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Author Topic: Should there be national churches?  (Read 1804 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 17, 2009, 01:32:24 AM »

This thread was split from the following discussion:

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Wasn't Macedonia historically a part of Greece?  How did the Serbian Church ever get jurisdiction over the territory (I'm not disputing the claims just insterested in the history of it).
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2009, 06:46:47 AM »

Wasn't Macedonia historically a part of Greece?  How did the Serbian Church ever get jurisdiction over the territory (I'm not disputing the claims just insterested in the history of it).

So called "Macedonia" is actually ancient Paionia.
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 02:33:32 PM »

Wasn't Macedonia historically a part of Greece?  How did the Serbian Church ever get jurisdiction over the territory (I'm not disputing the claims just insterested in the history of it).

During different periods, Macedonia as a geographical region was its own kingdom; under Alexander the Great took over the geographical region normally designated as Greece; for a brief period it was under the Persians; it became part of the Roman Empire,; then part of the eastern Roman Empire; part of the Bulgarian Kingdom; part of the Serbian Kingdom; and part of the Ottoman Empire. Early in the 20th Century, parts of Macedonia have come under the Kingdoms of Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. The entire geographical region of Macedonia has never part of Greece unless one conflates the ancient Macedonian Empire with modern day Greece.

The slavic people of Macedonia have considered themselves to be Serbian, Bulgarian, and lately Macedonian. They, as well as the modern Greeks living in the Greek portion of Macedonia, are not directly related to the ancient Macedonians as there has been much mixing of blood lines. That is why there is a popular salad named after Macedonia--just a mixture of everything under the sun!

Some people would consider what I just wrote blasphemy. I think it is wonderful to have such a mixture, primarily because I am myself a proud son of Macedonia and can pass for a Turk, Arab, Greek, Armenian, Sicilian, Bulgarian, Israeli, French, Serb, Romanian, Croatian, Bosnian, and even Spaniard (according to a past acquaintance)!
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 12:22:31 AM »

Quote
Is the Orthodox Church now forever cursed to fight this battle for national churches with no end?

Well... . . yes. I think so.

The Church seems to have a long history of using secular geographical divisions for ecclesiastical reasons. Even in the Bible we see Churches specified according to the geographical area or city in which they reside:

"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;" - Rev. 2:1

"Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Thes. 1:1

"Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;" - 2 Cor. 8:1

"The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house." - 1 Cor. 16:19
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 01:07:56 AM »

The mentioning of the locations of churches in the Holy Scriptures doesn't have anything to do with nationalism or national church squabbles.
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 04:42:51 PM »

The mentioning of the locations of churches in the Holy Scriptures doesn't have anything to do with nationalism or national church squabbles.

Well, the Bible tell us to go and bring the good news (Gospel) of Christ to all nations of the world. At Pentecost, the Apostles preached in all different languages. There have never been regional languages except by force (Greek imposed on non-Greek populations in the Rum Millet, and Serbian imposed on Bulgarian and Croat populations in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia come to mind). The exceptions to this rule are relatively new and are political arrangements (Canada and Switzerland) or forced by economic forces (English as the lingua franca of business and culture in late 20th Century, for example).

I do agree that nationalism has been both good and bad (the latter hemorrhaging the integrity of the Orthodox Churches in particular). On the other hand, the idea of an "ecumenical" Orthodox see is a deviation from traditional Orthodox ecclesiology of local churches. It was self-promulgated by an overreaching Patriarchate of Constantinople in emulation of papal pretensions and has been tolerated to maintain Orthodox polity. We can call the Patriarch whatever the protocol calls for, but we do not have to be seduced into thinking that this is a good and proper thing to actualize.

