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Poll
Question: Who's the real Orthodox spiritual leader (besides Jesus): Moscow?
Yes - 2 (4.8%)
No - 35 (83.3%)
Must wait for the big 4 Patriarchs to speak in unison - 2 (4.8%)
Must wait for >95% of world wide non-oriental Orthodox bishops to meet and agree on something, then not have it overturned by laity - 1 (2.4%)
Mount Athos - 2 (4.8%)
Total Voters: 42

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Author Topic: Is Patriarch of Moscow the real Orthodox spiritual leader?  (Read 2883 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 13, 2012, 01:18:40 PM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine. 

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 01:21:43 PM »

Ignorant's theories about the Orthodox ecclesiology. I'd rather discuss programming with my baba.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 01:28:44 PM »

He is one of many, but not the one.  This sort of thinking lead to the Roman church.
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 01:31:26 PM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine. 

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K

Ecclessiology: yours is wrong.
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 02:09:47 PM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine. 

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K

They have one of these in Rome.  It's called the Pope.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 02:12:11 PM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine. 

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K
I think you are misunderstanding Orthodox ecclesiology a bit. The Orthodox Church doesn't have a centralized form of leadership as the roman catholic church do. After the great schism, the Patriarch of Constantinople took over the status of "Primus inter pares" and Constantinople was called the second Rome. When the city fell to the Ottomans, some began to refer to Russia as the third Rome but as far as I know, this is not an official title.
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 02:32:59 PM »

Without being prideful, 1) are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  2) That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  3) Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

1) Yes
2) Yes
3) No
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 02:34:34 PM »

Most likely it is the Metropolitan or high-ranking Archbishop
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 03:16:06 PM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine. 

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K
I think you are misunderstanding Orthodox ecclesiology a bit. The Orthodox Church doesn't have a centralized form of leadership as the roman catholic church do. After the great schism, the Patriarch of Constantinople took over the status of "Primus inter pares" and Constantinople was called the second Rome. When the city fell to the Ottomans, some began to refer to Russia as the third Rome but as far as I know, this is not an official title.

Are you sure the Ecumenical Patriarch took on the title "First Among Equals" after the the Great Schism?  I haven't been able to find out when he took on that honor.

I never read anything that indicates the Patriarchate of Moscow proclaimed itself the "Third Rome," only that a pious Russian monk made that declaration.

While the term "spiritual leader" isn't ascribed to any prelate of the Orthodox Church, other than perhaps to each of the ruling diocesan bishops within their diocese, the Ecumenical Patriarch retains the ancient canonical responsibilities and privileges assigned to him, notwithstanding the Fall of Constantinople.
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 03:16:39 PM »

Besides Christ?  The Theotokos!

Otherwise, Mt. Athos (and monastic movements that have been born out of Athonite monasticism) has for centuries provided the most significant spiritual leadership for the Orthodox world.  There is reason to believe that this will continue until the Second Coming, and that sadly the witness of the bishops will become increasingly compromised. 
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 03:22:25 PM »

What real influence had Athos on the worldwide Church?
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2012, 03:41:12 PM »

Helps me alot since the OChurch is Autocephalous from the jurisdiction of Rome.  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 03:47:41 PM »

What?
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 03:51:21 PM »

What real influence had Athos on the worldwide Church?

Have you heard of St. Gregory Palamas?  How about St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves, considered the "founder of monasticism in Russia"?  What about St. Paisius (Velichkovsky) and the revival of patristic Orthodoxy and hesychasm in the Slavic lands following St. Paisius?  Has St. Seraphim of Sarov, or the Optina Elders had any impact on the worldwide Church?  How about St. Kosmas Aitolos and his missionary labors, or the patristic revival that followed St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain and the compilers of the Philokalia?  

The OP was concerned with "spiritual leadership".  Mt. Athos has been in some way responsible for most of the great patristic and hesychastic revivals that have taken place throughout the Orthodox world over the past millennium, and this revival has left to the Church a constellation of saints including missionaries, martyrs, scholars, hesychasts, Fathers, etc.    
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2012, 03:54:13 PM »

Quote
What real influence had Athos on the worldwide Church?

Enormous influence on Monastic tradition(s).

Quote
Have you heard of St. Gregory Palamas?

