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Author Topic: Patriarch Bartholomew's Sunday of Orthodoxy Encyclical 2010  (Read 8749 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 20, 2010, 01:04:43 PM »

Powerful words from the Ecumenical Patriarch and his Holy Synod and heartening indeed for those of us committed to dialogue and who proclaim the Truth of Orthodoxy. Pray for his health and safety this Sunday,which proclaims the triumph of Orthodoxy for all of us in the Orthodox Church.

Patriarchal and Synodal Encyclical On the Sunday of Orthodoxy
Prot. No. 213

BARTHOLOMEW

By God’s Grace
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch

To the Fullness of the Church, Grace and Peace
From our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Our most holy Orthodox Church today commemorates its own feast day, and – from this historical and martyric See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – the Mother Church of Constantinople directs its blessing, love and concern to all of its faithful and dedicated spiritual children throughout the world, inviting them to concelebrate in prayer.

Blessed be the name of the Lord! Those who endeavored over the ages to suppress the Church through various visible and invisible persecutions; those who sought to falsify the Church with their heretical teachings; those who wanted to silence the Church, depriving it of its voice and witness; they all proved unsuccessful. The clouds of Martyrs, the tears of the Ascetics, and the prayers of the Saints protect the Church spiritually, while the Comforter and Spirit of Truth leads it to the fullness of truth.

With a sense of duty and responsibility, despite its hurdles and problems, as the First-Throne Church of Orthodoxy, the Ecumenical Patriarchate cares about protecting and establishing the unity of the Orthodox Church, in order that with one voice and in one heart we may confess the Orthodox faith of our Fathers in every age and even in our times. For, Orthodoxy is not a museum treasure that must be preserved; it is a breath of life that must be transmitted and invigorate all people. Orthodoxy is always contemporary, so long as we promote it with humility and interpret it in light of the existential quests and needs of humanity in each historical period and cultural circumstance.

To this purpose, Orthodoxy must be in constant dialogue with the world. The Orthodox Church does not fear dialogue because truth is not afraid of dialogue. On the contrary, if Orthodoxy is enclosed within itself and not in dialogue with those outside, it will both fail in its mission and no longer be the “catholic” and “ecumenical” Church. Instead, it will become an introverted and self-contained group, a “ghetto” on the margins of history. This is why the great Fathers of the Church never feared dialogue with the spiritual culture of their age – indeed even with the pagan idolaters and philosophers of their world – thereby influencing and transforming the civilization of their time and offering us a truly ecumenical Church.

Today, Orthodoxy is called to continue this dialogue with the outside world in order to provide a witness and the life-giving breath of its faith. However, this dialogue cannot reach the outside world unless it first passes through all those that bear the Christian name. Thus, we must first converse as Christians among ourselves in order to resolve our differences, in order that our witness to the outside world may be credible. Our endeavors for the union of all Christians is the will and command of our Lord, who before His Passion prayed to His Father “that all [namely, His disciples] may be one, so that the world may believe that You sent me.” (John 17.21) It is not possible for the Lord to agonize over the unity of His disciples and for us to remain indifferent about the unity of all Christians. This would constitute criminal betrayal and transgression of His divine commandment.

It is precisely for these reasons that, with the mutual agreement and participation of all local Orthodox Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has for many decades conducted official Panorthodox theological dialogues with the larger Christian Churches and Confessions. The aim of these dialogues is, in a spirit of love, to discuss whatever divides Christians both in terms of faith as well as in terms of the organization and life of the Church.

These dialogues, together with every effort for peaceful and fraternal relations of the Orthodox Church with other Christians, are unfortunately challenged today in an unacceptably fanatical way – at least by the standards of a genuinely Orthodox ethos – by certain circles that exclusively claim for themselves the title of zealot and defender of Orthodoxy. As if all the Patriarchs and Sacred Synods of the Orthodox Churches throughout the world, who unanimously decided on and continue to support these dialogues, were not Orthodox. Yet, these opponents of every effort for the restoration of unity among Christians raise themselves above Episcopal Synods of the Church to the dangerous point of creating schisms within the Church.

In their polemical argumentation, these critics of the restoration of unity among Christians do not even hesitate to distort reality in order to deceive and arouse the faithful. Thus, they are silent about the fact that theological dialogues are conducted by unanimous decision of all Orthodox Churches, instead attacking the Ecumenical Patriarchate alone. They disseminate false rumors that union between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches is imminent, while they know well that the differences discussed in these theological dialogues remain numerous and require lengthy debate; moreover, union is not decided by theological commissions but by Church Synods. They assert that the Pope will supposedly subjugate the Orthodox, because they latter submit to dialogue with the Roman Catholics! They condemn those who conduct these dialogues as allegedly “heretics” and “traitors” of Orthodoxy, purely and simply because they converse with non-Orthodox, with whom they share the treasure and truth of our Orthodox faith. They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being “the pan-heresy of ecumenism” without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers.

Beloved children in the Lord, Orthodoxy has no need of either fanaticism or bigotry to protect itself. Whoever believes that Orthodoxy has the truth does not fear dialogue, because truth has never been endangered by dialogue. By contrast, when in our day all people strive to resolve their differences through dialogue, Orthodoxy cannot proceed with intolerance and extremism. You should have utmost confidence in your Mother Church. For the Mother Church has over the ages preserved and transmitted Orthodoxy even to other nations. And today, the Mother Church is struggling amid difficult circumstances to maintain Orthodoxy vibrant and venerable throughout the world.

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this sacred Center of Orthodoxy, we embrace all of you lovingly and bless you paternally, praying that you may journey in health through the holy period of contrition and asceticism known as Holy and Great Lent in order that you may become worthy of celebrating the pure Passion and glorious Resurrection of our Savior Lord with all faithful Orthodox Christians throughout the world.

Sunday of Orthodoxy 2010

+ Bartholomew of Constantinople

Fervent supplicant to God for all

+ Constantine of Derkon

+ Evangelos of Perge

+ Kallinikos of Lystra

+ Michael of Austria

+ Alexios of Atlanta

+ Joseph of Proikonnisos

+ Demetrios of Sevasteia

+ Irenaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis

+ Chrysostom of Myra

+ Emmanuel of France

+ Makarios of Gortyna and Arkadia

+ Amphilochios of New Zealand
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 01:14:49 PM »

I'm glad to see His Holiness engaging the debate on ecumenism in such a public way. It shows that the critiques of ecumenism are being heard and taken seriously. Hopefully the next step will be actual engagement and dialogue. It's senseless to talk about dialogue with other Christians if the EP cannot have a genuine, frank dialogue with his own monks.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 02:44:51 PM »

A wise man speaks about the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-RdNeKlFs8&feature=related
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 03:57:01 PM »

My problem isn't with dialogue, my problem is with putting Orthodoxy on the same level as all the other "Churches [sic] and Confessions". Dialogue can be a wonderful thing, but we must approach it from the standpoint of bringing them into our Church.

Of course the truth is never threatened. The truth still stands even if the whole Church goes apostate. But the integrity of the truth is very much in danger when we present ourselves as just another denomination, one of many churches.

[edit to add] Basically it's relativism. "Nobody has the truth, instead we all have a piece of it. Orthodoxy may have the biggest piece, but we don't have all of it. So let's come together and figure out what the truth is." That's wrong. Others do have pieces of the truth, but we already have all of it, so we wait with open arms.
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 04:00:15 PM »

My problem isn't with dialogue, my problem is with putting Orthodoxy on the same level as all the other "Churches [sic] and Confessions". Dialogue can be a wonderful thing, but we must approach it from the standpoint of bringing them into our Church.

Of course the truth is never threatened. The truth still stands even if the whole Church goes apostate. But the integrity of the truth is very much in danger when we present ourselves as just another denomination, one of many churches.

Finally, a person who speaks the truth!

