OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 01, 2014, 04:46:55 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: "Most Divine All Holiness"  (Read 1495 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« on: August 17, 2010, 12:17:18 PM »

I discovered this title being used for a member of the hierarchy, and wasn't quite sure what to think. It seems a bit much to call a mere human "most divine", or is it just me?
Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
ICXCNIKA
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 661



« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 12:42:18 PM »

I think it is a matter of translation. Do you translate word for word or for what it actually means? I belive this is a word for word translation. I think however it probably means closer to 'His Most Divinely Protected'. Hopefully, someone wiser than I can give you a definitive statement.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 12:44:09 PM by ICXCNIKA » Logged
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 12:45:10 PM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote
Да будет благословение Господьне на Его Божественнейшем Всесвятействе!

The blessing of the Lord on His Most Divine All-Holiness!

Here's the exact quote (Irish Hermit wrote it on the HAH thread-apologies Father! I am not trying to pick on you-just wondering about this term of address while I think of it). Also, I am wondering about the term "All Holiness", which also seems a bit too much as a terms of address for a mere human.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 12:46:38 PM by Rosehip » Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
pensateomnia
Bibliophylax
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Posts: 2,349


metron ariston


« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 01:07:17 PM »

I discovered this title being used for a member of the hierarchy, and wasn't quite sure what to think. It seems a bit much to call a mere human "most divine", or is it just me?

Just a matter of knowing a bit about language. For example, I am a Master of Divinity. Sounds a bit shocking, no? But that's what my degree says.

Θειοτάτη ("most divine" or "most godly") is a title that is used for all the ancient Patriarchs, not just Constantinople. Makes perfect sense in Byzantine Greek. "Divine" is applied to any number of divinely-protected, divinely-inspired, godly, or persons/events/subjects having to do with "divine things." Hence, hymns speak of the "divine glory" of the Theotokos, and celebrating her "divine feast," and we sing about the "divine" deeds or words of other saints, especially martyrs, and we celebrate a "divine liturgy."

This is a very common late antique and medieval usage in Latin and Greek, and it continued into most European languages, as far as I know. Definitely in German, Dutch, and English. Thus, as late as the 1890s, the Oxford English Dictionary has examples of "divine" being used in English to mean: "One who has officially to do with 'divine things'; formerly, any ecclesiastic, clergyman, or priest; now, one skilled in divinity; a theologian."
Logged

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,824



« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 02:03:44 PM »

I discovered this title being used for a member of the hierarchy, and wasn't quite sure what to think. It seems a bit much to call a mere human "most divine", or is it just me?

Just a matter of knowing a bit about language. For example, I am a Master of Divinity. Sounds a bit shocking, no? But that's what my degree says.

Θειοτάτη ("most divine" or "most godly") is a title that is used for all the ancient Patriarchs, not just Constantinople. Makes perfect sense in Byzantine Greek. "Divine" is applied to any number of divinely-protected, divinely-inspired, godly, or persons/events/subjects having to do with "divine things." Hence, hymns speak of the "divine glory" of the Theotokos, and celebrating her "divine feast," and we sing about the "divine" deeds or words of other saints, especially martyrs, and we celebrate a "divine liturgy."

This is a very common late antique and medieval usage in Latin and Greek, and it continued into most European languages, as far as I know. Definitely in German, Dutch, and English. Thus, as late as the 1890s, the Oxford English Dictionary has examples of "divine" being used in English to mean: "One who has officially to do with 'divine things'; formerly, any ecclesiastic, clergyman, or priest; now, one skilled in divinity; a theologian."

