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Author Topic: An Oriental Orthodox Empire?  (Read 2056 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« on: July 29, 2010, 09:19:33 PM »

This was split off from the following topic:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29068.new.html#top

Salpy
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I'm not really sure this is an issue?

It seems to me that the Oriental Orthodox have just had to get on with things as they are and not as they might be 'supposed' to be. The idea of a primacy of honour is fairly meaningless within the OO, it seems to me and only had meaning within an Imperial Church, which thank God the OO as long ceased to be.

I'm not sure if it is something to thank God over, but I am sure that it has happened in our lifetimes, less than 40 years ago.


Quote
When I meet with the bishops and priests at the regular gatherings of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches there is no thought at all of primacy or jurisdiction. I embrace each bishop and priest as a member of the one Orthodox Church to which we all belong whatever local community they are clergy of.

When St Severus was in exile in Egypt he was the de facto patriarch of both the Alexandrian and Syrian churches. When the Armenian Church found itself facing a variety of new situations it developed new organisational responses. The Church in the Persian Empire had to deal with the issues that context presented.

The static idea that there are X churches and this is the order of seniority does not seem to me to be responsive to the Holy Spirit or to the reality of our circumstances. It is this static view which, in my opinion, leads to the insistence that the Roman Church remains the first in honour, if it returns to Orthodoxy, and that the Church of Constantinople remains the acting first in honour until the last Greek living in Turkey falls asleep. These do not seem to me to be examples of a truly Orthodox ecclesiology.

There is something to this, but there is something also to the Pope of Alexandria having his primacy although he lives in Cairo, the Patriarch of Antioch having his although he hasn't lived there for over a millenium, both having a precedence over Ethiopia and India, and Etchmadzin over Cis.


Quote
Of course there have been human tensions, but I think the creation in our own time of an autocephalous Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church shows what the Oriental Orthodox think about jurisdiction. I think that the Constantinopolitan insistence on jurisdiction over the whole world on the basis of the 'barbarian lands' canon, is the opposite of this OO view.

LOL. It's the opposite of the EO view as well.

Quote
It seems to me that the union of two small Western communities with the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate as the British Orthodox Church and the French Coptic Orthodox Church, also shows the attitude of jurisdictional organisation for the sake of others and not for the sake of the power of the Mother Church.

I'm not sure the point you are making here.


Quote
This is how I see it anyhow.

Can you tease the last part out a bit?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 04:31:25 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 11:44:31 PM »

LOL. It's the opposite of the EO view as well.

Are you suggesting that those who espouse that view are heterodox?
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 11:54:07 PM »

LOL. It's the opposite of the EO view as well.

Are you suggesting that those who espouse that view are heterodox?
Suggest, no. I've repeatedly come out and said so.
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 11:56:12 PM »

LOL. It's the opposite of the EO view as well.

Are you suggesting that those who espouse that view are heterodox?
Suggest, no. I've repeatedly come out and said so.

Does that include the opinion expressed by IrishHermit in reply #19 on your own jurisdiction thread?
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 03:47:54 AM »

Ialmisry, not sure what you mean about the OO ceasing to be an Imperial Church only in the last 40 years.

As far as I can see this took place during the 6th and 7th centuries. The fact that Ethiopia had an Emperor does not really make the OO an Imperial Church at all, and the Ethiopian Empire in any case was hardly analagous to the Roman or indeed British.

Not being an Imperial Church, but rather a persecuted Church, does seem to me to have prevented a certain spirit of triumphalism which is sometimes evident in 'established' Churches, and it has prevented that submission of the Church to the state which has often happened elsewhere.

In terms of teasing out what I mean, I guess I mean that in the OO things happen and situations are resolved without recourse to a static structure that does not exist. This doesn't mean that things don't get messy, as they do in the EO. But I think that structures are more fluid. We don't have to try and fit them into a structure that is only historical. It seems to me that the OO would not speak of the Nubian Metropolitanate, for instance, long destroyed by Islam, and say that it was 23rd in order of precedence. But would and do just understand it as an historic community that no longer exists. But it does seem to me that the EO want to preserve the fiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople even when there is no-one left rather than create a new structure that makes better sense of the reality. Bishop Anthony, one of the Coptic bishops in the UK, is bishop of Northern England, and Bishop Misael is bishop of the Midlands, which are both present geographical and social realities, but the Greek bishops are bishops of ruined towns and villages in Asia Minor. This seems to me to represent a different view of jurisdiction - though it is not meant to be critical of any bishop and his ministry.

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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 06:04:07 AM »

LOL. It's the opposite of the EO view as well.

Are you suggesting that those who espouse that view are heterodox?
Suggest, no. I've repeatedly come out and said so.

Does that include the opinion expressed by IrishHermit in reply #19 on your own jurisdiction thread?

Can you link to what you are asking about?
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 07:40:01 AM »

Ialmisry, not sure what you mean about the OO ceasing to be an Imperial Church only in the last 40 years.

As far as I can see this took place during the 6th and 7th centuries. The fact that Ethiopia had an Emperor does not really make the OO an Imperial Church at all, and the Ethiopian Empire in any case was hardly analagous to the Roman or indeed British.

But it is very much like the Russian Empire when it comes to the OO, and without the Russian Empire, the EO haven't been an imperial Church for nearly a millenium, and on the (Early) Roman or British model for nearly as long as the OO.

As late as the reign of HIM Haile Selassie the OO Churches in Council named HIM "Defender of the Faith," and HIM was dethroned in 1975.

And Little Armenia wasn't so little.


Quote
Not being an Imperial Church, but rather a persecuted Church,

The two are not mutually exclusive.  The Triumph of Orthodoxy celebrates the end of the persecutions in the Roman Empire in 842.

Quote
does seem to me to have prevented a certain spirit of triumphalism which is sometimes evident in 'established' Churches, and it has prevented that submission of the Church to the state which has often happened elsewhere.

Just because the caliph wasn't a communicant doesn't mean the OO weren't established, e.g. the Armenian extinguishing the Autocephaly of the Albanian Church over Chalcedon.  As for submission, I"d have to know specifically what you are refering to, Father.

Quote
In terms of teasing out what I mean, I guess I mean that in the OO things happen and situations are resolved without recourse to a static structure that does not exist. This doesn't mean that things don't get messy, as they do in the EO. But I think that structures are more fluid. We don't have to try and fit them into a structure that is only historical. It seems to me that the OO would not speak of the Nubian Metropolitanate, for instance, long destroyed by Islam, and say that it was 23rd in order of precedence. But would and do just understand it as an historic community that no longer exists. But it does seem to me that the EO want to preserve the fiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople even when there is no-one left rather than create a new structure that makes better sense of the reality. Bishop Anthony, one of the Coptic bishops in the UK, is bishop of Northern England, and Bishop Misael is bishop of the Midlands, which are both present geographical and social realities, but the Greek bishops are bishops of ruined towns and villages in Asia Minor. This seems to me to represent a different view of jurisdiction - though it is not meant to be critical of any bishop and his ministry.

