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Author Topic: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014  (Read 6851 times) Average Rating: 0
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Maria
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« on: January 28, 2014, 03:53:07 PM »

https://picasaweb.google.com/103992193156016737396/EcumenicalVespersInTheArchangelsOrthodoxCathedralInBrusselJanuary232014#

Quote
Ecumenical Vespers in the Archangels Orthodox Cathedral in Brussel - January 23, 2014 - presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium (Ecumenical Patriarchate), with the participation of Archbishop Simon, Bishop Maximos of Evmenia, and in the presence of representatives of the Roman-Catholic, Protestant, Anglican and Armenian Churches.

Here are some pictures of the Ecumenical Vespers Service:

Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:





A female minister participating at the Ecumenical Vespers service:



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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 03:54:54 PM »

Another photo showing His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras listening to the homily from his throne:

« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 03:56:25 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 03:56:37 PM »

Kick them out into the street.  Roll Eyes

The canons of both churches prohibit 'inter-denominatonal' praying.
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 06:05:34 PM »

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Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:12:17 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 06:11:43 PM »

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Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.
if ocnetters had more real life influence, even this would be unthinkable.
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 06:14:23 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 06:22:48 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Maria, the iconostasis separates the nave from the altar area. The area the cardinal is standing on is called the ambon.

Please, stop embarrassing yourself.
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 06:29:23 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Maria, the iconostasis separates the nave from the altar area. The area the cardinal is standing on is called the ambon.


Thanks for reminding me about the ambon. Only the priest is supposed to stand on the ambon, especially when he says the prayers on the ambon at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

When a Catholic layman who was looking into Orthodoxy walked on the solea and stood on the ambon to get a better look at Holy Altar, the Greek Orthodox Priest told him to step down, that only Orthodox Priests could stand there at the Holy Altar. Furthermore, the priest explained that only the faithful who were coming to receive Holy Communion could step on the solea, but not on the steps leading up to the Holy Altar.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:35:02 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 06:37:56 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Maria, the iconostasis separates the nave from the altar area. The area the cardinal is standing on is called the ambon.

LBK,

To be fair to Maria, there is a difference between preaching from "the floor" and preaching from the ambon, at least based on EO praxis I've observed throughout the years: preaching from the ambon is reserved to EO clergy.  We have the same practice in our Church.  So it's a little strange to see a Bishop of the Roman Church vested and preaching from a place where an Orthodox subdeacon could not preach.      

EDIT: he doesn't appear to be a Cardinal...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:39:31 PM by Mor Ephrem » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 06:39:35 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Maria, the iconostasis separates the nave from the altar area. The area the cardinal is standing on is called the ambon.

LBK,

To be fair to Maria, there is a difference between preaching from "the floor" and preaching from the ambon, at least based on EO praxis I've observed throughout the years: preaching from the ambon is reserved to EO clergy.  We have the same practice in our Church.  So it's a little strange to see a Cardinal of the Roman Church vested and preaching from a place where an Orthodox subdeacon could not preach.     
A cardinal of the Roman church is a bishop, a subdeacon is not. Maybe that's all it is.
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 06:42:00 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Maria, the iconostasis separates the nave from the altar area. The area the cardinal is standing on is called the ambon.

LBK,

To be fair to Maria, there is a difference between preaching from "the floor" and preaching from the ambon, at least based on EO praxis I've observed throughout the years: preaching from the ambon is reserved to EO clergy.  We have the same practice in our Church.  So it's a little strange to see a Bishop of the Roman Church vested and preaching from a place where an Orthodox subdeacon could not preach.      

EDIT: he doesn't appear to be a Cardinal...

I took issue with Maria's comment of the cardinal "standing at the altar". A non-Orthodox clergyman there is indeed a gross violation, and is justifiably prohibited. However, this is clearly not what the RC cleric was doing.
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 06:43:49 PM »

A cardinal of the Roman church is a bishop, a subdeacon is not. Maybe that's all it is.

Sure, he's a bishop, but not of the Orthodox Church.  But if you're right about the intent, I wish they'd just come out and say "We recognise Roman Catholic orders as equivalent in every way to Orthodox orders" rather than trying to have it both ways as deemed convenient.  
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 06:51:00 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Maria, the iconostasis separates the nave from the altar area. The area the cardinal is standing on is called the ambon.

LBK,

To be fair to Maria, there is a difference between preaching from "the floor" and preaching from the ambon, at least based on EO praxis I've observed throughout the years: preaching from the ambon is reserved to EO clergy.  We have the same practice in our Church.  So it's a little strange to see a Bishop of the Roman Church vested and preaching from a place where an Orthodox subdeacon could not preach.      

EDIT: he doesn't appear to be a Cardinal...

I was not sure if he were an Anglican prelate or a Roman Catholic Cardinal. Nevertheless, he sports a red "beanie" or skull cap.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:51:37 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 06:54:12 PM »

I took issue with Maria's comment of the cardinal "standing at the altar". A non-Orthodox clergyman there is indeed a gross violation, and is justifiably prohibited. However, this is clearly not what the RC cleric was doing.

It's a distinction without a difference, IMO.  It's outside the iconostasis, but subject to similar restrictions as the area behind the iconostasis (arguably, it's even more restricted). 

Interestingly, a Protestant minister who spoke at this event did not stand and speak from the ambon, but from the floor:



I doubt the non-Orthodox clergy are themselves picking where they want to speak, probably members of the host church are placing mics when and where needed. 
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 07:12:16 PM »

Let's make this thread even better. More pictures of other events that the person uploaded:


Quote
Ecumenical Worship in the Anglican Church in Knokke - January 24, 2014 - with the participation of His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium and Oikonomos Bernard Peckstadt


Quote
Ecumenical Worship in the Luxemburg Orthodox Cathedral - January 19th, 2014 - copresided by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium, His Excellency Archbishop Hollerich (catholic) and representatives of the Protestant and Anglican Churches.
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 07:19:36 PM »

That's a really nice green chasuble Her Reverence is wearing.  I can't say the same for the stole of the priest all the way to the left in the first photo. 
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 08:39:42 PM »

but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

I see. And I did. And never heard of those strange things you write here.
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 08:39:42 PM »

I was not sure if he were an Anglican prelate or a Roman Catholic Cardinal. Nevertheless, he sports a red "beanie" or skull cap.

What would an Anglican bishop be doing in Belgium?
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 08:39:42 PM »

https://www.facebook.com/athenagoras

Here you can complain to the bishop in question.
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 11:04:46 PM »

These forums must be rubbing off of me. Some of these photos made me slightly uneasy.
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 11:12:12 PM »

What would be most useful is to find a sound recording (or video with sound) to find out just what was being read/chanted/sung at this gathering. Despite the caption on the Flickr site, the gathering might not have been a vespers service at all.

If it was, then swift and decisive action should, and must, be taken, against the errant bishop and who authorized and participated in it.
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 11:14:13 PM »

These forums must be rubbing off of me. Some of these photos made me slightly uneasy.

Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2014, 11:18:15 PM »

These forums must be rubbing off of me. Some of these photos made me slightly uneasy.

Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

I don't think I would object to pictures of an Anglican or Catholic service. And I definitely wouldn't object to pictures of an Orthodox service. But when you cross the streams... nothing feels right anymore!
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2014, 11:19:00 PM »

Guys, calm down, there was no common eucharist or whatever, just some speeches and prayers.
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2014, 11:20:15 PM »

What would be most useful is to find a sound recording (or video with sound) to find out just what was being read/chanted/sung at this gathering. Despite the caption on the Flickr site, the gathering might not have been a vespers service at all.

If it was, then swift and decisive action should, and must, be taken, against the errant bishop and who authorized and participated in it.

There were two EP bishops (one a metropolitan) and a MP archbishop. I doubt anything'll happen to them.
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2014, 11:22:31 PM »

Guys, calm down, there was no common eucharist or whatever, just some speeches and prayers.

LOL.
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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2014, 11:23:00 PM »

What would be most useful is to find a sound recording (or video with sound) to find out just what was being read/chanted/sung at this gathering. Despite the caption on the Flickr site, the gathering might not have been a vespers service at all.

If it was, then swift and decisive action should, and must, be taken, against the errant bishop and who authorized and participated in it.

There were two EP bishops and a MP archbishop. I doubt anything'll happen to them.

Like I said: we don't know from the pictures just what this gathering was about. If it was indeed an Orthodox vespers service (which I doubt), then if no-one lodges a formal complaint, then nothing will be done.
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2014, 11:42:06 PM »

Does anyone know what Belgium requires from churches, synagogues, mosques that are recognized by the State?

From the US State Department report on religious freedom in Belgium (slightly dated, but hey, it's the US government)

'...The government accords "recognized" status to Catholicism, Protestantism (including evangelicals and Pentecostals), Judaism, Anglicanism (separately from other Protestant groups), Islam, and Orthodox (Greek and Russian) Christianity. Representative bodies for these religious groups receive subsidies from the federal, regional, and local governments. The government also supports the freedom to participate in secular organizations. These secular humanist groups serve as a seventh recognized philosophical community, and their organizing body, the Central Council of Non-Religious Philosophical Communities of Belgium, receives funds and benefits similar to those accorded other recognized religious groups.

In 2010 the federal government paid $126.9 million (105.8 million euro) to recognized religious groups. This sum included $17.4 million (14.5 million euro) to lay organizations and $4.9 million (4.1 million euro) to Islamic religious groups. For 2009, the federal budget outlays totaled $127.2 million (106 million euro). The government appropriated $127.7 million (106.4 million euro) in 2009. Subsidies to the Buddhist secretariat amounted to $259,200 (216,000 euro) in 2010 and to $199,000 (180,000 euro) in 2009.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the federal government made salary payments to 2,712 Catholic priests, 118 Protestant/Evangelical and 12 Anglican ministers, 33 rabbis, 48 Orthodox priests, 285 lay consultants, and 23 Muslim imams, including clerical staff of the Muslim Executive. According to the Inter-University Center for Permanent Education research institute, total outlays by all levels of government, excluding religious education, amounted to $312 million (240.1 million euro) in 2008. With pensions and tax waivers included, the total subsidy amounted to $384.7 million (320.6 million euro). The government awarded 85 percent of all budget outlays for religion to the Catholic Church....'

The government apparently doesn't keep statistic on religious affiliation.  Catholics are estimated by more informal surveys to be 60%, non-believers 31%, etc. with 'other Christians' lumped together at around 3%.


http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010/148917.htm

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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2014, 11:49:25 PM »

These forums must be rubbing off of me. Some of these photos made me slightly uneasy.

Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

I don't think I would object to pictures of an Anglican or Catholic service. And I definitely wouldn't object to pictures of an Orthodox service. But when you cross the streams... nothing feels right anymore!

But then if you look at threads like this: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,56319.0.html

one can see that throwing up the most shocking pictures can be a person's way of expressing any number of things, like frustration, anger, militancy, whatever. 

I seriously doubt every Catholic parish has a clown Mass, but the traditionalists will throw it out there. 

Seems to be a Catholic polemic or way of thinking about things, 'I'm a traditionalist!'. 

Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy.  Sometimes things look bad, but the ship always rights itself.
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2014, 11:55:45 PM »

What would be most useful is to find a sound recording (or video with sound) to find out just what was being read/chanted/sung at this gathering. Despite the caption on the Flickr site, the gathering might not have been a vespers service at all.

If it was, then swift and decisive action should, and must, be taken, against the errant bishop and who authorized and participated in it.

Yes, but if the government then lists them as a sect, it might be a downward spiral for Orthodox presence in Belgium. 

I agree, it looks strange though, and maybe participation with the State isn't worth it.
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« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2014, 02:04:09 AM »

Not very non-official religion is considered a sect. They are free to organise as associations. But what would be the point of that? You wouldn't get priests' salaries paid by the government then, near have the opportunity to teach a religion course at state school.

And btw, holding ecumenical prayer meetings is not a condition for being an official religion in Belgium. So there was no complusion involved. And Metropolitan Athinagoras is both a theologian and a lawyer (!), he also was a vicar bishop for 10 years before becoming a metropolitan. I am sure that he knew what he was doing and that there is nothing wrong with it.

As Orthodox Christians, we reject heresies. But that's not something we do because those are evil, impure people and we are the greatest, best and most pious. (We are not pharisees!)
We reject heresies because they obscure our way to theosis. However, that must never prevent us from dealing with non-Orthodox people in love!
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2014, 02:38:36 AM »

Not very non-official religion is considered a sect. They are free to organise as associations. But what would be the point of that? You wouldn't get priests' salaries paid by the government then, near have the opportunity to teach a religion course at state school.

And btw, holding ecumenical prayer meetings is not a condition for being an official religion in Belgium. So there was no complusion involved. And Metropolitan Athinagoras is both a theologian and a lawyer (!), he also was a vicar bishop for 10 years before becoming a metropolitan. I am sure that he knew what he was doing and that there is nothing wrong with it.

As Orthodox Christians, we reject heresies. But that's not something we do because those are evil, impure people and we are the greatest, best and most pious. (We are not pharisees!)
We reject heresies because they obscure our way to theosis. However, that must never prevent us from dealing with non-Orthodox people in love!


Thank you for clarifying. 
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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2014, 08:34:41 AM »

Like I said: we don't know from the pictures just what this gathering was about. If it was indeed an Orthodox vespers service (which I doubt), then if no-one lodges a formal complaint, then nothing will be done.

Week of Prayers of Christian Unity. It is traditional to have such joint services and allow ministers from other confessions to preach. It happens whether you like it or not.

Yes, but if the government then lists them as a sect, it might be a downward spiral for Orthodox presence in Belgium. 

I agree, it looks strange though, and maybe participation with the State isn't worth it.

I'm not seeing logical sequence between the pictures and what you wrote.
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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2014, 09:42:38 AM »

Like I said: we don't know from the pictures just what this gathering was about. If it was indeed an Orthodox vespers service (which I doubt), then if no-one lodges a formal complaint, then nothing will be done.

Week of Prayers of Christian Unity. It is traditional to have such joint services and allow ministers from other confessions to preach. It happens whether you like it or not.

Yes, but if the government then lists them as a sect, it might be a downward spiral for Orthodox presence in Belgium. 

I agree, it looks strange though, and maybe participation with the State isn't worth it.

I'm not seeing logical sequence between the pictures and what you wrote.

It wasn't comments from the pictures so much as trying to understand what they are doing in the pictures, and how the State addresses religion (why are they doing what they are doing in the pictures).  If members of a religion were doing things contrary to what they should be doing because the State provides for 48 priests, then maybe its better to not be involved.

If they aren't doing anything out of bounds, then it's a bonus to be recognized by the State.
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« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2014, 09:58:59 AM »

Just so we're all clear, ANY prayer between Orthodox and heterodox is forbidden by the canons, and clerics who do so are liable for deposition. It doesn't matter whether the heterodox cleric was standing inside or outside the altar.

And of course nothing will be done about it. Nothing is ever done about it. The only option is for the Orthodox to sever communion with such heretics.
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« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2014, 10:12:39 AM »

Just so we're all clear, ANY prayer between Orthodox and heterodox is forbidden by the canons, and clerics who do so are liable for deposition. It doesn't matter whether the heterodox cleric was standing inside or outside the altar.

And of course nothing will be done about it. Nothing is ever done about it. The only option is for the Orthodox to sever communion with such heretics.

It's in Catholic canons also, so...

Quote from: Catholic Code of Canon Law, 1917
1258. Haud licitum est fidelibus quovis modo active assistere seu partem habere in sacris acatholicorum.
 §2. Tolerari potest praesentia passiva seu mere materialis, civilis officii vel honoris causa, ob gravem rationem ab Episcopo in casu dubii probandam, in acatholicorum funeribus, nuptiis similibusque sollemniis, dummodo perversionis et scandali periculum absit.

1258. It is not lawful for the faithful to assist in any way actively, or to take part in the sacred rites of non-Catholics.
  § 2. A passive or merely material presence can be tolerated, of civil office or for honor's sake, for a grave reason by the Bishop in case of doubt, prepared in a non-Catholic funerals, the solemnities of the marriage and such-like, so long as the danger of the perversion and scandal far from it.

It's Google translated, so it may not be totally accurate. I corrected some of the grammar also.
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« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2014, 10:20:38 AM »

Just so we're all clear, ANY prayer between Orthodox and heterodox is forbidden by the canons, and clerics who do so are liable for deposition. It doesn't matter whether the heterodox cleric was standing inside or outside the altar.

And of course nothing will be done about it. Nothing is ever done about it. The only option is for the Orthodox to sever communion with such heretics.

It's in Catholic canons also, so...

Quote from: Catholic Code of Canon Law, 1917
1258. Haud licitum est fidelibus quovis modo active assistere seu partem habere in sacris acatholicorum.
 §2. Tolerari potest praesentia passiva seu mere materialis, civilis officii vel honoris causa, ob gravem rationem ab Episcopo in casu dubii probandam, in acatholicorum funeribus, nuptiis similibusque sollemniis, dummodo perversionis et scandali periculum absit.

1258. It is not lawful for the faithful to assist in any way actively, or to take part in the sacred rites of non-Catholics.
  § 2. A passive or merely material presence can be tolerated, of civil office or for honor's sake, for a grave reason by the Bishop in case of doubt, prepared in a non-Catholic funerals, the solemnities of the marriage and such-like, so long as the danger of the perversion and scandal far from it.

It's Google translated, so it may not be totally accurate. I corrected some of the grammar also.

Good thing I know Latin. The first clause is correctly translated; the second one is better translated like this:

Quote
A passive or merely material presence can be tolerated, for the sake of civil office or honor, for a grave reason to be determined by the Bishop in case of doubt, in non-Catholic funerals, marriage and similar solemnities, so long as the danger of perversion and scandal is absent.
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« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2014, 10:33:16 AM »

What would be most useful is to find a sound recording (or video with sound) to find out just what was being read/chanted/sung at this gathering. Despite the caption on the Flickr site, the gathering might not have been a vespers service at all.

