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Author Topic: 60 Minutes piece on Coptic Orthodox Church.  (Read 2462 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 15, 2013, 07:46:44 PM »

Heads Up  Wink

Tonight 7:00pm EST on CBS
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 09:03:17 PM »

Too late.

But then there's youtube.  And I think 60 min. has a website.
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 09:38:18 PM »

I saw it.  Details here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-coptic-christians-of-egypt/

Near the end, the reporter attended what was described as a "Coptic Charismatic service" among the Zabbaleen.

Quote
Febe Armanios believes the violence is one reason people are flocking to charismatic Coptic services. She took us to one at St. Simon in Muquattam in Cairo – one of the largest churches in the Middle East. Two thousand people attended the night we went and the service was broadcast all over the country. It went on for three hours and ended like no other we had ever seen -- with public exorcisms.

Bob Simon: Have you ever seen anything like this?

Febe Armanios: I've attended some of these ceremonies in this church before.

Bob Simon: And it always ends like this? Note: By "ends like this" he means with people "falling out", hooting, et cetera.

Febe Armanios: Yeah, there's just a sense in the community of helplessness, of people in need of the priest's blessing, people in need of healing from God, people in need of support.

There, as you can see in the video, men dressed as Orthodox priests carried out what appears to be a typical Charismatic service.  The viewer is left with the impression that this is a part of Coptic Orthodox practice.  God have mercy on us.
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013, 09:52:38 PM »

Lord have mercy. I was excited to maybe find it on Youtube since I don't have TV, but now I think I'll skip it. Embarrassed I have heard of such services but thankfully never seen one. Shameful, disgraceful...ugh...Lord have mercy on our errant brothers and sisters who have turned away from the Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2013, 09:57:10 PM »

Lord have mercy. I was excited to maybe find it on Youtube since I don't have TV, but now I think I'll skip it. Embarrassed I have heard of such services but thankfully never seen one. Shameful, disgraceful...ugh...Lord have mercy on our errant brothers and sisters who have turned away from the Orthodox faith.

In fairness that part was only less than 2 minutes of a 15-20 minute segment. 
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 09:59:58 PM »

That's good. But I would still worry what kind of message it puts out. Not too long ago my father thought I was converting to Islam because he confused our chants with Islamic ones. Shocked I'm pretty sure seeing Coptic people running around, barking or whatever probably doesn't help the Church seem less weird to outsiders.
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 10:01:39 PM »

Lord have mercy. I was excited to maybe find it on Youtube since I don't have TV, but now I think I'll skip it. Embarrassed I have heard of such services but thankfully never seen one. Shameful, disgraceful...ugh...Lord have mercy on our errant brothers and sisters who have turned away from the Orthodox faith.

Well, now millions of people who've never (or barely) heard of the Coptic Orthodox Church have "seen one" as their first impression of Coptic Orthodoxy.

Everyone I know was excited about watching this piece, and this is the face we present to the world.  Cry

In fairness that part was only less than 2 minutes of a 15-20 minute segment. 

And that two minutes gave the false impression to the world that so-called "Charismatic" services are a regular and acceptable part of Coptic Orthodox practice.  They are not.  What is going on in this church?

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 10:06:36 PM »

I saw it.

I had no idea this was the tradition in the Coptic Church. It was good seeing the faithful actually have some joy in Egypt for a change
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 10:23:00 PM »

I saw it.  Details here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-coptic-christians-of-egypt/

Near the end, the reporter attended what was described as a "Coptic Charismatic service" among the Zabbaleen.

There, as you can see in the video, men dressed as Orthodox priests carried out what appears to be a typical Charismatic service.  The viewer is left with the impression that this is a part of Coptic Orthodox practice.  God have mercy on us.

Here is the video on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXUtLmyCTmc&feature=c4-overview&list=UUsN32BtMd0IoByjJRNF12cw

So, they are not Orthodox priests? 
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 10:27:56 PM »

That's good. But I would still worry what kind of message it puts out. Not too long ago my father thought I was converting to Islam because he confused our chants with Islamic ones. Shocked
Given your Hispanic background, what do you think of Mozarabic Chant?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfguO8nHxfo
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 10:47:00 PM »


To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the report. It was okay, but, it could have said and shown so much more.
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 10:47:48 PM »

I saw it.  Details here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-coptic-christians-of-egypt/

Near the end, the reporter attended what was described as a "Coptic Charismatic service" among the Zabbaleen.

Quote
Febe Armanios believes the violence is one reason people are flocking to charismatic Coptic services. She took us to one at St. Simon in Muquattam in Cairo – one of the largest churches in the Middle East. Two thousand people attended the night we went and the service was broadcast all over the country. It went on for three hours and ended like no other we had ever seen -- with public exorcisms.

Bob Simon: Have you ever seen anything like this?

Febe Armanios: I've attended some of these ceremonies in this church before.

Bob Simon: And it always ends like this? Note: By "ends like this" he means with people "falling out", hooting, et cetera.

Febe Armanios: Yeah, there's just a sense in the community of helplessness, of people in need of the priest's blessing, people in need of healing from God, people in need of support.

There, as you can see in the video, men dressed as Orthodox priests carried out what appears to be a typical Charismatic service.  The viewer is left with the impression that this is a part of Coptic Orthodox practice.  God have mercy on us.
Why do you think they were Zabbaaliin?

