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Final Call for a Spiritual Revival in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Orthodox Youth

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This letter voices the requests of the clergy and the people of the Arab flock in the Church of Jerusalem, addressing and calling on the Orthodox Primates and their Hierarchies throughout the world to intervene in order to put an end to the deteriorating status in the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, to prevent the weeping of the Mother of all Churches over Her children like Rachel in Rama of Bethlehem, for they are no more. We reverently request from you to pray to the Lord for the sake of delivering our Orthodox Church of Jerusalem from the pains that is still bearing!

Final Call for a Spiritual Revival in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem
The Requests of the Clergy and People of the Arab Flock

June 3rd, 2014

Your All-Holiness,
Your Beatitudes,
Your Eminences, Your Graces,
Reverend Fathers and Brothers,

The content of this letter was formulated with great concern and anxiety about the destiny of the Orthodox faithful of the Church of Jerusalem and of the Orthodox Church generally, which today is facing enormous problems and challenges. However, some are covering all of this under a slogan, that a group of Arab Orthodox racists wants to Arabize the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Truly, all of those who are taking upon their shoulders the initiative to reveal and explain what is happening in the ecclesiastical field of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, have received threats in place of being met with thanks, and now sanctions are being imposed against them in a bizarre way by the leadership of the Patriarchate until the threats have reached persecution, expulsion and deposition.

Nevertheless, we should call things by their name regardless of the consequences, because our objective is the good of the Church, and we are not interested in personal benefit or vainglory. If personal benefit had been our objective, we would have shown partiality with hypocritical obedience, which is well-known in ecclesiastical circles.

We are putting our ecclesiastical future in imminent danger for the sake of the truth, so that all will know the reality of the problems. Afterwards, we shall leave them to the judgment of God because we believe that the dereliction of duty by those responsible serves other interests, and this makes us entertain doubts about their being good shepherds for us, because the good shepherd lays down his own life to save the sheep from the wolves. Therefore, we charge them with the responsibility in what is happening and what will happen because they will answer before God on the Day of Judgment.

Since we are indeed members of the Arab flock and we live the problems and afflictions of the faithful and the attacks to which they are subjected from heretics and those holding innovations, by reason of the dereliction of duty of the leadership of the Church, and from the duty of the responsibility we have repeatedly placed before our Patriarch Theophilos our problems and the anxiety of the flock in the presence of the Chief Secretary and the other hierarchs of the Patriarchate. We waited a long time for the response of the Patriarch and the Synod, but our wait was in vain.

We have returned once again with all love and humility, presenting our Old New demands, but we have fallen on deaf ears. They have gone to the extreme of accusing us of being anti-Greek and of wanting to replace the current Patriarch with another — an Arab one. Truly we make it known that indeed accusing us of this is a BIG LIE because we are not driven by a nationalistic motive. We indeed love the Greek State and we respect the role it has played for the sake of the Holy Sites and for the sake of our Orthodoxy in the Middle East.

Our demands are clear, spiritual, pastoral and on a canonical basis: 

1. We demand that it be permitted for young men and women from our flock to be enrolled in monasticism, a matter which the current leadership does not allow, rather keeping a small number of Arab monastics under the justification that the local youth are not interested in monasticism like they claim. When one of the Arab faithful desires monasticism, they place before him thousands of obstacles and leave him years in the appearance of waiting. Meanwhile the person who is of Greek origins is accepted by the Brotherhood immediately regardless of his moral qualifications and is ordained without delay — nothing more than because he is Greek. This has become a reason for the departure of dozens of the clergymen and hierarchs, from the Arab sons of the Church of Jerusalem, to serve today in other Orthodox churches. Is this the loving care of the Mother Church? Is this Christian Justice?

2. We demand that there be hieromonks - spiritual fathers who know the Arabic language fluently to receive the faithful in the Mystery of Holy Confession, this great Mystery which helps in directing the life of the faithful towards perfection and in guiding them to the road of salvation, especially in the difficult environment in which they find themselves.

3. We demand the recognition of the first monastery for nuns which was founded in 1999 in Jordan with the blessing of the late Patriarch Diodoros in the region of Dibeen, erected from the foundation through the labors of Archimandrite Christophoros Atallah; The monastery is accommodating a number of nuns and novices, and has become a spiritual center in Jordan for thousands of believers.