The OO Pope of Alexandria has been in Cairo for nearly a milenium, and the OO Patriarch of Antioch has not been there since over a thousand years. Both exercise authority over the much, much larger (and independent of foreign and Muslim control) Ethiopian and Indian OO (both of which should have been granted their autocephaly a long, long time ago), a reality of the past millenium, and part of which led to the questionable (in my mind) elevation of Eritreia to a patriarchate.  The Catholicos of All Armenia has been outside of Echmiadzin (the capital of Armenia during the time of St. Gregory and his descendant successors, but not since their dyansy fell about a century later) has spent more time outide it than in.

Constantinople has a lot of fiction surrounding it, but its existance is not part of it. A century ago, it had millions of communicants within the same state as itself, and now, across the border, still does. As for using titular bishops for its "Diaspora," I have more problems with that than I can see merit in it.

As for the static nature of the diptychs, they are not so static. Rome isn't in them, nor Montenegro, Karlowitz, Bukowina and Transylvania (they united into the Serbian and Romanian patriarchies). It does, how, keep the EO as a communion together in a way that I do not see in the OO: looking at the various OO Churches, other than the subordination of Ethiopia, India and Cilicia to Alexandria, Antioch and Echmiadzin, there seems no cognissance of other OO.

It seems to me that the union of two small Western communities with the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate as the British Orthodox Church and the French Coptic Orthodox Church, also shows the attitude of jurisdictional organisation for the sake of others and not for the sake of the power of the Mother Church.

I'm not sure the point you are making here.

I'm still not sure.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 07:44:39 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 07:58:13 AM »

Ialmisry,

The Ethiopian Church is autocephalous, I am not sure that any major ecclesiastical changes were allowed under the Ottomans. When the Greek Church of Alexandria was going to unite with the Coptic Orthodox Church the Patriarch was poisoned.

The Indian situation is not a happy one, but the Indian Church has faced many different situations over the last hundreds of years. It is not at all the same as the Ethiopian/Coptic relationship for instance. And the autocephalous Indian Orthodox Church is recognised by all the Orthodox except of course for the Syrian Orthodox.

In what sense did a Greek peasant in 1800 feel part of the same Church as a Siberian peasant? I can't imagine they would have given each other a thought. It is the modern immigrant situation which is especially forcing Christians to recognise each other in different cultural guises. Here in the UK the sense of being one Church is growing stronger and stronger each year as we do more and more together.

The Russian Church, it seems to me, was for a long period simply a department of state and the episcopal authority was entirely subservient to the governmental authority. This was how it often was in the Byzantine empire as well. It has not been like that for most OO communities since the 6th/7th centuries. HIM Haile Selassie was a respected figure but he was not the emperor of a civil community which encompassed all of the OO. He was a respected monarch of an Orthodox nation, as to a lesser extent HM the Queen is respected as a Christian monarch. This is not at all the same as the position of the Byzantine Emperor who could and regularly did depose whoever he wanted, make ecclesiatical law when he wanted, and even write the scripts of his own councils when he wanted.

The experience of the Russian Empire surely does colour the experience of a large proportion of local EO churches since they were all part of the Russian Empire. The situation of the Church of Finland is also interesting since it receives state support and in return keeps Pascha on the same day as the Lutherans, and as far as I understand, uses a lectionary produced by the state department of religious affairs.

I am not sure I am making some majorly significant point. I guess I am not sure what you are not sure about.

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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 01:21:01 PM »

Ialmisry,

The Ethiopian Church is autocephalous, I am not sure that any major ecclesiastical changes were allowed under the Ottomans.

The situation of keeping Ethiopia in subjugation rather than developing into an independent Church predates the Ottomans by a thousand years.  The influence of Ethiopia in the cause of the Church was demonstrated in the reign of the Emperor Caleb (500-534) demonstrated that, and it remained a focus for the non-Chalcedonians as Constantinople remained for the Chalcedonians, see for instance the origins of Pseudo-Methodius and the Legend of the Last Emperor in e.g. The Byzantine apocalyptic tradition By Paul Julius Alexander, Dorothy deF. Abrahamse,
http://books.google.com/books?id=nw-rR_Skb-cC&pg=PA30&dq=Pseudo-Methodius+last+emperor+monophysite+Ethiopia&hl=en&ei=9ORSTNu4IMH9nAf69bG9Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=false
It should have been allowed to develop into a patriarchy. Instead, the office of Abuna was instituted to prevent that.

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When the Greek Church of Alexandria was going to unite with the Coptic Orthodox Church the Patriarch was poisoned.

Which Pope was poisoned?

Quote
The Indian situation is not a happy one, but the Indian Church has faced many different situations over the last hundreds of years. It is not at all the same as the Ethiopian/Coptic relationship for instance. And the autocephalous Indian Orthodox Church is recognised by all the Orthodox except of course for the Syrian Orthodox.
In other words, but all but her Mother Church.  I'm claim they are still in communion, and we had a similar situation with Poland. There are differences between Antioch-India, and Alexandria-Ethiopia, but I wonder which ones you are thinking of.

Quote
In what sense did a Greek peasant in 1800 feel part of the same Church as a Siberian peasant? I can't imagine they would have given each other a thought.

LOL. First to stand up for the peasants: in the "Information Age" in which we leave, most Americans on the street haven't the slightest idea that Great Britain and the US are NATO allies.

Since peasants, of course, don't write down their thoughts, we are dependent on what their betters notice of their opinions. Taking your scenario in reverse to start, the Siberian peasant was very aware of being in the same Church as the Greek peasant: a lot of Greek history and cult (for instance, local shrines) became transplanted in Russia from Greece, along with a lot of Greeks (there was a constant flow away from the Ottomans to Russia all during the Sultan's rule). When serfdom ended, and the peasants were free to travel, many ran off to piligrimage to the sites they had heard in Church for centuries. As for the Greek peasant, since their prelates were constantly going to Russia for alms, and the Russians were constantly contributing to the welfare of the Sultan's EO subjects, I'm sure he was pretty aware of the Russians as well.  The Arab peasant, much to the increasing chagrin of the Greek Ottoman establishment, was well aware.

Above the level of peasant, craftmen to traders through hiearchs, this awareness of one communion is well documented.  I just came across that Shelikov, the Russian responsible for founding the Orthodox mission to America in 1794 put a Greek captain in charge of Kodiak, the first home of the first Orthodox see in the New World, while he went back to St. Petersburg to drum up support and recruit priests.

Quote
It is the modern immigrant situation which is especially forcing Christians to recognise each other in different cultural guises. Here in the UK the sense of being one Church is growing stronger and stronger each year as we do more and more together.

I would agree such developments are a good thing.  They are not, however, a new thing, a least not for the EO.

Quote
The Russian Church, it seems to me, was for a long period simply a department of state and the episcopal authority was entirely subservient to the governmental authority.


Not exactly the same set up as you have in England. The Holy Synod never was answerable to the Senate, for instance, so things like Parliament voting on women bishops didn't happen. The Czar as supreme judge of the Holy Governing Synod wasn't always a bad thing: when it voted to close the see of Kodiak, Czar Nicholas I refused and told them to get another bishop.  When it claimed it didn't have a bishop for St. Innocent, then Father John of Sitka, Czar Alexander I told them to ordain St. Innocent [of Alaska, Apostle to America) and install him in his city as his see. And even Peter the so-called Great had to get approval for the new set up from the other Orhtodox Churches.

