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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 2888 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesRottnek
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« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2012, 02:17:30 AM »

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.

I think you and I heard of a different Byzantium.
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« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2012, 03:26:25 AM »

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.

Agreed. 

In addition to not being an Orthodox society, a point which in no way do I mean to minimize, Orthodox Christianity in North America has such a tiny minority of adherents--perhaps 900,000 active to any extent, it is not only small, but largely unknown to this society.  I know its only been in existence for 2 & 1/2 years,  but despite the authority granted by the Holy Orthodox Churches to the Episcopal Assemblies, on this continent the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America (ACOB), it hasn't, as yet, established a plan to organize itself into a canonically administratively unified entity.
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« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2012, 05:33:34 AM »

I think you and I heard of a different Byzantium.

May be, at classical philology they've showed us how often reality can differ from popular books on the subject.
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« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2012, 07:59:54 AM »

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?

No on all counts. The spotless Orthodoxy of Moscow vs. the liberal, degraded, compromised pseudodoxy of the Greeks is an internet myth.

Moscow is the wealthiest and politically most influential Patriarchate, meaning it has the potential of assuming such a position. But is it that now? Not remotely.
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« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2012, 08:16:53 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.

I think I understand where Michal is coming from. Instead of looking outward to some romanticized or idealized version of places and times we are not a part of - we ought to work in an inward manner. The heart of our Faith should lie in our families, how we live our own lives as imitators of Christ in our relationships with our loved ones, our neighbors etc... Rather than seeking something ethereal (or even 'magical' as some seem to envision things)at an exotic place like the Holy Mountain (and I mean no disrespect there and I fully recognize the importance and significance of Athos and other great centers of the Faith) we need to strengthen our parishes and serve as living 'icons', if you will, to be a beacon to share the great gift of faith and the potential of salvation which is offered to us as believers.
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« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2012, 01:56:45 PM »

Podkarpaska, thank you for your wise and reasonable words.

Some parishes have indeed become icons of the faith. Here in Kyiv, the parish of St. Agapit Pechersky, for example, attracts people from all over the city, even the other side of the Dnipro. This seems to be matched only by some of the monasteries in the city.
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« Reply #51 on: August 14, 2012, 02:59:51 PM »

Yeah I think like others said you got some things wrong. No single church is the heart of Orthodoxy, its the one church together.
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« Reply #52 on: August 14, 2012, 03:27:53 PM »

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).

There are dozens of legally recognised religions in Russia but 4 or 5 of them (Orthodox Church, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and maybe one more) are given the names "traditional Russian religions" or something like that. That means Buddhism has more rights in Russia than the Catholic Church despite both are legally registered.

thoroughly Orthodox societies

I'm allergic to that term.
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« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2012, 05:12:08 PM »

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).

There are dozens of legally recognised religions in Russia but 4 or 5 of them (Orthodox Church, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and maybe one more) are given the names "traditional Russian religions" or something like that. That means Buddhism has more rights in Russia than the Catholic Church despite both are legally registered.

thoroughly Orthodox societies

I'm allergic to that term.
To that term or to your interpretation of that term?
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« Reply #54 on: August 14, 2012, 05:14:00 PM »

To the fact that some people think it exists or used to exist.
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« Reply #55 on: August 14, 2012, 05:23:44 PM »

To the fact that some people think it exists or used to exist.
Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?
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« Reply #56 on: August 14, 2012, 05:32:29 PM »

To the fact that some people think it exists or used to exist.
Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?

Superficially perhaps they were. However, because they were generally dominated by a corrupt ruling class consisting of an elite aristocracy which in many ways and over many centuries outwardly purported to observe the faith while subjugating the masses. The ruling class co-opted the leaders of the Church at times leaving the Church as a willing accomplice to state injustice.

It can be argued that both societies were weakened internally as a result and the ensuing entropy was a direct cause of their collapse followed by the rapid shedding of the external observations of the Faith by the masses soon after said collapse. I think that Metropolitan Hilarion of Russia wrote a wonderful essay about this last year or the year before which we discussed here.

