Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Joint statement on Max Michel


  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#21 John Charmley

John Charmley

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,101 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 11 January 2007 - 09:28 AM

Dear John,

Sorry- I was posting in regards to what Grigorios wrote. Not about the joint statement between H.B. Pope Theodoros II and Pope Shenouda III referred to above. When I did a word search for 'restoration of full communion' it appears in Peter's post not mine.

In Christ- Fr Raphael


Dear Fr. Raphael,

The ecclesiology of ROCOR is plain enough, my question was about the ecclesiology of the statement of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, with which it would seem ROCOR is in disagreement. Interesting though these cultural differences are, they don't get to the heart of my question - but such discussions rarely do. I guess the answer is embedded in the mindset, which is as it should be, no doubt.


In Christ,

John

#22 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 11 January 2007 - 03:39 PM

Dear Fr. Raphael,

The ecclesiology of ROCOR is plain enough, my question was about the ecclesiology of the statement of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, with which it would seem ROCOR is in disagreement. Interesting though these cultural differences are, they don't get to the heart of my question - but such discussions rarely do. I guess the answer is embedded in the mindset, which is as it should be, no doubt.


In Christ,

John


I still get the feeling I'm missing something! :) But if we're asking why the difference between the Joint Statement & ROCOR's position this comes down to Orthodox ecclesiology where each church with its synod of bishops is free to determine such matters.

In practice however a priest would always consult his diocesan bishop unless he was confident he already knew how his bishop would have directed him.

I'm guessing however that this kind of ecclesiology would be disorienting for someone coming from outside of Orthodoxy where there may be more administrative centralization.

For us we share fundamentals concerning the Faith but yet a large degree of discretion in how we implement this. So there are real variations from church to church, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, diocese to diocese and also parish to parish. The more fundamental something is the less variation, and the less fundamental the more variation. Some of what constitutes being fundamental or not is understood from direct episcopal direction & synodal decisions, but other things are understood simply from an awareness of how the life of the Church is implemented throughout the Church. In time between straight forward following direction from your bishop and a sensitivity to what is 'going on' in the Church one develops an almost instinctual sense for what is proper wherever one finds oneself within the Church.

Again it probably all looks very chaotic and even contradictory to someone not Orthodox but once you live with it for awhile you adjust, see how it actually all works and see its wisdom.

More importantly however you recognize how this is a faithful reflection of an Orthodox ecclesiology where the delicate balance between discernment and obedience must always be allowed for. Standing back and looking at the forest for the trees it can seem contradictory. But you gradually learn that the differences in implementation are really an overall check & balance, guided by the Holy Spirit, which prevents extremes & maintains an overall sense of balance.

I'm open though to trying to answer any questions you may have about this.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#23 John Charmley

John Charmley

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,101 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 11 January 2007 - 03:50 PM

Dear Fr. Raphael,

I am indebted to you for this clarification.

I'm guessing however that this kind of ecclesiology would be disorienting for someone coming from outside of Orthodoxy where there may be more administrative centralization.

Coming from an Anglican background what worried me was not the lack of centralisation but rather what might be taken to be a similarity with what I am used to!

That is one of the reasons I am grateful for you taking the time to answer my question.

This

there are real variations from church to church, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, diocese to diocese and also parish to parish. The more fundamental something is the less variation, and the less fundamental the more variation.

is what I am familiar with - but the second sentence makes all the difference.

In Christ,

John

#24 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,516 posts

Posted 03 March 2007 - 10:41 AM

To the original post about Mad Max has one thing missing. Why isnt the latin coptic patriarch Antonios Naguib not condemned as well?

#25 Peter Farrington

Peter Farrington

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 647 posts

Posted 03 March 2007 - 11:34 AM

The latin patriarch has been around for 100 years and though there are some tensions they are not as directly confrontational as max michael.

#26 John Charmley

John Charmley

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,101 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 03 March 2007 - 12:01 PM

To the original post about Mad Max has one thing missing. Why isnt the latin coptic patriarch Antonios Naguib not condemned as well?