Yes.
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2012, 04:00:03 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2012, 04:06:34 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley

With Hyperdox Herman as her Pope.
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2012, 04:21:34 PM »

Concerning Mt. Athos and its significance, from "The Orthodox Church" by Met Kallistos Ware:

Quote
Since the tenth century the chief center of Orthodox monasticism has been Athos… One out of the twenty ruling monasteries has by itself produced 26 Patriarchs and 144 bishops: this gives some idea of the importance of Athos in Orthodox history.

------

Throughout the Turkish period the traditions of Hesychasm remained alive, particularly on Mount Athos; and at the end of the eighteenth century there was an important spiritual revival, whose effects can still be felt today. At the center of this revival was a monk of Athos, Saint Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain ("the Hagiorite," 1748-1809), justly called "an encyclopedia of the Athonite learning of his time." With the help of Saint Macarius (Notaras), Metropolitan of Corinth, Nicodemus compiled an anthology of spiritual writings called the Philokalia. Published at Venice in 1782, it is a gigantic work of 1,207 folio pages, containing authors from the fourth century to the fifteenth, and dealing chiefly with the theory and practice of prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer. It has proved one of the most influential publications in Orthodox history, and has been widely read not only by monks but by many living in the world. Translated into Slavonic and Russian, it was instrumental in producing a spiritual reawakening in nineteenth-century Russia.

---------

The second part of the Synodical period, the nineteenth century, so far from being a period of decline, was a time of great revival in the Russian Church. Men turned away from religious and pseudo-religious movements in the contemporary west, and fell back once more upon the true spiritual forces of Orthodoxy. Hand in hand with this revival in the spiritual life went a new enthusiasm for missionary work, while in theology, as in spirituality, Orthodoxy freed itself from a slavish imitation of the west.

It was from Mount Athos that this religious renewal took its origin. A young Russian at the theological academy of Kiev, Paissy Velichkovsky (1722-1794), horrified by the secular tone of the teaching, fled to Mount Athos and there became a monk. In 1763 he went to Romania and became Abbot of the monastery of Niamets, which he made a great spiritual center, gathering round him more than 500 brethren. Under his guidance, the community devoted itself specially to the work of translating Greek Fathers into Slavonic. At Athos Paissy had learnt at first hand about the Hesychast tradition, and he was in close sympathy with his contemporary Nicodemus. He made a Slavonic translation of the Philokalia, which was published at Moscow in 1793. Paissy laid great emphasis upon the practice of continual prayer — above all the Jesus Prayer — and on the need for obedience to an elder or starets….

Paissy himself never returned to Russia, but many of his disciples traveled thither from Romania and under their inspiration a monastic revival spread across the land. Existing houses were reinvigorated, and many new foundations were made: in 1810 there were 452 monasteries in Russia, whereas in 1914 there were 1,025. This monastic movement, while outward-looking and concerned to serve the world, also restored to the center of the Church’s life the tradition of the Non-Possessors, largely suppressed since the sixteenth century. It was marked in particular by a high development of the practice of spiritual direction. Although the "elder" has been a characteristic figure in many periods of Orthodox history, nineteenth-century Russia is par excellence the age of the starets.
The first and greatest of the startsi of the nineteenth century was Saint Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833)…..


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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2012, 04:22:17 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley

Some would still like to see the Pat. of Constantinople move here. Would that make us the 2nd Rome?  angel police
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2012, 04:33:23 PM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine.  

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K

The heart of Orthodoxy is Eucharist. Russia is not Eucharist, nor is it Constantinople.

In Orthodoxy there is no "must". It's Church, not an army. What defines us is that we are bound by faith, that we share with absolute confidence, that we all seek and we all agree upon what we found. No order of one, two, four, or hundred people.
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2012, 04:42:55 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley

Some would still like to see the Pat. of Constantinople move here.

It's not a bad idea. I mean, the United States is like the new capital of the world and it is safer than most other countries in the world. The Patriarch would be able to do his job more efficiently in a safe environment, evangelise a whole new generation of Orthodox Christians and enjoy the wealth of the United States. On a more negative note, it would really make the whole jurisdictions thing in the US very confusing and Constantinople would be left without a Patriarch.
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2012, 04:46:44 PM »

It's not a bad idea. I mean, the United States is like the new capital of the world and it is safer than most other countries in the world. The Patriarch would be able to do his job more efficiently in a safe environment, evangelise a whole new generation of Orthodox Christians and enjoy the wealth of the United States. On a more negative note, it would really make the whole jurisdictions thing in the US very confusing and Constantinople would be left without a Patriarch.