In North America, there should be at least one local church per each major political entity. We do not need eparchies, exarchies, metropolises or archdioceses of foreign sees. We could make exceptions for immigrant communities, with missionary ethnic jurisdictions, but all Orthodox communities in any given locations should normally be part of the regular diocesan structure, organized along the prevalent or official national language/s and national political sub-divisions. Thus, an immigrant Serbian congregation in Ohio, for example, would be overseen by the diocesan bishop (lets say of Cleveland and Ohio) with input from the exarch bishop for Serbian immigrants (lets say residing in Chicago). The Serbian Exarch would make sure that the immigrant congregation feels at home and is not imposed on by the Diocesan Bishop, with the overall goal of the eventual integration of this ethnic parish into the regular church structure and practice. Anyway, just a pipe dream of mine.
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 01:36:15 AM »

I would rather have the existence of national Churches then one, single, international one like the RCC.  The purpose of national Churches ensures not only that local people get their religious needs met first, but that no one Church gains too great a power or advantage over the others.  They are all separate yet equal in their faith and mission.  If each local Church would just mind its own canonical business then their there would not be any divisions or arguments amongst believers.

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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 06:15:45 AM »

Second Chance's Reply # 2 is well stated and more explicit than the supplement I am offering here.  Ancient Macedonia was a City-State of Greece, just as Sparta and Athens were, essentially self-governing provinces.  The territory which is considered Macedonia today, is the result of border changes during the Balkan Wars, before, during and immediately after WW I, and is within Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece.  Even in ancient times, Northern Macedonian's were Slavic people, in the South they were Greeks.  The nation which claims the name Macedonia today, is a tiny area, perhaps comparable to a large urban and suburban area, with rural outskirts. It by no means encompasses the ancient province of Macedonia, and that is one reason why today's Greece refuses to permit this tiny area around Macedonia's capitol city to claim the name Macedonia.  Greece has a Northern province named Macedonia.

When the borders of the Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria were settled after WW I, the respective Orthodox Churches agreed to correlating territorial boundary changes.

The so called "Macedonian Orthodox Church," was promoted by Yugoslavia's Communist Dictator, Josef Tito's administration, in his ongoing effort to diffuse the strength of Serbia and its church. It is not recognized by any of the Holy Orthodox Churches.
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 07:37:08 AM »

Countries come and countries go but Christ is eternal.
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 09:49:22 AM »


I agree with all the above statements.

Christ is eternal, and nations come and go.  Yet, Christ instructed His disciples to go and preach to all nations.

The disciples were given the gift of "language" so they could speak to all the different people.  God didn't make all the people speak the same language in order to understand the preaching.
Nor did Christ instruct them to go and preach and make them all one nation, but, to make them all "Christian", to have them baptized, to make them followers of the Truth.

This all harkens back to the Tower of Babel.  It was God Himself who gave us the different languages and split us up into "tribes" who then covered the earth.
God made the "differences" between us, who are we to abolish those differences?  There must be a reason.




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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 12:41:50 PM »

Second Chance's Reply # 2 is well stated and more explicit than the supplement I am offering here.  Ancient Macedonia was a City-State of Greece, just as Sparta and Athens were, essentially self-governing provinces.  The territory which is considered Macedonia today, is the result of border changes during the Balkan Wars, before, during and immediately after WW I, and is within Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece.  Even in ancient times, Northern Macedonian's were Slavic people, in the South they were Greeks.  The nation which claims the name Macedonia today, is a tiny area, perhaps comparable to a large urban and suburban area, with rural outskirts. It by no means encompasses the ancient province of Macedonia, and that is one reason why today's Greece refuses to permit this tiny area around Macedonia's capitol city to claim the name Macedonia.  Greece has a Northern province named Macedonia.

When the borders of the Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria were settled after WW I, the respective Orthodox Churches agreed to correlating territorial boundary changes.

The so called "Macedonian Orthodox Church," was promoted by Yugoslavia's Communist Dictator, Josef Tito's administration, in his ongoing effort to diffuse the strength of Serbia and its church. It is not recognized by any of the Holy Orthodox Churches.