Well...what was not excessive in the royal courts of Constantinople, Rome, etc..., centuries ago is indeed very excessive to Western ears today. It is too flowery, too unbecoming, too grandiose, too weird for an Orthodox bishop, not yet canonized, to be so elevated. It makes mockery of what Christ Himself said about the greatest among us being the least. Lest we forget, bishop meant overseer, the chief of the slaves. Lest we forget, the Holy Scriptures call only the Persons of the Trinity all holy. Lest we forget, we Orthodox have no super bishops and we are all equal before the chalice. I think that this sort of legacy is one that we can easily shed because such a needed step does not harm anything in our ecclesiology, theology, and praxis--except may be some over inflated egos.
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,891



« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 02:21:31 PM »

Well...what was not excessive in the royal courts of Constantinople, Rome, etc..., centuries ago is indeed very excessive to Western ears today. It is too flowery, too unbecoming, too grandiose, too weird for an Orthodox bishop, not yet canonized, to be so elevated. It makes mockery of what Christ Himself said about the greatest among us being the least. Lest we forget, bishop meant overseer, the chief of the slaves. Lest we forget, the Holy Scriptures call only the Persons of the Trinity all holy. Lest we forget, we Orthodox have no super bishops and we are all equal before the chalice. I think that this sort of legacy is one that we can easily shed because such a needed step does not harm anything in our ecclesiology, theology, and praxis--except may be some over inflated egos.

Stop trying to impose your egalitarianism on ancient cultures. In Orthodoxy there is deference toward elders, especially the successors of the apostles. The notion that "everybody is all the same" might be true on a fundamental level in reference to the fact that we are all created in God's image and likeness, but it does not mean that the holy priesthood and especially the bishopric do not command a high degree of respect from the faithful. Our ecclesiology is not democracy.

Who cares if this respect is scandalous to modern ears? So is any standard of holiness. God forbid a mere man be acknowledged as "godly"! The next thing you know, they might be telling us that man is to become Divine!!!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 02:22:10 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Dart
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 655


« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 03:21:01 PM »

I would be lest concerned about how it sounds in the west and more concerned about how it sounds in the east. Proclaiming such titles in front of the wrong muslim and martyrdom may come quickly. But who am I to question, things seem to be working out well for Orthodoxy in Turkey, Egypt, Jerusalem, etc... These ancient cultures are thriving without any consideration for how others may perceive them.

Besides, it is good business practice to give out big titles.. I am a sanitation engineer myself. Smiley
 
Logged
pensateomnia
Bibliophylax
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Posts: 2,349


metron ariston


« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 03:28:55 PM »

Well...what was not excessive in the royal courts of Constantinople, Rome, etc..., centuries ago is indeed very excessive to Western ears today.

Problem solved: The various Patriarchs do not use this part of their title in English (even though perusing an English dictionary would school the aforementioned ears in the appreciation of their own language). A wise move, since some people seem to delight in condemning others more than literacy.
Logged

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 04:06:36 PM »

My Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, addresses him as
Ваше Божественнейшее Всесвятейшество - Your Most Divine AllHoliness

and my Patriarch prays for him as
Его Божественнейшее Всесвятейшество - His Most Divine AllHoliness.

HMDAH is currently on a visitation to Poland and perhaps Mike or some other Polish members can tell us how he is addressed there?

If you look on the Net for the letters of the Athonite Fathers, they certainly address him with his correct title.


« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 04:13:31 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,824



« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 04:22:14 PM »

Well...what was not excessive in the royal courts of Constantinople, Rome, etc..., centuries ago is indeed very excessive to Western ears today. It is too flowery, too unbecoming, too grandiose, too weird for an Orthodox bishop, not yet canonized, to be so elevated. It makes mockery of what Christ Himself said about the greatest among us being the least. Lest we forget, bishop meant overseer, the chief of the slaves. Lest we forget, the Holy Scriptures call only the Persons of the Trinity all holy. Lest we forget, we Orthodox have no super bishops and we are all equal before the chalice. I think that this sort of legacy is one that we can easily shed because such a needed step does not harm anything in our ecclesiology, theology, and praxis--except may be some over inflated egos.

Stop trying to impose your egalitarianism on ancient cultures. In Orthodoxy there is deference toward elders, especially the successors of the apostles. The notion that "everybody is all the same" might be true on a fundamental level in reference to the fact that we are all created in God's image and likeness, but it does not mean that the holy priesthood and especially the bishopric do not command a high degree of respect from the faithful. Our ecclesiology is not democracy.

Who cares if this respect is scandalous to modern ears? So is any standard of holiness. God forbid a mere man be acknowledged as "godly"! The next thing you know, they might be telling us that man is to become Divine!!!

