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Author Topic: Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople, enemy of the Orthodox Church?  (Read 2272 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 08, 2011, 12:17:38 AM »

Do all the Orthodox view, Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople , as an enemy to the Orthodox Church? Or is it just a few individuals? I was reading a description of an icon which describes him as a Mason and as an enemy of the Orthodox Church and how evil he was basically and was just curious if it was the Iconographer's viewpoint or the the viewpoint of the Church.
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 12:20:41 AM »

It's a minority opinion held by some "traditionalists", mostly schismatics. Not that Pat. Athenagoras' actions were entirely commendable, but the significance/ gravity of those actions is not rated quite so highly by most of us.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 12:21:52 AM by Iconodule » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 12:25:48 AM »

Do all the Orthodox view, Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople , as an enemy to the Orthodox Church? Or is it just a few individuals? I was reading a description of an icon which describes him as a Mason and as an enemy of the Orthodox Church and how evil he was basically and was just curious if it was the Iconographer's viewpoint or the the viewpoint of the Church.

Just so y'all know..

There is a statue of Athenogoras just outside of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA.

Yes, there are some folks who disagree with his actions, such as working to reconcile East and West.

But, if he was the 'enemy of the Orthodox Church' would he be commemorated by a statue so close to the seminary chapel?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 12:29:41 AM by FrChris » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 12:34:17 AM »

Here is the link to the icon I'm talking about:
http://www.dormitionskete.org/DsWebStore/product_info.php?products_id=435&osCsid=8084e33d7bc08ae33cc1a9323bed2b60
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 12:35:58 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2011, 12:40:54 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.

Thanks for the info !
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2011, 12:41:03 AM »


I guess you just ignored everything I wrote about re: the GOA then, huh? I mean, a group that has two bishops must clearly have better reasoning than the group that is in communion with Constantinople and the remainder of the Eastern Orthodox Church, right?

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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2011, 12:48:40 AM »

The icon has been discussed here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11209.0.html
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2011, 01:21:29 AM »


I guess you just ignored everything I wrote about re: the GOA then, huh? I mean, a group that has two bishops must clearly have better reasoning than the group that is in communion with Constantinople and the remainder of the Eastern Orthodox Church, right?



 I didn't ignore it and appreciate your response . I just put the link up so that people could see the icon I was talking about.
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2011, 01:26:17 AM »

Salpy, thanks for the link!
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2011, 02:05:01 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.
Which means it will be dying with them.
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 02:20:05 AM »

I recall that Metropolitan Philaret, at the time the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad wrote a letter to Patriarch Athenagoras.  He was protesting the lifting of the 1054 Anathemas.
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2011, 02:27:23 AM »

I recall that Metropolitan Philaret, at the time the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad wrote a letter to Patriarch Athenagoras.  He was protesting the lifting of the 1054 Anathemas.

Indeed, this and this (plus more here). The Orthodox Church didn't seem to respond...
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2011, 03:43:50 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.
Which means it will be dying with them.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, never rejected as some schismatics have, nor did he or the Russian Church Abroad which rejects ecumenism say that ecumenists, revisionists, modernists - even Masonic clergy from canonical Churches lacked grace.  Rather His Eminence questioned the wisdom of, and the basis of ecumenism.  He wrote:
Quote
The Tradition of the Church and the example of the Holy Fathers teach us that the Church holds no dialogue with those who have separated themselves from Orthodoxy. Rather than that, the Church addresses to them a monologue inviting them to return to its fold through rejection of any dissenting doctrines.
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2011, 04:14:24 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.
So they are the genuine Orthodox Church?
And the other Orthodox are not?
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2011, 04:21:17 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.
So they are the genuine Orthodox Church?
And the other Orthodox are not?

There are quite a few groups who call themselves Orthodox and include words like "true" and "genuine" in their name. This group is not the real deal.
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2011, 05:40:32 AM »


Thanks, Salpy. You beat me to it.  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2011, 06:05:34 AM »

I recall that Metropolitan Philaret, at the time the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad wrote a letter to Patriarch Athenagoras.  He was protesting the lifting of the 1054 Anathemas.

Indeed, this and this (plus more here). The Orthodox Church didn't seem to respond...