Heaven can not be found here on Earth - whether it is sought by such as St. Augustine in the west or the great Russian theologians of the 18th and 19th centuries.
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« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2012, 05:32:52 PM »

Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?

What do you mean by " thoroughly Orthodox societies"?
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« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2012, 07:37:46 PM »

Has 80%+ of oc.net ever agreed on anything before?  Cheesy

Just the spelling of 'Orthodox.'
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« Reply #59 on: August 14, 2012, 09:22:38 PM »

Maybe I am just being silly, but I find some strange irony at seeing this thread being created and another thread taking a very, very different approach.  Being from a Greek Orthodox Church which falls under the Ecumenical Patriarch and having very little up to date knowledge on the comings and goings in the Russian Orthodox Church, it just seems a little odd to me.
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« Reply #60 on: August 14, 2012, 10:09:42 PM »

Maybe I am just being silly, but I find some strange irony at seeing this thread being created and another thread taking a very, very different approach.  Being from a Greek Orthodox Church which falls under the Ecumenical Patriarch and having very little up to date knowledge on the comings and goings in the Russian Orthodox Church, it just seems a little odd to me.


I suppose if I had to form what I am pondering into a question I may ask if the Russian hierarchy is corrupt, as some have suggested, would not the other Patriarchs at least correspond regarding the problem as they did with Rome, or have they already done so?  I don't want to sound naive, but I really am when it comes to this sort of thing.
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« Reply #61 on: August 14, 2012, 10:21:48 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.

I think I understand where Michal is coming from. Instead of looking outward to some romanticized or idealized version of places and times we are not a part of - we ought to work in an inward manner. The heart of our Faith should lie in our families, how we live our own lives as imitators of Christ in our relationships with our loved ones, our neighbors etc... Rather than seeking something ethereal (or even 'magical' as some seem to envision things)at an exotic place like the Holy Mountain (and I mean no disrespect there and I fully recognize the importance and significance of Athos and other great centers of the Faith) we need to strengthen our parishes and serve as living 'icons', if you will, to be a beacon to share the great gift of faith and the potential of salvation which is offered to us as believers.
Beautiful post.

Question: Who's the real Orthodox spiritual leader (besides Jesus): Moscow?

...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 patriarch is not a source of dogma or doctrine in Orthodoxy. The patriarch is a custodian of the Faith, just as all Orthodox Christians are custodians of the Faith, first and foremost in the manner described so well by podkarpatska. Metropolitans and patriarchs chair synods of bishops. Orthodox bishops are equal. There is no form of primacy in the Orthodox Church, doctrinal or jurisdictional, which exceeds that of primus inter pares (first among equals).

"We Orthodox bear in my view a marvelous theology, in principle, of conciliarity, of what the Russians call sobornost (unanimity in freedom would be a good translation of sobornost)." +Bishop Kallistos Ware[1]

The following explanation might be helpful (from Bishop Alexander (Mileant), ed., Ernst Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life):


SOBERNOST: DEMOCRATIC EQUALITY OF LAITY, PRIESTS, BISHOPS, AND PATRIARCHS

"The Orthodox Church acknowledges the monarchical principle as far as the whole Church is concerned, this concept embracing both the visible Church on earth and the invisible celestial Church. The master, lord and sole head of the Church is Christ. But the monarchical principle does not in practice rule the organization of the visible Church. Here purely democratic principles prevail. No single member of the Church is considered to have a legal position fundamentally superior to that of the other members. Even the clergy, aside from the sacramental powers accorded to them by their consecration, have no special rights that would set them above the laity. The Orthodox Church prizes this "democratic" (sobornost’) principle as one of its oldest traditions. Just as all the apostles were equal in rank and authority, so their successors, the bishops, are all equal.