If it was, then swift and decisive action should, and must, be taken, against the errant bishop and who authorized and participated in it.

There were two EP bishops and a MP archbishop. I doubt anything'll happen to them.

Like I said: we don't know from the pictures just what this gathering was about. If it was indeed an Orthodox vespers service (which I doubt), then if no-one lodges a formal complaint, then nothing will be done.

Before converting to Orthodoxy, I attended several of these services.  They were simply a generic prayer service and not a vespers service.  Generally, the one who preached was from a different denomination. 
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« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2014, 10:43:50 AM »

Like I said: we don't know from the pictures just what this gathering was about. If it was indeed an Orthodox vespers service (which I doubt), then if no-one lodges a formal complaint, then nothing will be done.

What makes you doubt it's Vespers?  The photos depict appropriately vested ministers, an entrance (as at Vespers), and the blessing of loaves.  And even if English is not the primary language of Belgium, there's nothing to suggest that their English is so bad they had no idea what to call this service: other events are labelled "ecumenical worship", but this is specifically called Vespers. 
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« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2014, 10:59:32 AM »

Like I said: we don't know from the pictures just what this gathering was about. If it was indeed an Orthodox vespers service (which I doubt), then if no-one lodges a formal complaint, then nothing will be done.

What makes you doubt it's Vespers?  The photos depict appropriately vested ministers, an entrance (as at Vespers), and the blessing of loaves.  And even if English is not the primary language of Belgium, there's nothing to suggest that their English is so bad they had no idea what to call this service: other events are labelled "ecumenical worship", but this is specifically called Vespers. 

Whether or not it's called Vespers or Matins or Service of Kumbaya, we still have Orthodox priests and bishops praying with heretics.
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« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2014, 11:36:19 AM »

As for Orthodox Christians joining in prayer with heretics, I understand that "heretics", at the time this canon was made, referred to non-trinitarians. Using it against prayer with Roman Catholics is at best a decontaxtualisation.

As for Roman Catholic canons, the CIC of 1917 has been replaced by the one from 1983.
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« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2014, 11:47:17 AM »

As for Orthodox Christians joining in prayer with heretics, I understand that "heretics", at the time this canon was made, referred to non-trinitarians. Using it against prayer with Roman Catholics is at best a decontaxtualisation.

As for Roman Catholic canons, the CIC of 1917 has been replaced by the one from 1983.

You understand wrong. Heresy means holding to any false doctrine.
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« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2014, 12:52:10 PM »

If members of a religion were doing things contrary to what they should be doing because the State provides for 48 priests, then maybe its better to not be involved.

If they aren't doing anything out of bounds, then it's a bonus to be recognized by the State.

And how did you come to that?
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« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2014, 12:52:10 PM »

Report about the event clearly saying it was vespers:
http://www.archiepiskopia.be/index.php?content=article&category=news/2014&id=2014-01-24-1&lang=ru
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« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2014, 12:52:10 PM »

Quote
Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Maria, the iconostasis separates the nave from the altar area. The area the cardinal is standing on is called the ambon.

LBK,

To be fair to Maria, there is a difference between preaching from "the floor" and preaching from the ambon, at least based on EO praxis I've observed throughout the years: preaching from the ambon is reserved to EO clergy.  We have the same practice in our Church.  So it's a little strange to see a Cardinal of the Roman Church vested and preaching from a place where an Orthodox subdeacon could not preach.     
A cardinal of the Roman church is a bishop, a subdeacon is not. Maybe that's all it is.

Not always.  A cardinal may be an archbishop, bishop, priest or archdeacon.
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« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2014, 06:13:28 PM »


Not particularly useful for those here who don't know the Russian language.  Tongue And the article makes no mention at all of what the service was.
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« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2014, 06:15:35 PM »

Not always.  A cardinal may be an archbishop, bishop, priest or archdeacon.

Not in modern practice.

And yes, in the past there even used  to be lay cardinals too.
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« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2014, 06:25:04 PM »

Not always.  A cardinal may be an archbishop, bishop, priest or archdeacon.

Not in modern practice.

And yes, in the past there even used  to be lay cardinals too.
The so called lay cardinals weren't really lay persons but were in minor orders and therefore clerics.
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« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2014, 06:34:51 PM »

Does anyone know what Belgium requires from churches, synagogues, mosques that are recognized by the State

Not true. It's necessary if you want to receive subsidies from the Belgian government.

And yes, Belgium is weird.
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« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2014, 07:04:59 PM »

You understand wrong. Heresy means holding to any false doctrine.

Where is the banging-my-head-against-the-wall emoticon in this forum?

I was speaking about the meaning of the term back then, not in current usage. And my point is exactly that words can change, narrow or widen their meanings.
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« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2014, 07:13:36 PM »

You understand wrong. Heresy means holding to any false doctrine.

Where is the banging-my-head-against-the-wall emoticon in this forum?

I was speaking about the meaning of the term back then, not in current usage. And my point is exactly that words can change, narrow or widen their meanings.

No you're still wrong. Heresy never had such a limited meaning; it means any kind of deviation from right doctrine. So even if at a particular point in time the current heresy was something specifically Trinity-related, I don't think you could argue that the Fathers would not have considered other heresies, say Christological ones, as a different matter.
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« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2014, 07:35:34 PM »

I don't think you could argue that the Fathers would not have considered other heresies, say Christological ones, as a different matter.

Not only I can argue that, but I do, as you see.

Btw, academia.edu has an interesting paper on "Apostolic Canon 45: Praying With Heretics" by Aaron Friar.
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« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2014, 07:54:24 PM »

Btw, academia.edu has an interesting paper on "Apostolic Canon 45: Praying With Heretics" by Aaron Friar.

What did you find interesting about this paper? 
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« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2014, 08:22:28 PM »

And yes, Belgium is weird.

How ironic.
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« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2014, 10:03:14 PM »


Not particularly useful for those here who don't know the Russian language.  Tongue

Better?
http://www.archiepiskopia.be/index.php?content=article&category=news/2014&id=2014-01-24-1&lang=fr
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« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2014, 10:03:14 PM »

Not always.  A cardinal may be an archbishop, bishop, priest or archdeacon.

Not in modern practice.

And yes, in the past there even used  to be lay cardinals too.

Uh, yes in modern practice.  The new pontiff is introduced by the senior cardinal ARCHDEACON.
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« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2014, 10:08:44 PM »

Not always.  A cardinal may be an archbishop, bishop, priest or archdeacon.

Not in modern practice.

And yes, in the past there even used  to be lay cardinals too.

Uh, yes in modern practice.  The new pontiff is introduced by the senior cardinal ARCHDEACON.
it is the cardinal protodeacon actually.
But the cardinal deacons are all bishops except for the few priests 80 and over so named who receive dispensation from being ordained bishops as required by canon law.
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« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2014, 10:35:46 PM »

Does anyone know what Belgium requires from churches, synagogues, mosques that are recognized by the State

Not true. It's necessary if you want to receive subsidies from the Belgian government.

And yes, Belgium is weird.

Sorry, not understanding your first statement.  What is not true?  Are you referring to Gorazd's statement that nothing is required by the State of churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. that receive its money? 

What is necessary to receive subsidies from the Belgian government? 
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« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2014, 10:47:21 PM »

If members of a religion were doing things contrary to what they should be doing because the State provides for 48 priests, then maybe its better to not be involved.

If they aren't doing anything out of bounds, then it's a bonus to be recognized by the State.

And how did you come to that?


Which part?


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« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2014, 12:24:02 AM »

You understand wrong. Heresy means holding to any false doctrine.

Where is the banging-my-head-against-the-wall emoticon in this forum?

I was speaking about the meaning of the term back then, not in current usage. And my point is exactly that words can change, narrow or widen their meanings.

There is no evidence that "heretic" ever meant only "non-trinitarians" except in dreams
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« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2014, 12:34:47 AM »


Ah, French. Why, thank you, Mike.

Quote
Le 23 janvier 2014 ... un office de vêpres a été célébré en la cathédrale orthodoxe grecque de Bruxelles ... .

January 23, 2014, ... an Office of Vespers was celebrated in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Brussels.
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« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2014, 01:59:50 AM »

Maria,

Why do I sense a spirit of falsehood here?

If you speak French, or even if you read the whole thing with Google Translator, you would see that a vespers service has been presided by metropolitan Athenagoras, and celebrated by one Greek priest and two deacons.

After that, the RC archbishop held a sermon.


Even according to uncanonical "Old Calendarist" opinion, I do not see what is wrong with the mere presence of non-Orthodox Christians in an Orthodox vespers service.

Stop badmouthing and bashing the canonical Church. I'm fed up with that.
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« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2014, 02:05:12 AM »

Maria,

Why do I sense a spirit of falsehood here?

If you speak French, or even if you read the whole thing with Google Translator, you would see that a vespers service has been presided by metropolitan Athenagoras, and celebrated by one Greek priest and two deacons.

After that, the RC archbishop held a sermon.


Even according to uncanonical "Old Calendarist" opinion, I do not see what is wrong with the mere presence of non-Orthodox Christians in an Orthodox vespers service.

Stop badmouthing and bashing the canonical Church. I'm fed up with that.

Indeed. At no time during an Orthodox vespers service does the priest address the congregation standing on the ambon behind a lectern. This could only have occurred before or after the vespers service itself, and not during it.
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« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2014, 02:17:11 AM »


Even according to uncanonical "Old Calendarist" opinion, I do not see what is wrong with the mere presence of non-Orthodox Christians in an Orthodox vespers service.



I was wondering that too.  How else would we ever get converts? 
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« Reply #64 on: January 30, 2014, 02:49:24 AM »


I do not see what is wrong with the mere presence of non-Orthodox Christians in an Orthodox vespers service.

It is not the mere presence of non-Orthodox, but the active participation of these non-Orthodox by their prayers and readings standing on the Solea during that Ecumenical Vespers Service that is the problem.

And yes, I did attend an Ecumenical Vespers Service at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles in the late 1990s when Archbishop Sypridon came to town. I sang in the choir and we saw the entire show including the Methodist female minister who refused to mention Father and Son, so she amended the reading or prayer to accommodate herself.  Roll Eyes

I might still have the Ecumenical Vespers booklet that they handed out, but I think I tossed that out years ago because I cannot keep everything.

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« Reply #65 on: January 30, 2014, 02:52:04 AM »

At no time during an Orthodox vespers service does the priest address the congregation standing on the ambon behind a lectern. This could only have occurred before or after the vespers service itself, and not during it.

On the contrary, it is never okay for a member of the laity or heterodox to stand on the Ambo at any time. That is reserved for Orthodox Christian deacons, priests, and hierarchs only.
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« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2014, 02:55:49 AM »

At no time during an Orthodox vespers service does the priest address the congregation standing on the ambon behind a lectern. This could only have occurred before or after the vespers service itself, and not during it.

On the contrary, it is never okay for a member of the laity or heterodox to stand on the Ambo at any time. That is reserved for Orthodox Christian deacons, priests, and hierarchs only.

Again, you've missed the point.  Tongue
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« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2014, 03:05:17 AM »

Honestly, I have no idea what happened in Los Angeles in the 1990s, and that has nothing to do with the topic of this thread. What happened now in Belgium is that Orthodox clergy celebrated a vespers service, and afterwards a RC archbishop held a sermon.

So basically your remaining issue is that the RC archbishop stood behind the ambo, during his speech that followed after the Orthodox vespers service. But have you provided a canon on who is allowed to stand behind the ambo? And even if there were one, who are you, a layperson not in communion with the Church, to question a canonical Metropolitan's right to exercise ikonomia on this issue?

Btw, I asked a priest, who happens to be part of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, about speaking from behind the ambo. He mentioned that this is something the President of Bulgaria, an Orthodox layman, also does.
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« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2014, 03:15:38 AM »

Honestly, I have no idea what happened in Los Angeles in the 1990s, and that has nothing to do with the topic of this thread. What happened now in Belgium is that Orthodox clergy celebrated a vespers service, and afterwards a RC archbishop held a sermon.

You are misrepresenting the facts. The Orthodox clergy, Catholic, and Protestant ministers all participated in this Vespers Service by standing on the solea and reading prayers. If you had looked at the pictures that I had posted and the rest online, you would have seen this participation by all parties and not just the Orthodox clergy.

Quote
So basically your remaining issue is that the RC archbishop stood behind the ambo, during his speech that followed after the Orthodox vespers service.
  He is heterodox and should not be speaking from the Ambo.

Quote
Btw, I asked a priest, who happens to be part of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, about speaking from behind the ambo. He mentioned that this is something the President of Bulgaria, an Orthodox layman, also does.
The Holy Orthodox Emperor of Constantinople was also allowed to speak from the Ambo and even enter the Altar to receive Holy Communion.
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« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2014, 03:16:58 AM »

Goodnight. Prayers for all.
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« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2014, 03:29:14 AM »

Honestly, I have no idea what happened in Los Angeles in the 1990s, and that has nothing to do with the topic of this thread. What happened now in Belgium is that Orthodox clergy celebrated a vespers service, and afterwards a RC archbishop held a sermon.

You are misrepresenting the facts.
Facts? Other than in your questionable descriptions, where do we ever see anything that says that what we see in the photos you posted actually happened during the service?

The Orthodox clergy, Catholic, and Protestant ministers all participated in this Vespers Service by standing on the solea and reading prayers. If you had looked at the pictures that I had posted and the rest online, you would have seen this participation by all parties and not just the Orthodox clergy.
You don't think you might be drawing unfair conclusions based on what you see in the photos? What makes you so certain that those photos were taken during the service? How do you know they weren't taken before or after the service? Were you there as an eyewitness?

Quote
So basically your remaining issue is that the RC archbishop stood behind the ambo, during his speech that followed after the Orthodox vespers service.
He is heterodox and should not be speaking from the Ambo.
What canon or rule states this? Sic Maria dixit?

Quote
Btw, I asked a priest, who happens to be part of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, about speaking from behind the ambo. He mentioned that this is something the President of Bulgaria, an Orthodox layman, also does.
The Holy Orthodox Emperor of Constantinople was also allowed to speak from the Ambo and even enter the Altar to receive Holy Communion.
Thus you prove Gorazd's point.
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« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2014, 03:34:44 AM »

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Btw, I asked a priest, who happens to be part of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, about speaking from behind the ambo. He mentioned that this is something the President of Bulgaria, an Orthodox layman, also does.
The Holy Orthodox Emperor of Constantinople was also allowed to speak from the Ambo and even enter the Altar to receive Holy Communion.
Thus you prove Gorazd's point.

The same honor of communing the monarch in the altar was also Russian practice in imperial times. The tsar and his wife were also called Batiushka and Matushka (Little Father, Little Mother) as a term of endearment. The same terms as are used to this day for a Russian priest and his wife.
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« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2014, 03:47:57 AM »

Honestly, I have no idea what happened in Los Angeles in the 1990s, and that has nothing to do with the topic of this thread. What happened now in Belgium is that Orthodox clergy celebrated a vespers service, and afterwards a RC archbishop held a sermon.

You are misrepresenting the facts. The Orthodox clergy, Catholic, and Protestant ministers all participated in this Vespers Service by standing on the solea and reading prayers. If you had looked at the pictures that I had posted and the rest online, you would have seen this participation by all parties and not just the Orthodox clergy.



And how do you know what anyone was reading since the article only states a homily was given, then it just says they went to the next room for refreshments.  

And how is it your business since you've removed yourself from Communion with the canonical Orthodox?  

You skipped answering the comments above.

You don't appear to have any other interest in the matter except to point out what you perceive as a wrongdoing by a local church in Europe, with which you've removed yourself from Communion.

If you're that bothered by it, why don't you write to them, explain that you left the Greek Orthodox Church in America, that you've taken up the torch for the Old Calendarist group, and would like some information from them so you can spread it all over the internet.  

I've never seen anything remotely close what you are describing in any of the Orthodox Churches I've attended: EP, ROCOR, Antiochian, OCA, Serbian.  
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« Reply #73 on: January 30, 2014, 05:57:09 AM »


The guy's obviously lying since he has a German accent.
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« Reply #74 on: January 30, 2014, 06:18:19 AM »

If members of a religion were doing things contrary to what they should be doing because the State provides for 48 priests, then maybe its better to not be involved.

If they aren't doing anything out of bounds, then it's a bonus to be recognized by the State.

And how did you come to that?

Which part?

You don't have to be recognised by the government to build churches or to worship. There were several Orthodox parishes before the Orthodox asked for recognition. But you'll only get money from the government when you're recognised by the government.

You also have to name someone as the spokesman for your religion, and now, per royal decree, Belgium recognises the metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarch or his representative as the spokesman for the entire Orthodox Church. That royal decree is all over the website of the Greek jurisdiction in Belgium. Of course, the Greek metropolitan uses this as another justification for his primacy in the Low Countries.

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« Reply #75 on: January 30, 2014, 08:49:40 AM »

I don't think you could argue that the Fathers would not have considered other heresies, say Christological ones, as a different matter.

Not only I can argue that, but I do, as you see.

Btw, academia.edu has an interesting paper on "Apostolic Canon 45: Praying With Heretics" by Aaron Friar.

Well you haven't argued, you have merely asserted. Arguing involves providing reasons and evidence to support your assertion.

Thanks for the link. It was a quick read and didn't provide any evidence in support of your position.
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« Reply #76 on: January 30, 2014, 08:54:17 AM »

Maria,

Why do I sense a spirit of falsehood here?

If you speak French, or even if you read the whole thing with Google Translator, you would see that a vespers service has been presided by metropolitan Athenagoras, and celebrated by one Greek priest and two deacons.

After that, the RC archbishop held a sermon.


Even according to uncanonical "Old Calendarist" opinion, I do not see what is wrong with the mere presence of non-Orthodox Christians in an Orthodox vespers service.

Stop badmouthing and bashing the canonical Church. I'm fed up with that.

