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Author Topic: A Statement of Serbian Bishop ARTEMIJE on Ecumenism  (Read 18812 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: March 01, 2005, 07:51:31 PM »

Ok, Nektarios, let's take my comments in the context that they were written in: the part of the discussion where I made my comment was about how people like us here on this board view the ecumenical movement, the relationship between how we view the Cath/West vs. the OO, etc.  That is the context - I never made any mention in that post about the hierarchs and those who are actually in the trenches on this issue.

There is a reason why I won't comment on a hierarch's involvement in the issue (whether for or against) - and that is because there is much that goes on behind the scenes, theological and political and social events that color this matter.  That's the way it has been since the beginning - the schism between the churches was more politics than theology, but was still a VERY large amount of both.  So, while I will be critical of the average person who is either extremely pro or anti- ecumenist, I will not take the same position when it comes to the clergy that are so.

(And as a flip to your question for just a moment - you ask me if I assume that the bishops who are anti-ecumenist are ignorant of the canons, but I should - and won't - ask those who are vehemently anti-ecumenist whether they think the pro-ecumenists are... The EP's doctorate is in the Canonical Tradition of the Church - its his specialty.)
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« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2005, 08:45:51 PM »


Like it or not, the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches are a lot closer to each other than Catholicism,

Anastasios

I fear I really dont understand where you're comming from on this one. Liturgically they may have more byzantine influence than the west, and in certain areas there may be a closer cultural affiliation (though the difference between say Coptic and Byzantine Culture is at least as great as the Difference between the Cultures of Rome and Constantinople), but Dogmaticially, if anything the opposite is true. Our major theological issue with the Catholics is the filioque, which they have already said is optional, and have removed it from all but the Latin Rite, effectively renouncing the theology we claimed it implied, but even then, no Oecumenical Synod has actually ruled on the Dogmatics of this issue, the other significant issue is Administrative in nature, about the Authority of the Patriarchates. The issues between us and the Non-Chalcedonians is considerably greater, namely Chalcedon and Constantinople II, Two Oecumenical Synods. And whereas the Bishop of Rome was excommunicated by the Patriarchate of Constantinople (excommunications that have since been lifted), but never actually deposed from his see or replaced; Dioscorus of Alexandria was deposed, and replaced with a Patriarch, whose successors are regarded as the legitimate Patriarchs of Alexandria by the Orthodox Church to this day, Moreover they hold to a theological formula that was condemned by the same oecumenical synod (<<-ä-î +¦+¦ +¦-ì++ +¦+¡-ç+++++¦+¦ -ä-î +¦-ì++ ++-Ã  +¦+¡-ç+++++¦+¦>> - Dioscorus of Alexandria).

While I confess the differences may be semantic (as may be the case between us and Rome), the fact of the matter is that they are no less than the differences between Orthodoxy and the Latins; thus, the double standard that is evident still does not make since, outisde an emotional objection to the west. Moreover, the fact that certain 'traditionalists' like ROCOR have Western Rite Parishes, does not make them any less anti-Western: the Anglo-Catholics of the 19th Century used the Tridentine Mass and english translation of the Latins' services for all the other services (sometimes they even used the original Latin!), these similarities didn't make them any less anti-Catholic, they could still often be found to be even more Anti-'Roman Catholic' than the free Churches were, who had no liturgical tradition. Their love for the tradition they embraced caused a great hatred for the ones they viewed to be polluting that tradition (even if the Latins were the ones who invented the tradition), do we not also observe this amongst converts, especially the 'traditionalist' ones; some of whom continue to embrace the Culture from which they come, while learning to hate the ones they view as polluters it, while others reject their culture, yet also learn to hate the ones they viewed to have polluted it, because they forced them to leave this love behind? The bottom line is, when anyone converts from one Religion to another with any considerable distinction for reasons of conscience, and not convenience, they end up having a strong hatred for what they left, a greater hatred and dislike than they would show towards other religions (this is true be it a conversion from Christianity to Islam, or Islam to Christianity, or Hinduism to Islam, or Hinduism to Christianity, and so on and so forth). I too am guilty of this to some extent, I realize I have a disproportionate emotional dislike of the west, both Protestantism and Catholicism, than I do for even some non-Christian religions, but I generally try (though I dont always succeed) to approach these issues in a more rational and detached manner.

Finally, +¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é, Refering to instances where certain Patriarchs left their Ancient Sees to enter into the Ancient See of another Patriarch (Apostles 14, Sardica 2, Sardica 3, I 32, Antioch 21, IV 5) to Concelebrate in this See, without the Premission of the Bishop (Antioch 22), and with clergymen who had been Excommunicated by the latter (Apostles 12, Apostles 13, Sardica 13, I 5, Antioch 2, Antioch 13, Carthage 11), is hardly a way to establish that the former of the aforementioned patriarch is knowledgable of how the Canons are viewed and applied within the Church.
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« Reply #47 on: March 01, 2005, 08:48:27 PM »

I never called the EP ignorant of the canons, though.  I fully believe that he is aware of the canons he blatantly disregards.

The difference is that I do not promote the idea of an ignorant laity. 
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« Reply #48 on: March 01, 2005, 09:18:04 PM »

Just a point of clarification: are you saying that I am claiming that the laity are ignorant, or are you saying that the EP is promoting an ingorant laity?  I don't want to misunderstand what you've said.

And it doesnt appear that he "disregards" any of the canons - its not like he allows the Church to be in "dialogue" with just anyone for just any reason.  While I myself think that the WCC is a waste of time, at least it starts with a point that the members be at least on the same side of the spectrum - excluding the Moslems, Jews, and non-Synodal "Christans" who are so far that its impossible to get them to budge on anything.

