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Author Topic: Patriarch Kirill (MP) - Meeting with the Pope is Not Yet Possible  (Read 4372 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 31, 2012, 10:31:11 AM »

30 January 2012, 13:27

Patriarch pointed out that the Russian Church has recently suggested reviving the four-party commission comprising the Vatican, the Moscow Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

"However, the Catholic Church was not very enthusiastic about our offer," he said..."


http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=9020
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 11:15:36 AM »

30 January 2012, 13:27

Patriarch pointed out that the Russian Church has recently suggested reviving the four-party commission comprising the Vatican, the Moscow Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

"However, the Catholic Church was not very enthusiastic about our offer," he said..."


http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=9020


Here is the sticking point and it is one that those of us who either personally, or through our family narratives, were involved in property disputes here in North America can understand:


"Speaking about the seizure of Orthodox churches in Ukraine by Greek Catholics, the Patriarch pointed out that the Russian Church has recently suggested reviving the four-party commission comprising the Vatican, the Moscow Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church."

To those who retained their Greek Catholic faith during the periods of state enforced persecution, the property transfers in western Ukraine are not 'seizures' but legitimate 'recoveries.' For example, the Greek Catholic Cathedrals in Uzhorod and Muchachevo were both built in the post-Unia era in the 18th and 19th centuries, so to the Greek Catholics they were unlawfully 'seized' as a result of state actions in 1947.

To those who legitimately professed Orthodoxy both prior to and following 1947, their views on the subject are obviously different and need to be respected by the Greek Catholic community as well before any meaningful progress can be achieved.

As to those who sit in places like Moscow, Athens or in comfortable places in the west who abstractly pine about the historical wrongs caused by the unia in the first instance, I can only say that it is far easier to pontificate on a subject than to understand it from first hand experience.

Keep in mind also that for eastern Europe, all of this is recent history as only twenty years have passed. When I was a kid in the 1960's, some twenty years following the end of the period of litigation and church building following the second schism in the American Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, my church friends would literally 'cross the street' rather than pass in front of the newly constructed BCC church next door. Their children would 'hold their breath and look the other way' when passing St. Michael's. This pattern was repeated across the Northeast and Midwestern United States in countless cities, towns and hamlets where churches were split during that time period.

Today our peoples and our leaders remain separated by faith and most are comfortable with the choices that fate presented us, but we no longer have the 'hatred' and passion that existed years ago. Most of us have learned to cherish that which we possess in common and to try to understand those things which keep us apart. It is a tough road, but not an impossible one to follow.

To expect the Ukrainians and the Russians to 'kiss and make up' only twenty years after the collapse of the USSR and the restoration of the Greek Catholic church is unrealistic - for both sides. Of course the Ukrainian problems are compounded by the fractures within the Orthodox communities in Ukraine and the relationships, and lack thereof, which the Ukrainian Greek Catholics are developing with some of the Orthodox on purely nationalistic grounds.

I would only ask those who are far removed from that situation, as well as the parallel ones in Slovakia and Romania to not be quick to judge our brothers and sisters as none of you have walked the proverbial mile in their shoes - either Orthodox or Greek Catholic ones for that matter.

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 11:25:05 AM »

30 January 2012, 13:27

Patriarch pointed out that the Russian Church has recently suggested reviving the four-party commission comprising the Vatican, the Moscow Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

"However, the Catholic Church was not very enthusiastic about our offer," he said..."


http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=9020

$5 says Zenit posts an article saying the MP wants to join the UGCC.  Roll Eyes Wink Cheesy

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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 11:34:56 AM »

http://risu.org.ua/en/index/expert_thought/open_theme/44340/

“But in this whole controversy the Moscow Patriarchate stubbornly does not want to notice one very important detail. Speaking of “the defeat of three Orthodox dioceses” conceals the true statistics of Orthodoxy in Galicia. And they are really impressive. Here is the number of Orthodox parishes: in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast there are about 462 parishes (34 UOC-MP, 279 UOC-KP, 149 UAOC), in Lviv Oblast, respectively, 912 (69 UOC-MP, 460 UOC-KP, 383 UAOC) in Ternopil Oblast 663 parishes (125 UOC-MP, 227 UOC-KP, 261 UAOC). For comparison, take the Donetsk Oblast (one of the largest in Ukraine), which has 757 Orthodox communities, or Zhytomyr with 848 parishes and finally Odessa with 684 Orthodox parishes. With so many parishes can there be talk about the defeat of Orthodoxy in Galicia? Statistics show that such centers of “canonical Orthodoxy” as Donetsk or Odesa do not exceed the number of communities “defeated” in the Lviv Oblast, where there are 912 communities.”
13 September 2011
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 11:42:23 AM »

