New Antiochian Patriarch: Committed Ecumenist

Editorial: Why the Russian Synod of 1913 Was Not Heretical
December 14, 2012
RTOC: Report of Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia at Clergy-laity Meeting of the Diocese RTOC-A Australia
December 19, 2012

New Antiochian Patriarch: Committed Ecumenist

(source) “The first comments made by the new Patriarch of Antioch, John, after his election today to the Patriarchal Throne.

“We believe in dialogue. That is the goal which we all anticipate, in Syria and outside the country,” the new Patriarch, John, declared in an interview.

The Primate of the Church of Antioch also stressed: “Our relationship with other Churches is very important for us, and we are striving to head in that direction with our Moslem brethren.” (Translation by Abp Chrysostomos of Etna)

  • HmkEnoch

    Of course.

  • Anthimos George

    The Patriarch of Antioch was referring to Dialogue to end civil war and sectarian fighting in Syria

    • HmkEnoch

      He says that the Muslims are his brethren, in the same line that he mentions his relationships with other churches. Pat. Bartholomew give gifts of the “Holy Qu’ran” to his ‘brothers and sisters the Muslims’. Does Pat. John believe in actively converting Muslims, or, as Met. Georgia of Met. Lebanon believes, does he view Muhammed as a Prophet and Islam as a way to salvation?

      • Anthimos George

        The Antiochian Church is an arabic speaking church living in Arab country with a Moslem Majority. The Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus is in a Moslem neighborhood. They have to co-exist with other religious faiths and Moslems. There have to be respect for each other. They are fellow citizens in an Arab country. Patriarch John is in no way stating anything about abandoning our Traditions and Doctrine as handed to us by Jesus Christ and our Apostles. What Patriarch John is doing is preaching LOVE.

        • HmkEnoch

          What better way to preach love than to preach to your Muslim neighbor to accept the Holy Trinity, believe on Christ, and be baptized; since Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The early fathers and martyrs certainly loved those around them, and preached against the false religions of their days, even if it meant they would be killed.

          • Anthimos George

            I am sure they do profess to Moslems what they believe, Its easy for you to speak out, but you are not living in a country with a Moslem majority.
            Remember The Russian Orthodox Church Under the rule of the Atheist Communist Government for 70 years. Its not as easy as you say

          • HmkEnoch

            So, they tell Muslims that they Muslims should convert to Orthodoxy? The true Russian Orthodox Church under the Communist government never gave in, they went underground to the ‘catacombs’ so to speak, because they wouldn’t submit to atheist teachings and the Soviet God-hating regime. The ‘official patriarchate’ under Met. Sergius just did what ever the atheists told them to do and they renounced the faith as such.

        • HmkEnoch

          How is telling Muslims that they should believe in the Holy Trinity, and accept the Truth of the Church for salvation not being respectful?

          • Anthimos George

            “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?”

            Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah-Christ, our Lord, God and Saviour
            (as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 5:43-47)

          • HmkEnoch

            Again, there is no contradiction; Muslims believe in a false and demonically inspired Prophet Muhammad and demonically inspired work, the Qu’ran. The Qu’ran teaches that Christ is not God, and that He is not to be worshipped; this is blasphemy of the Muslims. Once again, the early Martyrs and the Russian Orthodox martyrs who resisted communism, did not refuse to seek to convert the pagans or atheists despite the mass persecution and killings.

            How is telling a Muslim that they will not find salvation by believing in a false religion being unloving?

          • NFTU

            I would refer him to Archimandrite Seraphim (Karam) or Fr Spyridon Tanous, who are well aware personally of the issues in the Middle East and can explain how compromise is not the answer. One could ask Rdr Jerjis Alajaji as well. I am sure any of them would take the time to explain it.

            The “you just don’t get it because you are not where they are” is psychologically powerful, but ultimately false if there are True Orthodox who are, or have been, just where they are.