If you don't mind, I would like to offer a few comments on your supplement. Regarding the idea that a nation (as we now define it) called Greece existed in antiquity is not supported by historical evidence. You are correct that what we had were city-states, who placed their own interests above that of (to them) a mythical nation. There is no doubt that they considered Greeks to be different and better than non-Greeks (for example, Macedon was initially called barbarian by Athens) but at best they would form coalitions for a specific reason (say to fight Agamemnon's battles or to fight Darius and Xerxes. Ironically, Alexander the barbarian is the one who really dreamed of Hellenic civilization, a concept that transcended the city-states and was based mainly on the commonality of religion, language and culture, and not blood lines per se.

Regarding the Slavs in the Balkans, at the turn of the 20th Century, there many more Bulgarians in all parts of Macedonia than we see now. After each of the following conflicts, the Bulgarian population in Macedonia shrank: the unsuccessful Ilinden rebellion against the Turks (1903), the Balkan Wars (especially the Second), World War I, the Greek-Turkish War, and World War II. In the Aegean Macedonia (current Greek province of Macedonia), the ratio of Bulgarians to Greeks reversed dramatically after the great population exchanges in the early 1920s. This was helped along artificially by the declaration by the Greek authorities that no Bulgarians lived there but Greeks speaking a Slavic language, and discrimination and even persecution of Bulgarians who persisted in calling themselves that. It is clear though that, by far the greatest determinant of the current ethnic composition in the province of Macedonia was the influx of ethnic Greeks from Asia Minor in the 1920s.

The population of the Republic of Macedonia is currently little over 2 million souls (ranked 142nd in the world) in a 9,800 square mile area (148th in the world). Thus, it is smaller in size and population than the Greek province (about 500, 000 people less), but larger than about 50 other members of the United Nations. It has the same population as Slovenia and is larger than Estonia and Cyprus.

You are entirely correct that the Republic of Macedonia's culture, language, church and even history were helped along (and at times mandated) by the anti-Serbian ethnic groups in Yugoslavia--that is, through the Communist Party of the federation. Non-Serbians living in Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia kind of ganged up on the Serbians, largely to free themselves from their influence and, at times, heavy handed rule.

As for the Macedonian Orthodox Church, in its form as the autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid (1959-1967), it was recognised by the Serbian Church. The Wiki account is pretty accurate: "The Serbian Orthodox Church agreed with these decisions in the resolution AS. No 47/1959 and 6/1959, minutes 57 of June 17/4, 1959. That agreement was celebrated in a common liturgy by the Macedonian priests and the Serbian Patriarch German in 1959 in Skopje, as a sign that Serbian church recognises an autonomy of the Macedonian church. In 1962 Serbian Patriarch German and Russian Patriarch Alexis visited the Macedonian Orthodox Church. On the feast of Saints Methodius and Cyril in Ohrid two patriarchs and the Macedonian Metropolitan Dositej concelebrated Holy Liturgy as the first liturgy of the head of the Macedonian church with heads of other Orthodox churches."

Hope this adds to our understanding of the complex issues.
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 12:48:58 PM »

Since this has a new thread...

No, I don't think there should be National Churches.  Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow aren't National Churches - they are trans-national, regional Churches.  Only Cyprus is a "national" Church, and its unique geographic situation in comparison to the rest (inconvenient island-nation) dictated this status.  Athens should not have requested/taken or been granted Autocephaly.
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2009, 01:02:41 PM »

Second Chance, Reply # 10.  The historical information you provided is very interesting.

I am shocked about the patriarchal visit to Macedonia.  Is this church recognized as canonical by the Serbian Church.  I recall in 1992, when Patriarch Bartholomew first convened the heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches, he invited the Macedonian hierarchs to facilitate a resolution of the issues between the Serbs and Macedonians.  Are you saying that they have reconciled?  Did all the parties participate in the Liturgy?
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2009, 03:11:09 PM »

Second Chance, Reply # 10.  The historical information you provided is very interesting.

