Friday, November 20, 2020

Moscow and Cyprus not on the best of terms

Moscow, November 20 (Interfax) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is ceasing the liturgical commemoration of Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus for recognizing the new uncanonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church officially resolved during an online meeting on Friday that the liturgical commemoration of the name of Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus in diptychs, as well as prayer and Eucharistic communion with him, is no longer possible. The same concerns joint prayer services with those hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus who maintain communion with the Ukrainian schismatics. 

26 comments:

  1. Very sad but under the circumstances, probably necessary.

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    1. Sadly you are correct. Pray for unity based on truth expressed in love.

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    2. Necessary? No (see Cor 1.9)

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  2. Honestly just encouraged to see bishops in Cyprus openly opposing EPB’s power grab and not following along with the ethnocentric bait of Greeks vs Slavs. Hopefully the Archbishop represents a minority but we’ll see

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  3. It may be that the Moscow Patriarchate doesn't have much choice but to drop Archbishop Chrysostomos from their diptychs. They are at least being consistent with their objection to Ukrainian autocephaly. Perhaps their objection is really more of a political nature though.

    The threat to Russia of an inflamed U.S./Israeli backed proxy war in Ukraine cannot be denied. The "Israeli Peace" crusade is now in full swing. The main threat to any "Israeli Peace" (meaning the full takeover of Palestine) are the armies of Turkey, Iran, and mostly Russia. It's likely that all three will soon be engaged somehow in battle or otherwise in proxy war, especially since Donald Trump may only have a couple months left in office. The recent "withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Syria and Iraq is actually not a good sign. Rather, it smells of war.

    At any rate, nobody has broken communion with Moscow over the Ukrainian autocephaly. Nobody has dropped Patriarch Kyrill from their diptychs. That's good. If their is full scale war in Ukraine, at least Ukrainians, whichever side they're on, won't have to make an awful decision between being schismatic or being obedient to the Church of their given aggressor.

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    1. They may not have made an official decision to break communion with Patriarch Kirill, but they also chose to make it necessary entering into communion with the schismatics. These primates have made their decision. The Russian Holy Synod is really just stating what the primates have already made obvious and necessary.

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    2. Nobody else is breaking communion with Constantinople, Alexandria, Cyprus, and Greece over this. Nobody else has even threatened to break communion with them. It's just the Moscow Patriarchate.

      More churches will likely recognize Ukrainian autocephaly, and when they do, then we'll expect Russia to break communion with them also. It's not like anyone is trying to break communion with Russia though.

      Ukrainian autocephaly can't be held hostage by Russia, and Holy Communion is not a tool for extortion.

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    3. It is the for hierarchs to protect the chalice. If anyone is using Holy Communion as a weapon, it is Constantinople, who made schismatics "canonical," bringing them into communion solely as an attack against the MP. The hierarchs of the MP havev a responsibility to protect the chalice. Even the Cypriot hierarchs have noted that the canons not only justify Moscow's reaction, but in fact require it.

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    4. "...who made schismatics "canonical," bringing them into communion solely as an attack against the MP..."

      Good summation really. When millions of Orthodox are legal fodder in a legal (canonical) tit for tat, their needs and humanity are lost in the wider war. That said, this talk of "necessity", whether it be legal (canonical), or even spiritual, is off the mark. Why? Because the fruit is spoiled. The MP and their internet followers are "canonical" when it suits them, for example the goal of retaining Ukraine under the MP. They are not "canonical" when it does not suit them, for example when they take in schismatic RC clergy without 're-ordination'. The freedom of Christ and the fruit of love is not anywhere to be seen in these legal tit for tats.

      What's your skin in this legal game @jckstraw72? Really, why do you care either way about MP and 6 million Orthodox Ukrainians in the OCU?

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    5. What's anyone's skin in this game? As Orthodox Christians, shouldn't we care what is going on in our Church throughout the world? It is sad how millions of Ukrainians are being used. There is no reason for them to have been outside of the Church, but they were taken in by ethnophyletism. Repentance and return to the Church has always been open to them, just as it is open to the Old Calendarists and the schismatics that exist in every Local Church.

