Author Topic: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014  (Read 28267 times)

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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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?
I reject all that I wrote that isn't in accordance with the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Also, my posts reflect my opinions (present or former) and nothing else.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 12:09:43 PM by Jonathan Gress »

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 12:10:10 PM by LizaSymonenko »
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Gorazd

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« Reply #146 on: January 31, 2014, 12:10:37 PM »

What was the occasion?
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline Gorazd

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 12:30:29 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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?

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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?

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Arachne

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Gorazd

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:01:11 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 01:59:35 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:01:27 PM by Gorazd »

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:06:30 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:39:13 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.

Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014
« 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.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 05:45:49 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.