Author Topic: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism  (Read 2945 times)

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Offline podkarpatska

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The Ukrainian crisis has brought to the table Orthodox Faith and nationalism as Ukrainian and Russian nationalists wrap themselves in the Cross as they enter the Fast. The comments expressed by many on the "peaceful Orthodox" forces thread demonstrates the issue in stark terms. The very nature of our post Byzantine emperial method of organizing national churches with unique national attributes makes the current situation all the more volatile given the historical claims of both Russians and Ukrainians. I realize that phyletism is a more narrow concept but all three seem to be interrelated.

Thoughts, anyone...apolitical if possible please.  
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 03:11:29 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline poleteo_soko

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 03:18:53 PM »
I think you are expressing a load of BS, coming as a (descendant of) former Eastern Catholics, raised as an spiritual and intellectual offspring of (fallen) Phanariotes in the West.

You just don't get it.

That would be short, no need to explain in details.

Edit: Nothing personal. It's just a matter of identity. You may find in a number of western news articles that it is "a battle for Ukrainian identity" going on.



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« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 03:47:32 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 03:36:49 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 03:38:24 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 03:51:51 PM »
For someone like me, the decendant of Russian sectarians, and a potential convert this raises a lot of questions.

The notion that ones ancestors -make- someone 'never Orthodox' in some people's view is both terrifying and non-Christ like. Nor does it emulate the early church, where both the Chosen People and Gentiles were able to believe and become part of the One True Church.

This notion of predetermination, I personally feel is difficult to reconcile with that.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 03:53:04 PM »
The Ukrainian crisis has brought to the table Orthodox Faith and nationalism as Ukrainian and Russian nationalists wrap themselves in the Cross as they enter the Fast. The comments expressed by many on the "peaceful Orthodox" forces thread demonstrates the issue in stark terms. The very nature of our post Byzantine emperial method of organizing national churches with unique national attributes makes the current situation all the more volatile given the historical claims of both Russians and Ukrainians. I realize that phyletism is a more narrow concept but all three seem to be interrelated.

Thoughts, anyone...apolitical if possible please.  

It ties in with my past comments about Orthodoxy not yet adequately grappling with modern nation states and falling under Balkanization. If that Great and Holy Synod ever actually happens and manages to be received by all the Churches, I just hope it somehow deals with this instead of just further breaking down Churches over ethnic/nationalistic lines.

Offline Yurysprudentsiya

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 03:53:44 PM »
The Ukrainian crisis has brought to the table Orthodox Faith and nationalism as Ukrainian and Russian nationalists wrap themselves in the Cross as they enter the Fast. The comments expressed by many on the "peaceful Orthodox" forces thread demonstrates the issue in stark terms. The very nature of our post Byzantine emperial method of organizing national churches with unique national attributes makes the current situation all the more volatile given the historical claims of both Russians and Ukrainians. I realize that phyletism is a more narrow concept but all three seem to be interrelated.

Thoughts, anyone...apolitical if possible please.  

Thoughts, not sure how apolitical.    

I am opposed to phyletism.   I of course believe that the Ukrainian territory should have an autocephalous church which serves the Ukrainian people, whatever language they speak.  It must be free of corruption and its leaders must be servants who live humbly.  

I am opposed to what I call Putinism, which existed before him, of course, and may exist long after him.  To me, Putinism is the idea that a liberal state is a bad state, that order always trumps chaos, and that state efficiency trumps individual expression.   I am also opposed to the aspects of Putinism and Russian nationalism that consider Russia to exist wherever there is a Russian, which I find goes a step beyond nationalism because it now purports to influence the running of other countries.  I am very troubled by ROCOR's recent pronouncements that it has a special mission to the Russians in the USA which is separate (I hear better than) the needs of other Americans.  This aspect of Putinism I find to be incredibly arrogant and chauvinistic and the worst example of phyletism because it attempts to be imperial as well as nationalistic.  

Because I come from the Ukrainian/western viewpoint I had no idea that some people would want so fervently to live under Putinism which to me represents a rejection of the messy but beautiful freedom of choice given us by God.   I think that it is an insidious force which uses the church as a tool for stability and comes close to denying the image of God and spiritual free will in all persons.  I see the Moscow Patriarhate being used in this struggle while I also see holy people and brilliant theologians there.  