Remember, we still have to evangelize these other areas - and the WCC can be a way of doing it.  These other Churches involved are wishy-washy (and I don't mean this to be polemical, but it is an observation that many of these churches have had major dogmatic swings in their histories  - a blip on the timeline of Orthodoxy's stability) on dogmatic issues.

Now, if we had a laity that knew more about the scripture than they do, then that would also bolster the clergy, and it would give us more weapons to use to show those who are outside our faith the beauty of Orthodoxy and how it is Scripturally based.  But its all of our fault that they don't know more - not just the EP's.  He has very little to do with the day-to-day operations of the churches under his omoforion.  The Parish priests and the mothers and fathers, grandmas and grandpas have more to do with it than he.
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« Reply #49 on: March 01, 2005, 09:56:23 PM »


That is hardly an Achilles' Heel at all. Some Eastern Orthodox hierarchs have signed joint agreements recognizing the Non-Chalcedonians (such as Antioch) and vice versa, so we allow the "two familes" language to be expressed, along side the "they are not the same" theory, as an official policy. Individual members of the administration and moderator team have a wider spectrum of views.

Interestingly, you fail to mention that the "some" hierarchs above are a minority. I won't touch your 'wider spectrum of views' comment - it speaks for itself. However the express use of "pan-Orthodox" here is unique and I state that as an EO but think the OO would agree with me.
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Like it or not, the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches are a lot closer to each other than Catholicism, and this is a board for Eastern and Oriental Orthodox discussion primarily, not a joint venture between Catholics and Orthodox.

Like it or not? I don't appreciate your using my post to express an opinion the pro or con of which I never questioned in this thread. I DID ask this question as a separate topic last year in its own thread and only Mor Phil addressed it directly; everyone else wanted to fight the Chalcedon Wars instead despite my asking at the outset that that not happen.

Achilles Heel - why certainly it is! What the esteemed admins have done here is the equivalent of a divorce judge decreeing that the now estrangled parties will continue to live in the same house, that one party alone has a special room to himself, all other rooms are shared, no arguments are allowed anywhere except in the kitchen if both parties use nice language. Cheesy Yeah, that'll work...
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« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2005, 10:25:23 PM »

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Just a point of clarification: are you saying that I am claiming that the laity are ignorant, or are you saying that the EP is promoting an ingorant laity? I don't want to misunderstand what you've said.

I am saying that it would be much more convient for the Patriarch to have an ignorant laity, and that yes it seems to be the GOA policy (IME) that most parish priests do not want an informed laity.

[qoute] And it doesnt appear that he "disregards" any of the canons
Quote

The Gregorian menaion and Paschalion are condemned in the canons, joint prayer with heretics is condemned, his action in Estonia are dubious to say the least.... as has been mentioned before he tried to depose Patriarch Diodoros for not towing the party line. About the only time he didn't disregard the canons was when he attempted to claim Thessaloniki for himself - then he got an army of canon lawyers to try to expand his power (I actually think he was in the right in this case, but it just shows he will go to great lengths to expand his power, yet will ignore canons that his violation of has scandalized thousands).

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Remember, we still have to evangelize these other areas - and the WCC can be a way of doing it.

Those in real missionary work have experienced the negative affects of the ecumenical movement. I have spoken to numerous Catholics that feel no need to convert since "our churches as so close" and such things as the balamand agreement give the notion that Rome and Orthodoxy are "sister churches" or "two lungs" so no one needs to convert in order to be saved.

Dealing with Non-Chaldeans is much harder - how can one convince them to convert to the One Church of Christ when some of our bishops call them Orthodox already?

You say the EP "has very little to do with the day-to-day operations of the churches under his omoforion." Which is true of the phanar letting insurections against priests and episcopal authority grow in the GOA and certain bishops scandalizing the faithful repeatedly (hint: think north of the USA). Yet if say a priest baptizes a Roman Catholic, then the full might of the Phanar will depose that priest.
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« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2005, 10:38:39 PM »

My comments about an informed laity are a reflection that it was the lay people who loved Saint Nektarios while his Patriarch uncanonically deposed him - it was also the lay people of Constantinople that litterally drove Patriarch Meletios out of the town.  The pious Greek people also rejected all the "bishops" of florence save Saint Mark of Ephesos.
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« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2005, 10:54:16 PM »

Demetri,

That opinion which you call minority was the official opinion of the Moscow Patriarch for a long time--read their yearbook from 1971 for instance.  Whether they still hold to it now, I don't know. Your patriarch certainly holds to it at least from 1993 at Chambesy on, and the Antiochian patriarch holds to it. The Alexandrian patriarch recognizes Coptic Sacraments.  I don't think it's necessarily a minority.

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Like it or not? I don't appreciate your using my post to express an opinion the pro or con of which I never questioned in this thread. I DID ask this question as a separate topic last year in its own thread and only Mor Phil addressed it directly; everyone else wanted to fight the Chalcedon Wars instead despite my asking at the outset that that not happen.

Greekischristian spoke of a double standard. You used that post as a chance to say that that problem is our Achilles' heel. I stated what is generally recognized to be a true statement: the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches are much closer than the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Why are you upset? You agreed with the accusation.

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Achilles Heel - why certainly it is! What the esteemed admins have done here is the equivalent of a divorce judge decreeing that the now estrangled parties will continue to live in the same house, that one party alone has a special room to himself, all other rooms are shared, no arguments are allowed anywhere except in the kitchen if both parties use nice language.    Yeah, that'll work..

The beauty of it is--it has worked! Smiley Since July, things have been smooth. Good discussion has been had on both Oriental and Eastern Orthodox topics. I've enjoyed the new spirit here greatly since then.

