Arhive lunare: Februarie 2014

„Ortodoxia” coptă. Video despre erezia coptă, o credinţă într-un hristos care nu ar fi mântuit pe nimeni

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Această postare este intenţionată a se alătura eforturilor ortodoxiacatholica (https://ortodoxiacatholica.wordpress.com/) şi dogmaticaempirica (http://dogmaticaempirica.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/un-interviu-extraordinar-si-relevant-cu-liderul-coptilor-din-grecia-convertit-la-ortodoxie-parintele-athanasie-henein-de-ce-ar-trebui-condamnat-oficial-acordul-cu-necalcedonienii-de-la-chambesy-si/) de a propaga un material video despre concepţiile eretice ale copţilor, expuse de către un (fost) cleric copt.

La prima postare, copţii au reacţionat rapid, negativ- puteţi vedea reacţiile lor la: https://ortodoxiacatholica.wordpress.com/. Din păcate, argumentele copţilor se învârt în cerc, şi eu observ că se pot sintetiza astfel: „Noi nu suntem monofiziţi, fiindcă nu ne revendicăm de la Eutihie, noi suntem ai lui Sever”.

Într-adevăr, copţii sunt severieni. Patriarhul copt Shenouda al III-lea mărturisea doctrina severiană, intitulând-o, însă, „ortodoxă”:

Domnul Iisus Hristos este Insusi Dumnezeu, Cuvantul Intrupat. Care a luat o deplina omenitate. Firea Sa Divina este una cu firea sa omeneasca, insa fara de amestecare, fara a se confunda si fara schimbare; o completa unire Ipostatica. Cuvintele nu pot descrie aceasta unire. […] Ca rezultat al unirii celor doua naturi- Divina si omeneasca- in…

Vezi articol original 657 de cuvinte mai mult

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Are the Copts orthodox? Sunt Coptii ortodocsi?

Interview with father Athanasios Henein, former coptic monophysite priest converted to Orthodoxy. Father Athanasios was also the head of the Coptic Monophysite Community of Athens and all Greece and was close to the Coptic Patriarch Shenouda the 3rd. Currently, father Athanasios is an Archpriest in the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Piraeus.

Interviu cu parintele Athanasios Henein, fost preot copt monofisit convertit la Ortodoxie.
Parintele Athanasie a fost seful Comunitatii Monofisite Copte din Atena si din toata Grecia, apropiat al Patriarhului Copt Senuda al III-lea. In prezent, parintele Athanasie este Protoprezbiter in Mitropolia Ortodoxa a Pireului.

The heretical doctrines in the Coptic cult are not limited to Pope Shenouda. They date from Dioscorus, Severus and their early followers.
A good source for this matter is the book Εἶναι οἱ Ἀντιχαλκηδόνιοι ὀρθόδοξοι (Are the Anti-Chalcedonians Orthodox?) published by the Holy Monastery of Grigoriou, in the Holy Mountain Athos, in 1995, and containing various texts, either of the whole Community of the Holy Mountain, or of other Holy Mountain monks, regarding the Anti-Chalcedonians, their doctrine and the Orthodox position regarding them and the ecumenist “dialogue”. This book was written and originally published in Greek (it was translated in Romanian, in 2007, and published by the Evanghelismos Publishing House, the edition that I am using; I am unaware of translations in other languages).
The book lists numerous dogmatical mistakes of Severus of Antioch, e.g. in the chapter “A contribution to the inter-orthodox dialogue on the „orthodoxy” of the Anti-Chalcedonians”, point C: Dogmatical differences, pp. 69-100. Among numerous other heresies present in the miaphysite doctrine (they fill 31 pages…), Severus (quoted after Kahali Alemu, The Christology of Ethiopian anaphorals compared to the Chalcedon dogma, Thessaloniki, 1977, p. 105) says: „When we anathematize those that teach about the two natures of Emmanuel after the union, as well as about their actions (works) and properties, we do not condemn such people because they speak about natures or actions or properties, but because they say two natures after union and attribute actions and properties to each of them, dividing them between the two natures”.
Clearly here Severus teaches a non-orthodox view of not accepting “two natures after union” (i.e. not accepting the Orthodox dogma as upheld by Chalcedon), and teaches monothelitism and monoenergism (which are condemned by the VIth Ecumenical Council) as well.
Also, as observed by Saint Anastasios of Sinai and Saint John of Damascus, and confirmed by the Holy Mountanin fathers after analyzing the work of the Anti-Chalcedonian theologian V. C. Samuel, Severus follows the doctrine of partial essences (by which persons are partial essences, and which is also followed by Arius) – thus, in his acceptance as described by St. Anastasios of Sinai, “the one nature of Christ is composed of two partial essences and two halved hypostases” – a “composite nature” doctrine which is totally against Orthodoxy.
As discussed further in the book (pp. 109-117), the Christology of Severus, as it claims the two natures of Christ as somehow (imaginarily, say the Holy Mountain monks) distinct but yet at the same time united in a composite one, and is avowedly monothelitist and monoenergist, indeed does not appear to upheld the non-mingling of the natures of Christ when under logical scrutiny.
Thus, miaphysitism is explicitly monothelitist and monoenergist and (through the “composite nature” statements and the systematic rejection of the Chalcedonian formulation) implicitly monophysite despite the denial of “hard” Eutychian monophysitism.
Also, the position of the Anti-Chalcedonians in the ecumenist „dialogue” is that “one united divine-human nature in Christ” is an acceptable formulation, as mentioned in the First Common Statement at Anba Bishoy, 1989. In the Second Common Statement, at Chambesy, 1990, the Anti-Chalcedonians do not explicitly adopt the Fourth Ecumenical Council and all subsequent Ecumenical Councils, but make use of a devious formulation to make the Orthodox accept their rejection of these Councils. This shows that the “miaphysite” doctrine is heretical and opposes Orthodoxy, and the two Common Statements quoted above are not proofs of the Orthodoxy of the miaphysites but unacceptable dogmatic concessions by the participating Orthodox. It is not the Ecumenical Councils that had a terminological misunderstanding, it is the modern ecumenist “Orthodox” that do not understand or do not consider the implications of the terminology they adopt.
Copts wishing to express “an Orthodox phronema” should indeed explicitly reject all the doctrine of Dioscorus and Severus, and fully embrace the Orthodox teaching, that of all Ecumenical Councils.

