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Author Topic: German Orthodoxy  (Read 5602 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pilgrim
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« on: July 11, 2009, 03:20:42 PM »

As someone with German ancestry, I would be very interested in learning about the history of Orthodoxy in Germany, pre-schism and today. From what I know, there is as of yet no German Orthodox Church established by any autocephalous Eo or OO Church, nor is there too large of an Orthodox population in Germany (mostly Turkish, I think). does anyone know more abput this topic. I've managed to find this blog:

http://www.germanorthodoxchurch.org/

as well as a site on orthodoxy in Europe from the BOC

http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/zeurope.htm

luv that second one. thanks to all who respond.
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 04:34:36 PM »

The Turks in Germany are Muslims. There are indeed hundreds of thousands of Greek Orthodox Christians in Germany, who fall under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch. There are also hundreds of thousands of Romanians, Serbians and Russians.

The German government is still in the business of recognizing and giving various legal rights/monies to Christian Churches. Because of the classification system they use, Orthodoxy is actually the fourth most populous Christian Church in the country.
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2009, 05:14:08 PM »

The Russian Church Abroad has been very active in Germany, as was the Russian Church under the Czars (many of whom were philo-Germans, and of largely German blood).
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 06:47:39 PM »

So the Turks are Muslims...

I know that there is a Church tax in Germany and that the Church-State relationship is very different from North America. Wikipedia (i know, i know  Roll Eyes ) states that 1.7% of people are Orthodox, mostly Serbs, Romanians and Greeks. Does anyone know about pre-schism German saints? Sadly, after the schism Germany was first the Mother Country of the Teutonic Order, which took militant action against Orthodox nations, and later the place where Protestantism started (ironically, the state (lander) where Luther was born, called Saxony-Anhalt, is only 19.7% Christian (well, Protestant/Catholic). Looks like the spirit of Protestantism is still flourishing there...

St. Boniface and St. Walburga, pray for Germany and her people.
"es lebe unser heilige deutschland!" (-Col. von Staufenberg)
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St. Cyril, St. Leo, and St. Severus pray that the Church may be united and one, Eastern and Oriental.St. Issac the Syrian, pray that Assyria would return to the Holy Church. St. Gregory, pray for Rom
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 10:09:54 PM »

Wikipedia (i know, i know  Roll Eyes )

I cannot tell you how much I needed a laugh right now, and you have provided it!   Sorry for posting off topic.   God bless
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 11:47:06 PM »

Does anyone know about pre-schism German saints?

First, just want to note that the geographical area we now call Germany was a diverse, ever-changing expanse of many different kingdoms, ethnic tribes & massive conquests/invasions during the Roman, Late Antique and Early Medieval period.

In part because of that, there aren't tons of pre-schism "German" saints that I can think of. The Vandals and Visigoths, for example, were Germanic pagans who eventually converted to Arian Christianity. The Lombards were a mix of pagans and Arians, but became orthodox Christians in the 7th century very gradually (by that time, they had crossed the Alps and taken Northern Italy from the Byzantines). The continental Saxons were largely pagans until the 8th century.

The one exception I can think of would be the Franks. Although some people think of the Franks as "French", especially because they eventually controlled most of modern-day France, they were actually a West Germanic people, originally based around the Lower Rhine.

In the 6th century, King Clovis, a Frank, converted from Germanic paganism to orthodox Christianity, and then started kicking butt, taking names -- that kind of thing -- and established a sizable kingdom. According to St. Gregory of Tours, Clovis became so powerful he was made a consul of the Roman Empire by the Emperor in Constantinople.

Anyway, there probably are some saints in the offshoots of Clovis' kingdom, but I don't know of any. I do know that the Germanic Saxon kingdoms in the modern-day UK sent a number of missionaries to pagan Saxon kingdoms in modern-day Germany. A number of those missionaries are saints.

The most famous of those is St. Boniface, who brought Christianity to Frisia and many other tribal Saxon kingdoms, and who is listed in some Orthodox synaxaria. St. Boniface worked under the patronage of the Franks/Carolingians, which helped in the expansion, b/c the Carolingians were kicking butt and taking names as they expanded their realm over the Saxons.

Other than that, for simply being extremely interesting, there's always Hildegard von Bingen, who is probably one of the most prolific, well educated and unusual female mystics in Christendom. Technically, she lived after the Great Schism, but before the Fourth Crusade, so one could argue that she makes the cut. ;-)
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2009, 12:34:45 AM »

I have heard of st. Hildegaard. Hmmmm You know I'm gonna go ahead and say she makes the cut. Born in 1098...why not?

