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Author Topic: South America's “Episcopal Assembly” Off To Bumpy Start in Sao Paulo  (Read 4072 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 26, 2010, 10:08:07 AM »


http://www.ocanews.org/news/SouthAmericaAssembly4.26.10.html

4.26.10

Chambesy unfolds
South America's “Episcopal Assembly” Off To Bumpy Start in Sao Paulo


The first gathering of the “Episcopal Assembly of the Orthodox Churches [sic] in South America” met April 16-18 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to a statement by the host, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: “All the Orthodox Churches participated in this meeting (Patriarchate of Constantinople, Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarchate of Moscow (including ROCOR), Patriarchate of Romania) with the presence of ten hierarchs, the only one missing being the Bishop of the Patriarchate of Serbia, because of his participation in the meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops in Serbia.” This statement was later amended with the discovery that two hierarchs of the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Brazil had not been invited, an oversight which was later admitted by the organizers to be “unintentional” and was “caused by a lack of accurate information about the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Brazil”.

This explanation was questioned by the Polish Church, since the diocese of several hundred persons in multiple parishes, led by an Archbishop and Bishop, has existed for decades. Fr. Andrzej Kuzma, one of the representatives of the Polish Church at Chambesy in June 2009, was quoted on that Church’s website as stating that “The hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have their own way of interpreting the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon and have difficulty in recognizing the canonicity of our diocese in Brazil.” (The Polish diocese in Brazil was a missionary outgrowth of the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Spain and Portugal, which was an indigenous Church created in the 1980s when a member of the former royal family of Portugal converted to Orthodoxy and later became a monk and bishop. At the insistence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the former Polish jurisdiction in Spain and Portugal was transferred to the control of Constantinople in August
 2006. The diocese in Brazil was not.)

One other source of confusion concerning the meeting was the fact that Bishop Alejo of Mexico (OCA) was not invited to the gathering of South America bishops. He is scheduled to attend the North American Assembly in New York, to be held at the end of May instead. This is explained by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in that originally three Assemblies were discussed: one each for North America, Central America and South America. In fact only two Assemblies were established: one for North America and one for South America. Since the OCA Mexican Diocese has no parishes outside of Mexico, while the Constantinopolitan and Antiochian Dioceses in Mexico include both Central and South American parishes, those hierarchs were invited to the South American gathering, while +Alejo was not. This explanation is not fully accepted either, as Metropolitan Athenagoras stated publicly late last year, when he was under the impression there would be a separate Central American
 Assembly, that he was not going to invite Bishop Alejo to that proposed gathering either.

According to the official press release concerning the Sao Paulo gathering “The meeting discussed the adoption of a Spanish version of the documents approved in Chambesy, and the situation of each Orthodox Church in South America was presented.” The Assembly established a 5 member Executive Committee for the 10 member group, and set forth several recommendations to be dealt with on an inter-Orthodox level. although no details were given.

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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 10:41:29 AM »

Mark Stokoe has made one mistake. The website that reported the fact of not inviting the Polish Orthodox Hierachs is not the official website of PAOC. It's more like his own site or orthodoxie.com. I've sent this to the ocanews.org editors.
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 10:56:45 AM »

Mark Stokoe has made one mistake. The website that reported the fact of not inviting the Polish Orthodox Hierachs is not the official website of PAOC. It's more like his own site or orthodoxie.com. I've sent this to the ocanews.org editors.

On the other hand, the fact remains that the Polish Church was not acknowledged by nor was its participated mentioned in the official communique of the South American EA. If this was an oversight, the official communique should have mentioned it with some regret. It did not do so. The salient fact is that “The hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have their own way of interpreting the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon and have difficulty in recognizing the canonicity of our diocese in Brazil” as was said by Father Andrzej Kuzma, one of the representatives of the Polish Church at Chambesy.

I would submit, at the risk of being accused of playing a broken record, that the problem is the novel and profoundly erroneous interpretation of Canon 28 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Note: Dear Father Deacon Serb, I hope you have noticed that I have not mentioned the Patriarch by name. I guess there is some hope for me, no?
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 11:16:54 AM »

Christ is risen!

http://www.ocanews.org/news/SouthAmericaAssembly4.26.10.html

4.26.10

Chambesy unfolds
South America's “Episcopal Assembly” Off To Bumpy Start in Sao Paulo


The first gathering of the “Episcopal Assembly of the Orthodox Churches [sic] in South America” met April 16-18 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to a statement by the host, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: “All the Orthodox Churches participated in this meeting (Patriarchate of Constantinople, Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarchate of Moscow (including ROCOR), Patriarchate of Romania) with the presence of ten hierarchs, the only one missing being the Bishop of the Patriarchate of Serbia, because of his participation in the meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops in Serbia.” This statement was later amended with the discovery that two hierarchs of the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Brazil had not been invited, an oversight which was later admitted by the organizers to be “unintentional” and was “caused by a lack of accurate information about the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Brazil”.

This explanation was questioned by the Polish Church, since the diocese of several hundred persons in multiple parishes, led by an Archbishop and Bishop, has existed for decades. Fr. Andrzej Kuzma, one of the representatives of the Polish Church at Chambesy in June 2009, was quoted on that Church’s website as stating that “The hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have their own way of interpreting the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon and have difficulty in recognizing the canonicity of our diocese in Brazil.” (The Polish diocese in Brazil was a missionary outgrowth of the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Spain and Portugal, which was an indigenous Church created in the 1980s when a member of the former royal family of Portugal converted to Orthodoxy and later became a monk and bishop. At the insistence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the former Polish jurisdiction in Spain and Portugal was transferred to the control of Constantinople in August
 2006
. The diocese in Brazil was not.)
What was the story behind that?

