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Author Topic: The Appearance of the Holy Theotokos  (Read 4165 times) Average Rating: 0
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SetFree
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« on: May 07, 2005, 09:01:23 PM »

I know, since many of you are Coptic Orthodox, you have seen these pictures and heard the stories of the miraculous appearance of the Holy Theotokos at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Zeitoun, but, for those who haven't:

www.nacopticarchdiocese.org

The pictures are amazing and I am envious of those who witnessed the miracle.  What are your feelings on the miracle, all you who are Oriental Orthodox???

Personally, just the pictures evoke awe and I came to tears the first time I saw them.
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2005, 03:32:03 AM »

Quote
What are your feelings on the miracle, all you who are Oriental Orthodox???
Cannot be described. I was born about 10 years after the holy apparition of the Theotokos, the Lady of us all, yet the documented stories of miracles, healing, conversions, change of persons and other amazing testimonies are a never ending source of blessings. My close relatives saw her in 1968. Whenever the first sign of her apparition each night would begin, manifested in lights and doves, the chanting of songs and glorification hymns would begin in and outside the tiny Zeitoun church (at the time). In average 10,000 people would, in one voice, in a strong hold of islamic fanatics, chant hymns and songs. WHen the Lady appeared, emotions could not be contained. My relative could not describe it, yet I can relate. Peace, being full of grace, courage, love for the Lord, ..... mixed feelings.

Yet, it is an event among a series of monumental events in the history of the persecuted Coptic Orthodox Church. It was not the first time the Theotokos appeared, or any of the angels or saints. This is quite common in our church. Yet this event needs special attention for many reasons. It was a year long event, the Theotokos would appear for each and every night with many signs that sent by the Lord to honor His Holy Mother. The event was so big that it could not even be denied by the local newpaper, who never mention anything uplifting about the persecuted Copts. This time it was too big to deny. The apparition came at a time when a new wave of persecution was starting, and it gave a great support to the Coptic nation to pass these troubles that lasted till now.

The relation between the Theotokos and the Copts can be dated back since Egypt offered refuge to the Lord and the Holy Family. The holy sites that they visited are still in Egypt. It was a Copt (St.Cyril) who defended the title of the Theotokos, and the Coptic nation assisted in the effort by numerous glorification songs for the Lord and His Mother, confirming the divinity of Christ that was denied by Nestorius, Diodore, Theodore, Theodret, Ibas and other heretics.

It seems that the Theotokos therefore intercedes on the behalf of the Copts, who defended the divinity of the Son and her title, at all times. In the 10th century, in the most difficult crises under the islamic rule that faced the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Holy Virgin appeared to Pope St.Abraham and told him about an unknown saints (St.Samaan the Tenner). The latter would move the Mukatam mountain as requested by the Khalif EL-Muez, the great Fatimite Khalif, who thought at the time to trap the Church by verifying the scripture or the whole Coptic Nation would be exterminated. It was moved by the prayers of Pope Abraham, the humility of St.Samaan the Tenner and before all, the intercession of the Theotokos. The Khalif became a monk, his body is in the monastery of Muharak in Egypt, and the Coptic Orthodox Church was saved.

During the Abbasids rule of Egypt, another miracle saved about 600 churches from demolition and destruction. We can go on and on.

We were blessed to defend the Theotokos against the whole heretical churches, and by that defend the divinity of Christ, and we have been blessed by the amazing love of the Theotokos in her apparitions.
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 01:46:13 AM »


We can go on and on.
 

So can the Papal Catholics. Does that legitimise their erroneous doctrines?

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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 02:25:26 AM »



So can the Papal Catholics. Does that legitimise their erroneous doctrines?

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!
John.
What are the erroneous doctrines that the Papal Catholics believe in and how do they resemble the COptic Church position on the apparitions ?
WHat are the views of EO on apparitions? Do they suffer from absence of any miracles and apparitions as evident from their quick dismissal of them ?

The comment is also erroneous in nature and did prove nothing, nor does it add anything.

You might say that you do not believe in apparitions to begin with, and so do muslims. You might say that I believe in them, but because you think OO are not christians it cannot happen outside the EO church, and then you have to prove where we went wrong. Again, all the EO thesis is about : You are not Orthodox because we said so, a statement that is very erroneous. Or you can deny the facts that have been reported by many sources and many history books, and as such, there is no basis for discussion at all if you are gonna deny everything because , again, "You say so" ....

