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Council in Crete this month


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#1 Anna Stickles

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 01:30 AM

I have been rather discouraged with how badly the non-Orthodox press tends to present the council in Crete in terms of its own skewed
political and religious views and assumptions which are totally disconnected from our ecclesiology and theology.  Here is a refreshing
alternative by Met. Hierotheos Vlachos that presents things in line with the understanding of councils within Orthodox tradition.

 

This is one of the best things I have seen on it.   http://www.pravoslav...glish/94354.htm

 



#2 Lakis Papas

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 09:36 AM

Official site:

https://www.holycouncil.org/home

#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 09:48 AM

I have read with great interest the several articles by Met. Hierotheos on pravoslavie.ru, and other articles, especially those by Met. Athanasios of Limassol. Together, these articles have shaped my views of this Council and I have been deeply apprehensive about the reasons behind its having been convened and its agenda.

 

(For myself, I keep in mind that Met. Hierotheos was a disciple of Elder Sophrony of Essex, coming here to stay with him every summer for many years until the Elder's repose. Met. Athanasios was with St Paisios on the Holy Mountain for some sixteen years.)


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 18 June 2016 - 09:48 AM.


#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 10:22 AM

There is this from Met. Kallistos (Ware) which I think is helpful.

http://www.ancientfa...d_great_council



#5 Kosta

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 10:35 AM

I'm am happy that many heirarchs of the Church of Greece have spoken out against this meeting. And the letter by the Serbian Church to the council was excellent, assertive and demonstrated backbone. Now may they follow through with courage.

#6 Lakis Papas

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 12:10 PM

Several years ago, I attended a speech by Metropolitan Hierotheos. His speech was amazing, knowledgeable, highly documented with patristic texts and spiritually structured. At the end of his speech, Metropolitan accepted questions from the audience, which he responded with comfort. I like very much Metropolitan Hierotheos and Ι read his books, since 1982. I think his work is admirable and that he is spiritually unprecedented.

But, it was a final question from a lady from the audience after his speech, in which Metropolitan faltered in his effort to answer. The lady asked this question: "My son is a drug addict and his life is in danger, how can your speech help me to save his life? I came and watched your speech for this reason".

The Metropolitan was unable to answer this question and gave a cursory reply in a completely inadequate way.

I think there is a pastoral problem that Orthodoxy faces today: there is adequate theological and patristic information, but the difficult problems of our time (which did not exist in ancient times) remain without an adequate orthodox methodology for their treatment.

Problems like: consumerism / capitalism as superstructure, sexual disorientation, the existence of poverty in a super wealthy world, the incessant production of information, social change on many levels mainly in the family structure, are some new issues that did not exist 100 years ago. To these matters the orthodoxy uses spiritual and pastoral tools developed in ancient times for other problems. The pastoral methodology is not multi-tool, it has been developed in the past thoroughly, separately for each issue, corresponding to the problem that tried to solve.

The anthropological analysis and psychotherapy proposed by Metropolitan was valid for the lady's drug addict son. But the psychotherapy methodology requires the integration of the patient into the body of the Church. Therefore an attracting methodology is required into the ecclesiastical body before anything else. This methodology is missing. The attracting methodology is outdated, based on functional structures, innovative for their time of first implementation, but today they are notoriously inefficient and misplaced.

I am afraid the Holy and Great Council has a bureaucratic agenda that is missing the opportunity to provide answers to questions like the one that the aforementioned lady asked Metropolitan.


Edited by Lakis Papas, 18 June 2016 - 12:13 PM.


#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 12:42 PM

The lady would have got a good answer if she had been able to ask Met. Athanasios of Limassol who is noted for his pastoral work.

 

The conditions of life in the developed world in these times are in some ways unprecedented but I would not draw a very great contrast between today and the Roman world in which the Christian faith grew. Then, there was concern with the trivial and the banal (such as elaborate clothing and hairdressing), there was a degree of consumerism (though not at all on today's scale), there was sexual licence, and extremes of wealth and poverty. I agree, though, that the Church's reputation - though in some cases undeserved - in general is not high in the sphere of practical pastoral help. It does stand in contrast with the Protestant 'Christianity with its sleeves rolled up' approach. This may be more acute in non-Orthodox countries but then when I am in Russia I do sometimes reflect on the vast sums spent on enormous cathedrals and monasteries whilst there is such widespread poverty.



#8 Phoebe K.

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 02:17 PM

The synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch has clearly stated why they are not going to the counsel,

 

http://www.antiochia...h-of-june-2016/

 

if the concerns of this synod represent what is going on then the people of the Church will have to make some hard decisions after the counsel.  We can only pray that God will illuminate those at the counsel to the truth and good will come out of it..



