PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW DISCUSSES AUTOCEPHALY WITH NORTH MACEDONIAN POLITICIANS
Istanbul, January 14, 2020
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople received a number of North Macedonian politicians yesterday to discuss the matter of the autocephaly of the schismatic “Macedonian Orthodox Church.”
According to the Greek outlet Romfea, the Patriarch met with Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski, his predecessor Zoran Zaev, and their assistants Dane Talevski and Dejan Sotirovsky, at the politicians’ initiative. Pat. Bartholomew was accompanied by Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Metropolitan Maximos of Silibria, Metropolitan Amphilochios of Adrianople, and other clerics and representatives of the Patriarchate.
The Orthodox Church is represented in North Macedonia by the canonical Ohrid Archdiocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, though the majority of citizens belong to the breakaway MOC, which is seeking for autocephaly from the Patriarchate of Constantinople after the example of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
Pat. Bartholomew and the North Macedonian representatives decided the Patriarchate will invite representatives of the Serbian Church and of the unrecognized MOC to the Patriarchal residence in Istanbul for consultations and an attempt to find a mutually acceptable solution.
The Prime Ministers and their associates expressed their respect and trust in the Patriarchate of Constantinople following the “warm and sincere” discussion. Zoran Zaev earlier stated that he was prepared to offer Pat. Bartholomew a cash bribe to receive autocephaly for the MOC.
“Hierarchs” of the MOC have repeatedly expressed their belief that they will receive autocephaly from Constantinople in the near future, including as recently as January 7.
“The Ecumenical Patriarchate officially confirmed that it has not given up on the desire to resolve the issue of the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, despite the opposition of the Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches,” writes the North Macedonian outlet Religija.
“During the talk, the previous stages of the discussion were raised, including the request of the Church [the MOC—Ed.] to return to the canonical name of the Archdiocese of Ohrid, in accordance with a timely request for an appeal on its part,” the Religija report reads.
In September 2018, Pat. Bartholomew declared that he would never recognize the MOC as long as it used “Macedonian” in its title.
The MOC, which formed as a schism form the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967, reached out to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in November 2017 for assistance in becoming a canonically-recognized autocephalous Church. The Bulgarian Church agreed to help, which greatly angered the Churches of Serbia and Greece, and also the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The MOC then appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well in May 2018 for the regularization of its canonical status, which responded that it would take up the issue and take appropriate measures “under the essential conditions of the observance of the historical-canonical powers and privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
After declaring his opposition to the title “Macedonian,” Pat. Bartholomew later declared in October 2018 that the issue of the MOC is within the Serbian Church’s competence.
At its May 2019 session, the Council of Bishops of the Serbian Church resolved to resume negotiations on the resolution of the status of the MOC, though there does not seem to have been any progress since then.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited “Archbishop” Stefan of the MOC in October, after which Stefan declared that the U.S. is committed to protecting the MOC.
TEHRAN – Earlier today, the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran raised the Red Flag of Hussein over the Holy Dome of Jamkaran Mosque, in Qom. The raising of the red flag gives a precise signal – it indicates that a major war is to come or is even now underway.
Reports so far indicate that this is the first time Iran has unfurled this flag over the Holy Dome, a flag steeped in religious symbolism relating to Islamic eschatology, the end times, and the specter of total war of epic and religious proportions.
This is not a flag of mourning, or of somber remembrance. It is a flag indicating that Iran is mobilizing its entire society towards a conflict never before seen. Bear in mind that this flag was not unfurled even during the Iran-Iraq war.
The Red Flag of Hussein raised above the mosque symbolizes the strength of the battle like that of Karbala and the color of the blood that may soon be poured as sacrifice and for justice over the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, who has now become Shahid Soleimani (martyr Soleimani). Yet it reaches far beyond that of Shia martyrs, and speaks of events yet to unfold in short time.
The mosque is the considered one of the most significant in Iran, and in recent years has experienced much greater interest particularly from the youth.
Iran told the United Nations Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday that it reserves its right to self-defense under international law after the United States killed Qassem Soleimani, the top commander of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Iranian U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in a letter that the killing of Soleimani “by any measure, is an obvious example of State terrorism and, as a criminal act, constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, including, in particular, those stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations.”
TOTAL WAR: Iran Unfurls Red Flag of War Over the Holy Dome of Jamkarān Mosque - Fort Russ
WWW.FORT-RUSS.COM TEHRAN – Earlier today, the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran raised the Red Flag of Hussein over the Holy Dome of Jamkaran Mosque, in Qom. The raising of the red flag gives a...
Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) “The Pocket Augustine”
Posted on January 1, 2020
Saint of the Day – 1 January – Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) Abbot, Bishop of the city of Ruspe, Roman province of Africa, North Africa in modern day Tunisia, Theologian, Writer- known as “The Pocket Augustine” – born Fabius Claudius Gordianus Fulgentius in c 462 at Carthage, North Africa (modern Tunis, Tunisia) and died on 1 January 533 in Ruspe of natural causes. He is venerated today and on 3 January by the Augustinians.
He was born to a Roman senatorial family, and was well educated. His father Claudius, died while Fulgentius was still quite young. His mother, Mariana taught him to speak Greek and Latin. He became so good at Greek, that he spoke it like a native and committed all of Homer to memory. He was also well trained in Latin literature.
As he grew older, he managed his house wisely in subjection to his mother and Fulgentius quickly gained wide respect for his conduct of the family affairs. This reputation helped him to acquire a post as a civil servant in the government of Rome, as a procurator of Byzacena.
He quickly grew tired of the provincial life. This, together with his studies of religion, particularly a sermon of Saint Augustine of Hippo on Psalm 36, led to his being attracted to a religious life and he entered a monastery, became a monk, then was Ordained and became Abbot.
At the time, the Arian persecutions had ceased but the election of Catholic bishops was forbidden. In 508 it became necessary to defy the law when bishops were consecrated, Fulgentius being chosen for Ruspe (modern Kudiat Rosfa, Tunisia). He was exiled with 60 other bishops to Sardinia. There they built a monastery and continued to write, pray, and study.
Fulgentius was invited back to Carthage by the Arian king Thrasimund to hold a debate with his Arian replacement around 515 and so successfully refuted his Arian opponents that he was exiled again in 518.
King Hilderic succeeded Thrasimund in 523 and permitted the exiles to return. Peace finally being restored to the African church, Fulgentius returned to his Diocese. He would have preferred to return to his monastery and resume his studies but he was such a popular preacher, he was kept busy in the pulpit until his death.
As a Bishop, he followed Augustine’s example in living in community with the clergy of his Diocese. He founded several other monasteries in Africa. When he was exiled to Sardinia, not wanting to be away from the monastic community life, he even founded monasteries there.
Various letters and eight sermons survive. Fulgentius’s work shows his vast knowledge of Greek and a strong influence and agreement with Saint Augustine, so much so, that he is known as “The Pocket Augustine.” He wrote frequently against Arianism and Pelagianism.
Saint Fulgentius died of natural causes in 533 at Ruspe. Some of his relics are located at Bourges, France.
St Fulgentius truly aimed to live a life in conformity with St Augustine’s precept:
“Everything outside of us fluctuates with the storms and temptations of this age. But we need an interior desert, where we gather ourselves and live of our faith.” … (Sermo 47,25)
The mission parishes of the Jamaican Orthodox Mission have voted to join the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and are in the process of being received.
The mission initially began on April 24, 2015, as the Holy Orthodox Archdiocese in Jamaica—a Vicariate of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The mission was established in response to the efforts of a young Jamaican, Moses Myers, a former member of a Pentecostal Holiness denomination who converted to Orthodoxy in March 2014.
As Myers told OrthoChristian.com, the Jamaican Mission consists of two mission parishes including 15 baptized and chrismated Orthodox faithful, 7 catechumens, and over 30 inquirers. The mission is currently working to establish other communities across the island.
On Saturday June 1, the core group of parishioners from both parishes met to discuss the current state of the mission. Prior discussions had been taking place since January. Some of the concerns raised included internal and external factors that had been negatively affecting the mission for an extended period of time, one of which was the need for a full-time priest.
Other concerns stemmed from the fact that outside of Kingston there was no work being done to establish another parish in the North. There were also concerns regarding the current tensions brewing in global Orthodoxy, especially within the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
On Sunday December 8, a combined meeting of both parishes was held to discuss concerns over the priest serving the mission at that time. Additionally, concerns were again raised in regards to the mission itself, as it was believed that, despite efforts made by certain individuals to keep the mission afloat, the mission had been neglected by the Metropolis of Mexico over the years. As such, the recommendation to transfer the mission to another jurisdiction was revived, and it was decided that the matter would be carefully considered by everyone, pending a final decision
On December 15, both the Northern and Southern communities unanimously agreed for the Mission to be transferred to ROCOR.
Met. Hilarion has instructed Vladyka Luke of Syracuse, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, to receive the Mission into ROCOR, the process of which has already begun, Myers explained.
Several ROCOR priests have already indicated a willingness to visit and assist the Mission, and the Church is working on finding a permanent priest. ROCOR has assisted the Mission since its beginning, sending books, CDs, and other materials.
The Mission has been served by a number of visiting priests since its founding.
Jamaican Orthodox Mission leaving Constantinople for ROCOR
ORTHOCHRISTIAN.COM The mission parishes of the Jamaican Orthodox Mission have voted to join the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and are in the process of being received.