Doctrinele eretice ale cultului copt nu sunt limitate la papa Shenouda. Ele datează de la Dioscor, Sever şi adepţii lor de la acea vreme.
O sursă bună în această privinţă este cartea Εἶναι οἱ Ἀντιχαλκηδόνιοι ὀρθόδοξοι (Sunt anticalcedonienii ortodocşi?) publicată de Sf. Mănăstire athonită Grigoriu în 1995, şi conţinând diverse texte ale Sfintei Comunităţi a Sfântului Munte şi ale altor părinţi athoniţi despre anticalcedonieni, doctrinal lor şi poziţia ortodoxă privindu-i pe aceştia şi „dialogul” ecumenist. Această carte, scrisă şi publicată original în greacă, a fost tradusă în română în 2007 şi publicată la editura Evanghelismos, ediţia pe care o folosesc; nu am cunoştinţă să fi fost tradusă în alte limbi.
Cartea listează numeroase erori dogmatice ale lui Sever de Antiohia, d. ex. în capitolul „O contribuţie la dialogul inter-ortodox asupra „ortodoxiei” anticalcedonienilor”, punctul C: Diferenţe dogmatice, pp. 69-100. Între multe alte erezii prezente în doctrina miafizită (ocupă 31 pagini…), Sever (citat după Kahali Alemu, The Christology of Ethiopian anaphorals compared to the Chalcedon dogma, Thessaloniki, 1977, p. 105) spune: „Atunci când anatematizăm pe cei care învaţă despre două firi ale lui Emanuel după unire, precum şi despre lucrările lor şi însuşirile lor, nu-i condamnăm pe unii ca aceştia pentru că vorbesc despre firi sau lucrări sau însuşiri, ci pentru că zic două firi după unire şi atribuie lucrările şi însuşirile fiecăreia dintre ele, împărţindu-le între cele două firi”.
În mod clar, aici Sever învaţă o perspectivă ne-ortodoxă, ce nu acceptă „două firi după unire” (adică nu acceptă dogma ortodoxă aşa cum e susţinută de Chalcedon), şi învaţă de asemenea monotelismul şi monoenergismul (ambele condamnate de al VIlea Sinod Ecumenicl).
De asemenea, după cum observă Sfinţii Anastasie Sinaitul şi Ioan Damaschinul, şi părinţii aghioriţi confirmă după analiza lucrării teologului anticalcedonian V. C. Samuel, Sever urmează doctrina esenţelor parţiale (după are persoanele sunt esenţe parţiale, urmată şi de Arie) – astfel, în accepţiunea lui, după cum o descrie Sf. Anastasie Sinaitul, „firea cea una a lui Hristos este alcătuită din două esenţe parţiale şi două ipostasuri înjumătăţite”, învăţătură ce ajunge la o „fire compusă” şi este total împotriva Ortodoxiei.
După cum se discută mai apoi în carte (pp. 109-117), hristologia lui Sever, ce susţine că cele două firi ale lui Hristos sunt cumva distincte (distincţia fiind imaginară, spun părinţii atoniţi) şi în acelaşi timp unite într-una compusă, şi este pe faţă monotelită şi monoenergistă, într-adevăr, la o analiză logică, nu apare ca susţinând neamestecarea firilor lui Hristos.
Astfel, miafizitismul este în mod explicit monotelit şi monoenergist şi (prin afirmaţiile despre „firea compusă” şi respingerea sistematică a formulării de la Chalcedon) în mod implicit monofizit, în pofida negării monofizitismului „pur” al lui Eutihie.
De asemenea, poziţia anticalcedonienilor în „dialogul” ecumenist este că „o natură divino-umană unită” este o formulare acceptabilă, după cum se menţionează în Prima Declaraţie Comună de la Anba Bishoy, 1989. În cea de-a doua Declaraţie Comună, de la Chambesy, 1990, anticalcedonienii nu adoptă în mod explicit Al IV-lea Sinod Ecumenic şi Sinoadele Ecumenice ulterioare, ci folosesc o formulare evazivă pentru a face pe ortodocşi să le accepte refuzul acestor Sinoade. Aceasta arată că doctrina „miafizită” este eretică şi se opune Ortodoxiei, iar cele două Declaraţii Comune citate mai sus nu dovedesc ortodoxia miafiziţilor ci concesiile dogmatice inacceptabile făcute de ortodocşii participanţi. Nu la Sinoadele Ecumenice a existat o problemă de neînţelegere terminologică, ci „ortodocşii” ecumenişti moderni nu înţeleg sau nu iau în considerare implicaţiile terminologiei pe care o adoptă.
Copţii care doresc să exprime „o înţelegere [phronema] ortodoxă” ar trebui, într-adevăr, să se lepede explicit de toate învăţăturile lui Dioscor şi Sever, şi să îmbrăţişeze deplin învăţătura ortodoxă, cea a tuturor Sinoadelor Ecumenice.
Alexandru Iftime

