Showing posts with label Patriarch HIlarion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patriarch HIlarion. Show all posts

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Orthodox Churches Seek Closeness -- Synaxis Meets in Constantinople

(Constantinople) The Orthodox seek unity with one another. The assembly of Primates of the Orthodox Church has begun In George's Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.  The Patriarchate of Moscow thereby is also searching for the solidarity and support of Orthodoxy  in the Ukraine crisis and will probably get it.
In Constantinople, now Istanbul, today, the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches has opened. This is something  the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has invited    - not without some rumblings of the Russian Orthodox - to discuss a meeting of the Holy and Grand Council, the whole Orthodox  Church that could begin, after 50 years of announcements and preparations, perhaps in 2015.

Will the Holy and Grand Council of the Orthodox Take Place?

The crisis in Ukraine, which is also an East-West conflict, are of particular importance to today's meeting to understand the direction in which the inner- Orthodox  relations between the autocephalous Churches could develop in the coming years, but also the ecumenisml between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church.
A number of recent signals suggest that in the three-day meeting at the Phanar, at the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Orthodox Churches  will move closer together after years of bickering and divisiveness  and consolidate again its close internal unity.. It features a new dynamic of recovered unity with a Divine Liturgy celebrated on the 9th of March, Sunday, the day of the " Triumph of Orthodoxy ". This still refers to the first millennium triumph of the veneration of icons against the iconoclasts, but in a broader sense, the triumph of Orthodoxy over the heretics. It is the triumph of the "small, persecuted flock," a "triumph of the martyrs and confessors," as it committed to Orthodoxy.

Ukraine Crisis is Leading to  Inner-Orthodox Closeness

For a long time the participation of the most influential Orthodox Church leader, Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow was not certain. Yet the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia has finally traveled to Istanbul. For him, it comes to receiving the support of all the Orthodox Primates for the second part of his title. According to Moscow's understanding of the tripartite Russia (Great Russia, Little Russia, Belarus), his primacy extends not only to the state of Russia and ethnic Russians but also through Ukraine and Belarus. The question of the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which during the crisis has come down on the side of the anti-Russian independence movement is, therefore, not to affect the assembly.

Patriarch Filaret was on the side of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry over Martyrs' Square in Kiev

As it stands, all canonically recognized Orthodox Churches will continue to repudiate a canonical recognition of a Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate independent of Moscow headed by Patriarch Filaret of Kiev. Filaret, has been Russian Orthodox Metropolitan since 1966, he became after 1990, after the death of Pimen I his successor as Metropolitan of Kiev and throughout Ukraine. When Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Filaret called  for the autocephaly of the Orthodox church in the country, which  Moscow rejected. In 1995, he called arbitrarily for Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Patriarch of Kyiv and all Ukraine .
This division of Orthodoxy in Ukraine has continued still, so that today  three feuding Orthodox Churches face each other. Only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is officially recognized, to which appends still the majority of Orthodox believers. Filaret was excommunicated in 1997 by Moscow and returned to the lay state.  Despite various attempts by anti-Russian Ukrainian politicians speaking of  the recognition,  the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, has  not previously affirmed it. Although  Ukrainian he has had 20 years of independence, the Kiev Patriarchate  has not expanded its position, since the majority of Ukrainian parishes and monasteries belong almost entirely to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Filaret is Considered in Canonical Orthodoxy as Excommunicated Schismatics

Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv remains in the eyes of the recognized Primates as one excommunicated, who is also accused of giving titles and jurisdictions to schismatic groups and strange creations  imparting to secularized priests to self-appointed priests and vagrants, dealing moving in various countries outside the Church control. There is talk of a "schismatic International," calling into question the apostolic succession of the Orthodox Churches undermines in some parts of the world and place. An expression that reflects the mood within  canonical Orthodoxy on the subject.
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry these days made his walk across the Martyrs' Square in Kiev, he was accompanied by various Ukrainian religious leaders. Right next to Kerry, more visible than any other, was Patriarch Filaret. On the Russian side, Patriarch Kirill I tried to restrain the conflict in Ukraine. All the more so, since Archimandrite Chaplain of Russian Military had designated the  intervention in the Crimea as a "peace mission".  Additionally, Kirill said: "Our nation is composed of people with different perspectives and political convictions, including those which are being  faced on  the barricades. The Church is located at the side of any party in the political struggle."  These words are a message to Metropolitan Onufry  they contain the current locum tenens of the Moscow Patriarchate in Kiev.

