Thursday, November 15, 2018

Jad Ganem: The Silence of Mount Athos

Arabic original here.

The Silence of Mount Athos

The voice of the Holy Mountain has long resounded at every important and fateful juncture in the Orthodox Church. The monks of Mount Athos have long addressed the Church's leaders every time they sensed a deviation in practices, a departure from the faith or a threat to unity. Today, in light of the current crisis that the Orthodox Church is experiencing, the faithful are missing the voice of the fathers of the Holy Mountain and are wondering about the reason for their silence. They are missing their voice with regard to what has been said about the papism that is filtering into Orthodox theology and practice. They await their word related to the way of accepting schismatics into the Church, the validity of the ordinations that took place during the schism, the Church's position with regard to a married patriarch and bishops being returned to communion with the Church, and the relationship between Church and state and everything that is being said about the right of presidents, politicians and parliamentarians to impose their agenda on the Church. They await their word on this mess we have gotten ourselves into. They wonder why the monks of the Holy Mountain have refrained from playing this role today. Is it  because their position is different from that of the ecclesiastical authorities on which they depend? Is it because of a difference of opinion about these issues also exists among them? Or is it because they are waiting for the anger of the Lord to pass and for souls to be calm in order to speak their mind?

No matter the reasons, the eyes of the faithful, which are wounded by what is happening today in Christ's Church, look to the holy Mountain. Their prayers embrace its monks' unceasing prayers, that God may keep troubles and schisms away from His Church and that He may send a voice to "rightly divide the word of truth" and bring us from Babel of politics and legalism that is dividing our church to the holy Pentecost.

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