4. We demand the foundation of a theological seminary for instructing the youth in Orthodox Christian education and preparing them for teaching the Christian truth in schools, in order to have the power against the confrontation of the heterodox propaganda and to contribute towards the foundation and nourishment of the spiritual life on the basis of Orthodox doctrine, and that Sunday schools be established in all villages and towns, because what currently exists is not enough. The utter non-existence of the seminary has caused many of the youth to turn to Roman Catholic and Protestant schools, and gradually they have been taken into the field of the Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy. Despite all that, our ecclesiastical leadership does not protest and is not pained, and this is what makes us ask: Are they real shepherds? Because the good shepherd leaves the ninety-nine sheep and searches for the one who is lost.

5. We demand that there be metropolises or episcopies (the diocesan system), in order that  spiritual activities, pastoral responsibility and the institutional work of the Church be carried out, so that all matters will not be waiting for the Patriarch's authorization, because unfortunately in our Patriarchate there do not exist pastoral metropolitans but only titular (honorary) ones, and as a result of that the flock has come to be without shepherds, and truly if this affair continues, it will be the ruin of the future of Orthodoxy in our country.

6. We also demand that some individuals of the flock be in the administration of the Church. The leadership today is represented by members of the laity working with it. Who are these? They are individuals who are ignorant of the Church, even if they are Christians, they do not partake in or discern the essence of the Holy Mysteries of our Church. They have not partaken of Holy Communion since their baptism, and the leadership presents them as "notable representatives" of the flock taking a position in society. We demand that there be a say in the ecclesial affairs belonging to faithful individuals who live the sacramental life of the Church, so that they do not feel that they are foreigners and exiles inside their country and their own Mother Church, where today the authority and rights belong to foreign clerics who do not know the customs nor the traditions nor the language of our country, and some of them embarrass the local clergy and faithful by reason of their shocking conduct, and it is distressing that in the last couple of years there have come to us unknown priests advanced in age. This is all on the account of the role of the Patriarchal School - whose now in fact is disabled - which used to be the headspring that nourished the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, where Greeks and Arabs were living equally, but today the number of students there does not surpass 7-8, being of Greek origins.

7. We demand a real canonical basis for the structure of the Holy Synod. The current structure of the Holy Synod is done in a way which only pleases the Patriarch, because he believes that the Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is nothing but an advisory committee of a monastery. Verily the Patriarch appoints whom he deems to be "suitable" in his point of view. Verily the members of the Holy Synod represent neither the people nor the dioceses where they have no flock, with the exception of two of the archbishops, and several of the members of the Synod are archimandrites, and so that to hold onto their seats and their positions in the Synod and not fall out of the Patriarch’s favor and so that the archimandrites can become archbishops, the members of the Holy Synod become like the fish which has no voice. And if one of the members of the Holy Synod dares to contradict the opinion of the Patriarch, he is expelled from the Synod. On the basis of that, what are the expectations, qualifications and aspirations for a better future for our Church?

These are the demands that we place before our spiritual leadership and for which we strive with humility and love for our ecclesiastical leadership, which for several years has shut its ears and worse than that, has misunderstood our intentions and distorted our motives.

You be the judge! Whether these demands of ours are on a non-Christian or anti-Greek basis, and if you deem them unjust and irrational from a pastoral, ecclesiological and canonical standpoint; then we are ready to receive any punishment or repression.

We are ready and willing for any dialogue possible to bring positive results, although we have doubts of success, since we have tried in the past few years several times, but it was all in vain.

We recognize that the local churches do not interfere in the internal affairs of another Church.

However, the issue here is not an internal matter, the issue here is the destruction of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, and this is a serious matter for the Universal Orthodox Church.

If one member suffers then the whole body suffers and is afflicted. We must not forget this instruction.

Two years ago, the Orthodox organizations and the flock signed a letter of more than 6,000 persons addressed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presenting the problem, a copy of which we forward to you.

Therefore, we kindly ask you to intervene to put an end to the uncanonical administration followed by the Patriarch in the Church of Jerusalem. We hold out hope for your intervention in any manner that you deem fit, before we mourn Orthodoxy on the ruins of Holy Zion.

Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia
Archimandrite Christophoros Atallah
Archimandrite Meletios Bassal
Archimandrite Athanasios Kakish


 

ialmisry

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So we shall see if Jerusalem remains a Church or becomes a museum.
 

Gunnarr

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This was already posted here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,58851.0.html

but yes, still no response, so this call seems to have fallen on deaf ears
 

WPM

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Is that true ... That nobody prays anymore? ...
 

LBK

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WPM said:
Is that true ... That nobody prays anymore? ...
That's NOT what the document in the OP is saying, WPM.  :mad:
 

Orthodox Youth

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Gunnarr said:
This was already posted here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,58851.0.html

but yes, still no response, so this call seems to have fallen on deaf ears
In the thread mentioned above, it was titled "Arab Orthodox Letter to Patriarch Theophilos". In fact, this is not accurate, since this letter is addressed to Orthodox Primates throughout the world. This letter won't be sent to Patriarch Theophilos as the Arab Flock and Clergy have been sending letters for him for almost nine years, and have never received a single response from his side! The prime purpose of this letter is calling the Orthodox Primates to intervene in order to put an end to the deteriorating state in the Church of Jerusalem!

Keep the Church of Jerusalem in your prayers!

 

IoanC

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We should not wait for the church hierarchy to do the necessary things that should be done. It has generally been proven that nowadays church hierarchies are secluded realities, frozen within personal and ideological interests (either anachronistic or progressive). Each individual has the right to his own life and spiritual necessities and the ability to help the world. Let us not forget that the hierarchy are also people (brothers) in need for salvation and correction from their brethren ("the flock").
 

Dominika

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Orthodox Youth said:
Gunnarr said:
This was already posted here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,58851.0.html

but yes, still no response, so this call seems to have fallen on deaf ears
In the thread mentioned above, it was titled "Arab Orthodox Letter to Patriarch Theophilos". In fact, this is not accurate, since this letter is addressed to Orthodox Primates throughout the world. This letter won't be sent to Patriarch Theophilos as the Arab Flock and Clergy have been sending letters for him for almost nine years, and have never received a single response from his side! The prime purpose of this letter is calling the Orthodox Primates to intervene in order to put an end to the deteriorating state in the Church of Jerusalem!

Keep the Church of Jerusalem in your prayers!
But the content of the both  threads is the same, as it's the same letter ;) Anyway, I hope it will be solved and Palestinian Orthodox people will have normal Church life. Lord have mercy!

IoanC said:
We should not wait for the church hierarchy to do the necessary things that should be done. It has generally been proven that nowadays church hierarchies are secluded realities, frozen within personal and ideological interests (either anachronistic or progressive). Each individual has the right to his own life and spiritual necessities and the ability to help the world. Let us not forget that the hierarchy are also people (brothers) in need for salvation and correction from their brethren ("the flock").
Unfortunately, you're right. We have now problems in the Polish Church regarding the change of the calendar. And your words in the bold are exactly what these days is happening in our Church :( In our case now even lowe clergy turns out to be far from their flock, that's very sad.

 

IoanC

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Dominika said:
IoanC said:
We should not wait for the church hierarchy to do the necessary things that should be done. It has generally been proven that nowadays church hierarchies are secluded realities, frozen within personal and ideological interests (either anachronistic or progressive). Each individual has the right to his own life and spiritual necessities and the ability to help the world. Let us not forget that the hierarchy are also people (brothers) in need for salvation and correction from their brethren ("the flock").
Unfortunately, you're right. We have now problems in the Polish Church regarding the change of the calendar. And your words in the bold are exactly what these days is happening in our Church :( In our case now even lowe clergy turns out to be far from their flock, that's very sad.
It is an unfortunate and unsurprising spiritual symptom of the illness of our times that hierarchies have become and operate the way they do. It is also a symptom that laypeople expect too much from the hierarchies (or worldly leaders) and have lost a sense of power/presence in virtue of the personal freedom that we each have.
 

mabsoota

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i am very sorry to hear of these problems.
can the people who want theological education go and study in jordan or egypt until they get proper colleges?
there is excellent theological material available in the arabic language.
(i suppose syria and iraq are not great destinations for that currently, may God have mercy on them)
 

ialmisry

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mabsoota said:
i am very sorry to hear of these problems.
can the people who want theological education go and study in jordan or egypt until they get proper colleges?
there is excellent theological material available in the arabic language.
(i suppose syria and iraq are not great destinations for that currently, may God have mercy on them)
Jordan is also under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Jerusalem.  Hence the problem of point 3.
 