Do you realize how strange it sounds when you ask me to "stop trying to impose (my) egalitarianism on ancient cultures"? Nobody can do such a thing! What I am expressing is my personal decision not to use anything beyond a bishop's title and to address him as nothing more than "master." Whether a bishop is truly His Grace/Eminence/Beautitude/Holiness or All Holiness is between God and him. These courtly titles do not express any theological truths or ecclesiological realities (never did, at least in Orthodoxy), although they are in effect used to emphasize a point: this bishop is a diocesan bishop (Your Grace), inferior to an Archbishop or Metropolitan (Eminence and/or Beautitude), in turn inferior to a Patriarch (various honorifics, but let's say His Holiness) who is less than other Patriarchs called "All Holiness." Now, I am perplexed that (a) these bishops need such added help in reminding themselves of their proper place in the order of things, and (b) that we have some Orthodox and catechumens who need these appellations to enhance their relationships with their hierarchs. Isn't "vladika," "despota," "master" enough? Interestingly, the Hellenic Culture, which contributed so much to the nascent Church from the earliest of days, came up with the simple descriptive title of "Episcopos" for a bishop--the chief slave overseer. Nothing else.

Your defense of ancient cultures is touching but not entirely in full context. The Greeks of old were not shy in imposing the True Faith over their former pagan religion, in the process not merely abolishing some flowery titles but razing to the ground pagan temples. You also intimate that that I am against calling people "godly" and that I do not believe that God became man so that men can become gods. Well, I am a sinner but I am a lay disciple of the Lord who is striving to become closer to God, to dare to call God "Father" and to partake of His Divine Mysteries. I would not call myself "Godly" yet, and perhaps I will never do. I am reminded of many saints who when they are told they are such holy men, they started to cry because they felt they were the worst of sinners. I truly feel that "of whom I am first" that is in the pre-communion prayer applies to me. As for holy men and women, they are all around us, made so by the grace of God. I doubt that they go around advertising themselves as holy. You are of course aware that some of them are even officially canonized by the Church as such--if I am not mistaken, after their repose. In the history of the Church, I am aware of only two persons who were declared holy while alive: The Lord himself and His Blessed Mother. The Holy Apostles are not called holy in the Scriptures, even though they performed numerous miracles after Pentecost. If the only reason that we call our bishops by their honorifics is inertia and blind acceptance of tradition with a small "t," than there must be something wrong with us. It is OK to be polite but I think it cannot go beyond that. I simply do not think that respect for those of the laos who have been set aside to serve as bishops, priests and deacons need to go to these extremes!

Anyway, I have a feeling that your problem is not theological, ecclesiological but convertitis. It is fine to aspire to be a super Orthodox my friend. However, my question to you as a catechumen is whether you are interested in Orthodoxy because of the "ancient culture" aspect or because there something with more substance to it. This may not apply to you at all but I have found it odd that so many people are attracted to the True Faith not because of the substantive aspects of Orthodoxy but because of its externals--they are in love with the Russian language/culture or the Greek language/culture, etc. So, let me ask you some other questions from another angle. Do you "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"? (Matthew 22:37). Or do you love the "ancient culture" more than you love God?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 04:25:23 PM by Second Chance » Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,824



« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2010, 04:30:12 PM »

Well...what was not excessive in the royal courts of Constantinople, Rome, etc..., centuries ago is indeed very excessive to Western ears today.

Problem solved: The various Patriarchs do not use this part of their title in English (even though perusing an English dictionary would school the aforementioned ears in the appreciation of their own language). A wise move, since some people seem to delight in condemning others more than literacy.

I dare say that I learned the proper titles in both Church Slavonic and Bulgarian at a rather early  age (circa 1958-59). It is not a matter of literacy for me, although having attended Lycee de Galatasaray, I am well aware of the allure of diplomatic language and flourishes. The milieu that produced such flourishes is not to my liking, never has been. I like common and plain language that means what it says, although I can descend to such diplomatic mumbo-jumbo if it is necessary.
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,891



« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2010, 12:06:20 AM »

Anyway, I have a feeling that your problem is not theological, ecclesiological but convertitis. It is fine to aspire to be a super Orthodox my friend. However, my question to you as a catechumen is whether you are interested in Orthodoxy because of the "ancient culture" aspect or because there something with more substance to it. This may not apply to you at all but I have found it odd that so many people are attracted to the True Faith not because of the substantive aspects of Orthodoxy but because of its externals--they are in love with the Russian language/culture or the Greek language/culture, etc. So, let me ask you some other questions from another angle. Do you "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"? (Matthew 22:37). Or do you love the "ancient culture" more than you love God?

You know what, you really have a lot of nerve making it this personal. I challenged your ideas, but I never called into question your motivations for being Orthodox.

I extend the courtesy of listing myself as a catechumen because I don't feel that it is appropriate to refer to myself as being fully Orthodox yet. It gives people like you the opportunity to throw out condescending pejoratives uses of otherwise acceptable terms. You get to conjure up your inner Jung and psychoanalyze my reasons for converting, and top it all off with a nice "convertitis" diagnosis. Tell me doctor, what would you prescribe for my condition?

But you know what, I have to admit it that you nailed it on the head exactly. So great is my love for exotic foreign cultures and religious museum pieces that I am willing to rip my family and friendships asunder for aesthetic reasons. I prefer antiques, smells and bells to praying by my wife's side. I absolutely love ancient culture more than God, so much so that I'm willing to give up most of the closest people in my life for my "old stuff" fetish.

I'm certainly not interested in Truth above all else, only externals and reactive religious conservatism. You see, the world is a fast and scary place these days, and it doesn't make any sense to me. So what I've had to do is run into the past and put my fingers in my ears. I can enter a fantasy role-playing world where the priests look like wizards, and where I can dress like a Russian peasant and build a cottage in the woods. I can then work on my Super-Orthodoxy, wherein I always find the most impractical and arcane solution to any problem.

Anyway, thanks again for clearing the air and helping me get to the heart of my troubles, oh sagely one.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 12:10:09 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,325


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 12:15:13 AM »

Anyway, I have a feeling that your problem is not theological, ecclesiological but convertitis. It is fine to aspire to be a super Orthodox my friend. However, my question to you as a catechumen is whether you are interested in Orthodoxy because of the "ancient culture" aspect or because there something with more substance to it. This may not apply to you at all but I have found it odd that so many people are attracted to the True Faith not because of the substantive aspects of Orthodoxy but because of its externals--they are in love with the Russian language/culture or the Greek language/culture, etc. So, let me ask you some other questions from another angle. Do you "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"? (Matthew 22:37). Or do you love the "ancient culture" more than you love God?
I'm with Alveus Lacuna on this.  Just because he disagrees with you doesn't justify you diagnosing him as suffering from convertitis.  The irrelevancy of this personal slur to the discussion (and to the paragraphs preceding the above quote) really makes this in substance an ad hominem, though moreso of the strictly logical fallacy variety and not the kind of personal attack we moderators have a responsibility to prosecute here.  Before this thread gets any more heated, however, I recommend that you recant your personal slight against Alveus Lacuna and merely criticize his reasoning without the diagnosis of his "illnesses".  (You did so with such eloquence in the first two paragraphs of the post from which I extracted the above quote that they could stand on their own and express what you needed to say without descending to the personal depths of the third.)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 12:20:50 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,066



« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2010, 04:30:16 AM »

I think it is important to note, due to the understanding of the title mentioned in the original post, as described by "pensateomnia" in Reply #3 particularly, in 1st millennium Greek, and the difference of how the terms would be understood in English, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its eparchies, and the other Ancient Patriarchates, do not use this title in English translations of official texts.
Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
pensateomnia
Bibliophylax
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Posts: 2,349


metron ariston


« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2010, 09:03:37 AM »

If you look on the Net for the letters of the Athonite Fathers, they certainly address him with his correct title.

As they do for all the ancient Patriarchs, who are called His Most Divine Beatitude X.