Although each Russian bishop had to acknowledge and swear to the Czar as Supreme Judge of the Holy Governing Synod, it wasn't much different from what OO (or EO) bishops had to do to get their berat, irade and wilayah from the caliphs and sultans.  Except I don't think the Russians had to pay a fee.

Quote
This was how it often was in the Byzantine empire as well.

If that were true, we would be a-Chalcedonian Monothelite Iconoclasts in submission to the Vatican.

Byzantine Caesaropapism is an invention of the West, projected on the reality of the Orthodox Church to which such Orientalism bears no resemblance.

Quote
It has not been like that for most OO communities since the 6th/7th centuries.


The primates of most OO communities acted as the arm of the Muslim state to collect taxes and enforce dhimmi order. Not that a lot of pastoring didn't get done, as it did during the Synodal period, but to say that a seperation of Church and state prevailed isn't to see things are they were. It is, after all, why the Coptic patriarchate was translated to Cairo.

Quote
HIM Haile Selassie was a respected figure but he was not the emperor of a civil community which encompassed all of the OO.

No EO emperor's rule encompassed all the EO. Ever.

Quote
He was a respected monarch of an Orthodox nation, as to a lesser extent HM the Queen is respected as a Christian monarch. This is not at all the same as the position of the Byzantine Emperor who could and regularly did depose whoever he wanted, make ecclesiatical law when he wanted, and even write the scripts of his own councils when he wanted.

You mean, like the Ecumenical Councils?

Quote
The experience of the Russian Empire surely does colour the experience of a large proportion of local EO churches since they were all part of the Russian Empire.

?

Only Russia, (briefly, and for no longer than Armenia, for instance) Georgia, Romania, Poland, Czech Lands and Slovakia and the OCA were even in part part of the Russian empire. That is 6 out of 15. If you eliminate those under the Russian Emperor under a century, you strike half off the list (CZS was only occupied during WWI, and Romania was only under the 20 years of the Protectorate, and even if you count Bessarabia as part of Romania-and I do-it is still under a century). Increase that by only a quarter century, and everyone except Russia is off the list.  Since now even the OCA has spent more outside the empire than in (68 years versus 143), let alone Georgia (which existed as a Christian nation nearly a millenium and a half before annexation to the Russian Empire), the source of Russian influence is other than direct rule.

Quote
The situation of the Church of Finland is also interesting since it receives state support and in return keeps Pascha on the same day as the Lutherans, and as far as I understand, uses a lectionary produced by the state department of religious affairs.

Produced or printed?  As far as I know, Finland's lectionary doesn't differ from any other non-Greek one (they revised it IIRC when they revised the Typica). And fair's fair: the Lutheran church was official in Finland under the Czar as well, something that led to the interesting status, by treaty, of the Lutheran church of Sitka under US law.

Quote
I am not sure I am making some majorly significant point. I guess I am not sure what you are not sure about.

I am not sure how the British and French (OO) Orthodox Churches taking Alexandria as the Mother Church demonstrates "attitude of jurisdictional organisation for the sake of others and not for the sake of the power of the Mother Church."
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 01:36:17 PM »

I am really not sure where you want to go? You are criticising many/every point but I don't sense that you want to dig into each one. And not sure what relation it has to anything in the thread.

The OP is surely about the OO, not about the EO?

I don't want to divert the thread any further away from the OP by answering any of your posts here, although they could all be answered elsewhere, especially if I didn't have the flu and feel awful today.

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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2010, 02:06:49 PM »

I am really not sure where you want to go? You are criticising many/every point but I don't sense that you want to dig into each one. And not sure what relation it has to anything in the thread.

The OP is surely about the OO, not about the EO?

I don't want to divert the thread any further away from the OP by answering any of your posts here, although they could all be answered elsewhere, especially if I didn't have the flu and feel awful today.

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Once you recover, Father, my comments go back to your response
The idea of a primacy of honour is fairly meaningless within the OO, it seems to me and only had meaning within an Imperial Church, which thank God the OO as long ceased to be.
The idea of primacy of honor does not depend on an Imperial Church, nor has the OO ceased to be an Imperial Church for any length of time.  The OO resemble the EO far more than she resembles churches, such as the anabaptists, who had no state ties. Of course, in the interests of reunion of the Orthodox, that's a good thing. State ties are not necessarily a bad thing.

When you have recovered,

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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2010, 03:35:05 PM »

The situation of the Church of Finland is also interesting since it receives state support and in return keeps Pascha on the same day as the Lutherans, and as far as I understand, uses a lectionary produced by the state department of religious affairs.

To say that the Church of Finland receives state support isn't really fair. Orthodox Christians in Finland pay a Church tax of about 2%. It is this tax that partly funds the Finnish Orthodox Church. It is true though that it is the government that collects and distribute this money.

The Finnish Government does not really have a say in what books are used in Church, but I imagine it is true that the Orthodox Church uses the same Finnish translations of scripture that the Lutheran majority does.

The law that governs the Finnish Orthodox Church is available in Swedish and Finnish at www.finlex.fi (law 10.11.2006/985). This law stipulates that the Orthodox Church should function in accordance with the Orthodox Church Order, that is also a document of law in Finland (law 12.12.2006/174). Some interesting bits from this lawtext is for example 5§ that stipulates that one should prepare for Holy Communion in accordance with the traditions of the Church, fasting before Communion is law in Finland Grin. 63§ states that one of the duties of a bishop is to guard the doctrines of the Church so that they remain pure and are thought unfalsified. Bishops are required by law to guard against heresy! Grin I'm not sure how much it means in practice that these things are law in Finland but I find it interesting and kind of funny.

These laws are usually changed at the request of the Finnish Orthodox Church.

To bring up the Finnish Orthodox Church as an example of a "state controlled Church" is a very weak argument really. I expected more of you Father Peter.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 03:36:15 PM by Robert W » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2010, 04:11:31 PM »

Isa,

Are you actually asserting that the EO's and OO's have had similar histories in terms of being imperial Churches?  Are you actually saying that?

At no time has there been an OO equivalent of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire.  It's true that there have been OO kingdoms and states, but never on the scale of the Roman Empire, and never have we had an empire that encompassed more than one OO population.  To cite the role of the Patriarchs during the Ottoman Empire is disingenuous.  The Ottoman Empire was not an OO empire.

At no time has any Armenian Catholicos been able to give direction or force uniformity on Coptic, Ethiopian, or Syriac Christians.  At no time has the Coptic Pope been in a position to tell the Armenians what to do.  We don't work that way.  We don't have an equivalent of the Ecumenical Patriarch.  That is why we have been able to preserve such diverse and ancient practices.  That is why when you walk into a Coptic church, you will see a very different looking interior, hear a different sounding liturgy, and see very different vestments than if you walk into an Armenian Church.

Contrast that with the uniformity of practice that you see in the EO.  You yourself have commented and criticized the way Constantinople forced its rites on the Antiochian, Alexandrian and Jerusalem Churches.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm sure I have seen you criticize that more than once. 

That has not been the experience of the OO's.  We just don't have that. 

And the example of the different catholicoi and patriarchs in the Armenian Church is also not analogous.  That is an organization internal to one national Church that has developed over time because of historical circumstances.  It's not the same as the relationship between Constantinople and the other EO Churches such as Antioch or Jerusalem. 

