Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Jad Ganem: An Answer Has Arrived

Arabic original here.

An Answer Has Arrived

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian issue, many people have been wondering about the position of the fathers of Mount Athos regarding the developments accompanying the "unification council", which reached their apex with the participation of a person that many leaders and theologians of the Orthodox Church consider to be a "layman-metropolitan" in divine services with His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch.
Some optimists thought that the silence of the fathers of the Holy Mountain stemmed from their “lack of desire to participate in the sins of others”, while others thought that realism requires recognizing that the fathers of the Holy Mountain have no ability to confront the Ecumenical Patriarch or to reject what he is doing.

Some refused to discern the reality of the signs being sent by the fathers of the Holy Mountain, which implied the submission of those there to what the Ecumenical Patriarch is doing and which escalated in the following manner:

  • The preparatory visits made by Metropolitan Emmanuel of France to the Holy Mountain and other visits made by various politicians concerned with the Ukrainian dossier.
  • The silence of the fathers of the mountain after the decisions made by the Holy Synod of Constantinople about altering the territory of the Russian Church and the corresponding acceptance of schismatics into ecclesiastical communion with Constantinople.
  • The recruitment of one of the monks of the Holy Mountain to make a calligraphic copy of the tomos of autocephaly.
  • The participation of the Holy Mountain in the Fanar's delegation to the enthronement of the head of the newly-created church in Ukraine and the participation of these monks in the divine mysteries along with the schismatics.
  • Finally, the visit of one of the metropolitans of the newly-created church along with an ecclesiastical delegation to the mountain and his reception at a number of monasteries where he performed divine services and received a celebratory welcome.
Perhaps many did not understand the message encrypted in these events, which reflect a strategic approach aimed at preparing public opinion to adapt to the status quo and gradually accept it. But will those betting on the Holy Mountain being regarded as a fortress of preserving Orthodoxy continue in this position of theirs if the words attributed to one of the monks who participated in the meeting mountain's governing council held two days ago are true, given that he clearly and unambiguously stated that the governing council believes "that Hellenism and the Ecumenical Patriarchate have the Primacy in Orthodoxy", that as Athonite monks they will "remain on the side of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and [...] will not tolerate its humiliation" and that "What is important is to maintain the unity of the Holy Monasteries and to send in every direction a clear message that no one will be allowed ‘to instrumentalize’ Mount Athos. Because Mount Athos concerns everyone... We want to preserve the peace and unity of the Church. However, as Athonites, we do not accept Hellenism and the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be humiliated by anyone."

There is no need to interpret these immaculately clear words which answer many people's questions. Hellenism and its leader in the world-- the Ecumenical Patriarch-- are more important than Orthodoxy and every position contrary to their views is regarded by some Athonites as a humiliation, at the very least.
For those who have not yet understood, let us wait for the irenic letters that will soon descend upon Epiphany from Alexandria, Jerusalem, Cyprus, Greece and Albania...This should not be surprising in a church where the truth, according to some, is linked to men and where men are not assessed according to their respect for the truth.

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