To conclude:
Echristos Aftonf ! Christ is risen !

With all my love and respect.

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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 04:07:10 AM »

Prodromos,

Quote
So can the Papal Catholics. Does that legitimise their erroneous doctrines?

Why do you feel the need to be a party pooper?

We don’t need apparitions to legitimize our Orthodox doctrines; we have the historical documents of St Cyril and St Athanasius to do that for us. The apparition in Zeitoun was just a sign from the Holy Virigin St Mary that she is with the Coptic church (the church responsible for her universal veneration as the Theotokos) as she has always been throughout our continual persecution in her Sons name, in the days of old and recent; by the Pagans, Islamics, and yes even by the Chalcedonians. Does this upset or offend you?

(Oh, and if I have misinterpreted your intentions, that is your own fault for not clarifying them in advance - I only reasonably interpreted what is obviously implicit)

Peace.
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2005, 05:23:01 AM »

Eastern Orthodox do not reject apparitions of the Most Holy Theotokos. There have been apparitions of the Theotokos at Mt. Athos and at least one in Russia that I know of (Pochaev Monastery sometime in the 1600's)
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2005, 07:30:48 AM »

I know that SetFree addressed his question only to the Ortiental Orthodox, but my Father witnessed the Zeitun phenomena (Greek Orthodox under the Patriarchate of Alexandria).
The main difference I see with this and othersimilar phenomena is a distinct lack of pushing any doctrine- just a silent presence.
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2005, 07:52:16 AM »

Well ozgeorge, assuming she had spoken for arguments sake the question is, what Coptic Orthodox doctrine could the Holy Virgin possibly push forward or affirm, that would offend or cause an Eastern Orthodox believer to cast doubt on her apparition?

The unity of the Incarnate Christ? The One nature of God the Logos Incarnate? The fact that the two distinct natures constituting the One nature of God the Logos Incarnate are not two centers of action acting in and of themselves, but rather the person/hypostasis being the very centre of action acts according to the natures that constitute it?

P.S. Out of sheer curiosity, did your father believe that it was truly St Mary hovering above the church, saluting the people, venerating the Cross on the dome, opening the eyes of Islamic pagans to the truth of Christ, giving hope to the persecuted Copts, healing their sick, and strengthening their faithful?

Peace.
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2005, 08:34:08 AM »

Dear in Christ EkhristosAnesti,
Yes, my father believed it was the Theotokos.
There is no argument dear friend...She said nothing......I would never presume to speak for her. Would you?
Would you like to see a photograph of the Theotokos taken in the Holy Monastery of Panteleimon in 1903? Again her presence was silent. If she spoke, would she have insisted that Christ is One Hypostasis in two Natures? Again, the question is moot...She said nothing.
St. Paul was visited by Christ while still a Jew, St Constantine the Great saw the Cross while still a pagan. No one can claim a vision of a Heavenly being to be Divine confirmation of their particular beliefs.
The reason I brought up the issue of "doctrine pushing" apparitions is because I see Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugore etc. as such; as I have said on another thread, (and therefore I strongly suspect prelest), and I suspect that this is what prodromos may have been suggesting also. Whereas there is no reason to suspect prelest on the basis of "dogma pushing" in the case of Zeitun, particularly when it was witnessed by so manny and photographed as well.
If it was the Theotokos appearing at Zeitun, the fact remains, she said nothing. Neither the Eastern nor Oriental Orthodox have any right to put words in her mouth.

George
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2005, 08:40:11 AM »

So can the Papal Catholics. Does that legitimise their erroneous doctrines?

I honestly see no reason why this thread elicits this comment.  I didn't see anything in Stavro's post which attacked EOxy in any way, and I'm not the only one to have that observation.  I always thought OO were more prone to getting insecure on internet fora for obvious reasons, but I suppose I can be wrong.  The apparitions in question, as someone correctly noted, had no "message"; why can't people just take that for what it's worth?  I cannot see why someone saying they encouraged a Church persecuted in its homeland causes others to think about heresy, unless, contrary to one claim made in some heated arguments that went on earlier in this site's history, some people cannot separate individuals from the "heresy", and so, to them, "supporting" one necessarily means "supporting" the other.  Ridiculous.  I suppose, in the same vein, and in the name of including everyone, I could paraphrase the above and say "So can the Byzantine Orthodox.  Does that legitimate their erroneous doctrines?"  Then again, there's no reason to make such a comment, and not because of any question of their doctrine (I don't think they are heterodox), but because that question in this context is irrelevant.       
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2005, 08:41:00 AM »