True, there has historically been a mother-daughter relationship between the Syriac and Indian Churches, and the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches, but that is still different.  And the Ethiopian Church now is independent of the Coptic Church.  To imply otherwise is simply wrong.  Perhaps one of our Ethiopian posters can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that I am.
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2010, 05:12:04 PM »


At no time has any Armenian Catholicos been able to give direction or force uniformity on Coptic, Ethiopian, or Syriac Christians.  At no time has the Coptic Pope been in a position to tell the Armenians what to do.  We don't work that way.  We don't have an equivalent of the Ecumenical Patriarch.  That is why we have been able to preserve such diverse and ancient practices.  That is why when you walk into a Coptic church, you will see a very different looking interior, hear a different sounding liturgy, and see very different vestments than if you walk into an Armenian Church.

Contrast that with the uniformity of practice that you see in the EO.  You yourself have commented and criticized the way Constantinople forced its rites on the Antiochian, Alexandrian and Jerusalem Churches.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm sure I have seen you criticize that more than once. 

This is just one example of what I am talking about:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27445.msg432405.html#msg432405
Quote
It is only with the advent of Islam that the Copts became any way associated with Arabic culture. Except, of course, that our mother was a Copt, Hagar. It is different with the Syriac Church, which might be a better comparison.  We used to use Syriac, a much closer relative, and much of the vocabulary, even in the Quran   comes from Syriac.  The Syriac rites and the rites of Arab Orthodox Antioch were the same until the absentee Patriarch "of Antioch" Theodore Balsamon (born, lived, and died IIRC in Constantinople, never having set foot in his patriarchate) suppressed them in Antioch (and in Egypt) around 1200.  Hence why the Arab Orthodox are Constantinoplean rather than Antiochean.  The OO Copts and Syriacs, btw, not being affected by this are very different from each other.
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2010, 06:39:20 PM »

LOL. It's the opposite of the EO view as well.

Are you suggesting that those who espouse that view are heterodox?
Suggest, no. I've repeatedly come out and said so.

Does that include the opinion expressed by IrishHermit in reply #19 on your own jurisdiction thread?

Can you link to what you are asking about?

Well, IrishHermit posted an opinion in reply #19 in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28348.0.html

which turned out to be not his own opinion anyway. I don't know how relevant it still is.
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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2010, 03:54:30 AM »

The situation of the Church of Finland is also interesting since it receives state support and in return keeps Pascha on the same day as the Lutherans, and as far as I understand, uses a lectionary produced by the state department of religious affairs.

To say that the Church of Finland receives state support isn't really fair. Orthodox Christians in Finland pay a Church tax of about 2%. It is this tax that partly funds the Finnish Orthodox Church. It is true though that it is the government that collects and distribute this money.

The Finnish Government does not really have a say in what books are used in Church, but I imagine it is true that the Orthodox Church uses the same Finnish translations of scripture that the Lutheran majority does.

The law that governs the Finnish Orthodox Church is available in Swedish and Finnish at www.finlex.fi (law 10.11.2006/985). This law stipulates that the Orthodox Church should function in accordance with the Orthodox Church Order, that is also a document of law in Finland (law 12.12.2006/174). Some interesting bits from this lawtext is for example 5§ that stipulates that one should prepare for Holy Communion in accordance with the traditions of the Church, fasting before Communion is law in Finland Grin. 63§ states that one of the duties of a bishop is to guard the doctrines of the Church so that they remain pure and are thought unfalsified. Bishops are required by law to guard against heresy! Grin I'm not sure how much it means in practice that these things are law in Finland but I find it interesting and kind of funny.

These laws are usually changed at the request of the Finnish Orthodox Church.

To bring up the Finnish Orthodox Church as an example of a "state controlled Church" is a very weak argument really. I expected more of you Father Peter.

Dear Robert

I don't think I used the term 'state-controlled' of the Church of Finland because this is clearly not the situation at all. I do think that the Church of Finland is an interesting and active one and when I used to visit Finland regularly would always try to read the publications of the Church with enjoyment (as much as my ability to read some Finnish then allowed).

But it seems entirely reasonable to say that the Church of Finland receives state support in a way that the Orthodox Churches do not in any other Western European country. This is not a criticism so much as a statement of fact, and considering the history of Finland it is no more unusual than the state support which the Church of England enjoys.

The Church of Finland DOES (I believe) keep Pascha with the Lutherans. This is again NOT a condemnation. But what is the justification for doing so as understood by the Church in Finland? Is it a requirement of the Church/State relationship?

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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2010, 07:38:09 AM »

I'm sorry to have misconstructed your post and put the words "state controlled" into your mouth.  angel Forgive me.

The Church of Finland DOES (I believe) keep Pascha with the Lutherans. This is again NOT a condemnation. But what is the justification for doing so as understood by the Church in Finland? Is it a requirement of the Church/State relationship?
It is true that the Orthodox Church in Finland celebrates pascha according to the Gregorian calendar. The reasons for this are more historical than they are a current requirement.

The Orthodox Church in Finland has been (and is sometimes still) derogatively called "ryssäkirkko" (could be translated as ruski-church). The Orthodox Church has been (and perhaps still is) heavily associated with Russia and the unpopular Russian rule of Finland. The war between Finland and the Soviet union din not improve the reputation of the Orthodox Church at all. The suspicion that Orthodox Christians sympathised with the Russian invaders or where even spies put the Church in a very difficult spot. I have understood that it is in light of this that the Church in Finland decided to celebrate pascha according to the Gregorian calendar, as a symbolic gesture to show it's loyalty to Finland. It must be understood that the very survival of the Church in Finland was at stake, and some Orthodox Christians still believed the Church would vanish after a generation anyway.

Today the state would not even rise an eyebrow should the Orthodox revert to the traditional date for pasha. Unfortunately this change has not taken place yet, and I don't think it will without outside pressure from other local Churches.
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« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2010, 10:33:57 AM »

Isa,

Are you actually asserting that the EO's and OO's have had similar histories in terms of being imperial Churches?  Are you actually saying that?

At no time has there been an OO equivalent of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire.  It's true that there have been OO kingdoms and states, but never on the scale of the Roman Empire, and never have we had an empire that encompassed more than one OO population.  To cite the role of the Patriarchs during the Ottoman Empire is disingenuous.  The Ottoman Empire was not an OO empire.

At no time has any Armenian Catholicos been able to give direction or force uniformity on Coptic, Ethiopian, or Syriac Christians.  At no time has the Coptic Pope been in a position to tell the Armenians what to do.  We don't work that way.  We don't have an equivalent of the Ecumenical Patriarch.  That is why we have been able to preserve such diverse and ancient practices.  That is why when you walk into a Coptic church, you will see a very different looking interior, hear a different sounding liturgy, and see very different vestments than if you walk into an Armenian Church.

Contrast that with the uniformity of practice that you see in the EO.  You yourself have commented and criticized the way Constantinople forced its rites on the Antiochian, Alexandrian and Jerusalem Churches.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm sure I have seen you criticize that more than once. 

That has not been the experience of the OO's.  We just don't have that. 

And the example of the different catholicoi and patriarchs in the Armenian Church is also not analogous.  That is an organization internal to one national Church that has developed over time because of historical circumstances.  It's not the same as the relationship between Constantinople and the other EO Churches such as Antioch or Jerusalem. 