And more importantly, who was the former royal and his story and witness?

Quote
One other source of confusion concerning the meeting was the fact that Bishop Alejo of Mexico (OCA) was not invited to the gathering of South America bishops. He is scheduled to attend the North American Assembly in New York, to be held at the end of May instead. This is explained by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in that originally three Assemblies were discussed: one each for North America, Central America and South America. In fact only two Assemblies were established: one for North America and one for South America. Since the OCA Mexican Diocese has no parishes outside of Mexico, while the Constantinopolitan and Antiochian Dioceses in Mexico include both Central and South American parishes, those hierarchs were invited to the South American gathering, while +Alejo was not. This explanation is not fully accepted either, as Metropolitan Athenagoras stated publicly late last year, when he was under the impression there would be a separate Central American
 Assembly, that he was not going to invite Bishop Alejo to that proposed gathering either.

Do we have a source on that?

Quote
According to the official press release concerning the Sao Paulo gathering “The meeting discussed the adoption of a Spanish version of the documents approved in Chambesy, and the situation of each Orthodox Church in South America was presented.” The Assembly established a 5 member Executive Committee for the 10 member group, and set forth several recommendations to be dealt with on an inter-Orthodox level. although no details were given.
So they were dissed (disrespected) not only as Poles, but Brazilians as well.  What could go wrong?

The text of the article:
http://www.iglesiaortodoxa.org.mx/informacion/?p=2955

The 16th and 18th of April marked the history of the Orthodox Church in South America, due to the realization of the "First Episcopal Assembly of the Orthodox Churches of South-America", in the headquarters of the Antiochian Archepiscopal Diocese of São Paulo (Brazil), having as the host H.E. Monsenor Damaskinos. The bishops of Orthodox Churches (Patriarchate of Constantinople, Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarchate of Moscow and Patriarchate of Romenia) took part in the assembly,which counted with the presence of 10 hierarchs. The only one missing was the Bishop of the Patriarchate of Serbia, who as participating in the Serbian Holy Synod.

Given the blow up about the Polish bishops, this statement is inexcusable.



To me, this shows that they are *still* in doubt about the canonicity of the Polish Bishops. I don't know if they decided anything about this issue in particular, but truth is that communication of their part with Metropolitan Sawas is the only path to have things clear for them.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 11:17:55 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 11:23:37 AM »

Taking into account that Greek Priest in Rio (and Russian, Serbian and Antiochian ones also) have concelebrated many times with the clergy of the 'doubted canonicity' does not speak well about Met. Tarasios' governance. If they are uncanonical for Constantinople how on Earth was he allowed to do so, if they are canonical - why they weren't invited.

I don't know much about the Polish Parishes in Spain, but the ones in Portugal went into some strange cults and schismed eventually and the Italian one was indeed transferred to the Constantinople.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 11:31:55 AM by mike » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 01:20:43 PM »

Another issue that should be corrected is:

Quote
The first gathering of the “Episcopal Assembly of the Orthodox Churches [sic] in South America” met April 16-18 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to a statement by the host, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: “All the Orthodox Churches participated in this meeting (Patriarchate of Constantinople, Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarchate of Moscow (including ROCOR), Patriarchate of Romania) with the presence of ten hierarchs, the only one missing being the Bishop of the Patriarchate of Serbia, because of his participation in the meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops in Serbia.” This statement was later amended with the discovery that two hierarchs of the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Brazil had not been invited, an oversight which was later admitted by the organizers to be “unintentional” and was “caused by a lack of accurate information about the Polish Orthodox Diocese in Brazil”.


The order of the facts as they happened is:

Invitations were sent to all but the Polish bishops - and as we are informed now to the OCA bishop;

Due to commotion on the internet and even before the Assembly started, the organizers were informed of the omission and published an apology declaring it was not intentional;

*After* this apology, after the event was over, they published the press release that claimed that the only canonical bishop not present was Don Mitrophan, the Serbian bishop. So, even after the mistake was acknowledged, the Polish bishops were not invited (what would be perfectly acceptable with a minor apology since Rio is just 45 min. away from São Paulo by plane) *and* the release complicated the issue since it fails to mention their absence, implying by the sentence "the only one missing being the Bishop of the Patriarchate of Serbia", that there was no mistake. One might question then: what is it? Are the organizers sorry to, by mistake, have not invited the canonical bishops of the Polish Brazilian diocese as the apology declares, or, as the press release implies, they are still (erroneously) convinced that the bishops really should not have been invited?

Quote
Quote
According to the official press release concerning the Sao Paulo gathering “The meeting discussed the adoption of a Spanish version of the documents approved in Chambesy, and the situation of each Orthodox Church in South America was presented.” The Assembly established a 5 member Executive Committee for the 10 member group, and set forth several recommendations to be dealt with on an inter-Orthodox level. although no details were given.

So they were dissed (disrespected) not only as Poles, but Brazilians as well.  What could go wrong?

