have felt abadoned over the years by their Bishops and have called for the election of native Bishops rather then Bishops coming from Greece.

I hope this helps everyone in understanding some of the problems that the church faces in the Middle East.
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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2003, 07:55:57 PM »

In Syria the govt regulates the land that the christians may hold. They do not distugish between RC, EO, OO, or any other group that calls themselves Christian. That is why there is so much cooperation in Syria among the Christian groups, it is a matter of survial.

Fraternal relations on the grassroots level, familial ties, and (in the case of the E.O.) the passing away of Greek hegemony over Antioch strongly factor into the impetus for cooperation.  

There is a spontaneous will to aid each other on the parish level.  It wouldn't be unusual to find a Melchite funeral reception taking place in the basement of an Orthodox church (sadly, the deceased was one of my own family).  

Syria is an intriguing country.  The land policy you mention leads to things such as the two groups sharing the same parish church, as in the recent case of one of the suburbs of Damascus.

One forgotten point I neglected to mention concerning the location of the Patriarchs: the Syrian Orthodox had their base in southeastern Turkey (Diyarbakir, if I remember correctly) not too long ago, and moved to Homs and then Damascus due to the very bad conditions the Turks created for them.

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« Reply #49 on: November 15, 2003, 01:08:42 AM »



The whole idea of "captivity" came up in some posts.  I realize that the ancient patriarchs of the East are in Moslem dominated nations but are they really in captivity?  The Turks dictate that the EP needs to be a Turkish citizen and I think one of the seminaries is closed.  The Turks don't dictate theological opinion and don't rule on appointment to bishoprics.  In the past they did.  So is it still captivity.  I don't see the govt's of Egypt (yes I know they persecute the Copts but refer here to the Chalcedonians), Syria or Israel creating any problems.  The churches in these countries seem to function ok.  SO is it still captivity?
Carpo-Rusyn
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Not to "carp" on Carpo's post, this needs some answers. First, let me say that while I don't think an in-depth grasp of history is necessary for an Orthodox Christian's salvation, many of us are still concerned about our mother churches. AND this situation does affect ALL Orthodox Churches as we shall see. The following is from an old (and doobie-less) memory:

Since the time the Church of Christ became the official church of the Roman Empire in the early 4th century, ALL five ancient sees were (and still are) sponsored and protected by the Emperor or prevailing head of state. ALL five, even today. The Bishop of Rome was fortunate in that the evolution of his sponsoring state developed through his own Papal States, and by treaty negotiation when modern Italy formed, into the Vatican State. So, today, the Pope of Rome is sponsored and protected by his head of state- himself. In the east, only the Church of Cyprus had (has, still?) an identical situation (remember when Archbishop Makarios was also the President of Cyprus? Same political status as the Pope of Rome.)
Hence, this church governance model has always been in effect in the five ancient sees. It may even be "canonical", but I'm not sure.
Constantinople - Captive? You bet.
1) The Patriarch MUST, by Turkish law, be a Turkish citizen.

2) The Turkish government recognizes the EP as the bishop for the "Rumca" (Romans) in Turkey only and no status beyond Turkish borders (anti-EPer's please hold the applause until you read the rest.)

3) The EP may travel abroad only with government consent. THINK about that - the EP cannot call a Great and Holy Synod as the Turks will not allow him (or representatives) to travel to it. The chances of his calling one and not participating are nil for obvious reasons.

4) It's against Turkish law to convert from  moslem to Christianity or to aid and abet that conversion. So, no converts and the remaining Christians are still fleeing or dying out.

5) The Turks have closed Halki School of Theology. This was SUPPOSEDLY done by a law meant to control radical Islamic schools in Turkey -yeah right. Halki is the Patriarchal seminary in Turkey. Without it, no new clergy or source of future monastics for future bishops. The seminary in America must supply priests for here and who says the Turks would approve another American bishop as patriach as they did Athenagoras, an American who had to become a Turkish citizen?

6) Halki houses the Patriarchal library (full of priceless POST 4th Crusade manuscripts) and the Patriarchal Archives (again, post 1261- the pre 4th Crusade documents were hauled to Rome as booty and I assume are at the Vatican . I'd rather have those back than a copy of a sacred icon, thank you.)
The Turks will NOT allow the library or archives to be moved (or accessed at this point) and this includes moving them to another country.