This is supposed to be a place of non-polemics. This thread was for Oriental Orthodox to express their feelings about the apparitions, not a place for EO to come and attack it. I will report to the moderators if this doesn't stop. Geez, this was a place to express awe and emotion over the appearance of the Blessed Virgin. Can you people not stop the arguing for even two seconds??? If you don't have anything edifying to share in this thread, then do me a favor, and STAY OFF IT. (I am talking to EO here who decided to start this stuff in the first place.)
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2005, 08:41:45 AM »


Why do you feel the need to be a party pooper?


Stavros' post was sounding a tad triumphalistic (is that a word Smiley ) and I felt the need to put it in perspective.

Quote

We don’t need apparitions to legitimize our Orthodox doctrines


This is the view I take also.

John.
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2005, 08:43:31 AM »

Stavros' post was sounding a tad triumphalistic (is that a word Smiley ) and I felt the need to put it in perspective.

In what sense?  I didn't interpret it as "triumphalism", but "pride"--the two have different connotations to me.  Anyway, if he was being triumphalistic towards anyone, it was towards Nestorius... 
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2005, 08:56:19 AM »

I must apologise. I've read through Stavros' post again and don't get at all the same impression I got the first time I read it. I am a bit bewildered and embarrassed by this as I'm at a loss as to how I read it in the way I did.

Please forgive my foolishness.
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2005, 09:04:23 AM »

Dear ozgeorge,

I wasn’t trying to put words into the Theotokos’ mouth, but rather was simply bringing up a set of hypothetical questions intended to make an implicit point; namely, that unlike other certain alleged apparitions in which the figure vocally confirms heretical doctrines (such as the Immaculate conception) there is no doctrine that the Coptic church exclusively adheres to apart from the Eastern Orthodox church, such that even if St Mary were to speak and affirm any of the doctrines of the Coptic Orthodox church - I would see no valid reason why an Eastern Orthodox believer would want to doubt the apparition based on that .

Although I was indeed responding to you, I guess the nature of my response was still influenced and related to that of Prodromos, who seemed to make implicit the points that a) we hold onto erroneous doctrine and b) we are using the apparition to substantiate an erroneous doctrine, so forgive me if i sounded argumentative - I have a low tolerance level with people of that attitude. May God forgive me, and teach me patience and humbleness.

Thank you for the link to the photo of St Mary at Panteleimon; may the Theotokos continue to shine and bless the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Church’s with her presence and intercessions always.

Peace.
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2005, 11:01:19 AM »

As a Copt, I can only say that I am touched, and can't help but feel proud, that the blessed Theotokos visited Zeitun as she had.  I can only imagine that she may have a special place in her heart for the natives of the land of Egypt, as our forefathers and mothers provided the Holy Family a place of refuge.  My father knew some Muslims from his youth that would ask about the date of the fast of the Holy Virgin so that they may share with the Copts. 

Since I am but a youth born in the States and not in the fatherland, I can only share in the Theotokia and chant saying, "Shere ne Maria, eponof eni genea," or "Hail to you Mary, the joy of all generations."  (Some Coptic chant uses Greek, hence you might recognize "genea" as "generation.")
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2005, 06:15:10 PM »

so forgive me if i sounded argumentative

There is nothing to forgive. I think the concilliatory nature of your and prodromos' last posts also bear witness to the truth of the Zeitun appearance of the Theotokos- "By their fruits you shall know them."

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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2005, 06:50:35 PM »

I used to think that only Roman-Catholics believed in massive miracles, massive liturgies, massive salvation, massive Theotocophania, massive Theophania.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Coptic Orthodox do have such a faith too.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed".
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2005, 10:49:21 PM »

I have seen the Zeitun website and we discussed the images at home with my young daughter.. we were all of course amazed and it was wonderful... My daughter had me print out the pictures and decided right then and there to sing on Pascha eve in the church... she is only nine years old.   So it clearly had an positive effect on her... As for me, I have seen the weeping icon of the Theotokos at St. Paul's Cathedral on LI, years ago... I was very young and still remember it  vividly and the effect it had on me then and now still... Zeitun brings back the same feeling...