mabsoota

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oh dear.
and antioch is off most people's holiday wish lists right now.
can pope theodorus help? (yours, not mine, although i'm sure mine would be happy to help if asked)
 

Nephi

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mabsoota said:
oh dear.
and antioch is off most people's holiday wish lists right now.
can pope theodorus help? (yours, not mine, although i'm sure mine would be happy to help if asked)
If not Pope Theodoros, then hopefully Patriarch John X can eventually provide some assistance if the situation in Syria ever calms down enough. The Arab Orthodox of the Jerusalem Patriarchate already vocally side with Antioch over the Qatar issue, so helping them would seem natural.
 

ialmisry

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mabsoota said:
oh dear.
and antioch is off most people's holiday wish lists right now.
can pope theodorus help? (yours, not mine, although i'm sure mine would be happy to help if asked)
There is some issues (and friction) in Egypt between the communities: nonetheless Egypt still has a native Greek population, although the popes have been foreign born (though Pope Parthenios III 1987-1996 was Egyptian born) for a while, and the situation has never been as bad for the Arab Orthodox as it has been continually in Palestine/Jordan.  There is also the issue that Pope Theodore has the Phanariots both in the Phanar, Palestine and Greece to deal with.
 

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Patriarchate of Jerusalem Reacts, Escalating Tensions with Local Believers
http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2014/06/patriarchate-of-jerusalem-reacts.html?m=1
 

Tikhon29605

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Who needs Satan to destroy our Church when we wage war on our own members?  How sad!  How utterly sad!  And we wonder why the Church of Rome has grown so in the Middle East!  Treatment of Arabs by the Greeks like this is one reason.
 

Cyrus

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well, it looks like they got their long awaited answer from the Patriarch of Judah.  Now they don't like what they hear?
 

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Archimandrite Christophoros is a good shepherd! He is being persecuted for voicing the truth! He has been serving the flock in Jordan since 1989, and has founded the sole monastery in Jordan - The Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring for nuns.

His salary has been cut since 2007; Moreover last year, he was removed from his position as a Patriarchal Vicar for Northern Jordan, and was obligated to stay in his monastery!

He was among the authors of the recent letter titled "Final Call for a Spiritual Revival in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem" - which was posted on OC.net; The authors - the four clergymen - were persecuted for voicing the truth! The salaries of Archbishop Theodosios and Archimandrite Meletios Bassal have been cut!

Last Monday 23-6-2014, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem decided to transfer Archimandrite Christophoros from Jordan to Jerusalem. It is an extreme punishment for Archimandrite Chrsitophoros, as it will separate him from his spiritual children in Jordan - which are in thousands!

Furthermore, the decision taken by the Patriarch and his Synod is not in accordance with the Holy Canons, as the Holy Canons mandate that the founder of a monastery must serve all his life in the monastery and be buried on the grounds of the monastery.

Until when the Clergy of the Church of Jerusalem would be persecuted for voicing the truth? Until when the ecclesiastical demands of the Arab flock of the Church of Jerusalem would be neglected?

Lord have mercy!

Enough Silence - with English Subtitles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfBikPsRiGI

 

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Meanwhile, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem continues to support an Archbishop within the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Antioch. Why has Jerusalem provoked the Patriarchate of Antioch while ignoring the spiritual needs of its Arabic speaking flock?

Fr. John W. Morris.
 

Nephi

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frjohnmorris said:
Meanwhile, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem continues to support an Archbishop within the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Antioch. Why has Jerusalem provoked the Patriarchate of Antioch while ignoring the spiritual needs of its Arabic speaking flock?

Fr. John W. Morris.
As I've said before, the Arabic-speaking flock of the Jerusalem Patriarchate interestingly side with Antioch over Qatar. I can't help but wonder if we'll see a schism within the JP and pastoral assistance from Antioch in the near future, as I don't see the hierarchy of the JP compromising anytime soon.
 