At the time, no, there was not much response.  It was the salad days for ecumenism in the 1960s when such luminaries as Archbishop Iakovos of the Greeks removed all mention of the Mother of God from a televised Liturgy so as not to offend the Protestant viewers.

Those days, thank God, have passed and the much more sober attitude advocated by Metropolitan Philaret more or less prevails.
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2011, 06:10:53 AM »

Ecumenism as understood by the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad from 1964 to 1985- amicable relations with other faiths which does not betray the truth of Orthodoxy.  This is in fact the attitude which prevails today, now that we have put behind us the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s.

A delegation from the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to Vatican II was sent by Metropolitan Philaret.

Metropolitan Philaret wrote to Patriarch Athenagoras in 1965:

"Of course, we are not against amicable relations with the
representatives of other faiths, since this does not betray the truth
of Orthodoxy. For this reason our Church at one time accepted the
friendly invitation to send an observer to the Second Vatican Council,
just as it had sent an observer to the Protestant conference of the
World Council of Churches. . . ."


The letter, in the original Russian, can be found here:

http://www.romanitas.ru/content/filaret-vozn/epistles/athenag1.htm

Metropolitan Philaret said he was not against "amicable relations with the representatives of other faiths, since this not betray the truth of Orthodoxy" and explained that this was the reason the ROCOR sent observers to Vatican II just as it had sent observers to the Protestant Conferences of the WCC.


Actually, there were more than one official observer representing the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia at the Second Vatican Council. There was a full delegation, led by Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, and including Archimandrite Amvrossy (Pogodin), Archpriest Alexander Troubnikoff and Archpriest Igor Trojanoff.

All of them participated in the ceremonial Procession into St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, together with the official delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate, headed by Archbishop Nikodim (Rotov), and representatives of seventeen Orthodox and Oriental churches, to pay their respects to the Pope and the Council.
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« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2011, 08:49:35 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.
So they are the genuine Orthodox Church?
And the other Orthodox are not?

According to them - yes.
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2011, 09:50:07 AM »

An interesting irony is that Patriarch Athenagoras was a spiritual son of Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina, who was for a time the leader of the True Orthodox (Old Calendarists) in Greece. Fr Anastasios once linked to some commemorative words the Patriarch made upon the death of Met Chrysostomos in 1955; it was interesting to see the Patriarch overcome whatever ideological differences they had and recall their former spiritual relationship.

I would say most True Orthodox take the same view as Met Philaret: it's one thing to engage in dialog, but it's another thing to unilaterally undermine the consensus of the Church and participate in mutual prayers with the heterodox. Of course, this is why the True Orthodox still don't have communion with the Patriarch, because he still participates in mutual prayers with the Pope. You might find a few writers who go on about the Patriarch's Freemasonry or what not, but ultimately that's not the important issue.
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« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2011, 10:47:23 AM »

I remember Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory as a kind person. He came to our church once, St Stephen Bulgarian Church in Istanbul, and was very cordially received. When our parish president started his welcoming speech in Turkish (the official and "neutral" language), he immediately interrupted, saying "why don't you speak in your beautiful mother language?" You can imagine that cordiality turned immediately to affection and esteem. In any case, I believe that his ecumenism was closely tied to his personal approach to all people, which was based on love, respect and meekness.
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« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2011, 11:09:29 AM »

I remember Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory as a kind person. He came to our church once, St Stephen Bulgarian Church in Istanbul, and was very cordially received. When our parish president started his welcoming speech in Turkish (the official and "neutral" language), he immediately interrupted, saying "why don't you speak in your beautiful mother language?" You can imagine that cordiality turned immediately to affection and esteem. In any case, I believe that his ecumenism was closely tied to his personal approach to all people, which was based on love, respect and meekness.

I think that's plausible. Unfortunately, the devil always finds a way of distorting the best in us, if we are not always on our guard. So for example he can take our love for our fellow humans and twist it into a betrayal of the truth.

That being said, I think often certain people can show different faces to different people. When Pat Athenagoras lifted the anathemas, most of the Athonite monasteries ceased commemorating him, but instead of addressing their concerns and repenting of his actions, he simply threatened the non-commemorating monks with expulsion, so most of them then began to commemorate him again. This seems to be a pattern when it comes to the various official hierarchies and their relations with the opponents of ecumenism: they are very nice to those who flatter them and agree with them, like the heterodox, but anyone who disagrees, no matter how politely, they treat cruelly. Take Met Philaret: his epistle to the Patriarch was extremely irenical in tone, but the Patriarch responded by refusing to commemorate Met Philaret in the diptychs.

The point is that, although you may have seen Pat Athenagoras' nice face at that church, that doesn't mean he didn't also have a mean face.
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« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2011, 11:11:18 AM »

but anyone who disagrees, no matter how politely, they treat cruelly.


You consider schism of the Athonite Monks to be a polite solution?
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« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2011, 11:23:52 AM »

but anyone who disagrees, no matter how politely, they treat cruelly.


You consider schism of the Athonite Monks to be a polite solution?

Given that they did not cease commemoration out of hatred for the Patriarch, but out of love for the truth, then yes. It's no different from when the Patriarch Michael excommunicated the pope in 1054: it was not merely out of personal hatred, as the Pope and Patriarch tried to make out in 1964, but out of love for the truth.
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« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2011, 11:49:14 AM »


Dormition Skete belongs to the "Genuine Orthodox Church", who believe they are the only true orthodox church left in the world. They have two bishops.
2 bishops>  Are there any laity?
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« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2011, 11:56:29 AM »

They have a few parishes in the US and a number in Bulgaria and Africa, so one would presume there are at least a few laity in each parish.
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« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2011, 12:06:20 PM »

Many of Patriarch Athenagoras' actions were questionable at best and, since his timely death, he  has been a matter of controversy. I think negative opinion of him is held by most of the Orthodox world, which you will not find well represented on this board. He was an American, installed in a CIA operation, and many Greek Americans still love him.
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« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2011, 12:10:46 PM »

Many of Patriarch Athenagoras' actions were questionable at best and, since his timely death, he  has been a matter of controversy. I think negative opinion of him is held by most of the Orthodox world, which you will not find well represented on this board. He was an American, installed in a CIA operation, and many Greek Americans still love him.

I do remember reading there was support from high levels of the American government for Pat Athenagoras' election, and that he was a personal friend of President Truman. It makes sense, since he would be in an influential position in a strategically important part of the world, the front line in the confrontation with communism. Not surprising that the initial position of the Soviet Moscow Patriarchate was that the ecumenical movement was a tool of Western imperialism; I imagine they were half-right. Of course, in the 1960s they completely about-turned and ended up making ecumenism and the WCC a prime tool of Soviet foreign policy.
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« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2011, 12:12:38 PM »

but anyone who disagrees, no matter how politely, they treat cruelly.


You consider schism of the Athonite Monks to be a polite solution?

Non-commemoration of the Patriarch was the position which all the Holy Mountain (save one monastery) adopted in 1965 (the year of the lifting of the Anathemas.)  The monasteries stopped commemorating the Patriarch.  The Holy Mountain's refusal to commemorate the Patriarch continued until 1971, and beyond.

However, from 1971 the Sacred Community allowed the monasteries to make their own choice whether to commemorate or not.

The monastery of Esphigmenou continued to refuse to commemorate the Patriarch.  In 2002 the Patriarch excommunicated the monks of this monastery.   This of course made it impossible for any other monasteries to have communion with them.

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« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2011, 12:20:14 PM »

but anyone who disagrees, no matter how politely, they treat cruelly.


You consider schism of the Athonite Monks to be a polite solution?

Non-commemoration of the Patriarch was the position which all the Holy Mountain (save one monastery) adopted in 1965 (the year of the lifting of the Anathemas.)  The monasteries stopped commemorating the Patriarch.  The Holy Mountain's refusal to commemorate the Patriarch continued until 1971, and beyond.

However, from 1971 the Sacred Community allowed the monasteries to make their own choice whether to commemorate or not.

The monastery of Esphigmenou continued to refuse to commemorate the Patriarch.  In 2002 the Patriarch excommunicated the monks of this monastery.   This of course made it impossible for any other monasteries to have communion with them.



Right. Formally excommunicating the Esphigmenou monks would have forced many monks on Athos to choose sides; there was always a large number of commemorators who nevertheless sympathized with the zealots, on the basis of the 1971 decision to allow each monastery to decide its own path.
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