Author Topic: National churches vs. multi-ethnic churches  (Read 224 times)

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Online Alpha60

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National churches vs. multi-ethnic churches
« on: August 02, 2018, 12:17:45 PM »
I have to confess I am uncomfortable with the situation in the Ukraine and elsewhere due to the spectre of a national phyletism.  It seems to me better that Orthodox churches be multinational and multi-ethnic.  I find it regrettable that the Ethiopian church separated from the Coptic church, and the Eritrean from the Ethiopian; one thing I like about the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch is they are not specifically for Levantines; the former has a large chunk of the Nasrani population in India, and a large mission in Guatemala, and the latter probably has the second largest number of conwertsy in the US after the OCA, due to the absorbtion of the Evangelical Orthodox community led by the likes of Fr. Peter Gilquist of blessed memory (whose son is also a priest).  The Indian Orthodox Church for that matter has not limited itself to Nasranis; due to the unfortunate schisms in the world of Syriac Orthodoxy, there have been occasions where the IOC has received Suroye parishes and even a European bishop IIRC.

I do understand why the Bulgarian church felt compelled to separate from Constantinople in the 19th century; the lack of Slavonic services, and the historic autocephaly of that church.  Likewise, I understand the need for the Romanian church to be autocephalous.

However, I find myself desiring that Orthodox churches should try to be regional rather than national.  I think even changing the name of some of the churches to facilitate this might be beneficical if it precluded schism.  Right now, there is only a miniscule faction in Montenegro that wants independence from Serbia, but there is the schism in Macedonia; suppose the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Orthodox Church became brand names, along with a Montengrin church, used by a unified Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Belgrade and the Balkans.  Perhaps Moscow might be more persuasive in its goal of maintaining unity if it stylef itself, instead of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Synod of Northern Orthodox Churches of the Moscow Patriarch, or something of that nature, with the term Russian Orthodox Church only being applied to the portion of the MP in Russia that catered to Russians, as well as to ROCOR.  So there might also be a Belarusian Orthodox Church in Moscow to cater to Belarusians living in the capital, albeit under the MP, like the rest of Latvia.  Perhaps they do this already; I haven’t studied it very closely.

I love the Czech and Slovak church because of its trans-national, multi ethnic character.   I also feel like the EP is doing a much better job now at not being overly “Hellenic,” in part due to various autonomous national churches under its omophorion.  I suspect the MP is the same, but there is so much sentiment directed against Moscow, it creates a fractious situation. 

There was an extreme elegance in the early church, in the fourth century, when you had basically six or seven autocephalous churches (the Pentarchy, plus Cyprus and the Church of the East and/or Armenia).
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Offline cossack 316

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Re: National churches vs. multi-ethnic churches
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 12:47:13 PM »
"National phyletism" is a convenient term when one ruling church does not wish to allow a separate nation to have their own church. Look at all the National Phylet churches, Russian, Serbian, Romanian, Georgian, Greek, Bulgarian. All are Patriarchates. All are autocephalaus. Ukraine has a population of 45 million of which 42% percent align with the UOC KP and 21% align with the Russian Orthodox Church (MP). 42% of 45 million is 18.9 million UOCKP adherents. Ukraine has every right to have their own national church just as much as Serbia, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. Lets face it, even if no one further left the ROC in Ukraine (UOCMP) to join if/when a tomos of autocephally is granted by the EP, then in terms of simply numbers of adherents, the UOCKP would be the 3rd largest Orthodox church in the World behind Russia and Romania. Plus 10 bishops of the ROC in Ukraine have pledged to join if/when the Tomos is given. Rest assured many more adherents would also join. I find it bothersome that one can label what is going on in Ukraine as National phyletism when there is no denouncing of all the other national churches. Moscow used to be under the EP as did Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria (Serbia and Bulgaria have much smaller numbers of faithful than Ukraines 18.9 million currently aligned with the KP.  If one is truly against national phyletism than perhaps we should liquidate any and all ethnic national churches and simply unite them under one Patriarch ala Rome.