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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 05:44:49 PM »

What do you think prompted this message of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's encyclical for this Sunday of Orthodoxy?  Did separated Old Calendarists do something significant recently that the Patriarchate is reacting to?
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 05:52:05 PM »

My problem isn't with dialogue, my problem is with putting Orthodoxy on the same level as all the other "Churches [sic] and Confessions". Dialogue can be a wonderful thing, but we must approach it from the standpoint of bringing them into our Church.

Of course the truth is never threatened. The truth still stands even if the whole Church goes apostate. But the integrity of the truth is very much in danger when we present ourselves as just another denomination, one of many churches.

[edit to add] Basically it's relativism. "Nobody has the truth, instead we all have a piece of it. Orthodoxy may have the biggest piece, but we don't have all of it. So let's come together and figure out what the truth is." That's wrong. Others do have pieces of the truth, but we already have all of it, so we wait with open arms.
Who said this?  You put this relativistic sentiment in quotes as though someone else said it.  Yet I don't find the statement anywhere in the above quote of His All Holiness's public address.
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 07:56:39 PM »

What do you think prompted this message of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's encyclical for this Sunday of Orthodoxy?  Did separated Old Calendarists do something significant recently that the Patriarchate is reacting to?

I'm guessing it has more to do with the "Confession of Faith Against Ecumenism" which came out of the EP's own monks on Mount Athos. This is a backhanded way of saying that the EP can't ignore them any more. Eventually the EP will have to stop pretending that the opposition to ecumenism comes only from some ultra-zealot fringe.
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 08:09:39 PM »

I don't think Orthodox should go an inch towards grouping up with the Catholics, not even a fraction of an inch.

http://www.the-highway.com/vaticancontrol_Bennett.html
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 09:09:01 PM »

Beloved children in the Lord, Orthodoxy has no need of either fanaticism or bigotry to protect itself.
Amen!
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2010, 10:57:06 PM »

Quote from: Saint Mark of Ephesus
"All the teachers of the Church, all the Councils and all the divine Scriptures exhort us to avoid heretics, and to refrain from communion with them. Therefore, am I to disregard them all, and follow those who under the pretense of a manufactured peace strive for union?"
Amen!

P.S. Given the spirit of the age (see the original post) and Patriarch Bartholomew in particular, in the place of "peace" substitute "dialogue."


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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 02:58:21 PM »

Quote from: Saint Mark of Ephesus
"All the teachers of the Church, all the Councils and all the divine Scriptures exhort us to avoid heretics, and to refrain from communion with them. Therefore, am I to disregard them all, and follow those who under the pretense of a manufactured peace strive for union?"
Amen!

P.S. Given the spirit of the age (see the original post) and Bartholomew in particular, in the place of "peace" substitute "dialogue."
But does the Church define "heretic" as (1) anyone who is a member of a non-Orthodox church, including those who were born into such church; or (2) those individuals who themselves consciously separated from the Orthodox church?
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2010, 04:00:56 PM »

Beloved children in the Lord, Orthodoxy has no need of either fanaticism or bigotry to protect itself.
Amen!

Amen!
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2010, 05:01:31 PM »

A Synod of the Church has never been assembled, as yet, to discuss Ecumenicism with Trinitarian professing Christians, nor has one declared  Ecumenical contacts a heresy, correct? (Ecumenicism is a topic, I do not think addressed yet by a pre-conciliar commission, of the long planned Holy and Great Synod (Council) of the Orthodox Church.)
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2010, 05:14:13 PM »

While what Patriarch Bartholemew is saying is nothing new for him, the fact that he came out with this Encyclical on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and the fact that he bears false witness against Zealots (by saying they have not showed any evidence of the degradation of Orthodoxy via these contacts, when they have produced evidence on numerous occasions [even if one does not agree with said evidence; there is a clear difference here]) makes it especially unfortunate.
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2010, 05:20:59 PM »

My problem isn't with dialogue, my problem is with putting Orthodoxy on the same level as all the other "Churches [sic] and Confessions". Dialogue can be a wonderful thing, but we must approach it from the standpoint of bringing them into our Church.

Of course the truth is never threatened. The truth still stands even if the whole Church goes apostate. But the integrity of the truth is very much in danger when we present ourselves as just another denomination, one of many churches.

[edit to add] Basically it's relativism. "Nobody has the truth, instead we all have a piece of it. Orthodoxy may have the biggest piece, but we don't have all of it. So let's come together and figure out what the truth is." That's wrong. Others do have pieces of the truth, but we already have all of it, so we wait with open arms.

I see it as, the Orthodox Church has "all truth" as promised in the scripture and other churches have some truth. The purpose of dialogue should be to find what truth others have and present them with what they are lacking. This must be done in love and requires the Church to reach out to others on their level and build them up from there. Even St Paul did this in Athens. "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." He didn't say "I'm right, you're wrong, submit or go to hell", but he said "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." This doesn't mean that all churches and beliefs are "equal" and the Orthodox Church is just "one of many equally true churches", but simply the Church must "speak the truth in love" and not pride or arrogance. Anyway that's just how I see dialogue and how I personally try to interact with other people when trying to explain things.
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2010, 07:15:17 PM »

While what Patriarch Bartholemew is saying is nothing new for him, the fact that he came out with this Encyclical on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and the fact that he bears false witness against Zealots (by saying they have not showed any evidence of the degradation of Orthodoxy via these contacts, when they have produced evidence on numerous occasions [even if one does not agree with said evidence; there is a clear difference here]) makes it especially unfortunate.

I agree. I have seen plenty of nuanced and thoughtful critiques of ecumenism. This encyclical is, by contrast, glib.
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2010, 07:57:53 PM »


I don't think Orthodox should go an inch towards grouping up with the Catholics, not even a fraction of an inch.

You seem to have not learned from any of the conversations I've had with you.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2010, 08:25:05 PM »

Is it just me or is the view of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in this encyclical a little too highly primacist?
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2010, 10:24:39 PM »

My problem isn't with dialogue, my problem is with putting Orthodoxy on the same level as all the other "Churches [sic] and Confessions". Dialogue can be a wonderful thing, but we must approach it from the standpoint of bringing them into our Church.

Of course the truth is never threatened. The truth still stands even if the whole Church goes apostate. But the integrity of the truth is very much in danger when we present ourselves as just another denomination, one of many churches.

[edit to add] Basically it's relativism. "Nobody has the truth, instead we all have a piece of it. Orthodoxy may have the biggest piece, but we don't have all of it. So let's come together and figure out what the truth is." That's wrong. Others do have pieces of the truth, but we already have all of it, so we wait with open arms.

I see it as, the Orthodox Church has "all truth" as promised in the scripture and other churches have some truth. The purpose of dialogue should be to find what truth others have and present them with what they are lacking. This must be done in love and requires the Church to reach out to others on their level and build them up from there. Even St Paul did this in Athens. "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." He didn't say "I'm right, you're wrong, submit or go to hell", but he said "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." This doesn't mean that all churches and beliefs are "equal" and the Orthodox Church is just "one of many equally true churches", but simply the Church must "speak the truth in love" and not pride or arrogance. Anyway that's just how I see dialogue and how I personally try to interact with other people when trying to explain things.

I agree with what you say in theory, the problem is it's not executed that way. When you see an Orthodox bishop, a Catholic bishop, an Anglican bishop, and various Protestant ministers standing all together at an ecumenical worship service, what does that say? It says we're all worshiping in our own way, but it's all basically the same and equally fine.

No, we should not go around damning everyone to hell who isn't Orthodox. But we cannot give assent to their wrong beliefs either, and by us going along with everything, it legitimates false beliefs, implicitly if not explicitly. I just don't see Orthodox hierarchs calling people into our Church in these meetings. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems more like we're all trying to find some middle ground to settle on.
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2010, 11:38:07 PM »


Listen to this man.

He is a very intelligible Spiritual Father from Greece.

He speaks about issues, such as the subject posted above, and the union with Rome.