I am shocked about the patriarchal visit to Macedonia.  Is this church recognized as canonical by the Serbian Church.  I recall in 1992, when Patriarch Bartholomew first convened the heads of the Holy Orthodox Churches, he invited the Macedonian hierarchs to facilitate a resolution of the issues between the Serbs and Macedonians.  Are you saying that they have reconciled?  Did all the parties participate in the Liturgy?

Couple of things. First, since Macedonian Orthodox Church's declaration of autocephaly, no other Orthodox Church has officially recognized this status. There are signs that it is treated as a canonical church, particularly at the parish level. Second, there was an attempt by the Macedonian and Serbian Churches to address the issue of autocephaly amicably, and there was a short-lived agreement. Again, this Wiki account seems top be fairly neutral:

"The two Churches had been negotiating the details of a compromise agreement reached in Niš, Serbia in 2002, which would have given the ethnic Macedonians de facto independent status just short of canonical autocephaly. The agreement was signed and agreed upon by three Bishops in the Macedonian Orthodox Church (Metropolitan Petar of Australia, Metropolitan Timotej of Debar and Kicevo; and Metropolitan Naum of Strumica). After political officials exerted pressure on the clergy of the MOC for accepting the agreement, the Bishops later reneged on the agreement, leaving only Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid (secular name Zoran Vraniškovski) from the Macedonian side in agreement. Suddenly the signed agreement was rejected by the Macedonian government and the Holy Synod of MOC. In turn, the Serbian Orthodox Church granted full autonomy to the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, its embattled branch in the Republic of Macedonia, in late May 2005 and appointed Jovan as its Archbishop."

The rest of the story, as we know, has been the disgraceful treatment of Archbishop Jovan by the Macedonian government.
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2009, 03:17:55 PM »

Since this has a new thread...

No, I don't think there should be National Churches.  Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow aren't National Churches - they are trans-national, regional Churches.  Only Cyprus is a "national" Church, and its unique geographic situation in comparison to the rest (inconvenient island-nation) dictated this status.  Athens should not have requested/taken or been granted Autocephaly.

Dear Father George (feels good to say this  Smiley),

Did Orthodox history end by the 10th Century? I seem to recall an autocephalous Church of Bulgaria (recognized by Constantinople) around that time. Of course, you do have the Russian Church, which is by far the largest of all Orthodox Churches, to the extent that it has more Russian Orthodox that reside in the canonical territory of Constantinople than faithful of any other nationality.

As for the Greek Orthodox Church, don't you think that its separation from the mother church allows Constantinople to claim not to be Greek but Hellene in a nebulous, non-ethnic sense?

PS: I know that some folks do frown on this, but I will do it anyway: may the Lord bless you and your loved ones!
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2009, 04:33:22 PM »

This all harkens back to the Tower of Babel.  It was God Himself who gave us the different languages and split us up into "tribes" who then covered the earth.  God made the "differences" between us, who are we to abolish those differences?  There must be a reason.

When the Most High came down and confused the tongues, he divided the nations. But when he distributed the tongues of fire, he called all to unity. Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-Holy Spirit!
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2009, 05:53:04 PM »

No, I don't think there should be National Churches.  Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow aren't National Churches - they are trans-national, regional Churches.  Only Cyprus is a "national" Church, and its unique geographic situation in comparison to the rest (inconvenient island-nation) dictated this status.  Athens should not have requested/taken or been granted Autocephaly.

Amen!
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2009, 12:05:35 PM »

Since this has a new thread...

No, I don't think there should be National Churches.  Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow aren't National Churches - they are trans-national, regional Churches.  Only Cyprus is a "national" Church, and its unique geographic situation in comparison to the rest (inconvenient island-nation) dictated this status.  Athens should not have requested/taken or been granted Autocephaly.

I find myself revisiting this post as I completely missed the importance of your inclusion of Moscow in this list. By doing so, IMHO you are showing a profound misunderstanding of both ecclesiology and history.