True, there has historically been a mother-daughter relationship between the Syriac and Indian Churches, and the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches, but that is still different.  And the Ethiopian Church now is independent of the Coptic Church.  To imply otherwise is simply wrong.  Perhaps one of our Ethiopian posters can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that I am.
You are correct about the enforced uniformity of the EO, but we can't blame the Emperor for that (though it was done in his name), as he didn't rule either Antioch or Alexandria was the crime was committed.  Ironically, a mere few years later (at most 17) the rite of Constantinople itself was suppressed at Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. More ironic, it wasn't the EP, but the Patriarch of Antioch so called (he was born, ruled and died in Constantinople). In fact, we haven't had a common Emperor since we (EO and OO in the pentarchy) had a common Emperor, nor have we had even an Emperor ruling the majority of Orthodox since then, except the 2-3 last centuries of the Czars, and that was only because of the greater number of the Rus/Russians/Ukrainians/Rusyn/Belorus. Sort of like the numerical predominance of the Ethiopians: in fact, only the Moscow Patriarchate outnumbers the Ethiopian Orthodox.

Ethiopia is autocephalous, and I didn't imply otherwise (although many Copts see it otherwise, even talking about it as a schism).  What I do say is that its autocephaly was long, long over due.  Ethiopia played the role that Russia did: being a counterpoint for their coreligionists under Muslim control, and other support.  And as the legends of Pseudo-Methodosius shows, it has played that role longer than Russia did.

As for the Empire of the Romans we (EO and OO) have that in common (though the Armenians, like the Georgians, only partially, and the Ethiopians, like the Rus', only by extension) until 449.  After 2 years of the Emperor following Pope Dioscoros, and then 31 years of Imperial support for Chalcedon, came the 27 years of the Henoticon, which satisfied neither of us. The came the Justinian Dynasty, which everyone (EO and OO) seems to project on the entire history of the EO Church. It also shows (the empresss Theodora, both EO and OO venerating the Martyrs of Najran, the cooperation between Constantinople and Axum etc.) that the split over Chalcedon hadn't taken yet, although it began to in this period. But that Empire only lasted 83 years. Then came the Phokas rebelliion, the filioque, the caliph's armies, Iconoclasm, etc... When the Macedonian (which was actually Armenian) Dynasty took over, it ruled over a significant number of the (E) Orthodox, but not the majority.  The next dynasty, the Komeni, had a larger share, but that was from the loss of Rome and its Patriarchate to heresy and schism: the emperor had not been ruling it for centuries by then.

The Armenians have had several states that encompassed more than one OO population: the Emirate of Armenia ruled, besides the Armenians, the Albanians and Georgians.  When the Georgians and Albanians accepted Chalcedon, the Armenian Catholicos abolished the autocephaly of Albania (with the caliph's help) and that portion of the Albanians were Armenianized (the Albanian Catholicate was subordinated to the Armenian Catholicate, until being abolished in 1836). Part were Georgianized/Kartvalinized, and a remnant survived as the Udi.  The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia ruled Syriac Orthodox, and its remnant, the Cis Catholicate, is now in the midst of the Syriac Church.

Which is another part of the problem. The Russians, for instance, in Jerusalem commemorate the Patriarch of Jerusalem, in Alexandria the Pope of Alexandria, etc.  The several OO Churches have each a Church in Jerusalem (even the Albanians and Nubians had one), without much any interaction at all.  The Armenians in Egypt are pretty much isolated from the Copts, as are the Syriacs.  The few Ethiopians are with the Copts.  The Armenians in Syria and Lebanon are not with the Syriac Church (by that I mean having any contact), but the Indians there are.  It would seem what has been called the problem of the "Diaspora" among the EO, has been the situation among the OO.  Not that the Armenian should learn Syriac or Coptic,  but having overlapping hiearchies in the same area for communities who are neighbors but operate in complete oblivion about each other is a bit much.
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2010, 10:36:08 AM »

I'm sorry to have misconstructed your post and put the words "state controlled" into your mouth.  angel Forgive me.

The Church of Finland DOES (I believe) keep Pascha with the Lutherans. This is again NOT a condemnation. But what is the justification for doing so as understood by the Church in Finland? Is it a requirement of the Church/State relationship?
It is true that the Orthodox Church in Finland celebrates pascha according to the Gregorian calendar. The reasons for this are more historical than they are a current requirement.

The Orthodox Church in Finland has been (and is sometimes still) derogatively called "ryssäkirkko" (could be translated as ruski-church). The Orthodox Church has been (and perhaps still is) heavily associated with Russia and the unpopular Russian rule of Finland. The war between Finland and the Soviet union din not improve the reputation of the Orthodox Church at all. The suspicion that Orthodox Christians sympathised with the Russian invaders or where even spies put the Church in a very difficult spot. I have understood that it is in light of this that the Church in Finland decided to celebrate pascha according to the Gregorian calendar, as a symbolic gesture to show it's loyalty to Finland. It must be understood that the very survival of the Church in Finland was at stake, and some Orthodox Christians still believed the Church would vanish after a generation anyway.

Today the state would not even rise an eyebrow should the Orthodox revert to the traditional date for pasha. Unfortunately this change has not taken place yet, and I don't think it will without outside pressure from other local Churches.

I always find that situation odd, given that the Finns became Finnish under Russian rule, based on the culture of the Orthodox Finns of Karelia.
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2010, 11:53:22 AM »

I always find that situation odd, given that the Finns became Finnish under Russian rule, based on the culture of the Orthodox Finns of Karelia.
  Grin I don't know who thought you this precious piece of history but I'm sure he didn't know what he was talking about. During the time of the Russian rule, Adolf Ivar Arwidsson became famous for having coined the statement "Swedes we are no longer, Russians we do not want to become, let us therefore become Finns!". The whole movement to promote Finnish nationality was in its core very anti Russian.

Karielia has today a romantic glow around it as the source of much of Finnish culture, but I find this completely unrelated to Russia and the Russian rule. Remember also that it is Karelia that has been elevated in this way, not necessarily the religion of the Orthodox Christians of Karelia.

Sorry go continue this off topic tangent  Cheesy
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« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2010, 12:07:03 PM »

The several OO Churches have each a Church in Jerusalem (even the Albanians and Nubians had one), without much any interaction at all.  The Armenians in Egypt are pretty much isolated from the Copts, as are the Syriacs.  The few Ethiopians are with the Copts.  The Armenians in Syria and Lebanon are not with the Syriac Church (by that I mean having any contact), but the Indians there are.  It would seem what has been called the problem of the "Diaspora" among the EO, has been the situation among the OO.  Not that the Armenian should learn Syriac or Coptic,  but having overlapping hiearchies in the same area for communities who are neighbors but operate in complete oblivion about each other is a bit much.

This underscores how jurisdiction is not as much an issue with the OO as it is with the EO.  In the thread from which this one was split, Fr. Peter indicated that jurisdiction wasn't much of an issue, and I agree with him on that. 