It is true that the principle of the so-called monarchical episcopate became established quite early in the primitive Church. That is to say, the bishop was recognized as holding the leading position within the Church. But this did not mean that he alone represented the entire spiritual power of the Church. Not even the bishops as a body constituted the highest authority of the Church. This was vested in the ecumenical consensus or conscience of the Church, which meant the general opinion of clergy and laymen taken together. Even the decision of an ecumenical council acquires validity only if it is accepted by this general consensus of the whole Church. Although the bishop represents the unity of the Christian community and exercises full spiritual powers, he is no autocrat; he and all the clergy subordinate to him are regarded as parts of the entire ecclesia, the living organism of which Christ is the head.

At the present time the government of the Orthodox churches is markedly synodal in character. Laymen as well as priests may take part in Orthodox synods. Election to ecclesiastical offices also takes place at synods, and the laity participate. This election rule holds true for parish priests as well as for bishops and patriarchs. The constitutions of the various national Orthodox churches differ in the degree to which the state intervenes in ecclesiastical government. Thus the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which Peter the Great set up, was less an ecclesiastical council than an organ of the state directed by an absolutistic ruler. In the constitution of the Greek Orthodox Church certain rights are accorded to the King of Greece. In general the synodal or council system has gained more importance during the past several centuries. "The tendency for the collaboration of clergy and people in the administration of the Church, which has become characteristic of the Orthodox Church during the past hundred years, cannot be regarded as a product of modern democracy; rather, it represents a revival of the primitive Christian principle that bishops, clergy and people form an indissoluble vital unit" (Heiler).

Major questions of faith, rites and canon law are theoretically put before an ecumenical council. This is an assemblage of all the Orthodox bishops who decide these questions by majority vote. There have been seven great ecumenical councils: Nicaea in 325, Constantinople in 381, Ephesus in 431, Chalcedon in 451, Constantinople II in 553, Constantinople III in 680 and Nicaea II in 787. No ecumenical councils have taken place since, though many questions of faith, dogma and ritual have arisen since the eighth century which theologians feel urgently require regulation. But the breakup of Eastern Orthodoxy into various old and new types of ecclesiastical patriarchates and independent churches, and the tragic involvement of Orthodoxy in the political disasters of past centuries, have so far diminished hopes for a new ecumenical council. Only recently, fresh efforts have been made to organize such a council.

The synodal system of the Orthodox Church has undergone many strains in the course of history. Holders of one or another prominent see have sought to dominate the Church. The rivalry among the various Orthodox patriarchates sprang partly from this struggle for hegemony within the Church. When the Orthodox Church became the official Church of the Byzantine Empire, it was only in the nature of things that the Patriarch of Constantinople should find himself in a special role. In terms of the synodal government of the Church this primacy was only an honorary one, but for centuries the patriarchs of Constantinople repeatedly tried to transform their honorary primacy into a legal one and to secure papal privileges for themselves. Their claims, however, were never generally recognized. To this day the patriarch is regarded only as primus inter pares. That is, he is first among the holders of the old and new patriarchates of the East, but he is not head of the entire Orthodox Church with any legal title to primacy. Even the honorary primacy is not uncontested; when the All-Russian Synod of Moscow was called in 1948, Russian Orthodox canonists questioned the right of the Ecumenical Patriarch to call an ecumenical council. This right, they contended, was vested in the Patriarch of Moscow."
____
[1]http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2008/08/06/an-interview-with-the-most-revd-kallistos-ware-archbishop-of-great-britain-for-the-ecumenical-patriarchate/
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« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2012, 11:18:12 PM »

Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?

What do you mean by " thoroughly Orthodox societies"?
First, let me ask you what you think I mean by "thoroughly Orthodox societies".
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« Reply #63 on: August 15, 2012, 06:02:31 AM »

No idea. It's an oxymoron for me.
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« Reply #64 on: August 15, 2012, 08:59:56 AM »

To the fact that some people think it exists or used to exist.
Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?
They were in many respects, of this world.
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« Reply #65 on: August 15, 2012, 09:06:41 AM »

Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?

