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Envíos 10057

Enviado - 18 mayo 2007 :  11:47:38  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
L'Eglise orthodoxe russe et sa branche en exil mettent fin à un schisme de 80 ans

LEMONDE.FR
avec AFP
17.05.07 | 11h10 • Mis à jour le 17.05.07 | 11h13

L'Eglise orthodoxe russe à l'étranger et le patriarcat de Moscou ont signé, jeudi 17 mai, un acte de réunification "historique" qui met fin à plus de 80 ans de schisme intervenu après l'arrivée des bolcheviques au pouvoir.

Dans la la cathédrale du Christ-Sauveur de Moscou, le chef de l'Eglise orthodoxe russe à l'étranger, le métropolite Lavr, et le patriarche de Moscou et de toutes les Russies Alexis II ont communié dans le même calice, consacrant symboliquement la réunion des deux Eglises. Les deux religieux ont remercié le président russe, Vladimir Poutine, présent à l'office, qui s'est personnellement impliqué dans cette réunification. "Après des décennies de schisme, on peut dire qu'il n'y a pas eu de vainqueur. Tout le monde était perdant, les croyants, la société en général", a dit Vladimir Poutine.

SOUMISSION AU POUVOIR COMMUNISTE

Avec cet acte, l'Eglise orthodoxe russe à l'étranger, dont le siège est à New York, "fait partie intégrante de l'Eglise orthodoxe russe". Alexis II deviendra le chef de l'Eglise réunifiée, mais l'Eglise en exil restera autonome.

L'Eglise russe à l'étranger a été créée dans les années 1920 par le clergé ayant fui la Russie bolchevique. Elle a rompu avec le patriarcat de Moscou après que ce dernier a proclamé en 1927 sa loyauté au gouvernement soviétique et appelé l'Eglise en exil à coopérer avec le nouveau pouvoir.

Les contacts n'ont repris qu'en 2003 avec la visite à Moscou de l'archevêque de Berlin, Marc, suivie en 2004 de celle du métropolite Lavr. Une partie du clergé émigré souhaitait, avant d'évoquer une quelconque réunification, que le patriarcat se repente des déclarations de soumission de 1927.

(2-3214,36-911135@51-911137,0.html" target="_blank">http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3214,36-911135@51-911137,0.html)

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Envíos 10057

Enviado - 19 mayo 2007 :  19:30:30  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church Outside Russia Reunite after 80 Years of Division

KOMMERSANT, Moscow
May 17, 2007

All-Russia’s Patriarch Alexy II of Russian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Laurus of Orthodox Church Outside Russia inked May 17 a Canonical Communion Act to reunite the biggest Orthodox Church in the Christian world with the breakaway branch after 80 years of bitter division.

Patriarch Alexy II and Metropolitan Laurus have sealed today a reuniting pact in Russia’s main church, the golden-domed Christ the Savior Cathedral, after the joint welcoming prayer. The ceremony was attended by President Vladimir Putin and by seven (of 13) archbishops of Russian Orthodox Church and roughly 80 clergy of Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Christ the Savior Cathedral that is the replica of the cathedral pulled down by Joseph Stalin is generally regarded as the symbol of reviving the church role in Russia. Now, it is overcrowded by parishioners both of Moscow Patriarchate and the ones arrived in the country from the United States, Europe and Australia. Overall, roughly 600 came to Russia from overseas to witness the historic reunion.

The Orthodox Church Outside Russia split off in 1920s, three years after the October Revolution, once the communists started chasing believers and plundering churches. But some of the clergy aknowledged the communist rule and stayed in the country as the Russian Orthodox Church.

Today’s reunion of two churches isn’t a merger, Metropolitan Laurus emphasized. The Orthodox Church Outside Russia will remain in charge of parishioners wordwide. It will maintain autonomy and appoint its own hierarchy, though subject to the Moscow confirmation.

(http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=-10730)
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Envíos 10057

Enviado - 25 mayo 2007 :  17:03:15  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
MACEDONIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OPEN TO RUSSIAN MEDIATION

The head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Stefan, on May 21 conditionally accepted the possibility of the Russian Orthodox Church mediating in its dispute with the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Macedonian news agency MIA reported the same day.

The Russian Orthodox Church made its offer in April, following a meeting with a number of Macedonian Orthodox bishops. The Macedonian Orthodox Church objects to the Serbian authorities' refusal to allow it to operate in Serbia, while the Serbian Orthodox Church, which has been allowed to register in Macedonia, complains of persecution, particularly in the case of embezzlement charges brought against its archbishop in Macedonia, Jovan Vraniskovski. In comments paraphrased by MIA, Archbishop Stefan said his church is willing to accept Russian involvement if it is "well-intentioned," but he said mediation is premature. He also stated unequivocally that the Macedonian Orthodox Church will not change its position on the fundamental cause of the dispute: his Church's 1968 declaration that it is completely independent of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Orthodox leaders in Moscow do not recognize the Macedonian Orthodox Church's canonical independence, or "autocephaly." Archbishop Stefan described Macedonians as being "divided as a homeland, as a country, and as a nation," and said they should "cherish spiritual unity aimed at truly living freely."

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 94, Part II, 23 May 2007.)
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Enviado - 18 junio 2007 :  22:43:30  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
El concierto contra el sida de Elton John causa estupor entre los ortodoxos ucranianos

por Rafael M. Mañueco desde Moscú
ABC, Madrid, 18.6.2007

Tras el multitudinario concierto benéfico ofrecido en Kiev por la estrella mundial del pop, Elton John, la comunidad ortodoxa ucraniana continuaba indignada por la repercusión del evento y repetían sus llamamientos a combatir la homosexualidad como la mejor forma de luchar contra el sida. Las críticas dirigidas contra el cantante y compositor británico de 60 años se escucharon el domingo en las mismas iglesias y en programas religiosos de las televisiones locales.

"Creemos que los homosexuales son los principales responsables de la propagación del VIH", declaró a varios medios de comunicación rusos Valeri Kaúrov, presidente de la llamada Unión de Ortodoxos Ucranianos. Según su opinión, " Elton John es un 'gay' confeso y no deseamos que con su espectáculo promueva en Ucrania ese tipo de orientación sexual".

Elton John actuó este fin de semana ante 200.000 personas en la Plaza de la Independencia de la capital ucraniana, escenario principal de la Revolución Naranja que conmovió el país hace dos año y medio. Pudieron oírse temas de su viejo repertorio como 'Rocket man', 'Daniel' o 'Candle in the wind', además de otros más recientes como 'Don`t let the sun go down on me' o 'Circle of life', canción con la que finalizó más de dos horas de concierto. Interpretó también 'The Bridge', uno de los temas de su último álbum. Ni siquiera durante las míticas intervenciones en esa misma plaza de Julia Timoshenko, la "pasionaria eslava" se vivieron momentos tan emotivos como el sábado.

Sacerdotes y activistas ortodoxos intentaron sin ningún éxito boicotear la inolvidable velada mientras miembros de organizaciones de derechos humanos ucranianas denunciaban la "atroz campaña de homofobia" que la Iglesia Ortodoxa está llevando a cabo contra los homosexuales en Ucrania y, sobre todo, en Rusia. En Moscú se ha llegado al punto de que militantes de organizaciones ortodoxas y ultranacionalistas se dedican ya a formar patrullas callejeras para hostigar y, frecuentemente, agredir a gays y lesbianas en sus lugares habituales de encuentro.

El concierto fue retransmitido en directo por el canal público ucraniano y los fondos recogidos irán a parar a la Fundación Antisida de Ucrania, presidida por Elena Franchuk, la hija del ex presidente Leonid Kuchma. No obstante, a la mayor parte de los asistentes se les permitió la entrada sin pagar un céntimo y recibieron preservativos e información para aprender a protegerse contra el sida. A la gala acudieron Kuchma, el actual presidente ucraniano, Víctor Yúshenko, y jóvenes de numerosos países europeos.

Antes de que Elton John saliese al escenario, fueron mostrados, desde dos inmensos monitores, unos cuantos videos ilustrando sobre los devastadores efectos del VIH. El artista británico y su fundación antisida han realizado un considerable esfuerzo de concienciación para detener la enorme velocidad (un caso cada 10 minutos) con la que el sida se propaga en Ucrania, el país europeo con más seropositivos de toda Europa (más de 400.000). Sus donaciones en proyectos antisida en Ucrania superan los diez millones de euros, reconocen las autoridades del país.

Elton John ha querido además aprovechar su paso por Ucrania para abrir en Kiev una exposición de 148 fotografías de su colección privada. La muestra, que permanecerá abierta hasta el 12 de agosto en el Centro de Arte Pinchuk, aparece por primera vez en Europa y reúne obras de 24 fotógrafos, entre ellos David La Chapelle, Loretta Lux y Sam Taylor-Wood.

(http://www.abc.es/visionesdelmundo/el-concierto-contra-el-412-06-2007.html)
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Enviado - 28 junio 2007 :  18:59:13  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
GREEKS ADD SUPPORT TO SERBIAN ORTHODOX IN DISPUTE WITH MACEDONIA

In a move that has fueled a longstanding dispute with the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church on June 17 invested another bishop in Macedonia, the news agency Makfax reported the same day.

Unlike the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Serbia, the Serbian Orthodox Church is allowed to operate in Macedonia. However, the new bishop will serve in a diocese unrecognized by the Macedonian authorities under an archbishop, Jovan Vraniskovski, whom the Macedonian authorities once accused of embezzlement. The ceremony was also attended by a bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, which, like its Serbian counterpart, refuses to accept the Macedonian Orthodox Church as a member of the Orthodox community. Greece is also involved in a bitter and protracted dispute with Macedonia over Macedonia's official name. The service was not attended by a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, which, while it too does not recognize the Macedonian Orthodox Church, has offered to mediate in the dispute.

Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski on June 10 underlined the state's support for the Macedonian Orthodox Church by awarding its head, Archbishop Stefan, the country's highest decoration. According to a MIA news agency report from June 10, Crvenkovski called the Church "a pillar of national and spiritual survival, one of the main guardians of Macedonian national identity, a defender of the national spiritual and cultural heritage."

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 112, Part II, 19 June 2007.)
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Enviado - 04 agosto 2007 :  22:03:29  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Dies

BIRN
30 07 2007 - Bucharest

The head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Teoctist, died on Monday aged 92, after a heart attack following surgery on his prostate gland, the Church said on Monday.

Teoctist became Patriarch in 1986 during the era of Romania’s communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaucescu.

On account of his controversial relations with the communist authorities, he was forced briefly to step down after the revolution in December 1989. In April 1990, he was reinstated as head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, however.

In recent years, many accusations were made against him in the press, including the claim that he was a collaborator with the former political police, the Securitate.

An ecumenical figure in the wider Christian community, Patriarch Teoctist was the first Orthodox Church leader to invite a Pope to visit an Orthodox country since the churches split in 1054. As a result, Pope John Paul II visited Romania in 1999. Almost 90 per cent of Romanians belong to the Orthodox Church.

(http://www.birn.eu.com/en/96/15/3761/)
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Enviado - 10 agosto 2007 :  12:55:06  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
ORTHODOX CHURCH REBUFFS CRITICS

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, was quoted by "The Moscow Times" of August 9 as rejecting claims recently made by some leading Russian scientists that the Orthodox Church has acquired too much influence in public life.

Chaplin charged that the critics, who include two Nobel Prize winners, are trying to impose "an ideology of science" on Russia. He argued that a scientific-based outlook "never made anybody happy and has failed to answer fundamental questions about human existence." Chaplin called for the church to set moral standards for Russia's youth, adding that "we have to show them [the negative example of] an unhappy homosexual in his 40s and an aging prostitute. Otherwise, in 30 years our children will turn into animals influenced by the cult of glamour and debauchery."

PM

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 146, Part I, 9 August 2007.)
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Enviado - 15 agosto 2007 :  01:17:14  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
ORTHODOX CHURCH BLOWN UP IN MONTENEGRO
AS DISPUTE OVER BAN ON SERBIAN BISHOP CONTINUES


A church being built by the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was badly damaged on August 10 in what church leaders say was "terrorism of the worst kind," local media reported. A statement by the Serbian Orthodox Church said "the huge amount of explosives" used threw stone slabs several hundred meters from the site in Montenegro's capital, Podgorica. The Serbian Orthodox Church appeared to imply that the attack on the Church of New Holy Martyrs may have originated in a property dispute between it and the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, a dispute in part rooted in the decision of other churches in the Orthodox communion not to recognize the Montenegrin Orthodox Church.

"For some time now, irresponsible politicians and officials in Montenegro have been creating and stoking up an environment for unpunished attacks on Orthodox churches and monasteries, as well as on church prelates and clergy," it said in a statement carried by the news agency Mina. Its implicit accusations were echoed by one of Montenegro's largest ethnic-Serbian parties, the People's Party (NS), which, according to Mina, warned on August 10 that the "terrorist" attack could have "far-reaching consequences for peace in Montenegro." "We recall the fact that a certain committee for promoting the interests of the so-called and unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church has on a number of occasions announced violent measures, without any response by the state, even though this involved incitement to religious and national hatred," NS said in a statement.

In its statement condemning the apparent attack on the Church of New Holy Martyrs, the Serbian Orthodox Church's leadership cited Montenegro's ban on a Orthodox bishop, Filaret, entering the country as an example of how the Montenegrin authorities have stoked animosity toward its clergy. Bishop Filaret was barred in early July -- according to the Montenegrin government, at the request of the EU -- because his name featured on a list of people accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of helping war criminals evade capture. The ban on August 9 prompted Serbia's minister for religious affairs, Radomir Naumov, to send a letter of complaint to the Montenegrin government, in which he said the ban "evidently violated" Filaret's rights. He also objected to the infringement of the "religious rights and freedoms of a certain number" of unnamed Orthodox priests. According to the Serbian news agency FoNet, Naumov said Belgrade is "saddened and disappointed" that "brotherly and friendly Montenegro" has become "the first and only" state to have "obstructed the work of any Christian Orthodox bishop in discharging his eparchial duties."

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 148, Part II, 13 August 2007.)
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Enviado - 16 agosto 2007 :  02:23:24  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
IGLESIA ORTODOXA AUTOCÉFALA DE MONTENEGRO

Poco después del colapso del Régimen Comunista en los Balcanes a principios de la década del 90, se comenzaron a dar los primeros pasos hacia la restauración de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Autocéfala de Montenegro, cuya autocefalía había sido resignada en el año 1920 a favor de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Serbia, cuando el Reino de Montenegro se disolvió dentro del Estado Serbio.

Es necesario recordar, para comprender mejor la problemática de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Montenegrina, que a finales del siglo XV y comienzos del XVI, la Metrópolis de Montenegro había comenzado -de facto- a regirse de modo autocéfalo, sin embargo, con la desaparición en el año 1766 del Patriarcado de Pec, esa autocefalía se volvió formal según los cánones; por tal motivo su estatus de Iglesia Autocéfala fue reconocida por el Patriarcado de Constantinopla, la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa, la Iglesia Ortodoxa Serbia, y demás Jurisdicciones Ortodoxas. En el plano político, desde el año 1697, Montenegro fue regido por la dinastía etnárquica de los Petrovic, fundada por el Metropolita Danilo I (Petrovic); dicha dinastía fue posible gracias a la sucesión de tíos a sobrinos, el último Metropolita etnarca de esta dinastía fue Petar II quién gobernó desde 1830 a 1851; su sobrino, el Gran Duque Danilo Petrovic rehusó convertirse en Metropolita, y de ahí en mas la Dinastía Petrovic, la cual reinó por 220 años hasta 1918, dejó de ser etnárquica.

Metropolita Petar II (1830-1851)

La Iglesia Ortodoxa Montenegrina, quién sin lugar a dudas, forjó la identidad nacional del Reino de Montenegro, permaneció autocéfala hasta el año 1920, cuando por presión del Regente Aleksandar Karadjordjevic debió resignar su estatus y disolverse dentro de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Serbia.

En 1993, por libre voluntad del mismo pueblo de la República de Montenegro, fue reestablecida la Iglesia Ortodoxa Montenegrina, siendo electo como líder de la misma el Archimandrita Antonije Abramovic, el cual fallecería con el rango de Metropolita, en la Navidad del año 1997.

Su Beatitud Antonije, Obispo de Cetinje y Metropolita de Montenegro, sufrió durante su gobierno pastoral, una orquestada campaña de intrigas en su contra, sin embargo, el nunca cesó de orar por sus adversarios eclesiásticos del Patriarcado Serbio, y sus simpatizantes seculares, los cuales ocupaban puestos de importancia dentro del propio gobierno nacional. El Metropolita Antonije, falleció sin consagrar sucesor.

A la postre, le sucedería como Primado, el Archimandrita Mihailo (Mirás Dedeic), quién ya había sido electo para suceder al Metropolita Antonije, el día 6 de Enero de 1997, por medio de la tradicional aclamación pública, en la ciudad de Cetinje.

Vladika Mihailo, fue un clérigo de una formación muy particular: nacido en Montenegro, comenzó sus estudios en la Escuela Teológica de Belgrado en el año 1965, con la bendición del Obispo Pavle (actual Patriarca de Serbia), graduándose en 1969; luego se desempeñó como profesor en la Escuela Monástica de Ostrog. En 1973, Mihailo realizó estudios de Post grado en el Instituto Pontificio Oriental de Roma, luego de finalizados sus estudios en Roma, fue invitado a Moscú por el Metropolita Filaret donde concurrió a la Academia de Espiritualidad Rusa en Zagorsk.

A pesar de todos sus estudios, Mihailo, jamás fue sacerdote de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Serbia, puesto que él fue ordenado presbítero el 30 de Junio de 1988 en la Iglesia Santa Trinidad de Viena, por parte del Metropolita austriaco y Exarca de Italia, Hungary Hrizostom, y el Obispo greco-austriaco Mihail Hristopulis. Esta ordenación fue realizada con la autorización del aquel entonces Patriarca Ecuménico Demetrios I, luego de su muerte, fue sucedido por el actual Patriarca Bartolomé, y fue durante su gestión dónde se desempeñó como sacerdote en la Iglesia Ortodoxa Griega de Roma (San Andrés), dónde llegó a ser promovido al rango de Archimandrita, hasta su oficial e irrevocable renuncia signada el 27 de Enero de 1997, es decir, 21 días después de ser proclamado en la ciudad montenegrina de Cetinje, como sucesor del entonces Metropolita Antonije.

El Metropolita Mihailo, fue amigo personal del Rey de Italia Humberto II, hijo del Rey Víctor Manuel II y la Reina Helena, quien fuera nieta del Rey Nicolás de Montenegro. El futuro Vladika Mihailo, durante un tiempo trabajó en los archivos de la residencia de Humberto II, dónde se dedicó a estudiar numerosos documentos acerca de la Reina Helena.

