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April 7, 2011

Concerned Greek-speaking patriarchs and archbishops are nervously following the Patriarch of Romania who is pursuing new “spheres of influence”. A new “threat” is now appearing in Orthodoxy.

Source: unofficial translation of an article found at

This is about a dynamic and assertive appearance made by the Patriarch of Romania +Daniel who, by his attitude, is “threatening” the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, torpedoing his efforts to convene a Sacred Holy Synod, the first since the Schism between the Churches of East and West in 1054.

He is concurrently trying to gain new spheres of influence “attacking” the Holy Land and “threatening” the spiritual jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Jerusalem +Theophilus. + Daniel seems to have prepared for years for the emergence of the Romanian Orthodox Church as a sovereign power. Meaningful are reports such as that of U.S. Ambassador L. F. Taubman in Bucharest, which in a telegram broadcast by WikiLeaks said: “After decades of Patriarch Teoctist rule, there is a new breeze in the Romanian Church”. As indeed he adds, “Patriarch Daniel has extensive experience, speaks fluent English and other languages, and is fully aware of the power and influence of the Church in shaping public opinion”. The meeting of the Primate of the Romanian Church with the American ambassador in 2007, was held only a short time after his election, and the main theme of the meeting was to address prostitution and trafficking in firearms.

Since then three years have passed and the main force 20 million faithful, the 14,500 priests, about 9,000 students of theological schools, seminaries and church schools, and above all, hundreds of monks and nuns, the Patriarch of Romania, + Daniel is the new large and strong power of the Orthodox, who is coming to threaten the rights and jurisdictions of the Greek-speaking Primates, especially the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, +Theophilus. The first ostentatious demonstration and de facto concern for Greek-speaking Primates of the strength and the demands made by the Romanian Church were in late February in Geneva, where representatives of the Orthodox Churches were discussing how to grant Autocephaly in attempting to prepare for the Sacred Holy Synod, which will be the first meeting of Orthodox after the Schism. All representatives of the Greek-speaking churches, notably the Church of Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Cyprus and Athens were ready to face the possible arguments to be made by Slavophones and led by Orthodox Russia.

But suddenly “new lightning” flashed and a friend became a foe. It was the representative of the Romanian Orthodox Church, a lay person, a lecturer in canon law, who, according to Greek clergy, charted his own way forward. For the first time, the Romanian Orthodox Church appeared not to accept the special privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarch. So, he refused to accept the proposal of Metropolitan John of Pergamon, who proposed that whenever Autocephaly is granted to an Orthodox Church, the first to sign would be the current head of the Church of Constantinople who would sign followed by:”approves” while the other Primates would sign followed by: “together approve”.

The first skirmishes between the Greeks and Romanians were made in southern Italy on the occasion of the Monastery of St. John the Harvester and, according to Italian press, even required the intervention of the Carabinieri in order to avoid conflict. The monastery, however, after the intervention of the local area government administration, went to the administration of the Romanian Orthodox Church, despite the appeals of the Greeks to take into consideration their longstanding presence in the region. Today, Italy, Spain and Portugal are the three Western European countries where thousands of Romanian economic migrants now live, those who left Romania after the fall of the Ceausescu regime. The metropolitans and bishops who are appointed by the Romanian Orthodox Church in these countries are often impetuous and assertive, which often results in conflicts with the bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who have the role of coordinators among the orthodox.

“The battle is tough and we might see that the Romanian bishop will meet the king and queen of Spain on his own, while the local bishop representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate will learn of this from press releases” said a Metropolitan from Central Europe to the “Vima” newspaper. Everything depends, he adds, “on the ability and power of each bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to avoid the ‘pitfalls’ ” …

The “City of discord”, Jericho, the oldest city of the Holy Land, known worldwide through the Old Testament, is now the “City of discord” between the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Romania. The reason for the controversy that has erupted between the two churches is the local church built by the Romanian Orthodox Church, the church where services are held, even though that area is part of the spiritual jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The church began to be built about ten years ago and, as stated in the Patriarch of Jerusalem’s letter, “The objections and the protests of our Patriarchate could not stop the construction of this church”.