It is clear from the photos that the heterodox were participating in the service, by reading out prayers and giving sermons while the Orthodox bishop was seated on his throne.
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« Reply #77 on: January 30, 2014, 09:01:24 AM »

Honestly, I have no idea what happened in Los Angeles in the 1990s, and that has nothing to do with the topic of this thread. What happened now in Belgium is that Orthodox clergy celebrated a vespers service, and afterwards a RC archbishop held a sermon.

You are misrepresenting the facts. The Orthodox clergy, Catholic, and Protestant ministers all participated in this Vespers Service by standing on the solea and reading prayers. If you had looked at the pictures that I had posted and the rest online, you would have seen this participation by all parties and not just the Orthodox clergy.



And how do you know what anyone was reading since the article only states a homily was given, then it just says they went to the next room for refreshments.  

And how is it your business since you've removed yourself from Communion with the canonical Orthodox?  

You skipped answering the comments above.

You don't appear to have any other interest in the matter except to point out what you perceive as a wrongdoing by a local church in Europe, with which you've removed yourself from Communion.

If you're that bothered by it, why don't you write to them, explain that you left the Greek Orthodox Church in America, that you've taken up the torch for the Old Calendarist group, and would like some information from them so you can spread it all over the internet.  

I've never seen anything remotely close what you are describing in any of the Orthodox Churches I've attended: EP, ROCOR, Antiochian, OCA, Serbian.  

There is plenty of information of similar events happening in other jurisdictions. E.g. there is a whole video of the the EP praying with the Pope back in 2006. What this thread makes clear is that some here will not accept even photographic evidence of Orthodox bishops praying with heretics as evidence of ecumenism. They simply will not accept any evidence at all and are unreachable in their delusion. But we can hope the evidence will convince the open-minded.
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« Reply #78 on: January 30, 2014, 09:11:49 AM »

Since this is all so very confusing, I suggest we hire a private investigator to determine exactly what took place on the day in question and when.  Ideally, since we want someone intimately familiar with local laws and customs, the fellow should be a Belgian.  I think I know just the chap to solve the cases of The Robed Women and Mysterious Affair at the Ambo.

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« Reply #79 on: January 30, 2014, 09:34:52 AM »

Since this is all so very confusing, I suggest we hire a private investigator to determine exactly what took place on the day in question and when.  Ideally, since we want someone intimately familiar with local laws and customs, the fellow should be a Belgian.  I think I know just the chap to solve the cases of The Robed Women and Mysterious Affair at the Ambo.



A brilliant suggestion!
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« Reply #80 on: January 30, 2014, 09:38:26 AM »

When one observes these "ecumenical" events on tape it is interesting that while protestants and catholics will close their eyes and bow their heads generally, the orthodox clerics usually do not, indicating they are present and keeping silent respectful of the rights of others to pray but do are not actually participating actively in the prayer. The other thing you note is that when they pray they pray as Orthodox Christians utilizing all orthodox prayer forms and practices. You see this in the United States during the 911 memorial services and various services in times of national or state need. This practice can even be found in the tines of the Orthodox state dating back to Byzantium. This is an expectation of citizens  of a nation regardless of the denomination.
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« Reply #81 on: January 30, 2014, 10:17:31 AM »

When one observes these "ecumenical" events on tape it is interesting that while protestants and catholics will close their eyes and bow their heads generally, the orthodox clerics usually do not, indicating they are present and keeping silent respectful of the rights of others to pray but do are not actually participating actively in the prayer. The other thing you note is that when they pray they pray as Orthodox Christians utilizing all orthodox prayer forms and practices. You see this in the United States during the 911 memorial services and various services in times of national or state need. This practice can even be found in the tines of the Orthodox state dating back to Byzantium. This is an expectation of citizens  of a nation regardless of the denomination.

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« Reply #82 on: January 30, 2014, 10:59:34 AM »

Btw, academia.edu has an interesting paper on "Apostolic Canon 45: Praying With Heretics" by Aaron Friar.

What did you find interesting about this paper? 

I guess you're not going to answer.

Building on what Jonathan said, not only did it not provide evidence for your position, but in at least one place it appears to intentionally misrepresent the historical record in order to argue its point (that's the funny thing about footnotes...some people actually read them and try to verify claims for themselves). 

A three and a half page "paper" is no paper.  I can also post my canon law homework on academia.edu, but that doesn't make me an authority.   
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« Reply #83 on: January 30, 2014, 11:15:33 AM »

At no time during an Orthodox vespers service does the priest address the congregation standing on the ambon behind a lectern. This could only have occurred before or after the vespers service itself, and not during it.

On the contrary, it is never okay for a member of the laity or heterodox to stand on the Ambo at any time. That is reserved for Orthodox Christian deacons, priests, and hierarchs only.

Again, you've missed the point.  Tongue

Did she?  I think the people trying to argue that this wasn't a liturgical service or that the speech from the ambon didn't happen in the context of a service are missing the point. 

The ambon doesn't suddenly become a non-liturgical space when there's no service going on.  It is the place from which the Gospel is read and preached and is one with the altar (in that particular church, the architecture makes that clear enough), and so those who are allowed to speak from it in an Orthodox church are limited to the major clergy of the Orthodox Church.  Everyone else can and does speak from the floor. 

The photo appears to confirm this practice for various Protestant ministers who are depicted standing on the floor and slightly to one side, so it makes the RC archbishop stand out as a notable exception.  And I doubt these people are picking where they wish to speak when they're clearly guests in someone else's house. 

It would be much better, IMO, to simply admit one of these possibilities than to keep trying to add more smoke and mirrors:

a) these things can get silly and some stupid stuff might be done, but it's unintentional and doesn't represent a watering down or muddying of the faith;
b) there's nothing important about an ambon in the Orthodox Church, so it's not a restricted area, and anyone can go up to it and speak from it without issue as long as it's not disruptive during public services;
c) the ambon is restricted to major clerics of the Orthodox Church, but an exception was made for a RC archbishop because his orders are considered valid in a way the Protestants' orders aren't.     
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« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2014, 11:21:21 AM »

Btw, I asked a priest, who happens to be part of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, about speaking from behind the ambo. He mentioned that this is something the President of Bulgaria, an Orthodox layman, also does.

I suspect that this is an application of liturgical customs which applied to Orthodox monarchs.  Whether or not it is legitimate to apply those customs to elected, non-consecrated heads of state who happen to be Orthodox can be argued, but if you have to reach for that category of people in order to argue that the ambon is not restricted to the clergy, you are stretching.  It's kinda like submitting someone's ungraded grad school homework as if it were a peer-reviewed article of demonstrated scholarship.   
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« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2014, 11:26:18 AM »

At no time during an Orthodox vespers service does the priest address the congregation standing on the ambon behind a lectern. This could only have occurred before or after the vespers service itself, and not during it.

On the contrary, it is never okay for a member of the laity or heterodox to stand on the Ambo at any time. That is reserved for Orthodox Christian deacons, priests, and hierarchs only.

Again, you've missed the point.  Tongue

Did she?  I think the people trying to argue that this wasn't a liturgical service or that the speech from the ambon didn't happen in the context of a service are missing the point. 

The ambon doesn't suddenly become a non-liturgical space when there's no service going on.  It is the place from which the Gospel is read and preached and is one with the altar (in that particular church, the architecture makes that clear enough), and so those who are allowed to speak from it in an Orthodox church are limited to the major clergy of the Orthodox Church.  Everyone else can and does speak from the floor. 

The photo appears to confirm this practice for various Protestant ministers who are depicted standing on the floor and slightly to one side, so it makes the RC archbishop stand out as a notable exception.  And I doubt these people are picking where they wish to speak when they're clearly guests in someone else's house. 

It would be much better, IMO, to simply admit one of these possibilities than to keep trying to add more smoke and mirrors:

a) these things can get silly and some stupid stuff might be done, but it's unintentional and doesn't represent a watering down or muddying of the faith;
b) there's nothing important about an ambon in the Orthodox Church, so it's not a restricted area, and anyone can go up to it and speak from it without issue as long as it's not disruptive during public services;
c) the ambon is restricted to major clerics of the Orthodox Church, but an exception was made for a RC archbishop because his orders are considered valid in a way the Protestants' orders aren't.     

Or, to boil it down even more... it might not have been such a good idea to let the RC archbishop give a sermon there, but this is not a "False union is imminent!" moment.
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« Reply #86 on: January 30, 2014, 11:41:15 AM »

Or, to boil it down even more... it might not have been such a good idea to let the RC archbishop give a sermon there, but this is not a "False union is imminent!" moment.

Sure, that too.  I mean, no offence, but mainstream Eastern Orthodoxy is so "immature" nowadays that no such union could take place.  You don't even always get along with each other.  Tongue 
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« Reply #87 on: January 30, 2014, 11:58:25 AM »

Again: any canons about ambo usage?


PS: Mor Ephrem, if you want to accuse Eastern Orthodoxy of "immaturity", wouldn't "Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Private Discussions" be the right place for that?
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« Reply #88 on: January 30, 2014, 12:13:54 PM »

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« Reply #89 on: January 30, 2014, 12:35:49 PM »

Again: any canons about ambo usage?

I'll see what I can find, though I'm not sure if a canon is necessary for such things.  When did universal and long-standing custom become worthless in the Orthodox Church?  There's no canon prohibiting a subdeacon from wearing an epigonation, but who cares?  It's just not done.    

Quote
PS: Mor Ephrem, if you want to accuse Eastern Orthodoxy of "immaturity", wouldn't "Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Private Discussions" be the right place for that?

No, because I didn't mean that as polemically as you seem to have taken it or want to take it: polemic had nothing to do with it, it's just an observation.  As a communion, there's enough division (political, not theological) within the EO ranks to guarantee that any "false union" with RC's or Protestants would fail even faster than Florence if it was attempted at all.  So I'm not really concerned that EO involvement in the ecumenical movement is as dangerous as others claim.  

But I don't like nonsense like letting non-Orthodox clerics preach from the ambon in the presence of Orthodox clerics, and I don't like the smoke and mirrors brought into this thread to hide it.  "How do we even know it was Vespers?"  "It was not during a service, but before or after."  "Presidents and Kings can stand there too, a priest told me so, but where are your canons to prove your point?"  Just be honest about it.  If it's not a restricted liturgical space, prove it to be so against universal and long-standing practice.  If you accept Roman Catholic orders but not Protestant orders, say so and own it.  If it's a good thing to participate in these functions and it involves zero watering down of the faith, very well.  I'm not necessarily against any of those, just make the case.  But it's not fair to paint anti-ecumenists, people "outside the canonical  Church", etc. as paranoid fanatics when people within the "canonical Church" resort to less than honest means to defend some things which go on at these events.        
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« Reply #90 on: January 30, 2014, 01:42:00 PM »

When one observes these "ecumenical" events on tape it is interesting that while protestants and catholics will close their eyes and bow their heads generally, the orthodox clerics usually do not, indicating they are present and keeping silent respectful of the rights of others to pray but do are not actually participating actively in the prayer. The other thing you note is that when they pray they pray as Orthodox Christians utilizing all orthodox prayer forms and practices. You see this in the United States during the 911 memorial services and various services in times of national or state need. This practice can even be found in the tines of the Orthodox state dating back to Byzantium. This is an expectation of citizens  of a nation regardless of the denomination.

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« Reply #91 on: January 30, 2014, 01:43:03 PM »

Again: any canons about ambo usage?

I'll see what I can find, though I'm not sure if a canon is necessary for such things.  When did universal and long-standing custom become worthless in the Orthodox Church?  There's no canon prohibiting a subdeacon from wearing an epigonation, but who cares?  It's just not done.
As I said, in the EO Church, there is ikonomia even about things regulated in canons. So, really, why can't we exercise ikonomia on things that are not even codified?
In fact, I wonder how the practice is in the OO church. I think I have seen a Coptic lay theologian teaching about Scripture from the ambo. 
   
 If you accept Roman Catholic orders but not Protestant orders, say so and own it.
I neither accept nor reject orders outside the canonical Orthodox Church, I rather leave them to divine grace. And btw, I would have acccepted if the female protestant church president who was present and said a few words of greeting would have given a sermon from the ambo, provided the words were agreed upon beforehand and there is nothing offensive to Orthodoxy.

I see the ambo as an honoured place to speak from in the church, but not in the altar. If such an honour can be given to political leaders, why not to the leader of another religious community? Please remember that in European countries such as Belgium, we have an overwhelmingly non-religious population and one of the chief purposes of such meetings between the leaders of all Christian communities is to coordinate the representation of Christian interests before the government.



 If it's a good thing to participate in these functions and it involves zero watering down of the faith, very well.  I'm not necessarily against any of those, just make the case.  But it's not fair to paint anti-ecumenists, people "outside the canonical  Church", etc. as paranoid fanatics when people within the "canonical Church" resort to less than honest means to defend some things which go on at these events.        
I do not accept to be qualified as dishonest, because 1) I was NOT talking about "these events" in general, but specifically about the one now in Belgium. 2) I used the official press release as my source.

So, my conclusion is: An EO vespers service was celebrated by EO clergy in the presence of non-Orthodox Christian leaders. Afterwards, a sermon was preached by the local RC archbishop. (Look it up, there is no sermon within EO vesper services...)

And really, it's a pity that OO Christians are joining the canonical EO-bashing recently. Btw, I understand that the OO church has no universal primate, but that does not mean that office shouldn't exist in the Church. On the contrary, this would be a wonderful opportunity for the OO to recognise the primacy of the Bishop of Constantinople according to the Ravenna document over all Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #92 on: January 30, 2014, 01:48:23 PM »

And really, it's a pity that OO Christians are joining the canonical EO-bashing recently. Btw, I understand that the OO church has no universal primate, but that does not mean that office shouldn't exist in the Church. On the contrary, this would be a wonderful opportunity for the OO to recognise the primacy of the Bishop of Constantinople according to the Ravenna document over all Orthodoxy.

You're not making your "universal primate" sound any more palatable with these sorts of comments.
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« Reply #93 on: January 30, 2014, 02:04:43 PM »

Or, to boil it down even more... it might not have been such a good idea to let the RC archbishop give a sermon there, but this is not a "False union is imminent!" moment.

Sure, that too.  I mean, no offence, but mainstream Eastern Orthodoxy is so "immature" nowadays that no such union could take place.  You don't even always get along with each other.  Tongue 

How true!
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« Reply #94 on: January 30, 2014, 04:00:36 PM »

As I said, in the EO Church, there is ikonomia even about things regulated in canons. So, really, why can't we exercise ikonomia on things that are not even codified?
In fact, I wonder how the practice is in the OO church. I think I have seen a Coptic lay theologian teaching about Scripture from the ambo. 

If it was an exercise of economy, then say so.  While the propriety of that exception might be debated (it will always be so on the internet), at least it wouldn't call into question the authority of the bishop to apply economy or question/deny liturgical discipline.  But most of the comments surrounding this particular issue have focused on calling into question the nature of the service, the function of the ambon, the ecclesiastical status of those who object, etc.  That's just not convincing. 

Regarding OO practice, I believe I referred to that in an earlier post of mine: the ambon is reserved for the preaching of the Gospel by those in major orders.  A deacon can preach from it, but a subdeacon must preach from the floor (technically, it could be argued that minor clerics can preach from the first step of the ambon, but in practice this does not happen often).  Non-Orthodox clergy also speak from the floor, if they are present and invited to speak, and I've seen Orthodox clerics in such situations opting to preach from the floor as well rather than inviting the non-Orthodox to occupy a place they ought not lest it confuse the faithful.  That's the general practice. 

Coptic practice doesn't vary from this in my experience; if it does, I suspect that what you think is the ambon might not be so, or "deacon" is interpreted more loosely than it would be in Eastern Orthodoxy (and so what looks like a "lay theologian" may not be so "lay"), or it was an application of economy.  But it's hard to say when your testimony is "I think I have seen".         
   
Quote
I see the ambo as an honoured place to speak from in the church, but not in the altar.

It doesn't matter what you see the ambon as, what matters is how the Church sees it, and I think universal, long-standing liturgical practice demonstrates that it is considered part of the altar, whether or not it is "outside" the iconostasis/curtain.  The strict division between altar and ambon appears to be a Western/Roman Catholic distinction based on the reading I've done.  It's hardly so in Orthodox tradition.

Quote
If such an honour can be given to political leaders, why not to the leader of another religious community? Please remember that in European countries such as Belgium, we have an overwhelmingly non-religious population and one of the chief purposes of such meetings between the leaders of all Christian communities is to coordinate the representation of Christian interests before the government.
 

I'm not sure that political leaders should be allowed to speak from the ambo anymore than non-Orthodox religious leaders.  But the only example you have provided is the President of Bulgaria, who is Orthodox.  If anything, this is an economic application of various privileges traditionally accorded to Orthodox monarchs.  Since these monarchs were usually consecrated, unlike Presidents, I'm not sure such things should be done, but that's up to the Synod of the Bulgarian Church, and there's clearly some precedent being applied.  Where is the canonical precedent for allowing heterodox ministers to preach in Orthodox churches to Orthodox congregations in the presence of Orthodox bishops?   

None of this has anything to do with having ecumenical meetings so that the Christians as a whole can coordinate relations with their respective governments.  I have no objection to such meetings, to our Churches hosting them, etc.  I have no issue with cooperation among all Christians on social and charitable causes, theological dialogue, etc.  I'm not the stereotypical "anti-ecumenist" by any means.   

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I do not accept to be qualified as dishonest, because 1) I was NOT talking about "these events" in general, but specifically about the one now in Belgium. 2) I used the official press release as my source.

I intentionally made mine a general comment because I wasn't targeting you alone.

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So, my conclusion is: An EO vespers service was celebrated by EO clergy in the presence of non-Orthodox Christian leaders. Afterwards, a sermon was preached by the local RC archbishop. (Look it up, there is no sermon within EO vesper services...)

Very well.  Nothing about that is objectionable to me in principle.  I just don't think it's fair for some here to dismiss those who wonder why a Roman Catholic archbishop preaches from the ambon while the Protestant ministers preach from the floor: that's a reasonable question, and no one here seems to be able to answer it.  Perhaps it cannot be conclusively answered without speaking to those who organised the event, and that's OK, but I think the obfuscation makes things look more suspicious than they need to be. 

