Author Topic: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America  (Read 4807 times)

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Offline Mexican

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Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« on: March 08, 2013, 10:33:31 PM »
Hello Friends:

It was anounced that Bp. Eduardo Aguirre Oestmann of the "Renewed Ecumenical Catholic Church of Guatemala", an independent formerly Roman Catholic group currently present in Guatemala and Southern Mexico, was received into the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch as Archbishop Mor Yaqub of Central America.

http://www.icergua.org/latam/noticias/13/03.html#9

Mor Yaqub had previously been consecrated by a Bishop of the Brazilian Apostolic Church, of the Duarte-Costa line. From what I understand, Bishop Eduardo was received by the Syriac Orthodox Church by vesting, without being re-ordained (the Roman Catholic Church's stance towards the Duarte Costa line bishops varies from full recognition of the orders to full denial of them).

I wonder what the attitude of other Churches be, towards this new Christian group being received in Orthodoxy. The Coptic Church, for example, generally baptized new converts. The Syriac Orthodox Church, on the other side, received all these people without Baptism, and the clergy without reordination.

The rite currently in use by the "Renewed Ecumenical Catholic Church of Guatemala" is the Novus Ordo liturgy, celebrated versus populum, with the modern lectionary and accompanied by guitars. According to the documents, the Syriac Orthodox Church expects that the newly received group of Christians, will gradually adopt the Syriac Orthodox rites. I hope this is done soon, as I would see no reason for Oriental Orthodox Christians to approve a rite which is so polemically criticized within the Church where it originated, the Roman Catholic Church.

I see no reason not to use the Oriental rites, as it has been proved that these rites fit perfectly in the mindset of the Latin American communities. I do recognize that the Byzantine Rite is better for the Western mind, but the Latin American reacts better with the Coptic Rite, for example. There is no need for a Western Rite, as this would cause confusion.

Have a great day.

Offline Severian

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 10:53:33 PM »
Glory be to God!

I'm also glad that they converted to canonical Syriac Orthodoxy and not some knock-off schismatic group.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 11:00:15 PM »
I don't mean to be insensitive, but this is about the fourth time in as many years that there was talk of a huge Central American group converting to some version or other of Orthodoxy. Is it actually happening this time?

Offline Mexican

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 11:14:25 PM »
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Constantinople also received a group of Christians in Guatemala, led by Archimandrite Andres Giron. He was the founder of a formerly vagante Christian group (Society of Clerks of St Basil) and he's now in a canonical good standing as a part of the Contantinople Patriarchate:

http://www.iglesiaortodoxa.cl/News/news.html

However, the group has no website and we have no information about what is currently going on with the missions they founded. It is my understanding that they are doing well as Greek Orthodox and that they're very serious.

Both Eduardo Aguirre (now Mor Yaqub) and Archimandrite Andrew Giron, had been excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church because of their schismatic activities. It's really a blessing that they sought the true faith and that they were received by canonical Churches.

Offline Samn!

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 11:43:47 PM »
Here are links to talk and Q&A with Fr Giron about the Greek Orthodox activity in Guatemala--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbYbhmSj2og

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn36X4JUT4w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3b6cnz8PdM

Offline Irish Melkite

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 03:48:11 AM »
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Constantinople also received a group of Christians in Guatemala, led by Archimandrite Andres Giron. He was the founder of a formerly vagante Christian group (Society of Clerks of St Basil) and he's now in a canonical good standing as a part of the Contantinople Patriarchate:

http://www.iglesiaortodoxa.cl/News/news.html

Reme, my brother.

Archimandrite Andres was a member of the Society of Clerks of St Basil (a vagante body affiliated at various times with several non-canonical ecclesia, including THEOCACNA at one point) but not its founder.

Many years,

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Offline stanley123

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 04:33:19 AM »
Hello Friends:

It was anounced that Bp. Eduardo Aguirre Oestmann of the "Renewed Ecumenical Catholic Church of Guatemala", an independent formerly Roman Catholic group currently present in Guatemala and Southern Mexico, was received into the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch as Archbishop Mor Yaqub of Central America.

http://www.icergua.org/latam/noticias/13/03.html#9

Mor Yaqub had previously been consecrated by a Bishop of the Brazilian Apostolic Church, of the Duarte-Costa line. From what I understand, Bishop Eduardo was received by the Syriac Orthodox Church by vesting, without being re-ordained (the Roman Catholic Church's stance towards the Duarte Costa line bishops varies from full recognition of the orders to full denial of them).