Para poder consagrar al episcopado al Archimandrita Mihailo, el clero montenegrino recurrió a una facción de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Búlgara, la cual en el año 1992 se había escindido del Patriarcado Búlgaro, en razón de que el Patriarca Maxim, electo en 1971, había sido antianónicamente electo por presión de las autoridades comunistas que regían el país. Esta facción disidente del Patriarcado Búlgaro estuvo liderada por el Metropolita Pimen de Nekrop, el cual contó con el apoyo de otros tres Obispos del Sínodo. El por entonces Metropolita Pimen había solicitado la destitución del Patriarca Maxim; y unos pocos años mas tarde, el 4 de Julio de 1996, el mismo Metropolita Pimen asumió el rango Patriarcal, quedando de facto, como Patriarca rival de Maxim. El ahora Patriarca Pimen, era un hombre muy estimado en Bulgaria, y es por esta razón que cuando asumió el Presidente de Bulgaria, Petar Stoyanov en enero de 1997, éste eligió al Patriarca Pimen para que bendijese los actos oficiales de su asunción al poder. Este Jerarca sería quién el 15 de Marzo de 1998, en la ciudad de Sofía, junto a otros siete Metropolitas y Obispos, procedió a consagrar a Mihailo como Obispo Primado de Montenegro, convirtiéndose de este modo, en la fuente apostólica de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Montenegrina. El Patriarca Pimen, abdicaría a su Oficio Patriarcal el 1 de Octubre del mismo año, a fin de restaurar la unidad de la Iglesia Búlgara, él fallecería un año después a los 93 años, en su antiguo cargo de la Diócesis de Nekrop. El resto de los Obispos y Metropolitas búlgaros que acompañaron a Pimen en aquella consagración, también retuvieron sus antiguos cargos, integrándose nuevamente al Patriarcado de Bulgaria.

El Metropolita Mihailo, fue entronizado como Cabeza de la Iglesia Ortodoxa de Montenegro el 31 de Octubre de 1998, en presencia de miles de feligreses.

Las reacciones dentro del Patriarcado Serbio no tardaron en llegar luego de la entronización del Metropolita Mihailo, puesto que consideraron a los partidarios de la restauración de la Iglesia Ortodoxa de Montenegro, como "herejes" o de propiciar una "religión tribal". Los ortodoxos serbios suelen argumentar que: "Montenegrinos y Serbios son la misma nación, y por ende, son de la misma religión, por tal razón deberá existir una sola Iglesia para ambos pueblos" -es decir el Patriarcado Serbio-. En respuesta a esto, los montenegrinos aducen que ellos no pretenden ningún cambio en las enseñanzas o dogmas de la Iglesia Ortodoxa, por lo tanto, ellos no pueden ser acusados de herejes; sino que lo único que pretenden es la restauración del antiguo estatus de Autocefalía que detentó por siglos la Iglesia Ortodoxa de Montenegro, en pleno acuerdo con la tradición de la Ortodoxia, y es en razón a esto último, que tampoco se los puede acusar de cismáticos. Los ortodoxos montenegrinos también insisten en la devolución de unos 650 templos y monasterios que eran de la Iglesia Montenegrina, y que actualmente se encuentran bajo la propiedad de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Serbia.

La República Argentina, luego de los Estados Unidos, alberga la segunda colonia montenegrina en importancia dentro del Continente Americano, la cual llegó al país poco antes de la I Guerra Mundial.

LOCALIZACIÓN: República de Montenegro.
CABEZA: Metropolita Mihailo (nacido en 1938, entronizado en 1998).
TÍTULO: Metropolita de Montenegro y el Litoral.
RESIDENCIA: Cetinje - Montenegro.
FIELES: 250.000 aprox.

(Fuente: "PRO-ORTODOXIA EN ESPAÑOL". - http://www.geocities.com/pro_ortodoxia/)
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Enviado - 16 agosto 2007 :  13:36:54  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Orthodox Reunification Will Take Five Years

KOMMERSANT
Moscow, Aug. 14, 2007

Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of the Russian Orthodox Church's foreign policy department, stated yesterday that the unification of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia will be complete in five years. In that time, it will be necessary to transfer the property in Russia of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia to dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. He also stated that “efforts are being made by certain forces to exclude it [the Russian Orthodox Church] from participation in social life on the eve of the elections.”

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Metropolitan Laurus and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II signed a canonical act on the reunification of the two churches on May 7 of this year, after four years of negotiations. The churches reached agreements on their positions on their attitude toward the state, ecumenicism and property. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia became an inalienable part of the Russian Orthodox Church, although with the status of a self-governing structure. The integration process has caused a schism within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia itself and an alternative church abroad is forming which may embrace up to a third of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia's clergy.

According to Kirill, the Russian Orthodox Church is satisfied with the progress made in the first three months of the reunification process. He found other sources of discontent, however, mentioning the letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin written by scientists expressing concern over the Russian Orthodox Church's role in society and the letter of Bishop Diomede of Anadyr and Chukotka calling on Alexy II “not to support the current democracy since the only authority that can be pleasing to God is monarchy.” “Those two communications are links in a single chain,” the metropolitan said.

(http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=795105)
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Enviado - 16 agosto 2007 :  21:56:43  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Russia: Skepticism Surrounds Reunited Orthodox Church

By Chloe Arnold
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Moscow, August 14, 2007

A high-ranking Russian Orthodox Church official has said he is pleased with the progress his church is making with the Russian Church Abroad.


Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who oversees external relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, has spoken warmly of ties between his church and the Russian Church Abroad since their historic reunion.

"It turned out that what we were suspecting was right -- since neither part of the Russian Orthodox Church has ever given up its faith or the Orthodox view of life and thinking, we have been able to sit together, in a friendly atmosphere, and discuss all the topics that have divided us. And it seems that we are actually like-minded," Kirill says.

Mending Historic Split

The two churches split following the 1917 revolution, when the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Sergei, declared his church's loyalty to the communist government.

To begin with, the breakaway Orthodox Church was based in Stavropol, a southern Russian city then controlled by the White Army.

With the Red Army advancing, the church moved to Ottoman Turkey and then to Serbia, before severing all ties with the Orthodox Church in Russia and officially setting itself up as the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, headquartered in New York.

The reconciliation was celebrated in May at a lavish ceremony at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. The capital's largest cathedral was blown up by Soviet leader Josef Stalin and only rebuilt after the collapse of the Soviet regime.

Observers say the reunion is an important step for Russia in coming to terms with its communist past. But Yakov Krotov, a church historian, says he is skeptical about what the reunification can achieve.

"The speech of Kirill, it seems to me, is made to justify the politics of the Kremlin, because now this is four [sic, it has been about three] months of the unification, and these months have shown that the unification is not going as well as they declared in the spring," Krotov says.

Political Split

In Krotov's view, the reconciliation is based less on religious values than politics. President Vladimir Putin has strongly supported the reunion, and played a prominent role in May's ceremony. Some have welcomed his efforts, while others have accused him of stoking nationalist feelings.

"This unification is more a secular act than a religious act, in the strict sense of the word, because on the side of the Kremlin -- and Kirill represents President Putin on his political line -- this unification is one more attempt to create the Great Russia, Russia as an international empire that unites Russians everywhere," Krotov says.

Nevertheless, church leaders appear to be keen to patch up their long-term differences.

"From a psychological point of view, it won't be easy for people to change the habits they have grown accustomed to, it won't be easy to accept changes in structures that have been built up over a long period of time and that have proven efficient," Kirill says.

"The question arises about whether it is necessary for all this to be changed," he continues. "But there are things that need to be unified and that's why we have picked a five-year period, which can be called a period of transformation."

One contentious issue that will test their new relationship is the growing influence of the church on state institutions. Last month, 20 prominent academicians wrote an open letter to the national newspapers, calling for a reinforcement of the separation of church and state.

In their letter, they lamented the "growing role of clerics in Russian society" and "the church's penetration into all facets of social life." They warned of the dangers of introducing Orthodoxy classes in schools in a country that has as many as 20 million Muslims.

Metropolitan Kirill has called for a "serious dialogue" on the role of the Orthodox Church in society, and invited the authors of the letter to take part in a "private, unpoliticized debate."

(Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2007. - http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/08/cbb34750-5a5f-4f89-8058-77d4253b6d67.html)
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Enviado - 29 agosto 2007 :  00:01:41  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Orthodox groups fight over medieval church

by Maria Aksyonova
Kyiv Post
Aug 22 2007

A group of Orthodox faithful last month pitched tents near the location of a church with a 1,000-year history in the city of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, Kyiv Region, setting up camp after their attempt to seize the Church of St. Michael failed.

That incident was the latest in a series of attempted takeovers of Orthodox churches by adherents of the so-called Moscow Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC MP), who have been embroiled in conflicts over church property with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC KP), which was created after the Soviet Union fell apart.

In Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, St. Michael’s Church is believed to have been the location of an Orthodox community before the medieval Kyivan Rus state was formally converted to Christianity in 988.

The church has been functioning as a museum since 1954 and was forcedly shut down on July 20 this year, when believers unsuccessfully attempted to seize it. They set up camp with a tent-church instead.

The crusaders, led by Father Anatoliy of the UOC MP, claim they need St. Michael’s because there are not enough churches to serve the Orthodox community in Pereyaslav Khmelnytskiy. They claimed to be merely carrying out a decree issued by the head of the UOC MP, Metropolitan Volodymyr.

Meanwhile, Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky mayor, Ivan Yakymenko, said there already are five Orthodox churches in the city, more than enough to serve the population of 31,000. In addition, Yakymenko said that three of the five churches are already under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, while the Kyiv Patriarchate operates the other two.

According to museum workers, no more than 10 people come to worship at the tent-church on a daily basis. But the UOC MP has claimed up to 70 worshippers pray at the location every day.

Historical and archeological value

St. Michael’s is believed to stand at the location of a stone church originally built in the 10th century but destroyed in the 13th century by the invading Golden Horde led by Baty Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. The church was not rebuilt until the 17th century and was part of a monastery complex in the 18th century.

The temple continued to function until World War II, when it was severely damaged. The Soviets used the church as a warehouse for flax and hemp.

By 1956, the building was repaired and opened as the Museum of Ukrainian National Dress from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum was founded by Mikhailo Sikorskiy, who continues to work as its director to this day.

According to the museum workers, the creation of a museum at the location was the only sure way to preserve the religious buildings during Soviet times.

According to deputy museum director Vira Melnyk, not only is the church a monument of 17th century architecture, but the surrounding territory is great in historical and archeological value. The remnants of a palace and stone gates dating back to the 11th century have been found. Researchers believe the gates were rather massive and grandiose, rivaling the Golden Gates of Kyiv built around the same time. Remnants of 10 unique stone buildings have been identified at the location.

Meanwhile, Andriy Koval, a historical adviser to the Moscow Patriarchate, said that Orthodox Church metropolitans lived and studied in Pereyaslav Khmelnytskiy before moving to Kyiv in 1032.

“Thus, it just has to belong to the religious community,” he said.

The UOC MP began the campaign to take back the church in 2003. The UOC MP’s Father Anatoliy said that a petition requesting use of the church for religious services was supported by 500 locals.

Museum director Melnyk said that the museum did grant the churchgoers one-time use of the building for celebration of the Feast of St. Michael in November 2003, but that it was not a permanent agreement.

The press service of the Moscow Patriarchate said that Sikorsky and the other museum workers are being used as marionettes by local officials who want to take the land.

Museum loses visitors

According to a 2002 government regulation, buildings can only be returned to religious communities after their tenants (educational institutions, archival and cultural organizations) are provided with new premises.

“So far the actions of the Moscow Patriarchate are breaking Ukrainian law,” said Mayor Yakymenko.

According to Melnyk, the museum has not been provided with new premises.

“What they are trying to do is just throw us onto the street, as at the moment we don’t have any valid premises to store museum exhibits, let alone exhibit them,” she said. “We are not going to leave the church until we have somewhere to go.”

The Museum of Ukrainian National Dress is part of the “Pereyaslav” conservation area of 23 museums that includes the Museum of Ukrainian National Architecture. More than 200,000 people visited the museum last year. This year, the numbers has fallen to slightly more than 56,000 due to its forced shutdown.

Yakymenko said that new premises have not been identified for the museum.

He said that Hr 613,000 ($121,000) has been earmarked for reconstruction of the museum, and the building itself is currently under the protection of the national monuments service.

“We don’t mind the functioning of the museum on weekdays, with services on the weekends. We don’t mind to co-exist together with the museum, and its work was blocked by the initiative of the museum workers themselves,” Father Anatoliy said.

Kyiv Patriarchate takes side of museum

Archimandrite Yevstratiy, press secretary of the UOC KP, said that his Church turned to the museum with a request to use the premises, but the request was denied last year. The UOC KP sent a letter to the president of Ukraine, referring to the Moscow Patriarchate’s illegal invasion of the church and requested that he regulate the conflict. The letter to President Victor Yushchenko also outlined the UOC KP’s legalposition regard

“We do not think the picketers are parish volunteers, but simply hired by the Moscow Patriarchate,” Yevstratiy said. “The conflict itself isn’t religious in nature, it is purely a property one.”

Kyiv Orthodox faithful accuse Moscow Orthodox of conducting similar action since 1991.

Currently, the UOC KP is not looking to gain access to St. Michael’s Church after its initial legal attempts failed.

In the present conflict, the UOC KP said that it has taken the museum’s side.

Among other conflicts, Yevstratiy named the Church of St. Yekaterina in Chernihiv. That church was officially handed over to the Kyiv Patriarchate by city hall last year, but adherents of the Moscow Patriarchate have prevented Kyiv Patriarchate believers from taking up residence.

Even after a court ordered that the church be handed over to the UOC KP, Moscow Church believers set up a camp in Chernihiv in protest. Violence between protesting sides and police ensued last year, when KP believers tried to enter the church.

Another example provided by Yevstratiy is the conflict over the Church of the Resurrection in Ostroh, Rivne Region. He said that church has been blocked by the Moscow Patriarchate for the past 18 months, after parishioners left the UOC MP to join the UOC KP.

“The advantage in material terms is definitely in favor of the UOC MP, as they posses about two-thirds of all churches on Ukrainian territory, while according to the number of believers, the KP is more numerous. Across Ukraine, about 20 percent ascribe themselves to the MP, while about 30 percent to the KP,” Yevstratiy said.

“If the conflicts have grown softer within the last couple of years, it is only because the UOC MP has already gotten most of the property in its possession.”

(http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/27268/)
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Enviado - 07 septiembre 2007 :  23:01:16  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Metropolitan Kirill’s ‘Russian Doctrine’ Denounced as Anti-Semitic

Paul Goble
Window on Eurasia
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Vienna, September 5 – The new “Russian Doctrine” released last month by the World Russian Public Assembly and openly supported by Metropolitan Kirill, the second highest ranking prelate of the Moscow Patriarchate, is not only Stalinist and anti-Western but anti-Semitic as well, according to a leading Russian commentator.

Indeed, Aleksei Makarkin says in an essay published today, this document contains little or nothing Benito Mussolini or other fascist backers of “a corporate state” would not have signed onto. And it can thus best characterized as a manifestation of “Orthodox Stalinism” (http://www.ej.ru/?a=note&id=7368).

And that makes it all the more troubling that this document is being pushed forward by Metropolitan Kirill, who may be protecting himself from criticism from nationalists within his church but who does not credit to himself or to it by associating himself with the notions this new “doctrine” contains.

The Doctrine, Makarkin notes, might have passed unnoticed if its only support were the participants of the World Russian Public Assembly. But Metropolitan Kirill’s involvement not only guarantees that it will attract attention but also that the ideas it contains have significant support in the Russian elite.

In presenting the document last month, Kirill argued that its contents reflected what he calls “dynamic conservatism” – something the metropolitan has spoken about before -- but Makarkin suggests that in fact, the newly-released Doctrine is “reactionary, not conservative” in “an ultra-radical, retrograde form.”

According to the Doctrine, Makarkin continues, “the party-parliamentary system in the present-day world is degrading and degenerating into a cover for shadowy lobbying.” The only way out, its authors say, is “corporate representation for various classes and professional communities.

Such a notion, the deputy director of the Moscow Center for Political Technologies argues, is not only “incompatible with the democratic path of development of the country” but also represents “a variant” of the views of the followers of “a Russian Khomeini.”

The doctrine specifies – and here Makarkin quotes it directly – that “national power in Russia must become a combination of three state foundations in their concrete political forms – direct democracy … a competent aristocracy … and a single head (the Chief of State).”

In such a system, the doctrine says, the chief of state will have “almost dictatorial authority” while the lower-standing portions of state power will only have the opportunity to voice their support for what the leader says and does, “just as the Supreme Soviet of the USSR unanimously” approved what the Politburo decreed.

In addition to attacking democracy in this way, the doctrine also calls for reducing the importance of human rights as a measure of societal well-being and the use of censorship for both moral reasons and political ones: The media must not disseminate any ideas of “the traitors and enemies of Russia.”

Those who support this doctrine, Makarkin notes, will define exactly who those “traitors and enemies” are.

But what is certain to set off alarm bells in many quarters is the openly anti-Semitic content of the doctrine. Kirill, who for more than a decade has pushed the notion of “four traditional religions of Russia – Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism,” in this case supports a document that speaks about only three.

And as Makarkin notes, “it is not difficult to guess who has been left out.” Indeed, he says, the only role left for Jews in Russia is to support “the foreign political activities of the state” – again, a view very much like that of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin who was eager to use the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee at one time and then killed its members.

That the authors of the Russian Doctrine have equally negative views about Jews is suggested by their open support for Stalin’s campaign against “cosmopolitanism,” a code word for his efforts at the end of his life to oust Jews from all prominent places in Russian life and even to exile that community to the Russian Far East.

But the Russian Doctrine does not limit itself to panegyrics to Stalin on this point alone. It also specifies something very much at odds with the historical record: “The former seminarist Stalin,” it says, did a great deal in order that the real ‘illegality’ in post-revolutionary Russia did not increase but on the contrary was seriously reduced.”

And the Doctrine suggests that Stalin was responsible for the revival of the Orthodox Church, with not a word about his own attacks on the clergy and believers before, during and after World War II. (For a summary of his depradations in this area, see http://www.rusidea.org/?a=25090409).

Makarkin suggests that this Doctrine is dangerous in two ways: On the one hand, its appearance suggests that there is growing support for just such “Orthodox Stalinism” in Russia, support that will only feed the current authoritarianism of the Kremlin and delay the appearance of democracy.

And on the other, however calculating Kirill may be – and he is one of the savviest politicians in the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy – he has discredited himself and his Church by associating with a doctrine that all those of good will should quickly and completely denounce.

But there is a third danger arising from such a Doctrine that Makarkin does not mention but that could prove to be even more fateful for the future of the Russian Federation: Its appearance could trigger other nations and regions to come up with their own national doctrines.

Indeed, there are suggestions that leaders in the North Caucasus are doing just that (see http://www.russ.ru/layout/set/print//politics/docts/kavkazskij_proekt_chast_ii). And if they do, a Doctrine urging “a Russia for the Russians” may trigger not the rebirth of Russia but rather a new wave of national assertiveness by other nations instead.

(Source: blog "Window on Eurasia": http://windowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2007/09/window-on-eurasia-metropolitan-kirills.html)
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Enviado - 12 septiembre 2007 :  12:55:54  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
En Roumanie, l’Eglise reste en l’Etat
Des voix s’élèvent contre l’imbrication entre les institutions, à l’école et dans la vie sociale


Par Luca Niculescu - Bucarest de notre correspondant
QUOTIDIEN - Libération
Paris, mercredi 12 septembre 2007

Après la chute de la dictature communiste en 1989, les icônes de Jésus et de la Vierge Marie ont remplacé, dans les écoles roumaines, les portraits de l’omniprésent «Conducator». L’enseignement de la religion est devenu obligatoire dans les écoles publiques, les popes aux longues barbes noires sont présents à peu près partout dans la vie collective, alors que les hommes politiques exhibent leur croyance retrouvée, en participant en grand nombre aux messes pascales et autres cérémonies religieuses.

Pour couronner le tout, l’Etat paye en partie le salaire des quelque 14 000 prêtres orthodoxes, soit 42 millions d’euros par an. «Le phénomène n’est pas singulier, explique le professeur Daniel Barbu, de la faculté de siences politiques de Bucarest. Dans d’autres pays de l’Est, comme la Pologne ou la Slovaquie, on est également passé du matérialisme dialectique à la ferveur religieuse.»