What you consistently overlook in these perennial discussions is that neither the ancient patriarchates themselves nor your patriarchate use "Most Divine" in official English translations of public statements or of ecclesiastical correspondence. Thus, your insistence on so doing in English contexts is contrary to your hierarchy's practice -- and that of the titleholders themselves -- and therefore far from "correct."
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 09:12:21 AM by pensateomnia » Logged

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,824



« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2010, 11:02:08 AM »

Anyway, I have a feeling that your problem is not theological, ecclesiological but convertitis. It is fine to aspire to be a super Orthodox my friend. However, my question to you as a catechumen is whether you are interested in Orthodoxy because of the "ancient culture" aspect or because there something with more substance to it. This may not apply to you at all but I have found it odd that so many people are attracted to the True Faith not because of the substantive aspects of Orthodoxy but because of its externals--they are in love with the Russian language/culture or the Greek language/culture, etc. So, let me ask you some other questions from another angle. Do you "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"? (Matthew 22:37). Or do you love the "ancient culture" more than you love God?
I'm with Alveus Lacuna on this.  Just because he disagrees with you doesn't justify you diagnosing him as suffering from convertitis.  The irrelevancy of this personal slur to the discussion (and to the paragraphs preceding the above quote) really makes this in substance an ad hominem, though moreso of the strictly logical fallacy variety and not the kind of personal attack we moderators have a responsibility to prosecute here.  Before this thread gets any more heated, however, I recommend that you recant your personal slight against Alveus Lacuna and merely criticize his reasoning without the diagnosis of his "illnesses".  (You did so with such eloquence in the first two paragraphs of the post from which I extracted the above quote that they could stand on their own and express what you needed to say without descending to the personal depths of the third.)

OK. I do hereby recant and take back the third paragraph and apologize to Alveus for aggravating him.
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2010, 12:20:50 PM »

If you look on the Net for the letters of the Athonite Fathers, they certainly address him with his correct title.

As they do for all the ancient Patriarchs, who are called His Most Divine Beatitude X.

What you consistently overlook in these perennial discussions is that neither the ancient patriarchates themselves nor your patriarchate use "Most Divine" in official English translations of public statements or of ecclesiastical correspondence. Thus, your insistence on so doing in English contexts is contrary to your hierarchy's practice -- and that of the titleholders themselves -- and therefore far from "correct."

Not sure if you are right on this point.  Are the Metropolitans of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America incorrect to address the Ecumenical Patriarch as "His Divine All Holiness" in English?  The title has approval at the highest level of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

For example,see this 1999 address to the Patriarch

http://gotruthreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Report_of_Metropolitans6.pdf

From:

Metr. Iakovos of Chicago
Metr. Anthony of San Francisco
Metr. Maximos of Pittsburg
Metr. Methodios of Boston
Metr. Isaiah of Denver.
Logged
pensateomnia
Bibliophylax
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Posts: 2,349


metron ariston


« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2010, 01:10:32 PM »

The title has approval at the highest level of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

As an Orthodox Christian, you would do better to look at the fullness of tradition, the norm as opposed to the exception.

Compare your example to the 1,000s of letters sent by the Archbishop of America or the Eparchial Synod in the Archdiocesan archives. Look at the many GOA Yearbooks available online. Read the pdf versions of the Orthodox Observer. Listen to or read the many English-language interviews with Patriarchs Bartholomew, Theodoros II, and Theophilos ΙΙΙ available online. Read their official biographies. Are these incorrect? Check the English web sites of the patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Look to the English versions of the web site of the MP itself or the DECR, the latter shortening the title even more so. Would you contemn the practice of your own hierarchy?

These thousands of examples establish the clear standard of the Church when using English and are not controverted by an example from a period in which doing otherwise would have served a specific political purpose. Translating the title that way in that brief period was an intentional break from the established norm, motivated by other trends -- much like, I suspect, your current insistence is.

EDIT: And, on looking at the document more closely, I note that (a) it only translates the title with "divine" at the beginning, but repeats the established English title without it many times in the body; and, much more importantly, (b) it is doubtful that this is an official English translation. The beginning of the document says that this text was provided to the National Herald "in Greek exclusively." The syntax of the rest of the sentence isn't entirely clear, but I think we are looking at the National Herald's translation, which, if true, means this isn't even worth including in the debate as evidence. Remember: The issue is how the Church has translated the titles of the ancient Patriarchs into English, not how it has styled them in some other language.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 01:29:18 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
prophetessanna
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 36


« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2010, 04:51:29 PM »

Well...what was not excessive in the royal courts of Constantinople, Rome, etc..., centuries ago is indeed very excessive to Western ears today.