I am no fan of imperial Russia but I think that a good hearted if inept Tsar like Nicholas II the passion-bearer is preferable to the perils of Putinism.  She who marries the spirit of the age finds herself a widow in the next generation.   I am afraid that when the Russian people someday wake up to how they are being politically smothered they might renounce the Church together with the regime in the quest to breathe free air.   The Church must always serve as the conscience of the nation, as Met. Antony recently said in an interview on AFR.  When it abdicates that role it is putting itself in great peril I think.  


Offline poleteo_soko

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 03:56:40 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.

I am neither calling you names, nor trying to bully you.

I've just pointed that our identities are ireconcillable.

We, Orthodox, have been under attack for centuries, and past decades are intense.

You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity. You constitute promiles of current Orthodox, provided you are not a NSA/whateverNATOinternettaskforce - knowingly, or just as an useful idiot.

You may have foot among US/Western/NATO Church, but you have been recognized and your devastating influence ought to be disclosed. We have already recognized you.

That would be it.
Lord, destroy the enemies of Czar Vladimir the Liberator and grant him long lasting and peaceful rule!

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 04:06:51 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.

I am neither calling you names, nor trying to bully you.

I've just pointed that our identities are ireconcillable.

We, Orthodox, have been under attack for centuries, and past decades are intense.

You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity. You constitute promiles of current Orthodox, provided you are not a NSA/whateverNATOinternettaskforce - knowingly, or just as an useful idiot.

You may have foot among US/Western/NATO Church, but you have been recognized and your devastating influence ought to be disclosed. We have already recognized you.

That would be it.

Not a mere hyper-Orthodox, he/she is redefining Orthodoxy in a narrow, exclusive way. I think I am on solid ground in thinking that this is a very radical viewpoint that is held by very few crackpots. Indeed, he/she is serving a good purpose--in ensuring that we see the obnoxious zealots amongst us. Sort of being exposed to nasty bugs so that we can build up some immunity against them.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 04:07:45 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.

I am neither calling you names, nor trying to bully you.

I've just pointed that our identities are ireconcillable.

We, Orthodox, have been under attack for centuries, and past decades are intense.

You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity. You constitute promiles of current Orthodox, provided you are not a NSA/whateverNATOinternettaskforce - knowingly, or just as an useful idiot.

You may have foot among US/Western/NATO Church, but you have been recognized and your devastating influence ought to be disclosed. We have already recognized you.

That would be it.


Lord, have mercy.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 04:11:43 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.

I am neither calling you names, nor trying to bully you.

I've just pointed that our identities are ireconcillable.

We, Orthodox, have been under attack for centuries, and past decades are intense.

You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity. You constitute promiles of current Orthodox, provided you are not a NSA/whateverNATOinternettaskforce - knowingly, or just as an useful idiot.

You may have foot among US/Western/NATO Church, but you have been recognized and your devastating influence ought to be disclosed. We have already recognized you.

That would be it.

Not a mere hyper-Orthodox, he/she is redefining Orthodoxy in a narrow, exclusive way. I think I am on solid ground in thinking that this is a very radical viewpoint that is held by very few crackpots. Indeed, he/she is serving a good purpose--in ensuring that we see the obnoxious zealots amongst us. Sort of being exposed to nasty bugs so that we can build up some immunity against them.

Apparently the head of his/her church is not pure enough as evidenced by his/her standard post: "Jurisdiction: Serbian Patriarchate, a soul refusing Patriarch Irine". Would that not make one a self professed schismatic by refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of church hierarchy?

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 04:20:36 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.

I am neither calling you names, nor trying to bully you.

I've just pointed that our identities are ireconcillable.

We, Orthodox, have been under attack for centuries, and past decades are intense.

You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity. You constitute promiles of current Orthodox, provided you are not a NSA/whateverNATOinternettaskforce - knowingly, or just as an useful idiot.

You may have foot among US/Western/NATO Church, but you have been recognized and your devastating influence ought to be disclosed. We have already recognized you.

That would be it.

Not a mere hyper-Orthodox, he/she is redefining Orthodoxy in a narrow, exclusive way. I think I am on solid ground in thinking that this is a very radical viewpoint that is held by very few crackpots. Indeed, he/she is serving a good purpose--in ensuring that we see the obnoxious zealots amongst us. Sort of being exposed to nasty bugs so that we can build up some immunity against them.

Apparently the head of his/her church is not pure enough as evidenced by his/her standard post: "Jurisdiction: Serbian Patriarchate, a soul refusing Patriarch Irine". Would that not make one a self professed schismatic by refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of church hierarchy?