I wonder what the attitude of other Churches be, towards this new Christian group being received in Orthodoxy. The Coptic Church, for example, generally baptized new converts. The Syriac Orthodox Church, on the other side, received all these people without Baptism, and the clergy without reordination.

The rite currently in use by the "Renewed Ecumenical Catholic Church of Guatemala" is the Novus Ordo liturgy, celebrated versus populum, with the modern lectionary and accompanied by guitars. According to the documents, the Syriac Orthodox Church expects that the newly received group of Christians, will gradually adopt the Syriac Orthodox rites. I hope this is done soon, as I would see no reason for Oriental Orthodox Christians to approve a rite which is so polemically criticized within the Church where it originated, the Roman Catholic Church.

I see no reason not to use the Oriental rites, as it has been proved that these rites fit perfectly in the mindset of the Latin American communities. I do recognize that the Byzantine Rite is better for the Western mind, but the Latin American reacts better with the Coptic Rite, for example. There is no need for a Western Rite, as this would cause confusion.

Have a great day.

This is interesting that the Syriac Orthodox Church tolerates, at least for a time,  the celebration of the roman New Mass under its umbrella. So the guitar music and kumbaya singing is not so bad after all, according to the Syriac Orthodox Church?

Offline Mexican

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 01:36:49 PM »
Thanks for the clarification about the Society of Clerks of St. Basil.

It's interesting to see that both Fr. Andrew Giron's group, as well as Bp. Eduardo's group, do not come from a Traditionalist background (which would easily explain their conversion to Orthodoxy, as Orthodoxy tends to be Traditionalist in its liturgical life). Both groups come from the left-wing of Roman Catholicism, that is, the Charismatic renewal.

This mirrors the experience of the Western Rite vicariates of Orthodoxy in the United States, whose members mostly come from a Charismatic or Evangelical background and not from a Traditionalist one (it seems that both Traditional Catholics and Traditional Anglicans are happy with what they have).

I really hope that the use of the Novus Ordo liturgy will be restricted to a certain period of time, as the Novus Ordo liturgy represents a break with the liturgical tradition of the Christian Church. The switch from the modern rite to the Syriac Orthodox liturgy will not be an easy one for the congregations so they should start with it, as soon as possible.


Offline Christopher McAvoy

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 02:05:35 AM »
I am impressed and happy that this is happening.

It will be a wake up call to find remedies to the legacy mistrust and prejudice existing between people of greater or lesser degree of indigenous and european background in Guatemala. It may also reflect some of the limitations of the post vat II Roman Catholic Church to successfully evangelize in the context of a colonial society that has had serious flaws since the beginning.

But I am surprised that you mention the western rite. I too feel certain that the Novus Ordo as it practiced there currently will not last once Orthodoxy takes root.

As far as the charismatic background of Latin/Western rite in Orthodox Church, whether this is true remains to be seen.
At the present time there is apparently a VERY large contigent of anglo-catholics waiting to enter ROCOR's WR which may overnight change that situation to become more complex than described by my esteemed and dear friend "Mexican".

Ironically, ROCOR has recently put a spanish language version of it's mass on their website.
I would bet money that eventually, within a decade, a western rite mission will come to exist in Guatemala.
There's too many people familiar with it who live there for it to be entirely ignored.

It is unquestionable that the Latin rite can be a powerful force within the Orthodox Church when it comes to evangelization.

It was Gregorian chant that lays claim to first orthodox form of chant to be adapted into native american language. Perhaps the Iroquois language Gradual for the Mass made by french missionaries in Canada can serve as an example and inspiration to do the same with the "Quichean–Mamean" language of the highlands of Guatemala by Orthodox missionaries?

Perhaps my expertise in making Quetzaltenango style "Christmas" tamales will eventually find greater appreciation.  :D

http://bohemianbowmans.com/authentic-guatemalan-tamales-for-realz/#comment-15129

You can give it a try if you ever have the time, it might come in handy. My recipe has a few secret ingredients not found there but is very close to the above link.

What an interesting time to be alive!

« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 02:21:16 AM by Christopher McAvoy »
"and for all who are Orthodox, and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, remember, O Lord, thy servants" - yet the post-conciliar RC hierarchy is tolerant of everyone and everything... except Catholic Tradition, for modernists are as salt with no taste, to be “thrown out and trampled under foot

Offline dhinuus

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 11:01:43 AM »
The new Archbishop Mor Yacoub Edward (the one holding the staff), along with H.H Ignatius Zakka I, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East at St Jacob Baradeaus Monastery in Atchena, Beirut, Lebanon on 06 March 2013.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 11:03:23 AM by dhinuus »
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Offline Mexican

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2013, 09:39:46 PM »
Guatemala already has a canonical Orthodox presence. There is a small l Antiochian Orthodox community (most of them Arab descent) and Abp. Chedraoui of the Antiochian Church lists Guatemala as part of his canonical territory, there is a monastery there.

Then, the Greek Orthodox group under Constantinople is new and formed by converts. Their leader, Fr. Andrew Giron, was a leftist politician. At the beggining, his organization was heavily influenced by the Liberation Theology but they gradually switched to Orthodoxy and now they're part of a canonical Church, even though there is no website or on line media to support their work. I believe they are serious.

The ICERGUA Church, which became part of the Syriac Orthodox Church, is also charismatic in worship and his bishop was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church, as he founded an Ecumenical community wishing to make Catholics closer to Orthodoxy.

There are other communities of Orthodox minded Christians in Guatemala like the vagant HOCNA and other small independent groups.

MK was here
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 06:41:23 AM by Michał Kalina »

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2013, 09:50:32 PM »
Is swapping deck chairs and encouraging dissension really evangelism?

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2013, 01:54:30 AM »
The Roman Catholic Church never successfully evangelized to the Mayan peoples of Guatemala (which if you don't know represents the MAJORITY of the population of the entire country).

The answer is without a shadow of a doubt "YES" this is REAL evangelism occuring now, which should have been successfully accomplished 400 years ago perhaps, but politics, prejudice, disease and all sorts of reasons discouraged it.

Anyone is free to evangelize people who have never been evangelized successfully.
Many mayans still burn incense in caves to the old gods and or mix the pagan with the christian practices.
It is a work in progress.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 01:56:16 AM by Christopher McAvoy »
"and for all who are Orthodox, and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, remember, O Lord, thy servants" - yet the post-conciliar RC hierarchy is tolerant of everyone and everything... except Catholic Tradition, for modernists are as salt with no taste, to be “thrown out and trampled under foot

Offline dhinuus

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2015, 12:44:53 AM »
A video of Mor Yacoub Edward of Guatemala narrating the story of his journey to the Syriac Orthodox Church
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKbOqZ-CNT4
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 12:46:22 AM by dhinuus »
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2015, 12:57:27 AM »
Maybe I'm beating a dead horse but it does seem like Roman Catholicism is losing or has lost it grip over Latin America take for example the springing up of syriac orthodox amongst the mayans, Brazil going Pentecostal/Evangelical, and Anglicans from what I herd has grown in the global south plus there seems to be growing amounts of Eastern Orthodox in these regions. It does makes me think Rome took these people for granted and it's sad because Latin American people seem to be devoutly devoted to Christ add Christian principals. Let's pray more of these folks find the true church
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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2015, 01:48:28 AM »
Maybe I'm beating a dead horse but it does seem like Roman Catholicism is losing or has lost it grip over Latin America take for example the springing up of syriac orthodox amongst the mayans, Brazil going Pentecostal/Evangelical, and Anglicans from what I herd has grown in the global south plus there seems to be growing amounts of Eastern Orthodox in these regions. It does makes me think Rome took these people for granted and it's sad because Latin American people seem to be devoutly devoted to Christ add Christian principals. Let's pray more of these folks find the true church

It is unfortunate. It also seems like a lot of them have a misunderstanding of Marian doctrines as well, from a couple of Latin Americans that I have talked to.
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2015, 01:54:34 AM »
Maybe I'm beating a dead horse but it does seem like Roman Catholicism is losing or has lost it grip over Latin America take for example the springing up of syriac orthodox amongst the mayans, Brazil going Pentecostal/Evangelical, and Anglicans from what I herd has grown in the global south plus there seems to be growing amounts of Eastern Orthodox in these regions. It does makes me think Rome took these people for granted and it's sad because Latin American people seem to be devoutly devoted to Christ add Christian principals. Let's pray more of these folks find the true church

It is unfortunate. It also seems like a lot of them have a misunderstanding of Marian doctrines as well, from a couple of Latin Americans that I have talked to.

Yeah, there's an article here about Brazil and the recent mass exodus of the lower classes from Catholicism to Pentecostalism.

I wonder what will happen to all the cathedrals if they run out of parishioners? I doubt they'll be converted to mosques since (unlike Europe) there isn't much of a Muslim presence in most of Latin America, with the exception of Guyana.