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A intrat in istorie pomenirea Sfintilor Parinti de la Sinodul al VIII-lea Ecumenic (Sinodul ce a condamnat erezia papistasa Filioque), eveniment sarbatorit in Mitropolia Pireului de IPS Teodosie, Arhiepiscopul Tomisului si IPS Serafim Mitropolitul Pireului

DSC_5285DSC_5188DSC_5299DSC_5289http://www.romfea.gr/ieres-mitropoleis/22297-8

Prăznuirea Sinodului VIII Ecumenic, rânduită în prima Duminică după Sf. Fotie cel Mare, 9 februarie 2014, instituită local în Mitropolia Pireului cu participarea Arhiepiscopului Teodosie al Tomisului

Prăznuirea Sinodului al VIII-lea Ecumenic în sfânta Mitropolie a Pireului

Înaltpreasfințitul Teodosie a arătat în predica Sa faptul că Sinodul de pe timpul Sfântului Fotie cel Mare a subliniat un adevăr dogmatic receptat de întreaga Biserică Dreptslăvitoare, ce a rămas în conștiința poporului dreptcredincios, la acest Sinod participând atât Răsăritul cât și Apusul, ceea ce dovedește că nu a fost doar un sinod local, ci a fost Ecumenic.
Înaltpreasfintitul Teodosie a mai spus că la vechile anateme au fost adăugate noile anateme ale Sinodului VIII Ecumenic împotriva adaosului Filioque și că la acest Sinod a fost recunoscut Sinodul din anul 787 împotriva iconomahilor ca al VII-lea Sinod Ecumenic (Sinodul biruinței Sfintelor Icoane).

DSC_5254

Bucurându-se de excepționala și binecuvântata împreună-slujire a Înaltpreasfințitului Arhiepiscop de Tomis Teodosie, din cadrul Patriarhiei României, Profesor de Noul Testament și Decan al Facultății de Teologie a Universității de Stat din Constanța, Sfânta Mitropolie a Pireului a prăznuit strălucit – după pomenirea sărbătorească a Sfântului Fotie cel Mare, Patriarhul Constantinopolului, care este și protectorul Sfântului Sinod al Bisericii Greciei – cinstita pomenire a celor 383 de Părinți de-Dumnezeu-purtători care au întrunit la Constantinopol, în anii 879-880 și sub președinția acestui sfânt întocmai cu Apostolii, Sfântul Sinod, care a fost caracterizat de distinși teologi, oameni cu viață sfântă, ca al VIII-lea Sinod Ecumenic.

Mai multe informatii despre acest subiect citiți mai jos

Traducere Tatiana Petrache(G.O.), Sursa: http://www.romfea.gr/ieres-mitropoleis/22297-8

http://www.imp.gr/2012-03-27-20-22-23/705-%CE%B5%CE%BF%CF%81%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BA%CF%8C%CF%82-%CF%80%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B7%CE%B3%CF%85%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%83%CE%BC%CF%8C%CF%82-8%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%BF%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%BF%CF%85%CE%BC%CE%B5%CE%BD%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AE%CF%82-%CF%83%CF%85%CE%BD%CF%8C%CE%B4%CE%BF%CF%85.html

Temele pe care le-a abordat Sinodul VIII Ecumenic

Sinodul Ecumenic din 879-880 considerat al VIII-lea Sinod Ecumenic, a abordat temele ivite în intervalul de timp imediat anterior: confirmarea lui Fotie pe tronul Patriarhal şi ridicarea anatemelor Sinodului din 869-870, recunoaşterea cutumelor şi tradiţiilor bisericeşti ale fiecărei Biserici Locale, printre care era şi hirotonia „din rândul poporului” a Episcopilor, valabilitatea deciziilor fiecărei Biserici Locale, poziţia Episcopului în Biserică şi relaţia dintre Episcop şi monah, după cum se arată în Sfintele Canoane pe care le-a redactat acest Sinod Ecumenic, jurisdicţia canonică în eparhia Bulgariei şi condamnarea ereziei Filioque.