What keeps us from uniting with the Latins?
http://www.philokalia.org/Constantine%20Zalalas/Q&A/Q&A%203B-What%20Keeps%20Us%20From%20Uniting%20Wi.mp3

The Pope's visit to Greece
http://www.philokalia.org/Constantine%20Zalalas/Q&A/Q&A%203A-Pope's%20Visit%20To%20Greece.mp3





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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2010, 12:14:41 AM »


The church certainly needed 'fanaticism' during the millions of martyrdom who shed their blood for the truth, throughout the ages.

In order to keep the Holy Orthodox faith pure from heresy and lies. And in order to keep the faith strong and thriving.

So i guess that these Serbian people of God were 'bigots' or 'fanatics':

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/serbian_newmartyrs.aspx

Here is a true man of God, who fought for the truth, who paid the price for purity, purity of doctrine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximus_the_Confessor

Trial and exile
Maximus' refusal to accept Monothelitism caused him to be brought to the imperial capital of Constantinople to be tried as a heretic in 658. In Constantinople, the Monothelite position had gained the favor of both the Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople. Maximus stood behind the Dyothelite position, and was sent back into exile for four more years.
In 662, Maximus was placed on trial once more, and was once more convicted of heresy. Following the trial Maximus was tortured, having his tongue cut out, so he could no longer speak his rebellion and his right hand cut off, so that he could no longer write letters .[10] Maximus was then exiled to the Lazica or Colchis region of modern-day Georgia and was cast in the fortress of Schemarum, perhaps Muris-Tsikhe near the modern town of Tsageri.[11] He died soon thereafter, on 13 August 662.[12] The events of the trials of Maximus were recorded by Anastasius Bibliothecarius.








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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2010, 01:22:45 AM »

Differences between the OC and RCC= merely political. Your patriarchs have signed papers saying this, so that's all that matters to me.
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2010, 01:58:15 AM »

Rafa999, I respectfully, wholly disagree that Orthodox patriarchs have signed documents that the differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism is "political."  Some of the interactions between patriarchs and Roman hierarchy, may imply equality, but it's not been said, written, or in my opinion, believed by an Orthodox patriarch.
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2010, 01:58:39 AM »

Quote from: Saint Mark of Ephesus
"All the teachers of the Church, all the Councils and all the divine Scriptures exhort us to avoid heretics, and to refrain from communion with them. Therefore, am I to disregard them all, and follow those who under the pretense of a manufactured peace strive for union?"
Amen!

P.S. Given the spirit of the age (see the original post) and Patriarch Bartholomew in particular, in the place of "peace" substitute "dialogue."


His All-Holiness's name prefaced with proper title to make sure he receives the respect due his hierarchical office  -PtA

I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink
 Your disdain both for honorifics, and for the moderators is well-documented.  You're being muted (i.e. you can't post, but you can PM) for 99 days, at which time your status will reduce to "Post Moderation" (you can post, but it has to be approved before it will appear on the forum), and then to "warned" (no restriction).

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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2010, 02:03:42 AM »


Differences between the OC and RCC= merely political. Your patriarchs have signed papers saying this, so that's all that matters to me.

The Roman church has perverted the doctrine of the Trinity.
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2010, 02:05:13 AM »

Quote from: Saint Mark of Ephesus
"All the teachers of the Church, all the Councils and all the divine Scriptures exhort us to avoid heretics, and to refrain from communion with them. Therefore, am I to disregard them all, and follow those who under the pretense of a manufactured peace strive for union?"
Amen!

P.S. Given the spirit of the age (see the original post) and Patriarch Bartholomew in particular, in the place of "peace" substitute "dialogue."


His All-Holiness's name prefaced with proper title to make sure he receives the respect due his hierarchical office  -PtA

I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink

The requirement of honorifics here is getting rather old.
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« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2010, 02:16:15 AM »

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this sacred Center of Orthodoxy...

Where's Isa when we need him?  Wink
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« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2010, 02:23:19 AM »

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this sacred Center of Orthodoxy...

Where's Isa when we need him?  Wink


Is it just me or is the view of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in this encyclical a little too highly primacist?
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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2010, 02:27:15 AM »

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this sacred Center of Orthodoxy...

Where's Isa when we need him?  Wink


Is it just me or is the view of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in this encyclical a little too highly primacist?

I missed your post.  Yeah, this is pretty over the top.  I think that the mentality out of Istanbul is if you say it enough times, it will become true.
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« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2010, 02:27:42 AM »

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this sacred Center of Orthodoxy...

Where's Isa when we need him?  Wink


Is it just me or is the view of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in this encyclical a little too highly primacist?

Now, now - let's not be cynical - remember, BARTHOLOMEW, by God’s Grace
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch admonishes us that
 "You should have utmost confidence in your Mother Church."  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2010, 02:36:32 AM »



I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink

The requirement of honorifics here is getting rather old.

It's the rules, darlings.  It's also what's proper.  If you don't like the rules, you can complain in a pm to a global moderator or an admin.  If you don't like honorifics, you can join any one of many Protestant denominations that are out there.  We Orthodox give proper titles to our bishops and priests, and whether an honorific gets used has nothing to do with whether we personally like or agree with the bishop or priest we are discussing or addressing.   Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2010, 02:44:38 AM »



I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink

The requirement of honorifics here is getting rather old.

It's the rules, darlings.  It's also what's proper.  If you don't like the rules, you can complain in a pm to a global moderator or an admin.  If you don't like honorifics, you can join any one of many Protestant denominations that are out there.  We Orthodox give proper titles to our bishops and priests, and whether an honorific gets used has nothing to do with whether we personally like or agree with the bishop or priest we are discussing or addressing.   Smiley

Though it may not be the case in this situation, it's quite clear that my personal issues that have been had had little to do with my personal taste for certain clergymen and much to do with my lack of recognition of them possessing Holy Orders. I don't have a problem with honorifics, obviously, seeing as how I have referred to various OO priests who have passed through here as Father. So the Protestant comment was uncalled for. The fact still stands that I have been required to refer to EO clerics with honorifics derived from an assumption of Holy Orders even though I don't even recognize them as having Holy Orders. The fact that it is even such an issue, however, is ridiculous. It is fine and proper for most people on here to insist that they use honorifics as an expression of their piety and to regard it as improper if others do not. But the way that honorifics are being required on this site, to the point where peoples' posts are essentially censured just for not using them, is simply out of hand.
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2010, 02:46:19 AM »

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this sacred Center of Orthodoxy...

Where's Isa when we need him?  Wink


Is it just me or is the view of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in this encyclical a little too highly primacist?

Now, now - let's not be cynical - remember, BARTHOLOMEW, by God’s Grace
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch admonishes us that
 "You should have utmost confidence in your Mother Church."  Roll Eyes

From what I remember, Constantinople has the most flirtatious history with various heresies out of any of the 4 original Eastern Patriarchs.
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« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2010, 02:48:05 AM »



I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink

The requirement of honorifics here is getting rather old.

It's the rules, darlings.  It's also what's proper.  If you don't like the rules, you can complain in a pm to a global moderator or an admin.  If you don't like honorifics, you can join any one of many Protestant denominations that are out there.  We Orthodox give proper titles to our bishops and priests, and whether an honorific gets used has nothing to do with whether we personally like or agree with the bishop or priest we are discussing or addressing.   Smiley

Though it may not be the case in this situation, it's quite clear that my personal issues that have been had had little to do with my personal taste for certain clergymen and much to do with my lack of recognition of them possessing Holy Orders. I don't have a problem with honorifics, obviously, seeing as how I have referred to various OO priests who have passed through here as Father. So the Protestant comment was uncalled for. The fact still stands that I have been required to refer to EO clerics with honorifics derived from an assumption of Holy Orders even though I don't even recognize them as having Holy Orders. The fact that it is even such an issue, however, is ridiculous. It is fine and proper for most people on here to insist that they use honorifics as an expression of their piety and to regard it as improper if others do not. But the way that honorifics are being required on this site, to the point where peoples' posts are essentially censured just for not using them, is simply out of hand.