According to +Theophilus, “If other Orthodox Churches would follow the example of the Romanian Orthodox Church, then we would have permanent delegations of 13 Autocephalous Orthodox Churches in the Holy Land, which become an arbitrary polyphony of orthodox pluralism and overlapping duplications, very difficult to lead administratively…” So far, and as Patriarch +Theofilos declared to +Daniel, “the Patriarchate of Jerusalem has faced this uncanonical situation planted in her bosom, with deep regret and with much tolerance and moderation, limiting itself to suspending the Romanian Church’s prime representative, Archimandrite Fr. Ieronymon Cretu, from taking communion, and this without defrocking him or even stopping the elevation of the Romanian Church in the dyptichs as it had every right to do.”

However, if the Church of Romania does not comply, Jerusalem threatens to interrupt the commemoration of +Daniel, as was done in mid-2000 by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in reference to the late Archbishop Christodoulos, responding to the case of the so-called New Territories.

17 Comments to “Romania’s +Daniel vs EP’s +Bartholomew”

  1. Administrator Says:

    This article underlines the concern of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other Greek-speaking Orthodox Church primates in what is viewed as a newfound quest for sovereign power on the part of +Daniel and the Romanian Orthodox Church. Their latest actions are viewed as threats made by the Romanian Orthodox Church who, until recently was seen as siding with Constantinople in the growing Orthodox division between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church, with both sides having supporters amongst the various Orthodox Churches worldwide. Romania’s attempts to control churches throughout the Romanian Diaspora is creating heated arguments in Western Europe and is verging on creating a schism with Jerusalem. The Romanian Orthodox Church is clearly embracing ethnophyletism which is being adopted as a principle in gaining new spheres of influence worldwide, even though this is heretical behaviour in Orthodoxy.

    Based on this article we can now better understand the Romanian Orthodox Church’s approach as it applies worldwide and not only in North America. In this context, taking over the ROEA is part of a larger plan of having greater influence worldwide, not only within Orthodoxy, but also politically, with the Romanian government using the Church to develop greater influence in various countries throughout the world. This is what happens when Church and State are as intertwined as they are in Romania, where the State pays the salaries of all clerics.

  2. Admin. la Razboi Intru Cuvant .ro Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Un articol aparut pe pare a indica un conflict abrupt intre Patriarhia Romana, pe de o parte, si Patriarhiile de Constantinopol (“Ecumenica”) si de Ierusalim, pe de alta parte… Articolul de pe nu face altceva decat sa confirme ceea ce s-a observat la ultima intalnire pan-ortodoxa destinata organizarii Sinodului asa-zis al Optulea: anume, ca Patriarhia Romana are intentii hegemonice…Ceea ce intriga in toata aceasta ecuatie este informatia (neconfirmata) ca Patriarhia Romaniei ar “juca” in aceeasi tabara cu cea a Moscovei. Daca ar fi asa, atunci conflictul legat de jurisdictia Basarabiei este doar un fum de petarde? Intrebam si noi… Asadar, exista o confirmare partiala prin acest atac de pe Romfea la adresa Patriarhiei Romane – anume, ca aceasta din urma ar avea intentii hegemonice din ce in ce mai pronuntate… Ce ar insemna insa, la modul propriu, “intentii hegemonice“? Este vorba, la nivelul de baza si foarte direct spus, de pretentii teritoriale – la nivel de autoritate ecleziala. Despre jurisdictii – parohii, manastiri, eparhii infiintate pe teritoriul unor tari care, traditional, apartineau, altor jurisdictii (Patriarhia Ecumenica, mai ales, dar si cea a Ierusalmului - in cazul Aszamantului romanesc de la Ierihon).

    …Romania a cunoscut in deceniile din urma un masiv proces de emigrare in Vestul Europei. O parte destul de importanta a acestor romani de peste hotare au pastrat intr-un mod oarecare legatura cu Biserica si, evident, au cautat, in primul rand, o biserica ortodoxa romaneasca. Asa se explica faptul ca Patriarhia Romana a devenit foarte prezenta in Vestul Europei. O prezenta incomoda pentru Patriarhia Ecumenica, care se vede concurata, deja, nu doar de Patriarhia Moscovei, ci si de cea Romana in unele jurisdictii fie direct subordonate, fie aflate sub influenta ei. De aceea Patriarhia Romana a si fost alaturi de cea a Moscovei la intalnirea precedenta, cele doua centre avand un interes conjunctural similar in ceea ce priveste drepturile asupra unor spatii aflate dincolo de teritoriul statal roman si rus…