Anastasios
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« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2005, 11:05:49 PM »

Nektarios - I would disagree with you on the comment about it being convenient for him to have an ignorant Laity - it is an ignorant Laity that does not understand the historical role of the EP, nor traditional Church Polity, etc, that are attacking him in this country. An educated laity in the faith would understand Church governance, ecclesial structure, etc - and they would be the first ones to attempt to build up the body of Christ in this country through deeds, and not through the courts. Saying that the clergy don't want an educated laity is a scandal - don't make an unsubstantiated claim like that without proof. Most of the clergy don't know how to do it effectively, or don't have the resources to do it (the GOA has the burden of having many parishes of 500 families+ with only one priest). But they want it to happen - becuase an educated laity will appreciate the fullness of the Church more, in the same way that many (not all) educated Protestants and Catholics feel drawn to our faith as well (not to disparage the ones that don't).

I would also watch the fine line you tread when you accuse the EP of disregarding canons - since you seem to have a working knowledge of a few, then you should read up on the rest and see which ones each one of us transgress every day (multiple, per person, guaranteed). We don't follow the "Gregorian Paschalion", the Gregorian Menaion is a topic of debate, because the interpretation of the context of the canon is what is important to its modern application, and since you want to play technicalities, this Pope has not been condemned by an Ecumenical Synod or a synod of the other Patriarchs as a "heretic", nor has he been deposed from his throne, but is rather just "schismatic" (not in a polemical sense, just a technical term) - so, for example, praying with him is not actually outlawed by the canons.

Saying he is disregarding the canons seems to be an attempt to read another man's mind. So, as I said, be careful.

Next - give me the specific instance of a priest being deposed for his baptizing a RC. I don't like this generalization. And please refresh yourself on canonical structure - the only way the Patriarch can depose a priest is if said priest is in his direct jurisdiction. Otheriwse, the priest's bishop is the spiritual guide for that flock, and it is within his pervue as head of the diocesan Spiritual Court to depose him (anathema is a different story).

Also, read back over your Church history. During the time when the polemics between the RC and EO were even more heated, re-baptism was not done on RC's for pastoral reasons. It was only in 1755 that a formal decision was announced by the EP to re-baptize Catholics, and it wasnt ratified by the Patriarchal Synod. The Patriarch did not get the approval of the synod to make the decree, and therefore it never had the force of law outside of the City of Constantinople. The current Patriarch, who is one of only three bodies that can rescind the order (the others being the Patriarchal Synod and an Ecumenical Synod) choses not to follow it, for he has deemed that it is out of order with the previous practices of the EP throughout the generations.

Now that the long-winded part of my response is over - I don't like how the EP has left the clergy on an island here, not supporting them against the minority of the laity who think that they "own" the Church of Christ and the buildings that it uses. But that is a different issue, involving immigrant and old country issues, as well as the different nature of the clergy nowadays and the dynamics of the Greeks coming to America.

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« Reply #54 on: March 01, 2005, 11:12:27 PM »

Greekischristian,

I'm sorry but I can't agree with your analysis of the differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. The filioque was condemned at Blachernae in 1285--it was not an oecumenical synod but that is not the point, because the Synod nevertheless affirmed the Orthodox faith and the Symbol of Blachernae is the standard Orthodox text on the filioque to this day. Catholicism has not removed the filioque or renounced its teachings; still professes it is divine dogma; still professes papal infallibility as dogma. Read Pastor Aeternus from Vatican I and tell me if that is Orthodox. It's not just administrative. There are of course many other issues that have come between the two churches since then.

As far as Non-Chalcedonians, as someone has worshipped in their Churches for years, I can say their ecclesiastical culture is identical to the Eastern Orthodox in a way that is not so as regards the Catholics. The sense of prayer, fasting, the primacy of councils, way they venerate saints, spiritual direction, etc., is similiar or identical to Eastern Orthodoxy.

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The bottom line is, when anyone converts from one Religion to another with any considerable distinction for reasons of conscience, and not convenience, they end up having a strong hatred for what they left, a greater hatred and dislike than they would show towards other religions (this is true be it a conversion from Christianity to Islam, or Islam to Christianity, or Hinduism to Islam, or Hinduism to Christianity, and so on and so forth). I too am guilty of this to some extent, I realize I have a disproportionate emotional dislike of the west, both Protestantism and Catholicism, than I do for even some non-Christian religions, but I generally try (though I dont always succeed) to approach these issues in a more rational and detached manner.

That is absolutely untrue in a majority of the cases I know of firsthand. I can't speak of your experience. But I can say your blanket statement is wrong. I don't think people on this forum like Pedro, Serge, venite, Tony, and TonyS to name a few don't hate their western background. I don't hate my Lutheran upbringing nor do I hate my time spent in Catholicism. In fact, I still regularly participate on a Catholic web forum to keep abrest of Catholic happenings and regularly converse with Catholics whom I count as close friends. I just don't think that the Eastern Orthodox hierarchy sees Catholics as close as Non-Chalcedonians. What officially recognized documents of patriarchs or synods speak of Catholicism and Orthodoxy as two families of Orthodox? We are familiar with the two lungs language, but not two families of Orthodox. The Antiochian Synod has been in informal communion with the Syriac Orthodox since 1991. Chambesy and other documents affirm the unity of the two churches. Now whether or not I personally agree with this (and I can guarantee that no one except Phil knows what I actually think) I am inclined to ask that Non-Chalcedonians not be called Monophysite. We also asked people not to call Roman Catholics papists so I think that is fair, and I have stood up in the past for Roman Catholic practices, etc., when they are misrepresented on forums.

I think you made good points on the Anti-Western thing. Although I will add one more example: Fr Thomas Hopko was the person who wrote against the movie "The Passion of the Christ." Yet the Metropolitan of a Greek Old Calendar Church who is an acquaintance of mine had his monastic brotherhood watch that film. Who is really anti-Western? Look also at the columns of Frederica Mathews-Green. Seem to be full of anti-westernism. None of that do I find appealing. Speaking personally here, I personally love the Western tradition and think it is quite interesting. What I object to is the heresies of papal infallibility and supreme jurisdiction, filioque, created grace, and the like. If the Roman Catholics wish to remove these incorrect teachings, then let them come back en masse and let them keep their traditions as is.