As desert fathers say, "you are least worthy of something, when you think you are worthy of it".
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2012, 05:02:21 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley

The United States is the Great Whore of Babylon.
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2012, 05:24:57 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley

Some would still like to see the Pat. of Constantinople move here.

It's not a bad idea. I mean, the United States is like the new capital of the world and it is safer than most other countries in the world. The Patriarch would be able to do his job more efficiently in a safe environment, evangelise a whole new generation of Orthodox Christians and enjoy the wealth of the United States. On a more negative note, it would really make the whole jurisdictions thing in the US very confusing and Constantinople would be left without a Patriarch.
We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2012, 05:32:05 PM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

Ever been to Moscow? Certainly not a "thoroughly Orthodox society" with its less than 2% sunday liturgy attendance.
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2012, 05:35:28 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley

Some would still like to see the Pat. of Constantinople move here.

It's not a bad idea. I mean, the United States is like the new capital of the world and it is safer than most other countries in the world. The Patriarch would be able to do his job more efficiently in a safe environment, evangelise a whole new generation of Orthodox Christians and enjoy the wealth of the United States. On a more negative note, it would really make the whole jurisdictions thing in the US very confusing and Constantinople would be left without a Patriarch.
We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

What is this even supposed to mean?
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2012, 05:36:21 PM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
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« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2012, 05:41:32 PM »

The United States is the 4th Rome of Orthodoxy Smiley

Some would still like to see the Pat. of Constantinople move here.

It's not a bad idea. I mean, the United States is like the new capital of the world and it is safer than most other countries in the world. The Patriarch would be able to do his job more efficiently in a safe environment, evangelise a whole new generation of Orthodox Christians and enjoy the wealth of the United States. On a more negative note, it would really make the whole jurisdictions thing in the US very confusing and Constantinople would be left without a Patriarch.
We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

What is this even supposed to mean?

I'm guessing that it means the majority of the people are Orthodox, we have high church attendance, our intellectual and popular culture reflects Orthodox theology and values...
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2012, 05:47:04 PM »

I'm guessing that it means the majority of the people are Orthodox, we have high church attendance, our intellectual and popular culture reflects Orthodox theology and values...

Ah yes, I've heard of this country, it was called Byzantium.
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« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2012, 05:48:22 PM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
That's because you visited Istanbul, not Constantinople.  Centuries have passed and it was thoroughly Orthodox at the time.  Russia filled the bill in a tough time and now has Orthodoxy as its official religion once again.

America isn't the spiritual center of anything other than greed and selfishness.  We don't deserve the EP here for anything other than visits.
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« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2012, 05:50:12 PM »

Russia filled the bill in a tough time and now has Orthodoxy as its official religion once again.

Alongside Buddhism, Islam and Judaism.
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« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2012, 05:57:45 PM »

Russia filled the bill in a tough time and now has Orthodoxy as its official religion once again.

Alongside Buddhism, Islam and Judaism.
You have confused me.  Did Russia not declare, last year I believe, Orthodoxy as its state religion?
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« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2012, 06:00:01 PM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
That's because you visited Istanbul, not Constantinople.  Centuries have passed and it was thoroughly Orthodox at the time.  Russia filled the bill in a tough time and now has Orthodoxy as its official religion once again.

America isn't the spiritual center of anything other than greed and selfishness.  We don't deserve the EP here for anything other than visits.

Facts are pesky things, but here I go, once again, to cite some relevant ones. America, to include her Orthodox jurisdictions, have a greater proportion of members attend church regularly and participate in parish life than any other country. Orthodoxy is the official religion in Greece, but in Russia it is not so de jure, it just seems that way de facto. (It is of of a handful recognized religions that are allowed to legally operate in the Republic, but not THE official state religion). Nonetheless, it was the ROC that gave us both thousands of martyrs and millions of victimizers/apostates. The ROC is on the rebound, thank God, but with 2% attendance rate and even smaller involvement rate, She has a long way to go.
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« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2012, 06:05:32 PM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine.  