There are Armenian Churches in Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia and India and it is no big deal.  Unlike the EO, you never hear the word "phyletism" thrown around among the OO, despite the fact that you will find different OO parishes within city blocks of each other in major cities of the diaspora.  In Burbank, California, there's an Armenian cathedral and a Syriac Orthodox cathedral on the same street, Glenoaks Blvd., about a three minute drive from each other, and no one gets upset over it.  There is a Coptic parish within walking distance of my own parish, and no one has ever said that is a problem.  Contrast that with the EO attitudes displayed here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19663.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15199.0.html

We don't have turf wars over which OO patriarch gets to set up parishes where.  We're just more laid back about jurisdiction, and I think it comes from the fact that we don't have the sort of imperial legacy that the EO's have (and no, what you wrote above does not establish the existence of an OO empire on the scale of what the EO's have had.)

We just have a different mindset with regard to jurisdiction.
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« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2010, 06:42:33 PM »

I always find that situation odd, given that the Finns became Finnish under Russian rule, based on the culture of the Orthodox Finns of Karelia.
  Grin I don't know who thought you this precious piece of history but I'm sure he didn't know what he was talking about. During the time of the Russian rule, Adolf Ivar Arwidsson became famous for having coined the statement "Swedes we are no longer, Russians we do not want to become, let us therefore become Finns!".
Actually he said "Svenskar äro vi icke längre, ryssar vilja vi icke bli, låt oss alltså bli finnar," in Swedish, his mother tongue.  In fact IIRC he only wrote and published in Swedish, like most (all?) of the Fennomans, until the Czar made Finnish, for the first time in history, official in Finland.

Quote
The whole movement to promote Finnish nationality was in its core very anti Russian.

The Svecomans were far more anti-Russian, since they took the Czars promise of the Grand Duchy's autonomy as referring to the Swedish nobility who had run the place since the Swedes took it over (Finland had representation in the Swedish Riksdag, which basically meant representation for the Swedes in Finland), and didn't like the new fangled ideas the Czar was agreeing to, like Finnish being allowed in the Diet, Universities, etc.

As I said, quite ironic that no movement for Finnish nationality during the centuries of Sweish rule, but it transformed Finland in less than a century under the Czar.

Quote
Karielia has today a romantic glow around it as the source of much of Finnish culture, but I find this completely unrelated to Russia and the Russian rule.

Finns under the Rus' were writing in Cyrillic at least as early as the 13th century.  The Finns, being conquered in the Swedish and Finnish Crusades, were cut off from the Orthodox influence coming from Novgorod, and so the first thing written in Finnish in Latin script being Mynna tachton gernast spuho somen gelen Emyna dayda "Minä tahdon kernaasti puhua suomen kieltä, [mutta] en minä taida"; English: "I willingly want to speak Finnish, [but] I will not."

Quote
Remember also that it is Karelia that has been elevated in this way, not necessarily the religion of the Orthodox Christians of Karelia.

My quesiton is why Lonnrot had to go to Kareliea for Finnish folklore.

Quote
Sorry go continue this off topic tangent  Cheesy
Tangent?
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« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2010, 07:57:07 PM »

The several OO Churches have each a Church in Jerusalem (even the Albanians and Nubians had one), without much any interaction at all.  The Armenians in Egypt are pretty much isolated from the Copts, as are the Syriacs.  The few Ethiopians are with the Copts.  The Armenians in Syria and Lebanon are not with the Syriac Church (by that I mean having any contact), but the Indians there are.  It would seem what has been called the problem of the "Diaspora" among the EO, has been the situation among the OO.  Not that the Armenian should learn Syriac or Coptic,  but having overlapping hiearchies in the same area for communities who are neighbors but operate in complete oblivion about each other is a bit much.

This underscores how jurisdiction is not as much an issue with the OO as it is with the EO.  In the thread from which this one was split, Fr. Peter indicated that jurisdiction wasn't much of an issue, and I agree with him on that. 

There are Armenian Churches in Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia and India and it is no big deal.  Unlike the EO, you never hear the word "phyletism" thrown around among the OO, despite the fact that you will find different OO parishes within city blocks of each other in major cities of the diaspora.  In Burbank, California, there's an Armenian cathedral and a Syriac Orthodox cathedral on the same street, Glenoaks Blvd., about a three minute drive from each other, and no one gets upset over it.  There is a Coptic parish within walking distance of my own parish, and no one has ever said that is a problem.  Contrast that with the EO attitudes displayed here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19663.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15199.0.html

We don't have turf wars over which OO patriarch gets to set up parishes where.  We're just more laid back about jurisdiction, and I think it comes from the fact that we don't have the sort of imperial legacy that the EO's have (and no, what you wrote above does not establish the existence of an OO empire on the scale of what the EO's have had.)

We just have a different mindset with regard to jurisdiction.

Is that what this thread is about?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29084.0.html

I have to say the few responses there mesh with what I saw not only in the "Diaspora," but also Egypt and Syria (which might be "Armenian diaspora", but not Coptic nor Syriac) and Palestine.  The Armenians, Copts and Syriac there were very aware of the Greek/Arab EO, but nearly if not totally oblivious of each other.

EO didn't invent jurisdiction: the Apostles, according to the canons attributed to them, did:
Quote
34. It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognise him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own parish and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Fathers of Nicea I, who stuck by the principle "Only one God, only one Christ, only one bishop."
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&pg=PA61&dq=Church+of+the+Ancient+Councils+one+bishop&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Church%20of%20the%20Ancient%20Councils%20one%20bishop&f=false

And the Fathers of Constantinople I, who wrote our Creed, and canon II:
Quote
Bishops must not leave their own diocese and go over to churches beyond its boundaries; but, on the contrary, in accordance with the Canons, let the Bishop of Alexandria administer the affairs of Egypt only, let the Bishops of the East govern the Eastern Church only, the priorities granted to the church of the Antiochians in the Nicene Canons being kept inviolate, and let the Bishops of the Asian diocese (or administrative domain) administer only the affairs of the Asian church, and let those of the Pontic diocese look after the affairs of the diocese of Pontus only, and let those of the Thracian diocese manage the affairs of the Thracian diocese only. Let Bishops not go beyond their own province to carry out an ordination or any other ecclesiastical services unless (officially) summoned thither. When the Canon prescribed in regard to dioceses (or administrative provinces) is duly kept, it is evident that the synod of each province will confine itself to the affairs of that particular province, in accordance with the regulations decreed in Nicaea. But the churches of God that are situated in territories belonging to barbarian nations must be administered in accordance with the customary practice of the Fathers.

