Monday, November 23, 2015

Traditional Orthodoxy in Latin America

From a blog by Anastasios Hudson.

Knowledge of the Orthodox Christian faith is growing in Latin America; there is an increasing number of clergy, parishes, and monastic institutions, and more and more materials are being published in Spanish and Portuguese, as well. This is a cause for rejoicing, as more and more people are able to find the original Christian Church, especially in an age where modernism and relativism obscure the Truth and hinder man’s salvation.

However, as Latin American people become more and more familiar with Orthodox Christianity, there is likewise a growing confusion regarding what exactly constitutes authentic and legitimate Orthodox Christianity. On the one hand, there are numerous so-called “official” jurisdictions which teach and practice things at variance with authentic Orthodox Christianity, but excuse these abuses based on their supposed canonical legitimacy and authority; on the other hand, there are numerous charlatans who take advantage of the ignorance of the common people, and set themselves up illegitimately as Orthodox clergy, without, however, having any legitimate training or the blessing of an established Orthodox Synod.

Formerly, such deception was common among Roman Catholics and Anglicans, where “independent” clergy would pose as Roman Catholic or Anglican bishops or priests, but as the Internet has helped weed out such imposters, they have taken their game to the Orthodox “scene,” where the lack of information available and the perceived exoticness of Orthodoxy has allowed them to have moderate success. In more recent times, they have even taken advantage of the schism between traditional Orthodox Christians (Genuine Orthodox Christians [GOC] or Old Calendarists) and the New Calendarist, Ecumenist heretics, in order to present themselves as traditional Orthodox Christian clergy who are separate from the “official” and “canonical” New Calendarist/Ecumenist Churches due to reasons of faith, rather than due to canonical infractions, scandals, lack of qualifications, or self-will. They are “Genuine Orthodox” in name only, but are able to manipulate the faithful with their sophistry...

Complete post here.

1 comment:

  1. I likely won't get any amens but I see these GOCers as brethren and I look forward to the day when the stumblingblocks that separate us are removed.

    Elder Joseph the Hesychast: While I was praying, I saw a brilliant, beautiful church. It had a small exit on the side, and everyone was coming out of the church. In the courtyard, they were arguing. One person shouted, ‘I am right!’ Another person shouted, ‘I am more right!’ And a third person, ‘I am the true church!’ This reveals that although they were arguing, they all belonged to a single church. They have dogmas in common, and they have grace, but they were arguing because they don’t have an open mind and haven’t achieved sainthood. (My Elder Joseph the Hesychast by Elder Ephraim pp. 502. The Calendar Issue)

    Also see the link posted below for an excerpt from an outstanding book:

    Photios Kontoglou’s sympathetic views of the Old Calendar movement can be found in succinct form in the following two letters, which were both quoted in an article that appeared in one of Greece’s more important conservative religious periodicals, Ὀρθόδοξος Τύπος (Or- thodox press).1 In the first, dated March 1957, he writes to a friend:

    I saw what struggles you are going through, and with justification, over Church matters. But do not fear. There is faith among our people. The Old Calendarists truly are the most genuine Orthodox. However, I think that there is no schism; simply a division. May the Lord make ‘the rough ways smooth.’

    In the second, dated 28 April 1965, he writes the same friend:

    As for the Old Calendarists, you are right about everything. But they are also split into countless parties and, as you say, all you have to do in order to be reckoned an Or- thodox Christian, if not a Confessor [of the Faith], is state that you are on the Old Calendar. But be that as it may, on account of the mess that the New Calendarists have created, our stand leans toward the former