Yes, but it gives the thought-police something to do and makes them feel useful in the larger scheme of things.

Your disdain both for honorifics, and for the moderators is well-documented.  You're being muted (i.e. you can't post, but you can PM) for 99 days, at which time your status will reduce to "Post Moderation" (you can post, but it has to be approved before it will appear on the forum), and then to "warned" (no restriction).

If you feel this action is in error (I'm sure you do), PM Fr. Chris.  Further violations of the Forum's policies on honorifics, or complaints about moderation, will result in you being banned.

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« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2010, 02:54:21 AM »



I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink

The requirement of honorifics here is getting rather old.

It's the rules, darlings.  It's also what's proper.  If you don't like the rules, you can complain in a pm to a global moderator or an admin.  If you don't like honorifics, you can join any one of many Protestant denominations that are out there.  We Orthodox give proper titles to our bishops and priests, and whether an honorific gets used has nothing to do with whether we personally like or agree with the bishop or priest we are discussing or addressing.   Smiley

Though it may not be the case in this situation, it's quite clear that my personal issues that have been had had little to do with my personal taste for certain clergymen and much to do with my lack of recognition of them possessing Holy Orders. I don't have a problem with honorifics, obviously, seeing as how I have referred to various OO priests who have passed through here as Father. So the Protestant comment was uncalled for. The fact still stands that I have been required to refer to EO clerics with honorifics derived from an assumption of Holy Orders even though I don't even recognize them as having Holy Orders. The fact that it is even such an issue, however, is ridiculous. It is fine and proper for most people on here to insist that they use honorifics as an expression of their piety and to regard it as improper if others do not. But the way that honorifics are being required on this site, to the point where peoples' posts are essentially censured just for not using them, is simply out of hand.

Yes, but it gives the thought-police something to do and makes them feel useful in the larger scheme of things.

And we all know that's so important.  Wink
 How passe.  Users breaking established and well-defined forum rules don't make us feel "useful," they ruin our experience here.  We're not paid, and we don't cost the forum anything, so we don't need to justify our jobs to keep them.  We enjoy the environment (generally) on the forum, and have volunteered to help maintain it.

You've been on the site long enough to know that questions about moderation should be addressed via PM with the moderator who made the decision, the Global Moderator who oversees that Mod, or the Administrator of the Forum.  For not doing any of these, you are being warned for 40 days.  This will not affect your posting here.

If you feel that this warning is in error, PM Fr. Chris.

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« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2010, 03:05:09 AM »

Stop bashing the mods, you guys.  You know that can get you warned.  Both of you have been here long enough to know better.  We don't get paid to do this, and we're more tolerant here than you'll see at most other forums.  Again, if you have a problem with the rules or with us, there are other ways of dealing with it.
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« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2010, 05:19:37 PM »

I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink
The requirement of honorifics here is getting rather old.
It's the rules, darlings.  It's also what's proper.  If you don't like the rules, you can complain in a pm to a global moderator or an admin.  If you don't like honorifics, you can join any one of many Protestant denominations that are out there.  We Orthodox give proper titles to our bishops and priests, and whether an honorific gets used has nothing to do with whether we personally like or agree with the bishop or priest we are discussing or addressing.   Smiley
Though it may not be the case in this situation, it's quite clear that my personal issues that have been had had little to do with my personal taste for certain clergymen and much to do with my lack of recognition of them possessing Holy Orders. I don't have a problem with honorifics, obviously, seeing as how I have referred to various OO priests who have passed through here as Father. So the Protestant comment was uncalled for. The fact still stands that I have been required to refer to EO clerics with honorifics derived from an assumption of Holy Orders even though I don't even recognize them as having Holy Orders. The fact that it is even such an issue, however, is ridiculous. It is fine and proper for most people on here to insist that they use honorifics as an expression of their piety and to regard it as improper if others do not. But the way that honorifics are being required on this site, to the point where peoples' posts are essentially censured just for not using them, is simply out of hand.

First: if you'd like to make suggestions or ask meaningful questions about board policy, do it here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25385.0.html

Second: We don't require the use of honorifics, only a minimal amount of respect as would befit an academic or reasoned discussion.  So, for example, you don't have to refer to Patriarch Bartholomew as "His All Holiness" (the honorific), but using his title (The Ecumenical Patriarch, shortened to EP, or Patriarch Bartholomew) is appropriate and expected, just as I would refer to Pope Shenouda by his title, even if I don't wish to use the honorific that would accompany it because I'm not in communion with him.  After the initial reference, saying "the Pope," or "the EP," would be appropriate and simple.
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« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2010, 05:37:18 PM »

I'm sure the Bishop of Istanbul will get along quite well without my respect.  Wink
The requirement of honorifics here is getting rather old.
It's the rules, darlings.  It's also what's proper.  If you don't like the rules, you can complain in a pm to a global moderator or an admin.  If you don't like honorifics, you can join any one of many Protestant denominations that are out there.  We Orthodox give proper titles to our bishops and priests, and whether an honorific gets used has nothing to do with whether we personally like or agree with the bishop or priest we are discussing or addressing.   Smiley
Though it may not be the case in this situation, it's quite clear that my personal issues that have been had had little to do with my personal taste for certain clergymen and much to do with my lack of recognition of them possessing Holy Orders. I don't have a problem with honorifics, obviously, seeing as how I have referred to various OO priests who have passed through here as Father. So the Protestant comment was uncalled for. The fact still stands that I have been required to refer to EO clerics with honorifics derived from an assumption of Holy Orders even though I don't even recognize them as having Holy Orders. The fact that it is even such an issue, however, is ridiculous. It is fine and proper for most people on here to insist that they use honorifics as an expression of their piety and to regard it as improper if others do not. But the way that honorifics are being required on this site, to the point where peoples' posts are essentially censured just for not using them, is simply out of hand.

First: if you'd like to make suggestions or ask meaningful questions about board policy, do it here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25385.0.html

Second: We don't require the use of honorifics, only a minimal amount of respect as would befit an academic or reasoned discussion.  So, for example, you don't have to refer to Patriarch Bartholomew as "His All Holiness" (the honorific), but using his title (The Ecumenical Patriarch, shortened to EP, or Patriarch Bartholomew) is appropriate and expected, just as I would refer to Pope Shenouda by his title, even if I don't wish to use the honorific that would accompany it because I'm not in communion with him.  After the initial reference, saying "the Pope," or "the EP," would be appropriate and simple.

Yet I was required to refer to a clergyman here as "Father" in one of my posts.
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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2010, 05:41:30 PM »

Yet I was required to refer to a clergyman here as "Father" in one of my posts.

I think that may be a blurring of the lines nowadays, but you do have the alternative, to use the title.  If you prefer to use the title, "Presbyter," then go ahead - but chose one or the other.  Thank you.
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« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2010, 05:52:01 PM »

Yet I was required to refer to a clergyman here as "Father" in one of my posts.

I think that may be a blurring of the lines nowadays, but you do have the alternative, to use the title.  If you prefer to use the title, "Presbyter," then go ahead - but chose one or the other.  Thank you.

Alright.
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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2010, 06:06:09 PM »

I agree with what you say in theory, the problem is it's not executed that way. When you see an Orthodox bishop, a Catholic bishop, an Anglican bishop, and various Protestant ministers standing all together at an ecumenical worship service, what does that say? It says we're all worshiping in our own way, but it's all basically the same and equally fine.

I agree with you that this is wrong but there is a diffrence between dialogue and concelebrating services. But then again what does it say when even in those situations communion is not shared. I know most protestants will welcome "anyonen who is a Christian" to their commuinoin table, but at the same time I don't see Orthodox Christians (clergy or laity) accepting that invitation or Orthodox clergy offering that invitation to non-Orthodox. I also agree that doctrine is important and that the differences do matter.
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« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2010, 07:20:42 PM »

Stop bashing the mods, you guys. 
Yeah! Leave them alone and get back to your bashing of the Oecumenical Patriarch!
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« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2010, 09:19:42 PM »

Stop bashing the mods, you guys. 
Yeah! Leave them alone and get back to your bashing of the Oecumenical Patriarch!