http://risu.org.ua/en/index/expert_thought/open_theme/44340/

“But in this whole controversy the Moscow Patriarchate stubbornly does not want to notice one very important detail. Speaking of “the defeat of three Orthodox dioceses” conceals the true statistics of Orthodoxy in Galicia. And they are really impressive. Here is the number of Orthodox parishes: in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast there are about 462 parishes (34 UOC-MP, 279 UOC-KP, 149 UAOC), in Lviv Oblast, respectively, 912 (69 UOC-MP, 460 UOC-KP, 383 UAOC) in Ternopil Oblast 663 parishes (125 UOC-MP, 227 UOC-KP, 261 UAOC). For comparison, take the Donetsk Oblast (one of the largest in Ukraine), which has 757 Orthodox communities, or Zhytomyr with 848 parishes and finally Odessa with 684 Orthodox parishes. With so many parishes can there be talk about the defeat of Orthodoxy in Galicia? Statistics show that such centers of “canonical Orthodoxy” as Donetsk or Odesa do not exceed the number of communities “defeated” in the Lviv Oblast, where there are 912 communities.”
13 September 2011

I agree.

I had the privilege of getting to know Fr. Dymytry Sydor of the UOC-MP and rector of the Holy Cross Cathedral in Uzhorod when he summered in the US some years ago. There is no question that for many in western Ukraine, the same issues of Latinizing and fealty to Rome drove many to Orthodoxy during the 20th century.

Unfortunately, the problems in western Ukraine are so wrapped up with ethnic politics and 'byzantine' political alliances that it is tough for us Americans to really have a feel for the truth.

Fr. Sydor was able to erect a massive cathedral in the city and it is filled with the faithful. He is not a Ukrainian nationalist, but rather a devotee of Duchnovych and the Rusyn identity movement and for that reason, he and the Rusyn community have allied themselves with the MP. (They face the same problem faced by Bishop Milan Sasic and the Eparchy of Muchachevo within the Greek Catholic church in trying to stake out an autonomous identity in Transcarpathia - a region home to a vast multitude of competing cultures - dating back to centuries of Hungarian rule.)
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 04:29:53 PM »

 Shocked

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.

How much distance do you have in mind?
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 10:37:29 AM »

Shocked

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.

How much distance do you have in mind?

Enough to keep them from poaching Orthodox Christians. Yes,I am offended by Protestants who rally their faithful to evangelize in Eastern Europe with the charge being that they will bring Christianity there. They are just as ridiculous as the Blue Legionaries in the Roman Church. Now I know full well that there are plenty of non-believers or superficial 'believers' in east Europe.

However, as an Orthodox Christian, it is not unreasonable to pray that the Orthodox churches there see the light in terms of settling their internal battles and get past their reluctance to use the vernacular. Many of us believe that the MP's reluctance to do so is that the vernacular across the regions of the former Russian Tsarist empire is not limited to Russian and that translations and use of local languages in nations now independent (Belarus and Ukraine come to mind...also Moldava) would lead to a diminution of her influence.

Not so much a 'slam' on non-Orthodox, but a fervent wish for the Orthodox to do better.
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 10:52:03 AM »

You really have no idea how offensive that is, do you?

Shocked

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.

How much distance do you have in mind?

Enough to keep them from poaching Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2012, 11:29:33 AM »

You really have no idea how offensive that is, do you?

Shocked

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.

How much distance do you have in mind?

Enough to keep them from poaching Orthodox Christians.

You really have no idea how offensive such missionaries and uninformed Protestant attitudes about Orthodoxy are to those of us with family in those lands.  I am not talking about you, but ask an Orthodox priest or two trying to establish a mission for Orthodox families in the American Bible Belt about dealing with those attitudes.
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2012, 11:43:52 AM »

Many of us believe that the MP's reluctance to do so is that the vernacular across the regions of the former Russian Tsarist empire is not limited to Russian and that translations and use of local languages in nations now independent (Belarus and Ukraine come to mind...also Moldava) would lead to a diminution of her influence.

There are a few Belarusian- and Ukrainian-language parishes.
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 11:56:33 AM »

You really have no idea how offensive that is, do you?

Shocked

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.

How much distance do you have in mind?

Enough to keep them from poaching Orthodox Christians.

