As reported on the Phanar’s website, on July 26, 2012, the head of the Phanar, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Archontonis), shared the iftar meal with the Turkish President, diplomatic leaders, and Islamic leaders in Turkey. As Ramadan started on July 20th this year, and continues until August 18th (since it migrates through the season according to the Islamic calendar), the Ecumenist-in-Chief, Bartholomew, was more than happy to participate.
As the Ecumenical Patriarch has already issued and given his blessing for Ramadam this year, it was only inevitable that he actually participate in the Islamic ritual breaking of the fast (who knows if he fasted; though, given the fact that Constantinople has de-empahasized traditional Orthodox Christian fasting practice, and as the rules of the Islamic Ramadam fast [no food or drink till sundown] are even more strict than that practiced by most clergy in the Phanar, I somehow believe this was just a standard ecumenical and trans-religious gesture).
|Bartholomew with Islamic leaders.|
As expected, Bartholomew’s Ramadam message was as equally ecumenical as it was anything else. He notes how the Ramadam fast ” will help bring peoples
and nations together to attain the meaning of life and the hope of
immortality and for the propagation of peace and goodwill on earth,
especially in the regions suffering from war, and with the hope of
salvation for all people.”
Bartholomew also notes about the Islamic fast:
Our respective religious traditions have inexhaustible spiritual
reserves which can contribute to the realisation of values of peace,
social justice and human rights in relations between individuals and
peoples, irrespective of religious, national, racial, social or other
differences. Common practices of our spiritual traditions include
fasting, prayer, philanthropy, almsgiving and charity. Furthermore, in
our love of the One God and the love of neighbor, we are able to enhance
dialogue and understanding for the sake of the Peace of God in the
world. For this reason, always believing in the possibility of peaceful
coexistence and cooperation between faithful and all citizens of good
will we must find practical ways to optimize mutual understanding,
respect and cooperation.
As it has long been noted; the Phanar refuses to preach and teach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples. It avoids mention of the message of salvation, which message is found in the Life, Passion, Salvific Death, and Most Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-Man from death; and the necessity of the Sacraments. Whether it was in his interview with Charlie Rose, or his Ramadam epistle, it’s the same. Bartholomew proves what the Holy Apostle Paul said, “For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God that world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Fro the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; But we preach Christ Crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness: but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Cor. 18-25)
Bartholomew realizes that the world doesn’t want to hear the message of the Most Adorable and Salvific Cross. He sings undoubtedly in church, but, he has no desire to realize what he sings. The words of the hymn are in vain:
Rejoice, O Life-Giving Cross, Unconquerable trophy of the True Faith, Door to Paradise, Confirmation of the Faithful, Rampart set about the Church,
The Cross is foolishness to the Jews of this world (the Muslims, and the modern Jews), and to the Greeks (the pseudo-intellectuals). If you look to Bartholomew to confront Islam with the preaching of the words of the Gospel, and the teachings of the Gospel Sacraments and Life, and to do so openly, then you look in vain. Yet, God has chosen foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and the warning of the Apostle has not disappeared:
Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel.
Yet, if Bartholomew has not the decency to even defend the most vulnerable, then, what right does he have to speak of trees? Bartholomew seeks after trees, which are indeed a beautiful part of God’s creation, but, he ignores the most important Tree of all; of which the ancient Orthodox Gallo-Roman poet, St. Venantius, in the 6th century said:
- Crux fidelis, inter omnes arbor una nobilis,
- nulla talem silva profert flore, fronde, germine,
- dulce lignum dulce clavo dulce pondus sustinens.
- Flecte ramos, arbor alta, tensa laxa viscera,
- et rigor lentescat ille quem dedit nativitas,
- ut superni membra regis mite tendas stipite.
- Faithful Cross, above all other, one and only noble Tree,
- None in foliage, none in blossom, none in fruit thy peer may be;
- Sweet the wood, and sweet the iron, sweet the Weight that hangs on thee.
Bend thy boughs, O tree of glory!
Thy relaxing sinews bend;
for awhile the ancient rigor
that thy birth bestowed, suspend;
and the King of heavenly beauty
gently on thine arms extend.
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