#9 Kosta

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 03:42 AM

Can anyone answer why all these preconciliar texts took place in Chambesy/Geneva? Why are these secret meetings taking place in the heartland of Calvin and Zwingli country?
Why has no one spoken out about this? Our monasteries and cathedrals are not good enough in hosting inter-Orthodox conferences?

#10 Antonios

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 11:24 PM

Greeting my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have been very disheartened by the lead up to this Council, and am still very wary until the dust settles (as it were), but I read this today and found it very encouraging and relevant to the OP:

link: http://www.pravoslav...glish/94479.htm

COUNCIL MESSAGE COULD CODIFY FOUR NEW ECUMENICAL COUNCILS

June 20, 2016

In addition to discussing the six documents prepared beforehand at previous conferences, participants at the ongoing council, begun yesterday on the Great Feast of Pentecost on the island of Crete, are also to deliberate over and publish the official "Message" of the council.

A draft of the document covers an array of topics including the questions of remarriage and marriage to non-Orthodox, the oneness and unity of the Church in the holy Eucharist, the importance of the Patristic Tradition, and the Church's vision of conciliarity which places no one bishop over all others, among other matters, according to a source familiar with the document.

While the document mainly "states the obvious" on such topics in terms that all the Local Churches can agree on, the draft document, in large part prepared by theologians of the Greek and Serbian Churches, does contain some more noteworthy passages.

In it, the current gathering is referred to as a preparatory council for a further series of councils, rather than a one-time event, noting that the absence of four Local Churches is properly speaking the failure of all involved, and that the issues preventing certain Churches from participating in the current council are to be resolved before the convening of the next, that all might attend in good conscience.

Notably, the draft document currently under consideration also recognizes as ecumenical the Photian Council of 879-880, already sometimes referred to as the Eighth Ecumenical Council, which condemned the Latin addition of the Filioque into the Nicene Creed; the hesychast councils of Constantinople held between 1341 and 1351, already sometimes collectively referred to as the Ninth Ecumenical Council, which upheld the distinction between the essence and energies of God and man's ability to commune with these energies; the 1642 Council of Iași (Jassy) which countered certain Catholic and Protestant heresies which had exercised some degree of influence on Orthodox theology; and the 1672 Council of Jerusalem which refuted Calvinism and also rejected the Filioque.

Regarding these councils, the document especially notes their statements against Western scholasticism and the imbalanced emphasis on reason as obstacles to unity, and in light of the Councils of Iași and Jerusalem, states that the Catholic and Protestant confessions in no way make up a part of the Church, while avoiding the use of the word "heretic."

The overall atmosphere at the current council is one of a favorable impression of the document, according to the source. However, it is as yet a draft document and it remains to be seen what precise message the participating bishops and Churches will release.

20 / 06 / 2016

#11 Lakis Papas

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 11:03 AM

Greeting my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have been very disheartened by the lead up to this Council, and am still very wary until the dust settles (as it were), but I read this today and found it very encouraging and relevant to the OP:

 

 

 

I think this was an Amendment proposed by the Church of Greece and it was rejected after consultation and discussion.

 

Greek Church proposed 3 Amendments.  This one was rejected. It was supported by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and was contradicted by Metropolitan Zizioulas of Pergamos. Interesting thing is that while the Amendment was proposed by Greek Church several Greek Bishops vote against it.



#12 Father David Moser

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 02:18 PM

Can anyone answer why all these preconciliar texts took place in Chambesy/Geneva? Why are these secret meetings taking place in the heartland of Calvin and Zwingli country?
Why has no one spoken out about this? Our monasteries and cathedrals are not good enough in hosting inter-Orthodox conferences?

The Ecumenical Patriarchate maintains a conference center with a cathedral in Chambesy.  So indeed one of our Orthodox cathedrals is hosting this inter-Orthodox conference



#13 Antonios

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 02:04 AM

I think this was an Amendment proposed by the Church of Greece and it was rejected after consultation and discussion.

Greek Church proposed 3 Amendments. This one was rejected. It was supported by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and was contradicted by Metropolitan Zizioulas of Pergamos. Interesting thing is that while the Amendment was proposed by Greek Church several Greek Bishops vote against it.

Are you positive? I assumed the amendment which was shot down of Metropolitan Hierotheos' had to do with the terminology used, namely with his critique of the word 'humanity' instead of 'human persons'. But this is only a guess. Have you found or read any press release or source which clarifies which amendment was actually rejected?

Edited by Antonios, 22 June 2016 - 02:05 AM.