You really have no idea how offensive such missionaries and uninformed Protestant attitudes about Orthodoxy are to those of us with family in those lands.  I am not talking about you, but ask an Orthodox priest or two trying to establish a mission for Orthodox families in the American Bible Belt about dealing with those attitudes.
I remember during my missionary work in Russia, Hungary, Romania, and Czech Republic we were outright told that the Orthodox and Catholics were in no way Christian. We were never to even refer to them as Christian. This is far more widespread and taught than many here in the US would like to admit, especially in more fundamentalist areas.

I remember asking a question about a Catholic belief in one of our "boot camp" training sessions and I was told to grab a tract by Jack Chick, "because he knows what he's talking about" if that says anything.


PP
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012, 11:57:32 AM »

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.

Seriously, people, it's okay for Orthodox and Catholics to be there but not "Protestants" -- so much so that Orthodox pray for them to be "kept at a distance"? I can't be the only person here who is offended by that. Could someone have the guts to say they're offended too?
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2012, 12:00:24 PM »

I remember asking a question about a Catholic belief in one of our "boot camp" training sessions and I was told to grab a tract by Jack Chick, "because he knows what he's talking about" if that says anything.

It looks me like some Orthodox and Catholics do a pretty good job of mirroring Chick's attitudes (if that says anything).
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 12:11:50 PM »

I remember asking a question about a Catholic belief in one of our "boot camp" training sessions and I was told to grab a tract by Jack Chick, "because he knows what he's talking about" if that says anything.

It looks me like some Orthodox and Catholics do a pretty good job of mirroring Chick's attitudes (if that says anything).
That is also true, unfortunately.

PP
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 12:16:10 PM »

Maybe I should start praying for Catholics and Orthodox (or "Papists" and "Easterners") to be kept at a distance from America, because some of them have done bad things.
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2012, 12:22:49 PM »

My apologies for going off-topic. Some things are hard not to respond to.
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2012, 12:49:29 PM »

My apologies for going off-topic. Some things are hard not to respond to.

You guys are just proving my point.

Come on, some other Orthodox - come on in - especially clergy - and put this in context. It seems as if some of you have a double standard when it comes to Protestantism - it's ok to bash the Catholics but Protestant offense and ignorance is excusable in context? Give me a break - too bad if the truth hurts. Thanks pp for watching my back.
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2012, 01:02:13 PM »

Peter J seems to be laboring under the assumption (and please tell me if I'm wrong) that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church. 

They're not.

Catholics "get a pass" because of their historical presence in those areas. 
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2012, 01:13:35 PM »

Peter J seems to be laboring under the assumption (and please tell me if I'm wrong) that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church. 

Who am I to tell you that you're wrong? I'll just make a note that I've been making that assumption, since I hadn't the slightest idea I was doing that. Anything else you can tell me about myself? Am I really a Baptist? A Mormon? You have to help me, because I don't know myself very well. Also, if you could show me evidence that I've been assuming that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church, that might make it easier for me to remember it (in case I lose my note).
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2012, 01:13:43 PM »

Peter J seems to be laboring under the assumption (and please tell me if I'm wrong) that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church. 

They're not.

Catholics "get a pass" because of their historical presence in those areas. 

We are really off topic here, but I digress. My ancestors lived under the rule of the Hapsburgs. In the cities,  and even into the smaller towns and villages of that empire, it was not uncommon for one to have an Eastern Catholic (formerly Orthodox) presence, a Roman Catholic one and a Lutheran one. Some even had a Presbyterian or two (the Hussites) sprinkled in the mix for good measure. For the most part they lived together, kept their distance and kept the peace. At least from the mid 18th century to the present these peoples didn't generally assert that the others weren't Christian or were in need of 'conversion'. (I am speaking broadly - not about the Orthodox/EC divide here, so please hear me out....)

I, and others, are talking about the influx of modern American evangelical Protestants who view us (as pp said) as NOT being Christian. Dealing with that charge since the first Orthodox immigrants came to these shores has been one of the great burdens placed upon the shoulders of Orthodox believers on the North American continent.

I am not painting with a broad brush of attack, if I appeared to do so, I apologize. Even the greatest  American Baptist figure of the 20th century, the Rev. Billy Graham, was ultimately scandalized by those who went to evangelize in east Europe who lacked any respect for, of appreciation for, the lasting strength of Eastern Christianity. http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0643_Billy_Graham_in_USSR.html  Graham took much heat from the Jack Chicks of this planet, but he never wavered from what he said of the Orthodox after he opened his own heart and mind to the truth.