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And really, it's a pity that OO Christians are joining the canonical EO-bashing recently.

No one is doing that.  A convenient canard is still a canard. 

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Btw, I understand that the OO church has no universal primate, but that does not mean that office shouldn't exist in the Church. On the contrary, this would be a wonderful opportunity for the OO to recognise the primacy of the Bishop of Constantinople according to the Ravenna document over all Orthodoxy.

We are not interested in recognising the primacy of Constantinople over all Orthodoxy, we are interested in recognising the primacy of Orthodoxy over all Orthodoxy, including Constantinople.  But that is best dealt with in another thread. 

BTW, in that other thread I explained where I take issue with the EP's First Without Equals statement, but IIRC you haven't yet posted any considered critique of the position of the MP other than to say that they are wrong.  Perhaps we could take this tangent there. 
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« Reply #95 on: January 30, 2014, 04:03:51 PM »

a) these things can get silly and some stupid stuff might be done, but it's unintentional and doesn't represent a watering down or muddying of the faith;
b) there's nothing important about an ambon in the Orthodox Church, so it's not a restricted area, and anyone can go up to it and speak from it without issue as long as it's not disruptive during public services;
c) the ambon is restricted to major clerics of the Orthodox Church, but an exception was made for a RC archbishop because his orders are considered valid in a way the Protestants' orders aren't.      

B) for me.

But I am more concerned he is wearing a stole. Not that it's not popular but I still do not like it.
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« Reply #96 on: January 30, 2014, 04:03:51 PM »

You don't even always get along with each other.  Tongue 

We learn from the best.
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« Reply #97 on: January 30, 2014, 04:03:51 PM »

Or, to boil it down even more... it might not have been such a good idea to let the RC archbishop give a sermon there, but this is not a "False union is imminent!" moment.

Sure, that too.  I mean, no offence, but mainstream Eastern Orthodoxy is so "immature" nowadays that no such union could take place.  You don't even always get along with each other.  Tongue 

How true!

Physician...
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« Reply #98 on: January 30, 2014, 05:13:57 PM »

a) these things can get silly and some stupid stuff might be done, but it's unintentional and doesn't represent a watering down or muddying of the faith;
b) there's nothing important about an ambon in the Orthodox Church, so it's not a restricted area, and anyone can go up to it and speak from it without issue as long as it's not disruptive during public services;
c) the ambon is restricted to major clerics of the Orthodox Church, but an exception was made for a RC archbishop because his orders are considered valid in a way the Protestants' orders aren't.      

B) for me.

But I am more concerned he is wearing a stole. Not that it's not popular but I still do not like it.

...since I am not a liturgist.
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« Reply #99 on: January 30, 2014, 06:13:34 PM »

The EO church knows a) akrivia (acting according to canons) and b) ikonomia (acting according to practical and pastoral necessities).
If there are no canons on who may use the ambo, then, by definition, every decision on that is ikonomia.

As for the Moscow document, it is wrong and the reasons for that have been listed by Met. Elpidophoros. (Have you actually read that one?)

Btw, the Moscow document has an understanding of universal primacy I disagree with, but it does have a notion of universal primacy. Are you telling me the OO church has none at all?
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« Reply #100 on: January 30, 2014, 06:31:05 PM »

And the article makes no mention at all of what the service was.

Read the text again.
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« Reply #101 on: January 30, 2014, 06:31:05 PM »

If members of a religion were doing things contrary to what they should be doing because the State provides for 48 priests, then maybe its better to not be involved.

If they aren't doing anything out of bounds, then it's a bonus to be recognized by the State.

And how did you come to that?


Which part?




That taking part in such events is related to legal situation?
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« Reply #102 on: January 30, 2014, 06:31:05 PM »

Since this is all so very confusing, I suggest we hire a private investigator to determine exactly what took place on the day in question and when. 

I've already posted a report. It's rather selfexplanatory. Nothing to investigate here, really.
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« Reply #103 on: January 30, 2014, 07:20:13 PM »

The EO church knows a) akrivia (acting according to canons) and b) ikonomia (acting according to practical and pastoral necessities).
If there are no canons on who may use the ambo, then, by definition, every decision on that is ikonomia.

If there are no canons on who may or may not use the ambo, it does not follow that every decision on the matter is economy.  The canons are not prescriptive: the Church doesn't think up random problems, determine a solution, and then compose a canon to cover those eventualities.  The canons are composed and ratified in response to concrete problems requiring correction.  If there's no canon about who can speak from the ambo, it doesn't mean "Do whatever you want as long as the bishop doesn't care".  For all we know, it means that the ambo was respected and the problem never arose to the point where a canon was necessary.  Seriously, before the modern ecumenical movement, how frequently did Orthodox bishops invite or allow non-Orthodox clergy to preach to their congregations from a position of authority? 

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As for the Moscow document, it is wrong and the reasons for that have been listed by Met. Elpidophoros. (Have you actually read that one?)

Yes.  I don't find his position convincing.  You are welcome to point out the problems in the MP document and discuss this issue with me in that thread. 

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Btw, the Moscow document has an understanding of universal primacy I disagree with, but it does have a notion of universal primacy. Are you telling me the OO church has none at all?

I've commented on OO views on primacy in the OO section and perhaps even in the thread above.  Our views are more aligned with those of the MP (at least as I understand the document) than they are with Met. Elpidophoros, but it's not an exact match.  If you want to pursue that question, feel free to post in either thread.   
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« Reply #104 on: January 30, 2014, 07:24:32 PM »

If there's no canon about who can speak from the ambo, it doesn't mean "Do whatever you want as long as the bishop doesn't care".  For all we know, it means that the ambo was respected and the problem never arose to the point where a canon was necessary. 

PS: In the entire corpus of canonical legislation, there are canons related to liturgical concerns, but all of them combined wouldn't cover the entire liturgical tradition.  Received tradition, rubrics, etc. should be sufficient to govern these matters until it becomes a serious dispute.  It's not the case that only a canon has binding authority. 
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« Reply #105 on: January 31, 2014, 12:13:45 AM »

If there's no canon about who can speak from the ambo, it doesn't mean "Do whatever you want as long as the bishop doesn't care".  For all we know, it means that the ambo was respected and the problem never arose to the point where a canon was necessary.
Do you realise that the Metropolitan (i.e. bishop) was not only present, but presiding the ceremony and it was him who invited the RC archbishop to speak?


PS: In the entire corpus of canonical legislation, there are canons related to liturgical concerns, but all of them combined wouldn't cover the entire liturgical tradition.  Received tradition, rubrics, etc. should be sufficient to govern these matters until it becomes a serious dispute.  It's not the case that only a canon has binding authority. 
Ok, and there is no serious dispute within the EO Church. You are OO and Maria And Jonathan are non-canonical. Strange thing, people who are not a member of our Church reproaching us being too permissive in dealing with people who are not members of our Church.

Btw, since the sermon of the RC archbishop did not take place within a liturgy, there is no liturgical concern. Even if you meant "liturgical" in the RC sense, there is no liturgical concern either, since the sermon did not take place within the vespers service, but afterwards. Now the only thing you could argue is that the ambo is that holy that it may not in any case be used by a heterodox person. And for this, I am waiting for a source.
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« Reply #106 on: January 31, 2014, 12:38:05 AM »

Ok, and there is no serious dispute within the EO Church. You are OO and Maria And Jonathan are non-canonical. Strange thing, people who are not a member of our Church reproaching us being too permissive in dealing with people who are not members of our Church.
Bordering on ad hominem? Their personal church affiliation is not relevant to the soundness of their claims.

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Btw, since the sermon of the RC archbishop did not take place within a liturgy, there is no liturgical concern. Even if you meant "liturgical" in the RC sense, there is no liturgical concern either, since the sermon did not take place within the vespers service, but afterwards. Now the only thing you could argue is that the ambo is that holy that it may not in any case be used by a heterodox person. And for this, I am waiting for a source.
What does liturgical in the "RC sense" even mean?
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« Reply #107 on: January 31, 2014, 12:48:39 AM »

Bordering on ad hominem? Their personal church affiliation is not relevant to the soundness of their claims.
Yes, it is. We are not talking Protestant denominations here. This is an issue of the Church dealing with those who are not (or not fully) part of it. It is a thing for the Church to decide, under guidance from the Holy Spirit. And surely every anti-ecumenist should agree that those not in full communion with the Church are not in a position to tell the Church what to do.

The same goes for me when I comment on the OO or any other Christian structure, I am not their member so I am not in a position to tell them what to do. All I could do is to give an estimate in how far a certain decision in their own community would be beneficial or demtrimental for obtaining full unity with the canonical EO Church.


What does liturgical in the "RC sense" even mean?
Not just the eucharist service but also any kind of structured service with a defined text such as matins, vespers or baptismal, funeral etc. rites
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« Reply #108 on: January 31, 2014, 01:20:35 AM »

If members of a religion were doing things contrary to what they should be doing because the State provides for 48 priests, then maybe its better to not be involved.

If they aren't doing anything out of bounds, then it's a bonus to be recognized by the State.

And how did you come to that?


Which part?




That taking part in such events is related to legal situation?

First from the US State report, from another article (which I've since lost in cyberland) about the Orthodox Church in Belgium, and it vaguely mentioned some requirements of the State which may be of some concern if care is not taken.  Also by one of the lines in the link you posted regarding the event under discussion.  There is a 25 year history of this occurring, and it involves an agreement between local churches in Belgium, or so it appears.  Haven't been able to find much about it.

The overall point is that whatever occurred, it doesn't happen on a regular basis, like Lutheran and Roman Catholics holding services together every week.   It is, as mentioned above, an eikonomia.

Think I'm about done supporting the growth of this thread now, and I agree with you that there isn't much to look at here, but respectfully wanted to reply to your post.
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« Reply #109 on: January 31, 2014, 02:15:26 AM »

Again: any canons about ambo usage?

I'll see what I can find, though I'm not sure if a canon is necessary for such things.  When did universal and long-standing custom become worthless in the Orthodox Church?  There's no canon prohibiting a subdeacon from wearing an epigonation, but who cares?  It's just not done.    

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PS: Mor Ephrem, if you want to accuse Eastern Orthodoxy of "immaturity", wouldn't "Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Private Discussions" be the right place for that?

No, because I didn't mean that as polemically as you seem to have taken it or want to take it: polemic had nothing to do with it, it's just an observation.  As a communion, there's enough division (political, not theological) within the EO ranks to guarantee that any "false union" with RC's or Protestants would fail even faster than Florence if it was attempted at all.  So I'm not really concerned that EO involvement in the ecumenical movement is as dangerous as others claim.  

But I don't like nonsense like letting non-Orthodox clerics preach from the ambon in the presence of Orthodox clerics, and I don't like the smoke and mirrors brought into this thread to hide it.  "How do we even know it was Vespers?"  "It was not during a service, but before or after."  "Presidents and Kings can stand there too, a priest told me so, but where are your canons to prove your point?"  Just be honest about it.  If it's not a restricted liturgical space, prove it to be so against universal and long-standing practice.  If you accept Roman Catholic orders but not Protestant orders, say so and own it.  If it's a good thing to participate in these functions and it involves zero watering down of the faith, very well.  I'm not necessarily against any of those, just make the case.  But it's not fair to paint anti-ecumenists, people "outside the canonical  Church", etc. as paranoid fanatics when people within the "canonical Church" resort to less than honest means to defend some things which go on at these events.        

So, you're saying it's okay to be a paranoid fanatic if some random layperson on a website isn't really sure what all is going on, or at least hesitates to make snap judgments against bishops in a church across the pond? 

It's less than honest to try to understand what was taking place and to analyze it with the information at hand?

Glad you brought this up, since AFAIK individual laypersons have no say as to what a Bishop does or doesn't do.   Surely you far more aware than I that church ecclesiology isn't a democracy.  Without a basic respect for a Bishop the Church would just be schismatics, Protestants, Catholics and Muslims (St. John of Damascus).  That's why we see priests being removed from the priesthood occasionally, sometimes for not following orders.  The laity has less say in it than the priest. 

Getting upset doesn't seem a wise course of action since:

1) I have no control over any of it

2) Do not have enough information to clearly understand to my satisfaction

3) Believe it was only posted as a political pot shot at canonical EO by an member of an old calendarist group

4) I never, ever see this stuff occur in my regular parish, where my real life is lived, though we have shared prayer at a funeral of a woman with the Ethiopian Orthodox community.  They came to pray for her.  Not sure what canon that falls under, but they are like family because of her.   I didn't realize until your comments that you felt something negative about "EO" people.  I'm very sorry to hear that. 

5)  In a way you are right with to be careful with the little things to be worthy of the larger things.  But then there are two kinds of zeal St. Isaac the Syrian talks about in Homily 51 & 55.  Also, striking a balance among various expressions of Orthodoxy seems normal to me, i.e., the monastics inspire us and teach us how to push on toward our goal, Christ Himself. 

6) There probably isn't any church that does everything perfectly every time.  Criticism of that can fall under the Homily 51 part and also a study of ecclesiastical history.  Some of those old village churches back in the day, maybe still today, were not much more than a stone hut. 

7) It will not further my salvation.  I just hope the hooks and jabs don't cause people younger in the Orthodox faith to fall away, which I've read as a stated goal by some. 

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"... Sailing alongside the Ark of the Church are certain pirate ships. The largest one has the Pope as its captain, who has been trying to take over the Ark of Orthodoxy and become captain by expelling Christ. Next to it are other pirate ships and rafts. Among them there is a string of 5-10 small fishing boats (that is how many its larger groups are), then there is the rotten ship of Zealotism with its black flag that says "Orthodoxy or Death" on it. The Zealots' profession is fishing, which is why it has to take place in the dark and is therefore always nocturnal. The fish that they catch are those who slip out of the Ark of the canonical Church. They become dizzy from the tempests caused by the scandals of the Church; they lose their balance and fall into the water. Then the trawler that is tailing them fishes them out. It promises them that it will take them directly to Paradise and that it was a stroke of good fortune that they had fallen out of the Ark of the Church."

Excerpt from the book "The Crisis of the Church in Greece: The Trap of Zealotism", by Monk Michael.

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« Reply #110 on: January 31, 2014, 02:37:58 AM »

If there's no canon about who can speak from the ambo, it doesn't mean "Do whatever you want as long as the bishop doesn't care".  For all we know, it means that the ambo was respected and the problem never arose to the point where a canon was necessary.
Do you realise that the Metropolitan (i.e. bishop) was not only present, but presiding the ceremony and it was him who invited the RC archbishop to speak?

Please stick with one thing at a time.  My comment, to which you responded, was a general comment about how canons arise within ecclesiastical tradition.  Your response has to do with the particular circumstances of this particular Vespers. 

I'm aware of what a Metropolitan is, so I don't need to be reminded that he is a bishop.  Nor do I need to be informed that he presided over the service, I've been to (EO) church enough to figure that out.  If he in fact invited the RC archbishop to speak, then he invited him to speak.  So? 

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PS: In the entire corpus of canonical legislation, there are canons related to liturgical concerns, but all of them combined wouldn't cover the entire liturgical tradition.  Received tradition, rubrics, etc. should be sufficient to govern these matters until it becomes a serious dispute.  It's not the case that only a canon has binding authority. 
Ok, and there is no serious dispute within the EO Church.

Which is why you shouldn't need a canon from The Rudder to define who can and cannot occupy the ambo for a particular purpose: such things are already clear in the liturgical tradition.  Those who deviate from the traditional practice need to justify themselves, not those who maintain it.   

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You are OO and Maria And Jonathan are non-canonical. Strange thing, people who are not a member of our Church reproaching us being too permissive in dealing with people who are not members of our Church.

I think you misunderstand my intent.  I'm not "reproaching you" for being "too permissive in dealing with people who are not members" of your Church.  I respect the right of your bishops to make exceptions to norms where exceptions can legitimately be made.  I didn't comment in this thread in order to criticise your bishops: indeed, I've made it clear elsewhere that I don't like commenting seriously on "external" matters (unless they involve matters of faith).  I did not comment in order to express my support for Maria and Jonathan's views on ecumenism, "the canonical EO", or any such thing (their jurisdiction is even less kindly disposed to mine than yours).  I entered this discussion at reply #8, and I did so with a liturgical interest in a matter which, in my experience, was common both to EO and OO--that much is clear if you want to go and read it.  Subsequent comments of mine have to do with this interest or with associated theological matters as the thread has evolved. 

If I expressed support for Maria and Jonathan at all, it is because I felt their concerns were being dismissed only because of their ecclesiastical status (as you seem to be doing here) or were being dodged through recourse to distractions.  I stand by that.  If they are wrong, such tactics are the absolute wrong way to prove it.       

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Btw, since the sermon of the RC archbishop did not take place within a liturgy, there is no liturgical concern. Even if you meant "liturgical" in the RC sense, there is no liturgical concern either, since the sermon did not take place within the vespers service, but afterwards.

It's funny that you resort to such a legalistic argument.  People assemble for a liturgical service (Vespers) in an Orthodox church presided over by an Orthodox metropolitan and stay in the church after its conclusion (rather than, say, retiring to the parish hall or an auditorium or something) in order to hear a sermon from a non-Orthodox clergyman wearing his own liturgical vestments and standing in the place from which the Gospel is read/preached and the Holy Mysteries are administered, while other non-Orthodox clergymen speak/pray from a more "traditional" place for such activities, and you think it is silly for people to question the propriety of such things because it happened after the last "Δι' εὐχῶν τῶν ἁγίων Πατέρων ἡμῶν..."

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Now the only thing you could argue is that the ambo is that holy that it may not in any case be used by a heterodox person. And for this, I am waiting for a source.

Um, that's basically what I've been arguing since reply #8. 