I've seen similar services at Coptic Orthodox mulids.  How official that is, I'm not sure, but they do occur.  I'm wondering more what exactly is St. Simon's?
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 10:49:28 PM »


To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the report. It was okay, but, it could have said and shown so much more.
It could, but the fact that it showed anything (how many stories do we see on the Copts in the news, in particular to comparison to the stories we see about the Syrian fighters?) is something.

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 10:52:11 PM »

I enjoyed it...could've been a lot better...but at least its something
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2013, 11:01:17 PM »

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.

I didn't know that.

I didn't care that he said that now it's just a fashion statement. Maybe I missed it, but, did he mention why they needed to tattoo crosses in the first place?
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2013, 11:08:09 PM »

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.

I didn't know that.

I didn't care that he said that now it's just a fashion statement. Maybe I missed it, but, did he mention why they needed to tattoo crosses in the first place?
Yes.  I'll have to play it again, because I didn't hear the fashion statement part.

He's says it's "a rite of passage" and "a sign of pride"
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2013, 11:34:27 PM »

That's good. But I would still worry what kind of message it puts out. Not too long ago my father thought I was converting to Islam because he confused our chants with Islamic ones. Shocked
Given your Hispanic background, what do you think of Mozarabic Chant?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfguO8nHxfo

Oh, it's hands down my favorite Latin/Western chant form (though it's not quite strictly that; the Eastern roots are palpable, and not just on the album that particular recording at the link is taken from). That Ensemble Organum album in particular is quite nice (nice to see it reissued recently), and I have a few others to accompany it, but it's surprisingly hard to find it done correctly. Well, maybe not so surprising given its suppression in the 11th century (even the E.O. album is based off of Cisneros' reconstruction from a few centuries after the fact, and apparently the extant codices like those of Silos in the 9th century or Leon in the 7th are a bit of a mystery, due to the difficulty in reading the notation). But it seems like a lot of things labeled as "Mozarabic" are either treated like funny Gregorian chant or way overdone in self-consciously "Arabic" style (as though it hadn't been basically in place about 100 years prior to the Muslim invaders)...anyway, I still love it. Smiley I think the monks of St. Domingo de Silos walked a fine line on their old album from the early 1970s which drew from a few of those sources I just mentioned (in addition to the Codex Calixtine, c.12th century), which even included a "Kyrie" in faux Greek!

Antifonario Mozárabe de Silos. Lección I de Viernes Santo

If only the Mozarabs were Orthodox... (though the EO in Spain do use this liturgy, too; imagine that...Latins and Orthodox using the same liturgy and it's not a recent reconstruction to nativize Orthodoxy for a heterodox people to adapt to it better... Wink)
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2013, 11:56:19 PM »

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.

I didn't know that.

I didn't care that he said that now it's just a fashion statement. Maybe I missed it, but, did he mention why they needed to tattoo crosses in the first place?

I never heard him say anything about it being a fashion statement. I believe he said it was a right of passage, that was originally imposed by the muslims as a identification symbol but now it was worn with pride.
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2013, 11:56:55 PM »

Just watched this.  Wasn't a bad expose, but here are my issues
1) Once again, everything is seen through the eyes of the Catholic Church.  They do this, so do you?
2)  The insinuation that Pope Tawadros II was the "only" religious figure supporting the ouster of Morsi in July is repeated here again.  There was no mention that if you look at the zoomed out photo, you see Egypt's own Grand Mufti there.  There was not just Coptic support for this which means that the Brotherhood's attacks on churches was completely groundless and that should have been stated unequivocally.
3)  Why did they have this student as their guide?  Surely a priest could have given a more informed background to the news crew.
4)  Why that closing service was included is beyond me.  
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2013, 01:27:15 AM »


To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the report. It was okay, but, it could have said and shown so much more.

I agree. And don't all Orthodox Churches elect a Patriarch? The report made it sound as if the Coptic Church is the only Orthodox Church to do so.


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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2013, 01:28:39 AM »


To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the report. It was okay, but, it could have said and shown so much more.
It could, but the fact that it showed anything (how many stories do we see on the Copts in the news, in particular to comparison to the stories we see about the Syrian fighters?) is something.

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.

I agree with this too.


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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2013, 01:33:13 AM »

 I'm wondering more what exactly is St. Simon's?

This may help: http://www.cavechurch.com/home/index.asp
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2013, 09:17:02 AM »

Why do you think they were Zabbaaliin?

I've seen similar services at Coptic Orthodox mulids.  How official that is, I'm not sure, but they do occur.  I'm wondering more what exactly is St. Simon's?

St. Simon's is a huge cave church in the Zabbaleen part of eastern Cairo.  Here.  It's apparently a part of the same Muqattam associated with the miracle of St. Simon and Pope St. Anba Abraam the Syrian celebrated yesterday, and there's a monastery associated with it (also bearing the name of St. Simon the Tanner - may he and Pope St. Abraam intercede at the Throne of God to save the people of their Church from the deceptions of the devil).  What were the services you've seen at the mulids like?  The same kind of stuff that goes on at Sufi mulids?  Whatever the case, the delusions of the so-called “charismatic” movement have no place in Orthodox Christianity.  God save us.

4)  Why that closing service was included is beyond me. 

Me too.  I’m hoping that maybe it was just a simple folk exorcism without any associations to the so-called “charismatic” movement.  As has been mentioned, H.H. Pope Tawadros II has been investigating Protestant influenced churches in the USA.  If this news report is in any way accurate in reporting the activities shown as being "Coptic Charismatic services" then perhaps His Holiness has investigations to conduct closer to home as well.  Fr. Peter Farrington has begun a series of articles detailing Protestant attempts to influence the Coptic Orthodox Church beginning in the 1820s.  May God save His Church and Egypt His people from the snares of the Enemy.
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2013, 11:11:25 AM »

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.

I didn't know that.

I didn't care that he said that now it's just a fashion statement. Maybe I missed it, but, did he mention why they needed to tattoo crosses in the first place?
Yes.  I'll have to play it again, because I didn't hear the fashion statement part.

He's says it's "a rite of passage" and "a sign of pride"

...ah yes...that may be what he said.  However, I still find that a bit condescending and irreverent.  Perhaps they now tattoo themselves out of "tradition"....but, why did that tradition begin?  THAT would have been more important to explain.
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« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2013, 11:14:43 AM »

I thought that they also tattooed their children so that they are not kidnapped and raised as Muslims?
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« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2013, 11:41:05 AM »


...that's exactly what I am getting at.  There's a DEEPER meaning behind the tattoos.

I've also heard it was so that if they are killed, they are identified as Christians and given a proper burial.

...all this is way more than a mere "rite of passage".
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« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2013, 11:56:03 AM »

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.

I didn't know that.

I didn't care that he said that now it's just a fashion statement. Maybe I missed it, but, did he mention why they needed to tattoo crosses in the first place?
Yes.  I'll have to play it again, because I didn't hear the fashion statement part.

He's says it's "a rite of passage" and "a sign of pride"

...ah yes...that may be what he said.  However, I still find that a bit condescending and irreverent.  Perhaps they now tattoo themselves out of "tradition"....but, why did that tradition begin?  THAT would have been more important to explain.

60 Minutes isn't the bastion of truth in journalism.  Their piece on Mt. Athos was pretty good, but some of their questions/observations were ignorant.
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« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2013, 11:58:47 AM »


....although that also reflect most of the audience.

Unless they ARE Orthodox, I find the general public to be rather ignorant when it comes to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2013, 12:00:38 PM »

The last scene was very good.  Btw, they are reciting the Lord's prayer during the tattooing.

I didn't know that.

I didn't care that he said that now it's just a fashion statement. Maybe I missed it, but, did he mention why they needed to tattoo crosses in the first place?
Yes.  I'll have to play it again, because I didn't hear the fashion statement part.

He's says it's "a rite of passage" and "a sign of pride"

...ah yes...that may be what he said.  However, I still find that a bit condescending and irreverent.  Perhaps they now tattoo themselves out of "tradition"....but, why did that tradition begin?  THAT would have been more important to explain.
They did mention that it started when the Muslims forced the Christians to wear one as a means of identification. It might have been more informative if they mentioned that the Muslims used a branding iron.
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« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2013, 12:01:58 PM »

Unless they ARE Orthodox, I find the general public to be rather ignorant when it comes to Orthodoxy.

Even if they're Orthodox.  Sometimes especially if they're Orthodox.
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« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2013, 12:31:55 PM »


LOL!

That is unfortunately true.  Sad
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« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2013, 12:43:27 PM »


To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the report. It was okay, but, it could have said and shown so much more.
I'm glad it was decent enough not to be botched to hell.
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« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2013, 12:49:53 PM »

Well, the piece started by saying:

Quote
Like the Greeks and the Russians, Copts are Orthodox Christians, but they have one thing in common with the Roman Catholics: they elect a pope.
 

From that point on, I knew they weren't going to be especially precise or clear.  I know that by necessity the writers of this piece had to paint with broad strokes, but think of the misconceptions that could arise from just these opening lines:

1.) The Coptic Church is in communion with the Russians and the Greeks.  Of course, I consider both the EO and the OO to be Orthodox, but why not mention the Coptic Church in connection with the churches with which it is actually in communion?  A reference to the beleaguered Syriac Church would be especially timely under the circumstances.  I think they were trying to draw a connection to things at least vaguely familiar to an American audience (Greek and Russian Orthodoxy) but how much of a stretch would it have been to mention Oriental Orthodoxy?

2.) The Coptic Pope holds powers similar to those of the Catholic Pope.  Most Americans hearing the term "pope" will think Catholic and will assume that the Pope of Alexandria is analogous to the Pope of Rome (instead of other Orthodox patriarchs) in terms of powers and position.  This assumption is never corrected in the piece.  Gebre touched upon this in his post, and scamandrius rightly pointed out that once again we're viewing the Orthodox world through a Catholic lens.