    In acest sens, Patriarhia Romana poate figura, intr-adevar, drept ultimul jucator intrat pe scena definirii raporturilor de putere in tabara ortodoxa care incepe sa emita pretentii. Asta din pricina noului Patriarh, PF Daniel, care, ca orice manager autentic (ce singur se declara), si-o fi facut calculele cu privire la resursele de care dispune, o fi evaluat locul pe care il ocupa BOR in ortodoxia universala si a decis ca, eventual, e loc de mai mult si de mai bine (in termeni de putere, influenta). Acest lucru evident deranjeaza si iata ca, pe langa pretentiile rusilor care erau, pana in acest moment, cel mai mare impediment in calea organizarii unui Sinod Pan-Ortodox, se adauga si pretentiile “romanilor”.

  3. Roman Ortodox in Franta Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Nu ar fi de mirare existenta unor tensiuni intre Patriarhia Romana si cea de la Constantinopol, datorate diasporei. Patriarhia Constantinopolului beneficiaza de anumite prerogative fata de celelalte Patriarhii autocefale, iar Patriarhul Ecumenic are statutul de “primus inter pares” (primul dintre cei egali). Conţinutul, şi chiar existenţa acestor prerogative, sunt aprins combătute de către anumite Biserici ortodoxe, în special de Biserica Ortodoxă Rusă.

    Una din prerogative este si cea de a avea dreptul de a hirotoni episcopi pentru regiuni care sunt în afara limitelor canonice definite (Canonul 28 al celui de-al Patrulea Sinod Ecumenic), adica, aceasta inseamna ca Patriarhia Ecumenica ar fi cea care ar avea drepturi asupra ortodocsilor din diaspora. In cazul unificarii, in Apus, a ortodocsilor proveniti din diferite etnii, pentru a avea o Biserica Locala, aceasta ar trebui, pana a avea statutul de autocefala, sa fie dependenta de Constantinopol (a se intelege creerea unei Mitropolii ce va apartine Patriarhiei Ecumenice).
    Este evident ca Patriarhia Romana, dorind sa isi pastreze cumva Mitropoliile pe care le are in diaspora, sa se ralieze cu Moscova, numita si “a treia Roma” (dupa cea care are insusi acest nume, si dupa Constantinopol), si care combate prerogativele mai sus amintite. Nadajduiesc ca toate acestea sa nu duca la dezbinare si la a rupe comuniunea intre Patriarhii. Sunt totusi niste probleme de management bisericesc, care nu sunt deloc usoare, si care trebuiesc cumva rezolvate…

  4. Gelu S Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Madama grecoaica sa invete sa vorbeasca,inainte de a scrie despre “romanul Daniel”.Ca ortodox roman o iau ca pe un afront personal. Cum sa fie Biserica romana sub jurisdictia Constantinopolului ? Pai ei n-au facut si nu fac nimic in Diaspora pentru romani.Si nici nu au posibilitatea sa faca ceva.Nu este placut pentru romani atunci cand aud ca in orasul X unde s-au stabilit nu exista Biserica romaneasca si trebuie sa mearga la greci sau rusi.Este o solutie,insa nu cea optima.Daca in Sfantul Munte toti si-au pastrat identitatea,cum vrea Patriarhia Ecumenica sa faca altfel in Diaspora?…