«Chaos»

«Il y a ambiguïté, dénonce pour sa part Remus Cernea, président de l’ONG Solidarité pour la liberté de conscience. Officiellement, il y la séparation de l’Eglise et de l’Etat, mais en réalité les deux institutions sont intimement liées.» Les hommes politiques ont d’ailleurs tout intérêt à se montrer aimables envers l’Eglise orthodoxe. Près de 90 % des 21 millions de Roumains sont orthodoxes et la crédibilité de l’Eglise est impressionnante : plus de trois Roumains sur quatre affirment avoir confiance dans l’Eglise.

Dans les villages - la Roumanie est à 40 % rurale -, le prêtre est un personnage incontournable. «Ce qui nous dérange le plus, c’est l’enseignement religieux dans les écoles, affirme Smaranda Enache, présidente de l’association Pro Europa. C’est un enseignement confessionnel, où d’autres cultes sont parfois stigmatisés.»

En théorie, les inspecteurs du ministère de l’Education devraient veiller à ce que la religion soit enseignée de façon correcte. «En pratique, estime le professeur Daniel Barbu, ces inspecteurs sont souvent eux aussi des prêtres. Ce n’est pas un vrai contrôle.» Résultat : «C’est le chaos, estime Mircea Vasilescu, rédacteur en chef de l’hebdomadaire respecté Dilema Veche. Dans certaines écoles, les élèves peuvent apprendre que les catholiques ou les protestants sont de mauvais chrétiens. Dans d’autres, on ne fait que prier. Enfin, on peut trouver ici ou là des professeurs corrects qui essaient de faire davantage un cours d’histoire des religions et non du catéchisme primaire.»

Icônes

En 2006, l’association de Remus Cernea a essayé de faire sortir les icônes des écoles publiques. Une tentative qui a provoqué un énorme débat en Roumanie. Le Conseil de lutte contre la discrimination a donné raison à cette demande, en réclamant l’enlèvement des icônes. Réponse du ministre de l’Education : ce n’est pas le ministère qui a mis les icônes dans les classes, ce n’est pas à lui de les enlever. Un procès est en cours.

Le théologien Mihail Neamtu remet les choses dans leur perspective historique. «La Roumanie n’a jamais connu de séparation réelle entre l’Eglise et l’Etat, sauf durant la parenthèse communiste. Après celle-ci, on est revenu à la tradition du XIXe siècle, c’est-à-dire l’enseignement de la religion dans les écoles publiques, affirme-t-il. De plus, il ne faut pas oublier que pour les Roumains, l’Eglise orthodoxe a contribué à la formation de l’identité nationale. C’est une église qui peut exiger un statut à part.» Le jeune chercheur milite cependant pour une séparation progressive. «Les hiérarques doivent comprendre le caractère implacable du sécularisme et faire en conséquence.»

«Une séparation de l’Eglise et de l’Etat serait de bon augure, tout d’abord pour l’Eglise elle-même, estime Daniel Barbu. Elle pourrait préserver sa crédibilité sur le long terme et devenir une voix critique de la société.» Car même si l’Eglise jouit encore d’une énorme popularité, ses fondements sont menacés. Ces jours-ci, le Conseil national d’études des archives de la Securitate (l’ancienne police politique de la dictature communiste) se penche sur les dossiers des prêtres. Nombre de hauts représentants du clergé orthodoxe ont déjà avoué y avoir collaboré. «L’église orthodoxe doit aussi apprendre à vivre au XXIe siècle, estime Mihail Neamtu, ne plus attendre l’aide de l’Etat, mais aller davantage vers les gens, en essayant de trouver des partenaires économiques ayant les mêmes valeurs pour ses œuvres sociales.»

Milliardaires

Car, en dépit des apparences, l’Eglise orthodoxe roumaine n’est pas riche. Dans ces conditions, certains hiérarques font des compromis, comme de cautionner les œuvres sociales de milliardaires controversés. L’exemple le plus connu est celui de Gigi Becali, un berger reconverti en homme politique, héraut du christianisme et, selon les sondages, deuxième personnalité la plus populaire, après le président Basescu.

Après les écoles, Remus Cernea veut faire sortir la religion des médias d’Etat. Il menace ainsi d’un procès la radio publique qui, chaque matin, commence ses émissions en récitant le «Notre Père».

Le combat pour la laïcité n’en est encore qu’à ses balbutiements.

(http://www.liberation.fr/actualite/monde/277781.FR.php)
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Enviado - 18 septiembre 2007 :  00:07:25  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Romanian Orthodox Church Elects New Head

Bucharest, 12 09 2007 - After a tight contest, Metropolitan Daniel was elected on Wednesday as the sixth Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Daniel, 56, is known for his ecumenical stance, and is disliked by some Church traditionalists because he worked as a professor at a Protestant institute abroad.

Daniel's main rival was Metropolitan Bartolomeu Anania, 86, a former political prisoner during the communist regime. He is now a harsh critic of political corruption and of what he sees as the excessive influence of capitalism on modern life.

The previous patriarch, Teoctist, died in July, aged 92, after a heart attack.

Almost 90 per cent of Romania's 22 million people belong to the Orthodox Church, which has enjoyed a revival since the collapse of communism in 1989.

(Source: BIRN. - http://www.birn.eu.com/en/102/15/4336/)
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Enviado - 24 septiembre 2007 :  23:25:44  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN MONTENEGRO HEAD FOR COURT

The Serbian Orthodox Church has filed criminal charges against its rival, the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, for fomenting national, racial, and religious hatred, Montenegrin newspapers reported on September 15. The charges are directed at the head of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, Miras Dedeic, whom the Serbian Orthodox Church described as a "defrocked priest condemned to damnation," and also against Stevo Vucinic, a senior official in the Montenegrin Orthodox Church.

The Serbian Orthodox Church is the only patriarchate recognized as having jurisdiction in Montenegro by the world's Orthodox community. However, the Montenegrin Orthodox Church claims it is Montenegro's legitimate church and accuses the Serbian Orthodox Church of seizing church buildings from it in the early 20th century.

The longstanding dispute has escalated this year into open confrontations. A court in the town of Bar in June imposed restrictions on Dedeic after he entered a Serbian Orthodox Church, one of a number of incidents in which members of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church have sought to interrupt their rival's services or enter its buildings. Tensions were then heightened by an explosion at the site of a new Serbian Orthodox Church in Podgorica. The Serbian Orthodox Church has also been angered by the Montenegrin government, which first barred and then imposed tight restrictions on an Orthodox bishop thought by the UN to have helped war-crimes indictees.

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 175, Part II, 20 September 2007.)
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Enviado - 02 octubre 2007 :  23:44:14  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Alexis II de Moscou, patriarche de l'Eglise orthodoxe russe:
"Trop d'obstacles pour une rencontre avec Benoît XVI"

C'est la première fois qu'un patriarche de l'Eglise de Russie se rend au Conseil de l'Europe à Strasbourg,
et à Paris. Dans quel but ?


Propos recueillis par Henri Tincq - Moscou, envoyé spécial
LE MONDE, Paris
2.10.2007

La France est la deuxième patrie pour les centaines de milliers de Russes qui ont été contraints de quitter leur pays lors de la grande tragédie du XXe siècle. La proximité de nos cultures n'est plus à démontrer. J'aimerais donc rappeler aux autorités d'Europe occidentale que sans une fidélité renouvelée à ses valeurs spirituelles et morales, l'Europe n'a aucun avenir. La société européenne est marquée par une idéologie séculariste agressive, le culte de la consommation, l'adoration de la raison. Si la liberté ne va pas de pair avec le sens de la responsabilité, avec l'humilité, alors la personne et la société s'autodétruisent.

La culture européenne et la culture russe ont été fondées sur des valeurs chrétiennes. Nous ne pouvons pas rejeter cet héritage, et c'est avec amertume que nous constatons que les racines chrétiennes de l'Europe ne figurent même pas dans le préambule du Traité constitutionnel européen.

Votre visite à l'Eglise catholique de France est-elle un premier pas avant une rencontre avec Benoît XVI ? Ou restez-vous dans une attitude de refus ? L'oecuménisme semble réduit à un "front moral" contre la permissivité de l'Europe...

Je n'ai jamais exclu la possibilité d'une telle rencontre. Mais ce contre quoi je m'élève, c'est qu'elle n'ait lieu que pour les caméras ! Elle devra être précédée par des changements profonds dans nos relations et, pour le moment, il y a encore trop d'obstacles.

Dans les années 1990, des responsables catholiques ont affirmé que la Russie post-marxiste était un désert spirituel et, pour eux, une terre de mission. Nous ne pouvons pas l'accepter. La lumière du christianisme a été apportée à la Russie, il y a plus de mille ans, par l'Eglise orthodoxe. La lutte athéiste, la terreur menée contre l'Eglise au XXe siècle ont fait des dizaines de milliers de martyrs russes orthodoxes. Et aujourd'hui, quand le renouveau spirituel devient possible, il n'est pas convenable de mener sur notre territoire des missions parallèles de conversion. Or des dizaines de milliers de religieux catholiques font du travail missionnaire au sein de notre peuple, qui considère cela comme du prosélytisme.

Le deuxième obstacle est l'expansion de l'"uniatisme" en Ukraine occidentale (l'"uniatisme" désigne les tentatives catholiques pour convertir des populations orthodoxes à l'Est). L'Eglise gréco-catholique (de rite orthodoxe, mais dépendante de Rome) a été interdite sous Staline mais, pendant cinquante ans, elle a pu recevoir une aide spirituelle de nos écoles théologiques. Ne fallait-il pas d'abord nous remercier ? Or des affrontements ont eu lieu pour la prétendue récupération de biens et d'églises. Une telle attitude était imaginable au Moyen Age, mais pas aujourd'hui. En Ukraine occidentale, il nous est encore impossible de recevoir la moindre autorisation d'acheter de la terre. En résumé, avec l'Eglise de Rome, nous sommes séparés depuis presque mille ans, et il faudra encore beaucoup d'efforts pour pouvoir surmonter notre division.

Dans les milieux opposants, des critiques se font entendre sur la place trop grande que prend l'Eglise dans la vie publique russe. Votre proximité avec le président Poutine ne vous oblige-t-elle pas à cautionner sa politique, jusqu'à ses exactions en Tchétchénie ?


Les Occidentaux peinent à comprendre ce que les prêtres, les évêques et les fidèles ont souffert dans les années 1920 et 1930. Et ce qui les frappe aujourd'hui, c'est qu'une multitude d'églises rouvrent leurs portes. Mais c'est un processus qui n'est pas imposé par les pouvoirs civil et religieux. C'est une demande qui vient d'en bas, de ce peuple orthodoxe qui, après des dizaines d'années de répression, se tourne à nouveau vers la foi de ses pères et aspire à une direction morale et spirituelle. La Russie est un nouveau pays, mais les stéréotypes inspirés de l'époque soviétique demeurent. A tort. La Russie est ouverte à toutes sortes de collaboration.

"Cautionner" la politique du président Poutine ? En toute responsabilité, je vous réponds que l'Etat ne se mêle pas de la vie intérieure de l'Eglise. Et que l'Eglise ne se mêle pas de la vie politique de l'Etat. Le principe de la séparation est respecté, mais il y a des domaines où nous devons collaborer, comme l'éducation, le social, la préservation de la paix entre les religions et entre les peuples. Nous savons ce que l'Etat fait pour le bien de notre peuple, mais quand des décisions sont prises qui affaiblissent, par exemple, les populations les plus démunies, nous le faisons aussi savoir.

En ce qui concerne la Tchétchénie, je rappelle que des dizaines de prêtres ont été tués par les nationalistes et que, soixante ans après la guerre mondiale, le terrorisme montre à nouveau, hélas, son visage le plus cruel.

Vous êtes né dans les pays baltes (en 1929, en Estonie) au sein d'une immigration qui portait haut les valeurs de réforme de l'orthodoxie, telles qu'elles avaient été exprimées au concile de 1917, brisé par la révolution bolchevique. Mais le conservatisme semble aujourd'hui l'avoir emporté sur l'esprit de réforme...

L'Eglise orthodoxe n'est pas une Eglise de réforme, mais une Eglise de tradition. Mais la tradition n'est pas pour nous un legs mort des siècles passés, mais un héritage vivant, grâce à la richesse héritée de nos pères. C'est dans cet esprit que je fus éduqué dans le milieu orthodoxe d'Estonie.

Le concile de 1917-1918 demeure un événement majeur de notre histoire. Nous y avons eu recours en préparant les Fondements de la doctrine sociale adoptés en l'an 2000, enracinés dans la tradition et donnant une réponse aux questions d'actualité - bioéthique, écologie, culture, science, politique - et à celles posées par nos rapports avec l'Etat.

Aujourd'hui, l'Eglise russe renaît. Une grande sagesse est donc nécessaire pour ne pas blesser les jeunes pousses qui surgissent. D'un regard extérieur, cette prudence peut ressembler à un conservatisme excessif. Mais, de l'intérieur, on voit que la vie de notre Eglise est très active et que ses structures et sa pensée évoluent de façon dynamique.


120 millions de fidèles dans l'ex-empire soviétique

Elu en 1990 après avoir été métropolite de Leningrad, Alexis II (né Alexis Ridiger), "patriarche de toutes les Russies", gouverne une Eglise en pleine renaissance qui compte 120 millions de fidèles en Russie, en Ukraine, en Biélorussie, en Moldavie, dans les pays baltes et dans la diaspora d'Europe et des Etats-Unis. Le patriarcat de Moscou subit les tensions ethniques, linguistiques et nationales qui agitent l'ex-empire soviétique, surtout en Ukraine, où une Eglise orthodoxe nationale milite pour son autocéphalie. En revanche, après quatre-vingts ans de schisme, Alexis II a réussi à réintégrer l'Eglise dite "hors frontières" : 500 000 fidèles qui avaient fui le régime bolchevique et défenseurs des traditions de l'ancienne Russie. Risque de dérive conservatrice ? Dans son entretien au Monde, le patriarche s'en défend : "Le conservatisme devient dangereux quand il signifie un renfermement sur soi, le refus de témoigner et de partager. Je ne pense pas qu'il y ait beaucoup d'hommes de cette sorte dans l'Eglise "hors frontières"", affirme-t-il.

(2-3214,36-961510@51-961629,0.html" target="_blank">http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3214,36-961510@51-961629,0.html)
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Delegados ortodoxos rusos en reunión ecuménica se retiran antes de iniciar el diálogo

ROMA, 11 Oct. 07 / 02:58 pm (ACI).- La delegación del patriarcado de Moscú que debía participar en el diálogo de la Comisión Mixta Católica Ortodoxa que el miércoles fue alentada por el Papa Benedicto XVI, decidió retirarse intempestivamente por razones de luchas intestinas de la comunidad ortodoxa.

La delegación rusa, que desde ayer debía participar en el diálogo en Ravenna, declaró que tras llegar a la ciudad italiana, tuvo conocimiento de que una delegación del patriarcado de ortodoxo de Constantinopla también había sido invitada a la mesa de diálogo, y en protesta, decidió regresar a Rusia.

El patriarcado de Moscú y el de Constantinopla mantienen una encarnizada disputa territorial a raíz de la decisión de este último de crear en 1996 una rama en Estonia, región que el patriarcado de Moscú considera como parte de su territorio.

El Arzobispo ortodoxo Illarion de Viena (Austria), delegado por el patriarcado de Moscú, señaló que su patriarcado no reconoce la legitimidad de la iglesia apostólica de Estonia creada por Constantinopla y condicionó su permanencia en la reunión al retiro de los delegados de Estonia.

(Fuente: ACIPRENSA. - http://www.aciprensa.com/noticia.php?n=18665)
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MONTENEGRO ADOPTS CONSTITUTION AND ANGERS ORTHODOX PRELATE

Seventeen months after Montenegrins voted for independence from Serbia, Montenegro's parliament has agreed on a constitution for the country. A two-thirds majority was needed, and in the end 55 of the assembly's 76 members -- 72 percent, or four votes more than needed -- voted in favor of a constitution that, critically, defines Montenegro as a state of citizens.

Montenegro's Serbian parties wanted it to be defined as a state of nations, a wish that critics saw as an attempt to lay the grounds for secession. They and a number of other, chiefly ethnic-minority parties opposed the draft constitution's stance on issues of identity, such as official languages and state symbols.

However, in the end, the opposition Movement for Change, the Liberal Party, and parties representing Montenegro's Bosnian Muslim and Croatian minorities backed the governing coalition. Those who remained opposed to the new constitution included three ethnic-Albanian parties and, numerically more importantly, ethnic-Serbian parties.

The new constitution defines the country's state language as Montenegrin, not Serbian, and replaces the colors of the Yugoslav flag -- red, white, and blue -- with an eagle on a red backdrop. The passage of what the parliament's speaker, Radko Krivokapic, described as a "modern," "European" constitution concludes discussions on one of the issues that has most divided Montenegro since it declared independence in June 2006. Krivokapic told national television on October 19 that "whatever was demanded by some others for their support for the constitution were requests that were unacceptable -- on language, on symbols, on citizenship. None of this was acceptable for the state of Montenegro to remain a state."

The adoption of Montenegro's constitution amounts to spitting on the Orthodox Church in Montenegro, the daily "Dan" on October 20 quoted Metropolitan Amfilohije as saying. "Everything else is allowed but there can be no name of the Orthodox Church there," Amfilohije said, referring to the constitution. "For 2,000 years this church had its name and today they call it a religious community. What does a religious community mean? Today the Montenegrin parliament is determined to deprive the church of its name, to turn it into some abstract religious community, to erase the church of Christ, of St. Sava, and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral that gave birth to Montenegro." Amfilohije heads the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, which is locked in a dispute over property and history with the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, which sees itself as Montenegro's historical church and as a bearer of Montenegrins' national identity.

The government has not publicly come down on any side, but the Serbian Orthodox Church accuses it of backing the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, one of several Orthodox Churches in the region that have not been recognized by the broader Orthodox world. The relationship of Serbian Orthodox believers with the state has also been strained recently by the government's decision to bar entry to a bishop accused of aiding Serbian war-crimes suspects. It has since softened its position, allowing him entry under close supervision.

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 195, Part II, 22 October 2007)
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El barrio de Navas albergará la primera iglesia ortodoxa rumana de Barcelona
El templo dará cabida a los 4.000 fieles que viven en la capital catalana

SÍ SE PUEDE - El periódico de la integración
Edición Catalunya
Año 4 - N.º 156
27 de octubre / 2 de noviembre de 2007

La comunidad rumana ya cuenta con un terreno en el barrio de Navas donde construir una iglesia que también tendrá funciones de centro social

La iglesia aún no tiene fecha de realización ni licencia de obras, pero ya hay un terreno adquirido en el barrio de Navas para construirla, que ha costado 600.000 euros y ha sido pagado a partes iguales entre el Gobierno rumano y las aportaciones de los fieles.

Hasta ahora, los fieles rumanos se reunían en la parroquia católica ubicada en el número 406 de la Gran Via barcelonesa, que les cedía el recinto. Pero los más de 400 fieles que se reunían allí cada semana son demasiados para el espacio del que disponen, y en fechas señaladas, como la Pascua ortodoxa, pueden llegar a juntarse unas 3.000 personas.