The fact is that clarity and accuracy in pieces like these are essential because for many Americans this will be their first (and possibly only) exposure to Coptic Orthodoxy.  Watching this piece, many of them will walk away with misconceptions - the most dangerous and inaccurate of all being that the Coptic Orthodox Church plays host to a burgeoning "charismatic movement" and holds "charismatic services".  It could be that this is not at all what was happening in St. Simon's church - that no was was doing what is blasphemously and inaccurately referred to by Pentecostals and Charismatics as "catching the holy ghost" or being "slain in the spirit", but rather that what we viewed was a release of pent up frustration and emotion followed by a simple folk exorcism.  But watching that piece the way it was constructed it seemed like a typical Pentecostal service: sing some Protestant "praise & worship" songs and listen to some fiery preaching until someone gets themselves worked into a froth and step back and watch the fireworks.  All we needed was an usherette with white gloves throwing a sheet over Aunt Esther.  If indeed such influences are making themselves manifest in the Coptic Orthodox Church, they need to be addressed and eliminated, but they should not be held up before the world as a normal and accepted part of Orthodox practice.  Watching this piece, one leaves with the impression that the Coptic Church is a longsuffering hodgepodge of Roman Catholicism, Pentecostalism and ignorance that is somehow in communion with Eastern Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2013, 12:56:50 PM »

Well, the piece started by saying:

Quote
Like the Greeks and the Russians, Copts are Orthodox Christians, but they have one thing in common with the Roman Catholics: they elect a pope.
 

From that point on, I knew they weren't going to be especially precise or clear.  I know that by necessity the writers of this piece had to paint with broad strokes, but think of the misconceptions that could arise from just these opening lines:

1.) The Coptic Church is in communion with the Russians and the Greeks.  Of course, I consider both the EO and the OO to be Orthodox, but why not mention the Coptic Church in connection with the churches with which it is actually in communion?  A reference to the beleaguered Syriac Church would be especially timely under the circumstances.  I think they were trying to draw a connection to things at least vaguely familiar to an American audience (Greek and Russian Orthodoxy) but how much of a stretch would it have been to mention Oriental Orthodoxy?
A big stretch. Although they might have known of Armenians.

2.) The Coptic Pope holds powers similar to those of the Catholic Pope.  Most Americans hearing the term "pope" will think Catholic and will assume that the Pope of Alexandria is analogous to the Pope of Rome (instead of other Orthodox patriarchs) in terms of powers and position.  This assumption is never corrected in the piece.  Gebre touched upon this in his post, and scamandrius rightly pointed out that once again we're viewing the Orthodox world through a Catholic lens.

The fact is that clarity and accuracy in pieces like these are essential because for many Americans this will be their first (and possibly only) exposure to Coptic Orthodoxy.  Watching this piece, many of them will walk away with misconceptions - the most dangerous and inaccurate of all being that the Coptic Orthodox Church plays host to a burgeoning "charismatic movement" and holds "charismatic services".  It could be that this is not at all what was happening in St. Simon's church - that no was was doing what is blasphemously and inaccurately referred to by Pentecostals and Charismatics as "catching the holy ghost" or being "slain in the spirit", but rather that what we viewed was a release of pent up frustration and emotion followed by a simple folk exorcism.  But watching that piece the way it was constructed it seemed like a typical Pentecostal service: sing some Protestant "praise & worship" songs and listen to some fiery preaching until someone gets themselves worked into a froth and step back and watch the fireworks.  All we needed was an usherette with white gloves throwing a sheet over Aunt Esther.  If indeed such influences are making themselves manifest in the Coptic Orthodox Church, they need to be addressed and eliminated, but they should not be held up before the world as a normal and accepted part of Orthodox practice.  Watching this piece, one leaves with the impression that the Coptic Church is a longsuffering hodgepodge of Roman Catholicism, Pentecostalism and ignorance that is somehow in communion with Eastern Orthodoxy.
As long as it leaves them with the impression that the Coptic Church exists and should be aided, I'm fine with that.
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« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2013, 01:13:53 PM »

A big stretch. Although they might have known of Armenians.

Yeah, but it wouldn't be that hard to create context using even vaguely familiar touchstones rather than introduce error:

"Like the Ethiopians and Armenians, Copts are Oriental Orthodox Christians..."

As long as it leaves them with the impression that the Coptic Church exists and should be aided, I'm fine with that.

Of course we want them to know that the Church exists and should be aided, but it is more important that they know what the Church actually is so they will seek out Orthodoxy for themselves.  God will aid the Church.  He always has.  Perhaps He will do so through the viewers of 60 Minutes, but more likely He will do so in other ways.  I want the average American to know the glory and beauty of my beloved Coptic Orthodox Church and how it can bring them closer to Christ, not to view it as some ignorant, superstitious, stunted backwater body with quasi-Catholic Charismatic tendancies that could only ever be relevant to someone who had the misfortune of being born into it.  That is not the Coptic Church I know and love.
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« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2013, 02:28:06 PM »

Amen to all you've written here, Antonious, but also we could look at it in a different way: The report will get people who might actually be looking for something like a Charismatic service (Lord have mercy!) interested in Coptic Orthodoxy, and then they will visit their local Coptic Orthodox Church and (God willing) be exposed to what Orthodoxy really is, and perhaps even find themselves interested in that instead. It is not hard to imagine, because I have seen variations of it myself in my own Church. Just a little while ago, we had some ex-Catholics attend a liturgy held in Las Cruces in the private home of a local Coptic family that they had befriended, and one of them said afterwards "I didn't know what to expect; I thought you guys would be like the Greek Orthodox church we've been attending, but we've been to their services and yours have a different feeling" (I don't even know what that means, but that's what she said). They were obviously very confused and admitted to finding our liturgy difficult to follow, but they sensed something in it that must've agreed with them because by the end of the Agape meal they were asking Fr. Marcus for an Agpeya to take home and to give them a blessing before leaving (he gladly obliged both requests, of course). I know it's not a perfect parallel, but it's essentially the same thing: They arrived with preconceptions, were confused and intrigued but moved anyway, and left wanting more. The husband of the pair (they were husband and wife) even said to me "I hope you guys will come back to Las Cruces soon to hold more liturgies; we really need a Church like yours." Smiley And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Everybody needs Orthodoxy, whether they're Pentecostal, Catholic, or whatever. Nevermind what gets them through the door (since you can't control whatever they've already seen or heard); mind that once they get there they receive the true faith and a welcoming embrace from God's people.
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« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2013, 03:25:10 PM »