Just for the record, I love His All Holiness.   Smiley
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« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2010, 09:25:07 PM »

Stop bashing the mods, you guys. 
Yeah! Leave them alone and get back to your bashing of the Oecumenical Patriarch!

Just for the record, I love His All Holiness.   Smiley

I "love" him as well, I just don't think that he's the center of the Church, nor its "mother."  We have a Mother, and her name is the Virgin Mary.
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« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2010, 09:26:06 PM »

This is what Patriarch Bartholomew needs to hear, if he is thinking to group up with the leader of a political and religious power.

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« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2010, 12:09:02 AM »

Stop bashing the mods, you guys. 
Yeah! Leave them alone and get back to your bashing of the Oecumenical Patriarch!

Just for the record, I love His All Holiness.   Smiley

I "love" him as well, I just don't think that he's the center of the Church, nor its "mother."  We have a Mother, and her name is the Virgin Mary.

Well, it may have a potentially appropriate interpretation. Constantinople is the mother church of most of the other EO churches in the same way that the Coptic Patriarchate is the mother church of African Oriental Orthodox and the Syriac Patriarchate is the mother church of Asian Oriental Orthodox. Whether Patriarch Bartholomew means something as simple as that, I do not know.
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« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2010, 01:42:01 AM »

Quote
the Syriac Patriarchate is the mother church of Asian Oriental Orthodox

Nope, Constantinople is. Oriental Orthodox is even a term used for the emperors (oriental orthodox emperors of Byzantium).
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« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2010, 04:07:09 PM »


Differences between the OC and RCC= merely political. Your patriarchs have signed papers saying this, so that's all that matters to me.

The Roman church has perverted the doctrine of the Trinity.

The COE could say the same on the OC. Thankfully it does not because it is a tolerant institution which acknowledges the history and culture behind certain things.
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« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2010, 01:39:10 AM »

Seems Fr. Jacobse enjoys writing pieces for Catholic.org. This is the second I've noticed.

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=35660

Quote
Guest Opinion:  More to the Ecumenical Patriarch's Recent Encyclical Than Meets the Eye
By Fr Johannes L. Jacobse
3/3/2010

NAPLES, FL (Catholic Online) - Last week Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew released an encyclical (Patriarch of Constantinople´s New Encyclical Defends Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue)  castigating what he called Orthodox "fanatics" who object to Orthodox ecumenical involvement. The encyclical was well received in Christian circles outside of the Orthodox Church, but raised eyebrows among those in the fold, not least for the strength of the language.

Here´s the background. The Orthodox Church is emerging out of a period of active persecution that lasted centuries for the Greeks and a generation for the Russians and other Eastern Europeans. Orthodoxy still flourishes in the Middle East although under considerable Muslim pressure. It is growing in Africa, Indonesia (where an indigenous Orthodox Church was started by several Moslem converts), America, Western Europe, and elsewhere in the world.

Two patriarchies dominate Orthodox affairs worldwide: Constantinople (Istanbul) and Moscow. Of the two patriarchies, Moscow is emerging as the leader. Constantinople on the other hand, still labors under the Islamic yoke. Muslim extremists have attacked the Patriarchate and the Turkish government has confiscated property and other resources.

With that history in mind, what is the reason for last Sunday´s encyclical?

All traditional Christian Churches understand that the Gospel is universal. "Go forth and preach the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit," Christ commanded His disciples. The Gospel transcends national, ethnic, and tribal boundaries. It is meant for all mankind.

The term "universal" comes from the Greek word katholikos (Catholic) which means "according to the whole." It is used in the Nicene Creed as "One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."

Roman Catholics understand "according to the whole" to mean to mean the geographical dispersion of the Church united under the Pope of Rome. Orthodox understand the term to mean the unity of faith expressed through shared worship, doctrine, and manner of living that is the same in all places. Protestants understand it as the assembly of believers that transcend denominational boundaries.

In recent years, Constantinople has adopted the Roman definition but with a twist. It rightfully claims a primacy over all Orthodox patriarchies but now argues that the primacy includes a jurisdictional authority over areas of the world not directly under an established Patriarchate (America, for example).

The shifting definition creates a problem for Constantinople. Since Orthodox doctrine limits the Ecumenical Patriarch's jurisdictional authority to the geographical confines of the city of Constantinople, how can his claim of greater geographical authority be realized? It resolves the dilemma by elevating ethnic self-identity through an appeal to history.

It works like this: The Greeks gave the world both Hellenism and Christianity (from classical antiquity, to the hearing of St. Paul's gospel in pre-Christian Greece, to Byzantium). Secondly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the only living institution that embodies that rich historical legacy in the person of the Patriarch. Constantinople's primacy, in other words, also includes an ethnic component.

In Constantinople's view, the Greek in Greek Orthodoxy is as important as the Orthodoxy. And since Greek Orthodox believers are geographically dispersed worldwide, Constantinople's authority extends worldwide as well, especially over lands with a poorly organized Orthodox presence. Moscow and most of the Orthodox dispute the claim.

Elevating ethnic self-identity first arose after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 when Christian world of Byzantium became subject to the Moslems and the Ecumenical Patriarch became the unifying symbol of beleaguered Greeks. It may have been a necessary accommodation that saved them from Islamic assimilation.

All religious communions have believers who do not believe that the grace of God can exist outside the confines of their communion. Orthodoxy is no different. They make up some of the Ecumenical Patriarch's harshest critics and are probably the "fanatics" he had in mind in his encyclical. Others are more temperate but nevertheless alarmed by the recent hobnobbing with secular and marginally Christian organizations.

Either way, Constantinople invites the criticism. If the universality of the Church is defined first by ethnic identity and only secondarily by the Gospel command to preach to all nations, then participation in the Church is first a matter of pedigree and only second a matter of obedience to the Gospel.

Moreover, ethnic primacy also changes the manner by which Constantinople engages the culture. For example, in America we often see Constantinople lauding Greek Orthodox politicians who are fiercely pro-abortion with no corrective word about their violation of the moral tradition. St. Paul defines this as the salt losing its saltiness.

Both Catholicism and Orthodoxy have plenty of experience with getting too entangled in the affairs of this world. It mutes the Gospel and harms the Church. Rome tries to avoid these entanglements as does Moscow.

The Ecumenical Patriarch knows that his rebuke won't silence his critics. But then the encyclical was not really intended for an Orthodox audience. Rather, the tone and message was meant to assure readers outside of Orthodoxy that Constantinople's claim to speak universally is valid and that its critics could be ignored. Inside the Orthodox Church however, many remain unpersuaded.
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« Reply #50 on: March 07, 2010, 12:31:24 PM »

While what Patriarch Bartholemew is saying is nothing new for him, the fact that he came out with this Encyclical on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and the fact that he bears false witness against Zealots (by saying they have not showed any evidence of the degradation of Orthodoxy via these contacts, when they have produced evidence on numerous occasions [even if one does not agree with said evidence; there is a clear difference here]) makes it especially unfortunate.
Dear Administrator of this forum. What exactly is the "degradation of Orthodoxy" you claim to see which justifies your accusation that the Ecumenical Patriarcate "bears false witness" against "Zealots"?
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« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2010, 08:55:53 PM »

http://blog.ameia-kl.com/2010/02/ecumenical-patriarch-challenges-anti.html


Friday, February 19, 2010
Ecumenical Patriarch challenges anti-dialogue 'fanatics'

Indifference in regard to Christian unity is not an option for the disciples of Jesus, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has stated in an encyclical issued on the occasion of the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

"It is not possible for the Lord to agonize over the unity of His disciples and for us to remain indifferent about the unity of all Christians," Bartholomew wrote in the encyclical. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is commemorated this year on 21 February 2010.