Dear Kosta,

Should we not exercise great care in wishing to condemn others? Our Lord Himself tells us in Luke 6:37:

37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven


Of course, there are occasions, as with Max Michel, when it is necessary for the hierarchs of the Church to pronounce in a way that protects their flocks from those who would lead them astray; but surely we, as laymen, should be very careful in who we condemn?

As we are told in John 3:17:

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.


I am minded of what St. Paul tells the Romans in Romans 2:1:

1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.


These things should be bore in mind as we struggle with our sinful tendency to condemn others.

In Christ,

John

#27 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,516 posts

Posted 03 March 2007 - 09:24 PM

Dear Charming,

The only thing i see from the statement of condemning Max Micha but not the equally schismatic, heretical & violator of canons the latin Naguib as evidence on the eastern part of an inferiority complex. Why is Max Micha a charlatan but not the latin patriarch as well? Many centuries ago the OO had no problem comdemning Pope Leo.

It seems to me that Alexandria likes to play the part of second fiddle and fears Rome. What do they fear? Do you believe the Copts will leave pope Shenouda and join with the latin coptic churches or do the copts believe the latin patriarch is a rightful alexandrian patriarch as well? The greek patriarch is lost and has no flock to lose in egypt so i dont expect much from him, but will do as he always has which is nothing.

Easterners need to wake up and step up to the plate and defend right-belief from heresy. Believe me standing up to the heretics will do more to foster reunion between EO & OO than some silly signed statements that EO does not recognize to begin with.

#28 Peter Farrington

Peter Farrington

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 647 posts

Posted 03 March 2007 - 09:40 PM

Dear Kosta

I must say that I don't think you will foster any sort of fruitful discussion in this thread if you take the rather abrupt tone which you have.

The Coptic Orthodox are willing to talk to many other Christian communities, and these include the Eastern Orthodox as well as the Roman Catholics. I don't really see what your message is trying to achieve other than insulting the Coptic Orthodox and the Roman Catholic communities, as well as your own Eastern Orthodox community in Egypt.

Peter

#29 John Charmley

John Charmley

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,101 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 03 March 2007 - 10:16 PM

Dear Kosta,

Easterners need to wake up and step up to the plate and defend right-belief from heresy. Believe me standing up to the heretics will do more to foster reunion between EO & OO than some silly signed statements that EO does not recognize to begin with.


There seems, alas, little to say. It seems sad that such a fervent Christian should feel such a tone appropriate witness to His Lord's love for mankind; we all do what we do in His name; adsit omen.

In Christ, but also in sorrow,

John

#30 Sameha

Sameha

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 03 April 2007 - 05:14 AM

Greetings,

I do not believe one should read more into this statement than what is originally intended by the two Patriarchs of Alexandria. Max Michel claimed that he received valid ordination by Eastern Orthodox hierarchs, and the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria of course must dispute this as it came from schismatics. Although Max Michel's target is focused on the bigger prize, the Coptic church, and therefore the involvement of Pope Shenouda in the statement, the ordination of Max effects the Greek Patriarch more than the COptic Pope. Technically, he would be a rival of the Greek Patriarch being ordained from the same denomination.

There is a reality of schism between the Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians. To have a unity between both groups an official statement by both Churches, by the ecumenical body of both churches, has to declare such in clear terms. To use (or abuse) a statement on Max Michel to declare a unity that lacks the communion in ONE body of Christ through the Eucharist is not honest and is just a wishful thinking.

Untiy steps are going well, as far as I understand. Let it take its full course for a more meaningful unity rather than squeezing a unity out of a statement concerning what many consider a government puppet like Max Michel.

#31 Mina Soliman

Mina Soliman

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 12 April 2007 - 03:51 AM

Dear Sameha,

I think you're underestimating the agreement here. Besides the fact that the two Churches of Alexandria are practically "sister Churches" by the sharing of sacraments, this agreement really developed that type of language.

The first sentence beginning with the "We" pronoun ends up with a proclamation that there are some "non-Orthodox" and "schismatic" bishops. To make this agreement together and yet to not ignore the "reality of the Chalcedonian schism" would make this Max Michel agreement a laughable one.