Problem solved: The various Patriarchs do not use this part of their title in English (even though perusing an English dictionary would school the aforementioned ears in the appreciation of their own language). A wise move, since some people seem to delight in condemning others more than literacy.

If my Huguenot ancestors who were active in the Reformation could be called Divines because they studied and taught scriptures according to the new interpretation, surely I can call the Patriarch of Constantinople Most Divine? Wink
Logged
Orthodox11
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,999


« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2010, 05:33:12 PM »

It's a title, not a pretention. I don't see what's inappropriate about it.
Logged
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,824



« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2010, 06:24:39 PM »

While the OP had asked about the appropriateness of saying "Most Divine," she had included the entire honorific, which includes the words "All Holy." Since then, I myself raised questions about using the entire range of honorifics, ranging from His Grace to His All Holiness." Some folks keep on pointing out that the GOA does not use "Most Divine" in English as if this settles the question. Is it or is it not true that the GOA refers to Patriarch Bartholemew as "His All Holiness," as indicated in the following GOA press release?:

"Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Appear on 60 Minutes Segment on Orthodox Christianity.
Dec 17, 2009
NEW YORK - His All Holiness Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians..." (my emphasis this honorific was repeated later in the press release)

For now, I will forgo a discussion of the oft repeated phrase "spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians." I will point out other uses of the medieval honorifics (or as Alveus pointed out to me, products of an ancient and venerable culture) all from the official GOA website: His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, and Metropolitan Iakovos/Maximos/Methodios/etc., His Grace Bishop Andonios.

I am well aware that GOA is not the only jurisdiction to follow this pattern. Thus, we have His Beatitude Jonah, His Eminence Philip, etc... (Once, Father Alexander Lebedeff (ROCOR), after chewing me out royally on this issue, also pointed out senior priests also have a highfalutin honorific). Oh, I just noticed that the Church of Alexandria applies "His Excellency" to titular bishops, while the Patriarch is called "His Beatitude," which has a connotation of extreme happiness and bliss, in addition to blessedness. As an aside, Metropolitan Jonah certainly is a happy man and I think that we in the OCA have been blessed by his almost miraculous rise from Abbot to Primate in a matter of months. In any case, "eminence" is defined as "a position of prominence or superiority" in Merriam-Webster, which calls into question why this same term is applied to the Primate of the Greek Archdiocese and the bishops of the several metropolises under him (at least on paper).

Even if folks love using these honorifics as vestiges of a great past, I find the use of "All Holy" to be truly inappropriate. As far as I know, the following hierarchs are currently being referred as such: The bishops of Constantinople and Moscow (who is called His Holiness or The Most Holy used instead of All Holy, a distinction without meaning IMO). Think about it; even the Vicar of Christ is merely called His Holiness. BTW, such a honorific is also presumptuous, to say the least. But, hey what do I know?
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 06:25:48 PM by Second Chance » Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2010, 07:18:57 PM »


 Remember: The issue is how the Church has translated the titles of the ancient Patriarchs into English, not how it has styled them in some other language.

No, that is not the issue at all.

For example in the 1960s we had the Isabel Hapgood Service Book and the Nassar as our only service Books in English. In other words the English "tradition" is about 60 years old.  Far too young to even be thought of as a "tradition" if one is being serious about it.  God forbid we should make English "tradition" our norm.  It is still unformed.

The matter is not at all what this fledgling and often inaccurate English "tradition" does but what is done by the ancient Patriarchies and Autocephalies.  We look to them for guidance in our faith and its expression.

Is there some particular reason why some English American speakers are not willing to use his full title?  It seems to be some sort of embarrassment in the face of the Protestant world.  Are they equally embarrassed to use the title in front of the Roman Catholic world?   I remember the dreadful days when Archbishop Iakovos removed all the prayers to the Mother of God from a televised Liturgy, so as not to offend the Protestants!!!!!    