Para informar a los vecinos y evitar malos entendidos, el 9 de diciembre se celebrará una fiesta en la calle Capella, al lado del cruce entre la calle Sant Antoni Maria Claret y el Passeig Maragall, donde estará ubicado el centro religioso.
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MONTENEGRO ORTHODOX SEEK REGISTRATION IN SERBIA

The Montenegrin Orthodox Church on October 31 applied for recognition as an official church in Serbia, a move that sets the stage for a fresh clash with the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The Serbian daily "Glas javnosti" on November 1 quoted an official of the Montenegrin church, Nenad Stevovic, as saying he is confident of registration. Stevovic, who believes there are 30,000-40,000 followers of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church in Serbia, said he expects Serbia to emulate the "religious freedom that exists in Montenegro, where the Serbian Orthodox Church is allowed completely free operation." Stetovic's comment was dismissed by a representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, Velibor Dzomic, who, according to the November 2 edition of "Glas javnosti," said Stevovic is making "a cheap attempt to misrepresent Serbia as a country that does not respect religious freedoms." Dzomic, who described Stetovic as an "expert on pubs," said he believes Serbia will reject the application.

The Montenegrin Orthodox Church has yet to be recognized as an official church by the communion of Orthodox churches, and Serbia has refused registration to or restricted the activities of other Orthodox communities, including the Romanian and Macedonian Orthodox churches.

The Serbian Orthodox Church's relations with the Montenegrin Orthodox Church have been particularly strained this year. The two are locked in a dispute over property in Montenegro, and some Serbian church officials suspect the involvement of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church in an attack on a Serbian Orthodox Church in Podgorica and the restrictions imposed by the Montenegrin government on a Serbian Orthodox bishop accused by the UN's war crimes tribunal of aiding fugitive war crimes indictees.

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 205, Part II, 5 November 2007.)
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Enviado - 14 noviembre 2007 :  21:16:41  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Russia's Orthodox church regains lost ground
As its influence grows, the church seeks to retake Bolshevik-seized property.
More than 6,000 sites have been returned, but hundreds more are in dispute


By Fred Weir | Correspondent - Ryazan, Russia
The Christian Science Monitor
from the November 14, 2007 edition

Ryazan's dazzling kremlin, the ancient town fortress considered a gem of Russian architecture, seems like an unlikely venue for a bitter social conflict.

But for the past three years a subterranean battle has raged here over the 26-hectare complex seized by the Bolsheviks last century. The increasingly powerful Russian Orthodox Church is pressuring political leaders in Moscow to return the property to church stewardship, and public passions are running high.

"Society is split over this issue," says Sergei Isakov, a deputy of the regional legislature. "We need more time to listen to the people about this."

It's a struggle taking place across Russia. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, about 6,000 sites nationalized by the communists have been returned to the church, but hundreds more remain under dispute. Critics say the church's appetite exceeds its ability to restore old buildings, or fill them with worshipers, and its aims are increasingly politicized.

"Lately the church's ambitions have grown, and clericalism is creeping into state institutions and public organizations," says Anatoly Pchelintsev, editor of Religion and Law, a journal published by the independent Slavic Center for Law and Justice in Moscow. "We have elections coming, and the state finds it convenient to actively court the Church's embrace and seek its support."

Church's campaign for influence

The Orthodox Church has been – and remains – closely linked to the Russian state. Even before the Bolsheviks nationalized all its property and took full control over the priesthood, the church acted as the main ideological support for Russian czars. And since the fall of communism, Russian leaders have sometimes turned to the church, which has baptized some 60 percent of Russians, to boost their legitimacy.

"The Russian state is undergoing a crisis of values," says Alexander Dugin, who heads the International Eurasian Movement, a nationalist group that favours stronger church influence. "Soviet ideas have been destroyed, while the democratic values of the West have been completely discredited in post-Soviet Russia. The only real source of [spiritual] support for the new Russian state is the Orthodox Church."

In addition to seeking the return of its property and assets, the church has mounted an active campaign to raise its profile, lobbying for – among other things – mandatory "Orthodox culture" classes in schools. In addition, a newly formed wing of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi has held several rallies recently to "propagate religious values" among young people.

"The greatest achievements of Russian history were made in the name of Orthodoxy," says Boris Yakimenko, head of Nashi's Orthodox section. "Society needs a clear spiritual orientation, and this is our calling."

Though President Vladimir Putin has frequently stressed that Russia remains a secular state, he and other state leaders prominently take part in Orthodox festivals and he is often seen in company with the patriarch, the head of the Orthodox Church. In a press conference on the reunification earlier this year of the US-based Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with the mother church in Moscow, Putin equated Russia's "traditional faiths" with its nuclear missile shield as "components that strengthen Russian statehood and create necessary preconditions for internal and external security of the country."

Roots of the battle

Ryazan's hilltop kremlin, a favorite local spot for promenades and picnics, has been a national park for decades. The workers at its five museums, backed by a community group that's gathered 26,000 signatures opposing the church's takeover bid, say the struggle is not just over who gets the real estate. The church already has use of two cathedrals, but few worshipers come, they say. They argue that the real goal is to evict the museums and turn the palace into a residence for its regional head, Archbishop Pavel.

"The kremlin is the heart of Ryazan, the place our city sprang from, and it has great historical meaning for all citizens," says Alexander Nikitin, spokesperson for the Public Committee in Defense of Ryazan Kremlin, which lobbies against the transfer. "If you hand it to the church, the character of the place will change from a historical monument that belongs to everyone into a functioning center for a particular religion."

In a telephone interview, Archbishop Pavel didn't deny that the palace is earmarked for his residence, but said the public would be welcome to continue visiting the kremlin. "We are going to open it and restore the cathedrals," he said. "People are the foundation of our Church, so regardless of nationality or religious persuasion, people may all come."

Vladimir Vigilansky, head of the press service of the Church's headquarters in Moscow, says that returning property to the church will address a "moral dimension" as well. "Over the years many things were stolen or confiscated from the Church, so many museums are really just storage places for stolen items."

A struggle for Russia's soul?

The museum workers insist they are willing to cooperate with the church, whose records indicate about 60 percent of Russians are Orthodox, but oppose granting it full ownership. Some say they see themselves on the firing line in a wider struggle for Russia's post-Soviet soul.

"We definitely perceive a threat to the secular state, to civil society and democracy," says Vladimir Sokolovsky, deputy director of the museum. "The church wants these buildings because it seeks a return to its traditional place as the upholder of the state, with a monopoly on the meaning of patriotism and spirituality."

Giving the Church a bigger ideological role may not be a bad thing, say others.

"The church can bring positive influences," says Nikolai Bulicher, a deputy of Ryazan's city council. "Our country wasn't ready for the democracy we were dreaming about. Instead we got crime, corruption, and drug abuse. Only the revival of our spiritual traditions can reverse that, and this means we must put the church back at the heart of our lives."

(http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1114/p06s02-woeu.html?s=hns)
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Enviado - 14 noviembre 2007 :  21:22:42  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
La iglesia ortodoxa afirma que “el Papa es el primer patriarca” y Roma “la primera sede”
Constantinopla allana el camino hacia la reconciliación aunque especifica que "hay que clarificar cuál será
el papel del obispo de la primera sede” y que no puede actuar como un soberano absoluto


EFE - Roma
El País, Madrid
14/11/2007

Las iglesias ortodoxas han reconocido al Papa como "el primer patriarca" y a Roma como la "primera sede", dos reconocimientos que allanan el camino hacia la reunificación entre católicos y ortodoxos, separados desde el cisma entre Oriente y Occidente de 1054. Así lo asegura hoy el diario romano La Repubblica, que señala que ese reconocimiento es el fruto de la reunión que celebraron el pasado octubre en Rávena (noreste italiano) una delegación de la Iglesia Católica y otra de las iglesias ortodoxas.

La delegación de la Iglesia Católica estuvo encabezada por el presidente del Pontificio Consejo para la Unidad de los Cristianos, el cardenal Walter Kasper, y la de las iglesias ortodoxas fue presidida por el metropolita (arzobispo) Zizioulas del Patriarcado Ecuménico de Constantinopla. El documento, según el diario, es "reservado" y consta de 46 párrafos. El matutino agrega que es un "hoja de ruta" que puede llevar a la unidad rota hace casi mil años.

¿Cuál será el papel del Papa?

Aunque los ortodoxos reconocen al Papa y a Roma el primado, el texto añade que "hay que clarificar cuál será el papel del obispo de la primera sede", es decir, las prerrogativas del Pontífice. El documento, siempre de acuerdo con el diario, "delinea tres puntos fundamentales, la comunión eclesial, concilio y autoridad". Agrega que se reconoce al Obispo como jefe de la iglesia local, que nadie puede sustituir, y asegura que todas las partes acordaron reconocer que la "única y santa iglesia se realiza de manera contemporánea en todas las iglesias locales, que celebran la eucaristía y celebran la comunión (unidad) de todas las iglesias".

En otras palabras, aunque las iglesias ortodoxas reconocen al Papa el primado, la cabeza visible, subrayan que el Obispo de Roma no puede actuar como un soberano absoluto que decide por sí solo y sin tener en cuenta a las iglesias locales, según puntualiza el diario. El matutino añade que en el texto al Papa se le nombra siempre como "Obispo de Roma o uno de los cinco patriarcas históricos".

Problemas de reconocimiento en la Iglesia Ortodoxa

"Ahora le toca el turno a Benedicto XVI", destaca el diario, que recuerda que el patriarca Alejo II de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa es "recalcitrante" a la hora de reconocer el primado del patriarca ecuménico de Constantinopla, Bartolomé I, y no perdona a la Iglesia Católica que se esté expandiendo en zonas que considera de su tradicional influencia. El Vaticano, de momento, no ha hecho declaración alguna.

Respecto al título de "Patriarca de Occidente", uno de los títulos tradicionales de los Pontífices romanos, el pasado año Benedicto XVI renunció al mismo por "realismo histórico y teológico", y por considerar que así "puede ayudar al diálogo ecuménico", según precisó entonces el Consejo Pontificio para la Unidad de los Cristianos. "La renuncia a dicho título expresa una realidad histórica y teológica y al mismo tiempo puede ayudar al diálogo ecuménico", subrayó el organismo vaticano, que explicó la decisión papal. Benedicto XVI considera la unidad de los cristianos como uno de los objetivos de su pontificado y se ha comprometido en varias ocasiones a "dar pasos concretos en ese camino".

El Cisma de 1054

Oriente y Occidente se separaron con el cisma de 1054, con las excomuniones del papa León IX y del patriarca Miguel Celurario. Desde entonces han pasado casi mil años de incomprensiones y recelos. Les separan razones teológicas, como el rechazo de los ortodoxos al primado de la Iglesia de Roma y la negativa de la infalibilidad del Papa. Los ortodoxos no reconocen la validez de los sacramentos católicos, al contrario que la Iglesia católica que sí admite, desde el Vaticano II, los de la Iglesia ortodoxa. Además, los ortodoxos culpan a Roma de proselitismo y de intentar expandirse en territorios hasta ahora bajo su control.

Visto que el primado de Pedro es uno de los escollos, Juan Pablo II dijo en varias ocasiones que estaba dispuesto a que teólogos y expertos discutieran ese tema para buscar una solución que fuera aceptada por todos.

(http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/iglesia/ortodoxa/afirma/Papa/primer/patriarca/Roma/primera/sede/elpepusoc/20071114elpepusoc_3/Tes)
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Enviado - 14 noviembre 2007 :  21:26:18  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Los ortodoxos rusos abren un templo en España

SERGI CASTILLO - Benidorm
El País, Madrid
12/11/2007

Coincidencias de la vida: ayer domingo, la Iglesia ortodoxa rusa inauguró su primer templo en España, en Altea (Alicante), y, al mismo tiempo, la Iglesia católica abrió en Murmansk (Círculo Polar Ártico) su primer lugar de culto. Y los dos están dedicados a San Miguel.

Medio millar de personas participaron en la ceremonia oficiada por el presidente del departamento de Relaciones Exteriores del Patriarcado Ortodoxo de Moscú, Metropolita Kirill de Smolensk y Maingrado.

Como gesto de buenas relaciones también estuvo el obispo de la diócesis católica de Alicante-Orihuela, Rafael Palmero, y el alcalde de Altea, Andrés Ripoll. La Iglesia del Arcángel San Miguel es una réplica exacta de un templo ortodoxo ruso del siglo XVII que está construida con materiales procedentes de los Urales, en una parcela cedida por el Ayuntamiento de Altea y financiada por un constructor ruso de la zona.

(http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/ortodoxos/rusos/abren/templo/Espana/elpepusoc/20071112elpepisoc_9/Tes)
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Catholiques et orthodoxes : un pas vers la réunification
Un document commun reconnaissant la primauté du pape doit être publié aujourd’hui à Rome


De notre correspondant au Vatican Hervé Yannou
LE FIGARO, Paris
15/11/2007

La route de la réunification entre chrétiens d’Occident et d’Orient est ouverte. Aujourd’hui doit être rendu public le premier document conjoint entre catholiques et orthodoxes qui reconnaît formellement la primauté du pape. Depuis le schisme de 1054, la place à accorder à l’évêque de Rome dans la chrétienté est une pomme de discorde qui a fait couler de l’encre et du sang.

Le texte intitulé «Conséquences ecclésiologiques et canoniques de la nature sacramentelle de l’Église – Conciliarité et synodalité dans l’Église» est le fruit du travail de la commission de dialogue théologique entre Églises catholique et orthodoxes, qui s’est réunie à Ravenne (Italie) en octobre. Les signataires reconnaissent que l’Église de Rome «occupe la première place dans l’ordre canonique et que l’évêque de Rome est donc le tout premier parmi les patriarches» (dans l’Église primitive, ils étaient cinq : Rome, Constanti­nople, Alexandrie, Antioche et Jérusalem).

Une petite révolution qui fixe la route à suivre pour accentuer le rapprochement entre orthodoxes et catholiques. Car des subtilités byzantines demeurent. En effet, si la primauté du pape et de Rome est reconnue, il reste à définir les prérogatives exactes du chef de l’Église catholique. Sur ce point, les désaccords demeurent.

Catholiques et orthodoxes sont d’accord pour affirmer que chaque évêque est maître chez lui et qu’au niveau régional ils doivent reconnaître un primus inter pares («premier entre égaux»). Mais, au niveau universel, les choses sont différentes. Le document affirme que «ceux qui sont les premiers doivent reconnaître parmi eux celui qui est le premier». Mais ce ne serait pas forcément une fois pour toutes ; autrement dit, dans la pratique, ce rôle ne reviendrait pas automatiquement au pape. Et, quoi qu’il arrive, ce dernier ne pourrait pas gouverner seul : «Le premier ne peut rien faire sans le consentement de tous.»

Dans les Églises orthodoxes, l’assemblée synodale détient l’autorité suprême, mais pas à Rome. Certes, le pape n’est théoriquement pas un souverain absolu, et le concile Vatican II a remis en pleine lumière le caractère collégial du gouvernement de l’Église catholique. Mais, dans la pratique, ce caractère reste restreint.

Absence de l’Église russe

Chez les orthodoxes aussi, la situation est complexe. Ainsi, en octobre, la délégation du patriarcat orthodoxe de Moscou a quitté la réunion de Ravenne, à cause d’un désaccord avec le patriarcat de Constantinople, qui avait invité à la rencontre une délégation de l’Église apostolique estonienne. Cette dernière n’est pas reconnue par Moscou. L’Église orthodoxe russe regrettait aussi que des Églises sous son autorité (États-Unis et Japon en particulier), n’aient pas été invitées... Pour faire part de leur mauvaise humeur, les Russes avaient d’ailleurs publié une première mouture des conclusions de la rencontre, qu’ils n’ont pas signées. Ils ont déjà émis des réserves sur le paragraphe 39 du texte, qui reconnaît une prééminence au patriarcat de Constantinople.

Quoi qu’il en soit, si le chemin de la réconciliation est encore long, c’est une avancée importante pour Benoît XVI qui a mis au cœur de ses priorités le dialogue avec les orthodoxes. Le 23 novembre, il a convoqué tous les cardinaux pour une grande réunion sur le thème de l’œcuménisme. Certes, le Pape a pu froisser les orthodoxes lorsqu’il a abandonné son titre de «patriarche de l’Occident», mais ils n’ont pas rejeté le document publié en juillet par la congrégation pour la Doctrine de la foi rappelant que seule l’Église catholique peut se targuer du titre d’Église. En revanche, entre Benoît XVI et les Églises protestantes, le fossé semble se creuser.

(http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2007/11/15/01003-20071115ARTFIG00005-catholiques-et-orthodoxes-un-pas-vers-la-reunification.php)
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Moldavia: litigi ortodossi

scrive Iulia Postica
OSSERVATORIO SUI BALCANI
05.12.2007

Uno stato, due chiese. Entrambe ortodosse. Da una parte la Chiesa metropolita di Moldavia, vicina a Mosca, dall'altra quella di Bessarabia, vicina a Bucarest. Sullo sfondo la libertà d'espressione religiosa nell'ex repubblica sovietica

Dopo otto anni di silenzo è ripartito il dialogo tra la chiesa ortodossa rumena e quella russa. Le due delegazioni si sono incontrate lo scorso 22 novembre presso il monastero di Troyan, in Bulgaria, per discutere dell'eventuale ricostituzione della Chiesa metropolita autonoma di Bessarabia. Quest'ultima esisteva sino al 1944 e fu forzata alla chiusura in seguito all'occupazione sovietica della Moldavia e fu sostituita dalla Chiesa metropolita di Moldavia.

Alla delegazione del Patriarcato rumeno ha preso parte, tra gli altri, Vlad Cubreacov, parlamentare presso l'Assemblea moldava per il Partito Cristianodemocratico e consulente della Chiesa metropolita autonoma di Bessarabia. Alcuni rappresentanti della Chiesa metropolita moldava facevano invece parte del patriarcato russo.

Nonostante le due delegazioni abbiano posizioni divergenti sulla questione si sono dette convinte della necessità del dialogo per superare il muro contro muro tra le due chiese ortodosse che operano in Moldavia e tra i patriarcati russo e rumeno. Le parti hanno dichiarato di voler tenere aperti i canali del dialogo in modo da superare la situazione complessa della chiesa in Moldavia e promouovere l'ortodossia cristiana.

La disputa in seno all'ortodossia in Moldavia si è avviata nel 1992 ed ha rappresentato fin da allora un elemento di forte contrasto tra i patriarcati russo e rumeno.

Nel 1944, quando la Moldavia divenne una Repubblica sovietica, la Chiesa ortodossa rumena perse l'autorità canonica sulla regione e tutti i suoi beni vennero confiscati. Secondo stime congiunte del patriarcato rumeno e russo tutte le proprietà del patriarcato moldavo (allora chiamata Bessarabia) raggiungevano il valore di un miliardo di dollari. Non a caso era conosciuto come “il patriarcato d'oro” della Chiesa rumena.

Delle 1090 chiese esistenti a quei tempi in Moldavia solo 156 non furono chiuse o, peggio ancora, distrutte. Rappresentarono il nucleo di una nuova chiesa ortodossa, la Chiesa metropolita di Moldavia, subordinata al Patriarcato russo.

Le cose cambiarono poi radicalmente dopo il crollo dell'Unione Sovietica e nel 1992, la Chiesa metropolita di Bessarabia, affilitata al Patriarcato rumeno, venne ricostituita benché tutte le proprietà fossero ormai passate alla Chiesa metropolita di Moldavia.

Ora la Moldavia si trova con due chiese ortodosse, una che guarda a Mosca e l'altra a Bucarest. Quest'ultima però non ha avuto negli ultimi anni vita facile visto che il governo moldavo si è in più occasioni rifiutato di registarla.

La Chiesa metropolita di Bessarabia ha quindo cercato di vedere riconosciuti i propri diritti in tribunale, perdendo tutte le istanze presso la magistratura moldava ma ottenendo una sentenza favorevole da parte della Corte europea per i diritti umani (ECHR). Ciononostante il governo moldavo non si affrettò a recepire la sentenza dell'ECHR e si mosse solo dopo forti pressioni dell'Assemblea parlamentare del Consiglio d'Europa, nel 2002. La Chiesa di Bessarabia venne allora riconosciuta e questo le diede la possibilità di identificarsi come legittimo successore di quella smantellata nel 1944. E di qui anche il diritto a richiedere la restituzione di tutti i beni confiscati: chiese, laghi, terreni.

La più recente fonte di conflitto – anche nell'incontro tenutosi in Bulgaria - è stata rappresentata dalla decisione della Chiesa ortodossa rumena, nell'ottobre del 2007, di aprire i tre vescovadi della Bessarabia del sud, a B#259;l#355;i, di Dub#259;sari e infine della Transnistria. E' stato soprattutto il clero della Transnistria a percepire questa decisione quale una vera e proria crociata contro la Chiesa Ortodossa russa e per questo da bloccare con ogni mezzo. “La situazione in merito a questa Chiesa è già molto tesa. La Transnistria è nota per essere una società multiconfessionale, e non vogliamo conflitti religiosi”, ha affermato un suo rappresentante.

La Metropoli di Bessarabia non è l'unica organizzazione di culto ad aver incontrato ostacoli da parte del governo moldavo. Anche ad altre confessioni religiose è stato impedito di operare legalmente, tra questi alcuni gruppi musulmani.

La legge sulle confesisoni religiose della Repubblica di Moldavia ha sollevato preoccupazioni anche da parte del Dipartimento di Stato USA. “In alcuni paesi asiatici e centro-europei la libertà di espressione religiosa è in pericolo”, ha in passato dichiarato l'ambasciatore Usa presso l'OSCE Richard Willemson. Aggiungendo in quell'occasione che la Moldavia doveva modificare la propria legge sulle fedi religiose in direzione degli impegni presi con l'OSCE.

La legge è poi stata modificata ma nonostante questo i problemi non sono spariti. In un rapporto del Dipartimento di Stato si sottolinea come la nuova legge sia alquanto restrittiva e la Moldavia rimanga un paese ad “alta intolleranza religiosa”. Nello stesso rapporto si afferma che il governo moldavo favorisca la Chiesa metropolita di Moldavia, subordinata a quella russa, a detrimento delle altre confessioni.

Nell'agosto del 2007 sul territorio moldavo sono state riconosciute 27 confessioni religiose. La più strutturata è la Chiesa metropolita di Moldavia, seguita da quella di Bessarabia, dalle chiese evangeliche, dai testimoni di Geova, dagli avventisti e dalla chiesa cattolica.

(http://www.osservatoriobalcani.org/article/articleview/8654/1/51/)
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Colegiales rusos podrán estudiar bases de cultura ortodoxa desde septiembre de 2009

RIA-NOVOSTI, Moscú
24/ 12/ 2007

Moscú, 24 de diciembre, RIA Novosti. A partir de septiembre de 2009, los colegiales rusos podrán estudiar una asignatura llamada Bases de la Cultura Ortodoxa, declaró el lunes el Patriarca Alexis II.

En una conferencia celebrada el otro día por iniciativa del Ministerio de Educación se recomendó la introducción de esta asignatura para los padres que deseen imbuir a sus hijos las bases de la fe ortodoxa, precisó el jerarca religioso.

Para la gente que abraza otras religiones, también es necesario introducir las asignaturas que expongan las bases de las respectivas doctrinas; y para los ateos, enseñar las bases de la ética, agregó.

(http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20071224/93954178.html)
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Enviado - 28 diciembre 2007 :  21:30:21  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Vladimir Voronin threatens Bessarabian Metropolitan Church with annulment of its registration

INFO-PRIM NEO News Agency
1.12.2007

Moldova's President Vladimir Voronin warns he will order the annulment of the registration of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, contrary to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which compelled Moldova's Government to register it a few years ago, if a decision on setting up three new dioceses is not suspended.

The President stated during a TV show on Friday, November 30, that he doesn't need "a second Kosovo" in Moldova, referring to the recent disputes of the Romanian Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate on reactivating on Moldova's territory 3 Romanian Dioceses: the Balti Diocese, the Cantemir Diocese and the Dubasari Diocese.

"If these events will further unfold, we assume ourselves the right to disregard the ECHR decision, because we all understand that the humankind has seen more wars, with 90% of them being on religious grounds, when a state was looking to impose its religion to another state", the Voronin said, specifying that he was making an official statement as a head of state.

"It is the same provocation scheme against us, against the independence, sovereignty, against the country, identity and people.

We cannot bargain our faith and we cannot make it the prisoner of our politics, indifferently of the way it looks like: clever, bad, good, idiot", Vladimir Voronin said.

Recently, the Chisinau representatives of the Socialist Party stated that the decision of the Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church on reactivating on Moldova's territory 3 dioceses of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia would lead to a new "church war in the Moldovan religious space".

The Bishop of Tiraspol and Dubasari, Iustinian Ovcinnikov, has also accused the Romanian Orthodox Church of unleashing "a crusade against the Russian Orthodox Church" by reactivating the Orthodox Diocese of Dubasari and entire Transnistria.

The Romanian Orthodox Church states that the reactivation of the 3 dioceses by the decision of the Autonomous Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia was a natural action. A recent press communique of the Romanian Patriarchate reads that this reactivation was the natural consequence of the fact that, previously, by a 2004 decision of the Supreme Court of Moldova and by the modifications to the status of organisation and functioning of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, it was recognised as "spiritual, canonical, historical successor of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, which operated until 1944, inclusively", with its component dioceses.

The Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church did but recognised legally these dioceses without intending to spark any conflicts between the Romania's Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate, the communique also reads.

(Original text in Romanian: http://www.info-prim.md/?x=22&y=11804)

Editado por - alazaro a las 29 diciembre 2007 14:37:07
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FEUD BETWEEN ROMANIAN, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCHES CONTINUES

The Bessarabian Orthodox priests' problems come just weeks after Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin appeared on national television and, according to Forum 18, threatened to revoke the church's right to registration. The threat came in response to a decision by the Romanian Orthodox Church, to whose patriarchy the Bessarabian Orthodox Church belongs, to establish three additional dioceses in Moldova under the control of the Bessarabian church.

Speaking on November 30, Voronin called the move "a provocative scheme against us, against our independence and sovereignty, against our country, identity, and people. We cannot," he continued, "bargain with our faith and we cannot make it a prisoner of our politics."

This is only one of several issues relating to Moldovan national identity that have marred relations with Romania over the past year. A church official quoted by Forum 18 on January 4 linked the dispute to what he described as the deliberate harassment of the head of the Bessarabian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Petru Paduraru, who was frisked and kept waiting for several hours at the border when he returned from Romania on December 26.

The Moldovan Orthodox Church has won the support of the patriarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, which does not recognize the Bessarabian Orthodox Church's legitimacy. The Moscow patriarch in October criticized his counterpart in Bucharest over the latter's decision to establish new dioceses and, according to the news agency Interfax, the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on December 27 reiterated the church's anger at the Romanian Orthodox Church's refusal to back down.

Moldova registered the Bessarabian Orthodox Church in 2001 only after being obliged to by the European Court of Human Rights, and Moldova's religious minorities have repeatedly criticized their treatment by the government.

The Moldovan parliament passed a new law on religion in July, which, while more liberal, controversially stipulates that "property rights on buildings of worship belong to the religious communities that founded them." Since the law's promulgation, Forum 18 noted, little has been done to implement key institutional changes mandated by the new legislation.

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 12, No. 4, Part II, 7 January 2008.)
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SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH LAMBASTES WEST OVER KOSOVA

In a strongly worded letter to the faithful to mark Orthodox Christmas, the Serbian Orthodox Church on January 6 attacked the world's "power-mongers" for seeking to snatch Kosova from Serbia.

According to the Serbian news agencies Beta and Tanjug, the message, which was read out at services across Serbia on January 7, stated that "the power-mongers of this world are throwing dice for our...land and shamelessly insulting our feelings and our dignity. Today, for their own interests in the Balkans and Europe and by trampling all the provisions of international law...they want to snatch away from the Serbian nation its cradle, heart, and soul, which will forever remain in Kosovo-Metohija."

The message also described Kosova -- or Kosovo-Metohija, as Serbs refer to it -- as "our holy land, the heart and soul of the Serbian people." "May all those who are most brutally violating all the standards of divine and human justice stop and ponder," the message concluded.

Belgrade lost control of Kosova in 1389 and regained authority over it only in 1912, but the Serbian Orthodox Church's monasteries and churches managed to maintain the Serbs' spiritual life in Kosova throughout the centuries of Ottoman rule. Among the many messages issued in Serbia to mark Christmas were wishes for the recovery of the Serbian Orthodox Church's leader, 93-year-old Patriarch Pavle, who has been in hospital since November and was unable to officiate at any services.

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 12, No. 5, Part II, 8 January 2008.)
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Coca Cola retirará publicidad considerada ultrajante por creyentes ortodoxos
en Nizhni Nóvgorod


RIA Novosti, Moscú
14/ 01/ 2008

Nizhni Nóvgorod (región del Volga), 14 de enero, RIA Novosti. - La compañía Coca Cola ha tomado la decisión de retirar de las calles de Nizhni Nóvgrod la publicidad de sus productos, luego que un grupo de creyentes la ha acusado de estar ultrajando sus sentimientos religiosos por utilizar imágenes de templos ortodoxos en sus anuncios publicitarios, han informado a RIA Novosti en la oficina central de la compañía.

"Al guiarnos por los principios de un marketing con sentido de responsabilidad, hemos tomado la decisión de quitar de las calles los frigoríficos de Coca Cola en que figuran imágenes de templos ortodoxos de Nizhni Nóvgorod. Tales efigies se quitarán o se sustituirán por otras", dijo un portavoz de la compañía, concretando que se trata solamente de las imágenes religiosas. Los frigoríficos con vistas de Nizhni Nóvgorod permanecerán en su lugar, añadió.

(http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20080114/96569607.html)
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MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT WINS AWARD FROM RUSSIAN PATRIARCH

During his visit to Moscow, Moldovan President Voronin was given an award from the Russian Orthodox Church in recognition of his "outstanding work to strengthen the unity of Orthodox Christian peoples," "The Moscow Times" and the Moldovan news agency IPN reported.

"The Moscow Times" said Patriarch Aleksy II made the award on January 21 specifically to thank Voronin for resisting the alleged expansion of the Romanian Orthodox Church into Moldova.

During Voronin's two terms in office, Moldova has repeatedly been criticized for restricting religious freedom and has been sanctioned by the European Court of Human Rights, which in one ruling in 2001 obliged Moldova to recognize the Bessarabian Orthodox Church, which belongs to the patriarchy of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Since late December, four of the eight Romanian priests in the church have been forced out of Moldova, officially because they breached work regulations. That move prompted the church's head, Metropolitan Petru Paduraru, to write to the Council of Europe in mid-January protesting harassment by the Moldovan authorities.

According to the Russian news agency Interfax, Voronin told reporters on January 21 that the establishment in October 2007 of three new dioceses by the Bessarabian Orthodox Church is "part of Romania's aggressive policy against the Moldovan state."

Aleksy said the creation of new dioceses "was an anticanonical pact of intrusion on the territory of another local Orthodox Church and establishing its dioceses there."

AG

(RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 12, No. 16, Part II, 24 January 2008.)
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Communiqué de l’Eglise orthodoxe serbe relatif au Kosovo et à la Métochie

"Comme elle l’a déjà fait à plusieurs reprises, l'Eglise orthodoxe serbe s'adresse à l'opinion publique tant internationale que serbe en évoquant une solution juste de la question du Kosovo et de la Métochie.

La position de l'Eglise à ce sujet a toujours été parfaitement claire et sans ambiguïté, aussi bien avant le bombardement (1999) de la Serbie et du Monténégro et surtout du Kosovo et de la Métochie, qu’après ce bombardement et jusqu’à ce jour. L’Eglise demande le respect des droits de tous ceux qui vivent dans cette province, et justement pour que soit pris en considération un véritable avenir de toutes les communautés, le Kosovo et la Métochie ont été et doivent rester partie intégrante de la Serbie, en accordant le plus haut degré de l’autonomie à la province.

Toute autre solution représenterait, comme on l’a déjà justement souligné à maintes reprises, une violation des droits élémentaires de l’homme, de la résolution 1244 du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unis et de toutes les autres conventions internationales. L’éventuelle indépendance accordée au Kosovo le transformerait en une plaie ouverte, non seulement des Balkans, mais également de l’Europe toute entière. Il est encore temps de rappeler à ceux qui décident de l’avenir du Kosovo ces jours-ci, que ce serait une nouvelle légalisation de la violence séculaire ottomane et de ses conséquences dans ces contrées, ainsi que d’une certaine manière l’approbation de la solution fasciste pendant la seconde guerre mondiale quand le Kosovo était rattaché à l’Albanie.

Nous sommes profondément persuadés que ceci n’est pas le but, ni des Etats-Unis , ni de l’Union Européenne.

Conscients des paroles de vérité de saint Alexandre Nevski « que Dieu n’est pas la force, mais la justice » qui se sont révélés exacts maintes fois à travers l’histoire de l’humanité, nous prions le Seigneur et nous espérons avec persévérance que sa justice et la vraie équité des hommes triompheront à la fin, au Kosovo et partout dans le monde.

Le Saint Synode de l'Eglise orthodoxe serbe"

Source : SPC.yu - Rédigé le mar. 12 févr. 2008.

(Réproduit de ORTHODOXIE: http://www.orthodoxie.com/2008/02/communiqu-de-le.html)
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Metropolitan Laurus of the Overseas Russian Church Dead at 80

KOMMERSANT, Moscow
Mar. 17, 2008

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia Metropolitan Laurus died yesterday. He was instrumental in ending the 80-year schism between the Russian Orthodox churches inside and outside of Russia and died on one of the fast days known as the Celebration of Orthodoxy. “In the 21st century, the tragic division of the 20th century has been overcome. I would place him in line with Antony Khrapovitsky, first head of the Overseas Church, who gathered the scattered flock and united the priests,” said Bishop Mark of Egoryevsk, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchy's department of external relations.

Metropolitan Laurus (Lavr) was born Vasily Shkurla on January 1, 1928, in Ladomirovo, Slovakia. He joined the Monastery of St. Job of Pochaev in that city at the age of 11. In 1946, he and the rest of the monastery were evacuated to Jordanville, New York, where the Monastery of the Holy Trinity was established. That monastery became the center of Russian Orthodoxy abroad.

Laurus was elected head of the ROCOR in October 2001 and began the process of reunification with the Moscow Patriarchy that was completed last year. The schism occurred in 1927, when the overseas part of the Russian Orthodox Church refused to subordinate itself to the Bolsheviks. The ROCOR was uninterested in the Moscow Patriarchy's calls for reunification after the fall of communism until Laurus replaced First Hierarch Vitaly (Ustinov) as head of the church.

Although many in the Orthodox world beyond Russia called the canonical act reunifying the churches signed between Laurus and Patriarch Alexiy II in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin “premature,” Laurus was loved by his congregation and respected by his clergy.

(http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=867771)
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L’Église orthodoxe d’Albanie, un relais de l’influence grecque?

Par Ben Andoni
Revista Mapo, 12.3.2008
Traduit par Mandi Gueguen
LE COURRIER DES BALKANS
dimanche 23 mars 2008

Le 22 mars, Mgr Anastasios Yannoulatos, métropolite de l’Église orthodoxe albanaise, a commémoré le centenaire de la première liturgie célébrée en langue albanaise. L’Église orthodoxe, interdite et durement réprimée sous le régime communiste, jouit de l’autocéphalie, mais sa reconstruction a été prise en main par le Patriarcat oecuménique de Constantinople. La polémique sur la nationalité grecque de Mgr Anastasios vient de rebondir après que celui-ci a demandé la nationalité albanaise.

Un Albanais pourra-t-il occuper un jour le siège métropolitain de l’Église orthodoxe albanaise ? Voici la question qui taraude depuis quelques temps les fidèles de cette Église. L’actuel archevêque, Mgr Anastasios Yannoulatos, a célébré le 22 mars le centenaire de la première liturgie prononcée en langue albanaise aux Etats-Unis [par Mgr Fan Stilian Noli]. Il n’a pas pu échapper à cette question.

La plus haute institution de l’Eglise albanaise, qui élit le successeur de l’archevêque, est le synode. Selon une règle tacite, c’est le plus âgé des évêques qui devrait succéder à Mgr Anastasios. Actuellement, il s’agit de Mgr Ignati, citoyen grec, issu de la communauté albanaise orthodoxe de Grèce [les Arvanitès]. L’évêque suivant, par ordre d’âge, son collègue de Gjirokastra, est aussi d’origine grecque. Les voix prépondérantes des quatre métropolites ne favorisent pas les évêques albanais. Et pour cause. Parmi les quatre métropolites d’Albanie, trois sont grecs : le métropolite de Berat, Mgr Ignati, le métropolite de Gjirokastra, Mgr Dhimitri, le nouvel évêque de Filomili, Mgr Ilia. Seul le métropolite de Korça, Mgr Joani, est albanais. Trois autres évêques sont albanais, mais leur position hiérarchique est inférieure. Selon toute vraisemblance, le successeur de Mgr Anastasios ne sera pas non plus d’origine albanaise [1].

Selon la hiérarchie établie, le titulaire du siège primatial de Durres, le quarantième évêché le plus ancien du monde, est également primat d’Albanie. Ce siège est actuellement occupé par Mgr Anastasios. Mgr Joani, métropolite de Korça, nous explique que cette question est très compliquée si l’on ne revient pas à l’histoire de cette Eglise et de son impitoyable destruction pendant la sauvage persécution communiste. Aucun évêque n’en échappa vivant, aussi l’aide extérieure fut-elle indispensable pour remettre sur pied une institution sérieuse et fonctionnelle.

« Nous avons maintenant 140 ecclésiastes locaux, dont de jeunes évêques albanais, et nous espérons augmenter leur nombre, grâce à Dieu. L’Eglise parviendra à établir une hiérarchie autochtone, mais cela demandera encore beaucoup de temps et d’efforts », explique Mgr Joani.

Selon de nombreux spécialistes de la question, le successeur de Yannoulatos sera forcément Grec. Par conséquent, craignent-ils, l’Eglise albanaise restera soumise à l’Eglise grecque. Cette dernière a longuement travaillé pour cela.

Le Synode

Le Saint Synode de l’Eglise orthodoxe autocéphale d’Albanie a été fondé en 1998. Il était alors composé du métropolite Anastasios Yannoulatos, du métropolite de Berat Ignati, du métropolite de Korça Joani, de l’évêque d’Apollonia Kozmai (décédé en 2000) et du prêtre Jani Trebicka. En 2006, trois jeunes évêques sont arrivés dans cette institution : l’archimandrite Dhimiter Sinaiti, métropolite de Gjirokastra, l’archimandrite Nikolla Huka, qui a hérité du titre d’évêque d’Apollonia et l’archimandrite Andon Merdani, devenu évêque de Kruja. Ils ont été récemment rejoints par l’évêque de Filomili, Ilia. Les membres du Saint Synode jouissent d’un plein droit de vote qui voteront, le moment venu, pour choisir le successeur du métropolite Anastasios.

La controverse sur la nationalité de Yannoulatos

« Ce n’est pas de ma faute si les prêtres albanais ont voulu se marier », se dédouanait Mgr. Yannoulatos, au cours d’une interview, irrité par les pressions permanentes sur la question de sa nationalité [2]. En effet, l’archevêque de Tirana, de Durres et, partant, de toute l’Albanie, sait où le bat blesse. Récemment, le Président albanais, Bamir Topi, a habilement éludé la question de la nationalité du métropolite grec, qui fait couler de l’encre depuis quinze ans. « Nous estimons Mgr Yannoulatos, dont l’activité a beaucoup servi l’Albanie toute entière sur la scène internationale », expliquait le chef de l’Etat albanais, sans approfondir davantage la controverse sur sa nationalité, tout comme ses deux prédécesseurs.

« C’est le fait que Mgr Yannoulatos veuille prendre la nationalité albanaise qui pose problème. Il faut prendre en compte les sensibilités et la tâche m’incombe de les évaluer de manière civile. Je peux dire qu’il n’existe aucun a priori négatif, bien au contraire, je pense que ce n’est qu’une question de temps », précisait le Président Bamir Topi à l’un de nos confrères. La question est réapparue aux lendemains du centenaire de la messe célébrée par Fan Noli devant les Albanais de l’Amérique, un événement important non seulement pour l’Eglise orthodoxe albanaise, mais aussi pour toute la nation. Mgr Yannoulatos n’a pas fait l’unanimité, bien qu’il ait célébré la messe en albanais et respecté le souvenir de Mgr Fan Noli, car il est grec et non albanais.

Qui est Anastasios Yannoulatos ?

L’ancien exarque désigné par le patriarcat oecuménique a réussi l’une des tâches les plus particulières de l’histoire de l’Eglise orthodoxe, en faisant revivre de ses cendres, en 1991, l’église détruite par Enver Hoxha. Depuis juillet 1992, il a gravi les échelons hiérarchiques en provoquant des polémiques incessantes et les inimitiés de prêtres et de divers politiciens, dont l’actuel Premier ministre, Sali Berisha, qui semblent désormais l’avoir accepté.

Selon la rumeur, la consécration de Mgr Yannoulatos comme archevêque, n’aurait pu avoir lieu qu’après un entretien discret avec le Président de l’époque, ce même Sali Berisha. Malheureusement, ce dernier ignorait que cette place était durable. Depuis ce temps-là, le prêtre, fort connu pour avoir préparé toute une série de textes canoniques à Athènes, a été la cible des ires et des accusations les plus acerbes...

En 1996, le gouvernement albanais a été fort irrité par la désignation de trois nouveaux métropolites à Constantinople. Mgr Yannoulatos est parvenu à atténuer les relations tendues entre le Patriarcat oecuménique, la haute autorité orthodoxe et l’Etat albanais, en prenant le côté des Albanais. Après le refus du gouvernement albanais d’accepter les trois métropolites choisis par le Patriarcat, il s’est retourné vers une structure ecclésiastique transitoire. Il fallait présenter aux autorités albanaises, une demande légale pour reprendre possession des biens de l’Eglise. En justifiant cette demande, Mgr Anastasios a poursuivi sa mission malgré les attitudes inamicales de ses compatriotes envers les émigrants albanais, ce qui ne lui facilitait pas la tâche pour se faire accepter des Albanais.

Aussi, prendre la nationalité albanaise ne sera pas pour lui une mince affaire. Le métropolite lui-même n’a pas l’air de croire pouvoir y parvenir un jour. On dit de lui que s’il était né à Istanbul / Constantinople, il aurait eu les plus grandes chances de devenir un jour Patriarche oecuménique [3]. Il a fait des études religieuses et ethnologiques à Hambourg et à Magdebourg, puis étudié des croyances religieuses diverses en Inde, en Thaïlande, au Japon, en Chine, au Nigéria, au Brésil et dans une douzaine d’autres pays. Il possède de nombreux titres académiques. Cela ne suffit pas pour que les Albanais l’aiment et l’apprécient. Cependant, ses prédécesseurs n’ont guère eu la vie plus facile.

L’orthodoxie en Albanie

En 1937, 20,4% des Albanais étaient de confession orthodoxe, ce qui en faisait la seconde communauté religieuse du pays. On trouvait des orthodoxes dans les villes de Korça, Gjirokastre, Berat et Vlora, mais aussi à Tirana, Durres, Elbasan.

Après l’échec d’une première tentative en Roumanie, des émigrants albanais orthodoxes ont fondé l’Eglise orthodoxe albanaise aux Etats-Unis. La première messe orthodoxe en langue albanaise a été célébrée à Boston, le 22 mars 1908, célébrée par Fan Noli, consacré prêtre par l’archevêque russe de New York, les Grecs ayant refusé de le faire. Fan Noli s’est consacré corps et âme à la cause en traduisant les textes liturgiques et en menant une intense propagande pour se détacher de l’Eglise grecque. Après moult efforts, la communauté orthodoxe albanaise de Boston, dirigée par Fan Noli, décida de créer l’Eglise orthodoxe albanaise autocéphale. Mgr Noli en devint l’archevêque et le Primat. Or, n’ayant pas été consacré par d’autres évêques, selon la loi canonique, Fan Noli n’a jamais été reconnu par ses pairs, mais seulement par la communauté albanaise. Sa bataille pour l’orthodoxie albanaise semble avoir été mue par ses forts penchants patriotiques, mais aussi par sa foi intense.

Fan Noli était n’était guère apprécié par les dignitaires ecclésiastiques orthodoxes présents en Albanie, qui tenaient à préserver les liens avec le Patriarcat d’Istanbul/Constantinople.

En septembre 1922, un congrès orthodoxe se réunit à Berat pour proclamer l’indépendance de l’Eglise nationale autocéphale. Le gouvernement albanais donna l’ordre à toutes les villes de fêter l’événement. Les autorités autrichiennes expliquaient à l’époque que « l’importance de la déclaration de l’indépendance religieuse des orthodoxes [était importante] pour la consolidation de l’indépendance de l’Albanie, en dépit d’une forte influence grecque en Albanie du Sud et du Centre ». Après le Congrès de Berlin, l’évêque grec Vassilios, très critiqué et détesté par les Albanais, se plaignait en ces termes devant la Société des Nations : « le gouvernement albanais veut introduire la langue albanaise dans la liturgie. Or, cette dernière est trop primitive, elle est même exclue des mosquées musulmanes... »

Le roi Zog a laïcisé l’Albanie en réduisant largement l’espace des institutions religieuses. L’Albanie ne comptait, à l’époque, qu’un seul évêque, Visarion Xhuvani, qui a nommé un évêque serbe, Victor, pour la minorité slave de Shkodra, avec l’aval du gouvernement. Après des arrangements entre eux, ils ont réussi à mettre en place une hiérarchie de prêtres et d’évêques orthodoxes. Le Patriarcat oecuménique d’Istanbul n’a reconnu l’Eglise Autocéphale albanaise qu’en 1937, en nommant dans deux diocèses deux Albanais, qui avaient longuement servi en Grèce. L’Eglise a fonctionné ainsi jusqu’en 1949, avant une longue interdiction de plus de quarante ans. Le patriarcat oecuménique a finalement confié à Mgr Anastasios la tache de reconstruire cette Église.

L’Eglise albanaise est en train de renforcer son cadre d’activités. Peut-être, un jour, le Primat de l’Eglise orthodoxe albanaise n’aura-t-il plus besoin d’obtenir un passeport albanais.

[1] L’Église orthodoxe albanaise n’entretient pas de relations institutionnelles avec l’Église orthodoxe territoriale de Grèce, mais avec le Patriarcat oecuménique de Constantinople, également hellénophone.

[2] Dans l’Église orthodoxe, les prêtres peuvent se marier, mais les évêques sont uniquement choisis par les moines, qui ne se marient pas.

[3] D’après la loii turque, le patriarche oecuménique de Constantinople, résidant dans le quartier du Phanar, à Istanbul, doit être citoyen turc de naissance. Cette charge est actuellement détenue par Sa Sainteté Bartholomée Ier.


(http://balkans.courriers.info/article10027.html)

Editado por - alazaro a las 26 marzo 2008 01:01:10
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Nasce a Lucca la prima diocesi Ortodossa romena d'Italia

LO SCHERMO
02/05/2008

LUCCA - La città ospiterà un evento ecumenico di importanza internazionale. Giovedì 8 maggio, presso la chiesa di Sant'Anastasio, si svolgerà l’intronizzazione di monsignor Siluan Span come vescovo della diocesi Ortodossa romena d’Italia. Si tratta di una nuova diocesi, che quindi verrà inaugurata a Lucca, e che non avrà una sede territoriale (il neo-vescovo Siluan Span risiederà nei pressi di Roma).

La città è stata scelta dalle gerarchie Ortodosse romene proprio per l’ottima relazione esistente tra i cristiani delle diverse tradizioni. Questo avvenimento dà ancora più significato alla scelta fatta dal vescovo Castellani appena un anno fa di consegnare in uso proprio la Chiesa di S. Anastasio alla comunità Ortodossa romena di Lucca, guidata da P. Liviu Marina.

"Nel dialogo fecondo che da anni si è instaurato tra cattolici ed ortodossi a Lucca, e tra questi e le chiese riformate - afferma Italo Castellani, arcivescovo di Lucca - la nascita di una diocesi Ortodossa romena d’Italia non può che riempirci di gioia. Ringrazio in particolare mons. Josif, Metropolita Ortodosso romeno di Parigi, che ha scelto Lucca per l’intronizzazione di mons. Siluan Span. Questo avvenimento si inserisce nel solco di quell’ecumenismo che deve portare tutti all’accoglienza reciproca, nel nome della fratellanza in Cristo e nella ricerca della pace. Sono certo che questo ulteriore segno di fraternità possa rientrare quindi anche nella collaborazione per lo sviluppo sociale dei numerosissimi fratelli e sorelle romeni che operano sul nostro territorio e in tutta Italia>>.

Presenze e Programma

L’evento vedrà confluire a Lucca metropoliti e vescovi ortodossi dalla Romania, il metropolita ortodosso romeno di Parigi Josif, oltre a molti parroci e delegazioni delle parrocchie romene italiane ed estere. Saranno presenti anche diversi vescovi cattolici, rappresentanti dei vertici del Pontificio Consiglio per l’ecumenismo e vescovi di diverse città italiane. Il programma della giornata di giovedì 8 maggio, presso la chiesa di S. Anastasio, prevede alle 10 la divina liturgia e alle 12 il rito di intronizzazione della diocesi Ortodossa romena in Italia. Alle ore 21 nella chiesa di S. Anastasio il coro Bizantion di Issi offrirà un concerto di canti della Liturgia Bizantina Ortodossa, questo concerto è occasione preziosa per apprezzare la spiritualità ortodossa espressa dal canto.

(http://www.loschermo.it/articolo.php?idart=6705)
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The Politics of Faith
The Eastern Orthodox Church finds common ground in challenging ‘western’ policies


by Daniel Jianu
TRANSITIONS ONLINE
12 May 2008

ATHENS | The Eastern Orthodox Church is influencing international affairs again as it previously did during the NATO Kosovo campaign in 1999. Back then, the reactions of many Europeans reflected their cultural and religious backgrounds; many Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians, Cypriots and Russians were against the bombing of their Orthodox brethren in Serbia.

Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February, the reactions have more or less followed the same pattern. Among the countries most opposed to this declaration and seemingly most reluctant to recognize Kosovo's independence were again Russia, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. Under pressure from both Washington and Brussels to preserve stability in the region, Bulgaria's government did eventually recognize Kosovo's independence against many protests from the intellectual elite and large swathes of the general population.

“You are set to continue the course outlined by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin … in the aim of preserving our country’s unity … and opening up opportunities for building a state based on new democratic principles,” Patriarch Alexius told Dmitry Medvedev on 7 May as the new Russian president was presented with an icon at Moscow’s Cathedral of the Annunciation. Kremlin photo.

Though these countries have legitimate political and geo-strategic reasons justifying their reactions, there is no coincidence that they are all Eastern Orthodox Christian nations. Kosovo after all carries powerful mythic import as the cradle of Serbian Orthodox history, the place where Prince Lazar and his forces went down in defeat in 1389 against the encroaching Muslim Ottomans.

The divide between Eastern and Western Christendom has deep historical undercurrents that have lately spotlighted the close relations between church and state in Orthodox countries, and how this relationship affects European affairs. The Eastern Orthodox Church, unlike predominantly Protestant and to some extent Roman Catholic countries, does not have a particularly deep tradition of secular relations with states where it is the majority religion. As Graham E. Fuller wrote in the January/February issue of Foreign Policy magazine, “The culture of the Orthodox Church differs sharply from the Western post-Enlightenment ethos, which emphasizes secularism, capitalism, and the primacy of the individual.”

Read complete article at... / Llegiu l'article complet a... / Leed el artículo completo en...
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=268&NrSection=2&NrArticle=19604
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Un communiqué de l’Eglise russe sur l’Estonie et la commission mixte orthodoxe-catholique

ORTHODOXIE
17 mai 2008

Le département des relations extérieures du Patriarcat de Moscou a publié un communiqué qui revient sur la raison qui a poussé la délégation de l'Eglise russe à se retirer de la dernière assemblée de la commission mixte orthodoxe-catholique pour le dialogue théologique à Ravenne.

Dans celui-ci est posée la question de la reconnaissance du statut de plusieurs Eglises orthodoxes. En effet précise le communiqué «Seules les Eglises autocéphales et autonomes dont le statut est reconnu par l'ensemble des orthodoxes peuvent participer au dialogue orthodoxe-catholique.»

Une autre possibilité serait de faire participer au dialogue les Eglises dont l’autonomie ou l’autocéphalie est reconnue par plusieurs Eglises, et donc pas forcément par toutes. «Dans ce cas, il faut inviter à la commission pour le dialogue théologique l'Eglise orthodoxe d'Amérique et l'Eglise orthodoxe du Japon, aux côtés de la délégation de "l'Eglise orthodoxe apostolique d'Estonie", reconnue par le seul patriarcat de Constantinople. De même, il faut alors examiner la question de la participation au dialogue des Eglises autonomes qui composent le patriarcat de Moscou. Il s'agit de l'Eglise orthodoxe ukrainienne, de l'Eglise orthodoxe de Moldavie, de l'Eglise orthodoxe de Lettonie et de l'Eglise orthodoxe d'Estonie reconnue par le patriarcat de Moscou.»

Le texte propose aussi un compromis: «Une solution de compromis est possible. Elle suppose la participation des délégués des Eglises dont le statut n'est pas reconnu par l'ensemble de l'orthodoxie au sein de la délégation de leur Eglise mère. Ainsi, le représentant de la structure ecclésiale du Patriarcat de Constantinople en Estonie pourrait participer au travail de la commission faisant partie de la délégation du Patriarcat de Constantinople, tandis que les représentants de l'Eglise orthodoxe d'Amérique, de l'Eglise orthodoxe du Japon et des autres Eglises autonomes feraient partie de la délégation du Patriarcat de Moscou.»

(http://www.orthodoxie.com/2008/05/un-communiqu-de.html)
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Enviado - 29 mayo 2008 :  21:51:38  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
BELARUS
KGB pressure Orthodox not to venerate Soviet-era martyrs


By Geraldine Fagan
Forum 18 News Service, Oslo
12 May 2008

Belarus discourages the commemoration of Orthodox Christians killed for their faith by the Soviet Union, Forum 18 News Service has found. Today's KGB secret police have sought to have icons of the New Martyrs, as they are known by the Orthodox Church, removed from Grodno Cathedral. Russian Orthodox Deacon Andrei Kurayev told Forum 18 that "Some comrades from the local KGB asked local clergy why they were inciting the people in such a way." While there was no official order to remove the icons – "it was on the level of a chat" - Kurayev reported that Bishop Artemi (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk refused to take them down. "He told the KGB that he couldn't rewrite history." KGB officers also often monitor visitors to Kuropaty, where New Martyrs are probably among mass graves of Stalinist repression victims, a local Orthodox source told Forum 18. The act of going there – even to light candles - is "fraught with tension" with the current Belarusian regime, according to the source. An Orthodox chapel planned for the site has never been built.

A generation after the Soviet Union's demise, Belarusian state representatives continue to discourage commemoration of Orthodox Christians killed for their faith by the Soviet regime, Forum 18 News Service has found. The KGB secret police have sought to have icons of the New Martyrs, as they are known by the Orthodox Church, removed from at least one cathedral. Belarusian Orthodox Church representatives appear to be nervous about publicly acknowledging New Martyrs believed to be among the many victims of the Stalin-era secret police at the mass killing grounds of Kuropaty (Kurapaty) on the northern edge of the capital Minsk.

The Moscow-based St Tikhon Orthodox University estimates that approximately 90,000 Orthodox were killed for their faith by the Soviet state. Over 1,000 New Martyrs were formally canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in August 2000.

In the western city of Grodno [Hrodna], however, the KGB have advised local Orthodox clergy to remove New Martyr icons depicting Red Army executioners with rifles from the city's cathedral, leading Russian Orthodox missionary Deacon Andrei Kurayev told Forum 18 on 5 May. Visiting Grodno in late 2006, Kurayev learnt that, "Some comrades from the local KGB asked local clergy why they were inciting the people in such a way." While there was no official order to remove the icons from the Cathedral of the Protection of the Holy Veil – "it was on the level of a chat" - Kurayev also reported that Bishop Artemi (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk refused to take them down. "He told the KGB that he couldn't rewrite history."

A spokesperson at Grodno's KGB Department refused to provide information to Forum 18 by telephone on 8 May.

The ten icons in Grodno cathedral depict one-time bishops in Belarus killed by the Soviet regime elsewhere before the Second World War. Grodno was at this time in Poland.

"There is a certain circle of people who don't like these icons," dean of Grodno Fr Aleksandr Veliseichik would only comment on 5 May. "Similar to Christ in the Gospel," he told Forum 18, "let those who can read, understand."

Fr Aleksandr did point out to Forum 18 that icons may be removed only if they are not Orthodox, "but these were painted entirely according to church canons." He said some of the ten icons were copied from one in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour painted for the August 2000 canonisation of the New Martyrs and blessed by Patriarch Aleksi II (http://days.pravoslavie.ru/Images/im609.htm).

Others – such as that of St Pavlin, Bishop of Mogilev (1879-1937) – are new depictions produced at St Elizabeth Women's Monastery outside Minsk (http://orthos.org/grodno/gev/june2006/images/5_st_pavl_b.jpg).

Aleksandr Shursky, editor of Grodno's Orthodox diocesan newspaper, stated to Forum 18 only that there was "no official appeal from KGB representatives" on 22 April. He acknowledged, however, that "many Party workers of the old formation could not possibly like such icons."

The Belarusian KGB – which has not changed its name since Soviet times - has made no attempt to distance itself from its Soviet past. It proudly traces its history back to the first Soviet secret police, the Cheka, which was founded by Felix Dzerzhinsky. In the 1920s "Chekists stood shoulder to shoulder with the entire Belarusian people in resolving the most difficult and pressing economic and social tasks before them," its official website maintains, before claiming that the organisation was actually a victim of Stalin's purges in the 1930s: "23,000 Chekists were repressed - the very best professionals, moreover, Dzerzhinsky's comrades, outstanding people with rich and sensitive souls, selflessly serving the Motherland and fighting for a bright future for their country."

KGB officers also often monitor visitors to Kuropaty, a wooded area on the northern outskirts of Minsk, a local Orthodox source told Forum 18 on 5 May. Possibly 100,000 victims of Stalin's purges are thought to have been shot and buried at Kuropaty in 1937-41, but no archaeological research has been conducted at the site since the 1990s. The act of going there – even to light candles - is "fraught with tension" with the current regime, according to the source.

During the 1920s-30s over 20 clergy - including 3 bishops - were shot in Minsk for their faith, states research by local church historian Fr Feodor Krivonos cited in a 2001 Minsk Orthodox parish directory. Contacted by Forum 18 on 8 May, Fr Feodor described the question of whether Kuropaty could be considered a New Martyr burial site as "very difficult". Other than to confirm that Belarusian New Martyrs were killed in Belarus as well as Russia, he preferred not to discuss the subject by telephone.

Andrei Petrashkevich, Minsk Orthodox diocesan press secretary, told Forum 18 on 8 May that, "We have no information on whether there are New Martyrs canonised by the Church at Kuropaty."

Local Orthodox parishioner Anatoli Kuznetsov believes Kuropaty to be a New Martyr burial site. Icons painted on a number of rocks there include five Belarusian priests martyred in Minsk in 1937-8, he told Forum 18 on 8 May. "And Kuropaty is where people were shot."

Several icon rocks feature in footage of restoration work at Kuropaty following vandalism, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MunN2dCqoN0.

Visiting Minsk in June 2001, Patriarch Aleksi gave his blessing for the nearby Orthodox parish of the Resurrection to build a chapel at Kuropaty. A 2001 directory of Minsk Orthodox churches describes the parish's affiliate chapel of Our Saviour Not Made by Human Hands as "being built at the mass burial site of repression victims (Kuropaty)."

No Orthodox chapel has been built to date, however. An open-air "chapel" area contains the icon rocks and two high crosses erected by Anatoli Kuznetsov in February 2006 and May 2007, he told Forum 18. As Resurrection Orthodox parish's custodian of the site, Kuznetsov has visited Kuropaty daily for nearly five years.

Plans for a chapel as blessed by the patriarch were altered because Metropolitan Filaret (Vakhromeyev) of Minsk and Slutsk, who heads the Belarusian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), gave a further blessing for it to be built instead at Resurrection Church - approximately 1km (half a mile) away in Minsk city - Kuznetsov told Forum 18. "There was no explanation why – only that it should be moved."

The initiative of Resurrection parish, the Kuropaty chapel plans have not been realised because parishioners have been concentrating on finishing their own church building, the Orthodox Church's press secretary Petrashkevich told Forum 18. "The question remains open – although it hasn't been discussed recently," he remarked. "That's all I can say."

The situation surrounding Kuropaty is in sharp contrast to that at another site of mass executions at Butovo on the outskirts of Moscow. Of at least 20,000 Soviet repression victims shot and buried there, almost 1,000 have so far been verified as martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church. Visiting the site in October 2007, then President Vladimir Putin attended a memorial service led by Patriarch Aleksi at a church dedicated to the Butovo New Martyrs and Confessors. Hundreds of clergy attend the annual commemoration of their feast day.

To Forum 18's knowledge, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has never mentioned Kuropaty publicly.

The 2001 Minsk Orthodox parish directory also states that Resurrection Church holds services alongside Kuropaty at 2pm on particular days in the Orthodox calendar set aside for prayer for the dead. On one of these, Radonitsa (the ninth day after Easter), the memorial service this year was held at Resurrection Church itself, however, Forum 18 was told by a female parishioner on 6 May. Kuropaty custodian Kuznetsov told Forum 18 that services are not held at the site because "the question hasn't arisen."

Orthodox memorial services are usually held in church buildings, Belarusian Orthodox Church press secretary Petrashkevich maintained to Forum 18. While acknowledging that Radonitsa services are normally held at cemeteries or burial sites, "I have no information as to whether they are held at Kuropaty," he added.

Separated from the Moscow Patriarchate and outside the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA) was free to canonise the New Martyrs in November 1981. The ROCA took the Moscow Patriarchate's continued failure to venerate the New Martyrs as a sign of compliance with Soviet ideology. It formed one of the main obstacles to reconciliation, finally overcome in a formal Act of Canonical Communion signed in Moscow on 17 May 2007.

The influence of Soviet-style militant atheism also remains strong among state officials in Belarus (see F18News 18 November 2003 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=186).

Although President Lukashenko publicly stresses the role of Orthodoxy, Forum 18 has found little evidence of state support for the Belarusian Orthodox Church (see F18News 10 August 2006 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=826). The Church's leadership publicly supported the harsh 2002 Religion Law, under which home worship by its own adherents has been targeted by the Belarusian state for the first time since the Soviet period (see F18News 6 June 2007 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=971).

Even during the recent reconciliation process between the churches, Belarusian Orthodox Church representatives have sought to restrict worship by local ROCA parishioners (see most recently F18News 22 October 2006 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=862). (END)

For more background information see Forum 18's Belarus religious freedom survey at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=888.

Full reports on freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Belarus can be found at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?query=&religion=all&country=16.

A survey of the religious freedom decline in the eastern part of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) area is at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=806.

(http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1127)
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Serbie :Le Saint-Synode de l’Eglise orthodoxe serbe destitue le patriarche Pavle I

LA LETTRE DU COURRIER DES PAYS DE L’EST
N° 46 – mai 2008

Depuis novembre 2007, le patriarche Pavle I, 93 ans, agonise à l’hôpital militaire de Belgrade. Durant le week-end des 17 et 18 mai 2008, le synode l’a sommé de choisir entre l’abdication et la destitution. Devant son refus de se retirer, le Saint Synode a organisé un «putsch», certains observateurs qualifiant ainsi sa décision d’assurer la direction de l’Eglise jusqu’à l’élection d’un nouveau patriarche. Pavle I, nommé patriarche en 1990, avait d’abord soutenu la politique agressive de Slobodan Milosevic contre la Croatie et la Bosnie-et-Herzégovine. Mais contrairement aux ultra-nationalistes, il s’était prononcé en faveur des accords de Dayton/Paris en 1995 et s’était tourné, dès lors, vers l’opposition démocratique. Tiraillée entre nationalisme et pragmatisme, l’Eglise orthodoxe serbe a gagné en influence durant les mandats du Premier ministre conservateur Vojislav Kostunica, notamment à propos de la question du Kosovo où se trouvent ses monastères les plus importants. A sa tête s’est imposé le métropolite du Monténégro Mgr Amfilophije qui désire prendre la succession de Pavle I. Personnalité controversée en raison de sa proximité avec la famille de Radovan Karadzic et de ses discours sur la politique «anti-serbe» de l’Occident, il doit cependant affronter un autre candidat, le métropolite de Zagreb, de Ljubljana et de l’Italie, Jovan Pavlovic, tenu pour modéré. Alors que depuis le 11 mai 2008, les Serbes attendent avec impatience la fin des négociations entre partis politiques en vue de la formation d’un gouvernement qui sera soit pro-européen, soit ultra-nationaliste, l’Eglise, elle, doit aussi faire son choix.

(http://www.ladocumentationfrancaise.fr/revues-collections/courrier-pays-est/lettre/lettre46.shtml?xtor=EPR-529)
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Eglise orthodoxe de Roumanie: Teofan Savu, métropolite de la Moldavie et de la Bucovine

ROUMANIE.COM / Rompres
juin 2008

Teofan Savu, le 80e métropolite de la Moldavie et de la Bucovine, a été intronisé dimanche à Iasi (nord-est de la Roumanie), en présence de milliers de fidèles et d’hommes politiques, informe les journaux Romania libera et Evenimentul Zilei.

Teofan Savu a été intronisé archevêque de Iasi et métropolite de la Moldavie et de la Bucovine en présence du patriarche de l’Église orthodoxe de Roumanie, Daniel, cérémonie à laquelle ont participé des membres du Saint Synode de l’Église orthodoxe roumaine. Le président Traian Basescu, présent à cette manifestation, a lu le décret présidentiel qui confirmait la désignation en fonction du nouveau métropolite.

Environ 8000 pèlerins sont arrivés dimanche matin à la cathédrale de l’Église métropolitaine de la Moldavie et de la Bucovine pour assister à la cérémonie d’intronisation.

(http://www.roumanie.com/Eglise_Religion-Eglise-orthodoxe-roumaine-Teofan-Savu-metropolite-Moldavie-Bucovine-A2838.html)
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Enviado - 26 junio 2008 :  22:42:02  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Roumanie: l'Eglise orthodoxe à l'heure du multimédia

AFP, 23-06-2008

BUCAREST (AFP) — Chaîne de télévision, radio, un quotidien, plusieurs sites internet et, à partir de cette semaine, une agence de presse: critiquée par certains pour son conservatisme, l'Eglise orthodoxe roumaine se met à l'heure du multimédia.

"Si Saint Paul avait été notre contemporain, il aurait utilisé non seulement la nef, mais aussi l'avion", a déclaré le patriarche Daniel dans une interview, en expliquant que l'Eglise entendait préserver la tradition, mais "de manière dynamique".

Ainsi, si les fidèles veulent retrouver la paix intérieure en écoutant des prières ou la messe sans toutefois aller à l'église, c'est la radio Trinitas qui les porte sur ses ondes.

Entre l'"Atlas biblique", une émission qui se propose de faire découvrir au public la richesse de la Bible, et la messe du soir, Trinitas, une radio à couverture nationale, diffusée également sur internet, accueille ses fidèles avec des informations religieuses, mais aussi économiques, politiques ou sportives.

"L'Euro-2008 est en cours et il est normal que les auditeurs de Trinitas soient intéressés par les résultats", a déclaré à l'AFP le prêtre Constantin Stoica, porte-parole du patriarcat.

Selon lui, ce "centre de presse" représente en ce moment "le moyen missionnaire le plus important de l'Eglise, vu l'impact des médias".

Un click sur le site de l'agence Basilica permet ainsi aux fidèles de se mettre au courant des dernières informations religieuses, allant de la bénédiction du nouveau maire de Bucarest par le patriarche à la rencontre d'un archevêque grec avec le sénateur américain John McCain.

Ce courant "journalistique-religieux" avait été apporté au sein de l'Eglise orthodoxe par Mgr Daniel, 57 ans, docteur de l'Institut de théologie de Strasbourg et professeur entre 1980 et 1988 à l'Institut oecuménique de Bossey (Suisse), désigné patriarche en septembre dernier.

Fondateur d'une radio et d'un quotidien alors qu'il était métropolite de Moldavie, il avait décidé aussitôt après son intronisation de créer un vrai groupe de presse, Basilica, financé par le patriarcat ainsi que par les fidèles.

"Le fond reste le même, mais les formes de manifestation de l'Eglise dans la société changent pour être en consonance avec les temps que nous vivons", explique père Stoica.

Le théologien Petre Guran salue de son côté la création de Basilica, estimant que cela peut aider "à la récupération de la culture religieuse", que les Roumains ont perdue sous le communisme, quand de milliers de prêtres, orthodoxes ou appartenant à d'autres cultes, avaient été emprisonnés et des dizaines d'églises démolies.

Selon lui, cette forme moderne de missionnairisme touche un grand nombre de personnes et permet de mieux comprendre la parole de Dieu.

En revanche, le sociologue Mircea Kivu estime que l'impact de ce groupe de presse est "très limité", car "la relation avec la divinité est directe, surtout chez les orthodoxes". "Ecouter la messe à la radio ou à la télévision représente pour les fidèles une forme de désacralisation", dit-il.

Les Roumains, orthodoxes à 90%, "vont à l'Église pour prier dans la maison du Seigneur, pas devant la télé, un lieu profane", insiste-t-il.

Père Stoica assure néanmoins que les réactions des fidèles à la création du groupe de presse ont été très favorables et estime que cela permet d'une certaine manière à l'Eglise de récupérer sa "place et son rôle naturel" au sein de la société.

(http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iRhnxIc9Ud4cCVwoUh0x19bEiVHA)
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Enviado - 26 junio 2008 :  22:45:25  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Orthodoxie-Catholicisme: des alliés dans la protection des valeurs morales

RIA Novosti, Moscou
23/ 06/ 2008

MOSCOU, 23 juin. RIA Novosti. - L'Eglise orthodoxe russe considère l'Eglise catholique romaine comme son principal allié dans la lutte pour la protection des valeurs morales chrétiennes, a annoncé le métropolite Cyrille de Smolensk et de Kaliningrad, président du département des relations ecclésiastiques extérieures du patriarcat de Moscou.

"Le dialogue que nous menons avec l'Eglise catholique romaine me semble le plus prometteur sur ce plan", a-t-il affirmé dans une interview accordée à l'approche du Concile épiscopal de l'Eglise orthodoxe russe.

Selon le métropolite, ce dialogue "aide les deux Eglises à défendre conjointement les valeurs traditionnelles chrétiennes, à organiser correctement les relations sociales et familiales, et à protéger les droits de l'homme".

"Dans ces domaines, nos Eglises partagent une position commune", a constaté le porte-parole du patriarcat de Moscou.

Selon lui, la principale menace pour la morale chrétienne consiste actuellement dans "l'offensive lancée par l'idéologie séculière", dans l'éviction de la religion de la vie publique vers la vie privée, ainsi que dans la "libéralisation catastrophique de nombreuses communautés chrétiennes", en premier lieu des Eglises protestantes bénissant les mariages homosexuels.

Dans le même temps, le métropolite Cyrille a pointé une série de problèmes persistants dans les relations entre l'Eglise orthodoxe russe et l'Eglise catholique romaine. Il s'agit notamment du conflit entre les diocèses orthodoxes et les communautés grecques catholiques d'Ukraine occidentale, et du prosélytisme pratiqué par certains représentants de l'Eglise catholique parmi les populations orthodoxes de Russie et de certains autres pays membres de la CEI (Communauté des Etats indépendants).

(http://fr.rian.ru/society/20080623/111709075.html)
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Enviado - 08 julio 2008 :  14:22:45  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Russian Orthodox Church Sets Tone On Human Rights

By Anna Siskova
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
June 30, 2008

A gathering of the Bishops' Council, the top administrative body of the Russian Orthodox Church, has concluded in Moscow with the adoption of a key document on freedom and human rights.

The document, called the Basic Principles of the Russian Church Teaching on Human Dignity, Freedom, and Rights, was adopted on June 26 following two years of discussion.

Described by one of its drafters, Orthodox political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, as a "powerful philosophical institution designed to influence the legal model of the Russian state," the principles at times present a direct challenge to widely accepted concepts of human rights.

The church, for example, says abortion and homosexuality cannot be defended as basic rights. Such issues are seen as a product of the Western notion of human rights, which church representatives argue does not apply to Russia and should be replaced by Orthodox principles.

To that end, the Moscow Patriarchate has invited Russian and international human rights activists for a "full-scale" discussion of the basic principles. It has also called for a reexamination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

The basic principles also include tenets on a wide range of issues, including blasphemy (which "shall not be justified by the rights of artist, writer, or journalist"), foreign relations (civilizations "should not impose their lifestyle patterns on other civilizations"), and the relationship between state and citizen ("manipulation of people's conscience and choice by government agencies, political powers, economic and information elites is dangerous for the society").

Yakov Krotov, the host of a RFE/RL Russian Service program on religion and Christianity, is critical of the new principles, which he says place the rights of society as a whole above those of individuals.

"That is something that no Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant from the West would ever say, that society should be more important than an individual human being, and that love for the motherland is more important than human rights," Krotov says.

The new document comes at a time when the Russian Orthodox Church is enjoying massive influence in Kremlin policymaking.

President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral on June 29, claimed rising public interest in Orthodoxy is a "positive consequence of the church's revival, and of the serious changes in the life of the church." (The Bishops' Council, which was last held in 2004, this year included for the first time a delegation from the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which reunited with the Russian church last year after a schism of nearly 90 years.)

Critics of the new document, however, say the Orthodox Church is deeply out of touch with social reality, and that the new basic principles will have little impact on ordinary life.

"[Church leaders] don't see what's really happening in secular society," said Boris Falikov, a professor of comparative religion at the Russian State University for the Humanities. "They're basically fighting for their own ideas, which are largely imaginary, about what's going on there."

(http://www.rferl.org/Content/Russian_Orthodox_Church_Sets_Tone_Human_Rights/1181014.html)
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Enviado - 04 agosto 2008 :  14:54:26  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Patriarca de Constantinopla llega para celebrar la evangelización de Ucrania

Terra Actualidad - EFE
25-07-2008

El Patriarca Ortodoxo de Constantinopla, Bartolomeo I, llegó hoy a Ucrania para asistir este fin de semana a las celebraciones oficiales con motivo del 1.020 aniversario de la cristianización de este país eslavo.

Bartolomeo I se reunió con el presidente ucraniano, Víctor Yúschenko, y ofició misas en la Laura de Kiev y la Catedral de Sofía por la evangelización de la antigua 'Rus de Kiev', el estado precursor de la actual Ucrania y partes de Rusia y Bielorrusia.

'Su visita honra a todos los cristianos ortodoxos de Ucrania y da un fuerte impulso para la unidad y la concordia de las iglesias ortodoxas del país', declaró Yúschenko al recibir al Patriarca de Constantinopla, según la agencia Unian.

Bartolomeo I respondió que el Patriarcado de Constantinopla, 'cuna de la ortodoxia y centro de enlace entre todos los cristianos ortodoxos del mundo', desea 'ayudar a las iglesias hermanas de Ucrania y conducirlas a la paz y la unidad'.

El caso es que en Ucrania, país con 47 millones de habitantes, funcionan tres iglesias ortodoxas, la principal de ellas subordinada a Rusia, cuyas relaciones canínicas entre sí siguen sin arreglarse.

Son la todavía poderosa Iglesia Ortodoxa Ucraniana del Patriarcado de Moscú (11.000 parroquias), la Iglesia Ortodoxa de Ucrania (3.000) y la Iglesia Ortodoxa Autocéfala de Ucrania (más de 500).

Yúschenko, quien pretende librarse de toda influencia de Rusia, planea unificar a las tres en una iglesia independiente de Moscú y cuenta con el respaldo del Patriarca de Constantinopla, aunque choca con el rechazo del jerarca ortodoxo ruso, Alejo II.

El Patriarca ruso viajaró el sábado a Ucrania para asistir a los festejos, pero ya hoy Moscú acusó a Kiev de 'faltar el respeto al cabeza de la Iglesia Rusa y a millones de creyentes rusos', por recibir por todo lo alto a Bartolomeo I y 'silenciar' la visita de Alejo II.

La Iglesia Ortodoxa rusa, por su parte, acusó a las autoridades ucranianas de intentar 'privatizar la historia de la antigua Rus', y a sus grandes protagonistas: la princesa Olga y su nieto, el príncipe Vladímir, quien cristianizó al país hace 1.020 años.

'Declarar patrimonio nacional de un solo pueblo la hazaña de Santa Olga y Santo Vladímir es como declararse el único descendiente de Adán y Eva', dijo en Moscú el obispo Mark, jefe adjunto del departamento de Relaciones Exteriores del Patriarcado ruso.

Añadió que 'todos los pueblos de la Gran Rus (Rusia), Pequeña Rus (Ucrania) y Rus Blanca (Bielorrusia) hemos salido de la misma pila bautismal de Kiev y hemos recibido juntos el bautizo', según la agencia rusa Interfax.

Según la historiografía tradicional, el príncipe Vladímir de Kiev decidió en el año 988 asumir el cristianismo por la Iglesia de Constantinopla, cuyo Patriarca envió al clero ortodoxo que bautizó a los habitantes del país en las aguas del río Dnieper.

(http://actualidad.terra.es/sociedad/articulo/patriarca-constantinopla-ucrania-2646211.htm)
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Enviado - 09 agosto 2008 :  22:37:26  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Le patriarche Daniel de Roumanie sur la question de l'intercommunion

ORTHODOXIE
23 juillet 2008

L'agence du Patriarcat de Roumanie Basilica a mis en ligne une déclaration du patriarche Daniel de Roumanie, faite lors de la récente réunion du Saint-Synode, sur la question de l'intercommunion. Extraits:

"(...) Il est nécessaire que le Saint-Synode de l'Eglise orthodoxe roumaine réaffirme, sur la base de l'unité de la foi et de l'unité de l'Eglise, qu'on ne permet à aucun membre du clergé ou à des laïcs orthodoxes de recevoir la communion eucharistique dans une Eglise autre que l'Eglise orthodoxe, et ceux qui l'ont déjà fait ne doivent pas recommencer.