The encyclical refutes "fanatical" challenges brought against theological dialogues among different Orthodox churches and against ecumenical contacts with the wider community of Christians by "certain circles that exclusively claim for themselves the title of zealot and defender of Orthodoxy."

"They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being 'the pan-heresy of ecumenism' without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers," Bartholomew criticizes.

"The truth does not fear dialogue, because truth has never been endangered by dialogue," the encyclical letter states. "When in our day all people strive to resolve their differences through dialogue, Orthodoxy cannot proceed with intolerance and extremism."

"I am very grateful to the Ecumenical Patriarch for his strong commitment to dialogue and the unity of the church, despite the many pressures from fundamentalist circles among Orthodox believers" said the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in response to the encyclical on 18 February.

"This encyclical," Tveit said, "reminds me of another famous text: the 1920 encyclical letter in which the Ecumenical Patriarch proposed the foundation of a fellowship of churches, providing a major impulse for the formation of the WCC."

The Feast of Orthodoxy is celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Originally commemorating the defeat of iconoclasm in the 9th century, the Sunday of Orthodoxy has gradually come to be understood in a more general sense as a feast in honour of the true faith.

The full text of the Patriarch's address is here: http://tinyurl.com/y93ruo7


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« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2010, 10:49:10 PM »

If the Patriarch had bothered to have serious dialogue with his own monks, he would not be caricaturing them all as "fanatics" opposed to any missionary work whatsoever.
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« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2010, 04:03:24 AM »

Re. Reply #51, Robb, Not be to too technical, but my recollection of the famous 1920 Encyclical  of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was issued by a Locum Tenens of the First Throne, Metropolitan Dorotheos (can't recall the see he held; "Prussa" ?), if I recall correctly.
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« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2010, 06:37:03 AM »

"They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being 'the pan-heresy of ecumenism' without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers," Bartholomew criticizes.

How about the novelty of the "Protos" promoted at the council of Ravenna, along with the novelty of defining Orthodoxy as being in communion with New Rome. Lumen Gentium couldn't state the claims of Old Rome better.
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« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2010, 07:29:11 AM »

"They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being 'the pan-heresy of ecumenism' without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers," Bartholomew criticizes.

How about the novelty of the "Protos" promoted at the council of Ravenna,

The primary concern with the current activity of Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper (the two chairmen of the RC-Orthodox dialogue) is their ecclesiology and the new emphasis on a "Primus" or "Protos" within the Orthodox Church..  As we know, Orthodoxy does not have a greatly developed eccesiology, certainly nothing which could be compared to the Catholics.  We have not needed it.

As the Russian Church points out emphatically, this Primus-Protos level of authority within the Church is a novely in Orthodox teaching engendered by the ecumenical dialogue with Rome.  So the Patriarch of Constantinople is not accurate when he says that the dialogue is not effecting Orthodox doctrine.  It is, or it is attempting to. The Church of Russia has said, more than once, that this is a new ecclesiology, not authentically orthodox, and it will never agree.  

If what other Orthodox theologians and Churches see as Met Zizioulas' misrepresentation of our traditional ecclesiology impels us to greater clarification, well, that is in fact a positive thing.

As Saint Vincent of Lerins says... " if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and polish it, ... finally, what other object have Councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity should in future be believed intelligently..."

The still embargoed Russian document on this matter which Metropolitan Hilarion gave to all participants at the Cyprus meeting last year is certain to address this.  In fact, a good guess is that it will be the document's central point.   A Synodal Commission had this document in preparation for 3 years.  It is enormously galling that nobody has yet leaked it.   laugh  Why is it held in such secrecy?   Is it so boring?  Is it so potentially explosive?
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« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2010, 11:00:28 AM »

"They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being 'the pan-heresy of ecumenism' without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers," Bartholomew criticizes.

How about the novelty of the "Protos" promoted at the council of Ravenna,

The primary concern with the current activity of Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper (the two chairmen of the RC-Orthodox dialogue) is their ecclesiology and the new emphasis on a "Primus" or "Protos" within the Orthodox Church..  As we know, Orthodoxy does not have a greatly developed eccesiology, certainly nothing which could be compared to the Catholics.  We have not needed it.

I am afraid I must disagree Father.  Just because the Vatican's ecclesiology is overdeveloped does not make Orthodox ecclesiology underdeveloped. It doesn't focus on one see precisely because it is Catholic, as in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
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« Reply #57 on: March 10, 2010, 12:38:40 PM »

"They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being 'the pan-heresy of ecumenism' without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers," Bartholomew criticizes.

How about the novelty of the "Protos" promoted at the council of Ravenna,

The primary concern with the current activity of Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper (the two chairmen of the RC-Orthodox dialogue) is their ecclesiology and the new emphasis on a "Primus" or "Protos" within the Orthodox Church..  As we know, Orthodoxy does not have a greatly developed eccesiology, certainly nothing which could be compared to the Catholics.  We have not needed it.

I am afraid I must disagree Father.  Just because the Vatican's ecclesiology is overdeveloped does not make Orthodox ecclesiology underdeveloped. It doesn't focus on one see precisely because it is Catholic, as in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

Agreed - we do have quite a developed ecclesiology, just not an overdeveloped one. 

IMO: The Vatican's ecclesiology is a gross over-developed (and additive-rich) variation upon the Church's "One and the Many" Synodal structure (i.e. with regards to "big" issues - not small, or diocese-specific issues - that the members of the synod cannot do anything without the blessing of the President, and the President cannot do anything without the consent of the Synod; the same principle applied to the Council of Presbyters and the local Bishop).  Their fault lies primarily in assuming that "the One" should always be the same One, and should have more power than it did, ignoring that "the One" was at varying points Jerusalem and Antioch before Rome.
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« Reply #58 on: March 10, 2010, 01:56:34 PM »

The primary concern with the current activity of Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper (the two chairmen of the RC-Orthodox dialogue) is their ecclesiology and the new emphasis on a "Primus" or "Protos" within the Orthodox Church.

Interactions between Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper are merely discussions, not sources of official policy or harbingers of ecclesial reality. That was one of the major points of the letter. Can't get much clearer than "union is not decided by theological commissions but by Church Synods."
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« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2010, 02:11:30 PM »

"They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being 'the pan-heresy of ecumenism' without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers," Bartholomew criticizes.

How about the novelty of the "Protos" promoted at the council of Ravenna,

The primary concern with the current activity of Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper (the two chairmen of the RC-Orthodox dialogue) is their ecclesiology and the new emphasis on a "Primus" or "Protos" within the Orthodox Church..  As we know, Orthodoxy does not have a greatly developed eccesiology, certainly nothing which could be compared to the Catholics.  We have not needed it.

I am afraid I must disagree Father.  Just because the Vatican's ecclesiology is overdeveloped does not make Orthodox ecclesiology underdeveloped. It doesn't focus on one see precisely because it is Catholic, as in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

This is what I have in mind..... in the days of my youth we were taught in Yugoslavia that the Orthodox Church has no defiinition of "Church."  Much of our teaching and canon law on the Church is simply ad hoc.

We were also taught that as the Devil has fought his way, clause by clause, through the Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed, so now he has reached "And in one holy catholic and apostolic church..."  This is the battleground of our own times.

This, we were told, is the doctrinal battle which lies ahead of us and succeeding generations - to clarify what "Church" is.  Looking at the challenges and what now faces us in the 21st century, I think that the predictions of our teachers were right.

It is in all of these this senses that I say that we have an undeveloped ecclesiology.

And, thanks to what we saw as an assault on the Church from two fronts - ecumenism and oldcalendarism - it may now be time to throw greater light, via a Council, on what "One holy catholic and apostolic church" actually means.   To what we saw as the dual problems of ecumenism and oldcalendarism we may now add a third intrusion into our ecclesiology - protos-ism.   (Somebody speaking Greek have a better word for it?)