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« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2005, 11:51:48 PM »



Finally, +¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é, Refering to instances where certain Patriarchs left their Ancient Sees to enter into the Ancient See of another Patriarch (Apostles 14, Sardica 2, Sardica 3, I 32, Antioch 21, IV 5) to Concelebrate in this See, without the Premission of the Bishop (Antioch 22), and with clergymen who had been Excommunicated by the latter (Apostles 12, Apostles 13, Sardica 13, I 5, Antioch 2, Antioch 13, Carthage 11), is hardly a way to establish that the former of the aforementioned patriarch is knowledgable of how the Canons are viewed and applied within the Church.

I would like to hear a response to greekischristian's point that the GOC bishops are in violation of multiple canons (listed above), and that, if you say the Patriarch of Jerusalem supported these activities, that he is also in violation of multiple canons.  Like I said, how we apply the canons should be treated with an understanding of the context - and that strict application is not always warranted.
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« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2005, 11:56:12 PM »

It is a matter of historical fact though that the laity in Constantinople drove Patriarch Meletios from the Phanar - that type of laity is what I believe many clergy want to avoid (the same type that greated st. Mark a hero, and loved St. Nektarios). If such a laity existed in America today priests could never get away with some the "laxity" that they do - not holding vespers, cutting many services very short etc Part of the "problem" Elder Ephraim has posed for the GOA is that people see the real traditional Orthodoxy his monasteries offer for the first time, and then want that throughout the GOA! I guess it would be impossible for me to off "proof" of this, but I have experienced enough GOA priests to see a trend.

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I would also watch the fine line you tread when you accuse the EP of disregarding canons - since you seem to have a working knowledge of a few, then you should read up on the rest and see which ones each one of us transgress every day (multiple, per person, guaranteed).

The problem with that is none of my transgressions (nor the average transgression of most bishops for that matter) cause SCHISM in the Church - that is what the introduction of the new calendar and the ecumenical movement did.

Also problematic is the continued tone in your post that since you are a seminarian thus having the right to talk down to me or assume that I am a complete moron or only know a few things about the canons or the Church in general... such as "since you seem to have a working knowledge of a few, then you should read up on the rest and see which ones each one of us transgress every." Please stop.

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We don't follow the "Gregorian Paschalion"

Wrong! The Church of Finland under the EP does. Thus the EP implicetly if not fully endorses the use of the Papal dating for Pascha.

Quote
the Gregorian Menaion is a topic of debate, because the interpretation of the context of the canon is what is important to its modern application, and since you want to play technicalities, this Pope has not been condemned by an Ecumenical Synod or a synod of the other Patriarchs as a "heretic", nor has he been deposed from his throne, but is rather just "schismatic" (not in a polemical sense, just a technical term) - so, for example, praying with him is not actually outlawed by the canons.

Actually the canon pretty clearly states both menaion and paschalion of the Papacy are condemned. I have actually heard this story from several GOA priests that the canons only condemn the Papal paschalion, not menaion.... which really has no grounding in reality. You play off the entire calendar change as a mere technicallity, but this technicallity has caused a large schism within the Church which (at least to me) is rather sad. And what was Patriarch Meletios' sole reason for this "technicallity"? His own writting clearly state that ecumenism were. Have you read his infamous 1920 epistle?

Due to this being the internet I of course cannot give names, but I do know of more than one priest that was threatened with deposition from the EP himself for baptizing RCs. Ask around Holy Cross; I'm sure you can find out more information there. And again there is no need to lecture me about the history of baptism - I am familiar with the issue.

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« Reply #57 on: March 02, 2005, 12:07:36 AM »

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I would like to hear a response to greekischristian's point that the GOC bishops are in violation of multiple canons (listed above), and that, if you say the Patriarch of Jerusalem supported these activities, that he is also in violation of multiple canons. Like I said, how we apply the canons should be treated with an understanding of the context - and that strict application is not always warranted.

My point in posting is that not all those within the traditionalist movement are vagante types that treat the rudder like a baptist does the bible.  And I showed that many well respected Patriarchs, Bishops and even saints supported the traditionalist Orthodox in Greece, Romania and the ROCOR bishops.  Also several respected and esteemed bishops and theologians within the State Church have expressed traditionalist views (and this is the group I myself follow).  So the elitest notion that you are more educated, know the canons better, and in general more "Orthodox" than us is absurd.     
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« Reply #58 on: March 02, 2005, 12:24:52 AM »

+¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é,

But what my statement did demonstrate is that the so-called 'traditionalists' hardly hold the Canonical Tradition in high Regard, they simply use the Canons they like, and disregard the inconvenient ones...exactly what you're accusing the Oecumenical Throne of doing.
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« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2005, 12:49:34 AM »

+¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é,

But what my statement did demonstrate is that the so-called 'traditionalists' hardly hold the Canonical Tradition in high Regard, they simply use the Canons they like, and disregard the inconvenient ones...exactly what you're accusing the Oecumenical Throne of doing.