Sinodul VIII Ecumenic
Sinodul al VIII-lea ecumenic a avut loc la Constantinopol în 879-880, pe timpul împăratului Vasile I Macedoneanul. La acest sinod s-a hotărât reabilitarea patriarhului Fotie cel Mare (care fusese depus şi excomunicat la Sinodul tâlhăresc din 869-870) şi restaurarea lui în scaunul patriarhal de la Constantinopol. De asemenea, au fost anatematizaţi toţi cei care modificaseră Crezul Niceo-Constantinopolitan, condamnându-se astfel, în mod implicit, Filioque.
Acest sinod a fost iniţial acceptat şi pe deplin aprobat de către papalitatea de la Roma (ai cărei delegaţi au fost prezenţi la sinod, la iniţiativa Papei Ioan al VIII-lea), dar a fost ulterior repudiat de Biserica Romano-Catolică, în secolul al XI-lea, care a considerat că acest sinod nu a fost unul ecumenic, ci unul tâlhăresc.[1]
Cuprins [ascunde]
1 Desfăşurarea sinodului
2 Controversa cu privire la ecumenicitatea sinodului
3 A se vedea şi
4 Note
5 Surse
6 Legături externe
Desfăşurarea sinodului

În anul 869, împăratul bizantin Vasile I Macedoneanul, de comun acord cu Papa Adrian al II-lea, convocase un sinod la Constantinopol, sinod cunoscut ulterior ca Sinodul tâlhăresc din 869-870. În cadrul lucrărilor acestui sinod, a fost depus şi excomunicat Patriarhul Constantinopolului Fotie cel Mare, acuzat (pe nedrept) de erezie. Motivele reale erau însă altele, de natură politică (împăratul Vasile I Macedoneanul dorea să se alieze cu papa de la Roma şi cu împăratul francilor Ludovic al II-lea cel Tânăr), subiectivă (Vasile Macedoneanul nu uitase că Fotie fusese protejatul lui Mihail al III-lea, pe care el îl detronase şi îl ucisese) şi religioasă (Fotie se opunea expansiunii culturale şi religioase a „latinilor” în Bulgaria şi era de asemenea un opozant ferm al doctrinei Filioque).[2]
De asemenea, acel sinod confirmase plasarea Patriarhiei Constantinopolului pe primul loc ca cinstire între cele patru patriarhii răsăritene tradiţionale (deci înaintea Patriarhiei Alexandriei, a Antiohiei şi a Ierusalimului).
Cel care l-a înlocuit pe Fotie cel Mare în scaunul patriarhal de la Constantinopol, Ignatie I, şi care mai fusese patriarh şi între anii 847-858, a continuat în linii mari direcţiile de acţiune urmate de Fotie. Astfel, Ignatie a refuzat să cedeze în faţa papalităţii şi i-a readus pe bulgari în sfera de influenţă a Constantinopolului după anul 870. Când tensiunile politice din Constantinopol s-au mai potolit, Fotie a fost rechemat la Constantinopol (în 876), împăratul Vasile I încredinţându-i chiar educaţia fiilor săi; mai mult, el devine totodată sfetnic al lui Ignatie, care avea să-l recomande drept succesor al său. După adormirea lui Ignatie pe 23 octombrie 877, Fotie a fost reaşezat pe tronul patriarhal, el având şi recomandarea lui Ignatie în acest sens.
La cererea insistentă a celor patru patriarhii răsăritene tradiţionale, împăratul Vasile I Macedoneanul a convocat în anul 879 un nou sinod, tot la Constantinopol, care, printre altele, să repare nedreptatea care i se făcuse Sf. Fotie cel Mare la sinodul tâlhăresc din 869-870. La sinod au venit reprezentanţii tuturor celor cinci patriarhii din acea vreme (inclusiv cei ai Bisericii de la Roma, trimişi de către Papa Ioan al VIII-lea) – în total un număr de 383 episcopi.
În cadrul lucrărilor sinodului a fost confirmată reînscăunarea lui Fotie ca Patriarh al Constantinopolului.
Fapt foarte important, acum apare momentul care va duce la schisma definitivă dintre catolici si ortodocşi. În fraza din Crezul niceo-constantinopolitan „… Sfântul Duh… care din Tatăl purcede”, catolicii au adăugat „… şi de la Fiul” (în latineşte „Filioque”). Una dintre cauzele pentru care această adăugare a fost facută poate fi aceea că textele originale greceşti, traduse imperfect în limbile occidentale, puteau să nu arate exact Sfânta Treime şi egalitatea celor trei: Tatăl, Fiul şi Duhul Sfânt. O altă cauză mai veche poate fi afirmarea, în lupta împotriva arianismului din Spania secolului VII, a divinităţii Fiului şi a Sfântului Duh.
În final, sinodul a condamnat, de asemenea, orice modificare a Crezului Niceo-Constantinopolitan original, condamnând astfel adăugarea expresiei „Filioque” în conţinutul Crezului, ca fiind o erezie. Se dădea astfel câştig de cauză punctului de vedere ortodox, puternic susţinut de Fotie cel Mare în polemica sa împotriva Romei.
Controversa cu privire la ecumenicitatea sinodului

