Matthew Namee is doing work no one else is doing. It's important work and brave. Who else would go to a conference at Holy Cross and tell all in attendance that Constantinople's claim to diasporal territory is a convenient fiction? Who else would do a deep dive into the US government's meddling in Orthodox administration? If you have some names, happy to add them to my reading list.
(Orthodox History) - It almost goes without saying that the Orthodox world is a mess right now. The situation in Ukraine alone is a disaster: a Russian invasion of the country backed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) by the state, and a recognized-by-only-some Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) that was created by the Ecumenical Patriarchate by joining together and legitimizing two schismatic church bodies. Moscow has broken communion with Constantinople and the other churches that have recognized the OCU: Alexandria, Cyprus, and Greece. In Africa, Moscow has established dioceses on the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. Antioch has been out of communion with Jerusalem for close to a decade due to Jerusalem’s claim of jurisdiction in Qatar. Far from being a unifying event, it seems that the long-hoped-for Holy and Great Council of 2016 was, at best, a mixed bag, and after it, everything went downhill.
How did we get into this mess? In a word: geopolitics. This is nothing new; it’s a pattern we’ve seen play out since the Old Testament. But in our modern age of rapid travel and communications, geopolitical change occurs more quickly, and is communicated more widely, than ever before. And so the changes wrought upon the Orthodox Church by the powers of this world toss us to and fro, fast enough to give an observer whiplash. We witness more history over a given time interval now than humans did at any other point in the past. Sometimes, the Orthodox Church responds effectively to that change; more often, we’re caught on our heels and are carried along by the waves.
In this article, I will try, as briefly as I can, to give some small beginning of an explanation of what led us to this dark place. Understanding the origins of our troubles is important if we’re ever going to find our way out – although the only true way out of our crisis is undoubtedly repentance.
I should say, this is not at all meant to be some kind of definitive history of world Orthodoxy in the past 100 years. I’m trying to show how we got into our current mess, not tell the entire story of the Church. So I’ll be ignoring all kinds of important and interesting and edifying stories (and even saints), because my aim here is simply to give some small insight into our current, and very difficult, state of affairs...
Complete article here.