I said earlier that I was looking for a source you might accept (there are at least two Wiki pages which confirm my position, but I hesitate to cite Wiki as an authority).  But I also said that the canons are not prescriptive, that long-standing liturgical tradition observed universally has its own authority which is sufficient, etc., and yet you've summarily dismissed all such arguments based on the authority of

1.  the Bulgarian President,
2.  one EO Metropolitan in Belgium,
3.  some seminarian's ungraded canon law homework (which, as I said, makes at least one serious error in its total three pages), and
4.  some "I think..." statements of your own. 

If that's your standard, I doubt I could convince you of anything serious even if I managed to resurrect the Three Hierarchs.   
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« Reply #111 on: January 31, 2014, 02:39:44 AM »

The same goes for me when I comment on the OO or any other Christian structure, I am not their member so I am not in a position to tell them what to do. All I could do is to give an estimate in how far a certain decision in their own community would be beneficial or demtrimental for obtaining full unity with the canonical EO Church.

Very good: that's all I was doing from where I stand.
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« Reply #112 on: January 31, 2014, 02:40:12 AM »

If members of a religion were doing things contrary to what they should be doing because the State provides for 48 priests, then maybe its better to not be involved.

If they aren't doing anything out of bounds, then it's a bonus to be recognized by the State.

And how did you come to that?

Which part?

You don't have to be recognised by the government to build churches or to worship. There were several Orthodox parishes before the Orthodox asked for recognition. But you'll only get money from the government when you're recognised by the government.

You also have to name someone as the spokesman for your religion, and now, per royal decree, Belgium recognises the metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarch or his representative as the spokesman for the entire Orthodox Church. That royal decree is all over the website of the Greek jurisdiction in Belgium. Of course, the Greek metropolitan uses this as another justification for his primacy in the Low Countries.



Thanks for that Cyrillic.  The article mentioned that the Russians were signing papers in the next room where they also had refreshments.  There is a specific term for the ceremony, and they have had it for 25 years.  

Yes, seems everyone is struggling for territory, or at least it sounds that way.
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« Reply #113 on: January 31, 2014, 03:00:04 AM »

So, you're saying it's okay to be a paranoid fanatic if some random layperson on a website isn't really sure what all is going on, or at least hesitates to make snap judgments against bishops in a church across the pond? 

It's less than honest to try to understand what was taking place and to analyze it with the information at hand?

I don't think it's OK to be a paranoid fanatic at all.  But if my response to someone who disagrees with me is to dismiss them as a nut when they are not nutty at all, nothing good comes from that. 

By all means, try to get all the facts and understand what happened, but why should one or the other person be allowed to ignore facts they don't like?  Nothing good comes from that either. 

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Glad you brought this up, since AFAIK individual laypersons have no say as to what a Bishop does or doesn't do.   Surely you far more aware than I that church ecclesiology isn't a democracy.  Without a basic respect for a Bishop the Church would just be schismatics, Protestants, Catholics and Muslims (St. John of Damascus).  That's why we see priests being removed from the priesthood occasionally, sometimes for not following orders.  The laity has less say in it than the priest. 
 

It's more nuanced than that, but OK. 

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Getting upset doesn't seem a wise course of action since:

1) I have no control over any of it

Sure, but you could extend that to a lot of things about which we get upset even though we have no control over them.  And I'm not even sure what "upset" means here.  I'm not sitting in my home weeping about a Vespers in Belgium, that would be stupid.  But it's not stupid to have questions.

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2) Do not have enough information to clearly understand to my satisfaction

That's why people ask questions...?

Quote
3) Believe it was only posted as a political pot shot at canonical EO by an member of an old calendarist group

Nothing in the OP suggests anything other than that the person posted a news story about an ecumenical service accompanied by some pictures captioned with a brief explanation of what is depicted.  You are reading all of the above into it when it is not necessarily so. 

Quote
4) I never, ever see this stuff occur in my regular parish, where my real life is lived, though we have shared prayer at a funeral of a woman with the Ethiopian Orthodox community.  They came to pray for her.  Not sure what canon that falls under, but they are like family because of her.   I didn't realize until your comments that you felt something negative about "EO" people.  I'm very sorry to hear that. 

Wait...what are you talking about?

Quote
5)  In a way you are right with to be careful with the little things to be worthy of the larger things.  But then there are two kinds of zeal St. Isaac the Syrian talks about in Homily 51 & 55.  Also, striking a balance among various expressions of Orthodoxy seems normal to me, i.e., the monastics inspire us and teach us how to push on toward our goal, Christ Himself. 

6) There probably isn't any church that does everything perfectly every time.  Criticism of that can fall under the Homily 51 part and also a study of ecclesiastical history.  Some of those old village churches back in the day, maybe still today, were not much more than a stone hut. 

I'm not sure what you're talking about or its relevance...sorry. 

Quote
7) It will not further my salvation.  I just hope the hooks and jabs don't cause people younger in the Orthodox faith to fall away, which I've read as a stated goal by some

Again, to what are you referring?

Quote

"... Sailing alongside the Ark of the Church are certain pirate ships. The largest one has the Pope as its captain, who has been trying to take over the Ark of Orthodoxy and become captain by expelling Christ. Next to it are other pirate ships and rafts. Among them there is a string of 5-10 small fishing boats (that is how many its larger groups are), then there is the rotten ship of Zealotism with its black flag that says "Orthodoxy or Death" on it. The Zealots' profession is fishing, which is why it has to take place in the dark and is therefore always nocturnal. The fish that they catch are those who slip out of the Ark of the canonical Church. They become dizzy from the tempests caused by the scandals of the Church; they lose their balance and fall into the water. Then the trawler that is tailing them fishes them out. It promises them that it will take them directly to Paradise and that it was a stroke of good fortune that they had fallen out of the Ark of the Church."

Excerpt from the book "The Crisis of the Church in Greece: The Trap of Zealotism", by Monk Michael.


I'm not sure why everyone thinks I'm an Old Calendarist Zealot, it's really odd...
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« Reply #114 on: January 31, 2014, 04:02:14 AM »

Quite disturbing, IMHO...
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« Reply #115 on: January 31, 2014, 07:08:22 AM »

Mor Ephrem,

In fact I am not trying to prove that the speech of the RC archbishop was ok. No, the EO metropolitan invited him to do it, so I consider it to be ok until proven otherwise. If everything a bishop, who also is a trained theologian, does, is under suspicion under proven right, where do we get? No, the burden of proof is on those who claim he is wrong.

And I still haven't seen any kind of proof that they ambo were reserved to clergy, to be treated similarly as the space behind the iconostasis etc. That's just an unsourced claim and that's it. Even if there was going to be a "proof from rubrics", I would like to see that one argued exactly.

To say "It was never done so it's forbidden" is just not enough of an argument. Btw, not everything that was always or usually done is Tradition. By the same logic, the EO church could ban services in English and prescribe Ancient Greek or Church Slavonic to be used exclusively. In fact, the very example of the emperor shows that there is more flexibility in the EO church than some people would want to.

And yes, I do feel free to dismiss objections of members of non-canonical Old Calndarist groups. Either someone cares about events in the EO church, because he or she believes "World Orthodoxy", as they call it, is the Body of Christ, the Arc of Salvation, then it would be necessary and logical to be part of it. Or that person belives the EO church is a fallen, heretical community anyway, then it would not matter how "World Orthodox" heretics and Roman Catholic heretics refer to each other.
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« Reply #116 on: January 31, 2014, 09:21:48 AM »

Mor Ephrem,

In fact I am not trying to prove that the speech of the RC archbishop was ok. No, the EO metropolitan invited him to do it, so I consider it to be ok until proven otherwise. If everything a bishop, who also is a trained theologian, does, is under suspicion under proven right, where do we get? No, the burden of proof is on those who claim he is wrong.

And I still haven't seen any kind of proof that they ambo were reserved to clergy, to be treated similarly as the space behind the iconostasis etc. That's just an unsourced claim and that's it. Even if there was going to be a "proof from rubrics", I would like to see that one argued exactly.

To say "It was never done so it's forbidden" is just not enough of an argument. Btw, not everything that was always or usually done is Tradition. By the same logic, the EO church could ban services in English and prescribe Ancient Greek or Church Slavonic to be used exclusively. In fact, the very example of the emperor shows that there is more flexibility in the EO church than some people would want to.

And yes, I do feel free to dismiss objections of members of non-canonical Old Calndarist groups. Either someone cares about events in the EO church, because he or she believes "World Orthodoxy", as they call it, is the Body of Christ, the Arc of Salvation, then it would be necessary and logical to be part of it. Or that person belives the EO church is a fallen, heretical community anyway, then it would not matter how "World Orthodox" heretics and Roman Catholic heretics refer to each other.

The reason "zealots" like myself and Maria care about this is that we're trying to convince members of your church, and other churches in "World Orthodoxy", that ecumenism is a real phenomenon and that your bishops actively participate in and promote it. This is in response to the attitude we so often hear that ecumenism is not of any concern and that the bishops of WO do not participate in it. When we bring up actual examples of such participation in ecumenism, it is noteworthy that people like you or LBK or PtA resort to what Mor calls "smoke and mirrors": rather than own the ecumenism and try to justify it from within Orthodox tradition, you resort to highly legalistic arguments about what the exact liturgical situation was in order to excuse it. The fact that you have to grasp at straws and make excuses for the event shows that you are aware that it is going in some sense against Church order and is a violation of Church tradition: your concern then becomes finding a reason to make it an excusable violation of order.

In one sense it's good that you are trying to make excuses, since it shows that you are still aware at some level that ecumenism is against Orthodoxy, whereas if you were completely welcoming of the event and what it represents it would show that you were no longer even Orthodox in mindset. But the making excuses is not going to save you in the end, since it also shows that at some level you understand your bishops are false bishops and are leading their flocks astray, but you are trying to deny this reality to yourself and convince others to deny it.
 
On this forum community that allows for dialogue between Old Calendarists and mainstream "World" Orthodox, you are permitted to question those "World" Orthodox practices with which you disagree and even judge the practices as ecumenist or heretical. What you are not permitted to do is show such gross disrespect for "World" Orthodox clergy as to call them heretics or "false bishops". Such is a violation of our rules that you keep your discourse civil and speak respectfully of the clergy, even those outside your communion.

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« Reply #117 on: January 31, 2014, 09:36:19 AM »

Unless, and until, someone provides film footage with sound of what actually happened at this church, all allegations are just that - allegations and speculation. We do not know what was read out by the non-Orthodox clergy present, we do not know what was sung by them, whether their contributions were part of an Orthodox vespers, or before/after it, etc etc.

Many ifs, few confirmed facts.
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« Reply #118 on: January 31, 2014, 09:42:10 AM »

Unless, and until, someone provides film footage with sound of what actually happened at this church, all allegations are just that - allegations and speculation. We do not know what was read out by the non-Orthodox clergy present, we do not know what was sung by them, whether their contributions were part of an Orthodox vespers, or before/after it, etc etc.

Many ifs, few confirmed facts.

Smoke and mirrors. I see a vested RC bishop speaking from the ambo while the bishop is throned. And the event is billed as "ecumenical vespers". That's enough for me.
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« Reply #119 on: January 31, 2014, 09:46:54 AM »

Unless, and until, someone provides film footage with sound of what actually happened at this church, all allegations are just that - allegations and speculation. We do not know what was read out by the non-Orthodox clergy present, we do not know what was sung by them, whether their contributions were part of an Orthodox vespers, or before/after it, etc etc.

Many ifs, few confirmed facts.

Smoke and mirrors. I see a vested RC bishop speaking from the ambo while the bishop is throned. And the event is billed as "ecumenical vespers". That's enough for me.

Your standard of proof is very poor, then. It is not I, PtA and others you have egregiously named who are clutching at straws.
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« Reply #120 on: January 31, 2014, 09:48:33 AM »

Unless, and until, someone provides film footage with sound of what actually happened at this church, all allegations are just that - allegations and speculation. We do not know what was read out by the non-Orthodox clergy present, we do not know what was sung by them, whether their contributions were part of an Orthodox vespers, or before/after it, etc etc.

Many ifs, few confirmed facts.

Smoke and mirrors. I see a vested RC bishop speaking from the ambo while the bishop is throned. And the event is billed as "ecumenical vespers". That's enough for me.

Your standard of proof is very poor, then. It is not I, PtA and others you have egregiously named who are clutching at straws.

As I said earlier, the canons forbid ANY prayer with heretics. It doesn't matter whether the mutual prayer occurs inside or outside a particular service, or even where it occurs. What you are seeking is proof that the event is NOT what it plainly appears to be; YOU are the one grasping at straws.

Good luck with that.
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« Reply #121 on: January 31, 2014, 09:48:57 AM »

The RC archbishop should not have been allowed to do what he was doing, whatever it was. Yes, this is ecumenism gone wrong. No, I do not believe it represents a general cancer of heresy infecting the Church. Knowing the history of the Church, and how complicated and ambiguous the lines of communion have sometimes been over the centuries between us and the RC's, it is difficult for such a little thing to make me panic. Canonical breaches were routinely made and ignored well before the term "ecumenism" came into existence. But I would agree that splitting hairs as to whether he was really standing at the altar or not is not particularly meaningful.
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« Reply #122 on: January 31, 2014, 09:51:10 AM »

The RC archbishop should not have been allowed to do what he was doing, whatever it was. Yes, this is ecumenism gone wrong. No, I do not believe it represents a general cancer of heresy infecting the Church. Knowing the history of the Church, and how complicated and ambiguous the lines of communion have sometimes been over the centuries between us and the RC's, it is difficult for such a little thing to make me panic. Canonical breaches were routinely made and ignored well before the term "ecumenism" came into existence. But I would agree that splitting hairs as to whether he was really standing at the altar or not is not particularly meaningful.

Yeah, if this were the only event of its kind, never to have occurred before or subsequently, I might be able to write it off as a freak accident. But as we all know, this is not the case.
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« Reply #123 on: January 31, 2014, 10:02:40 AM »

The RC archbishop should not have been allowed to do what he was doing, whatever it was. Yes, this is ecumenism gone wrong. No, I do not believe it represents a general cancer of heresy infecting the Church. Knowing the history of the Church, and how complicated and ambiguous the lines of communion have sometimes been over the centuries between us and the RC's, it is difficult for such a little thing to make me panic. Canonical breaches were routinely made and ignored well before the term "ecumenism" came into existence. But I would agree that splitting hairs as to whether he was really standing at the altar or not is not particularly meaningful.

Yeah, if this were the only event of its kind, never to have occurred before or subsequently, I might be able to write it off as a freak accident. But as we all know, this is not the case.

And my point was not that it is an isolated incident, but that it does not represent some grave doctrinal shift in the Church. Again, we have centuries of precedents without anyone breaking away to form Old Calendarist groups. This schism-at-the-drop-of-a-hat attitude is modern.
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« Reply #124 on: January 31, 2014, 10:12:43 AM »

The RC archbishop should not have been allowed to do what he was doing, whatever it was. Yes, this is ecumenism gone wrong. No, I do not believe it represents a general cancer of heresy infecting the Church. Knowing the history of the Church, and how complicated and ambiguous the lines of communion have sometimes been over the centuries between us and the RC's, it is difficult for such a little thing to make me panic. Canonical breaches were routinely made and ignored well before the term "ecumenism" came into existence. But I would agree that splitting hairs as to whether he was really standing at the altar or not is not particularly meaningful.

Yeah, if this were the only event of its kind, never to have occurred before or subsequently, I might be able to write it off as a freak accident. But as we all know, this is not the case.

And my point was not that it is an isolated incident, but that it does not represent some grave doctrinal shift in the Church. Again, we have centuries of precedents without anyone breaking away to form Old Calendarist groups. This schism-at-the-drop-of-a-hat attitude is modern.

Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.
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« Reply #125 on: January 31, 2014, 10:18:15 AM »

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Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?
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« Reply #126 on: January 31, 2014, 10:23:54 AM »

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Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America
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« Reply #127 on: January 31, 2014, 10:32:35 AM »

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Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America

Your answer is not to the question I asked. I ask again: Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?
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« Reply #128 on: January 31, 2014, 10:33:51 AM »

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Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America

Your answer is not to the question I asked. I ask again: Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

I am not a bishop. What is the relevance of this?
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« Reply #129 on: January 31, 2014, 10:35:35 AM »

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Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America

Your answer is not to the question I asked. I ask again: Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

I am not a bishop. What is the relevance of this?


The way you boldly and baldly interpret church canons, you must be a bishop.  Tongue
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« Reply #130 on: January 31, 2014, 10:37:06 AM »

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Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America

Your answer is not to the question I asked. I ask again: Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

I am not a bishop. What is the relevance of this?


The way you boldly and baldly interpret church canons, you must be a bishop.  Tongue

It's how my bishop interprets them. Sorry if it bothers you.
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« Reply #131 on: January 31, 2014, 10:41:28 AM »

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Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America

Your answer is not to the question I asked. I ask again: Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

I am not a bishop. What is the relevance of this?


The way you boldly and baldly interpret church canons, you must be a bishop.  Tongue

It's how my bishop interprets them. Sorry if it bothers you.

An interpretation which is not necessarily shared by other Orthodox bishops who are all in canonical communion with one another the world over.

BTW, any footage with sound forthcoming?
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« Reply #132 on: January 31, 2014, 10:44:17 AM »

Quote
Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America

Your answer is not to the question I asked. I ask again: Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

I am not a bishop. What is the relevance of this?


The way you boldly and baldly interpret church canons, you must be a bishop.  Tongue

It's how my bishop interprets them. Sorry if it bothers you.

An interpretation which is not necessarily shared by other Orthodox bishops who are all in canonical communion with one another the world over.

BTW, any footage with sound forthcoming?

That's because those other bishops are ecumenist heretics. QED

You wait for the sound which I'm sure will prove there was nothing ecumenist about that event despite all appearances to the contrary.
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« Reply #133 on: January 31, 2014, 10:48:17 AM »

Quote
Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

Diocese of Metropolitan Pavlos of America

Your answer is not to the question I asked. I ask again: Jonathan, of which diocese are you a bishop?

I am not a bishop. What is the relevance of this?


The way you boldly and baldly interpret church canons, you must be a bishop.  Tongue

It's how my bishop interprets them. Sorry if it bothers you.