Would you mind telling us just which "traditionalists" you're speaking of? Seems like quite a sweeping and vague statement you've made. At least in the arguments of Nektarios, right or wrong,  the Ecumenical Patriarch is specifically named.
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« Reply #60 on: March 02, 2005, 01:19:59 AM »

Anastasios,

The point of my statements was not to Defend Rome, they have their Problems, Especially the Filioque...but the Point that I was making is that the problems with the Miaphysite Theology are no less significant, and probably more so for the Reason that it is an Oecumenical as opposed to a Local Synod that is in dispute. The arguments made against Rome are equally applicable against the Miaphysites (Chalcedon clearly laid out our Dogma on the issue of the two Nature of Christ: 'Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God must be confessed to be in (+¦++ not +¦+¦) two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably united, and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and substance...But such as dare either to put together another faith, or to bring forward tor to teach or to deliver a different Creed...let them be anathematized.'), I dont see how Rome can be so strongly condemned, while the Non-Chalcedonians are basically given a free pass, I'm just trying to get some Consistancy. And while it's true that the Miaphysites have some cultural customs in common with us, the same goes for Rome, though this was more apparent before Vatican II (and outside the US)...but the primary issue here is Still Theological, cultural differences are something that is a consideration after Theological issues are solved.

Next, what is 'informal communion'? Last I checked we had a very formal and clear means to demonstrate whether or not we are in Communion with someone, they are called the Dyptics, if we're in Communion with your church we'll include your Patriarch's name, if we're not in Communin with your church, we'll omit it. We have often accepted sacraments from bodies that we see ourselves reflected in to varying degrees, which is why we Accept Latin Baptisms, and Usually Ordinations, as well as those of the Miaphysites...but this is hardly a sign of Communion, it just says that we see Enough of Ourselves reflected in them so that the Sacrament that was Initially done in Form and with proper intention can be realized in the fullness of its Essence with entry into the Orthodox Church. But ultimately, As there is but One Christ, there is only One Eucharist, thus there is only One Communion, and only One Church...One Lung, One Family...One Church. I have nothing against the Oecumenical Movement, and I have nothing against Dialogue, for I believe it is helpful, but I do object to the Suggestion that the Body of Christ is some how divided, for this is not the Case, this cannot be the case: we are One, and those who are not in Communion with us are not Part of the Body of Christ; thus there are not Two Families of Orthodox, there is only One, to say otherwise is to try and tear asunder the Body of our Lord (something more horrendus than anything you'll see on Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ).

Finally, I'm not saying that everyone who is a Convert has a hatred of the tradition from which they came, but from my experiance, and from Statistics I've seen, I think it's a fair sociological analysis. Secondly, I have stated that this Hatred may not be specifically seen in a hatred of the past tradition itself, but rather with the people associated with it, or at least the leaders in the institution. Or Perhaps what's being observed is just the effect of American Culture on the Church, making people tend towards Radical Ends of the Political Spectrum, Individualism, and Arrogance...interesting how Greece, the Orthodox Country with the Most Western Influence, has had the most trouble with Schismatics (excepting western Europe and North America, of course).
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« Reply #61 on: March 02, 2005, 01:28:17 AM »

Bogoliubtsy,

Going back to the Original Post I was commenting on:
And it is not so black and white as saying "they never broke communion." Patriarch Damainos concelebrated with Hieromonks from the Romanian Old Calendarists and gave them their chrism - thus while never breaking communion with the Romanian Patriarchate they did support those that did (and unlike the Greeks, the Romanian Old Calendarists have never denied the state church has grace, nor have there been any internal schisms). Patriarch Diodoros visited Metr. Cyprian's monastery in Greece and praised his resistance and holding fast to traditional Orthodoxy. Yet Metr. Cyprian is considered to be a schismatic by both the State Church of Greece and Ecumenical Patriarchate.  When Metr. Chrysostomos of Florina was the last remaining bishop in the GOC, Saint Nikolai of Ohrid (of the Serbian Church) offered to consecrate anoher bishop for the old calendarist Greeks. If such saintly ones viewed the traditionalist Orthodox as non - schismatics, I personally would not be quick to dismiss them as simply ones that broke communion with their mother church.

I guess I would be specifically refering to Patriarch Damainos, Met. Cyprian, Met. Chrysostomos of Florina, and Met. (I presume) Nikolai of Ohrid as having little Regard for Order in and the Canonical Tradition of the Church; assuming, of course, all the above accusations are true.
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« Reply #62 on: March 02, 2005, 01:33:42 AM »

Greekischristian,

Informal communion would be the term often used by some people trying to make heads and tails of the Antiochian decision of 1991:

http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19911112SOCRumOrthStmt.html

Which "sort of" restablishes a kind of limited intercommunion. It's not full communion, but it's not just a case of limited pastoral application either.

Anastasios
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« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2005, 01:37:42 AM »

OK if we are going to go down this road of naming names let's try to be charitable.
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« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2005, 01:39:05 AM »

But ultimately, As there is but One Christ, there is only One Eucharist, thus there is only One Communion, and only One Church...One Lung, One Family...One Church.

Dear GreekChristian,

That would be well and good if it weren't for statements from the Ecumenical Patriarch and his representatives which run contrary to this Orthodox teaching. For example, Metropolitan John of Pergamon, an official representative of the EP who celebrated the feast day of SS. Peter and Paul with Pope John Paul II in 1998, said in an address to the Pope:

East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

So where does that leave us? How should that statement be interpreted?

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« Reply #65 on: March 02, 2005, 01:43:09 AM »

Dear greekischristian,

I agree with you that canonical order is important. I have read that Meletios Metaxakis was deposed after being Archbishop of Athens, but that after he was installed as patriarch of Constantinople, the Synod in Athens rescinded his deposition. I am wondering how someone can be undeposed? Is that following good canonical order?

I'm not one to claim the Old Calendarists or their sympathizers are always right, because we all know some of the vagaries associated with that movement. However, I find the state Church to have its own lack of coherence about keeping to canonical order.

Anastasios
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« Reply #66 on: March 02, 2005, 02:02:15 AM »

Nektarios - I don't think that I know the canons better, or that I'm better educated (quite frankly, I think the opposite - I'm too lazy and I let things like OC.net distract me from my studies - but a happy distraction it is!)...

