Saturday, May 22, 2021

Jad Ganem: Before it's too late!

 Arabic original here.

Before It's Too Late!

On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of Patriarch Bartholomew's elevation to the See of Constantinople this year, the association of Archons in North America have launched a new organization named "The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation for the Sacred See of Saint Andrew."

The task of this foundation is " to grant economic independence to the Ecumenical Patriarchate so that it may fulfill its apostolic mission in perpetuity."

The activity of this organization will not be limited to North America, but rather, according to its founders, will extend to all dioceses of the Patriarchate of Constantinople throughout the world. This is because "the time has come for Orthodox Christians around the world to come together and ensure that the voice of the Apostolic Throne of Andrew never goes silent and the Spiritual Center of our Faith is able to lead Christ’s Holy Church for generations to come."

The foundation, which works under the supervision of the Metropolitan of North America for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who is a statutory member of its board of directors, and was launched with around six million USD in capital, will undertake:

- to continuously provide financial resources to religious, educational and charitable institutions belonging to the mother church;

- to provide the necessary support to the Patriarchate of Constantinople in order to strengthen its presence in all regions of the world and increase its opportunities for dialogue with various global religious leaders, without any hinderance due to financial limitations;

- to support the Patriarchate of Constantinople with the necessary financial assistance in order for it to be able to hold international conferences and gatherings of different groups and in order to strengthen the unity of the Orthodox Church in all regions of the world;

- to provide moral and financial support to the Patriarch of Constantinople in his capacity as representative of the Orthodox faithful around the world, so that he will be able to lead charitable activities and help those in need.

This initiative not only indicates the scope of the vitality of the Archons in North America and the scope of their commitment to supporting the Patriarchate of Constantinople, advocating for its causes, and providing it with the necessary means to fulfill its role in today's world; it also gives the impression that a new phase has begin that requires activating this patriarchate's role and strengthening its capabilities for confronting the challenges that it faces and for serving the projects that it has in store.

It remains that the dioceses of the diaspora which depend on local churches that are subject to existential chalenges, among them the dioceses of the Chuch of Antioch, need to undertake similar initiatives in order to provide the church in the homeland with the ability to have an active witness and mission and to confront the existential challenges that are affecting her members and institutions, so that the connection to the mother church does not remain merely sentimental without any active expression.

Or is it not strange that no Antiochian association has emerged in the diaspora over the past decade, despite all the challenges endured by the faithful in the homeland? Does this fact not deserve to be examined and its causes studied before it's too late?

1 comment:

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I am sorry for the plight of the Mother Church. I have no answers. For many decades the Christians have been not having children or emigrating. If you're not reproducing yourself in your pews you will eventually disappear. The AOANA is spread very thin across the US and lots of parishes struggle to pay their bills much less bail out a See that no longer exists geographically. Speaking of, since the Turkish government has inserted itself into the Holy Spirit's process of succession for the Ecumenical Patriarchate by requiring the nomination of an ethnic Greek, I'm not sure what to think of Istanbul's status.

I am equally sorry that the Syrians and Lebanese regard the emigre's and the parishes they founded as "diaspora" Churches, as if everyone's going to come back home to the real country one day. Had they understood themselves as missionaries rather than diaspora, it's possible global Orthodoxy would be on a much stronger footing.