The history of the Church was bound closely to that of the state it operated in.  It is true that for a very long time, the Church was part of the state structure, but this does not make it right. The fact the the Lord did not hurl lighting bolts at such state churches does not necessarily indicate approval--it could have been forbearance just as well. In any case, the local churches that first existed as city churches got grouped as dioceses, provinces and higher segments of the Roman Empire. This did not happen naturally, that is not as an ecclesiastical development guided by the Holy Spirit, but organizational restructuring as dictated by Emperors and facilitated by many church leaders for less than wholesome reasons. Indeed, some Patriarchs bought their offices particularly in the Ottoman Empire.

You must know that even during the time of the great ecumenical councils there were many more local churches than the five ancient patriarchates (plus Cyprus). The abasement and subjugation of many of them into the five should be a matter of sorrow, rather than an occasion for excusing the power-mongering on the part of (principallly) Constantinople and Rome.

The Russian Empire included, among others, the church of Georgia and the Alaskan Mission, which developed into an autocephalous church--the Orthodox Church America. In any case, during the Soviet Empire the Russian Orthodox Church was part of the state, just the same as the Orthodox Churches were part of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. The Russian Church shied away from its responsibility of serving people in their native tongue by using Old Church Slavonic, just as Constantinople used demotic Greek, and Rome used Latin.

However, with the break up of empires came more-or-less ethnically homogeneous nation states. The earliest occasion was the first autocephalous Bulgarian Church, which owed its autocephaly for a briefly superior strength of arms than the Byzantine Empire and competition between Constantinople and Rome for its affiliation. Of course, once the Bulgarians were defeated, the autochephaly was snatched away. Reasons of state of course! Nonetheless, with the rise of nationalism in the 19th Century came a multitude of national churches wherever they was a majority Orthodox population. Today, there are well over a baker's dozen of autocephalous churches. Indeed, most Orthodox Christians reside not in the ancient patriarchates but in the national churches. We are not quite back to the Ignatian concept of the Church (one bishop in one city with his priests, deacons and laity) but we are so much closer to the Great Commission of proclaiming the Gospel to all nations of the world.

I repeat, national churches are closer to the traditional Orthodox model proposed by Saint Ignatius of Antioch than to the twisted model that is championed by Constantinople and Moscow.
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2009, 12:27:19 PM »

This all harkens back to the Tower of Babel.  It was God Himself who gave us the different languages and split us up into "tribes" who then covered the earth.  God made the "differences" between us, who are we to abolish those differences?  There must be a reason.

When the Most High came down and confused the tongues, he divided the nations. But when he distributed the tongues of fire, he called all to unity. Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-Holy Spirit!

So true!

However, I fear if you have no "national" churches....which language will dominate?  Will we all have to learn Greek or Russian?

What is meant by "national churches", exactly?

If we be ONE Orthodox Church, with all the various bishops as equals, and yet are permitted to retain our "nationalities", that would be great.  I for one think it crucial that people be allowed to pray and worship in their own tongue.

Maybe I have misunderstood the meaning of "national churches", and if so, forgive me.

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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2009, 12:42:25 PM »

Since this has a new thread...

No, I don't think there should be National Churches.  Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow aren't National Churches - they are trans-national, regional Churches.  Only Cyprus is a "national" Church, and its unique geographic situation in comparison to the rest (inconvenient island-nation) dictated this status.  Athens should not have requested/taken or been granted Autocephaly.

Constantinople was a transnational Church for only part of its history, and has long ceased to be so.
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« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2009, 01:47:33 PM »

Since this has a new thread...

No, I don't think there should be National Churches.  Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow aren't National Churches - they are trans-national, regional Churches.  Only Cyprus is a "national" Church, and its unique geographic situation in comparison to the rest (inconvenient island-nation) dictated this status.  Athens should not have requested/taken or been granted Autocephaly.

Constantinople was a transnational Church for only part of its history, and has long ceased to be so.

Oh?  Turkey, Greece, et al. don't count as nations?
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« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2009, 01:51:06 PM »

Did Orthodox history end by the 10th Century? I seem to recall an autocephalous Church of Bulgaria (recognized by Constantinople) around that time.