This points to an issue I have mentioned elsewhere. Brazil alone is half the continent and it is a culture and society very different from our Hispanic hermanos. The fact that the language is different means that an entire paralel effort of translations is needed. This is just the most explicit difference, but it is far from being the only significant one. Besides, there are Orthodox parishes in various states, but just four bishops who live in the country, two of which are the Polish bishops who are, so far, being ignored by the Assembly. The other two, Don Jeremias and Don Damaskinos, although receptive of Brazilians in their churches even in the clergy, lead jurisdictions that are, for historical reasons, concerned first and foremost with their respective ethnic groups. The "forgotten" bishops, along with the Serbian diocese, which was not present as well, are the only ones who have an active missionary focus. If it suggests any bias, it would be a bias against missionary groups. I really don't think that there is any problem in having focus in groups caring for the ethnic communities and others focusing on mission among the natives, as long as, of course, both groups see each other as complementary and not as a threat or obstacle.

In Brazil, in contrast to other countries, things usually happen from "up-down" and not "down-up" socially. What I mean is that while in some other countries you have first the people mobilizing to do something and that turns into new social institutions and values, in Brazil it is the institutions that have historically come first. The country itself was created this way and got its independence this way (I'm trying to attach a table that compares some historical milestones of Brazil and the US and that shows that formal institutions *form* society in Brazil and not the opposite).

What this means is that the creation of a formal institutional Brazilian synod (or "episcopal assembly") is more likely to form a Brazilan Orthodox community than the opposite. The missionary Polish and Serbian churches are a case in point. Now, of course, if this institution fails to demonstrate what differentiates Orthodoxy from heterodoxies, mainly the Latins, there will not even be a message to be sent accross. Why would one go to the "exotic", run-by-foreigners "Roman Church", if one has the familiar, home grown, established for centuries, Roman Church? Why choose one over the other if "we all believe the same things under different wordings" as the ecumenists preach? I think that the Orthodox church in Brazil has been suffering from an accute lack of creativity for expressing love *and* truth regarding the relations with the heterodoxies. Double-baptisms, double-marriages are accepted on a "don't ask, don't tell" basis, giving communion to heterodox is more the rule than the exception, not to mention the downplay of the theological differences. I think that none of this is necessary to have a healthy and positive dialogue with the heterodoxies and even collaboration in the secular issues that affect all Christian communities. Plus, marking these differences in a loving and civilized way would clarify and highlight Orthodox truth.

The Moscow Patriarchate has been signaling in the last couple of years interest in initiating missions in Latin-America. I hope that is the case and, to be honest, that a healthy competition from the Ecumenical Patriarchate over missionizing in South-America produces a real difference in attitudes regarding this continent.


« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 01:51:42 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 02:29:38 PM »

I would submit, at the risk of being accused of playing a broken record, that the problem is the novel and profoundly erroneous interpretation of Canon 28 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Just as a point of clarification: Balsamon and Zonaras, while not in agreement on all points, are often quoted rather selectively. They understood Canon 28 in much the same way as Met. Panteleimon Rodopoulos, applying it in their time to the Rus and all lands outside of the established church. That reflected the 12th century understanding. The same is found earlier. Parts of the Nomocanons were translated into Slavonic in the 11th century, to which the editor made sure to append a copy of Canon 28, translating the famous "en tois barbarikois" as "v pogan'shyikh" (among pagans).

I learned that from Dimitri Obolensky, and you can't get any more Rus than that!
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 03:14:33 PM »

The "forgotten" bishops, along with the Serbian diocese, which was not present as well, are the only ones who have an active missionary focus. If it suggests any bias, it would be a bias against missionary groups. I really don't think that there is any problem in having focus in groups caring for the ethnic communities and others focusing on mission among the natives, as long as, of course, both groups see each other as complementary and not as a threat or obstacle.

If the Œcumenical Patriarchate is going to be the leader of "missions" in Latin America, then sadly I wouldn't count on too much. It seems that His All-Holiness Bartholomew is more concerned about getting along with the so-called "other lung" of the "Church", as if She were not already whole. The business of the Patriarchate unfortunately seems to be focused on unity with the Vatican, if not tickling their ears at every opportunity. I simply cannot imagine any sort of outreach taking place to those affiliated with the Vatican coming from their camp. I hope with all of my heart that I am wrong. But to imagine His All-Holiness meeting with a Vatican delegation and announcing that we, the Orthodox Church are the true Catholic Church, and that they are a false "Catholic" Church, and that they must recant their innovations and errors to be united to us is unimaginable at this point. In ecumenical dialogues fifty years ago, Orthodox delegates were still proclaiming this amongst the sects and schismatics, but they were muzzled by the Œcumenical Patriarchate from making separate statements that were so bold at these meetings, because they were seen as uncharitable and rude. Apparently so-called courtesy has supplanted Truth, but I digress.

I can see the Serbian Church engaging in missions there for the simply fact that they have not yet been overrun by those who reject traditional Orthodox teaching on the need for the heterodox to be united to the Church. Special agreements with the Vatican and other sectarian Protestants actually state that the Orthodox Churches to not expect them to disavow their historically conditioned and culturally tailored forms for Christianity for Orthodoxy, and that sufficient grace exists within their respective confessions. If that is the case, the why did any of us convert? Some of us are giving up a lot by doing this, including severing many family ties for Truth. If this is indeed unnecessary, then perhaps I should just go wherever my wife is comfortable with, or better yet, stop attending church again.