TheTrisagion

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I have great sympathy for the Arabs under the Jerusalem Patriarchate. The entire patriarchate needs to be reworked. It could be a vibrant beacon of Orthodoxy and yet it is left to slowly dissolve under the current leadership strata. May God be with the flock and keep them safe despite the foolishness of their Patriarch.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Orthodox Youth said:
Furthermore, the decision taken by the Patriarch and his Synod is not in accordance with the Holy Canons, as the Holy Canons mandate that the founder of a monastery must serve all his life in the monastery and be buried on the grounds of the monastery.
I would still like to see this claim substantiated. 
 

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Here is one on the subject, but I know there are others. This one seems to be debatable.

Council of Trullo

Canon XLI.
Those who in town or in villages wish to go away into cloisters, and take heed for themselves apart, before they enter a monastery and practise the anchorite’s life,370 should for the space of three years in the fear of God submit to the Superior of the house, and fulfil obedience in all things, as is right, thus shewing forth their choice of this life and that they embrace it willingly and with their whole hearts; they are then to be examined by the superior (προέδρος) of the place; and then to bear bravely outside the cloister one year more, so that their purpose may be fully manifested.  For by this they will shew fully and perfectly that they are not catching at vain glory, but that they are pursuing the life of solitude because of its inherent beauty and honour.  After the completion of such a period, if they remain in the same intention in their choice of the life, they are to be enclosed, and no longer is it lawful for them to go out of such a house when they so desire, unless they be induced to do so for the common advantage, or other pressing necessity urging on to death; and then only with the blessing of the bishop of that place.
And those who, without the above-mentioned causes, venture forth of their convents, are first of all to be shut up in the said convent even against their wills, and then are to cure themselves with fasting and other afflictions, knowing how it is written that “no one who has put his hand to the plough and has looked back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.”
 

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Also may be interpreted in a variety of ways.

Council of Trullo

Canon XLIII.
It is lawful for every Christian to choose the life of religious discipline, and setting aside the troublous surgings of the affairs of this life to enter a monastery, and to be shaven in the fashion of a monk, without regard to what faults he may have previously committed.  For God our Saviour says:  “Whose cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.”
As therefore the monastic method of life engraves upon us as on a tablet the life of penitence, we receive whoever approaches it sincerely; nor is any custom to be allowed to hinder him from fulfilling his intention.
 

Antonis

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Another possible one that he could be citing:

Seventh Ecumenical Council

Canon XXI
A monk or nun must not leave his or her monastery or nunnery, respectively, and go away to another. But if this should occur, it is necessary that he or she be afforded a hospitable reception as a guest. But it is not fitting that he or she be entered without the approval of his abbot, or of her abbess, as the case may be.
 

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Yes, I'm aware of those.  If the claim was that a monk should not move or be moved from the monastery of his profession, that would make sense to me.  But in this case, it is being alleged that a monk can leave his monastery, found a monastery for monastics of the opposite sex, and by that fact is required to live there and be buried there.  I have yet to come across such a thing in the canons, though I'd be happy to see it if it is there. 
 

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Ah! Sorry, I misunderstood.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Orthodox Youth said:
Furthermore, the decision taken by the Patriarch and his Synod is not in accordance with the Holy Canons, as the Holy Canons mandate that the founder of a monastery must serve all his life in the monastery and be buried on the grounds of the monastery.
I would still like to see this claim substantiated. 
In the Jordan times article it states simply "according to Atallah" for this claim. So...
 

ialmisry

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Gunnarr said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Orthodox Youth said:
Furthermore, the decision taken by the Patriarch and his Synod is not in accordance with the Holy Canons, as the Holy Canons mandate that the founder of a monastery must serve all his life in the monastery and be buried on the grounds of the monastery.
I would still like to see this claim substantiated. 
In the Jordan times article it states simply "according to Atallah" for this claim. So...
I don't know about the local rules in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, but I know historically moving abbots around has been frowned on, the same way moving bishops around was forbidden-a canon that the Copts-the last holdout-even violate (and was an issue this last election of the Pope).

What is really being done is what in US Politics, the preferred way of getting rid of a political rival-nominate him as Vice President.  It sounds like a promotion, but given that the VP has few real powers, it was always a way to rein in a rival's ambitions.  It could backfire, though.  The Republicans did that with Teddy Roosevelt, and regretted it when McKinley was shot.