#14 Lakis Papas

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 10:40 AM

Antonios, maybe right.

My source is not 100% sure

#15 Antonios

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 12:18 PM

This article may sheds some more light about the proposed amendments of the Church of Greece:
 
link: http://www.pravoslav...glish/94540.htm


 


CORRECTION CONCERNING THE APPROVAL OF THE TEXT “THE MISSION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN TODAY’S WORLD

June 22, 2016

239972.p.jpg?mtime=1466584368
    
 
Greek ecclesial news agency Romfea issued an article yesterday, June 21, correcting previous reports concerning the discussing and passing of the council document “The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World.”
 
Whereas it had been previously reported, referencing Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias and Almyros,that the document passed with but minor alterations, with the proposed amendments of the Church of Greece’s Met. Hierotheos being rejected, a statement from the Church of Greece notes that, rather, two of the three amendments were approved, with the third remaining open for later discussion, although it remains unclear as to what this means.
 
The Church of Greece was the sole voice calling for amendments.
 
During a pointed debate between Constantinople’s Met. John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon and Met. Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpatkos concerning the theology of “person/personhood,” Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria called for a return to more “practical” matters.
The first amendment concerned paragraph 3 of the section “The Dignity of the Human Person,” which states, “The Orthodox Churches are called upon to help in religious dialogue and co-operation,” to which the Church of Greece proposed to add the following words: “for the sake of peaceful coexistence and the symbiotic social relationships of peoples, without causing any religious syncretism.” This amendment was adopted.
 
Secondly, in the section “Freedom and Responsibility,” paragraph 1, the Church of Greece proposed amending the phrase: “The highest gift of God to the human person both as a concrete bearer of the image of a personal God and as a member of a community of persons in the unity of the human race by grace reflecting the life and communion of the Divine Persons in the Holy Trinity, is the gift of freedom” to read simply, “The highest gift of God to man is his freedom.” This amendment also passed.
 
The third amendment concerned the disagreement over the theology of person, with the Church of Greece proposing that phrases concerning the “value of the human person” be replaced with “the value of man.” Met. Hierotheos’ theological arguments on this point have been previously elucidated.
 
On this point it was resolved to keep the text as is, with the question remaining open.
 

22 / 06 / 2016


Edited by Olga, 22 June 2016 - 12:22 PM.
corrected font formatting for ease of reading


#16 Ryan

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 06:23 PM

While there is much that is interesting and worthwhile in the work of Met Hierotheos and Fr John Romanides, they have some very peculiar fixations and narratives which might seem very incisive and radical now but which do not hold up to scrutiny. This heavy investment in defining ourselves against "the West" creates a distorted image of our own tradition. In their attempt to turn Orthodoxy up to 11, would the bishops really be securing the authority of these councils or rather enshrining a peculiar and partial 20th-21st century apologetic mode?

#17 Ilaria

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 07:33 PM

So, it seems that the final documents will be released despite the fact that the Russians refused to join the Holy Assembly? Or the papers will be send to Moscow, to get their signatures, too...:)



#18 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 10:53 PM

Ryan, would you be able to provide examples of what you mean when you say, 'Met Hierotheos and Fr John Romanides, they have some very peculiar fixations and narratives which might seem very incisive and radical now but which do not hold up to scrutiny. This heavy investment in defining ourselves against "the West" creates a distorted image of our own tradition'.

#19 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 11:19 PM

I noticed this today -

http://www.pravoslav...glish/94565.htm



#20 Kosta

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 03:47 AM

I think this was an Amendment proposed by the Church of Greece and it was rejected after consultation and discussion.
 
Greek Church proposed 3 Amendments.  This one was rejected. It was supported by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and was contradicted by Metropolitan Zizioulas of Pergamos. Interesting thing is that while the Amendment was proposed by Greek Church several Greek Bishops vote against it.



One should never equate the Church of Greece with the EP. They are two totally different animals. The Church of Greece tends to be quite traditional and regularly butts heads with the EP. Twenty bishops of the Church of Greece rejected the text of this council and many turned down the invitation to be part of the Church of Greece's delegation. Honestly, the EP should not even be refered to as "Greek" as one erroneously conflates them with the Church of Greece. Jurisdictions under the EP such as the GOARCH would be more accurately described as anglo-greek. The bishops of Greece have always been the most vociferous against these texts. It was bishops and theologians from Greece that first rejected the texts and even traveled to Georgia to warn them of these texts. It was bishops from the Church of Greece that pushed Serbia to pass a resolution at the council to recognised the 8 & 9th councils as ecumenical. The Theological schools of Athens and Thessaloniki is no Holy Cross of Brookline.




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