  5. Roman Ortodox in Franta Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    GeluS, Muntele Athos este un teritoriu ce apartine din punct de vedere jurisdictional Patriarhiei Ecumenice, care are sediul la Constantinopol (Istambul). Asa ca acest exemplu ar fi unul ce ar puncta in favoarea acestei Patriarhii, in problema cu diaspora. Iar daca ramanem la acest exemplu, si vedem ca romanii au doar un schit in Sfantul Munte, si nu au nicio manastire, desi domnitorii Tarilor Romane au facut multe daruri Gradinii Maicii Domnului, iar romanii tot timpul au fost prezenti in aceste locuri, putem sa vedem ca nu am fost avantajati deloc…
    De asemeni, Michel EvdoKimov scrie: “O astfel de ecleziologie instaureaza o confuzie intre Biserica si nationalitate, iar tendinta nationalista care rezulta, a fost cu severitate condamnata printr-un consiliu al patriarhilor orientali in 1872 sub numele de etnofiletism. Riscul etnofiletismului este de a pune jurisdictiile in concurenta unele cu altele. Concurenta datorata vechimii, bogatiei mostenite, a numarului mare de fideli etc. Aceste consideratii pur umane nu tin in fata Potirului unde Trupul Domnului este acelasi in cea mai umila parohie, precum si in cea mai mare catedrala din lume.”
    Voi adauga, de asemei si raspunsul P. Placide Deseilles cu privire la necesitatea creeri unei Biserici Ortodoxe Locale in Franta, rostit intr-un interviu destul de recent:
    - Ce parere aveti de subiectul foarte important de a gasi o unitate vizibila intre Bisericile Locale in Franta.
    - Da, acest lucru este foarte important deoarece este pacat ca Biserica sa fie impartire intre unii si altii, toti de origini etnice diferite. Aceasta este chiar o negare a Bisericii initiale, unde nu trebuie sa fie diferente legate de nationalitate. Dar, pe de alta parte, daca tinem cont ca Biserica Ortodoxa este prezenta acum in Franta gratie diverselor emigrari, intelegem ca din punct de vedere pastoral, patriarhii si episcopii diferitelor natii, au vrut sa asigure un serviciu liturgic si, pastoral pentru credinciosii lor. Insa este foarte mult de dorit ca destul de repede, acum, sa se mearga spre o unificare. Nu imi fac insa iluzii, aceasta va fi dificil.
    - Si cum vedeti aceasta Biserica Locala?
    - Trebuie sa fie un arhiepiscop ortodox la Paris si sa fie mitropolii locale cu episcopul lor, in marile orase ale Frantei, si avand jurisdictia pe teritoriul dat. Aceasta, si putem imagina foarte bine, pentru emigranti care nu cunosc foarte bine limba franceza, cateva vicariate cu parohii in care se vorbeste limba romana, limba sarba, sau rusa, dar toate acestea sub autoritatea unui mitropolit unic pentru intreg teritoriul Frantei, si in cadrul unor eparhii locale unificate.
    - Ce trebuie sa faca ortodocsii pentru a merge in aceasta directie?
    - Sa evite tot ce tinde sa identifice ortodoxia cu, as spune: un club folcloric. E foarte bine ca grecii in Franta sa aibe, de exemplu, reuniuni, sau asociatii pentru a pastra cantecele populare grecesti, sau dansurile folclorice, dar nu este rolul Bisericii, nu este rolul vietii liturgice. Si Liturghia trebuie sa fie din ce in ce mai mult in limba franceza pentru ca orice participant, fie ca e grec de origine, fie ca e francez, fie ca e slav, sau de alta nationalitate, sa poata forma o singura Biserica, un singur Trup al lui Hristos, in afara tuturor acestor distincii.

  6. Beatrice Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Doamne ajuta! In primul rand suntem ortodocsi si apoi romani, greci, bulgari, sarbi sau altceva…Suntem un singur neam, chiar daca avem limbi diferite…neamul ortodox… Suntem crestini!!! Si apoi Hristos poate vorbi orice limba!

  7. Admin. la Razboi Intru Cuvant .ro Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Miza nu este limba sau neamul, credem noi, ci dorinta mai multora de a fi ei PAPI ai ortodoxiei.

  8. Gelu S Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Ei, eu nu sunt de acord cu faptul de a impune limba tarii gazda Bisericilor din Diaspora ! Unii preoti de aici(am fost martor la o astfel de argumentatie)invoca faptul ca deja copiii emigrantilor nu mai inteleg limba romana,si ca sa-i “atraga” la slujbe trebuie ca acestea sa fie facute in limba tarii de rezidenta ! Nu cred ca prin adoptarea ca limba de cult a limbii franceze,de exemplu,s-a rezolvat problema de a-i face pe copii sa vina la slujbe si sa fie credinciosi. Totul pleaca de la “uscaciunea” care exista in toti si in toate si se incearca tot felul de “carpeli”,similar bisericilor catolice.
    Limba romana are o rezonanta liturgica adanca,este limba vechilor cazanii,eu nu simt o slujba ortodoxa in franceza ca in romaneste. Si acesta este un pacat,de a renunta cu atat usurinta la limba pe care ne-a dat-o Dumnezeu si pe care poeti si scriitori au aratat-o a fi asa de binecuvantata. Prima data renuntam la limba,apoi renuntam si la celelalte,ca asa “este mai bine”. Foarte periculos ! Eu sunt pentru pastrarea limbii romane in Sfintele Slujbe ale tuturor Bisericilor romanesti din Diaspora. O comunitate,un popor care si-a pierdut limba ,se va usca si in credinta.