Moscow is Seeking Assistance and is Willing to Grant Such

Not only Moscow but also the Ecumenical Patriarch urges a closing of the Orthodox ranks. This not only has to do with the Ukraine crisis. At the same time, the unity will also strengthen the role of Bartholomew as primus inter pares, and thus guarantor and coordinator of Orthodox unity. Therefore, the "foreign minister" of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion found many words of praise and grateful appreciation for Bartholomew and also Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamon, the major theologians of the Ecumenical Patriarchate .

Hilarion: "We must identify the problems of the world today, not those of the 70s"

Hilarion expressed in the preparatory meetings currently in session  at the Synaxis the full readiness  to participate for the  first time in the preparation of the Holy and Grand Council, which has been considered by Moscow with little attention in the past: "New realities, new problems have emerged and we must, for our flock  and the world, identify the problems  that approach  us today and not those which concerned the Orthodox Churches in the 70s and 80s of the last Century. "

Impact on the Primacy Issue between Orthodoxy and Catholicism?

Whether the new unity of Orthodoxy will have an impact on the willingness of Moscow to talk with the Catholic Church on primacy remains to be seen. Recently,  Moscow has been deaf on this topic therefore, and for thus it did not recognize the leading role of the Ecumenical Patriarch in this question.  However, there seems to e a relaxation in progress between Moscow and Constantinople. 
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Vatican Insider
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com
AMGD

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Putin to Visit Pope Francis -- To Forge a New "Holy Alliance"?



(Moscow / Vatican) Russia's President Vladimir Putin will pay a visit to Pope Francis. The audience is set for Monday, the 25th of November. The meeting was strongly desired by the Russian head of state. The diplomats of the Kremlin made inquiries a few weeks ago at the Vatican to include a trip to Rome during Putin's trip to Italy, which leads him to Trieste. The wish was granted immediately by the Vatican. On the same day, the man in the Kremlin will also pay a courtesy visit to the Italian Head of State, as required by diplomatic convention. But the real destination is Pope Francis.

Putin is not just seeking a photo-op, which would immortalize him next to the head of the Catholic Church. Russia seeks to establish a new network of strategic partnerships for several years. This was exemplified with the rapprochement between the Russian Orthodox and the Catholic Church under Pope Benedict XVI., an approach that is reinforced by the reigning Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill. However, the approach involves not only the Church but also the political level. And reveals that this is not just a purely political question.

Moscow in Search of Strategic Allies

In Moscow there is a quest for similarities and potential allies for a counterweight to the United States. A power struggle under very different circumstances. It's about national interests, geopolitics, and influence. But it is also a dimly recognizable counter-model to the new Western state doctrine of relativism. At this level, Putin calls out to the West. He did this by supporting the opponents of gay marriage in France and by Russia's refusal to fall under the U.S. Cartel. In addition to a national antagonism, a new ideology has entered. A contrast that will take place globally as the different language programs broadcast by Russian television show. There are  English and a Spanish editors to supply much of the world with counter-information to Western broadcasters.

The promising contacts by Benedict XVI arose between Moscow and the Vatican, should the Kremlin so desire, will be be expanded. The opportunity to continue leading the way with Pope Francis is apparent. Putin wants to personally attend the last decisive exploratory visit on the 25th November. Syria will only be a topic of discussion to demonstrate similarities. Russia has signaled in the Middle East it is ready to take on the role of protector of the Christians, whom the West seems to be willing to give up on other interests. 

Recognized Role of Russia: Open Letter from Francis to Putin

Early September, Pope Francis signaled that Russia must play an important role with an open letter to Putin, facing the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. Specifically, it was about the Syrian conflict. This was followed by prompt cooperation in the diplomatic field between the Vatican and Russia to defuse the conflict by securing Syrian President Assad's assent to destroy chemical weapons. The fate of Christians in the Middle East will be discussed at the meeting. Pope Francis has so far avoided any gesture that could be exploited in any way in an anti-Islamic manner by the West or from Russia. Unlike the West, he avoided any mention and even praise for the "Arab spring", in whose lee the Islamists in the Middle East experienced an unexpected increase in power. But he also avoided any invitation to the old protective forces to work beyond diplomatic activities for the protection of Christians in the Orient.