            In Christ,
            Deacon Joseph Suaiden
            St Eulalia Orthodox Mission Chapel, Yonkers NY:
            *A Mission of the Orthodox Metropolia in North America*
            *Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles*
            *
            *
            “Let these canonical rules be established by us for you, O ye bishops; and if you continue to observe them, ye shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you be disobedient, you shall be punished, and have everlasting war one with another, and undergo a penalty suitable to your disobedience.” *–Epilogue to the Apostolic Constitutions
            *

          • HmkEnoch

            Archimandrite Seraphim (Karam) or Fr Spyridon Tanous and others, who live in Lebanon, Egypt, etc, are witnesses that missionary work to convert Muslims is indeed possible.

          • Anthimos George

            .. and who told you they are not?

          • HmkEnoch

            “Our relationship with other Churches is very important for us, and we
            are striving to head in that direction with our Moslem brethren.” The Antiochian Patriarchate is in communion with the Syro-Jacobite church, and gives communion to anyone who claims to be a baptised Christian (such as those who are Roman Catholics, who those who reject Ecumenical councils). The direction it is moving in is unification completely with the non-Orthodox Churches. Therefore, if the direction they are headed in with other Churches is unification (which is an accomplished reality with some), then, by the Patriarch saying that they are striving to head in that direction (unification of religions) with the “Moslem brethren” should say they are not. Why call those who reject the Truth of Christ ‘brethren’ in the same sentence with ‘other Churches’?

          • Anthimos George

            Whats wrong with having good relationship with other churches and Moslems? If we are fellow citizens, It is important to leave in Peace,especially now in Syria where is a civil war and sectarian fighting. Two Orthodox priest have been tortured and killed by extremists terrorists.
            The Antiochian Patriarchate is not in communion with the Syro-Jacobite Church. There was a dailogue between the two churches, but communion was never achieved. The Antiochian Orthodox does not give communion to Roman Catholics.

          • HmkEnoch

            We are called to convert, not have ‘good relationships’ with churches and religions that don’t preach the Truth.

          • Anthimos George

            I agree with you, but we need to have good relationships to co-exist together. If we are to convert them, we have to approach them with a spirit of love and set an example of Love. You cannot convert anyone if you approach them with animosity and hatred. We must not imitate the Pharisees.

          • HmkEnoch

            http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state13.php

            “9. In localities where there is only one priest, from either Church, he will celebrate services for the faithful of both Churches, including the Divine Liturgy, pastoral duties, and holy matrimony. He will keep an independent record for each Church and transmit that of the sister Church to its authorities.”

            That’s what the departed Pat. Ignatius and the Antiochian Synod said. In other words, a non-Orthodox priest is allowed, in the Antiochian synod, to celebrate sacraments for Antiochians.

            Furthermore, according to the Antiochian Patriarchate, even if a Syro-Jacobite came begging to be baptized or chrismated so as to leave heresy, the Antiochian Patriarchate absolutely refuses to accept them:

            “3. Both Churches shall refrain from accepting any faithful from accepting any faithful from one Church into the membership of the other, irrespective of all motivations or reasons.”

          • Anthimos George

            To my understanding, there was dialogue, and a plan to unite, but communion was never established. It didn’t work out.

          • NFTU

            Hold it.

            I am going to assume you are appproaching this in honesty, because the documents are guidelines that are still being followed. They do not state “The Greek and Non-Chalcedonians are part of the same one Church”. They proceed from them as though they are. The position is assumed. There are orders of protocol depending on rank, interchangeably, and guidelines for mixed marriages, mixed celebrations, and concelebrations.

            There has never been a declaration of communion. There never had to be.
            It’s assumed.

          • Anthimos George

            Thank you or you reply. I didn’t know that the guidelines are still followed.

          • Anthimos George

            I am sure they do profess to Moslem what they believe, Its easy for you to speak out, but you are not living in a country with a Moslem majority.
            Remember The Russian Orthodox Church Under the rule of the Atheist Communist Government for 70 years.