Just venting!  Wink
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 03:16:03 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 03:43:12 PM »

I would submit, at the risk of being accused of playing a broken record, that the problem is the novel and profoundly erroneous interpretation of Canon 28 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Just as a point of clarification: Balsamon and Zonaras, while not in agreement on all points, are often quoted rather selectively. They understood Canon 28 in much the same way as Met. Panteleimon Rodopoulos,
Yes, the Metropolitan shows Patriarch Balsamon "of Antioch" (he never set foot out of Constantinople) at his finest:
Quote
Commemoration of the Primate in the Provinces Known As Neae Chorae in Greece. An Ecclesiological and Canonical Issue
...2]. In his replies to canonical questions put to him by MARK, Patriarch of Alexandria and to a query on the subject of the liturgies read in places belonging to Alexandria and Jerusalem, VALSAMON, Theodoros, Patriarch of Antioch (end 12th century), had this to recommend:... “all the churches of God should follow the custom of New Rome, i. e. Constantinople...
http://www.patriarchate.org/greek/docdisplay.php?lang=en&id=290&tla=en
And so the ancient and Apostolic DL of Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch were suppressed.  One day I'll have to see what Pat. Balsamon did with the canons on absent and negligent hiearchs. And what they have to say about canon 17 of Chalcedon.

Quote
applying it in their time to the Rus and all lands outside of the established church.

Like Scandinavia? England? I mention those because Scandinavians and Angles were both in Constantinople in the 11th century, even having Churches in New Rome, and no one seems to have questioned that they were under the jurisdiction of Old Rome, not New Rome.  Ethiopia, from Balsamon and Zonoras' viewpoint outside the established Church, was, and is, always under Alexandria, not Constantinople.
The Varangians of Byzantium By Benedict Benedikz, Sigfús Blöndal
http://books.google.com/books?id=vFRug14ui7gC&pg=PA111&lpg=PA111&dq=Varangian+Church+in+Constantinople&source=bl&ots=Wkqq67PUmm&sig=PB3rMuG6as1LFP2u-aj2lPy0e9g&hl=en&ei=kefVS6fWEYWoNs6DvdID&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAYQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=English%20Church%20in%20constantinople&f=false

Quote
That reflected the 12th century understanding. The same is found earlier. Parts of the Nomocanons were translated into Slavonic in the 11th century, to which the editor made sure to append a copy of Canon 28, translating the famous "en tois barbarikois" as "v pogan'shyikh" (among pagans).

I learned that from Dimitri Obolensky, and you can't get any more Rus than that!
He calls it "casuitry," as it is:
http://books.google.com/books?id=jv6jcwjW9WUC&pg=PA132&dq=Dimitri+Obolensky+casuistry&cd=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=jv6jcwjW9WUC&pg=PA152&dq=Dimitri+Obolensky+casuistry+centralization&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
He shows the context of there being an emperor in New Rome, which of course was the cause of the elevation of Constantinople in canon 28 in the first place, as it plainly itself states.
http://books.google.com/books?id=jv6jcwjW9WUC&pg=PA175&dq=Dimitri+Obolensky+Basil+I+revolt&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
Byzantium and the Slavs By Dimitri Obolensky
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 03:46:27 PM »

The "forgotten" bishops, along with the Serbian diocese, which was not present as well, are the only ones who have an active missionary focus. If it suggests any bias, it would be a bias against missionary groups. I really don't think that there is any problem in having focus in groups caring for the ethnic communities and others focusing on mission among the natives, as long as, of course, both groups see each other as complementary and not as a threat or obstacle.

If the Œcumenical Patriarchate is going to be the leader of "missions" in Latin America, then sadly I wouldn't count on too much. It seems that His All-Holiness Bartholomew is more concerned about getting along with the so-called "other lung" of the "Church", as if She were not already whole. The business of the Patriarchate unfortunately seems to be focused on unity with the Vatican, if not tickling their ears at every opportunity. I simply cannot imagine any sort of outreach taking place to those affiliated with the Vatican coming from their camp. I hope with all of my heart that I am wrong. But to imagine His All-Holiness meeting with a Vatican delegation and announcing that we, the Orthodox Church are the true Catholic Church, and that they are a false "Catholic" Church, and that they must recant their innovations and errors to be united to us is unimaginable at this point. In ecumenical dialogues fifty years ago, Orthodox delegates were still proclaiming this amongst the sects and schismatics, but they were muzzled by the Œcumenical Patriarchate from making separate statements that were so bold at these meetings, because they were seen as uncharitable and rude. Apparently so-called courtesy has supplanted Truth, but I digress.

I can see the Serbian Church engaging in missions there for the simply fact that they have not yet been overrun by those who reject traditional Orthodox teaching on the need for the heterodox to be united to the Church. Special agreements with the Vatican and other sectarian Protestants actually state that the Orthodox Churches to not expect them to disavow their historically conditioned and culturally tailored forms for Christianity for Orthodoxy, and that sufficient grace exists within their respective confessions. If that is the case, the why did any of us convert? Some of us are giving up a lot by doing this, including severing many family ties for Truth. If this is indeed unnecessary, then perhaps I should just go wherever my wife is comfortable with, or better yet, stop attending church again.

Just venting!  Wink
Apostolic means "sent."  The Church is sent on the Great Commission, and that includes to the heterodox. Any Church not "sent" is not the One, Holy, Catholic (i.e. Universal, good everywhere, including Latin America and Incas and Mayans) and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 04:32:25 PM »

Well, that is an answer I would like to hear from the Orthodox who downplay the differences between us and the heterodox: Do you think there is enough reason for a Latin or a Protestant to sacrifice his/her life, literally or in terms of social life, to convert to Orthodoxy? Or do you think that if the struggle will be too fierce, if they were to loose family or jobs, they'd better not convert? Because, it is this "blood" that many converts shed everyday, dying every day and it is this "blood" that the excesses in aproximation make little of.