An interpretation which is not necessarily shared by other Orthodox bishops who are all in canonical communion with one another the world over.

BTW, any footage with sound forthcoming?

That's because those other bishops are ecumenist heretics. QED

You wait for the sound which I'm sure will prove there was nothing ecumenist about that event despite all appearances to the contrary.


Not at all. I wait for the sound and footage to form a properly-informed view of the situation based on corroboration and fact, not on speculation drawn from a handful of photographs. This has been my position all along.
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« Reply #134 on: January 31, 2014, 11:14:15 AM »

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Two photos of a Cardinal standing at the Holy Altar and giving a homily at this service:

Anyone can see he is standing on the solea, which is in the nave. He's clearly NOT in the altar, or at the Holy Table.

Maria, there is no need to add your own distortions to what happened there.  Angry

Well, excuse me, but the Greek Orthodox Priest said that the top of the stairs was considered part of the Holy Altar, and that neither laity nor heterodox were supposed to ascend that part. Have you ever seen Altar Boys go up those steps? No.

Are you talking about the solea?  The "top" of the stairs in general?  Or the ambo - the middle portion?

The solea is often trod upon by laity.  In many churches, people actually come up and venerate the icons on the iconostasis.  This will require them to step up on the solea.  Some actually have candle holders up on the solea, inviting people to come up.

The ambo, I would agree, is reserved for bishop/clergy.  I believe in the olden days, the ambo actually jotted out in to the nave, so that the bishop/priest was in the middle of the crowd, and they could clearly hear him speak.

However, very often people do find themselves on the ambo.  During marriage ceremonies, couples are often led up onto the ambo, during baptisms the child is brought up (boy goes inside altar, but, girl at least is brought before the Royal Gates), etc.  Often photos are taken on the ambo of married couples, school photos, church group photos, etc.  Not to mention the person who actually cleans and vacuums the area.

Therefore, to say that nobody should ever step foot on the ambo, other than bishops/clergy might be stretching it.

However, I do wholeheartedly agree that this area is to be treated with the utmost respect.  The Holy Gifts preside just inside.  It is from the Ambo that Christ, in the form of the Eucharist, meets His creation.  It is here that we come to venerate the Cross after services.  We are not to pass before the Ambo without first crossing ourselves, etc.

So, yes, while many people find their way up onto the Ambo, it is still a place of respect and should not be trodden upon just for kicks.

However, I don't know about it being "wrong" for non-Orthodox to speak from it.  My gut tells me they shouldn't...if only for the fact that what would they, non-Orthodox, have to teach us?  Why aren't we preaching to them, but, the other way around?

Do we know what was said?  What was this occasion?  If it was some national commemoration, a rally for a common cause, etc...then it would be proper that everyone have a say, as it is their commemoration as well...and they are the guests and can speak.

However, if they were strictly preaching the Gospel or Church teachings, then I would have an issue with it.

Does anyone actually know what was said, and what was being celebrated?  Until we know this, then we are just spinning our wheels and getting each other upset for no good reason.

One must know all the facts before they can even deem to pass judgment.
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« Reply #135 on: January 31, 2014, 11:27:05 AM »

Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

So, what you say is correct...however, is it ALWAYS correct?

Knowing the above, I always hesitate to bow my head at  communal gatherings - graduations, national commemorations, etc...where the prayer is being led by some pastor, preacher, minister, reverend, etc.

However, just last month, when I was at the hospital with my mother, countless individuals, seeing my distress, approached me and even though I almost rebuked one for this exact reason, he still grabbed my hand and prayed for my mother.  His words were unoffensive.  Asking Christ to heal her and to grant me strength to get through the ordeal.  He didn't pray to Beelzebub or Zeus or something.  I felt bad that I had almost shoved him away, when he was trying to comfort and help me.

After that incident, whomever came up to pray for/with me (Christian)....I quietly would bow my head, cross myself, and pray...this included the hospital chaplain, a number of nurses, other patient's family members, pastors who came to visit others and found me desolate in the waiting the room and took pity upon another living being....

None of their words would have been unacceptable in an Orthodox Church.  They were merely beseeching God to help those in need.

I think I was more "un-Orthodox" in my behavior towards the first pastor, whom I almost pushed away with my hand, explaining that my own priest was on his way.  I only did that out of fear of breaking Church Law....while in fact, I was being Pharisaical and judgmental...and certainly not showing love to my neighbor...who was extending a hand in friendship and concern towards me.

Therefore, I can no longer say it is always "wrong" to pray with the non-Orthodox.
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« Reply #136 on: January 31, 2014, 11:44:45 AM »

Praying with someone is different than praying alongside someone. That's what I think.
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« Reply #137 on: January 31, 2014, 11:59:35 AM »

The reason "zealots" like myself and Maria care about this is that we're trying to convince members of your church, and other churches in "World Orthodoxy", that ecumenism is a real phenomenon and that your bishops actively participate in and promote it.

If you really cared about our Church, you'd be part of it.
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« Reply #138 on: January 31, 2014, 12:02:34 PM »

Laymen and clergy may be held to different standards. E.g. laymen can get a drink at a bar without getting drunk, but if a clergyman does so that's grounds for deposition, even if he doesn't get drunk. This is because it's scandalous for a priest to be seen in a place where he MIGHT get drunk. Or a laymen may get a dispensation to break the fast when visiting non-Orthodox relatives, or to attend a marriage or funeral for a non-Orthodox relative or friend, but it would be different for a clergyman, since people would look at that and get the wrong idea. This is because for the clergyman it's not just about his personal spiritual life, but the example he sets to others. This is also why, when it comes to determining whether a bishop is Orthodox, what matters is the bishop's public confession of faith, not his private beliefs.

So if a bishop attends a heterodox service, or allows heterodox clergy to participate in a service or deliver a sermon, that is a terrible scandal since it makes it look like he's an ecumenist who doesn't believe it matters whether you're inside or outside the Church. It's HIS responsibility to make sure that his every word and action cannot be misconstrued by the faithful; it's not our job to keep making excuses for him when he appears to be leading his flock away from the truth.
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« Reply #139 on: January 31, 2014, 12:04:04 PM »


But, you don't know that it WAS a sermon.

It may have commemorated some national tragedy and people were coming  up to say a few words.
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« Reply #140 on: January 31, 2014, 12:04:44 PM »

The reason "zealots" like myself and Maria care about this is that we're trying to convince members of your church, and other churches in "World Orthodoxy", that ecumenism is a real phenomenon and that your bishops actively participate in and promote it.

If you really cared about our Church, you'd be part of it.

That's right, if I really cared about saving people from a sinking ship, I would jump onto that ship with them, instead of reaching out from my raft.
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« Reply #141 on: January 31, 2014, 12:05:17 PM »


But, you don't know that it WAS a sermon.

It may have commemorated some national tragedy and people were coming  up to say a few words.

Which is why it was called "Ecumenical Vespers". Sorry, please give me a break.
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« Reply #142 on: January 31, 2014, 12:07:19 PM »

The reason "zealots" like myself and Maria care about this is that we're trying to convince members of your church, and other churches in "World Orthodoxy", that ecumenism is a real phenomenon and that your bishops actively participate in and promote it.

If you really cared about our Church, you'd be part of it.

That's right, if I really cared about saving people from a sinking ship, I would jump onto that ship with them, instead of reaching out from my raft.

Ah, so the Orthodox ark isn't impregnable after all?
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« Reply #143 on: January 31, 2014, 12:09:06 PM »

The reason "zealots" like myself and Maria care about this is that we're trying to convince members of your church, and other churches in "World Orthodoxy", that ecumenism is a real phenomenon and that your bishops actively participate in and promote it.

If you really cared about our Church, you'd be part of it.

That's right, if I really cared about saving people from a sinking ship, I would jump onto that ship with them, instead of reaching out from my raft.

Ah, so the Orthodox ark isn't impregnable after all?

Actually it is. Which means that your sinking ship is not Orthodox.
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« Reply #144 on: January 31, 2014, 12:09:38 PM »


But, you don't know that it WAS a sermon.

It may have commemorated some national tragedy and people were coming  up to say a few words.

Which is why it was called "Ecumenical Vespers". Sorry, please give me a break.

No.  I won't...because you seem to think you know exactly was was happening.

Where I live we have a Ukrainian Community comprised of Orthodox and UGCC.

When we gather to commemorate the genocide in our homeland, Holodmor, or we march and gather to support today's Euromaidan and pray for peace in Ukraine....both Orthodox and Ukr. Greek Catholics come together....because it is a "national" event we are celebrating, honoring, commemorating, etc.

For us Orthodox, to avoid such gatherings, would be to deny our own heritage, that God has given us.  We are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church...and all things Ukrainian matter to us.

Therefore, we often find ourselves standing next to Greek Catholics, and praying for a common good.  

Their priests and ours, will recite prayers, etc.

Nobody is trying to convince anyone to switch Churches.  We are merely gathered together for a common cause.

What do you suggest we do?  Avoid such gatherings altogether?
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« Reply #145 on: January 31, 2014, 12:09:52 PM »


But, you don't know that it WAS a sermon.

It may have commemorated some national tragedy and people were coming  up to say a few words.

We do know, from the official press release, that an Orthodox vespers service was held (presided by Met. Athinagoras and celebrated by one Greek priest and two deacons). After the vespers service, the RC archbishop gave a sermon.

As I understand, Met. Athinagoras was invited previously to give a sermon in the RC cathedral and returned the honour.
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« Reply #146 on: January 31, 2014, 12:10:37 PM »


What was the occasion?
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« Reply #147 on: January 31, 2014, 12:11:20 PM »

No.  I won't...because you seem to think you know exactly was was happening.

Where I live we have a Ukrainian Community comprised of Orthodox and UGCC.

When we gather to commemorate the genocide in our homeland, Holodmor, or we march and gather to support today's Euromaidan and pray for peace in Ukraine....both Orthodox and Ukr. Greek Catholics come together....because it is a "national" event we are celebrating, honoring, commemorating, etc.

For us Orthodox, to avoid such gatherings, would be to deny our own heritage, that God has given us.  We are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church...and all things Ukrainian matter to us.

Therefore, we often find ourselves standing next to Greek Catholics, and praying for a common good.  

Their priests and ours, will recite prayers, etc.

Nobody is trying to convince anyone to switch Churches.  We are merely gathered together for a common cause.

What do you suggest we do?  Avoid such gatherings altogether?


If you're praying together, yes you should avoid it. St Markella's and other GOC churches take part in the annual Greek Independence Day parade, but they don't pray with the ecumenists.
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« Reply #148 on: January 31, 2014, 12:13:05 PM »

Nobody is trying to convince anyone to switch Churches.  We are merely gathered together for a common cause.

Same in the event in Belgium. Leaders of Christian denominations came together in order to discuss representing Christian interests to the government.
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« Reply #149 on: January 31, 2014, 12:28:50 PM »

The reason "zealots" like myself and Maria care about this is that we're trying to convince members of your church, and other churches in "World Orthodoxy", that ecumenism is a real phenomenon and that your bishops actively participate in and promote it.

If you really cared about our Church, you'd be part of it.

That's right, if I really cared about saving people from a sinking ship, I would jump onto that ship with them, instead of reaching out from my raft.

There are times when the rules of this forum preclude our ability to honestly state what our consciences tell us about the choices made by others.

This exchange is truly one of them. One of these days, I fear I shall speak my peace and be banned for doing so. So be it.
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« Reply #150 on: January 31, 2014, 12:35:01 PM »

Unless, and until, someone provides film footage with sound of what actually happened at this church, all allegations are just that - allegations and speculation. We do not know what was read out by the non-Orthodox clergy present, we do not know what was sung by them, whether their contributions were part of an Orthodox vespers, or before/after it, etc etc.

Many ifs, few confirmed facts.

Smoke and mirrors. I see a vested RC bishop speaking from the ambo while the bishop is throned. And the event is billed as "ecumenical vespers". That's enough for me.

Your standard of proof is very poor, then. It is not I, PtA and others you have egregiously named who are clutching at straws.

As I said earlier, the canons forbid ANY prayer with heretics. It doesn't matter whether the mutual prayer occurs inside or outside a particular service, or even where it occurs. What you are seeking is proof that the event is NOT what it plainly appears to be; YOU are the one grasping at straws.
No, Jonathan, you have rendered a verdict based solely on what you see in a few photos. Photos are too easily falsified and can be made to show things that the context in which they were taken would disprove if we knew it. Before we render our own verdict, we need proof from more than just photos that the event IS what the photos make it appear to be.
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« Reply #151 on: January 31, 2014, 12:35:26 PM »

The reason "zealots" like myself and Maria care about this is that we're trying to convince members of your church, and other churches in "World Orthodoxy", that ecumenism is a real phenomenon and that your bishops actively participate in and promote it.

If you really cared about our Church, you'd be part of it.

That's right, if I really cared about saving people from a sinking ship, I would jump onto that ship with them, instead of reaching out from my raft.

There are times when the rules of this forum preclude our ability to honestly state what our consciences tell us about the choices made by others.

This exchange is truly one of them. One of these days, I fear I shall speak my peace and be banned for doing so. So be it.

The rules allow you to be honest. They just don't allow you to be indecent. Is it the latter you have problems with?
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« Reply #152 on: January 31, 2014, 12:38:22 PM »

Unless, and until, someone provides film footage with sound of what actually happened at this church, all allegations are just that - allegations and speculation. We do not know what was read out by the non-Orthodox clergy present, we do not know what was sung by them, whether their contributions were part of an Orthodox vespers, or before/after it, etc etc.

Many ifs, few confirmed facts.

Smoke and mirrors. I see a vested RC bishop speaking from the ambo while the bishop is throned. And the event is billed as "ecumenical vespers". That's enough for me.

Your standard of proof is very poor, then. It is not I, PtA and others you have egregiously named who are clutching at straws.

As I said earlier, the canons forbid ANY prayer with heretics. It doesn't matter whether the mutual prayer occurs inside or outside a particular service, or even where it occurs. What you are seeking is proof that the event is NOT what it plainly appears to be; YOU are the one grasping at straws.
No, Jonathan, you have rendered a verdict based solely on what you see in a few photos. Photos are too easily falsified and can be made to show things that the context in which they were taken would disprove if we knew it. Before we render our own verdict, we need proof from more than just photos that the event IS what the photos make it appear to be.

Seriously?! Have you actually looked at the entire album? Or read the announcement on the Belgian Archdiocese's webpage, where it clearly states the non-Orthodox attendees "assisted" in the service? Are you seriously suggesting the Archdiocese went to such lengths to make itself look ecumenist when it was actually being Orthodox?

The allegation of doctoring the photos might wash if we just had one or two photos and only a second-hand report from a hostile source. This stuff, however, is straight from the horse's mouth.
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« Reply #153 on: January 31, 2014, 12:53:16 PM »

The RC archbishop should not have been allowed to do what he was doing, whatever it was. Yes, this is ecumenism gone wrong. No, I do not believe it represents a general cancer of heresy infecting the Church. Knowing the history of the Church, and how complicated and ambiguous the lines of communion have sometimes been over the centuries between us and the RC's, it is difficult for such a little thing to make me panic. Canonical breaches were routinely made and ignored well before the term "ecumenism" came into existence. But I would agree that splitting hairs as to whether he was really standing at the altar or not is not particularly meaningful.

Yeah, if this were the only event of its kind, never to have occurred before or subsequently, I might be able to write it off as a freak accident. But as we all know, this is not the case.

And my point was not that it is an isolated incident, but that it does not represent some grave doctrinal shift in the Church. Again, we have centuries of precedents without anyone breaking away to form Old Calendarist groups. This schism-at-the-drop-of-a-hat attitude is modern.

Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

If it's that simple, then it already happened centuries ago and your sect as the same problem as the Orthodox Church does.
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« Reply #154 on: January 31, 2014, 01:03:42 PM »



http://www.holytrinity.be/content/week-prayer-christian-unity-1

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity runs from 18th to 25 January. There are some copies of brochures produced by the Inter-Ecclesial Committee of Brussels for the Week of Prayer available in the foyer. Do take one if you wish to make use of the daily prayers and readings. The annual ecumenical service takes place on Thursday 23rd January at 20.00h at the Orthodox Cathedral of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Avenue de Stalingrad 34. Attendance will enable you to experience something of Orthodox worship and to express support and solidarity with Eastern forms of Christian faith. Our own Jack MacDonald is president of the Inter-Ecclesial Committee at the moment, and we are proud to have a prominent place in the ecumenical life of our city.

How else will these people ever get exposed to Orthodoxy?  As long as the non-Orthodox clergy do not enter the Altar and serve, I think this is okay.

After all, the Disciples went to foreign lands to spread the Word....they had to go among the heterodox in order to reach them.
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« Reply #155 on: January 31, 2014, 01:07:44 PM »

The RC archbishop should not have been allowed to do what he was doing, whatever it was. Yes, this is ecumenism gone wrong. No, I do not believe it represents a general cancer of heresy infecting the Church. Knowing the history of the Church, and how complicated and ambiguous the lines of communion have sometimes been over the centuries between us and the RC's, it is difficult for such a little thing to make me panic. Canonical breaches were routinely made and ignored well before the term "ecumenism" came into existence. But I would agree that splitting hairs as to whether he was really standing at the altar or not is not particularly meaningful.

Yeah, if this were the only event of its kind, never to have occurred before or subsequently, I might be able to write it off as a freak accident. But as we all know, this is not the case.

And my point was not that it is an isolated incident, but that it does not represent some grave doctrinal shift in the Church. Again, we have centuries of precedents without anyone breaking away to form Old Calendarist groups. This schism-at-the-drop-of-a-hat attitude is modern.

Sure it represents a grave doctrinal shift. The heterodox are outside the Church: to pray with them entails accepting that they are somehow in the Church. That's it.

If it's that simple, then it already happened centuries ago and your sect as the same problem as the Orthodox Church does.