"False" ordination and "invalid" sacramental and ecclesiastical status assumes that both these Patriarchs have agreed quite the opposite about each other. If I was to make a joint agreement against someone, I would not choose a heretic or schismatic on my side, not would I?

It would be more consistent if both Patriarchs have done separate proclamations against Max Michel. Besides, Max Michel really is a threat (although I don't think he is that much of a threat) to the Coptic Church, considered he has adopted everything in his church in a Coptic manner. One person used the term "Orthoducks" for those vagant groups (which are rampant in the US). I think this is Egypt's first (and hopefully only) Orthoduck that both these Patriarchs have to deal with.

God bless.

#32 Sameha

Sameha

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 15 June 2007 - 08:26 PM

Dear Mina,

I believe you are reading too much in a statement that neither intended to declare unity between two churches in schism nor did annul the 15 centuries of enstrangement between both churches. It is plain and simple and does not require twisting: Max Michel is not part of any of the two churches and both churches declare his ordination to be uncanonical.

Declaring unity is done by a council or by a series of back and forth letters between synods that ends with restoration of communion. You can take the Roman catholic church and the Assyrian church unity as an example, or the reunion formula between Cyril and John in 433 a.d. as a model.

I am not sure that the word unity even came into the joint statement. The fact that both churches have a joint statement is not much different than the joint statement of egyptian churches on homosexuality or a joint statement by El_azhar and the Coptic Church about peace in the Middle East. You do not think that we are in communion with Islam, do you, by virtue of meeting their leaders and having joint statements ?

Let us not try to force a unity that is progressing slowly but surely and is taking sure steps towards the ultimate prize. It just hurts our cause and makes unity supporters look rather ignorant about the boundaries of the church.

God bless you as well.

#33 Mina Soliman

Mina Soliman

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 17 June 2007 - 03:08 PM

Dear Sameha,

First, I think you misunderstood me. I agree that this declaration does not speak about unity between the two churches. But I am contending that the language used implies an already existing unity between the two churches. You still haven't addressed a very important issue. Why would I choose a schismatic on my side to condemn a heretic when I can do this on my own?

Second, This is not a joint statement about peace or homosexuality or Christology. This is a joint statement about declaring someone "not Orthodox" and "schismatic" (especially that last word if you read it carefully). It's like making a joint statement with Muslims about Hindus not having the true God. Why should I necessarily make a joint statement (keep in mind the word "joint") with a religion that I consider not having the true God about another religion not having the true God? Now consider this Max Michel statement. Why should I make a joint statement with a "schismatic church" over another "schismatic?"

I also want to bring to your attention Sameha that the two Orthodox churches of Alexandria have pretty much accepted all the sacraments of one another. According to HE Metropolitan Bishoy in a lecture about the latest in ecumenical talks, the two churches of Alexandria and the two churches of Antioch have accepted that there be no need for someone to ask special permission of a bishop to take communion in a church they were not baptized or raised in. In other words, I as a Copt can take communion in a Greek Alexandrian church (if this is necessarily a closer church for me) without special permission or anointing or proclamation of faith. Therefore, I don't feel I am "reading too much" into the statement when in fact I'm using reality of the present relationship between the two churches of Alexandria. To ignore the implied "oneness" in the agreement made against Max Michel not only ignores this reality, but makes this joint agreement one of the most vain and useless documents in history.

God bless.

#34 Sameha

Sameha

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 28 June 2007 - 04:26 PM

Dear Mina,

thank you for your reply. I am not aware of the statement by H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy about inter-communion between the Orientals and the Eastern. Is it sanctified by the Holy Synod ? If true, these are excellent news.

Restoring communion is essentially union, for the church is defined as the one body and the partakers of the body of Christ. I was under the impression that the sacrament of marriage is the only one restored, with prohibition on inter-communion, between the two churches.

If you could, please, would you refer to the source of this decision ? I have tried to search the Keraza magazine, which is the official magazine of the Coptic Church, and could not find much about it.