Amen to all you've written here, Antonious, but also we could look at it in a different way: The report will get people who might actually be looking for something like a Charismatic service (Lord have mercy!) interested in Coptic Orthodoxy, and then they will visit their local Coptic Orthodox Church and (God willing) be exposed to what Orthodoxy really is, and perhaps even find themselves interested in that instead. It is not hard to imagine, because I have seen variations of it myself in my own Church. Just a little while ago, we had some ex-Catholics attend a liturgy held in Las Cruces in the private home of a local Coptic family that they had befriended, and one of them said afterwards "I didn't know what to expect; I thought you guys would be like the Greek Orthodox church we've been attending, but we've been to their services and yours have a different feeling" (I don't even know what that means, but that's what she said). They were obviously very confused and admitted to finding our liturgy difficult to follow, but they sensed something in it that must've agreed with them because by the end of the Agape meal they were asking Fr. Marcus for an Agpeya to take home and to give them a blessing before leaving (he gladly obliged both requests, of course). I know it's not a perfect parallel, but it's essentially the same thing: They arrived with preconceptions, were confused and intrigued but moved anyway, and left wanting more. The husband of the pair (they were husband and wife) even said to me "I hope you guys will come back to Las Cruces soon to hold more liturgies; we really need a Church like yours." Smiley And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Everybody needs Orthodoxy, whether they're Pentecostal, Catholic, or whatever. Nevermind what gets them through the door (since you can't control whatever they've already seen or heard); mind that once they get there they receive the true faith and a welcoming embrace from God's people.

Great point!
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« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2013, 03:42:19 PM »

That's a good way to look at it, dzheremi, and of course I agree with what you've written.  At the risk of quibbling. however, I don't think the Coptic Church depicted in the piece would be attractive to the average Pentecostal or to anyone looking for a Charismatic service (except maybe a Charismatic Catholic).  As I said, the piece pretty much made us look like a stunted church that was once a part of Catholicism, and still retains many of its traits (most especially those which a "born again believer" would find most idolatrous and distasteful - up to and including a papacy), but has become mired in ignorance and superstition because it has been isolated and strangled by Islam, and now adopts, piecemeal, elements of Charismatism, Sufism, Byzantine Orthodoxy and what have you.

As far as being ready to receive the person who shows up for whatever reason, again, I agree, but let us hope that the seeker finds his or her way to the Coptic parish that is the rule and not the exception insofar as maintaining the Orthodox Faith and Orthodox practice is concerned.  You and I both know that 9 out of 10 Coptic churches are firm in Orthodoxy and are not Protestant influenced, but God forbid that anyone with Charismatic leanings should show up at one of the rogue parishes that shall remain nameless [unless Stavro jumps into this thread!  Grin] and finds only a feeble imitation and their former tradition and an apparent validation of their heterodox beliefs and practices.  At the end of the day, the Church didn't produce this piece, and I don't know what role if any Febe Armanios plays in the Church or why she chose to take the reporter to this service, so to some extent, the Church isn't responsible for the misrepresentation, but on the other hand, there's no denying the fact that we have to address and eliminate the irregularities that are occuring, not only so that we present an icon of Christianity as Christ, and not Charles Fox Parham intended it (and the two are mutually exclusive), but for the sake of our own youth.

Pray for me and for our beloved Coptic Church!
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« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2013, 04:17:34 PM »

i have seen the video.
only 50 seconds is about the church service.
i didn't see anything in the many tiny clips of film that was not compatible with a orthodox Christian meeting.
as a previously 'charismatic' protestant Christian, i would recognise that.
i also make every effort to alert people in the orthodox church to the dangers of emotionalism and of looking for miracles
(our miracles are usually performed by holy men and women who seek to avoid publicity as this is the way of humility).

there are a few people raising their hands while singing (may be protestant visitors) and 2 or 3 women having exorcism.
one of the women screams.
the priest is performing the exorcism in the manner of all the orthodox saints by using holy water and by praying.
i expect he also kept up his prayer and fasting before this.

no one is yelling 'in the name of Jesus', there are not any people becoming hysterical and falling on the floor, and i didn't see any clapping or dancing.

so move along now, nothing to see here!

as for febe armanios, she is a professor of history of egyptian origin working with this group:
http://crcc.usc.edu/initiatives/pcri/about.html
so she may have a protestant background. in the video, she didn't look like an orthodox Christian to me as she didn't seem too excited visiting the holy places and seeing all the ancient icons. but maybe she saw them many times before.
in just a few minutes of a television clip, you can not accurately judge these things.
(which is my main point).

may God bless and guide all those in the church featured and in egypt today to know Him and His love in truth.
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« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2013, 06:07:28 PM »

i didn't see anything in the many tiny clips of film that was not compatible with a orthodox Christian meeting.
as a previously 'charismatic' protestant Christian, i would recognise that.