I see the OP has equal objection to both "Most Divine" and All-Holy" - should the English do away with both terms?
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 07:20:48 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,325


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2010, 07:20:47 PM »

While the OP had asked about the appropriateness of saying "Most Divine," she had included the entire honorific, which includes the words "All Holy." Since then, I myself raised questions about using the entire range of honorifics, ranging from His Grace to His All Holiness." Some folks keep on pointing out that the GOA does not use "Most Divine" in English as if this settles the question. Is it or is it not true that the GOA refers to Patriarch Bartholemew as "His All Holiness," as indicated in the following GOA press release?:

"Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Appear on 60 Minutes Segment on Orthodox Christianity.
Dec 17, 2009
NEW YORK - His All Holiness Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians..." (my emphasis this honorific was repeated later in the press release)

For now, I will forgo a discussion of the oft repeated phrase "spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians." I will point out other uses of the medieval honorifics (or as Alveus pointed out to me, products of an ancient and venerable culture) all from the official GOA website: His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, and Metropolitan Iakovos/Maximos/Methodios/etc., His Grace Bishop Andonios.

I am well aware that GOA is not the only jurisdiction to follow this pattern. Thus, we have His Beatitude Jonah, His Eminence Philip, etc... (Once, Father Alexander Lebedeff (ROCOR), after chewing me out royally on this issue, also pointed out senior priests also have a highfalutin honorific). Oh, I just noticed that the Church of Alexandria applies "His Excellency" to titular bishops, while the Patriarch is called "His Beatitude," which has a connotation of extreme happiness and bliss, in addition to blessedness. As an aside, Metropolitan Jonah certainly is a happy man and I think that we in the OCA have been blessed by his almost miraculous rise from Abbot to Primate in a matter of months. In any case, "eminence" is defined as "a position of prominence or superiority" in Merriam-Webster, which calls into question why this same term is applied to the Primate of the Greek Archdiocese and the bishops of the several metropolises under him (at least on paper).

Even if folks love using these honorifics as vestiges of a great past, I find the use of "All Holy" to be truly inappropriate. As far as I know, the following hierarchs are currently being referred as such: The bishops of Constantinople and Moscow (who is called His Holiness or The Most Holy used instead of All Holy, a distinction without meaning IMO). Think about it; even the Vicar of Christ is merely called His Holiness. BTW, such a honorific is also presumptuous, to say the least. But, hey what do I know?
IS presumptuous, or strikes YOU as presumptuous?  There is a difference. Wink
Logged
Dart
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 655


« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2010, 08:04:13 PM »

IS presumptious. Unless you are aware of God's judgement having already occured. Very presumptious indeed.
Logged
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2010, 12:08:59 PM »

I see the OP has equal objection to both "Most Divine" and All-Holy" - should the English do away with both terms?

Perhaps you can just call him Bart? LOL Wink

This argument is just funny...pensateomnia already gave the historical and linguistic explanation, that should have settled the matter, so what's the argument about?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 12:10:33 PM by GiC » Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2010, 02:10:01 PM »


This argument is just funny...pensateomnia already gave the historical and linguistic explanation, that should have settled the matter, so what's the argument about?

I really see only Pensateomnia's personal opinion and assessment in what he has written.  There is nothing by way of any official statement from Constantinople.  As a member of the Russian Orthodox Church I would rather adhere to how it is done within my own Church than to follow the varying personal opinions presented here.    Pensateomnia says :  No "Most Divine."  The OP says: No "All-holy."   Where does the diminishment of the Patriarch's official title end?

And nobody has yet explained why they wish to take away his titles?  I suspect that it is embarrassment in the face of the Protestants and that is hardly sufficient reason.

If, for example, I have to serve a Moleben -Service of Intercession- for the Ecumenical Patriarch or a Memorial upon his death, I would not dare to use anything other then his official title.  I would not dare to remove parts of it.
Logged
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2010, 02:20:23 PM »

Actually, I had never heard the honorific "Most Divine" before, and it rather struck me as being overly excessive and unnecessary, as we are supposed to be humble as Christians. I'm trying to understand this title and hopefully can come to terms with it.
Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,325


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2010, 02:39:00 PM »

IS presumptious. Unless you are aware of God's judgement having already occured. Very presumptious indeed.
I beg to differ.  If such an honorific as "His Holiness" is presumptuous, it's most likely because you have deemed it such.  But why would you deem it presumptuous if it didn't first strike you as presumptuous?  What if it's your definition of "presumptuous" and the standards you apply to those outside you that need to change?  Do you claim to know God's judgment on this matter?