My list wasn't intended to be exhaustive; I didn't include Georgia or Armenia, either.

Of course, you do have the Russian Church, which is by far the largest of all Orthodox Churches, to the extent that it has more Russian Orthodox that reside in the canonical territory of Constantinople than faithful of any other nationality.

As for the Greek Orthodox Church, don't you think that its separation from the mother church allows Constantinople to claim not to be Greek but Hellene in a nebulous, non-ethnic sense?

Eh, I don't think it matters in the eyes of the Turks; they still treat the Orthodox of Turkey like vermin.

PS: I know that some folks do frown on this, but I will do it anyway: may the Lord bless you and your loved ones!

And to yours as well.  Thank you.
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« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2009, 02:03:06 PM »

I find myself revisiting this post as I completely missed the importance of your inclusion of Moscow in this list. By doing so, IMHO you are showing a profound misunderstanding of both ecclesiology and history.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

The history of the Church was bound closely to that of the state it operated in.  It is true that for a very long time, the Church was part of the state structure, but this does not make it right. The fact the the Lord did not hurl lighting bolts at such state churches does not necessarily indicate approval--it could have been forbearance just as well. In any case, the local churches that first existed as city churches got grouped as dioceses, provinces and higher segments of the Roman Empire. This did not happen naturally, that is not as an ecclesiastical development guided by the Holy Spirit, but organizational restructuring as dictated by Emperors and facilitated by many church leaders for less than wholesome reasons. Indeed, some Patriarchs bought their offices particularly in the Ottoman Empire.

Even in the days of the Imperial Church the Church was trans-national, sending missionaries and bishops to territories not controlled by the Empire.  Various Western "Barbarian" tribes, the Slavs, etc. were all under the umbrellas of various Orthodox Patriarchates who were located mostly within the borders of the Empire.

You must know that even during the time of the great ecumenical councils there were many more local churches than the five ancient patriarchates (plus Cyprus). The abasement and subjugation of many of them into the five should be a matter of sorrow, rather than an occasion for excusing the power-mongering on the part of (principallly) Constantinople and Rome.

I don't intend to raise up or justify consolidation; my list was restricted above simply for convenience's sake, not attempting to be exhaustive.  As I mention in my post above (which you haven't had a chance to read yet, since I am responding to both in close succession), I have omitted other Churches knowingly, but not to make a statement about them per se.

The Russian Empire included, among others, the church of Georgia and the Alaskan Mission, which developed into an autocephalous church--the Orthodox Church America. In any case, during the Soviet Empire the Russian Orthodox Church was part of the state, just the same as the Orthodox Churches were part of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. The Russian Church shied away from its responsibility of serving people in their native tongue by using Old Church Slavonic, just as Constantinople used demotic Greek, and Rome used Latin.

The use of language doesn't negate the fact that each of the Churches has bishops & territories outside of their primary nation - making them trans-national Churches, even if they are not striving to be trans-ethnic.

However, with the break up of empires came more-or-less ethnically homogeneous nation states. The earliest occasion was the first autocephalous Bulgarian Church, which owed its autocephaly for a briefly superior strength of arms than the Byzantine Empire and competition between Constantinople and Rome for its affiliation. Of course, once the Bulgarians were defeated, the autochephaly was snatched away. Reasons of state of course! Nonetheless, with the rise of nationalism in the 19th Century came a multitude of national churches wherever they was a majority Orthodox population. Today, there are well over a baker's dozen of autocephalous churches. Indeed, most Orthodox Christians reside not in the ancient patriarchates but in the national churches. We are not quite back to the Ignatian concept of the Church (one bishop in one city with his priests, deacons and laity) but we are so much closer to the Great Commission of proclaiming the Gospel to all nations of the world.