Said that, I am *for* cooperation on secular issues such as lobbying for movements like Pro-Life, against homossexual marriage, against the slender of pastors of whatever denomination, against the slanders that are against the heterodoxies themselves, etc. Maintaining the colegial tradition of the Church in face of "infallible" pretenses does not pressupose I am to accept excesses such as that all popes are evil persons, or that the Pope did nothing for the Jews during WW II, or that put Inquisition and the Crusades out of context that does change their meaning significantly. I acknowledge my Western tradition, I admire it in the many positive things it has, I see the many negative aspects it has and I understand that Culture and Civilization, as good as they can be, are inherently human works and, therefore, fatally flawed. I do not want or hope for the end of Western Civilization, because I know that whatever culture substitutes it will be equally or even more flawed. Western civilization has shown us the value of innovation and progress, something that was never as deeply cultivated in other cultures as it is in the West. Its very mistakes come from the misuse of these virtues on areas that are wider than human action: theology, to bring the analysis home, is one of them; or areas that are immoral to use them such the psychology of the masses.

I am *for* dialogue with the heterodox that is based on real tolerance, that is, the tolerance that acknowledges not only neutral differences, but *mistakes* and *errors* properly said and, like God, respect the free-willed choice of human beings to pursue even these mistakes when they clearly do not want to listento us, and *accompanied* by a loving and tireless effort to open their spiritual eyes and soften their hearts to the Truth. It also doesn't mean that one must storm into a Latin church shouting callings of repentence, nor that it would be justified to offend a group of Latin old ladies who ask you to pray with them by calling them heretics. Acts such as these clearly do not come from Love. As a teacher, I know that simply pointing the finger and calling one "Wrong" with an accusative tone does not help in anything. But also one cannot simply let a student go out of the class thinking that 2+2 is 5. And good sense also must inform us that people who do not even see us as their teachers do not want to be treated as students. In sum, respect does not preclude thinking our neighbour is wrong, it just imitates God in knowing there is a limit in trying to convince people and after that you have to let people live according to their own choices.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 05:01:39 PM »

I would submit, at the risk of being accused of playing a broken record, that the problem is the novel and profoundly erroneous interpretation of Canon 28 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Just as a point of clarification: Balsamon and Zonaras, while not in agreement on all points, are often quoted rather selectively. They understood Canon 28 in much the same way as Met. Panteleimon Rodopoulos,
Yes, the Metropolitan shows Patriarch Balsamon "of Antioch" (he never set foot out of Constantinople) at his finest:
Quote
Commemoration of the Primate in the Provinces Known As Neae Chorae in Greece. An Ecclesiological and Canonical Issue
...2]. In his replies to canonical questions put to him by MARK, Patriarch of Alexandria and to a query on the subject of the liturgies read in places belonging to Alexandria and Jerusalem, VALSAMON, Theodoros, Patriarch of Antioch (end 12th century), had this to recommend:... “all the churches of God should follow the custom of New Rome, i. e. Constantinople...

Interesting quote. I was thinking of P. G., CXXXVII, col. 489, which is one of the sections that  Obolensky examines in his lengthy article, Byzantium, Kiev and Moscow: A Study in Ecclesiastical Relations. Basically, Balsamon says that the Pontic diocese had jurisdiction over the Alans and the Thracian diocese had jurisdiction over the Rus.

When Constantinople received jurisdiction over the Balkans (and good chunks of S. Italy) and started to colonize it in the 7th century, most of the land, even modern-day Greece, was filled with Slavic pagans of various kinds; for the most part, these areas were also outside of the actual political authority of the Empire. Thus, the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate extended even further than the actual Empire -- what eventually became the Orthodox Commonwealth -- and, in the Byzantine mind, was tied to the evangelization and governance of the various unChristianized lands that always stood over the horizon.

Anyway, the point is that this (and this particular understanding of Canon 28) is not a new idea.
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 05:57:01 PM »

I am no expert in canon law. From my understand of the "great commission", preaching to all nations is a duty of every individual Christian community, regardless of being Constantinople or a parish in Bronx. Common sense tells us that concerning international politics, one should not try to acquire influence in the territory of an already Orthodox country. Constantinople could evangelize elsewhere, not because it had an exclusive comission, but it had the best means. It means that Constantinople has the right to evangelize in "barbarian lands", but not an exclusive right.

For a lot of time, under Ottoman rule, they did not have any means at all, and Moscow had quite some. Today both jurisdictions are coming out into the globalised scenario for different reasons. The MP is at last free of the socialist oppression and the EP has found international channels to go round Turkish repression. In my humble opinion, most of the aproximation of the EP with odd ideas such as ecologism and approximations with Rome are more related with the force and visibility it gives to stand against Turkish government than anything else. I do see the danger of walking this thin line and trying to counter Turkish national-religious oppression by counting on global secularized new world order. The Patriarch, again IMHO, is calling upon forces that are far more terrible than any local oppression could be, and far more (worldly) powerful than he can deal with. The Church can never be defeated, even by the new global elite, but the Patriarchate, as an institution, can. If one lesson should have been learned by History, since Constantinople and through Serbia, Georgia and other cases in modern times is that when fire is ablaze the western friends will not come to the rescue. Ecologists and Rome will make use of the EP as long as they see it fit for them, as long as they can use it to put up a show that support their own causes, which is the transfusion of their own blood and soul into the physical body of the EP. If supporting the EP proves to be too costly, even in terms of status, if they feel they would have to annoy even bigger allies, they would leave the EP alone right away.