  9. Laurentiu Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Nu am inteles niciodata acest rasism mai ales fata de ceilalti care au aceeasi credinta ca a ta. Sa inteleg ca daca grecii au mai multe biserici in SUA sau in orice alta tara si intr-un interval de timp se stabilesc acolo mai multi emigranti ortodocsi de alta cetatenie, atunci inseamna ca pentru a lua parte la slujba sunt nevoiti sa invete limba greaca sa rusa pentru a intelege ceva din slujba, si n-au dreptul sa-si aibe biserica in limba de origine doar pentru faptul ca nu se afla sub jurisdictia elina sau rusa? Cu ce ii incurca faptul ca si alti frati ortodocsi sa-si aiba biserica lor in care slujbele sa fie tinute in limba de origine pentru a participa si ei la Sf. Liturghie sau la alte slujbe ale Bisericii.
    Inteleg ca trebuie sa nu fim toleranti cu cei care invata alta credinta decat invatatura Bisericii Ortodoxe, insa rasismul de orice fel si mai ales fata de cei care au aceeasi credinta cu a ta nu l-am inteles niciodata. Daca acesta este crestinsimul, si asa se procedeaza din punct de vedere ortodox atunci eu nu incurajez o astfel de “ortodoxie”, Despre atitudinea oamenilor care gandesc asa, Parintele Arsenie Boca spunea ca se comporta “ca şi când numai ei ar avea dreptul la virtute”. Totusi cred ca ar fi bine sa asteptam un comunicat oficial, poate ca respectiva autoare Maria Antoniadou umareste cu totul alte interese folosindu-se de acest articol.

  10. Hrisanti Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    Nationalismul nu este un sentiment crestin, si este normal sa aduca dezbinare. Sunt la unison cu beatrice. Eu una, pentru ca locuiesc la Nantes unde nu este in fiecare duminica slujba la biserica romaneasca, merg si la rusi. Mai acum vreo 10 ani, cand locuiam la Lille si nu era inca formata o biserica romana, mergeam la greci…Niciodata nu mi s-a parut ca sunt in “alta” biserica pentru ca nu se slujea in limba mea materna.

    Cred ca aceasta lupta pentru suprematie, care exista nu numai in diaspora, ci in general intre rusi si greci mai ales, face foarte mult rau intregii Biserici, si chiar nu inteleg de ce ne preocupa, cand stim ca Biserica este Una, indiferent de patriarhi si tendintele lor de abordare lumeasca ?
    Atat timp ne pierdem cu conflicte de acest gen, atat de mult ne indepartam de principiile cu adevarat crestine si atat ne contrazicem intre frati, incat cred ca aghiuta e in culmea fericirii.

  11. Costel Says:

    de la http://www. ‘Stiri-Comentarii’ - “+Daniel vs +Bartolomeu”

    “27. Căci, câţi în Hristos v-aţi botezat, în Hristos v-aţi îmbrăcat.
    28. Nu mai este iudeu, nici elin; nu mai este nici rob, nici liber; nu mai este parte bărbătească şi parte femeiască, pentru că voi toţi una sunteţi în Hristos Iisus.
    29. Iar dacă voi sunteţi ai lui Hristos, sunteţi deci urmaşii lui Avraam, moştenitori după făgăduinţă. ”

  12. Administrator Says:

    After WWII, the Romanian Orthodox Church in Western Europe was organized by Metropolitan Visarion Puiu and later Administered by Archbishop Teofil Ionescu, and then Fr. Vasile Boldeanu, Fr. C. Constandache, and finally Fr. P. Popescu as an eparchy of ROCOR, with over a dozen parishes. In the 1970’s Bucharest began its expansionist plans by infiltrating those communities and taking them over one by one, creating eparchies and Bishops throughout, and all paid for by Bucharest. What we have today is a situation where every parish in Western Europe is now under Bucharest control and has become an extension of the Romanian Government; in effect, new local Romanian embassies and consulates.