There are numerous mysteria events - some apparitions, some icons crying, and also, bleeding Eucharist... going back to pre-schism days.  Perhaps this is the most blessed of all, it says nothing, but speaks volumes....and has happened  in a pre-schism monastery and also more recently,a  RC host  during the consecration.
 

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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2005, 11:01:17 PM »

The Copts have about as much "Theotokomania" as the Byzantines.  They just happened to have apparitions of Mary, witnessed by thousands of different faiths, on top of one of their churches, and they feel blessed for it.  I don't know what "massive Theophania" or "massive salvation" are supposed to be.  And, for massive liturgies, please see the Eastern Orthodox:

http://www.oca.org/PHOTOindex.asp?SID=11

In particular, please search out the galleries of H.B. the Metropolitan's visits to Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia. 

Blessed indeed are they who do not see, and yet believe...but your Church also is replete with miracles for those among you who need to see.   
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2005, 12:38:25 PM »

I concur with my Malankara brother Mor Ephrem.

Kizzy, that must have been a wonderful moment with your daughter. I thought it was beautiful personally.

May the Lord preserve the life and standing of our honored father Papa Abba Shenouda III, and his brothers in the Apostolic service the patriarchs of Antioch, Armenia, Malankara, Ethiopia, and Eriteria.
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2005, 04:37:07 PM »

As Orthodox Info would contend, the apparitions were nothing more than a UFO sighting. But then again, they'd probably denounce any apparition above a "monophysite" church.
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2005, 03:26:40 AM »

+PiKhristos aftonf! Khristos anesti! Al Maseeh qam! Christ is risen!+

One of the amazing things about this miracle - apart from the very fact of it happening - is how many people saw her, and the measures that even the government took to discover whether it was fake or not. The entire district's electricity was unplugged to help the Muslims be sure that we were not putting on an exceptionally good light show!

Many Catholics actually turned toward the Orthodox Church following this, as did some of the Protestants. Muslims were awed by it, to the extent that our Muslim housekeeper in Egypt bought for herself and my aunt an icon of "our Lad the Virgin".

May she continue to pray and intercede on our behalf, that He may have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2005, 05:27:26 AM »

This is supposed to be a place of non-polemics. This thread was for Oriental Orthodox to express their feelings about the apparitions, not a place for EO to come and attack it. I will report to the moderators if this doesn't stop. Geez, this was a place to express awe and emotion over the appearance of the Blessed Virgin. Can you people not stop the arguing for even two seconds??? If you don't have anything edifying to share in this thread, then do me a favor, and STAY OFF IT. (I am talking to EO here who decided to start this stuff in the first place.)

I have two words for you...THANK YOU!
I agree, I came to this site to find peace as well as the same love in God and all I find is judgment on the faiths of other Christians and Muslims; Arguments about everything; and talks about other Orthodox faiths...please please...could I find a sight without hatred and judgement...In Christ, Hadel
Ps: I love all apparitions that is truly from God; dispute all you want from both Catholics and Orthodox...God and Our Blessed Mother comes to all faiths and race!
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2005, 10:16:32 PM »

As Orthodox Info would contend, the apparitions were nothing more than a UFO sighting. But then again, they'd probably denounce any apparition above a "monophysite" church.

Does OrthodoxInfo really deny the validity of St. Mary's apparition at Zeitoun?HuhHuh? Please tell me you were just exaggerating.

God Bless,
Elizabeth
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« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2005, 10:32:20 PM »

Yes, Elizabeth. They blasphemously compare it to alledged UFO sightings.

Don't you worry about the Nazi's at orthodox.mis-info.com. Their claims cannot be defended. One of their cheerleaders, a member of this forum known as Sabbas, was unable to defend his parroted claims against the apparition or the validity of our Orthodoxy in general, and hence his non-response to my final destruction of his claims over here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,5867.msg78875.html#msg78875

Don't worry about them, they are weak. We don't need intellectual analysis to validate Zeitoun, all of us Copts have experienced the reality of it in one way or another. Just read over Isaiah 19 to remind yourself of the blessings prophesied for the Copts.

Peace.
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« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2005, 11:29:26 PM »

Yes, Elizabeth. They blasphemously compare it to alledged UFO sightings.