That is why, I think, that the EP is pushing so strongly for Canon 28. If they had jurisdiction over North-America (the wealthiest most influential part of the world), plus the aid of minor places like South and Central America, Oceania, etc. they would have their own independent network of influence and power, becoming de facto independent from both Western "friends" and Turkey. My only fear is that global elites (or Rome) use that to "swallow" all this network by actually taking over the EP from inside. Since the Church is no patriarchate in particular, no jurisdiction, not even the EP or the MP should count on Christ's promise of the absolute resistence of the Church as regarding their group in particular. Groups may and do fall out of the Church. Sometimes a parish, sometimes entire nations.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 06:15:57 PM »

My only fear is that global elites (or Rome) use that to "swallow" all this network by actually taking over the EP from inside. Since the Church is no patriarchate in particular, no jurisdiction, not even the EP or the MP should count on Christ's promise of the absolute resistence of the Church as regarding their group in particular. Groups may and do fall out of the Church. Sometimes a parish, sometimes entire nations.

Many believe that the Œcumenical Patriarchate was already usurped in the 1920's by the Greek government, such as the Greek Old Calendarists, and they make fairly convincing case for this.

Of course, this has happened at numerous other points in history, and they seem to only focus on the last century and its exploits, ignoring the fact that the patriarchate has been occupied by numerous corrupt individuals throughout the Ottoman period. It doesn't make the situation OK, but it does show that it is not some recent development; it has been happening off and on for centuries. The patriarchate has fallen to numerous heresies since its elevation, and I think that it's possible to make the case that they are in heresy now (although I am not entirely convinced of this yet). St. Maximus the Confessor had to the courage to stand against them, but today many bishops appear afraid of conflict.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2010, 06:30:40 PM »

I would submit, at the risk of being accused of playing a broken record, that the problem is the novel and profoundly erroneous interpretation of Canon 28 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Just as a point of clarification: Balsamon and Zonaras, while not in agreement on all points, are often quoted rather selectively. They understood Canon 28 in much the same way as Met. Panteleimon Rodopoulos,
Yes, the Metropolitan shows Patriarch Balsamon "of Antioch" (he never set foot out of Constantinople) at his finest:
Quote
Commemoration of the Primate in the Provinces Known As Neae Chorae in Greece. An Ecclesiological and Canonical Issue
...2]. In his replies to canonical questions put to him by MARK, Patriarch of Alexandria and to a query on the subject of the liturgies read in places belonging to Alexandria and Jerusalem, VALSAMON, Theodoros, Patriarch of Antioch (end 12th century), had this to recommend:... “all the churches of God should follow the custom of New Rome, i. e. Constantinople...

Interesting quote. I was thinking of P. G., CXXXVII, col. 489, which is one of the sections that  Obolensky examines in his lengthy article, Byzantium, Kiev and Moscow: A Study in Ecclesiastical Relations. Basically, Balsamon says that the Pontic diocese had jurisdiction over the Alans and the Thracian diocese had jurisdiction over the Rus.

When Constantinople received jurisdiction over the Balkans (and good chunks of S. Italy) and started to colonize it in the 7th century, most of the land, even modern-day Greece, was filled with Slavic pagans of various kinds; for the most part, these areas were also outside of the actual political authority of the Empire. Thus, the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate extended even further than the actual Empire -- what eventually became the Orthodox Commonwealth -- and, in the Byzantine mind, was tied to the evangelization and governance of the various unChristianized lands that always stood over the horizon.

Anyway, the point is that this (and this particular understanding of Canon 28) is not a new idea.

You are making a good point in saying that even back in the 7th Century, the Patriarchate of Constantinople was thinking about going beyond the powers allocated to her by Canon 28. This is nothing unknown to folks who have a rudimentary knowledge of history. It was a fact of life that the de facto jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople was intimately tied to the power projection/capabilities of the Eastern Empire. I have posted extensively on how that worked with the Bulgarians. No, what we are talking about is not naked power but good order in the Church based on principles that are embodied in canon 28 among others.
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2010, 06:34:30 PM »

I am no expert in canon law. From my understand of the "great commission", preaching to all nations is a duty of every individual Christian community, regardless of being Constantinople or a parish in Bronx. Common sense tells us that concerning international politics, one should not try to acquire influence in the territory of an already Orthodox country. Constantinople could evangelize elsewhere, not because it had an exclusive comission, but it had the best means. It means that Constantinople has the right to evangelize in "barbarian lands", but not an exclusive right.

For a lot of time, under Ottoman rule, they did not have any means at all, and Moscow had quite some. Today both jurisdictions are coming out into the globalised scenario for different reasons. The MP is at last free of the socialist oppression and the EP has found international channels to go round Turkish repression. In my humble opinion, most of the aproximation of the EP with odd ideas such as ecologism and approximations with Rome are more related with the force and visibility it gives to stand against Turkish government than anything else. I do see the danger of walking this thin line and trying to counter Turkish national-religious oppression by counting on global secularized new world order. The Patriarch, again IMHO, is calling upon forces that are far more terrible than any local oppression could be, and far more (worldly) powerful than he can deal with. The Church can never be defeated, even by the new global elite, but the Patriarchate, as an institution, can. If one lesson should have been learned by History, since Constantinople and through Serbia, Georgia and other cases in modern times is that when fire is ablaze the western friends will not come to the rescue. Ecologists and Rome will make use of the EP as long as they see it fit for them, as long as they can use it to put up a show that support their own causes, which is the transfusion of their own blood and soul into the physical body of the EP. If supporting the EP proves to be too costly, even in terms of status, if they feel they would have to annoy even bigger allies, they would leave the EP alone right away.