Yes, there is much to be addressd by a Council, and thank the Lord that these developments in Belgrade, Ravenna and what some are calling "the Cretan Unia" will bring about a deeper theological study of our ecclesiology.  It has already started via the Russians with their position paper on ecclesiology released to the delegates on Cyprus but still under wraps for the rest of us.  I don't fear these developments, even if they bring us turbulent times for a while; I believe that the Spirit will ensure that, in the end, it is truth which will win through.
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« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2010, 02:19:16 PM »

The primary concern with the current activity of Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper (the two chairmen of the RC-Orthodox dialogue) is their ecclesiology and the new emphasis on a "Primus" or "Protos" within the Orthodox Church.

Interactions between Metropolitan Zizioulas and Cardinal Kasper are merely discussions, not sources of official policy or harbingers of ecclesial reality. That was one of the major points of the letter. Can't get much clearer than "union is not decided by theological commissions but by Church Synods."

This was a point emphasised by the Vatican also when it put the Ravenna document up on its website
http://tinyurl.com/yb3hjmq

"...the document represents the outcome of the work of a Commission and should not be understood as an official declaration of the Church’s teaching."

At the time there were comments too that the document contained distortions of Roman Catholic ecclesiology and consequently was not acceptable.
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« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2010, 12:31:13 PM »

As someone who is 'struggling' to enter into Orthodoxy, Patriarch Bartholomew's words are very welcoming to me. I recognize something within Orthodoxy which clearly calls to me but I am repeatedly blocked by voices of such venom and utter disdain toward the West that I can't stand idly by without offering so kind of defense. Personally, I know that is not terribly healthy for me to engage in but I can't seem to help myself. For me I must enter into Orthodoxy at peace with my past as a Roman Catholic and with all my Roman Catholic friends and family. No journey fueled by the passions can lead to Theosis and so I don't take a step while I which is motivated by my own passions... pride, envy, desire, etc.

That said I am surprised by the division within Orthodoxy itself. Passions abound. Where is the virtue of dispassion? Where is the love which St. Paul spoke would be a hallmark?
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« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2010, 05:04:16 AM »

ignatius,

Very unfortunately, the debates within Orthodoxy regarding the separated Old Calendar, traditionalists; the Church's understanding of the "First Among Equals" responsibilities of the Ecumenical Patriarch; under which Church should an autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church be formed; and whether the Orthodox Church in America is autocephalos, are hot topics of debates, and are all too wrought with an absence of love, from each, or all, sides of the debates. If they could be debated in love, that would go a long way toward resolving them.  Yet, this situation does not detract from the purity of Orthodox doctrine and teaching, or the holiness of its practice. (An example, there is a position about the calendar dispute within the church I've developed over the past several weeks that I'm contemplating writing about on another thread on this forum, but I'm feeling too sanctified from the experience of our services during Great Week and having received Holy Communion 4 times during that week, that I haven't written it, knowing what aggressive commentary my thoughts will spark.)
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« Reply #63 on: April 07, 2010, 08:41:52 AM »

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It's the rules, darlings.  It's also what's proper.  If you don't like the rules, you can complain in a pm to a global moderator or an admin.  If you don't like honorifics, you can join any one of many Protestant denominations that are out there.  We Orthodox give proper titles to our bishops and priests, and whether an honorific gets used has nothing to do with whether we personally like or agree with the bishop or priest we are discussing or addressing.   Smiley
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« Reply #64 on: April 07, 2010, 08:53:48 AM »

Differences between the OC and RCC= merely political. Your patriarchs have signed papers saying this, so that's all that matters to me.
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Dear Rafa,

The approach that our diferences are merely political has been condemned in strong terms by the Russian Orthodox Church.
 
Here is the Millennial Statemnt from the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church:

"Also unacceptable is the idea that all the divisions are essentially tragic
misunderstandings, that disagreements seem irreconcilable only because of a
lack of mutual love and a reluctance to realize that, in spite of all the
differences and dissimilarities, there is sufficient unity and harmony in
"what is most important". Our divisions cannot be reduced to human passions,
to egoism, much less to cultural, social and political circumstances which
are secondary from the Church's point of view."

There is more at these links:

http://www.mospat.ru/en/documents/attitude-to-the-non-orthodox
and
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/roc_other_christian_confessions.htm

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« Reply #65 on: April 07, 2010, 09:13:13 AM »

Quote from: His Divine All-Holiness Bartholomew

....the Mother Church of Constantinople...
 

It is worrying to see an untruth contained in an official ecclesiastical proclamation.  This is not setting a good example for the faithful.

For starters Constantinople is not the Mother Church for any of the ancient Patriarchates:  Rome, Alexandria, Antioch or Jerusalem.

It is not the Mother Church for Georgia.

It is not the Mother Church for Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, Cyprus, etc. The holy Apostles created Churches in the cities of Judea, Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, and Italy.  All these Churches and many more besides came into existence without the womb of Constantinople.

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« Reply #66 on: April 07, 2010, 09:31:16 AM »

Whoops; Constantinople is the "Mother Church" of the Church's of Ukraine; Russia; Bulgaria; Serbia; Albania; and Romania, I think, too; not Cyprus, though, it was a part of the Church of Antioch, was it not?
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« Reply #67 on: April 07, 2010, 10:37:44 AM »

Christ is risen!
Whoops; Constantinople is the "Mother Church" of the Church's of Ukraine; Russia; Bulgaria; Serbia; Albania; and Romania, I think, too; not Cyprus, though, it was a part of the Church of Antioch, was it not?


LOL. Not according to Cyprus, but according to the Book of Acts (and much of Cyprus' ecclesiastical history, especially the last couple centuries), yes.

As for Romania, she was evangelized by St. Andrew himself at Tomis, and the Scythian (i.e. proto-Romanians) monks etc. were under Rome, as was Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania.  Then there is the claim of St. Andrew evangelizing Ukraine and Southern Russia himself.
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« Reply #68 on: April 07, 2010, 10:53:23 AM »

The spirited discussion on this topic really points out the difficulties facing the Church in North America and the importance of the upcoming tasks faced by ALL of OUR hierarchs at the Regional Assembly following Pentecost.
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« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2010, 05:23:41 PM »

Christ is risen!
Whoops; Constantinople is the "Mother Church" of the Church's of Ukraine; Russia; Bulgaria; Serbia; Albania; and Romania, I think, too; not Cyprus, though, it was a part of the Church of Antioch, was it not?


LOL. Not according to Cyprus, but according to the Book of Acts (and much of Cyprus' ecclesiastical history, especially the last couple centuries), yes.

As for Romania, she was evangelized by St. Andrew himself at Tomis, and the Scythian (i.e. proto-Romanians) monks etc. were under Rome, as was Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania.  Then there is the claim of St. Andrew evangelizing Ukraine and Southern Russia himself.

I was (wrongly) under the assumption that Romania was evangelized by Sts. Cyril and Methodius?  After all, did not the Romanian Church use Slavonic for many hundred years (up until the 15Th century)?  Was the evangelizing by St Andrew merely an apostolic visit of ancient Christian lore, if so then when was the actual period of Romanian conversion accomplished in recorded history?
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« Reply #70 on: April 30, 2010, 02:12:06 PM »

Quote
the Syriac Patriarchate is the mother church of Asian Oriental Orthodox

Nope, Constantinople is. Oriental Orthodox is even a term used for the emperors (oriental orthodox emperors of Byzantium).

Are you kidding me? You're telling me that you don't know the difference between "Eastern Orthodox" and "Oriental Orthodox" in English?
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« Reply #71 on: April 30, 2010, 02:13:37 PM »


Differences between the OC and RCC= merely political. Your patriarchs have signed papers saying this, so that's all that matters to me.

The Roman church has perverted the doctrine of the Trinity.

The COE could say the same on the OC. Thankfully it does not because it is a tolerant institution which acknowledges the history and culture behind certain things.