By the way everyone that second link has some really good stuff. Pre-schism Christianity in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany (such as it was ), Spain, France, Portugal, Iceland, Scandanavia and more are covered from an Orthodox perspective.
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 09:47:53 AM »

As someone with German ancestry, I would be very interested in learning about the history of Orthodoxy in Germany, pre-schism and today. From what I know, there is as of yet no German Orthodox Church established by any autocephalous Eo or OO Church, nor is there too large of an Orthodox population in Germany (mostly Turkish, I think). does anyone know more abput this topic. I've managed to find this blog:

http://www.germanorthodoxchurch.org/

as well as a site on orthodoxy in Europe from the BOC

http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/zeurope.htm

luv that second one. thanks to all who respond.


Have you ever heard of Alexander Schmorell?  Granted, he's not pre-schism, but rather "contemporary", as he was executed by the Nazis in 1945.  However, a little bit of information about him can be found here: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Alexander_Schmorell
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 01:05:16 PM »

As someone with German ancestry, ...

Probably not exactly what you asked, but recently reposed Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexey II, of blessed memory, is of ethnic German family - Rudigger -from Estonia that embraced Orthodoxy several centuries ago.

AFAIK, yet another ethnic German family - Grabbe - gave several bishops, nuns and Saints to Russian Orthodox Church. AFAIK, one Grabbe is ROCOR bishop in Japan, and yet another Grabbe is a nun - hegumania of a ROCOR monastery.
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 01:35:07 PM »

AFAIK, one Grabbe is ROCOR bishop in Japan.

ROCOR in Japan Huh
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 03:19:05 PM »

I have heard of st. Hildegaard. Hmmmm You know I'm gonna go ahead and say she makes the cut. Born in 1098...why not?

I love her. Is she well known in any circles of Orthodoxy?

I have also always been a great admirer of her Eastern contemporary, Anna Comnena. Is she venerated at all by the Greek Orthodox?
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2009, 05:16:24 PM »

AFAIK, one Grabbe is ROCOR bishop in Japan.

ROCOR in Japan Huh

ROCOR seems to be everywhere to everyone's surprise.  Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2009, 05:39:36 PM »

empty post
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2009, 05:41:11 PM »

http://directory.stinnocentpress.com/index.cgi

There isn't any single Parish in Japan.
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2009, 06:21:40 PM »

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OrthodoxNews/message/4328

There is something about him. First in ROCOR, then in some Greek True Church, and finally in some Russian True Church. There isn't a single word about Japan.
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« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2009, 06:37:49 PM »

http://directory.stinnocentpress.com/index.cgi

There isn't any single Parish in Japan.

Sorry, it was probably lapsus calami.

I've learned about Grabbe gathering bits from various places. One Grabbe was present at ROCOR synod that debated about the issue of toll-houses and (now retired OCA bishop) Lazar Puhalo. I think he signed the minutes. I believe I've read it somewhere at orthodoxinfo.com

I believe there is a nun Grabbe (a hegumania) in one ROCOR monastery in Europe (France?). I can't recollect where I've read it.

Church of Japan (not ROCOR), I believe does have a Grabbe (I think it was an article about Church in Japan I've read somewhere.)

On top of that, I've deducted their German origin simply by the sound of surname.

I may be completely mistaken, but here you are what I could recollect.
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2009, 06:39:30 PM »

I love her. Is she well known in any circles of Orthodoxy?

Don't think so. Unless you count history nerds as a circle within Orthodoxy.

I have also always been a great admirer of her Eastern contemporary, Anna Comnena. Is she venerated at all by the Greek Orthodox?

She isn't widely venerated in a liturgical sense, but she is definitely well known amongst Greeks. The sort of major figure everyone learns about in school. After all, who doesn't like reading some lyrical prose influenced by Thucydides?
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2009, 06:45:52 PM »

orthodoxlurker, I do not dare to contradict your arguments about the family. The only one thing I doubt is the presence of ROCOR in Japan. That's all.

I hope I haven't offended you,
mike
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2009, 10:01:32 PM »

I had read very little of Alexander Schmorrel until this point. It would be amazing to have a German Orthodox martyr (he was a German citizen of russian descent. CLOSE ENOUGH Grin) After double checking, there are a couple of articles on the second link I posted.

Thanks to all who have responded so far. Apart from saints, does anyone know about missionary work in Germany? Is there any hope that there might one day be a German Orthodox church, like the OCA in America and BOC in England (Oriental, but hey...)?

I was not aware about Patriarch Alexei's bloodline. Thats pretty cool.  Shocked
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2009, 11:33:37 PM »

As for the Orthodox Church in Germany...