Our failings as human beings have conflated the two issues: each Autocephalous Church grouping should be trans-national, trans-glottal, and trans-ethnic.  Their failure in the past has led in part to the proliferation of national Churches - but that doesn't mean the movement to national Churches is right.  One bishop, one city (or one area) can be affirmed, but it doesn't necessitate national Churches, just as there was one Bishop, one city (or one area) when all of Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria were in the EP, or when France, Italy, and Spain were all under the RP, or when multiple Caliphates were under the Ant.P. 

I repeat, national churches are closer to the traditional Orthodox model proposed by Saint Ignatius of Antioch than to the twisted model that is championed by Constantinople and Moscow. 

I disagree on all counts - Constantinople and Moscow ultimately don't want multiple bishops per city, and the traditional Ecclesiological model of the Church doesn't necessitate National Churches.  Heck, it doesn't even deal with National Churches or Autocephalous, only with the local Church.  The local Church can be preserved in the Autocephalous trans-national Church, as it has been for centuries before the modern era.
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« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2009, 03:16:58 PM »

Since this has a new thread...

No, I don't think there should be National Churches.  Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow aren't National Churches - they are trans-national, regional Churches.  Only Cyprus is a "national" Church, and its unique geographic situation in comparison to the rest (inconvenient island-nation) dictated this status.  Athens should not have requested/taken or been granted Autocephaly.

Constantinople was a transnational Church for only part of its history, and has long ceased to be so.

Oh?  Turkey, Greece, et al. don't count as nations?
   

I'll leave aside my thoughts on Turks, but it is possible, for instance that Antioch has more communicants in the Turkish Republic than the EP does, despite a representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Church of the Turkish Republic.

Greece is indeed a nation, which is why Constantinople is a national Church, even an ethnic Church.
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2009, 03:45:18 PM »

I'll leave aside my thoughts on Turks,

It seems that there are many of us who do this...  We're probably better off for it.

but it is possible, for instance that Antioch has more communicants in the Turkish Republic than the EP does, despite a representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Church of the Turkish Republic.

Further supporting the idea that Antioch is a trans-national Church. (Not that you have disputed this point.)

Greece is indeed a nation, which is why Constantinople is a national Church, even an ethnic Church.

Constantinople has, within the family of the Synod, Churches in at least Turkey & Northern Greece (notice how I'm leaving off disputed areas like the US, Australia, etc.), making it by definition multi-national or trans-national.  I don't follow your logic that because the EP has parishes and diocese/metropolises/archdiocese in both Turkey and Greece, it is a national or even ethnic Church, since it has people of different ethnicities within the fold, and churches within different national boundaries.
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2009, 03:48:57 PM »

Quote
The mentioning of the locations of churches in the Holy Scriptures doesn't have anything to do with nationalism or national church squabbles.

I guess my only point was that Christianity has always used secular geographical divisions, so why expect Orthodoxy to stop using them now?
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2009, 04:54:38 PM »

I'll leave aside my thoughts on Turks,

It seems that there are many of us who do this...  We're probably better off for it.

I'm sure of that.  I will say, that I have met Turks that I had to say to myself, it's a shame they are a Turk.  If only if there were more of them....

but it is possible, for instance that Antioch has more communicants in the Turkish Republic than the EP does, despite a representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Church of the Turkish Republic.

Further supporting the idea that Antioch is a trans-national Church. (Not that you have disputed this point.)

Indeed.  Although we can get ethnocentric at times.

Greece is indeed a nation, which is why Constantinople is a national Church, even an ethnic Church.

Constantinople has, within the family of the Synod, Churches in at least Turkey & Northern Greece (notice how I'm leaving off disputed areas like the US, Australia, etc.), making it by definition multi-national or trans-national.  I don't follow your logic that because the EP has parishes and diocese/metropolises/archdiocese in both Turkey and Greece, it is a national or even ethnic Church, since it has people of different ethnicities within the fold, and churches within different national boundaries.

How many (Karamanlis, Maecedonians, Bulgarians, Vlachs/Aromnains, etc.) do not face Hellenization?
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2009, 05:07:31 PM »

I'm sure of that.  I will say, that I have met Turks that I had to say to myself, it's a shame they are a Turk.  If only if there were more of them....