"My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”
—John Adams, to his wife Abigail

For much of its existence, the office of Vice President was seen as little more than a minor position. Adams, the first Vice President, was the first of many who found the job frustrating and stupefying. Thomas R. Marshall, the 28th Vice President, lamented: "Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea; the other was elected Vice President of the United States. And nothing was heard of either of them again." His successor, Calvin Coolidge, was so obscure that Major League Baseball sent him free passes that misspelled his name, and a fire marshal failed to recognize him when Coolidge's Washington residence was evacuated. When the Whig Party asked Daniel Webster to run for the Vice Presidency on Zachary Taylor's ticket, he replied "I do not propose to be buried until I am really dead and in my coffin." This was the second time Webster declined the office, which William Henry Harrison had first offered to him. Ironically, both of the Presidents making the offer to Webster died in office, meaning the three-time Presidential candidate could have become President if he had accepted either. Since Presidents rarely died in office, however, the better preparation for the Presidency was considered to be the office of Secretary of State, in which Webster served under Harrison, Tyler, and later, Taylor's successor, Fillmore.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice_President_of_the_United_States#Growth_of_the_office
 

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Archimandrite Touma (Bitar), abbot of the Monastery of St Silouan the Athonite in Lebanon, just published an essay about Jerusalem in which he says:

The people [in Jerusalem] are thirsting for the spring of the Spirit, starving for the word of life. But as soon as there appeared someone to give the Arab Orthodox streams of the water of eternal life and to break for them the bread of heaven, the instrument of the intruders who hold power over the See of Jerusalem acted in order to put a stop to the risk of revival  that was appearing on the horizon, to cast out those who were bringing it about, and to extinguish the flame of the Spirit there! Those responsible for what is regarded as weaving a "suspicious conspiracy" for revival are being driven out and are being replaced with those who will effectively ensure that the Church will be as dessicated as possible among the Arab Orthodox and that nothing will reach the point of revival.

Demonstrations have been held protesting the behavior of those in charge of the See of Jerusalem in front of various church and civil establishments. But is appears that no one wants to listen!

What fault is it for the Orthodox there that they are Arabs? Is it not the case that in Christ there is neither Arab nor Greek, but rather Christ is all in all? It is natural that there are Arabs, Greeks and Slavs in the Church. A person cannot step out of his own skin. We praise God, each in his own language, land and culture, just those upon whom the Holy Spirit descended did in the Book of Acts. However, for the Church to become a vehicle and a support for nationalism and racism, this is unbelief! This is regressing back to the paganism of the ancient gentiles! Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's! If Christ is not the one who brings us together, then nothing brings us together! If we are not prepared to drive every thought toward obeying Christ, then we have no part in Him! At that point, we set up idols next to Him in our faith! At that point, we have come to resemble the words of the One who said, "These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me." At that point, we kill Christ in ourselves and in others, while claiming that we are offering worship to God!

Unfortunately, those who watch over the See of Jerusalem watch more over dust and stones-- and themselves-- while the people are something closer to slaves to them! They hide behind canons while violating their spirit! They trade in power and money! In what way are they any different from the high priests of Israel who conspired against the Lord and gave Him over to the gentiles to be killed?! Are the lambs of Jerusalem not being given over to be slaughtered with negligence? They aggrandize themselves with their robes, their crosiers their titles and their grandiloquent speeches, while the flock is forced to lap at their feet! They traffick in Christ and His sheep, without any feeling for faith or belief! Perhaps some of them submit to the status quo there, feeling pain for the situation of Arab Orthodox, but they do not lift a finger! The issue is not in their hands. This is what the patriarch and his crowd wants! Do not these words of the Lord apply to them, "My house is called a house of prayer and you have made it into a den of thieves"?!
The whole essay is in English here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2014/07/fr-touma-bitar-on-situation-in.html
And in Arabic here: http://holytrinityfamily.org/niqat.php?var=Q2HrtUz4xTl7fOrTtVTqfupCQfCeYFEDNhvqNv9egJs#0
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Old, but related, Arabic news.

http://jordanianvoice.net/web/2012-05-16-12-26-32/33419-2014-06-21-23-33-55.html

http://www.sarayanews.com/index.php?page=article&id=260249
 

Second Chance

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Samn! said:
Archimandrite Touma (Bitar), abbot of the Monastery of St Silouan the Athonite in Lebanon, just published an essay about Jerusalem in which he says:

The people [in Jerusalem] are thirsting for the spring of the Spirit, starving for the word of life. But as soon as there appeared someone to give the Arab Orthodox streams of the water of eternal life and to break for them the bread of heaven, the instrument of the intruders who hold power over the See of Jerusalem acted in order to put a stop to the risk of revival  that was appearing on the horizon, to cast out those who were bringing it about, and to extinguish the flame of the Spirit there! Those responsible for what is regarded as weaving a "suspicious conspiracy" for revival are being driven out and are being replaced with those who will effectively ensure that the Church will be as dessicated as possible among the Arab Orthodox and that nothing will reach the point of revival.

Demonstrations have been held protesting the behavior of those in charge of the See of Jerusalem in front of various church and civil establishments. But is appears that no one wants to listen!

What fault is it for the Orthodox there that they are Arabs? Is it not the case that in Christ there is neither Arab nor Greek, but rather Christ is all in all? It is natural that there are Arabs, Greeks and Slavs in the Church. A person cannot step out of his own skin. We praise God, each in his own language, land and culture, just those upon whom the Holy Spirit descended did in the Book of Acts. However, for the Church to become a vehicle and a support for nationalism and racism, this is unbelief! This is regressing back to the paganism of the ancient gentiles! Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's! If Christ is not the one who brings us together, then nothing brings us together! If we are not prepared to drive every thought toward obeying Christ, then we have no part in Him! At that point, we set up idols next to Him in our faith! At that point, we have come to resemble the words of the One who said, "These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me." At that point, we kill Christ in ourselves and in others, while claiming that we are offering worship to God!

Unfortunately, those who watch over the See of Jerusalem watch more over dust and stones-- and themselves-- while the people are something closer to slaves to them! They hide behind canons while violating their spirit! They trade in power and money! In what way are they any different from the high priests of Israel who conspired against the Lord and gave Him over to the gentiles to be killed?! Are the lambs of Jerusalem not being given over to be slaughtered with negligence? They aggrandize themselves with their robes, their crosiers their titles and their grandiloquent speeches, while the flock is forced to lap at their feet! They traffick in Christ and His sheep, without any feeling for faith or belief! Perhaps some of them submit to the status quo there, feeling pain for the situation of Arab Orthodox, but they do not lift a finger! The issue is not in their hands. This is what the patriarch and his crowd wants! Do not these words of the Lord apply to them, "My house is called a house of prayer and you have made it into a den of thieves"?!
The whole essay is in English here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2014/07/fr-touma-bitar-on-situation-in.html
And in Arabic here: http://holytrinityfamily.org/niqat.php?var=Q2HrtUz4xTl7fOrTtVTqfupCQfCeYFEDNhvqNv9egJs#0
Very powerful. Before I proceed to blaming the Greekness of the Patriarchate, I should point out that there were/are Orthodox primates of Greek descent who were able to transcend their Greekness: Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, and others I want to believe. May the lord help the members of the Holy Synod of Jerusalem emulate the latter two and truly serve their flock.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Samn! said:
Archimandrite Touma (Bitar), abbot of the Monastery of St Silouan the Athonite in Lebanon, just published an essay about Jerusalem in which he says:

The people [in Jerusalem] are thirsting for the spring of the Spirit, starving for the word of life. But as soon as there appeared someone to give the Arab Orthodox streams of the water of eternal life and to break for them the bread of heaven, the instrument of the intruders who hold power over the See of Jerusalem acted in order to put a stop to the risk of revival  that was appearing on the horizon, to cast out those who were bringing it about, and to extinguish the flame of the Spirit there! Those responsible for what is regarded as weaving a "suspicious conspiracy" for revival are being driven out and are being replaced with those who will effectively ensure that the Church will be as dessicated as possible among the Arab Orthodox and that nothing will reach the point of revival.

Demonstrations have been held protesting the behavior of those in charge of the See of Jerusalem in front of various church and civil establishments. But is appears that no one wants to listen!