Până în prezent, Biserica Ortodoxă nu a enunțat încă oficial o definiție universal acceptabilă asupra modului în care se poate stabili caracterul ecumenic al unui Sinod. Părerea acceptată aproape în unanimitate este că un Sinod poate fi considerat ecumenic și infailibil atunci când, și în măsura în care, acesta mărturisește Adevărul așa cum a fost lăsat, prin Sfânta Tradiţie, de către Sfinții Părinți ai Bisericii.
Pentru unii ortodocși, nu a mai existat nici un Sinod de o amploare sau semnificație comparabilă cu primele șapte Sinoade Ecumenice. Unele întruniri ale ierarhilor unor Biserici locale au fost numite „pan-ortodoxe”, dar acestea au fost mai degrabă simple reuniuni ale ierarhilor din diferite jurisdicții Ortodoxe Răsăritene care erau părți interesate în rezolvarea unor chestiuni specifice. Din acest punct de vedere, nu a mai existat nici un Sinod într-adevăr Ecumenic după anul 787.
Din punctul de vedere al altora, inclusiv teologi ai secolului XX, ca Pr. John S. Romanides și Pr. Georgios Metallinos (ambii vorbesc despre „Sinodul al VIII-lea” și al „IX-lea Ecumenic”), Pr. Georgios Dragas și Mitropolitul Hierotheos (Vlachos) de Nafpaktos, există și alte sinoade cu caracter ecumenic după primele șapte. De asemenea, Enciclica Patriarhilor Ortodocși din 1848 (care a fost semnată de patriarhii de Constantinopol, Ierusalim, Antiohia și Alexandria, și a fost aprobată de Sfintele Sinoade ale primelor trei Biserici amintite) se referă în mod explicit la „Al VIII-lea Sinod Ecumenic”
Cei care consideră aceste sinoade ulterioare (al VIII-lea, din 879-880, și al IX-lea, din 1341-1351) drept Sinoade Ecumenice vorbesc și despre limitarea numărului de Sinoade Ecumenice ale Bisericii Ortodoxe la numai șapte ca despre un efect al influenței Ordinului catolic al iezuiților în Rusia (parte din așa numita „captivitate occidentală a Ortodoxiei”).
A se vedea şi

Sinod
Sinoade ecumenice
Note

↑ John Meyendorff, „Rome and Orthodoxy: Is Authority Still the Issue?”, Living Tradition, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1978, pp. 63-80
↑ The Life of Patriarch Photios of Constantinople, by Despina Stratoudaki White
Surse

Legături externe

The Eighth Ecumenical Council: Constantinople IV (879/880) and the Condemnation of the Filioque Addition and Doctrine, by Protopresbyter George Dion Dragas
The Eighth and Ninth Ecumenical Councils

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Sfantul Porfirie il cearta cu dragoste pe Parintele Paisie Aghioritul!

When reading the biographies and writings of certain modern day Holy Elders, one will inevitably come across various „prophecies” they made concerning end-time events. These „prophecies” have especially arisen in modern times during periods of high anxiety for Orthodox Christians – in Slavic countries with the rise of communism and in Greece especially since the 1970’s and on as we neared the beginning of the second millenium. Much of the latter stems from the rise of eschatological propaganda infiltrating Greece from the West in translation (in 1970 Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth was published following the Six-Day War in the Middle East that sparked a plethora of eschatological writings in the West), and the translation into Greek of the antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by a Greek politician in the 1980’s. Fascinated by these writings, Orthodox Christian thinkers began to look into their own tradition to apply these seemingly convincing portrayals of the soon-to-be second coming of Christ to make them their own. Unfortunately many of our beloved Holy Elders and modern day Saints were influenced by these writings and traditions, to the confusion of many. I personally believe this was mainly due to the simplicity of their hearts, since these neoeschatological and conspiratorial writings do seem to conform to aspects of Orthodox eschatology if one is pushed to reconcile them. This should by no means determine the authenticity or sanctity of a Holy Elder, since no one is infallible and God may have His reasons for allowing such things.

But not all of our Holy Elders were of a similar mind on these eschatological issues. In fact, when these Holy Elders were asked about these issues, they flatly disagreed with what other Holy Elders were saying about these things. In doing so, they would never try to discredit the Holy Elder they disagreed with, but still considered them men of God with special gifts of the Holy Spirit. They recognized that these things were spoken not by revelation, but through their own opinion or because it was a tradition that they were convinced of by their own logic. Unfortunately most people cannot tell the difference between a real prophecy and an opinion, and this has caused much confusion among impressionable contemporary Orthodox.