God bless you.

#35 Mina Soliman

Mina Soliman

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 28 June 2007 - 05:45 PM

Dear Sameha,

There has been a lecture given by HE Metropolitan Bishoy, but the lecture is in Arabic. It can be found here:

http://coptichymns.n...ws_of_Salvation

And it's the lecture "Oecumenical Discussions Through 2003."

According to a forum discussion, webmaster "PaulS" in translation wrote:

As of 1990 and beyond:

+ Roman Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox men and women are allowed to marry one another. If any Roman Orthodox person marries a Coptic Orthodox person, the priests of each church should fully accept the couple as though they were raised in their churches.

As of 1998 and beyond:

+ Since we believe in the baptism of any Orthodox church that believes in our baptism, there is no need to baptize or anoint with Myron Roman Orthodox persons marrying Coptic Orthodox persons.

+ We do not refuse Holy Communion to Roman Orthodox persons and vice versa.

+ No Coptic Orthodox priest may, however, participate in a Roman Orthodox liturgical service of any type. There is no agreed protocol for liturgical communion... yet.


http://coptichymns.n...pic-t-6215.html

God bless.

Mina

#36 Peter Farrington

Peter Farrington

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 647 posts

Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:23 PM

I don't have access to the recent statement by HE Bishoy, but the Joint Agreement between the Alexandrian churches of 1991 goes beyond marriage.

It says...

Each of the two Patriarchates shall also accept to perform all of its other sacraments to that new family of Mixed Christian Marriage.

Therefore the Eastern Orthodox members of a mixed family may receive all the sacraments in the Coptic Orthodox Church, and the Coptic Orthodox members of a mixed family may receive all the sacraments in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Of course this applies only to members of a mixed marriage, but it is the principle which counts. If the two Churches did not think that the other members were properly Orthodox they would not be able to receive the sacraments.

The agreement between the Syrian and Antiochian Churches of 1991 is much closer, but uses the same principle.

In localities where there is only one priest, from either Church, he will celebrate services for the faithful of both Churches, including the Divien Liturgy, pastoral duties, and holy matrimony.

and

If a bishop from one Church and a priest from the sister Church happen to concelebrate a service, the first will preside even when it is the priest's parish.

and

If a bishop from one Church and a priest from the sister Church happen to concelebrate a service, the first will preside even when it is the priest's parish.

These latter statements are all from the document issued by the Antiochian Patriarchate and signed by His Holiness.

Peter Theodore

#37 Sameha

Sameha

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 29 June 2007 - 05:09 PM

I know these statements brought up in the previous post, because I had to consult them ten years ago for my "mixed" marriage. They are not applied as presented above though. My husband, a Roman Orthodox as well call the Orthodox Chalcedonians in Egypt, having been baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church, was received in the Coptic orthodox Church by being anointed with the Holy Myron. I remember very well one of the prominent theologians and priests of the Coptic Church in Alexandria citing St. Severus as the source for this practice. This priest is a member of the unity talks as far as I understand and a very famous name.

There was no mixed marriage, it was a coptic orthodox marriage. The statement does not state that they can have communion alternatively between the two churches, rather that they choose one church and stay with it for the sake of sacramental life. This is how it was explained to us. Our children are baptized in the Coptic Orthodox Church as well. The statement, as applied, did not change much of the already established practice since Chalcedon and was considered as redundant.

But the statement by Metropolitan Bishoy is the interesting one, for if it is not his own opinion but rather that of the Holy Synod, it essentially establishes union.

#38 John Charmley

John Charmley

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,101 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 29 June 2007 - 07:35 PM

Dear Sameha,

Thank you for this information; how interesting to see how it is put into practice on the ground, so to say.

The major statement on this issue is to be found here:
http://www.coptic.ne...UnityDialog.txt
although there may be more recent ones.

I suspect that on both sides there will be those who will contest this, but we should be relaxed about it - if it is the will of the Holy Spirit it will prevail - if not, then not.

Still, it is better than how things once were - and that is a blessing to many individuals in the same situation as yourself.

In Christ,

John




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users