That is why, I think, that the EP is pushing so strongly for Canon 28. If they had jurisdiction over North-America (the wealthiest most influential part of the world), plus the aid of minor places like South and Central America, Oceania, etc. they would have their own independent network of influence and power, becoming de facto independent from both Western "friends" and Turkey. My only fear is that global elites (or Rome) use that to "swallow" all this network by actually taking over the EP from inside. Since the Church is no patriarchate in particular, no jurisdiction, not even the EP or the MP should count on Christ's promise of the absolute resistence of the Church as regarding their group in particular. Groups may and do fall out of the Church. Sometimes a parish, sometimes entire nations.

I agree with you, particularly those sections of your post that I have highlighted in bold.
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2010, 06:37:32 PM »

I am convinced that whatever comes out of the EA process, there will be dissatisfaction and further schism.
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2010, 06:44:35 PM »

I am convinced that whatever comes out of the EA process, there will be dissatisfaction and further schism.

Well let's pray things go smoother than that!
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2010, 06:53:28 PM »

I don't know, many of us seem afraid, angry and reliving old prejudices or old slights. I hope that we can all be better than that.
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2010, 07:28:14 PM »

Let us not forget that there is plenty of misinformation out there compared is credible news / gossip. It would be prudent to pray for the Lord to calm the ragings of His nations. I truly believe that there will be much more unity in the future but don't expect old habits to die without a fight. If anything, prayer is needed.

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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2010, 07:55:35 PM »

I've expected something more specific from the Priest close to Met. Athenagoras.
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2010, 08:21:56 PM »

I've expected something more specific from the Priest close to Met. Athenagoras.

I would write and ask again Mike. Write to the Metropolitan himself but with these type of matters it is not unusual that there is little or no response. Especially, since you do not represent the Polish Orthodox Church. If it is an issue between hierarchy then more often then not it is worked out within the hierarchy.
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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2010, 10:20:28 PM »

If it is an issue between hierarchy then more often then not it is worked out within the hierarchy.

Yes, Father. The sentence in the press release about a commitment to solve issues inter-orthodoxily is rather unusual and suggests that there were differences between the hierarchs (which is natural) that they have decided not to make public, at least for now. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing with the Polish bishops was one of them.
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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2010, 11:29:18 PM »

I would submit, at the risk of being accused of playing a broken record, that the problem is the novel and profoundly erroneous interpretation of Canon 28 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Just as a point of clarification: Balsamon and Zonaras, while not in agreement on all points, are often quoted rather selectively. They understood Canon 28 in much the same way as Met. Panteleimon Rodopoulos,
Yes, the Metropolitan shows Patriarch Balsamon "of Antioch" (he never set foot out of Constantinople) at his finest:
Quote
Commemoration of the Primate in the Provinces Known As Neae Chorae in Greece. An Ecclesiological and Canonical Issue
...2]. In his replies to canonical questions put to him by MARK, Patriarch of Alexandria and to a query on the subject of the liturgies read in places belonging to Alexandria and Jerusalem, VALSAMON, Theodoros, Patriarch of Antioch (end 12th century), had this to recommend:... “all the churches of God should follow the custom of New Rome, i. e. Constantinople...

Interesting quote. I was thinking of P. G., CXXXVII, col. 489, which is one of the sections that  Obolensky examines in his lengthy article, Byzantium, Kiev and Moscow: A Study in Ecclesiastical Relations. Basically, Balsamon says that the Pontic diocese had jurisdiction over the Alans and the Thracian diocese had jurisdiction over the Rus.

When Constantinople received jurisdiction over the Balkans (and good chunks of S. Italy) and started to colonize it in the 7th century, most of the land, even modern-day Greece, was filled with Slavic pagans of various kinds; for the most part, these areas were also outside of the actual political authority of the Empire. Thus, the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate extended even further than the actual Empire -- what eventually became the Orthodox Commonwealth -- and, in the Byzantine mind, was tied to the evangelization and governance of the various unChristianized lands that always stood over the horizon.

Anyway, the point is that this (and this particular understanding of Canon 28) is not a new idea.
No, it's a century old now. Prior to that, it was unknown: the interpretations refered to lands adjoining Pontus and Thrace. Never lands far, far away.
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« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2010, 10:55:13 AM »

No, it's a century old now. Prior to that, it was unknown: the interpretations refered to lands adjoining Pontus and Thrace. Never lands far, far away.

Neither the Alans or the Rus were adjoining. The Alans were on the other side of Georgia, in the Northern Caucasus. And the Rus were considered on the fringe of the civilized world (although some wild steppe tribes were occasionally Christianized by the Byzantines).
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« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2010, 11:43:00 AM »

No, it's a century old now. Prior to that, it was unknown: the interpretations refered to lands adjoining Pontus and Thrace. Never lands far, far away.

Neither the Alans or the Rus were adjoining.

The canonists (who, after all, where not cartographers) disagree. As St. Nikodemus comments on canon 28:
Not only are the Metropolitans of the said dioceses to be ordained by him, but indeed also the bishops located in barbarian regions that border on the said dioceses, as, for instance, those called Alani are adjacent to and flank the diocese of Pontus, while the Russians border on that of Thrace.
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_P1W.HTM

The casuistry that Obolensky refers to is this twisting of geography by Zonoras and Balsamon in the service of jurisdiction.
http://books.google.com/books?id=jv6jcwjW9WUC&pg=PA132&dq=Dimitri+Obolensky+casuistry&cd=2#v=onepage&q&f=false

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« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2010, 11:53:30 AM »

No, it's a century old now. Prior to that, it was unknown: the interpretations refered to lands adjoining Pontus and Thrace. Never lands far, far away.