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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2012, 01:28:35 PM »

Quote
am not painting with a broad brush of attack, if I appeared to do so, I apologize. Even the greatest  American Baptist figure of the 20th century, the Rev. Billy Graham, was ultimately scandalized by those who went to evangelize in east Europe who lacked any respect for, of appreciation for, the lasting strength of Eastern Christianity. http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0643_Billy_Graham_in_USSR.html  Graham took much heat from the Jack Chicks of this planet, but he never wavered from what he said of the Orthodox after he opened his own heart and mind to the truth
Although I disagree with the good Reverend on many things, I know this is fact. Many times during his crusades, when people would come forward, he would task these people to speak with a clergyman of their tradition if able and willing (RC's to a RC priest, and so forth). I think that is one reason why he is respected as he is across many traditions (and even across religions).

PP
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2012, 02:32:08 PM »

Peter J seems to be laboring under the assumption (and please tell me if I'm wrong) that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church.  

Who am I to tell you that you're wrong? I'll just make a note that I've been making that assumption, since I hadn't the slightest idea I was doing that. Anything else you can tell me about myself? Am I really a Baptist? A Mormon? You have to help me, because I don't know myself very well. Also, if you could show me evidence that I've been assuming that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church, that might make it easier for me to remember it (in case I lose my note).

Why are you being so defensive?  I outright said that I was making an assumption (e.g. "seems to be...") and asked to be corrected.

As for how I came to this,  your words in this very thread.  Only someone who labors under the impression that the Orthodox and the Protestant missionaries, many of whom, as podkarpatska noted, view the Orthodox as NOT being Christian, are of the same "invisible" church.

The Orthodox simply do not think so and it is an insult them for people to come to "Christianize" them when they've been Christians for over 1000 years.  Those who are presently unchurched are the victims of godless communism.  Slipping in with an individualist salvation mindset is poaching.  If you're shocked that the Orthodox don't want people spreading lies about Christ among their flock, you have your head in the sand re: the real world.
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2012, 02:33:53 PM »

If I may recommend, especially to Peter J., but also to the rest of you who are in this latest conversation, that I do not really see this topic being reigned in at any point...soon.  So, if you would like to continue this conversation in any of the myriad of threads which exist EXACTLY for this type of conversation, please find them & link to them, so you can have your conversations there.  

It would definitely behoove us to stay to the topic of the Original Post, if at all possible.  Digression is OK for a little bit, but this one seems like it's going to go further than most.   police
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2012, 02:37:29 PM »

 Huh You guys know that Billy Graham is generally included in "Protestants" right?

Regardless, I think I'm going to stop posting for now. I'm not too good in this sort of conversation. First we're told that Orthodox should pray that "Protestants are kept at a distance"; then when I object to that it is concluded that I "[believe] Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church"! I just don't how to avoid making things worse (possibly earning myself a 99 day Muting to boot) other than to just tell everyone to "talk the hand".

Bye.
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2012, 02:53:00 PM »

Huh You guys know that Billy Graham is generally included in "Protestants" right?

Regardless, I think I'm going to stop posting for now. I'm not too good in this sort of conversation. First we're told that Orthodox should pray that "Protestants are kept at a distance"; then when I object to that it is concluded that I "[believe] Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church"! I just don't how to avoid making things worse (possibly earning myself a 99 day Muting to boot) other than to just tell everyone to "talk the hand".

Bye.

And unlike many of our sincere Orthodox brothers and sisters who post here regularly, I suspect that Schultz and I are in the minority here who would never view Rev. Billy Graham as not being a Christian and among those who sincerely believe, and hope, that pious Godly men and women like the aforesaid Rev. Billy Graham will likely enter into His Kingdom on that dread Day of Final Judgment. Don't go away in a snit, but pick your fights more carefully.
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2012, 02:58:10 PM »

Huh You guys know that Billy Graham is generally included in "Protestants" right?

Regardless, I think I'm going to stop posting for now. I'm not too good in this sort of conversation. First we're told that Orthodox should pray that "Protestants are kept at a distance"; then when I object to that it is concluded that I "[believe] Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church"! I just don't how to avoid making things worse (possibly earning myself a 99 day Muting to boot) other than to just tell everyone to "talk the hand".

Bye.