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K
I think you are misunderstanding Orthodox ecclesiology a bit. The Orthodox Church doesn't have a centralized form of leadership as the roman catholic church do. After the great schism, the Patriarch of Constantinople took over the status of "Primus inter pares" and Constantinople was called the second Rome. When the city fell to the Ottomans, some began to refer to Russia as the third Rome but as far as I know, this is not an official title.

Are you sure the Ecumenical Patriarch took on the title "First Among Equals" after the the Great Schism?  I haven't been able to find out when he took on that honor.

I never read anything that indicates the Patriarchate of Moscow proclaimed itself the "Third Rome," only that a pious Russian monk made that declaration.

While the term "spiritual leader" isn't ascribed to any prelate of the Orthodox Church, other than perhaps to each of the ruling diocesan bishops within their diocese, the Ecumenical Patriarch retains the ancient canonical responsibilities and privileges assigned to him, notwithstanding the Fall of Constantinople.

I agree; each one of us has two "structural' spiritual leaders: our parish pastor (rector) and our arch-pastor, the diocesan bishop. This is by virtue of us being part of the Body of Christ in a concrete fashion, which happens only in a parish--where we take communion. Beyond that, it becomes a matter of preference as some of us spiritual fathers or folks whose advice we respect.
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« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2012, 06:08:53 PM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
That's because you visited Istanbul, not Constantinople.  Centuries have passed and it was thoroughly Orthodox at the time.  Russia filled the bill in a tough time and now has Orthodoxy as its official religion once again.

America isn't the spiritual center of anything other than greed and selfishness.  We don't deserve the EP here for anything other than visits.

Facts are pesky things, but here I go, once again, to cite some relevant ones. America, to include her Orthodox jurisdictions, have a greater proportion of members attend church regularly and participate in parish life than any other country. Orthodoxy is the official religion in Greece, but in Russia it is not so de jure, it just seems that way de facto. (It is of of a handful recognized religions that are allowed to legally operate in the Republic, but not THE official state religion). Nonetheless, it was the ROC that gave us both thousands of martyrs and millions of victimizers/apostates. The ROC is on the rebound, thank God, but with 2% attendance rate and even smaller involvement rate, She has a long way to go.
Please don't feel you are wasting your time on me.  If I am wrong about something in Orthodoxy, I not only need to know, I want to know.
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« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2012, 06:13:08 PM »

Russia filled the bill in a tough time and now has Orthodoxy as its official religion once again.

Alongside Buddhism, Islam and Judaism.
You have confused me.  Did Russia not declare, last year I believe, Orthodoxy as its state religion?
MK, it seems you are correct.  I did a Google search and found nothing relating to what I thought I read last year.  I have no idea what I was thinking about.  Thanks for the correction.
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« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2012, 06:44:36 PM »

This poll is missing the most important option in my opinion: My bishop.
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« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2012, 06:49:22 PM »

This poll is missing the most important option in my opinion: My bishop.
^ this, The Church is composed of a bishop and his flock.
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« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2012, 06:50:59 PM »

This poll is missing the most important option in my opinion: My bishop.