One of the most popular and beloved Holy Elders today is Elder Paisios the Athonite (+ 1993). He is one most especially known for his end-time prophecies circulating throughout the Orthodox world. Elder Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (+ 1991) was another Holy Elder of our times very much beloved by Orthodox Christians. These two Holy Elders are considered the two strongest pillars of sanctity in 20th century Greek Orthodoxy. But on the critical issue of eschatology they strongly disagreed, much like the Apostles Peter and Paul disagreed in the Acts of the Apostles on the issue of Jews and Gentiles in early Christianity. In fact, Elder Porphyrios censured Elder Paisios for circulating his eschatological material. From this incident, many important lessons can be learned by contemporary Orthodox Christians. For this reason the details of this incident are written below.

The Epistle of Elder Porphyrios to Elder Paisios

In an interview for Cypriot television, Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou spoke of his personal relationship with Elders Porphyrios, Iakovos, Evmenios and Paisios. He says in the interview that he was instructed by Elder Porphyrios to have Elder Iakovos of Evia as his spiritual father. The Metropolitan was in law school at the time, before he entered ecclesiastical life. His impression of Elder Porphyrios was that he was able to be attuned to another persons soul in a more intimate way, like an x-ray machine, than the other Elder’s he met, such as Elders Iakovos, Evmenios and Paisios. This is because each Holy Elder has a particular gift manifested in a more powerful way than other Holy Elders.

The special gift of Elder Porphyrios above all the other Greek Elders, according to Metropolitan Neophytos, was that of clairvoyance and the foreseeing of the future. He had the unique gift of being able to see not only future events, but those of the past as well. He could tell you about the various mineral deposits below the earth better than any geologist, he could determine the accurate movements of the stars better than astronomers, and if there was anything below the sea or in your home you needed to know about, he would reveal to you that as well. The charisma he had was very rare which few in the history of the Church ever possessed. What is striking however is that despite his clear visions of things in the past, present and future, he never spoke about the signs of the end-times.

This, said the Metropolitan, is a very strong message for the people of our day who are inundated with many supposed prophecies and predictions concerning the end of the world, the reign of Antichrist and the second coming of Christ. These in fact are mere speculations and baseless interpretations of the writings from people of the past that have been imposed upon our time to deal with the various changes our world has gone through over the past few hundred years and especially now that we have entered the second millennium after the birth of Christ. The Church works synodically; it is a synaxis. Since a synod of the Church has not expressed itself on these matters, then no individual can interpret them any way they please. For these reasons, understanding the times we live in, Elder Porphyrios did not reveal anything about end-time events that was revealed to him, according to God’s will. Thus, while richly endowed with gifts of clairvoyance and prophecy, Elder Porphyrios systematically avoided speaking about apocalyptic events.

When Metropolitan Neophytos was a deacon in Cyprus he went to visit his elder Iakovos in Evia. At the time the people were in a fever about end-time events, the meaning of 666, the identity of the Antichrist, etc. Also, an Archimandrite had published a best-selling book about apocalyptic events. He went to Elder Iakovos and asked him his opinion on all these matters. Elder Iakovos then spoke in a very authoritative tone, which was something very rare for him to do, since he spoke much more humbly than all the other Greek Elders he had met. He said: „Listen to me, my Neophyte. Elder Porphyrios and dumb Iakovos do not speak about anything. Not the things of the present, nor of the things to come, unless the Holy Spirit expressly reveals to them. And up to this point the Holy Spirit has not revealed any such thing to me, not about the Antichrist, nor about wars to come, nor about the future.” These are the exact words of Elder Iakovos and the Metropolitan says that he neither added nor subtracted from his words.

I will now translate the words of Metropolitan Neophytos:

„I must mention that there is an epistle held by a monastery on the Holy Mountain, and it would be good for the keepers of this epistle to publish it at some point. This happens to be an epistle by Elder Porphyrios addressed to Elder Paisios. Now I understand that the content of this epistle might challenge some of our spiritual brothers, but it is good to be challenged this way. It is better to be challenged than to fall into exaggerations. This epistle was from a man who honored and revered Elder Paisios very much. Fr. Porphyrios told me that Fr. Paisios is a man of God. And he wrote to him:

My beloved Father Paisios, what happened to you? If Constantinople will be freed or not, this is the concern of the politicians and of the military rulers, and not of the monks nor even the archpriests. If the Antichrist will come, this must be the concern of the archpriests and it is their duty to inform the people. And when that time comes, God will provide us with illumined archpriests who will in turn illumine the people. We the monks, if we are members of the priesthood, we need to liturgize for the salvation of the entire universe. And if we happen to be simple monks, we need to weep over our sins. Now because of my love for you, and knowing how much you love Christ, I am giving you a rule not to talk about these things again out of your great love for Asia Minor and Hellenism.