And unlike many of our sincere Orthodox brothers and sisters who post here regularly, I suspect that Schultz and I are in the minority here who would never view Rev. Billy Graham as not being a Christian and among those who sincerely believe, and hope, that pious Godly men and women like the aforesaid Rev. Billy Graham will likely enter into His Kingdom on that dread Day of Final Judgment. Don't go away in a snit, but pick your fights more carefully.

Agreed on all counts. 

Also, Rev. Billy Graham did not go into Orthodox lands and tell pious Christians that they were never Christians.

The use of the term "Protestant" on here was general, at first, and then narrowed down in posts by pp and podkarpatska. 
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2012, 03:08:40 PM »

Quote
And unlike many of our sincere Orthodox brothers and sisters who post here regularly, I suspect that Schultz and I are in the minority here who would never view Rev. Billy Graham as not being a Christian and among those who sincerely believe, and hope, that pious Godly men and women like the aforesaid Rev. Billy Graham will likely enter into His Kingdom on that dread Day of Final Judgment. Don't go away in a snit, but pick your fights more carefully
QFT. I would never call Rev. Graham a non-Christian.

Quote
Also, Rev. Billy Graham did not go into Orthodox lands and tell pious Christians that they were never Christians
Very true.

Quote
The use of the term "Protestant" on here was general, at first, and then narrowed down in posts by pp and podkarpatska
If it was seen that I was smearing Rev. Graham, Im sorry. Didn't mean to do that. I was simply explaining my experiences, which were first hand.

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« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2012, 11:18:07 PM »

Huh You guys know that Billy Graham is generally included in "Protestants" right?

Regardless, I think I'm going to stop posting for now. I'm not too good in this sort of conversation. First we're told that Orthodox should pray that "Protestants are kept at a distance"; then when I object to that it is concluded that I "[believe] Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church"! I just don't how to avoid making things worse (possibly earning myself a 99 day Muting to boot) other than to just tell everyone to "talk the hand".

Bye.

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« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2012, 02:34:21 PM »

Peter J seems to be laboring under the assumption (and please tell me if I'm wrong) that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church.  

Who am I to tell you that you're wrong? I'll just make a note that I've been making that assumption, since I hadn't the slightest idea I was doing that. Anything else you can tell me about myself? Am I really a Baptist? A Mormon? You have to help me, because I don't know myself very well. Also, if you could show me evidence that I've been assuming that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church, that might make it easier for me to remember it (in case I lose my note).

Why are you being so defensive?  I outright said that I was making an assumption (e.g. "seems to be...") and asked to be corrected.

As for how I came to this,  your words in this very thread.  Only someone who labors under the impression that the Orthodox and the Protestant missionaries, many of whom, as podkarpatska noted, view the Orthodox as NOT being Christian, are of the same "invisible" church.

The Orthodox simply do not think so and it is an insult them for people to come to "Christianize" them when they've been Christians for over 1000 years.  Those who are presently unchurched are the victims of godless communism.  Slipping in with an individualist salvation mindset is poaching.  If you're shocked that the Orthodox don't want people spreading lies about Christ among their flock, you have your head in the sand re: the real world.

I do not think that is an insult but it certainly is an arrogant and misguided approach. Besides, one is a Christian on his own and not by being part of a nation, race or ethnic group. It certainly is not inherited. We would do better to evangelize and catechize "our own people" than to bemoan others doing so. In any case, the threat of heterodox "poaching" should be viewed as a challenge; it would be a sign of impotence to try to ban it or to condemn it. If we are the True Faith (and I believe this with without any reservation), we would welcome the competition and strive to convert the heterodox missionaries!
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« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2012, 06:35:27 PM »

Peter J seems to be laboring under the assumption (and please tell me if I'm wrong) that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church.  

Who am I to tell you that you're wrong? I'll just make a note that I've been making that assumption, since I hadn't the slightest idea I was doing that. Anything else you can tell me about myself? Am I really a Baptist? A Mormon? You have to help me, because I don't know myself very well. Also, if you could show me evidence that I've been assuming that Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church, that might make it easier for me to remember it (in case I lose my note).

Why are you being so defensive?  I outright said that I was making an assumption (e.g. "seems to be...") and asked to be corrected.

As for how I came to this,  your words in this very thread.  Only someone who labors under the impression that the Orthodox and the Protestant missionaries, many of whom, as podkarpatska noted, view the Orthodox as NOT being Christian, are of the same "invisible" church.