Cependant, par cette mesure disciplinaire canonique, nous ne souhaitons pas diffamer, ni montrer de l'arrogance et du dédain à l'égard des autres chrétiens, ou interrompre le dialogue théologique et la coopération pratique dans le secteur social et caritatif, mais au contraire, nous considérons que, par un dialogue théologique sincère et profond, les dogmes qui séparent les Eglises catholique et orthodoxe peuvent être redéfinis. En même temps, il est nécessaire que le clergé, les laïcs et le moines orthodoxes s'abstiennent d'employer à la légère et avec passion des termes lourds tels que «hérésie», «hérétiques», «apostasie» et «trahison» à l'encontre d'autres orthodoxes ou d'autres chrétiens, parce que souvent sous le prétexte de défendre l'orthodoxie, nous corrompons notre âme en séparant la vraie foi de l'humble amour chrétien. En fait, nous oublions que nous devons «confesser la vérité dans l'amour» (Ephésiens 4, 15), pour défendre et favoriser «la foi agissant par l'amour» (Galates 5, 6), comme le saint apôtre Paul nous l'enseigne.
(...)
L'Eglise orthodoxe roumaine a toujours été paisible, a vécu pendant des siècles avec des personnes d'autres milieux ethniques et d'autres croyances religieuses, défendant la vraie foi sans humilier autrui. Notre église sait également respecter les lois de la Roumanie d'aujourd'hui, qui interdisent de diffamer et de créer des tensions entre les croyances et favorisent le respect réciproque entre elles. (...)"

Pour lire et télécharger la déclaration complète en roumain, cliquezsur ce lien:
http://www.basilica.ro/_upload/doc/12156183329988619435.pdf .

(http://www.orthodoxie.com/2008/07/lagence-du-patr.html)
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Enviado - 29 agosto 2008 :  22:22:26  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Macedonia-Greece: Premier demands UN mediate in Church dispute

ADNKRONOS INTERNATIONAL
12.08.2008

Skopje, 12 August (AKI) – Macedonia's prime minister Nikola Gruevski on Tuesday requested United Nations mediation in a dispute between the Macedonian and Greek Orthodox Churches.

Ahead of new round of talks on Macedonia’s name to be held in New York on Thursday and Friday, Gruevski wrote to UN mediator Matthew Nimitz demanding that the recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church by its Greek sister be included in the talks.

Gruevski said in the letter to Nimitz that Serbian clergy had blocked recognition of the Macedonian church because it was strongly under the influence of the Greek Church.

“An important part of the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been schooled, financed and spent considerable time in the Greek churches and monasteries and has remained under their influence,” Gruevski said.

He pointed out that the problem was that Greek Church in fact wasn’t separated from the state and that its non recognition was a part of the “Greek negation of Macedonian identity.”

Greece blocked Macedonia’s entry into NATO at the summit in Bucharest last April, demanding that Macedonia change its name, which, according to Athens, implies territorial pretensions towards northern Greek province with the same name.

The Skopje government refuses to change the country's name and the 17-year-old dispute has hampered relations between the two Balkan neighbours.

Before the break up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Macedonian Christians were a part of the Serbian Orthodox Church, but declared autonomy in 1963.

The Macedonian Orthodox Church, however, hasn’t been recognized by other Orthodox Churches, including the Greek one.

Adding another hot issue to the long-running name dispute, Gruevski demanded that the airport in the northern Greek city of Salonica should drop “Macedonia” from its current name.

The Athens government earlier objected to the airport in Macedonian capital Skopje being named after the famous Greek warrior Alexander the Great.

(http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Religion/?id=1.0.2410946028)
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Enviado - 17 noviembre 2008 :  11:45:25  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
No love lost between neighbouring Balkan churches

By Thomas Brey
Monsters and Critics.com
September 23, 2008

Belgrade - There has been very little of turn thy cheek or love thy neighbour in the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) over the turbulent past year, but instead, plenty of fighting, backstabbing and hostility.

In Belgrade, the capricious hardline Kosovo Bishop Artemije openly went against the Holy Synod, the church government, when it tried to restrain his heavy-handed tactics which led to fistfights among monks in the holy Visoki Decani monastery.

To the west, two years after the tiny republic Montenegro claimed independence from Serbia, its clergy also wants to break away from Belgrade's rule.

There, in the northern town Niksic, police had to intervene against pro-Serbian demonstrators blocking the symbolic start of labour on a monastery of the splinter-church.

Through it all, the ailing, 94-year-old nead of the SPC, Patriarch Pavle, helplessly watched from his hospital bed, while bishops have started jockeying for position to grab his throne.

At the centre of all crises stands Bishiop Amfilohije, 70, the head of the SPC in Montenegro and the young state's public enemy number one, as well as Artemije's rival and the most likely heir to Pavle.

The liberal Belgrade weekly Vreme described Amfilohije - who hotly supported Serbia in all wars of the 90s from the position of far- right nationalism - as a 'robed warrior.'

War 'fascinates' Amfilohije, who sees it as 'Man's destiny,' and who has 'dragged God's name into the bloody Balkan mudbath in which all human values were lost,' the paper commented.

'Amfilohije is a misfortune ... hiding behind God's words and devil's acts,' the Montenegrin parliament speaker Ranko Krivokapic thundered in remarks against the bearded priest in an interview with the Sarajevo weekly Dani.

It was 'major pity' that the UN war crimes tribunal did not indict 'warmongers' from the Serbian church, Krivokapic said, while accusing Amfilohije of standing 'for extreme nationalism, sheltering of war criminals amd propaganda for crime and fratricide.'

The bishop responded in kind, saying the voters would punish Krivokapic's 'parasitic' Social Democratic Party, a junior member of the ruling coalition, and 'send it to history.'

A resident of Montenegro's old, highland capital Cetinje, Amfilohije also lambasted the country's police as 'unprofessional' over its arrest of 65 Serbs who blocked the Montenegrin Mitropolite Mihajlo from laying a cornerstone for the new monastery in Niksic.

In an open letter to the interior ministry he called Mihajlo, the head of the breakway church, 'a damned ex-priest.'

The bitterness of Serb priests at their Montenegrin brethren exploded in the wake of the effort by the latter to regain their self-government, which they voluntarily ceded after having it for centuries, by joining SPC when Yugoslavia was formed 90 years ago in the aftermath of World War I.

Along with independence, the Montegerin priests also want to retrieve all property, churches and monasteries, which had been run by SPC since the end of the war.

A similarly tense scenario has been unfolding south of Serbia, in Macedonia, another former Yugoslav republic, where the orthodox church has been trying to become autocephalic since the 1960s.

New moves by the Macedonian church, unrecognized and anathemized by SPC, are expected when its assembly meets next month.

(http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/features/article_1432502.php/No_love_lost_between_neighbouring_Balkan_churches__Feature__)
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Enviado - 05 diciembre 2008 :  13:15:46  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Muere Alexis II, Patriarca de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa
El líder de los cristianos ortodoxos rusos ha fallecido a los 79 años en Moscú


ELPAÍS.com / AGENCIAS - Madrid / Moscú
05/12/2008

Alexis II, Patriarca de Moscú y de Todas las Rusias y primado de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa, ha fallecido en Moscú a los 79 años, según ha informado un portavoz de la Iglesia esta mañana. "El Patriarca Alexis ha muerto. Ocurrió hoy por la mañana", ha informado el portavoz. El cabeza de la Iglesia Ortodoxa rusa tenía un historial de problemas del corazón.

El Patriarca, nacido Alexéi Mijáilovich Rüdiger en Estonia, hijo de emigrantes rusos y nobles alemanes bálticos, encabezaba la mayor de las 15 confesiones ortodoxas con 135 millones de fieles desde 1990. Según la prensa rusa, su posible sucesor será el metropólita Kiril de Smolensk y Kaliningrado, jefe del departamento del Exterior eclesiástico de la Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa.

Fue el primer Patriarca soviético en ser elegido sin presión del Gobierno, a un año de que cayera la URSS. Desde su elección, instó al Gobierno soviético a introducir la religión en los colegios y pidió una "ley de libertad de conciencia". Durante el golpe de Estado contra Gorbachov en 1991, denunció a los golpistas, instó al Ejército a mantener la calma y a evitar un baño de sangre en repetidas ocasiones y pidió que permitieran al presidente depuesto dirigirse a la nación. El que fuera último presidente de la URSS se ha mostrado "conmocionado" esta mañana y ha asegurado "respetar profundamente" al Patriarca.

Relaciones con la Iglesia Católica

Durante su mandato, Alexis fue un firme defensor del papel preponderante de la Iglesia en la sociedad rusa, pese a que la Constitución estipula que Rusia es un Estado multiconfesional integrado por ortodoxos, musulmanes, judíos y budistas. Mantuvo además unas relaciones muy difíciles con la Iglesia Católica, en particular, con el anterior Pontífice, Juan Pablo II, nacido en Polonia, al que acusó de promover el proselitismo en la zona de influencia de la Iglesia Ortodoxa en Rusia y Europa del Este. Las relaciones mejoraron con la llegada de Benedicto XVI al Vaticano, con quien afirmó compartir principios morales.

Fue acusado desde varias instancias de haber sido informador del KGB, extremo que el Patriarcado de Moscú ha negado siempre. El Patriarca sí reconoció que las autoridades religiosas llegaron a acuerdos con el Gobierno soviético y pidió perdón y comprensión a todos aquellos a los que la complicidad de la Iglesia pudo causar daño durante una entrevista en 1991.

Tenía fama de persona conciliadora, pero enérgica, sistemática y trabajadora. Durante su patriarcado, fueron rehabilitados nuevos santos y mártires perseguidos por el régimen comunista. En el año 2000, elevó a los altares al último zar, Nicolás II, y a su familia.

(http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/Muere/Alexis/II/Patriarca/Iglesia/Ortodoxa/Rusa/elpepuint/20081205elpepuint_6/Tes)
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Enviado - 16 diciembre 2008 :  10:07:13  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Serbian Orthodox Church faces key decision

Reporting by Adam Tanner
Editing by Timothy Heritage
REUTERS
November 8, 2008

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Four months after Serbia swore in a pro-Europe government in a move away from its nationalist past, the Serbian Orthodox Church is deciding whether to stick to its hardline course or become more moderate.

The new face of a church that has long defined Serbs' national identity will emerge after elders decide at a meeting on Tuesday whether to accept the resignation of ailing 94-year-old Patriarch Pavle and choose a successor.

If his resignation is accepted, a new patriarch will be chosen some time in the next three months.

"Now Serbia is after war, after bombing, now Serbia is a very normal democratic country and everything has changed in this country -- only not the church," said Zivica Tucic, the Belgrade-based editor of an independent publication on the church. "It was not possible with the old patriarch."

Patriarch Pavle was elected to the church's top position in 1990 during the dying days of Yugoslavia.

He presided as Serbs warred with neighbors during the 1990s in Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Kosovo, with his priests often blessing soldiers heading to battle those from other religions.

Patriarch Pavle was the one who gave late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic the green light to negotiate an end to the 1992-95 Bosnian conflict on behalf of all Serbs.

Serbs, Croats and Bosnia's Muslims are divided by their religion -- Croats are mainly Catholic and Serbs are predominantly Orthodox. With the Balkan nations still sorting out their place in the world, religion has a big influence.

"The Serbian Orthodox Church still plays a major role in Serbian society," said Paul Mojzes, author of "Yugoslavian Inferno: Ethnoreligious Warfare in the Balkans."

He said the Church was likely to remain "highly visible" as long as Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia on February 17, remained an issue and questions remained about the future of the Bosnian Serb half of Bosnia.

THREAT TO STABILITY?

These issues could still threaten peace in the Balkans at a time when Serbia needs stability to attract foreign investment and eventually join the European Union.

EU accession is a goal of the coalition government sworn in on July 7 after an election in which the pro-EU Democratic Party emerged as the largest party, suggesting voters want Serbia to take its place in the European mainstream.

Pavle stepped aside from running the Church earlier this year and nationalist Metropolitan Amfilohije Radovic became acting head.

"If the Metropolitan of Montenegro, Amfilohije, becomes patriarch, the church remains on the same hardline nationalistic course," said Vjekoslav Perica, author of "Balkan Idols: Religion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States."

"If he loses, the new Serbia as shown in the last elections becomes more likely. However, the Church will not change its line regarding Kosovo."

Kosovo is the cradle of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian nation.

Its independence has been recognized by the United States and other countries. But Serbia and historically Orthodox Russia and Greece are among those that refuse to recognize Kosovo, where more than 90 percent of people are ethnic Albanians.

"Serbia's whole history is there, it is its spiritual center," Amfilohije told Reuters in an interview last month.

The Orthodox bishop in Kosovo has ordered his priests not to talk to Albanian and international officials there for fear that this might suggest they recognize Kosovo's independence.

Mojzes expects the new patriarch will be able to influence Serbia's Kosovo policy.

"If a hard-liner becomes patriarch, then it (policy) will remain very confrontational," he said.

A more moderate candidate, he said, could shift the focus on to expanding the civil and religious liberties of Serbs who live in Kosovo.

OTHER CANDIDATES

Several others, including Metropolitan Nikolaj Mrdja in Bosnia, are seen as candidates.

"Several possible successors could lead the Serbian Orthodox Church into a much more rigid posture," said Mojzes, a Protestant U.S. scholar who grew up in Yugoslavia.

"This would likely be the case if Metropolitan Amfilohije ... were to be elected or a much more sophisticated, gentler posture if someone like Bishop Irinej Bulovic of Backa were to be elected."

Amfilohije, who estimates worldwide Serbian Orthodox membership at 9 to 10 million, denied the Church could have done more to avert the spread of the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

"During these war circumstances, including during the First and Second World Wars, the Church was also focused on tending to the suffering of the soul," he told Reuters at his headquarters in Cetinje, Montenegro.

"It does not support military activities but it helps people who are suffering."

Whoever becomes patriarch, change is unlikely to be fast.

"I don't expect straightforward changes in church policy," said Radmila Radic, a biographer of Patriarch Pavle. "The Church is a conservative, slow-changing institution.

(© Thomson Reuters 2008. - http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE4A807K20081109?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true)
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Enviado - 26 diciembre 2008 :  16:09:08  Mostrar perfil  Responder con Cita
Les grands défis du futur patriarche de Moscou
Le successeur d'Alexis II, disparu la semaine dernière, sera désigné fin janvier.
Au cœur de sa mission: les rapports avec l'Etat russe et avec l'Occident


Jean-François Colosimo, théologicien
LE FIGARO MAGAZINE, Paris
12/12/2008

Tel un Moïse de l'après-communisme, Alexis II a guidé son peuple hors du pays de l'esclavage et lui a fait traverser le désert. A la manière de Moïse, il n'était pas un rhéteur, mais avait ses conversations avec l'Eternel. Et, comme Moïse, il n'aura que vu de loin la Terre promise vers laquelle il dirigeait les siens. Mais le défunt patriarche de toutes les Russies a fait rentrer dans l'histoire et dans le monde une Eglise qui en était sortie sous la plus grande persécution jamais endurée au cours de vingt siècles de christianisme. Une Eglise qui, à l'heure où son pasteur trouve ce repos dont seuls ceux qui ont mené à bien une mission réputée impossible savent tout le prix, peut envisager demain. Car il l'a conduite au carrefour des chemins.

En un peu moins de deux décennies, alors qu'il avait hérité d'une orthodoxie à l'agonie au sein d'une Russie exsangue, Alexis II a sauvé l'unité du patriarcat de Moscou qui était menacée de toutes parts. Il a su éviter son explosion sous les coups de boutoir des nationalismes qui désagrégeaient l'ancien empire soviétique. Il a prévenu son implosion face aux tensions antagoniques des ultras, progressistes ou traditionalistes, qui agitaient le risque de schismes. Il a réussi, enfin, à sceller l'union avec la part la plus tsariste de l'émigration, l'Eglise russe hors frontières. Cette passion pour l'unité aura été d'autant plus cruciale que, sous son pontificat, les baptêmes se seront comptés par millions et la réouverture de lieux de culte, par milliers. Sans triomphalisme pour autant. Car la convergence relative entre l'Eglise et l'Etat qu'Alexis II a fini par endosser ne saurait cacher les fragilités respectives des deux institutions majeures en charge d'un pays abîmé. Si le pouvoir politique, après la dissolution systématique de l'identité entreprise par le communisme, et qui s'est soldée par des victimes sans nombre, n'a pu que se tourner vers l'orthodoxie, première légataire de cette identité et de cette martyrologie, c'est qu'il a vu dans son renouveau un signe précurseur de la Russie nouvelle qui reste à bâtir.

A l'extérieur, Alexis II, soucieux d'asseoir les droits historiques de son Eglise, s'est opposé, à l'occasion, à Rome ainsi qu'à Constantinople, la seconde Rome. Il a contesté à Bartholomée Ier l'exercice d'une primauté active, mais l'a retrouvé sur l'essentiel, la défense de la foi. Il a dit non à la papauté planétaire de Jean-Paul II, le suspectant de promouvoir l'uniatisme sous couvert de «nouvelle évangélisation», mais il a dit oui au théologien épris de liturgie, préoccupé de refonder la part proprement latine du catholicisme, qu'est Benoît XVI. Conscient de l'ambivalence du fait religieux au sein de la globalisation, mais mettant aussi à profit une longue tradition de coexistence avec le judaïsme et l'islam, Alexis II a condamné l'antisémitisme comme un antichristianisme et appelé au dialogue avec le monde musulman, marquant ainsi le plein retour de l'orthodoxie russe sur la scène mondiale.

Qu'en sera-t-il, demain, de ce renouveau et de ce retour? L'Eglise de Russie doit choisir entre la fausse Tradition reconstruite et la vraie Tradition retrouvée. Entre la fermeture sur sa sociologie et l'ouverture à sa créativité. Entre la tentation du ghetto et la vocation du rayonnement. Un seul homme semble à même de porter un tel projet: Cyrille, métropolite de Smolensk et Kaliningrad. Il y a été éduqué, préparé. Il a accompagné le pontificat d'Alexis II, dont il a été le fidèle soutien. Sa russité et son orthodoxie ne font aucun doute. Et, pareillement, ses qualités théologiques et pastorales sont assurées. A 62 ans, il est en charge depuis deux décennies des relations extérieures du patriarcat et vient d'être nommé à l'intérim. Il maîtrise la civilisation planétaire du dialogue, les règles et usages des institutions internationales et les enjeux les plus contemporains - qui ne se distinguent pas des enjeux propres à l'orthodoxie, mais s'y superposent. Son rôle pourrait être également éminent pour les Russes eux-mêmes, croyants ou non, dans la mesure où il possède l'assise intellectuelle pour nouer alliance avec les forces vives du pays, intellectuels, artistes, et l'entière sphère civile dont dépend l'avenir. Identité et liberté, religion et politique, foi et intelligence : c'est parce qu'il se situe lui-même à l'intersection de ces questions que Cyrille peut être décisif à ce carrefour où le patriarcat de Moscou n'a pas rendez-vous qu'avec lui-même mais aussi, selon le commandement de l'Evangile, avec «la vie du monde».

(http://www.lefigaro.fr/lefigaromagazine/2008/12/13/01006-20081213ARTFIG00253--les-grands-defis-du-futur-patriarche-de-moscou-.php)
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