And Fr. Paisios, this great man of God, did obedience to this great Elder of Elders, Fr. Porphyrios. And since then he kept silent about these matters, because he realized that the smallest comment he would make would often be exaggerated by his highly impressionable visitors. Not to mention, some of these prophetic sayings were not his, but he was quoted by different people, or misquoted, and with other things he was often quoting from a notebook of his spiritual father, St. Arsenios of Cappadocia, who happened to be his godfather. St. Arsenios had received the gift of prophecy [or had heard things from others] and recorded a number of things. Elder Paisios would make some comments based on this notebook he had in his possession.

Now what can we say about all this, but to marvel at the great spirit of discretion of Elder Porphyrios. A spirit of watchfulness, vigilance and patient endurance. But in order to have this patient endurance regarding end-time events, whether social or political or personal, the exercise of patience is extremely necessary….

The work of the Church is to liberate people, to redeem people. When people lean towards interpreting the signs of the times and the future, this mania about the things to come is often alienating people from the essence of spirituality – from their personal struggle, the purification of the heart, our personal trauma, and our need to become well, to cure our passions. This is the heart of the problem.

One time I asked Elder Evmenios about these things, and he responded very simply. He was the most simple of all the Elders, a man of very few words who did not like endless spiritual talk. He needed to be inspired by someone or by something in order to speak. And when I asked him about all the prophetic talks circulating, he said: ‘You know, I personally don’t believe that Christ would only give 2000 years of grace to the world. It just doesn’t seem very long to me.'”

The interview from which the above was translated can be seen below:

Elder Porphyrios’ Conversation With Elder Paisios

Furthermore, Fr. Akakios, a spiritual child of Elder Porphyrios, in a recent talk about his Elder provided further useful information on this subject. After being asked during the question and answer period about Elder Porphyrios’ opinion on the issue of the Greek ID cards, Fr. Akakios responded as follows:

„Let me tell you, the Elder had a philosophy somewhat different. He would tell us to not occupy much with such things. Not because he did not know. He understood everything. If you remember, as it has been written in books, when he went to Patmos he lived the entire apocalypse and knew all about the end-times. But he did not like for us to occupy ourselves with dates and eschatology. He said that the best way to prepare ourselves for the hour of Christ is to remove the Antichrist from within ourselves and to occupy ourselves with Christ. Then, even if we are called to martyrdom, we will go. This was the philosophy of the Elder.

I will explain to you an event. You will remember a pamphlet Elder Paisios circulated around 1987 about 666 and the ID cards. That summer, at the end of August, I was at the Holy Mountain and I went to get the blessing of Elder Paisios and talked to him a bit, since I had with this Elder a certain relationship as well. But this time the Elder was very different from the other times I had visited him. He was talking about the signs of the times and about the Antichrist with a sense of urgency. At the end he said he could not speak with anyone and told us to take a pamphlet and go. So he distributed the pamphlet to approximately thirty people that were there. We all left and near his cell we all opened this pamphlet, but when I put my hands up to read this pamphlet I realized I didn’t have one in my hands. He offered it to me, but didn’t give it to me. So I ran back before he shut his door so I also could receive a pamphlet. But Elder Paisios was waiting for me at the door with a pamphlet in his hand. As soon as I arrived he looked at me in the eyes and he gave me the pamphlet. And he said to me three times: ‘I thank you, I thank you, I thank you.’ I did not understand what he meant by this ‘thank you’. The look in his eyes looked beyond me entirely.

So I read the pamphlet and left the Holy Mountain. I visited the Elder [Porphyrios]. We spoke a little and then he said that tomorrow we will say more. The next day was a Sunday, and after the Divine Liturgy, as was usual we went to the garden with Mr. George, who had held a high office in the courts and after his retirement he dedicated himself under the Elder and oversaw all the work that was going on at the monastery. After we said a few things he [Elder Porphyrios] asked:

‘Did you pass by Elder Paisios’?’

I told him: ‘Yes’.

‘What did he tell you?’

I said he was distributing a pamphlet, and so on.

‘Do you have this pamphlet?’

‘I have it,’ I said.

And he began to read it. He read it with attention. He said to me: ‘Ah, I disagree. I did not see things this way.’

And then, without me realizing it, I began to respond to Elder Porphyrios, but not with my thoughts or my voice. From my voice could be heard the voice of Elder Paisios and he was responding to Elder Porphyrios. And this conversation took place for a long time, until the high court official said: ‘But Elders don’t disagree.’ It was right that he said Elders, since I was still a young man of the world and wearing worldly clothing. It was right he said Elders because I did not speak, but Elder Paisios spoke through me. And then I realized why he had said to me ‘thank you’. My spirit received him and gave him hospitality and he united with me in order to speak with Elder Porphyrios concerning this fearful subject. But was this necessary? As we know, he was able to communicate even from far away. But this was another subject. This was in order for this subject to be made public and become known so it could be an experience spoken about. When George said that the Elders don’t disagree, Elder Porphyrios chastised him saying: ‘No vre, we disagree.’