And Pope St. Cyril and the Fathers of Ephesus:
Quote
8. Our fellow Bishop Reginus, most beloved by God, and with him the most God-beloved Bishops of the province of the Cypriotes Zeno and Evagrius, has announced an innovation, a thing which is contrary to the ecclesiastical laws and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and one which touches the freedom of all. Hence, since common ailments require more drastic treatment, on the ground that they do greater damage, and especially in view of the fact that the Bishop of Antioch, far from following the ancient custom, has been performing the ordinations in Cyprus, according to information given in libelli and by oral statements made by most pious gentlemen who have approached the Holy Council; therefore those who preside over the churches in Cyprus shall retain their privilege unaffected and inviolate, according to the Canons of the Holy Fathers and ancient custom, whereby they shall themselves perform the ordinations of the most reverent Bishops. The same rule shall hold good also with regard to the other diocese and churches everywhere, so that none of the Bishops most beloved by God shall take hold of any other province that was not formerly and from the beginning in his jurisdiction, or was not, that is to say, held by his predecessors. But if anyone has taken possession of any and has forcibly subjected it to his authority, he shall regive it back to its rightful possessor, in order that the Canons of the Fathers be not transgressed, nor the secular fastus be introduced, under the pretext of divine services; lest imperceptibly and little by little we lose the freedom which our Lord Jesus Christ, the Liberator of all men, has given us as a free gift by His own blood. It has therefore seemed best to the holy and Ecumenical Council that the rights of every province, formerly and from the beginning belonging to it, be preserved clear and inviolable, in accordance with the custom which prevailed of yore; each Metropolitan having permission to take copies of the proceedings for his own security. If, on the other hand, anyone introduce any form conflicting with the decrees which have now been sanctioned, it has seemed best to the entire holy and Ecumenical Council that it be invalid and of no effect.

While "turf wars" are an unpleasant-and aberrant-side effect, the rule of one cit-one bishop, and him pastoring all the sheep on his pasture, not just a certain breed, lies at the heart of ecclisialogy.

I'll have to finish later....
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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2010, 02:25:10 AM »

Is that what this thread is about?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29084.0.html

I have to say the few responses there mesh with what I saw not only in the "Diaspora," but also Egypt and Syria (which might be "Armenian diaspora", but not Coptic nor Syriac) and Palestine.  The Armenians, Copts and Syriac there were very aware of the Greek/Arab EO, but nearly if not totally oblivious of each other.

As has been discussed in a number of previous threads here at OCnet, the Oriental Orthodox Churches have over the centuries been separated from each other geographically and politically.  In the old days they didn't have air travel and the internet, and the diaspora is something that only really happened in the twentieth century.  Now that we are meeting each other in diaspora, we are beginning to do more with each other.  Here in Southern California, Armenians make regular pilgrimages to St. Antony Coptic Monastery, and my own parish had a walk-a-thon to help the nearby Coptic parish build a new church building. 

We are not as aware of each other as the EO's, but then, as I pointed out above, we didn't have the unifying Empire that the EO's had.

Even without our own empire, however, there are examples of when the OO's were still aware of each other and interacted with each other when they could and when they had to:

"Later, in the 12th and 13th centuries, when the Armenian Church entered into a most intense and decisive period of relationship with the Byzantine Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church also joined the discussions as partners with the Armenians as they shared the same chirstological position. Indeed, these 12th and 13th centuries were times of close association between the two Churches not only on doctrinal grounds, but also and more particularly on the level of cultural exchanges of great importance involving great figures of the Syriac Orthodox Church such as Michael the Syrian, known often as Michael the Great, (1166-1199) Gregory Bar Hebraeus and, from the Armenian Church, Catholicos Nerses Bahlavouni known as Nereses the Gracious (1166-1173) and Krikor Tegha (1173-1193)."

http://www.orthodoxunity.org/article08.html


Quote
While "turf wars" are an unpleasant-and aberrant-side effect, the rule of one cit-one bishop, and him pastoring all the sheep on his pasture, not just a certain breed, lies at the heart of ecclisialogy.

I'd rather have more than one bishop in a city, living harmoniously and peacefully with each other, than the sort of behavior displayed by certain people on this board as they viciously rip into each other's patriarchs as part of the above referenced turf wars.
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2010, 03:35:09 AM »

We are not as aware of each other as the EO's, but then, as I pointed out above, we didn't have the unifying Empire that the EO's had.

As one of the Emperor's men (=Melkite) in Egypt, I'd like to know what unifying Empire you are speaking of, we haven't had a Christian emperor since 640, who wasn't Orthodox (but was Armenian, btw) but was the same emperor the Copts, Syriacs and Armenians, OO or EO, had. Since you wrote this sentence seperately, you seem to put great importance on it.

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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2010, 07:42:55 AM »

Actually he said "Svenskar äro vi icke längre, ryssar vilja vi icke bli, låt oss alltså bli finnar," in Swedish, his mother tongue.  In fact IIRC he only wrote and published in Swedish, like most (all?) of the Fennomans, until the Czar made Finnish, for the first time in history, official in Finland.
It's not like it's news to me that he was Swedish speaking Grin. Fennomans did indeed write in Finnish. Many even changed their names to Finnish equivalents.

Much of what you say ialmisry is correct, but in all this I would like to point out:
  • Russian rule was unpopular.
  • Finnish nationalism was borne because of opposition to the Russification initiatives by the Tsars.
  • Public opinion about Russians did not improve during the winter war.
  • The Orthodox Church was (and is) considered "Russian", and have had it very difficult during the early history of Finnish independence.
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2010, 04:03:17 PM »

Actually he said "Svenskar äro vi icke längre, ryssar vilja vi icke bli, låt oss alltså bli finnar," in Swedish, his mother tongue.  In fact IIRC he only wrote and published in Swedish, like most (all?) of the Fennomans, until the Czar made Finnish, for the first time in history, official in Finland.
It's not like it's news to me that he was Swedish speaking Grin. Fennomans did indeed write in Finnish. Many even changed their names to Finnish equivalents.

Much of what you say ialmisry is correct, but in all this I would like to point out:
  • Russian rule was unpopular.
  • Finnish nationalism was borne because of opposition to the Russification initiatives by the Tsars.
  • Public opinion about Russians did not improve during the winter war.
  • The Orthodox Church was (and is) considered "Russian", and have had it very difficult during the early history of Finnish independence.
Yes, I'm aware of that. For one thing, I've seen the orignal Hyökkäys:


Just ironic that the Swedes never gave her that Lex (in Latin, of all things), but the Czar did.  The popularity of Russian rule plumetted only with the Russification campaign, which only started in 1899  and only lasted 15 years, out of the Grand Duchy's 108 years under the Czar. Of course, that last impression, reinforced by Stalin, I'm sure is what is left in the Finnish psyche, and projected backwards.

Fnnish nationalism was nutured by Russia, as Russification in Finland didn't occur until after Russia handed the Fennoman's the earned defeat of the Svecomans.  Only in 1899 did that change, and split the Fennomans into the Old (accomodationist) and Young (resistance).
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2010, 04:53:31 PM »

We are not as aware of each other as the EO's, but then, as I pointed out above, we didn't have the unifying Empire that the EO's had.

As one of the Emperor's men (=Melkite) in Egypt, I'd like to know what unifying Empire you are speaking of, we haven't had a Christian emperor since 640, who wasn't Orthodox (but was Armenian, btw) but was the same emperor the Copts, Syriacs and Armenians, OO or EO, had. Since you wrote this sentence seperately, you seem to put great importance on it.



You know exactly what I am talking about, but I'll put it into plainer language just in case:  The Byzantine Empire, after the split between the Chalcedonians and Orthodox occurred (what year we want to assign to that is a different topic) was an empire in which Chalcedonian Christianity was the official religion.  The Chalcedonian Church was the Imperial Church.  The Orthodox Church was not.  There were several emperors after that time who were ethnically Armenian, but each one was Chalcedonian and some of them persecuted the Armenian people quite viciously.
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2010, 07:08:50 PM »

We are not as aware of each other as the EO's, but then, as I pointed out above, we didn't have the unifying Empire that the EO's had.