Huh?
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« Reply #156 on: January 31, 2014, 01:09:28 PM »



http://www.holytrinity.be/content/week-prayer-christian-unity-1

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity runs from 18th to 25 January. There are some copies of brochures produced by the Inter-Ecclesial Committee of Brussels for the Week of Prayer available in the foyer. Do take one if you wish to make use of the daily prayers and readings. The annual ecumenical service takes place on Thursday 23rd January at 20.00h at the Orthodox Cathedral of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Avenue de Stalingrad 34. Attendance will enable you to experience something of Orthodox worship and to express support and solidarity with Eastern forms of Christian faith. Our own Jack MacDonald is president of the Inter-Ecclesial Committee at the moment, and we are proud to have a prominent place in the ecumenical life of our city.

How else will these people ever get exposed to Orthodoxy?  As long as the non-Orthodox clergy do not enter the Altar and serve, I think this is okay.

After all, the Disciples went to foreign lands to spread the Word....they had to go among the heterodox in order to reach them.


Except the Apostles threw down idols; they didn't pray with idolaters.
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« Reply #157 on: January 31, 2014, 01:12:22 PM »


I don't think they were praying with them....the Orthodox were doing the praying...and the others came up to say a few words.
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« Reply #158 on: January 31, 2014, 01:31:25 PM »

Seriously?! Have you actually looked at the entire album? Or read the announcement on the Belgian Archdiocese's webpage, where it clearly states the non-Orthodox attendees "assisted" in the service? Are you seriously suggesting the Archdiocese went to such lengths to make itself look ecumenist when it was actually being Orthodox?

The allegation of doctoring the photos might wash if we just had one or two photos and only a second-hand report from a hostile source. This stuff, however, is straight from the horse's mouth.

I have looked through the entire album, repeatedly and very carefully. None of the heterodox clergy appear to be doing anything in the service. Most of them don't even leave their seats. The only ones who do are the RC bishop who delivers the homily at the end, and the female minister, who appears to read something out of the official booklet, standing way to one side, in front of one of the choirs. Otherwise, it's closed mouths all the way - they don't even appear to join in the prayers.

If you had non-Orthodox visitors in your church and they started to follow along with the service, would you tell them to shut up because they were making you guilty of praying with heretics?
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« Reply #159 on: January 31, 2014, 01:35:15 PM »


That's true...we do have many mixed couples...

Many people bring friends and neighbors, etc.
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« Reply #160 on: January 31, 2014, 01:37:56 PM »

Just for those here who don't speak French very well:

"assister à qqch" mean to be present somwhere, not to assist in the English sense.


The English "to assist" would be translated by "aider qqn" or "seconder qqn". In the case of celebrating together, one would say "ils ont concélébré".
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« Reply #161 on: January 31, 2014, 01:39:19 PM »

In fact I am not trying to prove that the speech of the RC archbishop was ok. No, the EO metropolitan invited him to do it, so I consider it to be ok until proven otherwise. If everything a bishop, who also is a trained theologian, does, is under suspicion under proven right, where do we get? No, the burden of proof is on those who claim he is wrong.

If the EO bishop allowed the RC bishop to speak, that's one thing (he also allowed Protestant clergy to speak).  I'm not sure that's the most prudent thing, but it is the kind of disciplinary exception he can make within his diocese subject to the holy canons and the Synod of his Church. 

But while the Protestant ministers speak from one place in the church, the RC bishop clearly speaks from another, and I (and others) contend it is a place reserved for particular people exercising particular roles within the Orthodox Church.  Your response is to ask for proof that the ambo is a restricted area, but you do not account for the difference in treatment.  If all the non-Orthodox spoke from the same place, wherever that was, they would not be the same potential for confusion.  On what basis was the decision made that the RC bishop would be treated differently from other ecumenical guests?  Does that reflect a particular local situation, the attitude of the host bishop, or the official position of his Synod?   

These things confuse people because of the mixed signals they send, and while we may come onto an internet forum and discuss to death why it was OK or not OK, most will not.  They'll just conclude that there's nothing wrong with it, and make their own implications from that going forward.  I've seen the fruit of that in my work: it's much harder to clean up a mess than it is never to have made one.     

Quote
And I still haven't seen any kind of proof that they ambo were reserved to clergy, to be treated similarly as the space behind the iconostasis etc. That's just an unsourced claim and that's it. Even if there was going to be a "proof from rubrics", I would like to see that one argued exactly.

Exactly what would convince you, Gorazd?  What kind of proof, and how much of it, would be enough? 

Quote
To say "It was never done so it's forbidden" is just not enough of an argument. Btw, not everything that was always or usually done is Tradition. By the same logic, the EO church could ban services in English and prescribe Ancient Greek or Church Slavonic to be used exclusively. In fact, the very example of the emperor shows that there is more flexibility in the EO church than some people would want to.

What imperial example are you referring to? 

My argument is not "It was never done so it's forbidden".  My argument is that the restriction of preaching from the ambo to Orthodox deacons, priests, and bishops is a common, hitherto unquestioned, normative discipline throughout what I consider "the Orthodox world": certainly the OO, but also the EO as well (at least in America).  That means it transcends divisions of culture, language, politics, the Chalcedonian schism, and, as far as I can tell, has been respected for centuries.  That itself makes it "tradition".  Moreover, that discipline is rooted in principles of faith from which we may not deviate without some danger. 

If there's no conciliarly ratified canon prohibiting non-Orthodox from speaking from the ambo, it doesn't follow that it's allowed by default as an exercise of economy because the authority of the canons is grounded in the faith of the Church, not merely in the voting power of its "executives".  We don't always have to have a canon to know what is right or wrong.  We have a canon in those instances where there was enough dispute that it required a definite way to apply principles of faith to a particular situation, and that canon, in turn, helps us understand the faith more clearly.  The "canon", the standard, is Christ himself and the Orthodox faith of the Church: the canonical legislation is "canonical" primarily because it reflects this "canon", not because a bunch of bishops voted in favour of it. 

In that spirit, I present you with selections from a document called Guidelines for Clergy Compiled under the Guidance of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America:   

Quote
Orthodox services may be celebrated at which non-Orthodox are present, i.e., Vespers, Service of
Intercession (moleben), etc., but the readings, hymns, and responses must be led by Orthodox
Christians. Non-Orthodox choral groups may not be invited to give the responses or sing the
hymns of the services.
  (p. 22)

Although non-Orthodox clergy may not deliver a sermon in an Orthodox church, they may be
invited to give lectures or presentations in the educational facilities of the church
, In any case, the
diocesan hierarch is to be consulted for his blessing.  (p. 22)

Non-Orthodox clergy present for a liturgical service in an Orthodox church may be afforded a
place of honor in the body of the temple, but not in the sanctuary or on the cleros.  (p. 22)

There are other guidelines throughout the document which confirm the principles on which these are based, but you can read them there, they are not directly relevant to this case.  If you read carefully, you will notice that there are places where these principles are not explicitly laid out, but it would be difficult to maintain that this implies permission. 

As the clergy guidelines of another local Orthodox Church with which you are in communion, its prescriptions may not have the same "legal binding" force on clergy within your jurisdiction as an equivalent document of your jurisdiction would have, but certainly the theological and canonical principles on which they are based are shared in common by all the "canonical" EO Churches?

And this little bit from an encyclical letter On Preaching:

Quote
The Ordained Priesthood

In addition to the responsibility for proclaiming the Word in speech and action which is borne by every member of the Priesthood of Believers, there is that preaching ministry bestowed through the laying-on-of-hands which enables the bishop, and presbyters enabled by him, to speak out in an authoritative way (i.e., “from the Ambo”) before and within the entire community of believers. It bears a unique seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit by whom it is kept pure. It is this authentic teaching, the weapon against Satan, which saves souls from the depths of hell.
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« Reply #162 on: January 31, 2014, 01:51:45 PM »


To be honest....I am rather uncomfortable with anyone, other than Orthodox, preaching from the Ambo.

However, to say it breaks Church Law, or oversteps some Canon, I am not certain of that.
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« Reply #163 on: January 31, 2014, 01:52:02 PM »

Just for those here who don't speak French very well:

"assister à qqch" mean to be present somwhere, not to assist in the English sense.


The English "to assist" would be translated by "aider qqn" or "seconder qqn". In the case of celebrating together, one would say "ils ont concélébré".

The official "Press Release" says what the religious authorities want you to believe. "Official statements" may not be what really happens. I am not saying that they are lying, but they are "spinning" the news.

Having attended two Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Services held at St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral, I can say with confidence that Protestant and Catholic ministers did actively participate in the same way this Brussel's Ecumenical Vespers Service took place. The way the ministers came up to the solea during that ceremony (and not after it), convinces me that they have followed the same Ecumenical Vesper's Service and were actively reading prayers during that Vespers Service, which was changed with additional prayers not normally found at Vespers: Prayers for unity. The prayers at St. Sophia's were modernized so as not to offend the Protestants who were to recite them publicly from the Solea during that Vespers Service.
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« Reply #164 on: January 31, 2014, 01:54:50 PM »


To be honest....I am rather uncomfortable with anyone, other than Orthodox, preaching from the Ambo.

However, to say it breaks Church Law, or oversteps some Canon, I am not certain of that.

I agree with Mor and Liza, I take issue with the absolutism of some others - just to be clear.
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« Reply #165 on: January 31, 2014, 01:57:49 PM »


To be honest....I am rather uncomfortable with anyone, other than Orthodox, preaching from the Ambo.

However, to say it breaks Church Law, or oversteps some Canon, I am not certain of that.

I agree with Mor and Liza, I take issue with the absolutism of some others - just to be clear.

I am largely agreeing with Mor, who makes some very level headed observations, and who is remaining sober and calm, and avoiding emotional labeling of others. With all the emotional labeling going on in this thread, it has detoured into a topic I have been avoiding while others have been commandeering this thread.
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« Reply #166 on: January 31, 2014, 01:59:00 PM »

FYI, Belgium is not in America, and rather hell would freeze over than we'd have to follow OCA guidelines in the EP.


While I will not deny that the OCA has issued such guidelines (and I have no idea if they are still in force), these OCA guidelines seem to me as if they are at least partly written in response to practices in other jurisdictions. For example, having non-Orthodox or mixed choirs sing is a practice well-established in the EP, at least in Europe. The condition for that obviously is following the Orthodox text and not adding the filioque or anything else.

The EP in Finland has many parishes with mixed choirs, so do the parish of the Holy Trinity (Romanian Patriarchate) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and of St. John the Theologian (Bulgarian Patriarchate) in Kevelaer, Germany. The parish of St. Alexander Nevsky (EP) in Stuttgart, Germany, has a non-Orthodox guest choir singing 1-2 times per year.

As for granting the ambo to RC clergy, the only precedent I would consider binding to Metropolitan Athinagoras is that of his own Patriarch, his all-holiness Bartholomew. And I guess it is not a secret that he has let the Roman Pontiff Benedict XVI. read scripture in a Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #167 on: January 31, 2014, 02:04:59 PM »

FYI, Belgium is not in America, and rather hell would freeze over than we'd have to follow OCA guidelines in the EP.


While I will not deny that the OCA has issued such guidelines (and I have no idea if they are still in force), these OCA guidelines seem to me as if they are at least partly written in response to practices in other jurisdictions. For example, having non-Orthodox or mixed choirs sing is a practice well-established in the EP, at least in Europe. The condition for that obviously is following the Orthodox text and not adding the filioque or anything else.

The EP in Finland has many parishes with mixed choirs, so do the parish of the Holy Trinity (Romanian Patriarchate) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and of St. John the Theologian (Bulgarian Patriarchate) in Kevelaer, Germany. The parish of St. Alexander Nevsky (EP) in Stuttgart, Germany, has a non-Orthodox guest choir singing 1-2 times per year.

As for granting the ambo to RC clergy, the only precedent I would consider binding to Metropolitan Athinagoras is that of his own Patriarch, his all-holiness Bartholomew. And I guess it is not a secret that he has let the Roman Pontiff Benedict XVI. read scripture in a Divine Liturgy.

The Retired Bishop of San Francisco and the West, I am speaking about the Right Reverend Bishop Tikhon of the OCA, forbade the clergy and the faithful from participating in any Ecumenical Patriarchial Vespers Services held at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.

I was singing in the Greek Orthodox Choir and was asked to sing at two Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Services, and the choir director was not happy with Bishop Tikhon's decision.
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« Reply #168 on: January 31, 2014, 02:07:08 PM »


To be honest....I am rather uncomfortable with anyone, other than Orthodox, preaching from the Ambo.

However, to say it breaks Church Law, or oversteps some Canon, I am not certain of that.

But this begs the question of the function of "canons" or "canon law" in the Church.  If there's no "law on the books" it does not follow that it is necessarily OK.  Canons come about in response to problems in order to demonstrate wherein the truth lies.  When the truth is not challenged, you don't need a canon because the faith and tradition of the Church are sufficient.  When it is challenged, the canon does not trump the faith, its authority comes from it.  

The last quote I presented, from the OCA's statement on preaching, identifies preaching as a responsibility of the Orthodox episcopate and the priesthood as delegated by the bishops, flowing from the grace of ordination, exercised for the benefit of the Church from within that same Church, protected by the Holy Spirit, combatting Satan, and saving souls from hell.  Did they just make all that up?  Or is it based on Orthodox theological principles?  

And if it is not made up but is thoroughly grounded in Orthodox faith, on what basis can non-Orthodox clerics attempt to exercise the responsibility of preaching within the Church?  As the OO and Old Calendarists are being told in this discussion, they too are not in communion with the "canonical EO", their orders are at best an open question, there's no guarantee that their ministry is anointed by the Spirit, capable of warring against the Evil One, extracting souls from his grasp and introducing them into the kingdom of God.  What then?      
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« Reply #169 on: January 31, 2014, 02:10:19 PM »

FYI, Belgium is not in America, and rather hell would freeze over than we'd have to follow OCA guidelines in the EP.

I already addressed that issue, so there's no need for extra drama. 

Quote
While I will not deny that the OCA has issued such guidelines (and I have no idea if they are still in force), these OCA guidelines seem to me as if they are at least partly written in response to practices in other jurisdictions. For example, having non-Orthodox or mixed choirs sing is a practice well-established in the EP, at least in Europe. The condition for that obviously is following the Orthodox text and not adding the filioque or anything else.

The EP in Finland has many parishes with mixed choirs, so do the parish of the Holy Trinity (Romanian Patriarchate) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and of St. John the Theologian (Bulgarian Patriarchate) in Kevelaer, Germany. The parish of St. Alexander Nevsky (EP) in Stuttgart, Germany, has a non-Orthodox guest choir singing 1-2 times per year.

More smoke and mirrors.  I didn't post what I did to talk about choirs, but to demonstrate Orthodox principles behind issues of canonical discipline. 

Quote
As for granting the ambo to RC clergy, the only precedent I would consider binding to Metropolitan Athinagoras is that of his own Patriarch, his all-holiness Bartholomew. And I guess it is not a secret that he has let the Roman Pontiff Benedict XVI. read scripture in a Divine Liturgy.

OK, so which is it?  Do we need a canon to justify a practice, or is precedent sufficiently binding? 
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« Reply #170 on: January 31, 2014, 02:12:22 PM »

FYI, Belgium is not in America, and rather hell would freeze over than we'd have to follow OCA guidelines in the EP.


While I will not deny that the OCA has issued such guidelines (and I have no idea if they are still in force), these OCA guidelines seem to me as if they are at least partly written in response to practices in other jurisdictions. For example, having non-Orthodox or mixed choirs sing is a practice well-established in the EP, at least in Europe. The condition for that obviously is following the Orthodox text and not adding the filioque or anything else.

The EP in Finland has many parishes with mixed choirs, so do the parish of the Holy Trinity (Romanian Patriarchate) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and of St. John the Theologian (Bulgarian Patriarchate) in Kevelaer, Germany. The parish of St. Alexander Nevsky (EP) in Stuttgart, Germany, has a non-Orthodox guest choir singing 1-2 times per year.

As for granting the ambo to RC clergy, the only precedent I would consider binding to Metropolitan Athinagoras is that of his own Patriarch, his all-holiness Bartholomew. And I guess it is not a secret that he has let the Roman Pontiff Benedict XVI. read scripture in a Divine Liturgy.

The Retired Bishop of San Francisco and the West, I am speaking about the Right Reverend Bishop Tikhon of the OCA, forbade the clergy and the faithful from participating in any Ecumenical Patriarchial Vespers Services held at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.

I was singing in the Greek Orthodox Choir and was asked to sing at two Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Services, and the choir director was not happy with Bishop Tikhon's decision.

Source? That doesn't sound likely at all.
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« Reply #171 on: January 31, 2014, 02:14:02 PM »

FYI, Belgium is not in America, and rather hell would freeze over than we'd have to follow OCA guidelines in the EP.


While I will not deny that the OCA has issued such guidelines (and I have no idea if they are still in force), these OCA guidelines seem to me as if they are at least partly written in response to practices in other jurisdictions. For example, having non-Orthodox or mixed choirs sing is a practice well-established in the EP, at least in Europe. The condition for that obviously is following the Orthodox text and not adding the filioque or anything else.

The EP in Finland has many parishes with mixed choirs, so do the parish of the Holy Trinity (Romanian Patriarchate) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and of St. John the Theologian (Bulgarian Patriarchate) in Kevelaer, Germany. The parish of St. Alexander Nevsky (EP) in Stuttgart, Germany, has a non-Orthodox guest choir singing 1-2 times per year.

As for granting the ambo to RC clergy, the only precedent I would consider binding to Metropolitan Athinagoras is that of his own Patriarch, his all-holiness Bartholomew. And I guess it is not a secret that he has let the Roman Pontiff Benedict XVI. read scripture in a Divine Liturgy.

The Retired Bishop of San Francisco and the West, I am speaking about the Right Reverend Bishop Tikhon of the OCA, forbade the clergy and the faithful from participating in any Ecumenical Patriarchial Vespers Services held at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.

I was singing in the Greek Orthodox Choir and was asked to sing at two Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Services, and the choir director was not happy with Bishop Tikhon's decision.

Source? That doesn't sound likely at all.