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    6. Thanks @jckstraw72 Ever wonder if it is convert american internet canon warriors that are being "used"? Nah...

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    7. jckstraw72,

      The wounds of the Soviet period run very deep. There are many Greek Catholic grandmas who remember when their Churches were liquidated by the Soviets with prejudice, and the MP took possession of their Churches. After the Catholics were allowed to exist again, they wanted their
      Churches back (MP propagandists attempted to portray this as them stealing Churches----NO. They wanted returned what was taken from them with brutality).

      Many in the OCU are former Catholics and Orthodox who have had a painful family history with the MP in one way or another (perhaps their Parish priest turned an uncle in to the KGB---such painful stories litter the landscape of the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc).

      For some Ukrainians, Moscow is family. For others, they are an enemy. The pastoral aspect here is being completely ignored because of turf. What if the pastoral solution is to allow the OCU to go in peace? Fine, don't recognize the Tomos---they are the "UOC-EP." Whatever.

      Let them go! I honestly don't understand the MP's hardness of heart on this. Have they forgotten Sergianism and the Soviet period so quickly? ROCOR balked at reunion for years because of this. For the OCU, Sergianism is still a reality.

      Separation is the only way forward. There won't be any healing until Moscow lets them go in peace. Perhaps, after a generation or two of co-existence, then there can be some inter-communion, if not reunion.

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    8. It may be convenient for some to accuse the UOC of ethnophyleticism but the Moscow Patriarchate would know something about that too since the Russian Empire promoted ethnophyleticism across the Orthodox world in the 19th century to serve its geopolitical interests.

      For example, the Russian Empire played an active role in promoting Bulgarian nationalism and supported Bulgarian ecclesiastical independence from Constantinople. At the Council of 1872 held in Constantinople where ethnophyleticism and the Bulgarian schism were condemned, the Russian Church did not attend or recognize its proclamations. The Russian ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Nikolai Ignatief, who was later considered for the Bulgarian throne due to his assistance to the cause, even pressured Patriarch Cyril of Jerusalem to leave the council, with the latter excusing himself without appointing a representative in his place under the pretext that he was expecting Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia back at the patriarchate.

      Today, the ROC which supported the schism and the Bulgarian Church which owes its origin to schism have not recognized the UOC.

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    9. The Moscow Patriarchate has never repented of their own false union at the "Council of Lviv" initiated by Joseph Stalin in 1946. This was Russia's own brand of extreme Uniatism, making Eastern Rite Catholicism illegal in Ukraine and taking over all their church properties, handing them over to the Moscow Patriarchate. Even though political circumstances beginning in 1989 allowed for the return of Eastern Rite Catholicism in Ukraine, and the return of their church properties, the Moscow Patriarchate still denies any wrong doing. They still consider themselves as having "righted" the historical wrong of the Polish Unia and the Treaty of Brest.

      Yet two wrongs never make a right. The Russian Unia didn't fix the problem of the Polish Unia. It just made things worse. The Moscow Patriarchate still hasn't repented of this. So it comes across as completely absurd when the MP demands repentance from Ukrainians.

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    10. We can cite the political games of the Moscow in the 19th Century, but a cursory glance of the Rum Millet shows that the EP hardly acted well either----the Arab Orthodox have some opinions on that time period, to be sure.

      I found the initial silence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and HAH Bartholomew's refusal to break communion in the face of MP threats and attacks to be the right response. The EP focused on the pastoral aspect, and I was greatly edified by that.

      I find myself now saddened and disheartened by the EP's descent into "the game," with their own propaganda website (Orthodoxtimes.com) and blistering statements on the "rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate."

      Some on "our side" might argue that it is necessary to counter MP "disinformation," but I don't agree. The focus should be on what is right for the OCU and the binding of wounds in Ukraine, for all Orthodox there, OCU and UOC-MP.

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    11. David, my intention was not to pointlessly dig up the mistakes of the past nor to offend any of our beloved brothers but to show those who are easily prone to manipulation that the supporter of schism is now condemning schismatics. The inconsistency has nothing to do with evolving attitudes over time but rather with the involvement of the Russian state in the affairs of the Church to the point where the latter has been serving worldly goals for centuries.* The position of the MP is incoherent and absurd as you said because it is simply not free to act pastorally and sacrificially for its divided Ukrainian children.