I tend to view the three major Eastern Christian traditions as having essentially the same teaching on the doctrine of the Trinity, while varying only in Christology. How would you think that the Byzantine/Oriental churches have changed the doctrine of the Trinity?
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« Reply #72 on: April 30, 2010, 02:17:38 PM »

Christ is risen!
Whoops; Constantinople is the "Mother Church" of the Church's of Ukraine; Russia; Bulgaria; Serbia; Albania; and Romania, I think, too; not Cyprus, though, it was a part of the Church of Antioch, was it not?


LOL. Not according to Cyprus, but according to the Book of Acts (and much of Cyprus' ecclesiastical history, especially the last couple centuries), yes.

As for Romania, she was evangelized by St. Andrew himself at Tomis, and the Scythian (i.e. proto-Romanians) monks etc. were under Rome, as was Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania.  Then there is the claim of St. Andrew evangelizing Ukraine and Southern Russia himself.

I was (wrongly) under the assumption that Romania was evangelized by Sts. Cyril and Methodius?  After all, did not the Romanian Church use Slavonic for many hundred years (up until the 15Th century)? 

That dates from the rise of the Second Bulgarian Empire (13th century), which actually was started by Romanians.


Quote
Was the evangelizing by St Andrew merely an apostolic visit of ancient Christian lore, if so then when was the actual period of Romanian conversion accomplished in recorded history?
It was converted from St. Andrew on.  St. John Cassian, for instance, as well as Dionysius the midget (who invented the BC/AD dating), were Romanians.
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« Reply #73 on: April 30, 2010, 02:40:56 PM »

That dates from the rise of the Second Bulgarian Empire (13th century), which actually was started by Romanians...

It was converted from St. Andrew on.  St. John Cassian, for instance, as well as Dionysius the midget (who invented the BC/AD dating), were Romanians.

What's your definition of Romanian? I haven't seen even the most purist scholars claiming some of that, although the Danube region can get a bit confusing to me, with the Daco-Romans being overrun by and occasionally integrated into settlements of Goths, Scythians, Avars, Bulgars, Cumans, etc.

Do you know of a good historical ethnography, preferably with some treatment of matters Orthodox?
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« Reply #74 on: April 30, 2010, 03:28:15 PM »

Christ is risen!
Whoops; Constantinople is the "Mother Church" of the Church's of Ukraine; Russia; Bulgaria; Serbia; Albania; and Romania, I think, too; not Cyprus, though, it was a part of the Church of Antioch, was it not?


LOL. Not according to Cyprus, but according to the Book of Acts (and much of Cyprus' ecclesiastical history, especially the last couple centuries), yes.

As for Romania, she was evangelized by St. Andrew himself at Tomis, and the Scythian (i.e. proto-Romanians) monks etc. were under Rome, as was Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania.  Then there is the claim of St. Andrew evangelizing Ukraine and Southern Russia himself.

I was (wrongly) under the assumption that Romania was evangelized by Sts. Cyril and Methodius?  After all, did not the Romanian Church use Slavonic for many hundred years (up until the 15Th century)?  Was the evangelizing by St Andrew merely an apostolic visit of ancient Christian lore, if so then when was the actual period of Romanian conversion accomplished in recorded history?
The linguistic evidence points out that proto-Romanians were evangelized in the latin language, that meaning that they received the faith way before Cyril and Methodius started evangelizing the slavic tribes.
Proto-Romanians were under three archiepiscopal/metropolitan sees, mainly:
Tomis
Justiniana Prima
Sirmium
And yes, until the seventh/eighth (?) century these populations must have been under Roman jurisdiction.
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« Reply #75 on: May 10, 2010, 09:15:29 AM »

My difficulty over this issue is that when our clergy meet with the Pope they are meeting with one who believes and proclaims that he has authority as God's ultimate human representitve on earth concerning matters of doctrine. he is not meeting with our bishops as an equal, when he presents himself in a service as Pope he is declaring something which is contrary to the Orthodox faith and I cannot understand how this can be accepted. Dialogue yes, but liturgical acts no. If I have misunderstood something please do correct me.
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« Reply #76 on: May 10, 2010, 09:40:45 AM »

What do you think prompted this message of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's encyclical for this Sunday of Orthodoxy?  Did separated Old Calendarists do something significant recently that the Patriarchate is reacting to?

I'm guessing it has more to do with the "Confession of Faith Against Ecumenism" which came out of the EP's own monks on Mount Athos. This is a backhanded way of saying that the EP can't ignore them any more. Eventually the EP will have to stop pretending that the opposition to ecumenism comes only from some ultra-zealot fringe.
Christ is Risen!

If you poke around this Greek website you will find that the Church of Greece seems to have woken up with a bump because of Ravenna 2007 and Cyprus 2009.  So it is not just Athos which is now confronting the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I suspect it was the unexpected shock of the opposition of the Greek episcopate to the Cyprus Meeting in late 2009 which has prompted this 2010 letter from the Patriarchate.

The website contains mainly official documents from the Patriarch to the Church of Greece, from the Synod of the Church of Greece and from individual Greek bishops.  It is very heartening to see the Church of Greece now expressing the desire that the bilateral dialogue with Rome must be brought under the surveillance of the bishops of the Church and not left in the hands of a small group of enthusiasts as has been the case in the past.

The two sections to investigate on the website are

1.  Papism

http://www.oodegr.com/english/papismos/papismos.htm

2.   Ecumenism

http://www.oodegr.com/english/oikoumenismos/oikoumenismos.htm

By the way, be sure to see the April 2009 "A Confession of Faith Against Ecumenism" signed by many Greek bishops, archimandrites, abbots, academic theologians, priests, monks and nuns, etc.  This also would have been a factor which prompted the Patriarch's letter.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/oikoumenismos/omologia_pistews.htm

I think we should stress that this opposition is not a question of fanatical elements in the Church.  It is now coming from the hierarchs and from the upper levels of the Church of Greece.

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« Reply #77 on: September 19, 2010, 02:57:10 PM »

I agree with His All Holiness that dialogue is needed, and that the truth has nothing to fear from open, honest dialogue with other Christians. Where I disagree is that there has been no deleterious affect on Orthodoxy since this dialogue was first pioneered in the early 20th Century. One Orthodox priest I once heard used the following imagery to make this point: Imagine, he said, a giant circle in which was contained all the truth of Christian revelation -- the Holy Scriptures, the liturgy, the Ecumenical Councils, the holy canons, the lives and teachings of the saints, etc. If the point of dialogue is to call other Christians to return to this fullness of truth, then it is praiseworthy. More often than not, he said, the Orthodox have failed to bring others into the circle but instead have themselves been drawn to the boundaries (and often BEYOND) of the circle.

Too often we find ourselves willing to compromise and change our standards in order to seem reasonable and "in the mainstream" according to other Christian confessions. Before dialogue with those outside the Church moves forward, I would like to see a similarly enthusiastic effort at healing the divisions within the Orthodox world that have resulted from our compromise with other Christians.
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« Reply #78 on: September 19, 2010, 05:36:18 PM »

I agree with His All Holiness that dialogue is needed, and that the truth has nothing to fear from open, honest dialogue with other Christians. Where I disagree is that there has been no deleterious affect on Orthodoxy since this dialogue was first pioneered in the early 20th Century. One Orthodox priest I once heard used the following imagery to make this point: Imagine, he said, a giant circle in which was contained all the truth of Christian revelation -- the Holy Scriptures, the liturgy, the Ecumenical Councils, the holy canons, the lives and teachings of the saints, etc. If the point of dialogue is to call other Christians to return to this fullness of truth, then it is praiseworthy. More often than not, he said, the Orthodox have failed to bring others into the circle but instead have themselves been drawn to the boundaries (and often BEYOND) of the circle.

Too often we find ourselves willing to compromise and change our standards in order to seem reasonable and "in the mainstream" according to other Christian confessions. Before dialogue with those outside the Church moves forward, I would like to see a similarly enthusiastic effort at healing the divisions within the Orthodox world that have resulted from our compromise with other Christians.

Agreed!  Grin
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