A new "Holy Alliance"? - Argentine Pope is no Longer in East-West Logic of the Cold War

In Russia, there is quite an interest to forge a kind of "Holy Alliance". Moscow has set aside a lot of the old resentment against the West and its representatives. What seemed unthinkable for the Moscow Patriarch with a Polish Pope, was already possible under a German pope. Then a Pope from Argentina is definitively not in the old East-West logic in which the Catholic Church was seen as part of the North Atlantic Alliance by Russia. This is also why new opportunities of approach are seen in the East.

Opportunities that could possibly lead to long-silent and gradually prepared meeting between a pope and a patriarch of Moscow. The trail leads to Moscow on a common defense of non-negotiable values.

Papal Gesture of Goodwill for Orthodox

Pope Francis shown his hand already in several benevolent gestures toward Orthodoxy. On the return flight from Rio de Janeiro, he expressed his admiration for the Orthodox liturgy, which is to have more strongly preserved the sacred. In his Civiltà Cattolica interview, he said of the Orthodox: "From them you can learn even more the meaning of episcopal collegiality and the tradition of Synodality".

On November 12th the "Foreign Minister" of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, has already come to Rome. The occasion is the presentation of a book with contributions of the Russian philologist Sergei Averintsev (1937-2004), who was a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences as an Orthodox. Hilarion's stay in Rome, are seen also as preparatory talks proceeding the 25th of November.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com

Link to Katholisches...
AMGD

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Moscow Patriarchate: Appeal to the West, to Protect Persecuted Christians

Metropolitan Hilarion: "Measures could be taken reduced to a simple formula: economic and other help should only be given in exchange for guaranteed security for religious minorities."


Moscow (kath.net/KAP) The Russian Orthodox Church has appealed to all Democratic Nations to develop an effective system of protection for persecuted Christian minorities, reports Russian news agency 'Interfax'.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfejew), the director of the foreign office of the Moscow Patriarchate, said for journalists at the Russian Capitol: "The European Parliament has stressed in a resolution of the 20th of January, special measures to influence those lands in which Christians are persecuted.

I think that these measures can be reduced to a short formula: economic and other assistance should only be given in exchange for guarantees for the security of religious minorities."

The Metropolitan cited data of international organizations: every five minutes somewhere in the world a Christian is killed for his Faith, every year there are an estimated 105.000 victims, and 75 percent of all those who are persecuted because of their convictions are Christians.

The director of the foreign ministry of the Moscow Patriarchate referenced, related to a study by the Commission of the Bishops Conference of the EU-Area (ComECE), according to which 170.000 Christians throughout the world must suffer for their Faith. The human rights organization "Open Doors" even estimates the number as high as a Million persecuted Christians.

"We must see an evident fact: Christians are the most persecuted group worldwide", said the Metropolitan. Many researchers are beginning to compare the intensity of the persecution of Christians at the beginning of the third millennium with the first centuries of Christianity.

The Metropolitan identified countries with especially intense persecution as, Afghanistan, Iran, the Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq as well as North Korea. In the respect of Iraq he recalled that earlier there were 1,5 Million Christians in the country before the fall of Saddam Hussein of which more than half have been displaced or fled the country.

Link to kath.net...

Copyright 2011 Katholische Presseagentur, Wien, Österreich. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Papal Primacy: Russia Leads the Resistance

[Chiesa] ROME, October 6, 2010 – While the Eastern Churches are slowly approaching the convocation of the pan-Orthodox "Great and Holy Council" that should finally unite them in a single assembly after centuries of incomplete "synodality," the other journey of reconciliation, which sees the East in dialogue with the Church of Rome, is also taking small steps forward.

The object of this dialogue concerns the only real sticking point dividing Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the primacy of the pope.

The latest evidence came a few days ago, in Vienna, where from September 20 to 27 the joint international commission for theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church met as a whole, precisely on the universal role of the bishop of Rome during the first millennium of Christian history.


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