I just made the point that it seems like in a lot of my conversations with people about this particular issue (Ecumenism), they throw out canons to support their point without understanding how and why they're used, the context in which they are given leniency, and the context in which they are applied strictly or even over-strictly (above the letter).  Obviously you give a lot more thought than many, but that's hard to tell sometimes without meeting the person and actually speaking to them.

Neither did I say I was more Orthodox. Please, don't put words in my mouth - that is not condusive to a proper discussion.

I don't think that the Traditionalists (various GOC's, etc) treat the canons with such disregard as said baptists do the Bible. But I do think that the Traditionalists often will use some canons to justify their stance, while disregarding other canons which the Church has historically put more emphasis on (like the ones that greekischristian listed regarding proper Church polity and the rights of the local Bishops).

Also, please, don't take the Church of Findland's case out of context - the Government will not allow the Church of Findland to operate as a faith without them using the Papal Paschalion. The EP allows them to use it as an uncomfortable bend to reality, without endorsing it. The EP still insists that all its churches follow the Ancient Paschalion.

Now, I apologize if I have come off as condescending - I have no intention of talking down to you or whatever. Unfortunately, electronic media does not allow the transfer of body language, emotion, etc. - so I apologize for sounding so.

Back to the dialogue at hand: The decision in the 15th century to condemn the Gregorian Paschalion had no doctrinal issues with it, nor dogmatic ones. It was simply condmning the practice of the West because it was of the West. They didn't want anyone following the calendar for that reason (this was all on the heels of Ferrara-Florence, a hideous disaster that had political and not theological foundations to it). But, on the flip side, they never figured it would become the universal secular calendar; they never figured on the Julian calendar falling 13 days behind by now (who knows if they even thought the year 2000 would even come). And to this day, there are no dogmatic or theological reasons for not adjusting to the calendar that I know of - but if you find some, let me know.

I just tend to think that the canons regarding the Paschalion have outlived their use, and I think that dispensing with canons from the Ecumenical Synods (like #5 from the 1st Synod, #5 from the 4th Synod) and the Apostolic Canons (#12-14) is a bit more serious than the issue of the calendar.  That's part of why the reaction against the RC was so great after the occupation of Constantinople of the 4th Crusade, and why the EP had a problem with Rome sending missionaries into his areas pre-schism.  The Church's unity is expressed through the bishops - the unity of the diocese in its own bishop, and the unity between dioceses by the synods of bishops.  By breaking communion, one breaks themselves from the body of Christ, and by placing a bishop in that territory, conflicting with the canonical bishop there opposes Christ's church.  (And if you want to bring up the American situation, leave it for another thread.)
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« Reply #67 on: March 02, 2005, 02:08:51 AM »

Cleveland,

The MP parishes in Finland are Old Calendar on both menaion and paschalion. The issue is the Church of Finland will lose government funding. Now, given that that changing that setup at this time might spell the end of Orthodoxy there I might be willing to countenance the economia.

Anastasios
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« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2005, 02:36:04 AM »

My last post on the matter:

There have been many periods of gray in the church....particularly the Iconiclast period.  While a unified communion is the optimal goal, the earthly reality is not always possible.  For example the EP forced several ROCOR monks off the Holy Mountain because they were "schismatics" yet the Serbians are clearly in communion with ROCOR (http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news04/patrpavelvisit.html). 

And here is what I end with.... http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/athonite_bartholomew.aspx
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« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2005, 09:04:08 AM »

Bogoliubtsy,

Please distinguish Politics from official Doctrine. His Eminence's statement is Political, it's the Exact statement I would have made if I was in his posistion, but I am certain his Eminence knows, as well as the rest of the Patriarchate, what the Communion of the Church is (Metropolitan John made it fairly clear in the Books he has written anyway). Sometimes things are said because they are helpful and polite in certain situations, dont read too much in to them.
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« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2005, 09:25:05 AM »

Anastasios,
Informal communion would be the term often used by some people trying to make heads and tails of the Antiochian decision of 1991:

http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19911112SOCRumOrthStmt.html

Which "sort of" restablishes a kind of limited intercommunion. It's not full communion, but it's not just a case of limited pastoral application either.

Anastasios

What this document demonstrates is cordial relations, perhaps a bit more cordial than is acceptable for two bodies that are out of Communion some may argue, but that is not the point. Ultimately, if the Names of the Other Patriarchate is not Entered into the Dyptics of the Church, they are not in Communion; thus, if the intent of this Document was Communion, the next act would have been to Place the name of the Other Patrirach into the Dyptics of each respective church. The bottomline is that the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and the Syrian Patriarchate of Alexandria dont believe the same thing, they have differing Christologies, and thus true Communion is not Possible, on Either side. Also, the seventh Point gets to the heart of the Matter, establishing that Concelebration does not Apply to the Holy Eucharist, and if there can be no Concelebration of the Eucharist, there is nothing even approaching Communion. The issue is not a cryptic one shrouded in Secrecy, the fact of the matter is ultimately that things are more fluid and less defined in the middle east, it's not uncommon for Moslems to go to Orthodox Priests for Blessings and/or Sacraments, and for the Priest to give them to the Moslems, neither are such casual relations between the Syrians and the Greeks all that uncommon at the level of the Laity, the decree deals with a Reality that exists in the Middle East that doesn't in Most other Orthodox Countires (usually because they're more homogenious), it doesn't even come close to establishing anything that could be considered communion.

OK if we are going to go down this road of naming names let's try to be charitable.

I was trying to be general and not point fingers directly, but I was asked and pushed on the Issue, so I gave names; though I agree it would have been better not to.

Dear greekischristian,

I agree with you that canonical order is important. I have read that Meletios Metaxakis was deposed after being Archbishop of Athens, but that after he was installed as patriarch of Constantinople, the Synod in Athens rescinded his deposition. I am wondering how someone can be undeposed? Is that following good canonical order?