Maybe the prosperity preachers will buy them? I shudder to think what Edir Macedo would do to it if he got his mitts on one. Saint-kicking * 1000?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 01:55:39 AM by Minnesotan »
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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2015, 02:41:54 AM »
Another article about the Brazilian religion situation. Apparently, evangelical drug gangs (!) are intimidating practitioners of Afro-Brazilian shamanistic religions.
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2015, 02:48:03 AM »
Also, apparently, there is a schismatic Catholic church in Brazil much like the ones in Guatemala that have since been received into Orthodoxy.

Have there been any attempts by either the EO or OO to bring that group into their own respective folds (likely as Western Rite)?
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2015, 02:55:10 AM »
Also, apparently, there is a schismatic Catholic church in Brazil much like the ones in Guatemala that have since been received into Orthodoxy.

Have there been any attempts by either the EO or OO to bring that group into their own respective folds (likely as Western Rite)?

see that a good idea I think Western Rite can work with these folks if it done properly.
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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2015, 08:33:44 AM »
Is swapping deck chairs and encouraging dissension really evangelism?

I went back & read the whole thread from 2013 & I think it is all a game of "musical chairs" and not evangelism.

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2015, 05:44:12 AM »
Glory be to God!

I'm also glad that they converted to schismatic Syriac Orthodoxy and not some canonical group.

Fixed your quote for you.
Sorry but I just don't like EO's and non-chalcedonians lumped up together as being Orthodox. Only one of those churches are. I hate reading news stories that say Orthodox and then you find out that theyre not.



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Offline jobin219

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2015, 09:57:03 AM »
Glory be to God!

I'm also glad that they converted to schismatic Syriac Orthodoxy and not some canonical group.

Fixed your quote for you.
Sorry but I just don't like EO's and non-chalcedonians lumped up together as being Orthodox. Only one of those churches are. I hate reading news stories that say Orthodox and then you find out that theyre not.

I'm sorry but since when did OO become schismatic? We're as much Orthodox as any canonical EO church. When all of Holy Orthodoxy is making small but significant steps towards closer communion, its fanatics like you who spoil it for everyone.
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Offline tcolon90

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2015, 10:48:20 AM »
Saying that people who are not in communion with us are not Orthodox is not fanatical. St. Paisios had some pretty strong words against the non-chalcedonians. Would you consider him a fanatic?

I'm not preventing any OO church from joining communion with us. I would love nothing more than to see them come back, but it's not gonna happen until they admit their wrongs. I just don't see how you can say that they're fellow members of the Church when they're not in communion with the Church.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 06:40:30 PM by PeterTheAleut »

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2015, 11:23:12 AM »
Glory be to God!

I'm also glad that they converted to schismatic Syriac Orthodoxy and not some canonical group.

Fixed your quote for you.
Sorry but I just don't like EO's and non-chalcedonians lumped up together as being Orthodox. Only one of those churches are. I hate reading news stories that say Orthodox and then you find out that theyre not.
Pal, we consider ourselves Orthodox and you guys the schismatics (historically anyway, disregarding what modern revisionists say). You don't have a monopoly on the term. Get over it. The way we choose to identify ourselves is no way dictated by your theology.

Saying that people who are not in communion with us are not Orthodox is not fanatical. St. Paisios had some pretty strong words against the non-chalcedonians. Would you consider him a fanatic?

I'm not preventing any OO church from joining communion with us. I would love nothing more than to see them come back, but it's not gonna happen until they admit their wrongs. I just don't see how you can say that they're fellow members of the Church when they're not in communion with the Church.
Maybe the internet atheists are right. Perhaps over indulgence in religion does cause some degree of delusion.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 11:26:50 AM by Severian »
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2015, 11:42:22 AM »
Maybe the internet atheists are right. Perhaps over indulgence in religion does cause some degree of delusion.

A fair share of those internet atheists probably are zealots who lost steam.

St. Paisios had some pretty strong words against the non-chalcedonians. Would you consider him a fanatic?

He had some pretty strong words about the Turks as well. One-third of them were to be blasted to smithereens by the Russians and one-third would have to be ethnically cleansed and banished to the interior of Anatolia, thus finally achieving the Megali Idea for good old Hellas. Something like that, iirc.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 11:48:48 AM by Cyrillic »
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Re: Mass Conversion to Syriac Orthodoxy in Central America
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2015, 11:50:11 AM »
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