Unfortunately, I can't yet say that I agree, though I truly hope you'll convince me otherwise.  Smiley

I'm also very familiar with the world of Charismatic Christianity, having many friends and family members who are Pentecostals or ex-Pentecostals, and I do see a few things in the meeting that lead me to different conclusions than those you've reached. I'm not saying that these points are definitive, but I do feel that they are worthy of notation, especially in light of H.H. the Pope's recent investigations into Protestant influence in the Church and all of the measures the Church has had to take in recent years to counter Protestant influence.

Again, I'm not looking to find fault and I sincerely pray that it's not as bad as it may appear.  Kindly allow me to list my concerns point by point:

For starters, the reporter introduces this segment of the program by describing the event as a "Coptic Charismatic service".  Who introduced the event to him in this way?  He's obviously not drawing his own conclusions.  Someone told him that that is what the event was.  Was it Febe Armanios who is an "expert" on Copts and affiliated with the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative?  Is this how the service was advertised?

Secondly, there's clearly some kind of Protestant-style choir with instrumental accompaniment onstage leading the "praise & worship".  Can anyone identify the song they are singing?  It doesn't sound particularly Charismatic to me, but it does seem to elicit the kind of hand-raising, body-swaying emotionalism prevalent in the early stages of Charismatic or Pentecostal services to get the people "feeling the (so-called) spirit".  The singing of Protestant songs is inappropriate at any Orthodox service or event.

Thirdly, right from the beginning, we can see said emotionalism taking hold of some of the participants, particularly the women you've identified as raising their hands and swaying back-and-forth, et cetera.  Let's hope they are - as you've asserted - Protestant visitors.  If not, they've definitely been influenced by Charismatic practices which is never a good thing.

If they are Protestants, however, how do they know the songs?  Again, as per H.G. Anba David and the Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod, all of the songs and materials used in all of our corporate worship or meetings should be Orthodox in origin and ethos.

i also make every effort to alert people in the orthodox church to the dangers of emotionalism and of looking for miracles

Good.  Glory to God.

(our miracles are usually performed by holy men and women who seek to avoid publicity as this is the way of humility).

Amen.

no one is yelling 'in the name of Jesus', there are not any people becoming hysterical and falling on the floor, and i didn't see any clapping or dancing.

I saw some clapping, but nothing particularly fervent.  Thank God, I agree, I didn't see any dancing or anyone other than the "possessed" becoming hysterical.

as for febe armanios, she is a professor of history of egyptian origin working with this group:
http://crcc.usc.edu/initiatives/pcri/about.html
so she may have a protestant background.

This is perhaps the most telling point of all.  The mission statement of this organization is to "provide a scholarly framework to investigate Pentecostalism and the various renewal movements" that have emerged in more traditional churches.  Armanios is likely studying this sort of thing among the Copts, about whom she is apparently an "expert" (and she is certainly possessed of a Coptic name).

In all likelihood, she is the one who identified the above-mentioned service as Charismatic for the reporter.  Why would she do so if that is not what it is, seeing as how she is apparently an expert of Charismatism, Pentecostalism and Copts?

Furthermore, Armanios seems to identify the exorcisms and the entire service as part of a collective emotional release in the face of the people feeling helpless before their persecutors, a hallmark of Charismatism and Pentecostalism.

The clip was also cut to simulate a more frenetic pace than the service likely had, but that might be due to editing for sensationalism.

Again, these points are far from definitive, but at the least they indicate a degree of Evangelical and/or Charismatic influence, and even an iota of that is inappropriate for any Orthodox Church.

may God bless and guide all those in the church featured and in egypt today to know Him and His love in truth.

Amen.  May God preserve His Church in Orthodox Faith and practice.
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« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2013, 08:32:26 PM »

Excuse me,
Febe Armanious is one of the most prominent new Coptologist in our field. She is not a student. She is an associate professor of history at Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT. She specializes in late Medieval Coptic history during the Ayyubid through Ottoman Egypt. She is second generation Coptic, not Protestant. I checked the link for the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. She is not a member of their staff, a senior fellow, a research associates, a student workers, or a past research associates. She simply contributed some articles on Coptic Christianity. That does not make her Protestant and it's offensive to imply so.

Regarding her remarks on exorcisms, she didn't say anything wrong. She expressed why she believes people pilgrimage to St Simeon's cave. It was 60 minutes that made an issue with charismatic exorcism when one doesn't exist in the Coptic Church.  Given the fact that Western Journalism in general is extremely prejudice of anything non-Jewish in the Middle East, I have no doubt that the producers of 60 minutes cut out the important parts of her discussion and manipulated everything that is really Coptic in order to get ratings.

It should be noted the Coptic World, with the approval of Pope Tawadros, aided in bringing 60 minutes to do the piece. You have no idea how hard it is to get even a sit down with Pope Tawadros, much less a long televised interview.

The whole piece just goes to show you that even when the Copts are mistreated, misrepresented and abused in every way possible - now this includes Western media - we continue to use every opportunity to evangelize Christ and Orthodoxy (even knowing we will be portrayed in a consistent negative view)

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« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2013, 09:39:33 PM »

She is second generation Coptic, not Protestant.