7) The Patriarchal properties have been suspiciously fire-bombed several times in the last twenty years. Perpetrators never found, of course.  It's not even safe to be there.

8] The systematic "legal" confiscation of church property throughout Turkey- all those decimated churches turning into museums and mosques at the goverment's set prices.

9) The above is how the Church lives there, what about the individual faithful Christian?

I'm sure there is more, but as I said. I'm old. But this is CAPTIVITY. When one considers the ramifications of item 3) above the Turks are holding a strangle hold over ALL Orthodoxy.

Antioch:
This see has been well covered in previous posts, but the draconian rules the Syrian government imposes on all Christians makes them all captive.

Jerusalem:

A sad state of affairs to be sure.
As Jerusalem is a disputed city the Patriarch must be approved by both the Palestinians and the Israelis. What a catch-22. The Israelis refuse to recognize the Patriarch because he "supports" the Palestinians who also must (and have) approve(d) him. This is a blatant Isaeli property grab by extortion. Without their approval the Patriarch can conduct no official business. (I'm sure they'd relent if he agreed to sell them their parlament buildings which they occupy but which the Church owns. They would have to approve him for him to sign the transfer.) By the way, in Irsael itself Christians are treated most poorly.

Alexandria:
Carpo's already alluded to the dismal treatment of the Orthodox (both Easterns and Orientals) there. It's worse than we know. Death sentences for converting to Christianity (any flavor) , changing one's moslem name,  for a moslem marrying a Christian? Not captive? Lord have Mercy.

So, my new friend, carpo-rusyn, this is captivity.

Demetri - the old Greek transplanted to the ACROD and who prays for ALL Orthodox Christians (and carpo)


{Edited to correct numerous midnight typos}
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« Reply #50 on: November 15, 2003, 08:44:43 AM »


Since the time the Church of Christ became the official church of the Roman Empire in the early 4th century, ALL five ancient sees were (and still are) sponsored and protected by the Emperor or prevailing head of state. ALL five, even today. The Bishop of Rome was fortunate in that the evolution of his sponsoring state developed through his own Papal States, and by treaty negotiation when modern Italy formed, into the Vatican State. So, today, the Pope of Rome is sponsored and protected by his head of state- himself.


Well, in the end the papacy betrayed itself in taking its political power seriously. That is the third proximate cause of the reformation, after all. (#s 1 and 2: greed and corruption)
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« Reply #51 on: November 15, 2003, 10:36:29 AM »

Demetri

Thanks for the reponse.  Yes captivity is justified, though I didn't see anything in the posts about the govt's involved dictating theology.

[The Bishop of Rome was fortunate in that the evolution of his sponsoring state developed through his own Papal States, and by treaty negotiation when modern Italy formed, into the Vatican State. So, today, the Pope of Rome is sponsored and protected by his head of]

Could you explain this a little more?

[Well, in the end the papacy betrayed itself in taking its political power seriously.]

Could you explain this Keble?

Carpo-Rusyn


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carpo-rusyn
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« Reply #52 on: November 15, 2003, 10:37:13 AM »

Oops!  Thanks Demetri for praying for me.



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« Reply #53 on: November 15, 2003, 12:10:58 PM »

Demetri

Thanks for the reponse.  Yes captivity is justified, though I didn't see anything in the posts about the govt's involved dictating theology.

[The Bishop of Rome was fortunate in that the evolution of his sponsoring state developed through his own Papal States, and by treaty negotiation when modern Italy formed, into the Vatican State. So, today, the Pope of Rome is sponsored and protected by his head of] state -himself.

Could you explain this a little more?

Carpo-Rusyn


As to your first observation, the captivity did result in the tainting of Orthodox texts , but that is a discussion I would prefer off-list with you.

As to your question, well, it is history. Surely you know the Vatican is a "country" in international law. How it became so is a study of the growth of temporal power of the Papacy and to explain "a little more" might require a doctoral thesis. Again, a private exchange is welcomed. I'll assemble some reference material for you.

Demetri
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