The Church was used by the state.
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« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2012, 09:13:33 AM »

Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?

The Church was used by the state.
I suspect the Church also took advantages from the state as well.
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« Reply #67 on: August 15, 2012, 09:14:18 AM »

I wouldn't say loads of money and influence on Politics is the advantage for the Church.
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« Reply #68 on: August 15, 2012, 09:19:23 AM »

I wouldn't say loads of money and influence on Politics is the advantage for the Church.
Perspective, MK.  It worked for the Catholic Church.   Mind you, I'm not saying right or wrong.  I'm just saying it all depends on your point of view.  I do; however, see your point and agree with you.
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« Reply #69 on: August 15, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »

Perspective, MK.  It worked for the Catholic Church.

Yeah, especially when emperors agitated for heresies, removed patriarchs (or patriarchates itself).

It worked for the Papists too. How much good did they do in their orphanages in Ireland...
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« Reply #70 on: August 15, 2012, 09:59:34 AM »

Perspective, MK.  It worked for the Catholic Church.

Yeah, especially when emperors agitated for heresies, removed patriarchs (or patriarchates itself).

It worked for the Papists too. How much good did they do in their orphanages in Ireland...
It could be beneficial to digest my entire post.  Most specifically the last sentence.
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« Reply #71 on: August 15, 2012, 02:15:34 PM »

Quote

...The spotless Orthodoxy of Moscow vs. the liberal, degraded, compromised pseudodoxy of the Greeks is an internet myth.

Moscow is the wealthiest and politically most influential Patriarchate, meaning it has the potential of assuming such a position. But is it that now? Not remotely.

This post exaggerates the Moscow vs Greek concept, and I would even say is frankly wrong.  Everybody knows Constantinople is pretty liberal while Moscow overwhelmingly lines up with traditional Orthodoxy.  Moscow Patriarch's conservative (or genuinely Orthodox) reputation makes him well respected and looked to in Orthodoxy.  Mount Athos is similar. 

Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?

What do you mean by " thoroughly Orthodox societies"?
First, let me ask you what you think I mean by "thoroughly Orthodox societies".

Michal, you know what my old friend Peter means.  Byzantium and Russia were orthodox societies.  An ECF once commentated on how when he'd go to a shoe shop, market, or baths the clerk and people would be talking about the Trinity.  Just look at the art.  Not perfect, but thoroughly orthodox.  Let's not quibble. 

Has 80%+ of oc.net ever agreed on anything before?  Cheesy

Just the spelling of 'Orthodox.'

Very true Asteriktos, you can never get all bishops to agree on something.  Look at Mark of Ephesus.  ECFs themselves don't agree with each other.  Today is no different: there are differences between Moscow and non-Athos Greeks on after death theology, how to interpret Genesis, and to an extent original/ancestral sin and conversion of bread and wine into real body and blood, to name a few.  For those that want answers Moscow and Athos seem unified and genuine bearers of Orthodox tradition. 

Quote
Even the honorary primacy is not uncontested; when the All-Russian Synod of Moscow was called in 1948, Russian Orthodox canonists questioned the right of the Ecumenical Patriarch to call an ecumenical council. This right, they contended, was vested in the Patriarch of Moscow."

Now this is interesting, and backs up my first point in this post. 

K

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« Reply #72 on: August 15, 2012, 02:22:01 PM »

This post exaggerates the Moscow vs Greek concept, and I would even say is frankly wrong.  Everybody knows Constantinople is pretty liberal while Moscow overwhelmingly lines up with traditional Orthodoxy.  Moscow Patriarch's conservative (or genuinely Orthodox) reputation makes him well respected and looked to in Orthodoxy.  Mount Athos is similar. 

