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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.