    One can no longer speak of the offspring of Romanian Orthodox becoming 2nd 3rd or 4th generation French Orthodox. They simply stop being Orthodox because they have nowhere to go, the Church of their parents having become a ghettoized Romanian Diaspora in France and elsewhere in Western Europe instead of evolving into local Orthodox Churches.

    Who benefits? Certainly not Universal Orthodoxy, but rather the phyletist interests of the Romanian Church and its benefactor, the Romanian government! This is also true of other Mother Churches and their Governments. (Moscow, Belgrade, Sophia, etc.) What a sad state of affairs. If these Mother Churches really wanted to help, they would have long ago created the bases of the local French Orthodox, Belgian Orthodox, etc. Church. But no … influence and power are more important to these Churches(?) than spreading Christ’s word throughout the world. How sad!

  13. Mariko Hishamunda Says:

    I’m afraid I don’t speak Romanian, but while I agree that organizing the Local Churches along ethnic lines is wrong, I also don’t see why the Romanian Orthodox bishop in Spain should have to check in with the local Greek Orthodox metropolitan before he speaks with the Spanish government about the state of his flock in the country. Until a single Orthodox episcopate is established for Western Europe the Local Churches’ bishops there only have reference to their respective Churches, not the Church of Constantinople…

  14. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    A very interesting article. A few things.

    The Romanian Patriarchate is but a tool of the Romanian government and that is a fact. The “influence” of the Patriarchate is thus an additional tool of the Romanian state. It is also a fact that the project of subordination (”union”) of the Romanian Orthodox jurisdiction in the New World is part of this unholy plan.

    It is interesting that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem abhors the idea of overlapping Orthodox canonical jurisdictions in the Holy Land. Apparently the Ecumenical Patriarchate (i.e. the Church of Istanbul) is in accord with such a position. How then can it be that for the same jurisdictions, canonical overlapping is somehow acceptable in the New World? Hello Old World, put your ideas in order!

  15. Mariko Hishamunda Says:

    The Romanian Orthodox hierarchy has been excommunicated by the Church of Jerusalem.

  16. Administrator Says:

    Thank you Mariko for the information.

    An article regarding the Jerusalem Patriarchate’s decision to break off communion with the Romanian Patriarchate is now on the website.

  17. melxiopp Says:

    I find it interesting that the geographical and ethnic/cultural paradigms of jurisdiction are coming to a head. I think it especially ironic that the Greek Church of Jerusalem is championing the purely geographic view against Romania’s (and Russia’s?) purely ethnic/cultural view while the Greek Church of Constantinople (Jerusalem’s de facto ecclesiastical head, perhaps sharing many of the same lay/secular masters, too, though different enemies) has been supporting a hybrid of the two views. While the Ecumenical Patriarchate (EP) claims sole geographic jurisdiction over all faithful in territories around the world not already controlled by another autocephalous church, within that (claimed) territory the EP organizes its faithful along primarily ethnic/cultural lines - with some ethnic groups “more equal than others”, regardless of either size or longstanding (read: Greek and Greeks are always most important).

    The doctrines of ethnicity/culture/language and jurisdiction abroad (which are really just bywords for nationalism in immigration) are desperately in need of resolution. I don’t expect a theologically and pastorally sound resolution to be found, however, since the powerful and the culturally narcissistic on all sides are so used to using their churches (forgetting - or simply not believing - She is Christ’s Church, His Body) for their own ends. The Emperors did it, the Tsars did it, the Phanariotes did it, the Communists did it, the post-Communists, nationalists, and democrats are doing it, again. Or, as Upton Sinclair put it in a less byzantine, less caesaro-papal context: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” (I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked, 1935)

    You can’t claim to be The Universal Church and act like a bunch of tribes with tribal gods. That is: [adapted quote] Every one of you saith, I am of Greece; and I of Russia; and I of Romania; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Greece crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Russia? (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:12-3)

    The Head of our Church - if we believe we are The Church and not simply a quasi-racial faith like Judaism - says: [adapted quote] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.For I am come to set a man at variance against his nation, and the immigrant against her homeland, and the homeland against her adopted land. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth Greece or Russia more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth America or Europe more than me is not worthy of me. (cf. Matthew 10:34-7)

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