To avoid misunderstanding, both Porphyrios and Paisios are great saints. But even in the Old Testament there are incidents where even the angels disagreed, and St. John Chrysostom explains this well. If you remember, when the Prophet Daniel was praying and fasting and the Archangel Gabriel waited 21 days or so to visit him, he said that he waited so long because the angel of Persia did not permit me to enter the borders, and it was necessary for the Archangel Michael to get involved and then I entered. And St. John Chrysostom explains that even the angels disagree, since they don’t know everything. Each had a command from God. God gave one command to the angel of Persia and another to Gabriel, and the Archangel Michael had to get involved for the angel of Persia to receive this. Not even the angels know everything. And God has His reasons to say on one side one thing and on the other side another thing and for them to not know everything, and thus to disagree. This also happened with Peter and Paul, Paul and James, Paul and Barnabus. Other times Chrysostom says that they agreed to disagree for spiritual reasons, or they disagreed though they were both God-bearers, etc etc. So please don’t think I am saying anything against the saints. God forbid.

Then I responded; now this is very important. I said: ‘Elder, in our days we know both of you within the Church. If you both disagree, on whom should we lean, whom should we believe, in what way should we walk?’ And the Elder responded very humbly to me: ‘All of us together will be obedient to the Church.’ We wait for the Church to guide the people.

I believe in 1998, in the days of Archbishop Seraphim, a decision was released that the 666 on the ID’s, if it exists, it is not the seal of the Antichrist, but we would not receive the ID as a matter of conscience. This decision has existed since 1998 by the hierarchy of the Church of Greece. We await the hierarchs, the Church, to lead the people so that there will not be anxiety. God forbid this should happen. Beyond this, I do not want to say anything. I don’t want to take a position on this matter.”

The video from which this answer of Fr. Akakios was translated can be heard below:

I wish to further point out that Fr. Vasilios Voloudakis, in his book The Antichrist, the Number 666 and the Anxiety of Christians (Greek) writes on pages 109-110 concerning the aftermath of Elder Porphyrios’ censure of Elder Paisios:

„Father Paisios continued for a short time to speak exclusively on the issue of 666 to guests, and then stopped dealing passionately with this subject. In fact, someone told me recently that when he went in 1990 to Mount Athos and asked Fr. Paisios about the topic of 666 and the ID cards, he replied: ‘What do you want by occupying yourself with these things? Occupy yourself with Christ and the Church!'”

A Clarification By Saint Barsanuphios

For those a bit troubled by all this, specifically concerning some of the prophecies that Elder Paisios may have circulated that do not entirely reflect a divine revelation, the following quote from St. Barsanuphios, in his answer to question 604, may help clarify things a bit:

May all the Fathers, all the saints who have pleased God and the righteous men and the genuine servants of God, pray for me. But do not think that, even if they were saints, they were able to comprehend genuinely all the depths of God. For the Apostle says: ‘We know in part and we prophesy in part.’ And again: ‘To whom it is given through the Spirit’, the one thing and the other—and not all those things in one man but some things thus and other things differently. However, the one and the same Spirit operates all things. Knowing the things of God, that they are incomprehensible, the Apostle cried, saying: ‘O the depth of the wealth and wisdom and knowledge (gnosis) of God! O how unsearchable his judgements and untraceable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has become his counsellor?’ And the rest.

Contriving, then, to become teachers of their own accord or being forced to come to this by men, they made very great progress, even beyond their teachers, and being filled with spiritual assurance composed new dogmas, at the same time, however, remaining in the possession of the traditions of their teachers, lessons which were not correct.

And after these things, progressing and having become spiritual teachers, they did not ask God about their teachers, whether they spoke through the Holy Spirit, but treating them as wise men and gnostics (gnostikos), they did not discern their words; and so the teachings of their teachers were mixed together in their own teachings, and they spoke at one time from the teachings that they learned from their teachers, and at another time from the genius of their own mind, and thus their words were written in their name. For receiving from others and progressing and being improved, they spoke through the Holy Spirit, if they were spiritually assured with something by it, and they spoke from the lessons of the teachers who were before them, not discerning the words, if they were obliged to be spiritually informed by God with assurance through entreaty and prayer if they were true. And the teachings were mixed together, and because they were spoken by them, they were written in their names.

When you hear from one of them that he heard from the Holy Spirit what he is saying, this is an answer of spiritual assurance and we are obliged to believe. When he speaks concerning those words and you do not find him saying this, then it is not from an answer of spiritual assurance but it is from the lessons of his first teachers, and paying attention to their knowledge (gnosis) and wisdom, he did not ask God concerning these things if they were true.

Behold! You have heard all of my foolishness. Quiet down then and be occupied with God; and, ceasing from vain talk, pay attention to your passions, concerning which passions you will be required to give an account in the Day of Judgement. For concerning these things you will not be required: „Why did you not know these things or learn these others?”

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2012/03/controversial-end-time-prophecies-by.html

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