I'm not one to claim the Old Calendarists or their sympathizers are always right, because we all know some of the vagaries associated with that movement. However, I find the state Church to have its own lack of coherence about keeping to canonical order.

Anastasios

Yes, a Synod has every right to restore one who has been deposed, if they believe that they made a mistake, or that their predecessors did on the matter. This is not Contrary to Canonical Order, It is giving the Synod the Authority that is due to it (including the overturning of decisions of past synods of equal or lesser authority under their jurisdiction). And a small anomaly like that, which is still perfectly canonical, is hardly a justification for the conduct of the Schismatics, the problems of Canonical Order in the Church are nominal in comparison to the offences commited by those who break off from her.
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« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2005, 09:46:54 AM »

My last post on the matter:

There have been many periods of gray in the church....particularly the Iconiclast period. While a unified communion is the optimal goal, the earthly reality is not always possible. For example the EP forced several ROCOR monks off the Holy Mountain because they were "schismatics" yet the Serbians are clearly in communion with ROCOR (http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news04/patrpavelvisit.html).

And here is what I end with.... http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/athonite_bartholomew.aspx

The issue of Communion is not nearly as grey as those who wish to break this sacred Communion would make it out to be. Concerning the ROCOR monks on Mt. Athos, last I checked, Mt. Athos is under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, so the Opinion of the Patriarchate of Serbia concerning these monks is not exactly relevant; the fact that they were not obedient to the Oecumenical Throne, however, is. ROCOR's break from the MP was politically understandable, but not Canonically justifyable; for this reason, and in the interest of Good order in the Church, the Oecumenical Throne Sided with the Patriarchate of Moscow (probably a mistake on her part, from a political perspective (MP is getting more and more independent), but important for maintaining Canonical Order). As a subject of the Oecumenical Throne, I am clearly NOT in communion with ROCOR, along with most of Orthodoxy, and those under His All-Holiness' Omophorion do not have the Luxury of choosing whether or not to be in Communion with them, issues of Communion are the right of the Patriarchate.

Also, throughout the history of the Chruch, at least since the Fourth Oecumenical Synod, one Patriarchate in Orthodoxy has Enjoyed a special importance in regard to the Communion of the Church, namely the Oecumenical Throne of Constantinople. They were the centre of communion throughout the time of the Empire, and again during the turkokratia. Rome was considered to cease to be Orthodox when they Broke communion with Constantinople, even though other Patriarchates still commemorated the Bishop of Rome. The Oecumenical Throne, as the First Bishop of Orthodoxy amongst equals, which is also the Final See of Appeal, and the Bishop given the Canonical Authority to decide Jurisdictional Disputes amongst other Bishops, is the Unifying Element within Orthodoxy (which is more important in our current Political situation than ever before), thus from a historical perspective, I find it consonant with Established Practice and Canonical Tradition, to say that the Communion of the Church consists of those Churches in Communion with the Oecumenical Throne.
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« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2005, 12:05:05 PM »

Dear greekischristian,

Quote
I was trying to be general and not point fingers directly, but I was asked and pushed on the Issue, so I gave names; though I agree it would have been better not to.

I was not aiming that at you directly. It was aimed generally at all participants, myself included.

Now back to the topic at hand:

When Meletios Metaxakis was "undeposed" was it because they realized his deposition was on false grounds (and hence never valid, since someone legitimately deposed cannot be undeposed) or did they simply drop the issue because he was already installed as Patriarch of Constantinople and it looked bad?

In regards to the issue of communion with the Non-Chalcedonians, I suggest you attempt to obtain the following thesis in SVS Library:

Charles Baz. Unity in Antioch Unpublished Thesis. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary, 2000. (LLC: AC801.B362 2000)

In that thesis, where the author conduced an interview with Pat Ignatius IV, it is clear that they are entering into a form of informal communion beyond the theretofore comon practice of communing each other's faithful. And the reason they did it was because they believe they have an identical faith to the Non-Chalcedonians, who are completely Orthodox. It's really an interesting read.

Of course to be in "full communion" the names have to be in the diptychs which is why I said a form of informal communion. Yet it is clearly more established than just communing members of the other church; even limited concelebration of various sacraments is allowed. Are you so sure the Eucharist is never concelebrated? I am not so sure after some of the things I have seen done between Melkites and Orthodox with my own eyes here in America (I have witnessed a joint Melkite-Orthodox liturgy before here in the USA, on Nov 21, 1999--of course this is ancedotal and doesn't prove one thing but it makes me wonder if in the Middle East, where things are more fluid, if this doesn't occur more often and with sanction?) By the way, I would apply this neologism of "informal commuion" to the Assyrian-Roman Catholic situation as well, where members of each other's churches are allowed to commune in the other and concelebrations happen even on the episcopal level, yet the diptychs have not been changed in those churches (yet).

I think the heart of the difference between us is that you are formalistic in a sense: omophorion has to be present for it to be official church action. Diptychs have to be there for it to be intercommunion. Etc., whereas I see things in a more down to earth way: if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, it is a duck, even if it protests that it is a goose. Both have their relative merits: people on "my side" tend to freak out at even little things (which gets on my nerves, believe me) while some people on "your side" could be compared to Dr Spock of Star Trek: everything must have a rational explanation Smiley

Anastasios
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« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2005, 01:48:28 PM »

...while some people on "your side" could be compared to Dr Spock of Star Trek: everything must have a rational explanation Smiley

It might be okay for us to be unsure of canonical principles, but for matters like Star Trek rubrics, get it right, please. That's MR. Spock, not DR. Spock. Shocked
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« Reply #74 on: March 02, 2005, 01:59:23 PM »

Sorry, I should really have waited for greekischristian to reply before having my little joke. 
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« Reply #75 on: March 02, 2005, 02:04:13 PM »

Bogoliubtsy,

Please distinguish Politics from official Doctrine. His Eminence's statement is Political, it's the Exact statement I would have made if I was in his posistion, but I am certain his Eminence knows, as well as the rest of the Patriarchate, what the Communion of the Church is (Metropolitan John made it fairly clear in the Books he has written anyway). Sometimes things are said because they are helpful and polite in certain situations, dont read too much in to them.