What fault is it for the Orthodox there that they are Arabs? Is it not the case that in Christ there is neither Arab nor Greek, but rather Christ is all in all? It is natural that there are Arabs, Greeks and Slavs in the Church. A person cannot step out of his own skin. We praise God, each in his own language, land and culture, just those upon whom the Holy Spirit descended did in the Book of Acts. However, for the Church to become a vehicle and a support for nationalism and racism, this is unbelief! This is regressing back to the paganism of the ancient gentiles! Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's! If Christ is not the one who brings us together, then nothing brings us together! If we are not prepared to drive every thought toward obeying Christ, then we have no part in Him! At that point, we set up idols next to Him in our faith! At that point, we have come to resemble the words of the One who said, "These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me." At that point, we kill Christ in ourselves and in others, while claiming that we are offering worship to God!

Unfortunately, those who watch over the See of Jerusalem watch more over dust and stones-- and themselves-- while the people are something closer to slaves to them! They hide behind canons while violating their spirit! They trade in power and money! In what way are they any different from the high priests of Israel who conspired against the Lord and gave Him over to the gentiles to be killed?! Are the lambs of Jerusalem not being given over to be slaughtered with negligence? They aggrandize themselves with their robes, their crosiers their titles and their grandiloquent speeches, while the flock is forced to lap at their feet! They traffick in Christ and His sheep, without any feeling for faith or belief! Perhaps some of them submit to the status quo there, feeling pain for the situation of Arab Orthodox, but they do not lift a finger! The issue is not in their hands. This is what the patriarch and his crowd wants! Do not these words of the Lord apply to them, "My house is called a house of prayer and you have made it into a den of thieves"?!
The whole essay is in English here: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.fr/2014/07/fr-touma-bitar-on-situation-in.html
And in Arabic here: http://holytrinityfamily.org/niqat.php?var=Q2HrtUz4xTl7fOrTtVTqfupCQfCeYFEDNhvqNv9egJs#0
Very powerful. Before I proceed to blaming the Greekness of the Patriarchate, I should point out that there were/are Orthodox primates of Greek descent who were able to transcend their Greekness: Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, and others I want to believe. May the lord help the members of the Holy Synod of Jerusalem emulate the latter two and truly serve their flock.
Indeed, the attachment of first the Carpatho-Rusyns in North America in 1938 to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and in the 1990's the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA was due in large part to the efforts of two respected Greek Bishops who both sat on the throne of the Archdiocese of North America, the late Patriarach Athenagoras and the late Archbishop Iakovas both of thrice blessed memory who made and kept promises that our cultures would be respected and not be subsumed into any form of an adopted Hellenism.
 

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The protests in Jordan seem to be picking up steam: http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2014/07/arab-orthodox-hold-another-round-of.html
 

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On July 24, 2014 Archbishop Attallah Hanna, Archimdandrite Christophoros Atallah, Archimandrite Meletios Bassal and Archimandrite Athanasios Kakish held a meeting in Amman to address the Orthodox issue and the progress of the revival in the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. Those gathered confirmed that the Arab Orthodox Youth Movement is not a movement for schism from the Orthodox Church, but rather a movement for constant reform and revival in order to realize our just demands!

http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2014/07/statement-of-arab-orthodox-clergy-of.html
 

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Orthodox crowds in Jordan rallied around their good shepherd, Archimandrite Chistophoros Atallah, at the Monastery of Dibbeen, saying "We are all Christophoros! The Monastery is a red line! Cristophoros is a red line!"

To read it in full:
Further Protests in Jordan as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem Attempts to Remove Archimandrite Chistophoros
http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2014/10/further-protests-in-jordan-as.html
 

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can you summarise why they want to remove him?
may God have mercy on His people.
 

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For the second week in a row, large numbers from the Arab Orthodox Church have demonstrated in rejection of the policy followed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate at the Monastery of Our Lady The Virgin Mary The Life-Giving Spring in Dibbeen, renewing their absolute support for the Arab Archimandrite Christophoros Atallah and affirming their position rejecting the intervention of the Jordanian government in the internal decisions of the Church. Church members regard the decisions of the Greek Patriarch Theophilos to banish Archimandrite Christophoros, founder of the first monastery in Jordan, as being malicious.

To read it in full:
Another Protest by Jordanian Orthodox in Support of Archimandrite Christophoros
http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2014/10/another-protest-by-jordanian-orthodox.html
 
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