EA, can you provide the source for this statement? My perception was that it was accepted.  I know the RC church accepts it (they publish a list).   
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« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2005, 11:31:18 PM »

That is just sad.

I mean even our Catholic brothers and sisters recognize the validity of that apparition. Wait, who am I kidding, even some Muslims recognize it!!!

I mean if you stop and think about that apparition, there is no way it is invalid. St. Mary appeared for about 3 years straight, every single night, in a country that is predominatly Muslim, and a country that is known for persecuting Christians. So you would think that they would be able to prove it as a hoax after three years. But, the fact is that they couldn't prove such a thing, because our wonderful Church was actually blessed with St. Mary's apparition.

Oh yeah, and lets not forget about all the miracles and healings that occured during her apparitions.

What a shame.

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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2011, 09:25:33 PM »

Forgive me, my intention is not to be combative or to question your sincerity, I have a great love and respect for the Coptic Church and unhesitantly think of you guys as true brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ.

But, I have to say, I think the apparition of Zeitoun really is promoting a specific doctrine, that of religious pluralism.

When the apparition occurred, weren't there also crowds of Muslims praying to her on their prayer mats? As was pointed out above, there are even Muslim's today who venerate Mary (against the dictates of their own religion) and yet have not renounced the blasphemies of Islam towards her Son. Although I'm all for anything which undermines the integrity of Islam, isn't there something wrong with the idea that Mary would accept the heretical veneration of Muslims who think they can somehow "add" her to worship of Allah and leave her Son as a mere man?

Does the apparition's silence on this mater truly point us the one Christ?

Again, I'm sorry if this is combative. I would gladly accept Zeitoun if I could, my conscience will not let me.
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« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2011, 01:29:08 AM »

Forgive me, my intention is not to be combative or to question your sincerity, I have a great love and respect for the Coptic Church and unhesitantly think of you guys as true brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ.

But, I have to say, I think the apparition of Zeitoun really is promoting a specific doctrine, that of religious pluralism.

When the apparition occurred, weren't there also crowds of Muslims praying to her on their prayer mats? As was pointed out above, there are even Muslim's today who venerate Mary (against the dictates of their own religion) and yet have not renounced the blasphemies of Islam towards her Son. Although I'm all for anything which undermines the integrity of Islam, isn't there something wrong with the idea that Mary would accept the heretical veneration of Muslims who think they can somehow "add" her to worship of Allah and leave her Son as a mere man?

Does the apparition's silence on this mater truly point us the one Christ?

Again, I'm sorry if this is combative. I would gladly accept Zeitoun if I could, my conscience will not let me.

I must say I've been trying to figure out "why" the Theotokos appears.  She appeared many times after Zeitoun.  Some people have speculated that she appears to give us peace, to strengthen our faiths, and to warn us of hard times to come.  Indeed, hard times did come after the Zeitoun miracle, and hard times did come after her many subsequent apparitions.  And these are specifically hard times for Copts.  She also never appears on a mosque or on a random street, but always on a Coptic Church, only to strengthen our faith for the hard times are about to come again.  This seems to be the pattern and reason of her appearance.  Not for pluralistic reasons. 

Certainly, we shouldn't see Egyptian Muslims as not brothers, for they too were once Copts in their ancestry, who abandoned their religion for many oppressive reasons usually.  And so the Virgin's love for all people does not mean pluralism at all, but as a mother who loves her children even if her children abandoned her household.  But it should be noted that she appeared only on Coptic grounds, not to condemn the other religions, but to strengthen the Church for whatever may come upon them soon.
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« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2011, 02:48:41 AM »

I don't believe that it was the Holy Orthodox Theotokos but the Lady in Blue that Fr. Ambrose mentioned in another thread, that All Orthodox should flee from ,The one that Roman Catholics worship/Venerate and seem to be so fond of.....  police

Didn't the Coptic Orthodox Church suffer enough ,didn't it's Churches and people give enough sacrifices ....It doesn't make sense to appear and just parade Around a Church dome and many, allegedly witnessed it ,,Now the Question  Huh ,Has there been a great rush by the muslims to convert to Orthodoxy ,Not that i've heard..It's Got worse for the copts not better ,what benefit if any did the Copts get from that aparition,than what they already had ,was a Strong devotion to the Most Blessed Theotokos....Doesn't Christ say Blessed are they that Believe and have not see.... police
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« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2011, 03:11:00 AM »

