Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Jad Ganem: Unholy Battles

Arabic original here.

Unholy Battles

In a church in Istanbul dedicated to the Icon of the Belgrade Mother of God, Patriarch Bartholomew stood and listened with pride as Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria gave a speech addressed primarily to those present in which he said:

"Let us place our hope in the [Mother of God] and fervently pray to her all-holy person to always protect her Church, her city and the Patriarch of the Nation who, with a great sense of fatherly responsibility, struggles day and night for the promotion of the Ecumenical See and principally for the defense of its rights and privileges."

The patriarch then listened to the part addressed directly to him, which said:

"Your All-Holiness, you who have as an invincible shield the Belgrade Mother of God and know that she stands by your side in your fight against those who call into question the role and function of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the first see of the Church, among them the ingrate Church of Moscow. Do not be discouraged and do not grow weary. You have the grace and the help of the miraculous Icon of the Belgrade Mother of God. They are unleashed against you on account of your just combat for the stability of all Orthodoxy. The Mother of God, however, sees and approves of your combat and she prays to her Son. After all, this is the way of the Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is living and nourished by the grace of God, the Mother of God and the saints. This is why it exists, because God wills it, because He strengthens it, because it exists by divine right-- which is to say, by heaven, in accordance with the divine will, by the grace of the Holy Spirit-- which is to say, by the decrees of the holy Ecumenical Councils."

As soon as the bishop ended his speech, the patriarch replied with a speech in which he said, "Let us preserve together the sacred and holy places of our Nation in the City of our fathers, of which there is no question of us abandoning. Nor is there any question of the Patriarchate departing from here, nor is there any question of its adversaries ever being victorious, those who you mentioned, Your Eminence... Truth and justice are on the side of the Ecumenical Patriarchate."

It is manifestly clear from these words that Patriarch Bartholomew and his distinguishd disciple Metropolitan Maximos belive:

-- That the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the church of the Greek nation and that the Patriarch of Constantinople is that patriarch of that nation.

-- That any Orthodox presence in this patriarchate by anyone not of the Greek race is a grave danger to it and to its future.

-- That their task is not to spread the Orthodox faith, but to promote the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its rights and privileges and the prerogatives of its patriarch.

-- That they speak in the name of God, the Mother of God and the saints and they have exclusive possession of them for their nation, their prerogatives and their programs.

-- That the age of the Ecumenical Councils has ended and that the councils that previously changed the borders of patriarchates and churches are no longer valid today for ordering the situation of the Orthodox world today in accordance with new historical realities.

Perhaps the above indicates that Patriarch Bartholomew and his disciples have fallen not only into the heresy of ethnophyletism, but also into blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, Whom they make into a vehicle for themselves and their passions and a tool in their unholy battles. Who will tell these people: enough with the blasphemy and frivolousness? Orthodoxy is greater than you, your nation, your cities, your prerogatives and your priviledges. It is greater than all nations, cities, peoples and races. God is not and will not be a party in your vain combats. Reach up to Him and do not make Him in the image of your ugliness and hatred!

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