You can go over to Monomakhos, if you dare, and ask the good bishop there. He will agree. Perhaps he can scan his letter as I do not have a copy, and was not sent a copy. My priest had one.

I might add, that after Bishop Tikhon went to his mother's Protestant funeral, he publicly announced that he had gone to confession just in case he had caused scandal by entering a Protestant church.
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« Reply #172 on: January 31, 2014, 02:22:05 PM »

OK, so which is it?  Do we need a canon to justify a practice, or is precedent sufficiently binding? 

The strange thing is: You only seem to count precedent that speaks in favour of your position. Why would not the precedent of the Patriarch be binding, or the precent of the parishes with mixed choirs I mentioned, from three different patriarchates?

Generally speaking: I respect the rights of Bishops to decide about such matters for their dioceses. Even if there was a canon that said otherwise, the bishop can still apply ikonomia, and the Holy Synod of his autocephalous church will correct him, if necessary.

In fact, all these legalistic obsessions are inherently foreign to Orthodoxy. We are under grace, after all.
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« Reply #173 on: January 31, 2014, 02:28:40 PM »

OK, so which is it?  Do we need a canon to justify a practice, or is precedent sufficiently binding? 

The strange thing is: You only seem to count precedent that speaks in favour of your position. Why would not the precedent of the Patriarch be binding, or the precent of the parishes with mixed choirs I mentioned, from three different patriarchates?

What is my position, Gorazd?

Quote
Generally speaking: I respect the rights of Bishops to decide about such matters for their dioceses. Even if there was a canon that said otherwise, the bishop can still apply ikonomia, and the Holy Synod of his autocephalous church will correct him, if necessary.

In fact, all these legalistic obsessions are inherently foreign to Orthodoxy. We are under grace, after all.

Why stop there? 

"By grace you have been saved through faith."

"The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
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« Reply #174 on: January 31, 2014, 02:39:06 PM »

What is my position, Gorazd?
I am asking you: If you talk about precedent, does that include the examples I mentioned. If not, why not?

"By grace you have been saved through faith."

"The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
What do you mean by that exactly?
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« Reply #175 on: January 31, 2014, 05:09:05 PM »

What is my position, Gorazd?
I am asking you: If you talk about precedent, does that include the examples I mentioned. If not, why not?

Gorazd,

I asked you what my position was because I'm not convinced you actually understand it: I think you are arguing against what you think I'm saying versus what I'm actually saying.  So I would appreciate an answer to my question. 

I have no problem answering the question you posed about precedent (in fact, my answer is implicit in my posts throughout this thread), but if we're going to be arguing against straw men and changing the topic of discussion based on your whim, I'd rather not waste our time. 

Quote
"By grace you have been saved through faith."

"The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
What do you mean by that exactly?

To argue against "legalistic obsessions" in Orthodoxy and in support of the ability of bishops to apply economy in favour of X even if/when a canon explicitly prohibits X, you paraphrased a Scriptural passage about "grace".  Never mind that you ripped it out of context (we're not talking about the Mosaic Law in this thread), that's beside the point: in Orthodoxy, "grace" is linked to "faith" and "truth", not opposed to them.   
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« Reply #176 on: January 31, 2014, 05:32:14 PM »

Just for those here who don't speak French very well:

"assister à qqch" mean to be present somwhere, not to assist in the English sense.


The English "to assist" would be translated by "aider qqn" or "seconder qqn". In the case of celebrating together, one would say "ils ont concélébré".

The official "Press Release" says what the religious authorities want you to believe. "Official statements" may not be what really happens. I am not saying that they are lying, but they are "spinning" the news.
Even that is quite a hefty allegation to be throwing around without proof.

Having attended two Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Services held at St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral, I can say with confidence that Protestant and Catholic ministers did actively participate in the same way this Brussel's Ecumenical Vespers Service took place.
No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.

The way the ministers came up to the solea during that ceremony (and not after it), convinces me that they have followed the same Ecumenical Vesper's Service and were actively reading prayers during that Vespers Service, which was changed with additional prayers not normally found at Vespers: Prayers for unity. The prayers at St. Sophia's were modernized so as not to offend the Protestants who were to recite them publicly from the Solea during that Vespers Service.
That's a hasty generalization, Maria, as I have explained above.
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« Reply #177 on: January 31, 2014, 05:34:48 PM »

FYI, Belgium is not in America, and rather hell would freeze over than we'd have to follow OCA guidelines in the EP.


While I will not deny that the OCA has issued such guidelines (and I have no idea if they are still in force), these OCA guidelines seem to me as if they are at least partly written in response to practices in other jurisdictions. For example, having non-Orthodox or mixed choirs sing is a practice well-established in the EP, at least in Europe. The condition for that obviously is following the Orthodox text and not adding the filioque or anything else.

The EP in Finland has many parishes with mixed choirs, so do the parish of the Holy Trinity (Romanian Patriarchate) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and of St. John the Theologian (Bulgarian Patriarchate) in Kevelaer, Germany. The parish of St. Alexander Nevsky (EP) in Stuttgart, Germany, has a non-Orthodox guest choir singing 1-2 times per year.

As for granting the ambo to RC clergy, the only precedent I would consider binding to Metropolitan Athinagoras is that of his own Patriarch, his all-holiness Bartholomew. And I guess it is not a secret that he has let the Roman Pontiff Benedict XVI. read scripture in a Divine Liturgy.

The Retired Bishop of San Francisco and the West, I am speaking about the Right Reverend Bishop Tikhon of the OCA, forbade the clergy and the faithful from participating in any Ecumenical Patriarchial Vespers Services held at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.

I was singing in the Greek Orthodox Choir and was asked to sing at two Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Services, and the choir director was not happy with Bishop Tikhon's decision.

Source? That doesn't sound likely at all.

You can go over to Monomakhos, if you dare, and ask the good bishop there. He will agree. Perhaps he can scan his letter as I do not have a copy, and was not sent a copy. My priest had one.

I might add, that after Bishop Tikhon went to his mother's Protestant funeral, he publicly announced that he had gone to confession just in case he had caused scandal by entering a Protestant church.
What you say about Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) is actually consistent with my personal experience as a member of the diocese he once ruled.
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« Reply #178 on: January 31, 2014, 05:36:57 PM »

I understand your position to be that established liturgical practice must be followed even if there is no canon about it. (And that does seem to me like "stare decisis" in common law.)
Do I understand you correctly? If not, what else did you mean?


To argue against "legalistic obsessions" in Orthodoxy and in support of the ability of bishops to apply economy in favour of X even if/when a canon explicitly prohibits X, you paraphrased a Scriptural passage about "grace".  Never mind that you ripped it out of context (we're not talking about the Mosaic Law in this thread), that's beside the point: in Orthodoxy, "grace" is linked to "faith" and "truth", not opposed to them.   
I did mean that we must in fact be careful that the canons don't become a new law in the Mosaic sense, i.e. one our salvation depends on. Because that is what our Old Calendarists seem to think: One canonical regulation is not followed, and we're a "sinking ship" with "false bishops".

Canons are guidelines for Church practice but ikonomia does in fact enable a bishop to act otherwise.
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« Reply #179 on: January 31, 2014, 05:45:27 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.

The two Patriarchial Ecumenical Greek and English Vespers Services that I attended were identical. Thus, I have every reason to believe that the Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Service in Brussels other than being in Greek and in the vernacular language is almost the same service.
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« Reply #180 on: January 31, 2014, 05:48:27 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.
No. Oranges and oranges.

The two Patriarchial Ecumenical Greek and English Vespers Services that I attended were identical. Thus, I have every reason to believe that the Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Service in Brussels other than being in Greek and in the vernacular language is almost the same service.
No, you do not, Maria, for you were not at the service in Brussels. You do not know what went on there.
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« Reply #181 on: January 31, 2014, 06:09:46 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.
No. Oranges and oranges.

I ask for forgiveness in advance, but I simply cannot resist.

http://youtu.be/ZrXGnwhZ58c
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« Reply #182 on: January 31, 2014, 06:12:05 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.
No. Oranges and oranges.

The two Patriarchial Ecumenical Greek and English Vespers Services that I attended were identical. Thus, I have every reason to believe that the Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers Service in Brussels other than being in Greek and in the vernacular language is almost the same service.
No, you do not, Maria, for you were not at the service in Brussels. You do not know what went on there.

Since the Orthodox Christian Church follows certain traditions, and since this was a PATRIARCHIAL ECUMENICAL VESPERS service, the likelihood of any deviation is slim. Except for different feast days and the resulting different troparia and readings, these Vespers service would be very similar following the Greek custom.

I have served as a Greek chanter, so I know how to prepare for these Vespers services.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 06:13:58 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #183 on: January 31, 2014, 06:15:15 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.
No. Oranges and oranges.

I ask for forgiveness in advance, but I simply cannot resist.

http://youtu.be/ZrXGnwhZ58c


I beg your pardon, but I will not indulge.
You are on my ignore list.
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« Reply #184 on: January 31, 2014, 06:17:29 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.
No. Oranges and oranges.

I ask for forgiveness in advance, but I simply cannot resist.

http://youtu.be/ZrXGnwhZ58c


I beg your pardon, but I will not indulge.
You are on my ignore list.


It's not a very good list if you answer me just to tell me you are ignoring me.  That's a 5 year old type of ignoring.   Adults just don't speak to people when they don't want to.

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« Reply #185 on: January 31, 2014, 06:23:02 PM »

These were not Patriarchal vespers in Belgium, the Patriarch was not present. The responsibility was with the metropolitan, who was present and presiding.

(As for LA, again, I have no idea what happened there.)
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« Reply #186 on: January 31, 2014, 06:23:18 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.
No. Oranges and oranges.

I ask for forgiveness in advance, but I simply cannot resist.

http://youtu.be/ZrXGnwhZ58c


Obviously part of a Hellenic plot to take over the world, one bottle of Windex at a time..... Wink
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« Reply #187 on: January 31, 2014, 06:24:52 PM »


No, you cannot, Maria. Just because you've actually seen people do something in one location does not mean that some other people did exactly the same thing in another location. You cannot accuse me of robbing a bank in Portland, OR, just because you saw an Orthodox Christian man rob a bank in L.A.
Apples and oranges.
No. Oranges and oranges.

I ask for forgiveness in advance, but I simply cannot resist.

http://youtu.be/ZrXGnwhZ58c


Obviously part of a Hellenic plot to take over the world, one bottle of Windex at a time..... Wink


Maybe we can just spray the Ambo with it.....
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« Reply #188 on: January 31, 2014, 06:36:00 PM »


I ask for forgiveness in advance, but I simply cannot resist.

http://youtu.be/ZrXGnwhZ58c


Obviously part of a Hellenic plot to take over the world, one bottle of Windex at a time..... Wink


Maybe we can just spray the Ambo with it.....

Great idea! That'll get rid of those nasty ecumenistic germs ....  laugh
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 06:37:00 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #189 on: January 31, 2014, 07:18:56 PM »

I understand your position to be that established liturgical practice must be followed even if there is no canon about it. (And that does seem to me like "stare decisis" in common law.)
Do I understand you correctly? If not, what else did you mean?

I don't know enough about civil law to say anything about "stare decisis", but basically yes, established liturgical practice must be followed even if there is no canon.  In a sense, it has "the force of law".  But more than that, established liturgical practice has dogmatic significance in the Orthodox Church because liturgy itself has such significance--the liturgy itself is, in a sense, canonical (cf. St Basil, De Spiritu Sancto, 27) and a source of our theology.  

Economy (by definition a derogation from the standard) may be applied in certain situations, but not just for any reason at all.  Even when it is applied, it does not "overturn" the law because the "law" itself is rooted in principles of faith.  

Now...

OK, so which is it?  Do we need a canon to justify a practice, or is precedent sufficiently binding?  

The strange thing is: You only seem to count precedent that speaks in favour of your position. Why would not the precedent of the Patriarch be binding, or the precent of the parishes with mixed choirs I mentioned, from three different patriarchates?

Since economy doesn't represent a change in the law anymore than it implies a change in the faith which undergirds it, "precedent", like "economy", has to harmonise with the rest of the tradition in order for it to be legitimate.  It's not simply a matter of saying "Well, Patriarch X has done Y a few times, so it must be OK".  In deciding if/how to apply economy in a particular situation within his diocese, a Metropolitan may look to the precedent set by his Patriarch (naturally), but that alone doesn't absolve him of responsibility to consider the matter for himself in the context of the entire tradition of the Church.  That's why I have a problem with a comment you made earlier:

"...the only precedent I would consider binding to Metropolitan Athinagoras is that of his own Patriarch, his all-holiness Bartholomew."

In terms of the responsible exercise of his episcopal ministry within his local Church as its father and shepherd, as a point of unity within the local Church, and as the one through whom its communion with all the other local Churches is maintained, the local bishop cannot limit himself merely to the precedent set by his own primate.  He is ordained for the service of the Church, not for service to a particular patriarch.  Usually, such a limited focus is only useful for avoiding trouble, currying favour, and other "short term" benefits.  It may, but does not necessarily, harmonise with the received tradition.  

Quote
To argue against "legalistic obsessions" in Orthodoxy and in support of the ability of bishops to apply economy in favour of X even if/when a canon explicitly prohibits X, you paraphrased a Scriptural passage about "grace".  Never mind that you ripped it out of context (we're not talking about the Mosaic Law in this thread), that's beside the point: in Orthodoxy, "grace" is linked to "faith" and "truth", not opposed to them.    
I did mean that we must in fact be careful that the canons don't become a new law in the Mosaic sense, i.e. one our salvation depends on. Because that is what our Old Calendarists seem to think: One canonical regulation is not followed, and we're a "sinking ship" with "false bishops".

It's not my place to defend "your Old Calendarists", but my own discussions with them lead me to believe that this is a convenient caricature.  Sure, there are people among them who believe such ridiculous things, but such people are found even in the "canonical Church".  When I speak with them, the sense I get is that it's not the violation of one canonical regulation which makes a Church a "sinking ship with false bishops", but rather the repeated violation and dismissal as irrelevant of many canonical principles when, even within living memory, it was not always so.  You and they can argue over all that until the Parousia, but theirs is a more nuanced conviction than you are willing to admit.  

Quote
Canons are guidelines for Church practice but ikonomia does in fact enable a bishop to act otherwise.

If that statement, as you've worded it, is understood properly, it's fine (and I've said as much).  
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 07:22:43 PM by Mor Ephrem » Logged

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« Reply #190 on: January 31, 2014, 07:19:51 PM »

I ask for forgiveness in advance, but I simply cannot resist.

http://youtu.be/ZrXGnwhZ58c


Obviously part of a Hellenic plot to take over the world, one bottle of Windex at a time..... Wink


Maybe we can just spray the Ambo with it.....

 Wink
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« Reply #191 on: January 31, 2014, 07:31:11 PM »

Mor Ephrem,

I was speaking about common law, which has stare decisis, not civil law, which has jurisprudence constante.

But back to the Brussels ecumenical event: First of all, there was no liturgy. Second, even if you use the term liturgy to include vespers, those were unaltered and celebrated by Orthodox clergy. Only after their completion did non-Orthodox address the people present.

How, for Pete's sake, does something that happens after vespers break liturgical tradition That just so fails to get into my head.
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« Reply #192 on: January 31, 2014, 07:36:23 PM »

But back to the Brussels ecumenical event: First of all, there was no liturgy. Second, even if you use the term liturgy to include vespers, those were unaltered and celebrated by Orthodox clergy. Only after their completion did non-Orthodox address the people present.
I don't think you have any way to claim this absolutely.

Quote
How, for Pete's sake, does something that happens after vespers break liturgical tradition That just so fails to get into my head.
I have no idea how Mor's posts are hard at all to understand.
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« Reply #193 on: January 31, 2014, 07:51:06 PM »

Personally I feel it's not a good idea to pay too much attention to these things. In the past, information could not spread in the way that it does today. People were not aware of some possibly problematic events going on halfway around the world. I have to wonder just how much strange stuff went on in parishes in the past, when those who knew of it were limited to just the people present when it occurred, and news of it couldn't spread to the ends of the earth overnight. Being able to see all of these things the way we can today may create a distorted view of the state of the Church for some people. It's an unprecedented state, and you can end up worrying too much about things far away than caring for things close to you. I think that Roman Catholics are running into this problem as well, with the media surrounding the Pope. In the past people did not know everything that the Pope did or said on a daily basis and now that we do it is causing trouble for many people. Don't worry too much about these controversies and pay attention to your own salvation. Don't allow yourself to be scandalized. I'm not trying to stifle discussion or anything, though. Just throwing my opinion out there.
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« Reply #194 on: January 31, 2014, 08:01:56 PM »


How, for Pete's sake, does something that happens after vespers break liturgical tradition That just so fails to get into my head.

The whole idea of an Patriarchial Ecumenical Vespers is novel and something new introduced during the 20th century; worse is having the participation of Protestant and Catholic ministers during that Vespers Service when we should not be praying with heretics at all.

Here is the deacon incensing during that Vespers' service:



Below is a Protestant Minister reading a prayer/scripture from his booklet during Vespers following soon after that deacon.



Here is the Deacon incensing, which follows that prayer from the Protestant Minister during Vespers



Here is another shot of the Deacon incensing. This time he faces the Metropolitan. And this is obviously still during Vespers. The service has not yet ended, and yet several Protestant Ministers have said prayers or readings.



Here is the Metropolitan during said Vespers:



Here are some Catholic clergy clearly following along in their booklets during said Vespers.



Here is another heterodox minister (probably Catholic or Anglican) reading from the Bible or saying one of the appointed prayers at this Vespers' service.



Here is that female Minister also reading an appointed prayer from Vespers.



Here is the Catholic Prelate addressing the congregation from the Ambo.



Here is a picture of the Metropolitan still at his throne presiding during Vespers:



And here is the deacon leading a concluding prayer from Vespers. Notice his orarion held high?



And here is the conclusion of Vespers



With the blessing of the Metropolitan concluding it:



More concluding prayers from the parish priest:



And