How could such legitimation clearly be suggested if she only appears on Coptic churches on not on mosques?
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« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2011, 03:27:54 AM »

Stashko, my understanding is that there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have converted to Christ.
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« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2011, 03:42:31 AM »

How could such legitimation clearly be suggested if she only appears on Coptic churches on not on mosques?
The way I hear it described, the atmosphere described around those appearances was very "inter-faith." Orthodox alongside Copts, alongside Muslims (and I would guess) alongside Jews alongside Protestants each "doing their own thang" and afterward the Egyptian leaders of each (the recognized Protestant churches in Egypt at the time were all forced together) gave official recognition to the apparition. The whole thing sounds very touchy-feely to me, very 60s.

I also hear stories of this Muslim who threw rocks at pilgrims until the Theotokos told him to stop in a dream. He stops, and that's good, but he doesn't become Christian. Instead he paints crosses all over his house and buys an icon, but still somehow remains Muslim.

I'm all for unity and ecumenism and the brotherhhood of man, but as I'm sure has been pointed out ad nauseum here on this site, unity has to be on the basis of truth. It just seems like the only real fruit of these appearances has been syncretism for some and inclusivism for others, even though it only took place on a Coptic church.

This seems to be the pattern and reason of her appearance.  Not for pluralistic reasons.  

Certainly, we shouldn't see Egyptian Muslims as not brothers, for they too were once Copts in their ancestry, who abandoned their religion for many oppressive reasons usually.  And so the Virgin's love for all people does not mean pluralism at all, but as a mother who loves her children even if her children abandoned her household.  But it should be noted that she appeared only on Coptic grounds, not to condemn the other religions, but to strengthen the Church for whatever may come upon them soon.
Then why does she allow the blaspheming of her Son? She should have been more clear if it was really her. Sure people will always distort things, but this particular appearance strikes me as dangerously ambiguous given the things she remained silent about. Strengthening the church for hard times should definitely include reaffirming Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life I would think.
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« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2011, 03:45:15 AM »

Stashko, my understanding is that there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have converted to Christ.
Well, that's great! That makes things better. The allowance of what syncretism occured is still troubling though...
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« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2011, 04:16:23 AM »

Sorry, I am not sure what you are trying to say?

Are you saying that all syncretists should be struck down in some visible and manifest way?

What about all the syncretists who exist in all churches? Should they also be struck down during services? How are they to be prevented from ever slipping in? All the people who occasionally attend Anglican services and believe a mish-mash of syncretistic and vague doctrines, should this fact in itself mean that all Anglican worship is troubling?

What about all the people who are slowly being spiritually illumined and who do not yet believe entirely correctly? Should they be struck down?

What are you expecting to happen? From an Orthodox point of view you yourself are a syncretist, what should be done to you?  Smiley

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« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2011, 05:19:50 AM »

Not struck down, just rebuked or at least have their practices excluded by some specific teaching or word. A silent apparition who does nothing while being quite explicitly surrounded by false, syncretic worship smacks of tacit acceptance.

Note how John the Baptist told the people not to call him Messiah, how the angel pointedly refused worship in Revelation.
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« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2011, 07:54:29 AM »

Why does it smack of tacit acceptance?

Only to you I think.

All around the world all manner of evil and sin is taking place. Is God 'tacitly accepting' it?

It is not usually wise to decide something only on your own understanding. You have no idea at all really of the influence this event has had on people from different backgrounds and are making a judgement based only on your own thoughts. Do you know what the inner thoughts of those who were nominally Muslim were who were challenged by this appearance? Do you know what possibilities to become formally a Christian might be for a Muslim living in a Muslim village and part of a Muslim family? Do you know the journey of faith that they are on? It is not wise to judge them simply because they have not enrolled in a catechetical instruction course at the local Church.

I know Muslim converts who have been converted slowly and entirely by the action of the Holy Spirit. Their journeys have not been simple ones from A to B, just as most of ours have not either.