+1
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« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2012, 01:03:43 AM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
The thing I think you and Gorazd are missing, though, is that Byzantium and Russia were at one time thoroughly Orthodox societies, so that, even today, Istanbul/Constantinople and Moscow can be given some claim to the title of "spiritual center of Orthodoxy", if even only as vestiges of a glory that exists now only in history books. The United States, OTOH, has never been an Orthodox society. That said, I would say also that the fall of Byzantium in 1453 and the fall of Orthodox Russia in 1917 left worldwide Orthodoxy without a true spiritual center, unless one chooses to look now to Mount Athos. (However, I think that looking to Mount Athos as our spiritual center may give us a view of Orthodoxy that's dangerously imbalanced toward the ascetic ideals of the monasteries.)
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« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2012, 01:08:17 AM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
The thing I think you and Gorazd are missing, though, is that Byzantium and Russia were at one time thoroughly Orthodox societies, so that, even today, Istanbul/Constantinople and Moscow can be given some claim to the title of "spiritual center of Orthodoxy", if even only as vestiges of a glory that exists now only in history books. The United States, OTOH, has never been an Orthodox society. That said, I would say also that the fall of Byzantium in 1453 and the fall of Orthodox Russia in 1917 left worldwide Orthodoxy without a true spiritual center, unless one chooses to look now to Mount Athos.
Does Orthodoxy need a spiritual center? I thought that was the beauty of the whole decentralized approach to ecclesiology.
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« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2012, 01:13:20 AM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
The thing I think you and Gorazd are missing, though, is that Byzantium and Russia were at one time thoroughly Orthodox societies, so that, even today, Istanbul/Constantinople and Moscow can be given some claim to the title of "spiritual center of Orthodoxy", if even only as vestiges of a glory that exists now only in history books. The United States, OTOH, has never been an Orthodox society. That said, I would say also that the fall of Byzantium in 1453 and the fall of Orthodox Russia in 1917 left worldwide Orthodoxy without a true spiritual center, unless one chooses to look now to Mount Athos.
Does Orthodoxy need a spiritual center?
Personally, I don't think it does. We once had major spiritual centers: first Rome, then Constantinople, then Moscow. Now we don't. Not having a major spiritual center doesn't make us any less the Church, since ultimately the Church is wherever the bishop is gathered with his flock to celebrate the Eucharist. Why lose ourselves in longing for what we once were when such longing distracts us from where we are now? Like the all-wise Yoda once said to his apprentice Luke, "Never your mind on where you are."

I thought that was the beauty of the whole decentralized approach to ecclesiology.
It is.
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« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2012, 01:25:33 AM »

We cannot deem ourselves worthy to be the spiritual center of Orthodoxy (the Fourth Rome, as you call it) if we do not first have a thoroughly Orthodox society.

That does not describe Istanbul I visited.
The thing I think you and Gorazd are missing, though, is that Byzantium and Russia were at one time thoroughly Orthodox societies, so that, even today, Istanbul/Constantinople and Moscow can be given some claim to the title of "spiritual center of Orthodoxy", if even only as vestiges of a glory that exists now only in history books. The United States, OTOH, has never been an Orthodox society. That said, I would say also that the fall of Byzantium in 1453 and the fall of Orthodox Russia in 1917 left worldwide Orthodoxy without a true spiritual center, unless one chooses to look now to Mount Athos.
Does Orthodoxy need a spiritual center?
Personally, I don't think it does. We once had major spiritual centers: first Rome, then Constantinople, then Moscow. Now we don't. Not having a major spiritual center doesn't make us any less the Church, since ultimately the Church is wherever the bishop is gathered with his flock to celebrate the Eucharist. Why lose ourselves in longing for what we once were when such longing distracts us from where we are now? Like the all-wise Yoda once said to his apprentice Luke, "Never your mind on where you are."
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2012, 01:27:40 AM »

Has 80%+ of oc.net ever agreed on anything before?  Cheesy
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« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2012, 01:39:16 AM »

Before Constantinople fell, Kiev/Russian Orthodox cut ties with the Greek Orthodox because they felt they were becoming too cozy with Rome and elected their own patriarch.  After Constantinople fell, Russia soon declared it was the third Rome, and bearer of true Orthodox doctrine. 

Without being prideful, are there any here who think Russia is the heart of Orthodoxy?  That she should be looked to for tough questions of the Orthodox faith, that other Orthodox refuse to answer?  Or that everything that comes out of the big 4 patriarchs must be signed off on by Russia too?

Thanks!
K
I think you are misunderstanding Orthodox ecclesiology a bit. The Orthodox Church doesn't have a centralized form of leadership as the roman catholic church do. After the great schism, the Patriarch of Constantinople took over the status of "Primus inter pares" and Constantinople was called the second Rome. When the city fell to the Ottomans, some began to refer to Russia as the third Rome but as far as I know, this is not an official title.

Are you sure the Ecumenical Patriarch took on the title "First Among Equals" after the the Great Schism?  I haven't been able to find out when he took on that honor.

I never read anything that indicates the Patriarchate of Moscow proclaimed itself the "Third Rome," only that a pious Russian monk made that declaration.

While the term "spiritual leader" isn't ascribed to any prelate of the Orthodox Church, other than perhaps to each of the ruling diocesan bishops within their diocese, the Ecumenical Patriarch retains the ancient canonical responsibilities and privileges assigned to him, notwithstanding the Fall of Constantinople.
I am just saying whav I have been
told, but I am certainly open for correction.
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