We (my classmates and I) were blessed to have met quite a few in that category while in the City.

Indeed.  Although we can get ethnocentric at times.

If we judge our churches by their worst moments rather than their best, where will we end up?

How many (Karamanlis, Maecedonians, Bulgarians, Vlachs/Aromnains, etc.) do not face Hellenization?

How do you mean "Hellinization?"  Language?  Customs - secular or ecclesiastical? Romanity that is mis-named Hellenism?
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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2009, 05:33:56 PM »

Wasn't Macedonia historically a part of Greece?  How did the Serbian Church ever get jurisdiction over the territory (I'm not disputing the claims just insterested in the history of it).

During different periods, Macedonia as a geographical region was its own kingdom; under Alexander the Great took over the geographical region normally designated as Greece; for a brief period it was under the Persians; it became part of the Roman Empire,; then part of the eastern Roman Empire; part of the Bulgarian Kingdom; part of the Serbian Kingdom; and part of the Ottoman Empire. Early in the 20th Century, parts of Macedonia have come under the Kingdoms of Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. The entire geographical region of Macedonia has never part of Greece unless one conflates the ancient Macedonian Empire with modern day Greece.

The slavic people of Macedonia have considered themselves to be Serbian, Bulgarian, and lately Macedonian. They, as well as the modern Greeks living in the Greek portion of Macedonia, are not directly related to the ancient Macedonians as there has been much mixing of blood lines. That is why there is a popular salad named after Macedonia--just a mixture of everything under the sun!

Some people would consider what I just wrote blasphemy. I think it is wonderful to have such a mixture, primarily because I am myself a proud son of Macedonia and can pass for a Turk, Arab, Greek, Armenian, Sicilian, Bulgarian, Israeli, French, Serb, Romanian, Croatian, Bosnian, and even Spaniard (according to a past acquaintance)!


There are many errornous claims in your interpretation of history.
Please revisit the history books and read them with an open mind before spreading your propaganda.

Lord have mercy
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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2009, 06:36:50 PM »

Wasn't Macedonia historically a part of Greece?  How did the Serbian Church ever get jurisdiction over the territory (I'm not disputing the claims just insterested in the history of it).

During different periods, Macedonia as a geographical region was its own kingdom; under Alexander the Great took over the geographical region normally designated as Greece; for a brief period it was under the Persians; it became part of the Roman Empire,; then part of the eastern Roman Empire; part of the Bulgarian Kingdom; part of the Serbian Kingdom; and part of the Ottoman Empire. Early in the 20th Century, parts of Macedonia have come under the Kingdoms of Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. The entire geographical region of Macedonia has never part of Greece unless one conflates the ancient Macedonian Empire with modern day Greece.

The slavic people of Macedonia have considered themselves to be Serbian, Bulgarian, and lately Macedonian. They, as well as the modern Greeks living in the Greek portion of Macedonia, are not directly related to the ancient Macedonians as there has been much mixing of blood lines. That is why there is a popular salad named after Macedonia--just a mixture of everything under the sun!

Some people would consider what I just wrote blasphemy. I think it is wonderful to have such a mixture, primarily because I am myself a proud son of Macedonia and can pass for a Turk, Arab, Greek, Armenian, Sicilian, Bulgarian, Israeli, French, Serb, Romanian, Croatian, Bosnian, and even Spaniard (according to a past acquaintance)!


There are many errornous claims in your interpretation of history.
Please revisit the history books and read them with an open mind before spreading your propaganda.

Lord have mercy

I may be wrong but not intentionally so. You must know that I cannot make corrections unless you enlighten me. Speaking of history books, there are so many, with so many slants that appealing to authority, particularly a blanket statement like yours, simply will not work. Please tell me (1) where I am wrong and (2) what is the source of your point of view. By the way, I was correct in at least one statement where I said "Some people would consider what I just wrote blasphemy."  Smiley
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