Monday, November 27, 2006

A Patriarchate under siege

Ignore the usual nonsense about "spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church" by someone who as an Orthodox Christian should know better, and you have a pretty good article. Hat tip to Rocco Palmo over at Whispers.

Imagine the Vatican surrounded in a fiercely secular yet very Muslim Italy.

The Christian community there has dwindled to only a few thousand after decades of ethnic cleansing. Much of the church's property has been seized. The government has closed the only seminary and refuses to reopen it.

A law has been passed: Any future Roman Catholic pope must be born on Italian soil, even though there is no seminary to train the young priests, even as the Christian community shrinks to a handful. A cold shadow falls on the Western church.

I asked you to imagine this because it's going on, right now, but not in Rome.

It is happening in Istanbul, where Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, patriarch of Constantinople and spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Church, is facing extreme pressure by the Turkish government.

Read the reast here.


Anonymous said...

The Western media constantly refer to Black Bart as the leader of the Orthodox Communion, and nary a Patriarch, Bishop, nor priest ever speaks out against this. Which leads me to conclude that the Orthodox heirarchy has ratified Bart's numerous outrageous actions by silence or that they are simply disengenuously pretending they have no duty to speak out. My conacts with the byzantine (in the perjorative sense) Communion leads me to think the latter.

How sad to see the major Christian communions (Rome, Orthodoxy and Anglicanism) led by such weak, dishonest men.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I don't think Rome is lead by a weak or dishonest man. Theological differences aside my respect for B16 is enormous. As for Orthodoxy, Bartholomew is the head of only a small part of the Orthodox world. He may be the canonical first among equals, but it is Moscow which holds the real juice. This is quite plain to all including the EP. These petty inter-jurisdictional squabbles are a dime a dozen and as old as the Church. We should not get distracted by them or the vanity of certain hierarchs. I also think it is not a good idea to be assigning unkind monikers to bishops, even when may disagree with them. As for the Anglicans� sigh.

Visibilium said...

I don't mind a display of discretion and circumspection by Orthodox hierarchs. Heaven knows that I don't want to see a bunch of squabbling hens.