As one of the Emperor's men (=Melkite) in Egypt, I'd like to know what unifying Empire you are speaking of, we haven't had a Christian emperor since 640, who wasn't Orthodox (but was Armenian, btw) but was the same emperor the Copts, Syriacs and Armenians, OO or EO, had. Since you wrote this sentence seperately, you seem to put great importance on it.



You know exactly what I am talking about,

Well, I could state what I think you are talking about, but that would be putting words in your mouth and misrepresenting the facts of history all at once.  So what do you mean exactly by a "unifying empire," and an "imperial Church"?


Quote
but I'll put it into plainer language just in case:  The Byzantine Empire, after the split between the Chalcedonians and Orthodox occurred (what year we want to assign to that is a different topic) was an empire in which Chalcedonian Christianity was the official religion.  The Chalcedonian Church was the Imperial Church.  The Orthodox Church was not.  There were several emperors after that time who were ethnically Armenian, but each one was Chalcedonian and some of them persecuted the Armenian people quite viciously.

The Ethiopian Empire, after the split between the Chalcedonians and  non-Chalcedonian Orthodox occurred (what year we want to assign to that is a different topic) was an empire in which non-Chalcedonian Christianity was the official religion.  The non-Chalcedonian Church was the Imperial Church.  The Eastern (actuallly, at the time WRO and Eastern) Orthodox Church was not.  The last emperor to rule the most of the Eastern/WRO Orthodox ruled over most of the OO as well (Armenia, Greater Syria and Mesopotamia, Egypt) was the Armenian Heracleius, who was Chalcedonian but not Orthodox.  There were several emperors after that time who were ethnically Armenian and Chalcedonian but not Orthodox, and some of them persecuted the Orthodox quite viciously, e.g. Constans, the grandson of Heracleius, who deposed all the Orthodox bishops his empire and dragged St. Maximus the Confessor before the bishops Imperial power installed, claiming to St. Maximus "see! the whole Church condemns you," to which St. Maximus replied "if the whole universe were to commune with you, I alone would not commune with you," for which the emperor cut off St. Maximus' right hand (so he could not write) and cut out his tongue (so he could not preach).  He was exiled to just outside the Emirate of Armenia, which non-Chalcedonian Christianity was the official religion (recognizing Muslim suzerainty until 884, when it became indendent, retaining its official religion), and imposed on the Albanians and Georgians there, how viciously I'm not sure.
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« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2010, 07:22:10 PM »

 The last emperor to rule the most of the Eastern/WRO Orthodox ruled over most of the OO as well (Armenia, Greater Syria and Mesopotamia, Egypt) was the Armenian Heracleius, who was Chalcedonian but not Orthodox.  There were several emperors after that time who were ethnically Armenian and Chalcedonian but not Orthodox, and some of them persecuted the Orthodox quite viciously,

Thank you for agreeing with me.

You still haven't named an OO empire on the scale of the Byzantine one, encompassing and uniting the various OO populations.  It just didn't exist.

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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2010, 07:57:27 PM »

 The last emperor to rule the most of the Eastern/WRO Orthodox ruled over most of the OO as well (Armenia, Greater Syria and Mesopotamia, Egypt) was the Armenian Heracleius, who was Chalcedonian but not Orthodox.  There were several emperors after that time who were ethnically Armenian and Chalcedonian but not Orthodox, and some of them persecuted the Orthodox quite viciously,

Thank you for agreeing with me.

You still haven't named an OO empire on the scale of the Byzantine one, encompassing and uniting the various OO populations.  It just didn't exist.

You still haven't named an EO empire on any scale, encompassing and uniting the various EO populations. It just didn't exist.  As for the Roman one, Heraclius is said to have been introduced to monergism (the precursor of monotheletism) by Paul of Armenia, who is described as a "Severian" i.e. OO.  Mere acceptance of Chalcedon doesn't make you Orthodox (you have noticed that we are not in communion with Rome, no?), nor does mere rejction of it. Or do you want the Arians?
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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2010, 09:39:43 PM »

The Byzantine Empire covered a lot more Chalcedonians than any OO political entity ever covered OO's.  There just never was an Oriental Orthodox political entity on the scale of the Byzantine Empire. 

The Byzantine Empire also had a hegemonistic and lasting influence that no OO political entity has ever had.  As discussed earlier, that can be seen with the uniformity of practice that one finds in the EO Church, as compared to the wide diversity that one still finds in the OO.  Also, the influence that the Ecumenical Patriarch has had over other EO patriarchates is still found today (only Greek patriarchs in Alexandria and Jerusalem, etc.)  This has never had a parallel among the OO.  

Then there is the territorial mentality that one finds among the Chalcedonians, which you don't see among the Oriental Orthodox.  That's what started this whole discussion.  Chalcedonians have a concern for territory that you don't see with the OO.  That's how two OO cathedrals can share the same street in the same city without anyone blinking an eye, while the EO's squabble over who has jurisdiction over "barbarian lands."  The latter is a remnant of empire. 
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« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2010, 08:06:39 AM »

The Byzantine Empire covered a lot more Chalcedonians than any OO political entity ever covered OO's.  There just never was an Oriental Orthodox political entity on the scale of the Byzantine Empire.

The Byzantine Empire also had a hegemonistic and lasting influence that no OO political entity has ever had.  As discussed earlier, that can be seen with the uniformity of practice that one finds in the EO Church, as compared to the wide diversity that one still finds in the OO.  Also, the influence that the Ecumenical Patriarch has had over other EO patriarchates is still found today (only Greek patriarchs in Alexandria and Jerusalem, etc.)  This has never had a parallel among the OO.  

Then there is the territorial mentality that one finds among the Chalcedonians, which you don't see among the Oriental Orthodox.  That's what started this whole discussion.  Chalcedonians have a concern for territory that you don't see with the OO.  That's how two OO cathedrals can share the same street in the same city without anyone blinking an eye, while the EO's squabble over who has jurisdiction over "barbarian lands."  The latter is a remnant of empire.  
Part of that "ease" is that the Armenian bishop has the Armenians, the Coptic bishop has the Copts, even the Ethiopian bishop has the Ethiopians.  The no-Armenian, Copt, Ethiopian etc. doesn't enter into the picture.  The Apostolic canons, and the canons of Nicea I, Constantinople I and Ephesus and beyond show the Apostles and Fathers did not have such ease.

Old and New Rome fight over jurisidciton and the Church of Bulgaria results. Constantinople and Bulgaria fight, and the Church of Serbia results. Constantinopole and Serbia and Russia fight, and the Churches of Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and Albania result.  In West Africa a fight amidst the mission there ends up in a fight in which one part when over to the other side of the continent to Ghana. Much of that ended up with 6 dozen bishops all across Africa, all under Alexandria, with native congregations and priests.  As St. Paul argued, territorality can be a good thing.

Monotheism has consequences.
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« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2010, 09:59:30 AM »

In West Africa a fight amidst the mission there ends up in a fight in which one part when over to the other side of the continent to Ghana. Much of that ended up with 6 dozen bishops all across Africa, all under Alexandria, with native congregations and priests.

Could you please elaborate on this situation.  Who was fighting with whom among the EO missionaries in Africa and what were the results?
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