Bishop MARK is the ROCOR bishop there. I believe he played a role in the reconciliation between the MP and ROCOR.  Here's a website about him (old, but scroll down for a bio):

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news05/vlmarkbio.html

In Austria, the Moscow Patriarchate has Bishop Hilarion Alfayev, who I think is really one of the leading intellectual lights of the Russian church today. This guy represents the best of Russian Orthodoxy:

http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/
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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2009, 04:35:40 AM »

As someone with German ancestry, I would be very interested in learning about the history of Orthodoxy in Germany, pre-schism and today. From what I know, there is as of yet no German Orthodox Church established by any autocephalous Eo or OO Church, nor is there too large of an Orthodox population in Germany (mostly Turkish, I think). does anyone know more abput this topic. I've managed to find this blog:

http://www.germanorthodoxchurch.org/

as well as a site on orthodoxy in Europe from the BOC

http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/zeurope.htm

luv that second one. thanks to all who respond.

There is a German Orthodox monastery, dedicated to the Holy Trinity (Deutsches orthodoxes Dreifaltigkeitskloster), which is part of the Bulgarian Orthodox Diocese of Western and Central Europe. It was founded by German converts, who were received in the Bulgarian Diocese by Metropolitan Simeon in the 1990's. Services are in German and the chant is not Byzantine, but Deutsche Choral.

Official site of the monastery


I think the EO Tirkish citizens in Germany are not ethnic Turks, but Arabs from the Hatay Province and are part of the Antiochian Diocese - www.rum-orthodox.de
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2009, 07:54:02 AM »

In Austria, the Moscow Patriarchate has Bishop Hilarion Alfayev, who I think is really one of the leading intellectual lights of the Russian church today. This guy represents the best of Russian Orthodoxy:
http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/

Archbishop Hilarion is no longer in Vienna. He was moved to Russia and is now a Deputy of the External Church Affairs Department of MP.
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« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2009, 09:09:39 AM »

It is true that there is no German Orthodox Church yet, but the Bishops from the different canonical Churches work together in the KOKiD: http://www.kokid.de/

There is quite a large Orthodox population though. Actually, Orthodoxy is the third largest Christian group in Germany after Roman Catholics and Lutherans. Of about 82 Million inhabitants, about 2 million are orthodox, mostly from Greece, but also from Russia, Romania, Serbia etc.

As for Orthodox who are Turkish citizens in Germany: It is true that there are people from Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) in Germany, and the Church of Antioch does have a few parishes. There also are ethnic Greeks from Istanbul/Constantinople in Germany, but most people under the EP in Germany are Greeks from Greece. But let's say that most of these people have been here for 30 years or more, so usually they have been naturalised in the meantime.

Orthodox theology can be studied at the University of Munich: http://www.orththeol.uni-muenchen.de

"Deutscher Choral" is in the German language, but based on Byzantine Chant.   There also is another Orthodox monastery which has a nice website: http://www.spyridon-skite.de/ They are canonically part of the Church of Serbia.
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« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2009, 09:20:38 AM »

Alexander Schmorell is as much German (father's side) as he is Russian (mother's side).  Furthermore, his mother died before he was two, and his father married a German woman.  The family moved back to Germany when he was about four.  His father and stepmother did a lot to make sure that, even though they themselves weren't Orthodox, that Alexander remained so, and that the entire family (even the children born in Germany) grew up bilingual (Russian/German).  A lot has been made of the "Russian-ness" of Alexander Schmorell, but he definitely was very German as well.  He once said that he wouldn't be able to shoot a Russian, but basically in the same breath, he said that he wouldn't be able to shoot a German either.  

I have written a couple of things about Alexander Schmorell on the internet - besides the OrthodoxWiki article, I've also written this as part of a larger, ongoing project:  http://www.katjasdacha.com/whiterose/biographies/schmorell.html

Archbishop +Mark is a very interesting person.  I had the pleasure of meeting him in September 2007 in Orenburg, Russia, for the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of Alexander Schmorell's birth.  It's funny, because Archbishop +Mark speaks perfect Russian, and here he was in Russia, a German, and bishop of a ROCOR diocese...  It did surprise a good number of the Russians, to say the least.  There's an Orthodoxwiki article (brand new) about Archbishop +Mark which can be found here: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Mark_(Arndt)_of_Berlin.

He also was one of the people on the forefront of reunification between ROCOR and the MP.  Being around Munich, and having contact with the priest at the ROCOR cathedral there, I heard a little bit about this as it was progressing, and it just made my heart glad when it came to be.  

From what I understand, at least in Munich, the only Russian Orthodox in the area back in the 1940s or so were ROCOR, and as a result, for example, Alexander Schmorell belonged to a ROCOR parish, which is now the (ROCOR) cathedral parish.  As I understood it, however, the hope was for Alexander Schmorell to be glorified as a saint as one of the first in the newly-reunited Russian Church, though I'm not exactly sure how all these things work...
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2009, 01:05:13 PM »

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