Call me simple minded, but if what was said to the Pope was knowingly false, doesn't that make it a lie? Perhaps I don't have the sophistication to understand which lies or "political statements" are acceptable these days in Ecumenical endeavors. I can understanding padding, or even sugar coating the truth a bit for the purpose of remaining amiable, but the Bishop's statement(and other ones like it) go beyond mere padding of the truth. Either they believe it and have un-Orthodox opinions. Or they don't believe it and are telling lies for the sake of getting along. Christ didn't seem overly concerned with "politeness" or being "political" when he told the Samaritan woman that salvation is of the Jews, did he?
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« Reply #76 on: March 02, 2005, 04:08:09 PM »

When Meletios Metaxakis was "undeposed" was it because they realized his deposition was on false grounds (and hence never valid, since someone legitimately deposed cannot be undeposed) or did they simply drop the issue because he was already installed as Patriarch of Constantinople and it looked bad?

I dont know exactly why the Synod Reversed its decision, but the Synod Retains that Right, there have been many cases where deposed Bishops have been restored. A deposistion is not so absolute a thing that it cant be Overturned by a Higher or Equal Synod for one reason or another.

In regards to the issue of communion with the Non-Chalcedonians, I suggest you attempt to obtain the following thesis in SVS Library:

Charles Baz. Unity in Antioch Unpublished Thesis. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary, 2000. (LLC: AC801.B362 2000)

In that thesis, where the author conduced an interview with Pat Ignatius IV, it is clear that they are entering into a form of informal communion beyond the theretofore comon practice of communing each other's faithful. And the reason they did it was because they believe they have an identical faith to the Non-Chalcedonians, who are completely Orthodox.  It's really an interesting read.

I wouldn't mind looking through it, but I dont make it down to NY too often.

Of course to be in "full communion" the names have to be in the diptychs which is why I said a form of informal communion. Yet it is clearly more established than just communing members of the other church; even limited concelebration of various sacraments is allowed.  Are you so sure the Eucharist is never concelebrated? I am not so sure after some of the things I have seen done between Melkites and Orthodox with my own eyes here in America (I have witnessed a joint Melkite-Orthodox liturgy before here in the USA, on Nov 21, 1999--of course this is ancedotal and doesn't prove one thing but it makes me wonder if in the Middle East, where things are more fluid, if this doesn't occur more often and with sanction?)  By the way, I would apply this neologism of "informal commuion" to the Assyrian-Roman Catholic situation as well, where members of each other's churches are allowed to commune in the other and concelebrations happen even on the episcopal level, yet the diptychs have not been changed in those churches (yet).

The Concept of 'degrees of communion' is inconsonant with Orthodox Ecclesiology. You cant be 'sort of' a member of the Body of Christ, you either are or are not, you're either in Communion or you are not. And the Dyptics were established in the Church, not only for the purposes of Formality alone, but also for the purpose of clarity; to prevent scandal, the Church would clearly and openly proclaim who they were in Communion with, so that there could be no doubt, so that those who were outside the Church could not claim falsely to be inside of it. Thus, while a formality, the Dyptics are an essential Formality, and they alone serve their Traditional Purpose, of establishing who is in Communion with the Church. Thus to try and claim the existance of Communion, where the Dyptics say otherwise, is introducing confusion and potentially scandal into the Church. If the Greek Patriarchate of Antioch and the Syrian Patriarch of Antioch ever want to Enter into Communion, they'll let us all know through their Dyptics, the fact that they haven't done this implies that neither of them are yet willing to enter into Communion for one reason or another.

Have there been any concelebrations between the Syrians and the Greeks? I dont know of any specifically, but I'm certain it happens, especially in the Middle East. Have they been sanctioned? I seriously doubt it, and if they have been by a local bishop, I'm fairly confident that neither the Syrian nor the Greek Patriarchate knew about it.

Yes, I will at least take the formalities into consideration, if for no other Reason, because there is a lot of politics involved in the administration of the Church (From the Parish to the Patriarchate), and the Episcopacy makes use of these Politics; and why not, we are the inheritors of the Political Tradition of the Eastern Roman Empire  Wink . But seriously, when trying to work towards Re-Unification it's not exactly helpful to come out and formally renounce the other side as heretics/schismatics in official statements, yet you dont want to pretend like everything is ok. This is where formalities become very important, such as Dyptics, technicalities concerning Vestments, the distinction between Leading a Prayer where heretics join in, and Praying with Heretics (i.e. you joining in with them)...These may be formailities and technicalities, but it's where the actual posistion of the Parties in question are most clearly manifested, and it is a way to improve relations and become more cordial and friendly without actually surrendering any principles of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #77 on: October 20, 2009, 04:44:53 AM »

e41af34764ee5c73811a9ac12fdd37d2 Hi Guys, I am newbie in the internet stuff and I dont know if I am writing on correct board on this website. I
   have got problem with activating my account. I received email but when I click on the link it was not working, is this link is correct?  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/?fc387efa55c6,
 Likely spammer.  PM Fr. Chris if I am wrong.

- Fr. George, GM
 Conformed spammer.

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Andrew21091
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« Reply #78 on: October 20, 2009, 11:17:16 AM »

If you are able to post, it seems that your account is not active. I'm not sure though. Try asking in the technical help board. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,19.0.html.

By the way, welcome to the forum. Smiley
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