I would suggest that you have a little more faith in the power of God, and a little more hesitatancy before judging who is a syncretist and who is not. As I have said, if you are not Orthodox then you are a syncretist. If you are a syncretist then should you also be driven from every Orthodox temple? Or is, in fact, the journey to faith, always in some sense syncretistic until we reach the end of our path?
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« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2011, 10:20:09 AM »

Fr. Bless

I would think ,that People that Were touched By God The Holy Spirit ,and filled with his Holy Presents ,wouldn't Fear death,or Hide there Conversions ,But Proclaim It From The Rooftops, Come what May, Like The Holy Apostles Of Old...I didn't read Anything in the Papers of Extremist Muslims Going After mass Converts from islam to Holy Orthodoxy ,after that Apparitions Apperance...In testifying to their New Faith ,even if it ment Mass Martyrdom for Christ......Something would of been published the papers if this happened.... police

This is why i'm a sceptic, when it comes to this Apparition,As the True And Most Holy and Blessed Theotokos...Something did Appear, But What it is , could be the lady in Blue and white ,thats appearing around the world.... police 
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« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2011, 10:29:07 AM »

Do you know any Muslim converts, Stashko?

If you considered the stories of their own discovery of the truth then you would perhaps be less critical of them and more thankful to God.

It is not for you to tell people who they should live, or when they should offer themselves for martyrdom. I do know converts from Islam who have been martyred. I know others who have escaped. All I know is that it is not for me to tell anyone how they should live in such circumstances.
 
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« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2011, 01:56:36 PM »

How could such legitimation clearly be suggested if she only appears on Coptic churches on not on mosques?
The way I hear it described, the atmosphere described around those appearances was very "inter-faith." Orthodox alongside Copts, alongside Muslims (and I would guess) alongside Jews alongside Protestants each "doing their own thang" and afterward the Egyptian leaders of each (the recognized Protestant churches in Egypt at the time were all forced together) gave official recognition to the apparition. The whole thing sounds very touchy-feely to me, very 60s.

I also hear stories of this Muslim who threw rocks at pilgrims until the Theotokos told him to stop in a dream. He stops, and that's good, but he doesn't become Christian. Instead he paints crosses all over his house and buys an icon, but still somehow remains Muslim.

I'm all for unity and ecumenism and the brotherhhood of man, but as I'm sure has been pointed out ad nauseum here on this site, unity has to be on the basis of truth. It just seems like the only real fruit of these appearances has been syncretism for some and inclusivism for others, even though it only took place on a Coptic church.

This seems to be the pattern and reason of her appearance.  Not for pluralistic reasons.  

Certainly, we shouldn't see Egyptian Muslims as not brothers, for they too were once Copts in their ancestry, who abandoned their religion for many oppressive reasons usually.  And so the Virgin's love for all people does not mean pluralism at all, but as a mother who loves her children even if her children abandoned her household.  But it should be noted that she appeared only on Coptic grounds, not to condemn the other religions, but to strengthen the Church for whatever may come upon them soon.
Then why does she allow the blaspheming of her Son? She should have been more clear if it was really her. Sure people will always distort things, but this particular appearance strikes me as dangerously ambiguous given the things she remained silent about. Strengthening the church for hard times should definitely include reaffirming Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life I would think.

There are things we just don't know the reason to.  Just because someone blasphemes the Son doesn't mean I shouldn't love him.  That also doesn't mean that there's a tacit acceptance of their religion either.

When Christ lived He caused many miracles, and on the Cross, the world turned upside down and the temple was torn.  Some witnesses of these things continued to blaspheme Christ.  Are we going to continue to blame Christ for "not doing enough."

It's at least clear she came to give a message to Copts.  Many Muslims will be in denial of her love for the Coptic Church.  That's normal.  Even Christ talked about Pharisees being in denial even if a friend of their's showed up from Hades to warn them.
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« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2011, 06:36:52 PM »

Note how John the Baptist told the people not to call him Messiah, how the angel pointedly refused worship in Revelation.

No one is worshipping the Theotokos, nor giving any wrong ideas about her.  She seems to reassure us that despite hardships, we will overcome.  This is confirming the Orthodox faith, not a pluralistic sense.

Perhaps, she's not going to waste her time convincing obstinate Muslims about how wrong they are, but use her time wisely about how right we are.

Quote from: Luke 16
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

   29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

   30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

   31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
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« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2011, 11:22:32 PM »

You guys have exposed some areas where I think I've been thinking arrogantly about this. Thank you.

I need to pray and think about this some more.

I'm sorry for any offense I've caused.

God bless.
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