Neither the Alans or the Rus were adjoining. The Alans were on the other side of Georgia, in the Northern Caucasus. And the Rus were considered on the fringe of the civilized world (although some wild steppe tribes were occasionally Christianized by the Byzantines).

I strongly recommend that we should use more than one source, especially when it is so easy to find information on the Internet. For example, the following Wikipedia article describes when and how the Alans were all over the place (to include, Northern Africa, Gaul, Danube, Forecaucasus--I did not even know such a place existed, Caucasus, and even the Middle Kingdom--in the form of a 30,000 strong Royal Guard). Anyway, it is all fascinating stuff and tends to support Isa. But, see for yourself at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alans
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« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2010, 12:47:46 PM »

The casuistry that Obolensky refers to is this twisting of geography by Zonoras and Balsamon in the service of jurisdiction.

Again, I've read Obolensky. It wouldn't be "casuistry" in his mind if they actually were adjacent. That's the whole point! They were far off lands, quite out of the actual control of the Empire itself.

I strongly recommend that we should use more than one source, especially when it is so easy to find information on the Internet. For example, the following Wikipedia article describes when and how the Alans were all over the place (to include, Northern Africa, Gaul, Danube, Forecaucasus--I did not even know such a place existed, Caucasus, and even the Middle Kingdom--in the form of a 30,000 strong Royal Guard). Anyway, it is all fascinating stuff and tends to support Isa. But, see for yourself at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alans

Sure, the Alans (just like dozens of other large migratory groups) rumbled all around the Mediterranean, Gaul, and beyond, especially in the fourth to fifth centuries. But the relevant sources under discussion (12 century canonists) were talking about the well-known Alanian Kingdom, with which the Byzantines had typically boisterous diplomatic, military, and religious interactions ever since the 8th century -- sometimes successful, sometimes not, just like a lot of Constantinople's missionary activities before the Fourth Crusade, going as far afield as the Aral Sea. That's the world of Zonoras or Balsamon. They'd be living it, plus reading their scholarly predecessors like John Skylitzes, Michael Glykas, Michael Attaleiates, etc.
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« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2010, 03:52:05 PM »

The casuistry that Obolensky refers to is this twisting of geography by Zonoras and Balsamon in the service of jurisdiction.

Again, I've read Obolensky. It wouldn't be "casuistry" in his mind if they actually were adjacent. That's the whole point! They were far off lands, quite out of the actual control of the Empire itself.

Actually, you are correct: I (nor Oblensky) can't charge Zonoras nor Balsamon with casuistry on this point, as in their minds, they were adjacent.

Their world looked this way:

http://www.atlantismaps.com/Ch3_images/img_16aL.jpg
http://www.atlantismaps.com/Ch3_images/img_17L.jpg

On a modern map, Thrace and Pontus with Constantinople in the middle

http://www.euratlas.net/cartogra/peutinger/modern/segment_7_mod_gb.jpg
http://www.euratlas.net/cartogra/peutinger/modern/segment_8_mod_gb.jpg
http://www.euratlas.net/cartogra/peutinger/modern/segment_9_mod_gb.jpg

looked like this on a Roman map:

Disjointed images (in the first from left, Greece in the lower right; 2nd, Thrace land mass across middle, Crete in the lower right;3rd Asia/Anatolia land mass above Egypt, the Delta being at the bottom; 4th Syria, Antioch enthroned; 5th the Caucasus and Mesopotamia.
http://www.tusciaromana.info/3Cultura/c_sto_rom_peutingeriana.htm

Slightly less disjointed (Constantinople enthroned on the left)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/TabulaPeutingeriana-2.jpg
http://www.inquit.com/images/uploads/Peutinger_Miller.gif

Btw, one can see how Antioch claimed Cyprus here too.
or look at the whole here:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/TabulaPeutingeriana.jpg




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« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2010, 04:45:15 PM »

Actually, you are correct: I (nor Oblensky) can't charge Zonoras nor Balsamon with casuistry on this point, as in their minds, they were adjacent.

 Cheesy Far be it from me to countermand any instance where you (kind of) admit I'm right, but I'm not sure the maps tell us that. Unfortunately my notes on Roman cartography are packed up (moving to a new home), but there are at least two serious problems here. (1) The genre of any given map. (2) The relationship between any given map and the mental construct of "geography" or space in the Roman mind. So, for example, the Peutinger Map is well known and very interesting, but it, like all Roman maps of its kind, is intentionally unrealistic.
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« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2010, 04:49:37 PM »

(2) The relationship between any given map and the mental construct of "geography" or space in the Roman mind. So, for example, the Peutinger Map is well known and very interesting, but it, like all Roman maps of its kind, is intentionally unrealistic.

Now there's a flash-back to Latin class... I remember this being a sticking-point for me when I first encountered the phenomenon, not initially understanding that propaganda and cartography were so thoroughly intertwined at the time.
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« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2010, 04:53:40 PM »

(2) The relationship between any given map and the mental construct of "geography" or space in the Roman mind. So, for example, the Peutinger Map is well known and very interesting, but it, like all Roman maps of its kind, is intentionally unrealistic.

Now there's a flash-back to Latin class... I remember this being a sticking-point for me when I first encountered the phenomenon, not initially understanding that propaganda and cartography were so thoroughly intertwined at the time.
Have things changed?

http://rsgsshop.xyzmaps.com/images/uploaded/lrg_upside+down+world+map.698e6b.gif
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