      *A trip to Serbia last week to attend the funeral of the Patriach involved a packed day of meetings with key political figures for the head of the Dept of External Relations for the MP (http://www.patriarchia.ru/en/db/text/5724560.html)

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  5. How is the MP position even coherent? "Those who commune with schismatics are schismatic."

    How can they commune with Bishops who commemorate "schismatics," as every Cypriot Bishop does when they commemorate their primate?

    The absurdity of this position is becoming more glaring over time, as the MP keeps crossing off names. How long will they keep this up?

    Even if a Pan-Orthodox Council were convened tomorrow, the MP wouldn't accept any decision that was not in their favor. Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are "one spiritual space" (OURS). The goal posts keep moving. At first it was EP hubris----now it is a Greek conspiracy----if Romania or non-Greek Churches recognize the OCU, it will become a Modernist-CIA Plot (that one is already making the rounds).

    At any rate, the Cypriot Church will make their decision. I am waiting for the usual suspects to turn on Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, just as they did against Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nakpatkos and Arta. It's a sick game.

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    1. David B., at the risk of being seen to support know-nothing-internet-canon-warriors and the MP, this "game" is a consequence of the an ecclesiology and canonical structure made for an Empire and not the present circumstances (and the last 1000 years). A "Pan-Orthodox Council", if it was truly "ecumenical", would in theory *update* the canonical structure to account for present circumstances, defining/normalizing "autocephaly", what/who is a metropolitan and patriarch, and the like. It could also refute modernheresies/theologoumenon around modern anthropology such as technological conception/assisted death, homosexualism, women's ordination, etc.

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    2. If the EP and MP had a warm relationship, I think you would see many of these problems be "fixed" in short order.

      Constantinople and Moscow's relationship is broken. That is what needs to be fixed, first and foremost. It has to be done on the human level. The meeting that Metropolitan Joseph brokered between Archbishop Elpidophoros and Metropolitan Hilarion is the sort of thing that needs to happen.

      I think if the MP started referring to the EP as the EP, and not as the "Constantinople Patriarchate," that would be a nice start. On the EP side, I would love to see the Patriarchate acknowledge the mistakes of the past, including supporting the renovationists, even if only for a short time (which the MP has never forgotten).

      The relationship is what needs to be healed first.

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  6. Well, are we really surprised that the GREEK Orthodox Church of Cyprus supported the decisions of the GREEK Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople?

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  7. ...and what about the recognition that came from the GREEK Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and the GREEK Orthodox Church of GREECE? I am sure the pressure is hotter than a freshly lit Saganaki for the GREEK Orthodox Church of Jerusalem to do this as well. Having said that, the Russian support and presence may have a moderating effect. This will all work out in a hundred years when Constantinople (by then headed by an AI Patriarch since the Turks will have snuffed out humans Greeks by then) recognizes the OCA.

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  8. BasilCan,

    Ok, we're still in the "Greek Conspiracy" Phase.

    Perhaps the Church of Greece would have been more amenable to the Moscow Patriarchate's position if Metropolitan Hilarion hadn't ticked off the Greek Bishops with his "diplomacy." I honestly don't know what His Eminence hoped to gain by such belligerence?

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  9. When your whole argument is "THE GREEKS," you have essentially lost the argument. That might be satisfactory over at Monomakhos but you will need to try a little harder here. Bringing in the OCA to this the way you did is ironic considering that during the discussions that occured at the December 9-17, 2009 preparatory meetings held in Chambesy for the Pan-Orthodox Council, the representative for the MP offered to revoke the OCA's autocephaly as a concession.

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  10. It would only be Greek Ethnophyletism if the OCU were a bunch of Greeks, but they're not, they're Slavs.

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    1. For the OCU, its Ukrainian ethnophyletism. Why did Constantinople and other primates jump on this bandwagon? Greek ethnophyletism.

      Their common tie is hatred of Russia.

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