The Orthodox simply do not think so and it is an insult them for people to come to "Christianize" them when they've been Christians for over 1000 years.  Those who are presently unchurched are the victims of godless communism.  Slipping in with an individualist salvation mindset is poaching.  If you're shocked that the Orthodox don't want people spreading lies about Christ among their flock, you have your head in the sand re: the real world.

I do not think that is an insult but it certainly is an arrogant and misguided approach. Besides, one is a Christian on his own and not by being part of a nation, race or ethnic group. It certainly is not inherited. We would do better to evangelize and catechize "our own people" than to bemoan others doing so. In any case, the threat of heterodox "poaching" should be viewed as a challenge; it would be a sign of impotence to try to ban it or to condemn it. If we are the True Faith (and I believe this with without any reservation), we would welcome the competition and strive to convert the heterodox missionaries!

I've always thought about doing this.  I managed to deter a group of evangelical protestants (not sure what denomenation) from doing a rendition of interpretive dance in Pireus, Greece.  Thank God I did b/c the Greek equivalent of a SWAT team & anti-protest gear came to that location like 20 minutes after they were scheduled to perform. 

The people & I got into a very lengthy conversation & I was able to point them to a church where the priest spoke very good english. 
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« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2012, 08:43:24 PM »

Huh You guys know that Billy Graham is generally included in "Protestants" right?

Regardless, I think I'm going to stop posting for now. I'm not too good in this sort of conversation. First we're told that Orthodox should pray that "Protestants are kept at a distance"; then when I object to that it is concluded that I "[believe] Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church"! I just don't how to avoid making things worse (possibly earning myself a 99 day Muting to boot) other than to just tell everyone to "talk the hand".

Bye.

And unlike many of our sincere Orthodox brothers and sisters who post here regularly, I suspect that Schultz and I are in the minority here who would never view Rev. Billy Graham as not being a Christian and among those who sincerely believe, and hope, that pious Godly men and women like the aforesaid Rev. Billy Graham will likely enter into His Kingdom on that dread Day of Final Judgment. Don't go away in a snit, but pick your fights more carefully.

Agreed on all counts. 

Also, Rev. Billy Graham did not go into Orthodox lands and tell pious Christians that they were never Christians.

The use of the term "Protestant" on here was general, at first, and then narrowed down in posts by pp and podkarpatska. 

Agree.  I consider Protestants to be Christians, but in error.  Same with the RC.  I don't want them preaching in Orthodox lands any more than I want incompetent mechanics in my power plant.
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« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2012, 11:06:49 PM »

You really have no idea how offensive that is, do you?

Shocked

Keep them all in your prayers so that the secularists and Protestants are kept at a distance.

How much distance do you have in mind?

Enough to keep them from poaching Orthodox Christians.
Poaching Orthodox Christians is very offensive, to man and God.
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« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2012, 09:24:42 AM »

Dear Schultz,

With regard to whether I think that "Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church" you said, "As for how I came to this,  your words in this very thread." But you haven't said which words. "Only someone who labors under the impression that the Orthodox and the Protestant missionaries, many of whom, as podkarpatska noted, view the Orthodox as NOT being Christian, are of the same "invisible" church." which I admit I don't understand.

I would really like to know what I said that gave you the idea that I think that "Protestants and Orthodox are part of the same church".

(Later you said that I "still haven't actually corrected anything", but I don't see how I can defend myself when you haven't shown me the evidence against me.)

When I posted this ^^ before my intention, naturally, was for Schultz to tell me which of my "words in this very thread" it was; but come think of it, if anyone could tell me it would be greatly appreciated (I've been waiting more than 2 weeks already). Maybe you can count it as a good deed for Great Lent?
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« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2012, 11:25:52 AM »

What I think is interesting in this discussion is that since 1991 and the fall of communism the Orthodox Church has expanded rapidly.  Inspite of all the money the American Evangelicals are spending on missions to the area they are not successful.  To me that is significant.  I don't think that Evangelical Protestant missions are a real threat to Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2012, 09:19:32 AM »

Quote
What I think is interesting in this discussion is that since 1991 and the fall of communism the Orthodox Church has expanded rapidly.  Inspite of all the money the American Evangelicals are spending on missions to the area they are not successful
I have to disagree on this. I went to eastern Europe as one of these Evangelical proseletyzers. We unfortunately, were tremendously successful.

Quote
I don't think that Evangelical Protestant missions are a real threat to Orthodox Christians.
There are many here that would also disagree with that statement.

PP
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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2012, 11:51:33 AM »

Quote
What I think is interesting in this discussion is that since 1991 and the fall of communism the Orthodox Church has expanded rapidly.  Inspite of all the money the American Evangelicals are spending on missions to the area they are not successful
I have to disagree on this. I went to eastern Europe as one of these Evangelical proseletyzers. We unfortunately, were tremendously successful.

Quote
I don't think that Evangelical Protestant missions are a real threat to Orthodox Christians.
There are many here that would also disagree with that statement.

PP

I am looking for some recent statistics.  If anyone else has the statistics handy please post them.  From what I read the Evangelicals made some initial progress and then in the last 5 years or so actually declined in numbers as the Orthodox numbers increased.
What information are you basing your comments on primuspilus?  Recent numbers or from 10/ 20 years ago?
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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2012, 12:41:41 PM »

Quote
What I think is interesting in this discussion is that since 1991 and the fall of communism the Orthodox Church has expanded rapidly.  Inspite of all the money the American Evangelicals are spending on missions to the area they are not successful
I have to disagree on this. I went to eastern Europe as one of these Evangelical proseletyzers. We unfortunately, were tremendously successful.

Quote
I don't think that Evangelical Protestant missions are a real threat to Orthodox Christians.
There are many here that would also disagree with that statement.

PP

I am looking for some recent statistics.  If anyone else has the statistics handy please post them.  From what I read the Evangelicals made some initial progress and then in the last 5 years or so actually declined in numbers as the Orthodox numbers increased.
What information are you basing your comments on primuspilus?  Recent numbers or from 10/ 20 years ago?
Some by personal experience. However, its not hard to see. I'll give an example:

In Russia, there are over 4,000 organizations that were registered that belonged to a protestant group. Second in the country only to Orthodoxy. This number is outpacing all others (including Orthodoxy) in rate of growth (2004 census). Also in former Soviet union areas, at the fall of the Union, there were 2,000,000 Baptists. There are now over 5,000,000. Mostly in Ukraine. That means, since the fall of the Union, the number of just Baptists has more than doubled. That is not including the non-Christian faiths that have also seen big inroads.

Its very alluring to folks who can be a Christian and not have to "do" anything except pray a prayer and really mean it. We had hundreds every time we preached on the corners in Moscow. Its a big problem for Orthodoxy over there.

PP
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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2012, 05:55:24 PM »

Its very alluring to folks who can be a Christian and not have to "do" anything except pray a prayer and really mean it. We had hundreds every time we preached on the corners in Moscow. Its a big problem for Orthodoxy over there.

I agree with you that Protestantism is huge here.  I might even say it is the most practiced religion in Ukraine.  Real numbers are all but impossible to obtain since it is a very unofficial sort of thing.   

I disagree about not having to do anything.  Most of the local Protestants whom I have met are deeply sincere and practicing Christians.  The Orthodox Church offers no outreach to them, is hopelessly corrupt and irrelevant.  The Bible and prayer life isn't encouraged among the Orthodox.  Instead you can stand for a few hours a week at service which you don't really understand.  OTOH, the Protestants offer a vernacular Russian (and Ukrainian!) bible, fellowship and meaningful worship.   
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« Reply #38 on: February 29, 2012, 10:29:08 AM »

From my visits to Ukraine and from contact with my relatives I do not see that Evangelicals are "huge" in Ukraine.  Their parishes are very small in comparison to regular Orthodox parishes.  Some young people are initially attracted because of the opportunity to learn English or just to have some "contact" with the United States, but that wears off quickly.  What I have heard in feedback is that Protestant preaching and teaching is viewed as "simplistic" without spiritual depth.  You have to remember that most people in Ukraine are well educated like to discuss literature, art and politics.  I am looking for recent statistics, but again I have not seen any statistics that back up any stattements that protestantism is "huge" in Ukriane or Russia.  Also I have travelled to Romania too and I can say the same thing about Romania.
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« Reply #39 on: February 29, 2012, 11:26:13 AM »

Its very alluring to folks who can be a Christian and not have to "do" anything except pray a prayer and really mean it. We had hundreds every time we preached on the corners in Moscow. Its a big problem for Orthodoxy over there.

I agree with you that Protestantism is huge here.  I might even say it is the most practiced religion in Ukraine.  Real numbers are all but impossible to obtain since it is a very unofficial sort of thing.   

I disagree about not having to do anything.  Most of the local Protestants whom I have met are deeply sincere and practicing Christians.  The Orthodox Church offers no outreach to them, is hopelessly corrupt and irrelevant.  The Bible and prayer life isn't encouraged among the Orthodox.  Instead you can stand for a few hours a week at service which you don't really understand.  OTOH, the Protestants offer a vernacular Russian (and Ukrainian!) bible, fellowship and meaningful worship.   
I understand your disagreement. What I mean is that alot of the missionary groups that go over there are of the "magical prayer" type. Like we were. I do think though that the Church can learn a thing or two by watching how the Protestants offer everything in the native language and make sure, at least, that the folks they're talking to understand.

PP
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« Reply #40 on: February 29, 2012, 11:47:09 AM »

Protestantism is a serious problem in Ukraine, but quite a lot of practising Orthodox people I have met, used to be in such Protestant groups and finally became practising Orthodox.
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« Reply #41 on: February 29, 2012, 06:13:16 PM »

From my visits to Ukraine and from contact with my relatives I do not see that Evangelicals are "huge" in Ukraine.  Their parishes are very small in comparison to regular Orthodox parishes.  Some young people are initially attracted because of the opportunity to learn English or just to have some "contact" with the United States, but that wears off quickly.  What I have heard in feedback is that Protestant preaching and teaching is viewed as "simplistic" without spiritual depth.  You have to remember that most people in Ukraine are well educated like to discuss literature, art and politics.  I am looking for recent statistics, but again I have not seen any statistics that back up any stattements that protestantism is "huge" in Ukriane or Russia.  Also I have travelled to Romania too and I can say the same thing about Romania.

I'm not really talking about amero-centric organizations.  There are two protestant smallish protestant congregations within about 300 meters of my apartment.  There is a huge mega church type thing five minutes from my house.  The nearest Orthodox church is a ten minute walk and there are two more within a 45 minute walk (and far more than two protestant congregations in the radius).  Not a scientific survey of course, but it shows you can't just dismiss protestantism in Ukraine. 
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« Reply #42 on: February 29, 2012, 08:04:20 PM »

We should be worried about Orthodoxy in our own country.  Most of the parishes here in my area, and there are many... they're on life support.  They have a very small congregation and slim chances of existing in the next ten years.  Some priests handle three churches b/c they are so small.
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« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2012, 07:40:18 AM »

While I was out and about I realized I missed a couple.  

So in a ten minute walk from my house:
1 protestant mega church type thing that is huge
3 moderately sized protestant congregations
1 smallish protestant congregation

1 Orthodox parish about the same size as a single moderate protestant one.  

And the demographics are not stacked in favor of the Orthodox either.  80% or so of the people in attendance at Sunday liturgy are over 50.  My impressions of the Protestants seem to be they are younger and more often complete families.  That's why I get frustrated at flippantly dismissing Protestantism in Ukraine.  The above description is pretty typical of the big russophone cities of Ukraine: Kyiv, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odessa, etc.  Central and Western Ukraine as well as the rural East are a different story altogether.  
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« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2012, 09:19:27 AM »

But life itself is a thing of great beauty, of which only those are capable who have been instructed by it. Mellifluous chants, however, and softly modulated reading, the odor of incense and a blessed, somniferous atmosphere of beauty will wrap in mist the sorrowful image of Christ, will bring lamentation to an end, will cause heads to be downcast, will cause hope to die. For some this enveloping grandeur will be a temporary lullaby, others will recoil from it -- and a great chasm will appear between the Church and real life. The aesthetically-minded custodians of grandeur will preserve that chasm in the name of harmony, rhythm, order and beauty.

The profane, on the other side, will make no attempt to leap across the chasm because they have been left with the pain, the struggle, the bitterness, the ugliness of life. They will cease to believe that with such heavy baggage it is possible -- and necessary -- to approach the Church. And then, within that miserable and godless world, there will arise -- if they have not arisen already -- false Christs and false prophets, sectarian preachers of various kinds and in varying degrees of shallowness and mediocrity -- Baptists, Evangelicals, Adventists, etc. -- who will offer to these hungry people some kind of an elementary reformulation of the truth, some impoverished surrogate for religious life, some small dollop of good will and ranting hysteria. Some will respond to this. They will respond first of all to a basic human concern for their needs. But they will not be able to discern immediately that instead of true and traditional Orthodox Christianity, they are being treated to a questionable, semi-literate hodgepodge of starry-eyed idealism and charlatanism. But the opiate will have its effect. And it will further deepen the chasm between the Church and the world. Protected carefully by the lovers of beauty, protected by a sense of delusion and hatred of the world, the chasm may be there for ages.


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