A name like Armanios would seem to imply Coptic ancestry.  If she is only second generation, what was her family before they were Coptic?

I checked the link for the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative. She is not a member of their staff, a senior fellow, a research associates, a student workers, or a past research associates.  She simply contributed some articles on Coptic Christianity. That does not make her Protestant and it's offensive to imply so.


Yes, one of these articles appears to be very interesting and very pertinent to this topic.  I would love to read it.  It is entitled Coptic Charismatic Renewal in Egypt: A Modern History.  A summary with some relevant bits bolded for emphasis:

Quote
Coptic Orthodox Christians make up roughly ten percent of Egypt’s eighty or so million inhabitants; they are the largest Christian community in the Middle East. Faced with numerous social, political, and economic hurdles, Copts have turned to new forms of religious expression for solace, comfort, and hope. Prayer groups and community-organized retreats have proliferated. Modern communication outlets—particularly in the realm of satellite television and video-films—have allowed for a more personal encounter with God in the privacy of one’s home. Workers in Coptic charitable organizations and social services have sought to dispense material and spiritual blessings to those in need, and, in the process, to bring fellow Christians (and themselves) closer to Christ. Prof. Armanios will chart the history of charismatic trajectories within the Coptic community since its earliest manifestations in the 1970s, focusing on the importance of modern communication outlets, narratives of healing and the miraculous, as well as social services in popularizing these practices. She argues that to combat the increased Islamist attacks against Copts and to curb the perceived popularity of Evangelical Protestantism among fellow believers, Coptic clergy and laity have turned to charismatic Christianity—mostly couched in familiar Orthodox terminology—in order to strengthen belief, spirituality, and communality.

http://crcc.usc.edu/initiatives/pcri/coptic-charismatic.html

It would be interesting to know if the professor approaches the subject of the corruption of our Church merely as a dispassionate academic (which would be understandable, at least for the purposes of her paper), if she feels it is a bad thing (which any Orthodox Christian should) or if she feels it is a good thing (which would be problematic).

Regarding her remarks on exorcisms, she didn't say anything wrong. She expressed why she believes people pilgrimage to St Simeon's cave.

Considered on their own, I can see that.  Considered within the context of the piece, they do seem to imply that Copts are turning to Charismatism as a form of solace in the face of the present persecution.  This is, unfortunately, supported by the article summary quoted above.  Doesn't it seem feasible that 60 Minutes got the idea from the professor?  I'm not saying this to disparage her...I'd love to read her article...but the implication of that part of the piece seems in line with the Coptic Charismatic Renewal article's thesis.

It was 60 minutes that made an issue with charismatic exorcism when one doesn't exist in the Coptic Church.

Glory to God!

Given the fact that Western Journalism in general is extremely prejudice of anything non-Jewish in the Middle East, I have no doubt that the producers of 60 minutes cut out the important parts of her discussion and manipulated everything that is really Coptic in order to get ratings.

This is possible, but again, see above.

It should be noted the Coptic World, with the approval of Pope Tawadros, aided in bringing 60 minutes to do the piece. You have no idea how hard it is to get even a sit down with Pope Tawadros, much less a long televised interview.

The whole piece just goes to show you that even when the Copts are mistreated, misrepresented and abused in every way possible - now this includes Western media - we continue to use every opportunity to evangelize Christ and Orthodoxy (even knowing we will be portrayed in a consistent negative view)

Amen.  As I've said before though, bringing these disgusting and lamentable ideas out into the light is painful and unpleasant.  I hate it.  But if that is the only way to deal with them, so be it.  If there is "Charismatic Renewal" going on in the Coptic Orthodox Church, it needs to be halted and reversed, and the only way to do that is with prayer, fasting, education and facing it head on.  In that sense, the professor is to be applauded for being honest about the issue, writing about it publically, and bringing it out into the light.  "Charismatic Renewal" in the Coptic Orthodox Church - or any Orthodox Church - is oxymoronic.  Any "solace, comfort, and hope" provided by abandoning or compromising Orthodoxy and embracing "new forms of religious expression" originating in heterodox circles is fleeting and illusory at best and a satanic delusion at worst. "Couching" such spiritual poison in "familiar Orthodox terminology" is like slipping venom into the milk of an infant's bottle.  A Church cannot at once be Orthodox and Charismatic as the spirit that motivates the Charismatic movement is not the Holy Spirit.  Light and darkness cannot work together.  The devil is evil and clever, but he won't prevail.  He uses the militant Islamists to persecute the Church and when the people despair, he calls out to them from the pit of Evangelicalism and Charismatism to lead them away from the true Christ and the Church He established.  May God preserve His people and His Church.  I urge every Coptic Orthodox Christian to pray for his or her Church, to educate themselves, and to join the fight to reverse this trend.
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« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2013, 12:20:14 AM »

A name like Armanios would seem to imply Coptic ancestry.  If she is only second generation, what was her family before they were Coptic?
Why did you get the impression that her family converted? By second generation, I meant her parents emmigrated to Los Angeles and she was raised in California.

Quote
Yes, one of these articles appears to be very interesting and very pertinent to this topic.  I would love to read it.  It is entitled Coptic Charismatic Renewal in Egypt: A Modern History
I asked her for clarification. I'll let you know if she responds.

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Regarding her remarks on exorcisms, she didn't say anything wrong. She expressed why she believes people pilgrimage to St Simeon's cave.