You clearly have no idea what are you posting about.
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« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2012, 05:21:39 PM »

This post exaggerates the Moscow vs Greek concept, and I would even say is frankly wrong.  Everybody knows Constantinople is pretty liberal while Moscow overwhelmingly lines up with traditional Orthodoxy.  Moscow Patriarch's conservative (or genuinely Orthodox) reputation makes him well respected and looked to in Orthodoxy.  Mount Athos is similar. 

You clearly have no idea what are you posting about.

I was working up a really long and wordy rebuttal to this nonsense, but you dissected him in just ten words!
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« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2012, 05:41:09 PM »

This post exaggerates the Moscow vs Greek concept, and I would even say is frankly wrong.  Everybody knows Constantinople is pretty liberal while Moscow overwhelmingly lines up with traditional Orthodoxy.  Moscow Patriarch's conservative (or genuinely Orthodox) reputation makes him well respected and looked to in Orthodoxy.  Mount Athos is similar. 

You clearly have no idea what are you posting about.

I was working up a really long and wordy rebuttal to this nonsense, but you dissected him in just ten words!

Let's not be too hasty here. The EP does have a reputation of being an innovator of sorts, while the MP has a reputation of being more of a traditionalist. I am not saying that these reputations are deserved but they are in fact are held by many people. For example, I think that the EP's novel interpretation of Canon 28, the position that his representatives have taken in EO-RC consultations, and his enthusiasm for all things green have all played a role in that impression. On the opposite side, the MP has come out strongly for traditional morality (at least more publicly).
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« Reply #75 on: August 15, 2012, 05:45:26 PM »

This post exaggerates the Moscow vs Greek concept, and I would even say is frankly wrong.  Everybody knows Constantinople is pretty liberal while Moscow overwhelmingly lines up with traditional Orthodoxy.  Moscow Patriarch's conservative (or genuinely Orthodox) reputation makes him well respected and looked to in Orthodoxy.  Mount Athos is similar. 

You clearly have no idea what are you posting about.

I was working up a really long and wordy rebuttal to this nonsense, but you dissected him in just ten words!

LOL!  Short and to the point!
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« Reply #76 on: August 15, 2012, 07:00:11 PM »

Okay, in what way were Byzantium and pre-Bolshevik Russia NOT thoroughly Orthodox societies?

The Church was used by the state.
You're thinking about it from the top down. Try looking at it from the bottom up.
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« Reply #77 on: August 15, 2012, 07:25:24 PM »

HMMZ, what about Jesus?  Thought that was the tradition anyway. Huh
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« Reply #78 on: August 16, 2012, 12:57:54 PM »

What about the patriarchate of Georgia? They aren't even in the WCC.
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« Reply #79 on: August 16, 2012, 01:23:53 PM »

Let's not be too hasty here. The EP does have a reputation of being an innovator of sorts, while the MP has a reputation of being more of a traditionalist. I am not saying that these reputations are deserved but they are in fact are held by many people. For example, I think that the EP's novel interpretation of Canon 28, the position that his representatives have taken in EO-RC consultations, and his enthusiasm for all things green have all played a role in that impression. On the opposite side, the MP has come out strongly for traditional morality (at least more publicly).

Let's compare methods of receiving schismatic clergy. Who's the modernist now?
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« Reply #80 on: August 16, 2012, 03:59:32 PM »

Let's not be too hasty here. The EP does have a reputation of being an innovator of sorts, while the MP has a reputation of being more of a traditionalist. I am not saying that these reputations are deserved but they are in fact are held by many people. For example, I think that the EP's novel interpretation of Canon 28, the position that his representatives have taken in EO-RC consultations, and his enthusiasm for all things green have all played a role in that impression. On the opposite side, the MP has come out strongly for traditional morality (at least more publicly).

Let's compare methods of receiving schismatic clergy. Who's the modernist now?

Everybody has an opinion, just like everybody has a belly button. All I was trying to say was that Kaste was not without a belly button (or 100% wrong as was implied).
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Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
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