I think Rosehip has shown a much more humble approach to this discussion by admitting her role in perceiving hierarchical honorifics as presumptuous.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 02:41:49 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,824



« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2010, 04:37:56 PM »

While the OP had asked about the appropriateness of saying "Most Divine," she had included the entire honorific, which includes the words "All Holy." Since then, I myself raised questions about using the entire range of honorifics, ranging from His Grace to His All Holiness." Some folks keep on pointing out that the GOA does not use "Most Divine" in English as if this settles the question. Is it or is it not true that the GOA refers to Patriarch Bartholemew as "His All Holiness," as indicated in the following GOA press release?:

"Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Appear on 60 Minutes Segment on Orthodox Christianity.
Dec 17, 2009
NEW YORK - His All Holiness Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians..." (my emphasis this honorific was repeated later in the press release)

For now, I will forgo a discussion of the oft repeated phrase "spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians." I will point out other uses of the medieval honorifics (or as Alveus pointed out to me, products of an ancient and venerable culture) all from the official GOA website: His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, and Metropolitan Iakovos/Maximos/Methodios/etc., His Grace Bishop Andonios.

I am well aware that GOA is not the only jurisdiction to follow this pattern. Thus, we have His Beatitude Jonah, His Eminence Philip, etc... (Once, Father Alexander Lebedeff (ROCOR), after chewing me out royally on this issue, also pointed out senior priests also have a highfalutin honorific). Oh, I just noticed that the Church of Alexandria applies "His Excellency" to titular bishops, while the Patriarch is called "His Beatitude," which has a connotation of extreme happiness and bliss, in addition to blessedness. As an aside, Metropolitan Jonah certainly is a happy man and I think that we in the OCA have been blessed by his almost miraculous rise from Abbot to Primate in a matter of months. In any case, "eminence" is defined as "a position of prominence or superiority" in Merriam-Webster, which calls into question why this same term is applied to the Primate of the Greek Archdiocese and the bishops of the several metropolises under him (at least on paper).

Even if folks love using these honorifics as vestiges of a great past, I find the use of "All Holy" to be truly inappropriate. As far as I know, the following hierarchs are currently being referred as such: The bishops of Constantinople and Moscow (who is called His Holiness or The Most Holy used instead of All Holy, a distinction without meaning IMO). Think about it; even the Vicar of Christ is merely called His Holiness. BTW, such a honorific is also presumptuous, to say the least. But, hey what do I know?
IS presumptuous, or strikes YOU as presumptuous?  There is a difference. Wink
Now, Peter...Not one of us on this Forum or on this world can make any such statement and expect for everybody else to take it as Gospel. Of course, it is my opinion and I certainly am not God or authorized by Him to make such definitive statements. So, why do I think that it is presumptuous for anyone to be addressed as Your Holiness, or for that matter Your Beatitude, Your Grace, Your Excellency, or Your All Holiness (most Divine or not)?

It is presumptuous on two levels: On the personal level, it puts the speaker in the position of rendering a judgment on the closeness of a hierarch to the Lord. Since this is bound to the rank of the hierarch and not to his personal relationship to the Lord, the speaker is put into a double bind: what if His Grace should be called His Holiness, because just like saint Seraphim he is radiating the uncreated light? The reverse is true if His Grace is caught with his pants down and there is no way that he is even close to the Lord at that point in time.

Now, let's go on to the explanation that one does not render the honor to the man but to his office. I can see all hierarchs called one honorific but this gradation does not make sense from an Orthodox ecclesiastical POV. They all possess the same charisma and are distinguished only in their administrative responsibilities, no? We are not supposed to have super, super-duper, or all super-duper bishops, no? They are supposed to be the best servant-leaders amongst us, no? They are supposed to be our spiritual fathers, and not some remote authority figures, no?

Finally, let's talk about this All Holy business. This is a special case because it transcends man-to-man relationships and enters into the man-to-God realm. Enough said.
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Tags: honorifics 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.15 seconds with 56 queries.