Considered on their own, I can see that.  Considered within the context of the piece, they do seem to imply that Copts are turning to Charismatism as a form of solace in the face of the present persecution.  This is, unfortunately, supported by the article summary quoted above.  Doesn't it seem feasible that 60 Minutes got the idea from the professor?  I'm not saying this to disparage her...I'd love to read her article...but the implication of that part of the piece seems in line with the Coptic Charismatic Renewal article's thesis.
I think you're reading too much into the article summary. For all we know, her definition of charismatic Christianity is different from yours or mine. I think substantiating her comments on 60 Minutes by the article summary is premature at best. On the other hand, we have plenty of evidence of Western journalism manipulating Middle Eastern events, as some have already described in this thread.

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« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2013, 09:45:42 AM »

Why did you get the impression that her family converted? By second generation, I meant her parents emmigrated to Los Angeles and she was raised in California.

I didn't think her family converted until you said she was "second generation Coptic".  This makes it sound as if they had converted from something else a generation ago, not as if she is a second generation immigrant from a Coptic family.  Before you said she was "second generation Coptic" I assumed that with a last name like Armanios her family had been Orthodox since St. Mark!  Smiley

I asked her for clarification. I'll let you know if she responds.

Awesome.  Whatever her take on the matter, I'm sure this article will be a valuable contribution to a much-needed discussion.

I think you're reading too much into the article summary.

How so?  It seems to be clear in what it states.  All I did was bold for emphasis.  It seems that the professor is rightly asserting that in order to combat the pressure placed upon the Church by Islamists and Evangelical "missionaries", some servants and clergy have "turned to new forms of religious expression" originating in the Charismatic movement.  I think it is clear to anyone with eyes that this has happened, and this is why our Church is having problems with this issue now.  Our response should have been - as H.G. Anba David instructs us - "to rediscover our true Orthodoxy and live the fullness and depth of our Orthodox Faith, not seek after very shallow means of satisfying the soul".

Posters on these boards have reported people singing Protestant songs with guitars even as the people process up to receive the Eucharist.  This isn't something that can be allowed to continue.

For all we know, her definition of charismatic Christianity is different from yours or mine.


She is an academic, and academics have an agreed upon vocabulary which makes the discussion of certain topics possible.  The definition of Charismatic used in academia - and by the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative for which the professor produces papers - is the same as that of the rest of the world: the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals. Fundamental to the movement is the use of "spiritual gifts" such as "speaking in tongues", et cetera.

The other term used in the article's title - "renewal" - has similar connotations.  It means that a given Church has grown stale and formalistic and that what Pentecostals and Charismatics wrongly identify as the Holy Spirit has to "blow in" and "revitalize" the community, assimilating local customs even as it slowly leads the people away from the idolatry of Mary worship and icon-kissing and bestows upon them the "gifts of the spirit", et cetera.  The mission statement of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research initiative indicates that they are historical revisionists with a clear agenda, who endeavor to suggest that Pentecostalism has its origins not in 19th or 20th century America, but in the Apostolic Age:

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Among many American scholars, the standard narrative about Pentecostalism is that contemporary global expressions of the movement trace their roots to Los Angeles and the Azusa Street Revival in the first decade of the 20th century. But the charismatic impulse in American Christianity has a much older lineage—including the camp meetings at Cane Ridge, Kentucky in the early 19th century and other events associated with the First and Second Great Awakenings. Members of renewalist movements often locate the source of their theology and practice even farther in the past, identifying their cultivation of ecstatic experiences with the spiritual fervor of Christianity's earliest apostolic age.

http://crcc.usc.edu/initiatives/pcri/history.html

In other words, their goal is to foster the false idea that the "ecstatic experiences" associated with American Pentecostalism - and its ungodly exports to the rest of the world - have always been a part of Apostolic Christianity.

I think substantiating her comments on 60 Minutes by the article summary is premature at best

This is possible.  For me, however, the idea of the Coptic Orthodox Church adopting Pentecostal/Charismatic/Evangelical practices is not merely a historical phenomenon to be observed.  It is not something in which I can see positives because it provides some temporary "solace" for someone hard-bitten by oppression even as it destroys the Church of Christ from within.  To me, the idea of the Coptic Orthodox Church - or any Orthodox Church - joining the absolute apostasy of this demonic movement is abhorrent. 

On the other hand, we have plenty of evidence of Western journalism manipulating Middle Eastern events, as some have already described in this thread.

This is true.

At any rate, the goal here is not to rake a particular academic over the coals, but rather to acknowledge the fact that - as she reports - our Church has absorbed some harmful influences which now need to be excised.  I am confident that present appearances notwithstanding, God will ultimately preserve His Church in Orthodox Faith and practice and that the fruit of satan - the influence of Charismatism on the Copts and other Oriental Orthodox - will wither and die.
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« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2013, 01:46:12 PM »

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[unless Stavro jumps into this thread!  ]

I did not and will not watch the movie (blood pressure issues).... Sorry I could not be of help in identifying the toilet where all this Protestant / Pentecostal crap was dumped.

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I'm not saying that these points are definitive, but I do feel that they are worthy of notation, especially in light of H.H. the Pope's recent investigations into Protestant influence in the Church and all of the measures the Church has had to take in recent years to counter Protestant influence.

How are these recent investigation coming along?  Smiley 
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