I would think so, but that is not conclusive evidence. Let's ask him directly.

poleteo_soko: Which church do you belong to? If you are a communicant of the Serbian Church, why are you declaring that you do not recognize your Patriarch?

Offline poleteo_soko

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 04:22:11 PM »


Apparently the head of his/her church is not pure enough as evidenced by his/her standard post: "Jurisdiction: Serbian Patriarchate, a soul refusing Patriarch Irine". Would that not make one a self professed schismatic by refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of church hierarchy?

I thought we are off to a good constructive start.

For your info, I am not a schismatic, and are completely within my canonical powers. I freely commune at several parishes of Serbian Patriarchate, under the jurisdiction of bishops other than Patriarch Irinej, properly notyfing priests about my stance. But that is not the topic of this thread, isn't it?
Lord, destroy the enemies of Czar Vladimir the Liberator and grant him long lasting and peaceful rule!

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 04:34:51 PM »


Apparently the head of his/her church is not pure enough as evidenced by his/her standard post: "Jurisdiction: Serbian Patriarchate, a soul refusing Patriarch Irine". Would that not make one a self professed schismatic by refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of church hierarchy?

I thought we are off to a good constructive start.

For your info, I am not a schismatic, and are completely within my canonical powers. I freely commune at several parishes of Serbian Patriarchate, under the jurisdiction of bishops other than Patriarch Irinej, properly notyfing priests about my stance. But that is not the topic of this thread, isn't it?

You must be lucky to find either spineless priests (if they are serving in the canonical church) or schismatics.

Offline Ansgar

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 04:50:04 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.

I am neither calling you names, nor trying to bully you.

I've just pointed that our identities are ireconcillable.

We, Orthodox, have been under attack for centuries, and past decades are intense.

You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity. You constitute promiles of current Orthodox, provided you are not a NSA/whateverNATOinternettaskforce - knowingly, or just as an useful idiot.

You may have foot among US/Western/NATO Church, but you have been recognized and your devastating influence ought to be disclosed. We have already recognized you.

That would be it.

Sorry, but did you just accuse podkarpatska of not being truly Orthodox? I'm being completely serious, I really hope I got your post wrong.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 04:50:26 PM by Ansgar »
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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 04:53:32 PM »
Well I see we are off to a good constructive start.

I am serious and this is a legitimate issue facing the Church. Calling names and bullying is neither a serious, nor a constructive approach and only serves the enemies of the Church.

I am neither calling you names, nor trying to bully you.

I've just pointed that our identities are ireconcillable.

We, Orthodox, have been under attack for centuries, and past decades are intense.

You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity. You constitute promiles of current Orthodox, provided you are not a NSA/whateverNATOinternettaskforce - knowingly, or just as an useful idiot.

You may have foot among US/Western/NATO Church, but you have been recognized and your devastating influence ought to be disclosed. We have already recognized you.

That would be it.

Sorry, but did you just accuse podkarpatska of not being truly Orthodox? I'm being completely serious, I really hope I got your post wrong.

I may be completely off the wall here, and if I am, I'm sure poleto will correct me, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he would consider none of us as truly Orthodox (except himself, of course.)
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2014, 04:54:32 PM »
Thread locked pending moderator review.
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.


Offline Mor Ephrem

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I am re-opening this thread in this section after a brief hiatus because I believe it is worth discussing.  But I have a few requests:

1.  Podkarpatska, the meaning of your original post is not clear to me.  If you would clarify it or expand on it so that it is more clearly a discussion related to Faith Issues and not "politics by another name", I believe that would help keep this thread on topic. 

2.  This thread was intended to be non-political, even though its subject matter necessarily involves some reference to the intersection of faith with the social/political order.  All, please keep your posts focused on the theological aspects of the discussion.  Posts that are largely political do not become theological by sprinkling a few religious references throughout (e.g., poleteo_soko, but also Yurysprudentsiya).  I will not tolerate such deviations in Faith Issues, and will not hesitate to moderate accordingly if I deem it necessary. 

3.  Much of this thread became a discussion about its participants and not about the OP.  That began because of a post against which I have acted, but I am ending all that here.  Focus on the topic of the thread and do not make it a series of personal critiques.   

Mor Ephrem, moderator       

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Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.


Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Orthodoxy's messy intersection: Nationalism, patriotism and phyletism
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2014, 06:37:41 PM »
You may consider yourself an Orthodox, you nominally are, but you are not part of us. Your identity is not our identity.
You're coming across as someone who isn't sensible. Please stop the polemics.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 06:38:24 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Ουκ ελαττωθήσονται παντός αγαθού

Offline podkarpatska

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Interesting, and hopeful post on this topic found in "The Economist".

"WHAT happens when different parts of a church (and in this case, a church which generally believes in obedience to earthly power) find themselves on opposite sides of a looming conflict? Over the centuries, the Orthodox church has found ingenious ways of preserving the spiritual bonds between its fractured sons and daughters while accepting that in earthly affairs, they were deeply divided. " http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2014/03/russia-ukraine-and-church

A blessed fast to all. Pray for understanding, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Offline ialmisry

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Interesting, and hopeful post on this topic found in "The Economist".

"WHAT happens when different parts of a church (and in this case, a church which generally believes in obedience to earthly power) find themselves on opposite sides of a looming conflict? Over the centuries, the Orthodox church has found ingenious ways of preserving the spiritual bonds between its fractured sons and daughters while accepting that in earthly affairs, they were deeply divided. " http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2014/03/russia-ukraine-and-church

A blessed fast to all. Pray for understanding, reconciliation and forgiveness.
What His Eminence said was nice too:
Quote
Today Ukraine is without exaggeration undergoing the gravest moment in her modern history. After three months of socio-political crisis, bloody clashes in the center of Kiev and the deaths of dozens of people, we find ourselves facing yet another trial which is no less grave. On March 1 statements were heard from office-holders in the Russian Federation about the possible dispatch to Ukraine of a limited contingent of Russian troops. If that happens, the Ukrainian and Russian peoples will find themselves drawn into a confrontation which will have catastrophic consequences for our countries. As the locum tenens of the Metropolitan See of Kiev I appeal to you, Your Holiness, to do everything possible so as not to allow bloodshed on the territory of Ukraine. I ask you to raise your voice for the preservation of the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. At this grave hour we raise our fervent prayers to Our Lord Jesus Christ that He, through the intercessions of his most pure Mother, should protect from confrontation the fraternal peoples of Russia and Ukraine.
http://orthodoxy.org.ua/data/vazhno-mestoblyustitel-upc-napravil-pismo-svyateyshemu-patriarhu-kirillu.html
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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I think one of the best examples of what the OP is getting at (or hoping for) comes from St. Nicholas of Japan: during the Russo-Japanese War at the Divine Liturgy he insisted that the prayers be offered by the Japanese faithful and the native clergy for the Emperor and Empire of the Japan and their armed forces.  He, however, would not take part in such public prayers, as he could not pray against his Czar and fatherland. Nor would he leave Japan, and abandon his flock, to go back to the safety of his homeland.  Both the bishop and his flock were bound by the Scriptural command to "honor the Emperor" even when it wasn't the same Emperor.

Another is the living saint Abp. Anastasios of Albania: serving a Divine Liturgy in the Greek speaking part of Albania, he none the less served the DL in Albanian.  As he is a native born Greek (from Piraeus/Athens no less) not only educated in Greece but teaching Greek abroad at the university level, and sent by the Phanar (but NOT a Phanariot) and all the local population were Greek speaking, he was asked why he did that, seeing as almost all would understand.  He replied that while most in attendance spoke Greek, not all did (the pontifical DL attracting neighbors as it did), but all spoke Albanian, as they were in Albania, and if a single non-Greek speaker came, he would not exclude them by not using their national language, answering correctly St. Paul's question in Scripture "how can any one in the position of an outsider say the "Amen" to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?...There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning; but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me." No Orthodox is (or should be) a foreigner in his own Church.

My old priest (a Carpatho-Russian Russophile, who hosted the UAOC Patriarch Mstyslav for a while) used to say that Orthodoxy should sink to the bone, and put down deep roots. So it becomes very Greek in Greece, very Russian in Russia, very Syrian in Syria, very Ukrainian in Ukraine, etc... (and should become very American in America, very Canadian in Canada etc.)  Since Greek=/=Russian=/=Syrian=/=Ukrainian etc-nor should it be the same-some differences are inherent.  That becomes a problem only when it eclipses Orthodoxy, and arrogated Orthodoxy to itself.  In the world, but not of the world.

"Love of homeland is part of Faith"-Arab proverb.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth